Thursday, November 15, 2012
I have earned the dubious distinction of being able to walk with my shoulders relaxed and my abdominals engaged. Now, this may not seem like much to you, but achieving this has been my obsession for the last four months.
I blame this all on Coach Nicole. I was reading one of her blogs or articles and she mentioned that when walking, your shoulders should be relaxed and your abdominals engaged. Right. So I tried it. I literally laughed myself right off the treadmill. All I could think was, I really can't walk and chew gum!
So, every time I got on the treadmill I would get to a point where I would consciously consider my stance--was I leaning forward or back; my gait--was I limping, were my strides too long; my step--was my heel touching down softly and was I pushing off with my toes? Then I would check to make sure my shoulders were back, down, and relaxed. And last, but certainly not least, were my abdominals engaged?! See, I told you I was obsessed.
Perhaps, I thought, it's like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. But, no. Finally, I did it! I went through my whole neurotic list and got to the end and. . .my abdominals were engaged. Yes!
What can I say, it keeps me motivated. Just keep walking! Engage!
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I've noticed lots of changes in the last six months of Sparking. I eat better. I exercise. Clothes that didn't fit before, do now. My blood pressure is normal. My depression has gotten better and I'm more positive now. The big thing: the way I see myself is changing, too.
I was cold last night. Well, I'm cold whenever the temperature goes below 73 degrees in the house. It's getting colder and we keep the heat on 68 degrees so I know I'm going to just have to get used to it. Anyway, I put on my Columbia polar fleece jacket. It fits now. It used to be too small. I was standing there putting dinner together and thinking, when this gets bigger I'll be able to wrap it around me even more!
It doesn't sound like much does it? But this was a BIG THING.
This morning I was reading the Daily Spark "Stay Motivated When The Scale Isn't Moving" and I saw this quote: "You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be." David Viscott
Every time I weigh myself, I'm amazed that I lose weight. Why should I be amazed? I've been working hard, eating right and exercising. But I was still seeing myself in the same light. You know, that person who just can't lose weight, who sits around and moans and groans about how hard it is.
Last night I didn't say to myself, "IF this get bigger." I thought, "WHEN this gets bigger." I've finally begun to see myself in a different light. I can be successful living my healthy new lifestyle because I am doing just that. My lifestyle is healthy. Mind you, I didn't say perfect. I believe I need to be flexible, not restrictive, in order to succeed. I'm working at it.
My husband is Sparking with me. I know how lucky I am to have his support. He has no exercise issues, unlike me. He's very active, but when he started SP at the beginning of September he was 32 pounds overweight. Last year at this time he was 50 to 55 pounds overweight. Now he has 17 more pounds to go! He told me he'd wanted to lose more weight before his physical last week! (Geesh, I'm losing weight so much more slowly!) He claims that when he sees his weight loss he feels like it's magic. He just follows the nutrition tracker guide and exercises and loses weight. I told him when he started SP to make sure he ate enough so he wasn't hungry. Yes, you lose more slowly, but you feel so much better! He says eating a well balanced diet makes him feel great and is the key to success.
He told me the other day that he could do this forever. I think I could do this forever, too.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I have started weighing food in grams rather than ounces or cups. Do you know how inaccurate ounces are?! I can fit way more shredded cheddar cheese in that 1/2 cup measure than 28 grams. Hey, more for me! No? How many more calories was that? Around 110?
I've watched people measure out their food. Some overfill the cup measures, some under fill them. I haven't figured out why you would want to do either. Whichever way you choose, you would be cheating yourself, so you would have too many calories or you'd be hungry!
Okay, I realize that tracking is not a science. Yes, you can weigh and measure your food. Hopefully, you're within a 50 calorie range. The thing is, how do you measure one cup of lettuce? Do you pack it in or place it? Shredded or chopped?
May I please take a moment to complain (I know I shouldn't, it's on my list of things NOT TO DO) about the SP food tracker? (Not the foods put in by members.) Why can't I measure sweet potatoes, with skin, no salt in grams?! Why is it that some things are listed twice and have different nutritional values?
Okay, okay, I know. It does not have to be that accurate! My concern is that I don't want to be 200 or 300 calories over what I think I ate.
Oh, and before any of my friends comment on the American system of measurement, don't start. I was reading a recipe for Coronation Chicken (who knew there was such a thing) and it called for one teacup of something. A teacup? Do teacups come in a specific size?
While ounces and cups are not good measurements for weight, they're just fine for liquid measures. And Fahrenheit is more accurate than Celsius, not that it matters. Just sayin'.
I read several articles that tell you how to measure food when you're out. You know this stuff:
A slice of bread should be the size of an index card -- a 3x5 index card and a serving of meat (3 ounces of chicken) is a deck of cards. Okay, I think I can do these two. Unless, of course, I try to measure the serving of chicken as the size of my palm (see below).
