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December Battle Plans

Thursday, December 01, 2011

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, I'm working on goals and plans for December as well as the strategies to reach them. I do have some overall goals for fitness and nutrition, weight goals and so forth but I'm also working on personal development goals as well. I want to improve what I did during November but at the same time I don't want to get too carried away and set unrealistic goals or get so ambitious I burn myself out. In other words, it's always a bit of a balancing act

My fitness goal for December is to log 3000 minutes, which is just over 90 minutes per day average. Some days I will get less but I often get 120 minutes or more so will have to make sure my total balances out.

Since I do count steps, my December goal is to get 300,000 steps - that's actually in line with the minutes so if I meet one of these goals, I should meet or be close to meeting the other.

For my nutrition, I am setting up a challenge for myself to log everything during the month, no matter how good, bad or ugly. I have this stupid tendency to want to avoid logging stuff I know are probably not the best choices. I call it stupid because it's not like I'm fooling my body and I'm not fooling my head, either - nobody monitors my food logs but me so there isn't any logical reason whatsoever to skip logging. So my new motto is "If I bite it, I'll write it"

Part of my 'personal development' goals involves organizing my time and developing strategies for dealing with chaos and unexpected disruptions. In the past, I've done well as long as I can stay within my routine but not so well when my routine collapses for some reason. And oh, boy, have there been plenty of reasons - illness, for instance, weather challenges, family needs and all sorts of things that pop up and have to be handled. So I'm going to actually write out not only my actual Plan A but also a Plan B, Plan C and however many additional fall-back positions as I can.

I'm also making an effort to 'think ahead' - I've gotten pretty good with some things like making sure I have extra bottles of water in the car. But I used to be a lot better about keeping things where I can access them when I need to, including times when I'm unexpectedly delayed like traffic jams or a doctor's appt that runs into lunch. I need to reassemble items for such 'emergencies' so I don't find myself choosing between fast food or being uncomfortable. I want to avoid being ill-equipped to deal with ordinary but not necessarily predictable situations.

But some situations ARE predictable such as holiday gatherings. I have my strategy outlined and before the end of this weekend, I will go over it again and make sure I haven't missed anything - we all know most of the tricks like eat a bowl of veggie soup before going to a party and taking your own healthy options - I have also found it helpful to review my goals and reasons for making those goals before heading out the door.

To help reinforce all of this, I have established a SparkPeople goal, too - that is, I will login every day during the month, post huddles to my SparkTeams every day, read articles, blogs and the daily emails I get so I stay connected. I'm also committing to going to my weekly TOPS meeting every week during the month so I have face-to-face support and accountability. I also take advantage of a number of other resources as time allows such as health-related podcasts, magazines, websites and television shows. My December goal is to read or listen to at least one thing each day related to my goals to reinforce my commitment, keep me focused and help me learn more.

I have my 'fantasy' weight loss goals but I'm smart enough to know we're not going to 'lose 30 lbs in 30 days while sleeping and eating chocolate' - darn but oh, well. So keeping in mind that these are the holidays, I will be happy if I don't GAIN and I'm setting a goal of losing 5 lbs during December.

In addition to staying focused on my current plans, I am also sketching out my New Year's goals for 2012. I like to have some loose 'big goals' to start, then break them down into smaller specific goals. There is a concept called setting SMART goals - they should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely so I always make sure I'm covering those basics.

I know all of this sounds like a lot to accomplish but I won't be working most of the month so even with the holidays, I often have more free time than during other times of the year and hoping that will be the case again this year.

Good luck with your goals for the month!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LGAR519 12/2/2011 3:12PM

    Sounds like a good plan. I haven't made one yet but basically hope just to survive!

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 12/2/2011 10:48AM

    I think this is a great plan. Write it out and it can work.

Reference emergency food kits. Fruit and or nuts work great.


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LINDAKAY228 12/2/2011 10:04AM

    Great plan. I haven't gotten around to making one other than the general plan in my head. I should spell it out on paper and put it where I can see it.
Did you get hit by the high winds I heard parts of California had? Hope no damage to your area. I drove to Albuquerque for a work meeting yesterday afternoon to be here today and the winds and blowing dust were absolutely horrible. 70 mph. But I got here safe and sound although exhausted. Today and tomorrow it's supposed to snow.

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GODSBEST 12/2/2011 9:15AM

    Be sure to check in and let us celebrate your successes with you after the holidays !!

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NUTRON3 12/2/2011 7:12AM

    You can do this

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WENDYWITKOSKI 12/2/2011 12:10AM

    Great plan! You are going to do well!

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LESLIELENORE 12/1/2011 10:54PM

    You sound very organized with your goals! I wish we could lose "30 pounds in 30 days while sleeping and eating chocolate", but you are correct it just won't happen. I am going to keep doing what I have been doing because it has been working pretty well for me. Best wishes to you for a wonderful holiday season!

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/1/2011 10:53PM

    Best wishes for success.

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Month-end Review

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Since it's the last day of the month, it's a good time to review how things went during the month - that way, I can identify the areas that need tweaking and reinforce the areas that went well. I think 'everything' always needs reinforcement so I do a mini-version of this type of reflection on a weekly and even daily basis at times.