An ounce of nuts is the size of a golf ball -- how big is a golf ball, anyway? I can hold an ounce of almonds in my hand, almost.
An ounce of cheese is the size of two dice. I have dice in three different sizes, which one should I choose?
A half of a cup is the size of your hand cupped. I have small hands, can I use my husband's hand? His is a lot bigger than mine.
I do hope that none of you take my rant seriously.
Well, that is, other than the fact that I really am going to start weighing my food in grams!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I've got a woman, calling love hate. La, la, la, la, la, la, la . . ." oh, sing it Kris. Right. After about two days of that in my head, I wanted to scream. I had a great walk Sunday. Walked at 3.75 mph for five minutes as part of my treadmill cardio routine. I turn on the roku, get my 80's Pandora station blasting over the radio speakers and walk. Hadn't heard Kris Kristofferson sing that since the 80's.
I cannot get that song out of my head.
Now, it's Tuesday. I had one of those nights where I slept great for four hours, was wide awake and Sparking for three and a half hours and then slept great for another 4 hours. Not too bad, but it made for a really late start to the day. So I just got done exercising at 5:30 pm. I hate when that happens!
I put my exercise group into the fitness tracker and it reminds me that I'm walking 30 minutes today and doing strength training. Okay, but, wait, it says (so I must have put it there) I'm walking at 3.3 mph for 10 minutes. I'm not sure I can do that. Hey, I shrug it off, crank up the music. Let's walk!
Do the warm up, okay, feeling a little stiff. Walking 3 mph. My lower back hurts, I think I have a cramp in my foot. Is my thigh cramping? How am I going to walk 3.3 mph? I could not shut this inner voice up. The time came and I was stiff and achy and I pushed the up button to 3.3 mph and . . . it felt better. Then I hear Bob Dylan singing. No, wait it's Tom Petty. No, that's definitely George Harrison. Oh, The Traveling Wilburys. They keep me going for five minutes. Then Johnny Cash starts singing Folsom Prison Blues except it isn't Johnny Cash. Took me a minute to realize it was Joaquin Phoenix who also sings another song (at least I think he does) about how he's been everywhere. He does a great job. Then Johnny Cash and his wife, June start singing and I realize that nobody can sing like Johnny Cash.
And I just walked 3.3 mph for 15 minutes. Well, I could keep right on walking. But, of course, I can't because I need to do strength training and I know if I keep walking I won't have any strength to train!
I start cooling down and the Romantics are singing "Talking in Your Sleep." Just what I need, another song that is going to torture me. It has one of those really annoying tunes that get stuck in your head. Finally, I get off the treadmill and do my stretches. I start strength training with dumbbell lateral raises, but I lose count because I've got my inner voice thinking about the Romantics. They were the opening act to a Kinks concert I went to in the early 80's. I remember thinking their music was trite and annoying then, too.
I can hear MIDNIGHTER1 in my head now. He wrote this "Beast Mode" blog that helped me to focus. At one point he's talking about going to the gym and that you only go with one purpose: getting it done. I have to focus and get this done. Use good form. I put down the weights and turn the music down. No, that won't do because "One Night in Bangkok" just came on and there is no way I am going to have that stuck in my head for the next day or two! (Yes, I do like that song, but not over and over again!)
Now, if I can just remember to turn the wrinkle shield off on the dryer . . . beep . . . beep!
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Spark Coach asked what is your true motivation. I think most of us would say that we fear going back to where we were and what the worst case scenario would have been had we continued on that path. It is for me. I've already written that blog. It's depressing and negative and I don't need that anymore.
I've decided that a key part of my motivation is being positive. Sounds simple, doesn't it, yet sometimes I really have to work at it! I still get anxious and frustrated, but I can see solutions and I can deal with whatever comes up--at least, most of the time and if I can't deal with it I know I can come here and ask for help! I consider myself lucky because I have all the things that Spark has to offer, to back me up!
For the first three months at Spark, I worked very hard to make sure that I developed good habits. I referred to that time as my rehab/boot camp. Now I'm testing my wings.
My birthday was earlier this week. I really wanted to be able to just go to our favorite little neighborhood Taqueria La Unica and order whatever I wanted. Then I decided I just wanted fajitas, except for some reason I really didn't want to have to put it in the tracker (what a pain it is)! So I had my little tantrum.
Well, then we went out. I ordered the lunch fajitas. Of course, I put that in the food tracker! I didn't go crazy. I had some tortilla chips. No dessert and no special drinks, I just really wanted the fajitas.
It's funny, I was so worried about this, but it was fine. We had a wonderful time. I got to spend my birthday with my favorite people: my husband, my son and his wonderful wife and my grandson. It was perfect. We laughed and enjoyed each other's company and had great food. No worries.
It made me feel like I could do this. Each success, each positive step strengthens me, gives me confidence, and helps to motivate me to move forward.
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