So how did I do during November? Well, not too bad - wasn't perfect but then again, who is? I ate less and moved more, especially during the second half of the month. There were a couple of days I didn't wear my pedometer or only wore it for part of the day [shame on me!!] but it still calculated over 200,000 steps for the month as of yesterday.

My pedometer also calculated 1014 'aerobic minutes' but there's a trick to that because if I walk briskly for 9 minutes then stop for 1 minute, it drops the 9 minutes and starts the count over. This happens a lot when I'm out because I have two dogs and they make potty stops or we stop for a signal to change, etc. There have been times when I've been on an hour walk but my pedometer only registered 34 minutes, just to give an example [that's not a made-up number - this actually happened earlier in the month!] - and other times, it will record all of the minutes because I either didn't stop at all or they were super-short stops.

I ate pretty reasonably all month, although I was a lot more conscious and mindful during the later part of the month - I'm tracking again, which always helps me. In fact, I know I'm about to get myself in trouble if I stop tracking - it's like some stupid part of my brain thinks it doesn't count if I'm not writing things down!! Well, duh, the rest of my body didn't get that memo so yes, it DOES count if it goes in my mouth, whether it's tracked or not!

I joined Jazzercise a few days ago and I'm hoping that helps. I missed the class yesterday and this morning because of scheduling conflicts but will be back in the morning. I made a commitment earlier this month to establish a more 'routine' schedule that stays the same every day as much as possible. Of course, there are some things that just occur once a week [like my TOPS meeting] so there has to be flexibility for 'stuff' and a lot of things have been pretty regular for me anyway - but I've made more of a specific effort to do things at a certain time each day instead of just 'whenever I get around to it.'

So I've accomplished quite a bit this month - I was down 1.4 this morning at TOPS for a total of -3.8 in 2 weeks but I'm still working off what I gained in October, which was on top of what I gained during my vacation trips, which was on top of what I gained during my dad's final illness and the first 6 months after he died. So I'm really happy to be down 3.8 but looking forward to getting closer to my goal weight. Progress is progress so I'm celebrating every single bit of it!!!

Tomorrow I will blog about my plans for December - so now I want to hear how did you do this month??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIKETOHEIGHTS 12/1/2011 8:32PM

    Fair, considering!

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 12/1/2011 8:49AM

    emoticonSounds like you had a great month in all. Hope you have a great December. For me, the month went all right. Workouts have suffered a bit because of starting a new job but December will be better.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 11/30/2011 10:10PM

    Actually, my pedometer counts after 10 minutes of movement - I didn't explain that very clearly - sorry! So if I walk for 11 minutes without stopping, it counts 11 minutes but if I walk 9 minutes, stop for 1 minute, then walk for 2 more minutes, it would show zero because both 'segments' were less than 10 minutes. Technically, this is absolutely accurate since for an activity to be considered 'aerobic,' it has to last at least 10 minutes or more - but from a physical standpoint, stopping for 90 seconds doesn't usually mean your body 'starts over' with the conditioning. Anyway, because it counts like this, it's actually more accurate than using the clock to measure from the time I start until the time I'm back. Sorry for the confusion!

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_LINDA 11/30/2011 7:02PM

    Well done Lynda!! Great work!! That rather sucks about the pedometer dropping your cardio minutes like that..
I guess I did all right in spite of no exercise, my weight is staying reasonable. That is my only goal during recovery...

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SUNNYARIZONA 11/30/2011 6:50PM

    Doing great pedometer runs like yours. It only TIMES when I am actually moving. So it is timing your steps, NOT the time you are actually out walking. More accurate actually.

Keep up the good work!

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WENDYWITKOSKI 11/30/2011 4:27PM

    Great month!

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DEBJAE 11/30/2011 4:19PM

    Thanks for the reminder...I need to do this for myself! I blogged a 'November Goals' so we'll see how I did!

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Anatomy of Walking

Monday, November 28, 2011

I really enjoy walking, hiking and my little 'fitness coach' Princess has made a 'rule' that I have to take her on long walks twice a day - doesn't matter if DH or someone else takes her - she still INSISTS that I go out with her, too. And I'm going to have to keep her in another room when I watch Biggest Loser, I think, because she has started doing her equivalent of the Last Chance Workout - she wants to SPRINT once she realizes we are getting near home - what a little girl she is!

So as a walker, and member of several teams organized around walking, I was very interested when I found a poster called Anatomy of Walking - I'm not sure all of the words will show up in the tiny picture format SparkPeople allows so I'll type out everything in the order it's on the poster. All of this from just 30 minutes of walking!!



BOOSTS ENDORPHINS easing stress, tension, anger, fatigue and confusion in TEN MINUTES

REDUCES glacauma risk

HALVES Alzheimer's Disease risk over 5 years

LIMITS SICKNESS by halving odds of catching a cold

IMPROVES HEART HEALTH by increasing heart rate and circulation

WORKS arm & shoulder muscles

ENGAGES AB muscles

IMPROVES blood pressure by five points

BUILDS BONE MASS, reducing risk of osteoporosis

LIMITS COLON CANCER by 31% for women

STRENGTHENS LEGS, including quadricepts, hip flexors, and hamstrings

IMPROVES BALANCE, preventing falls


Only 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week can make you healthier and happier

You'll have to excuse me now - it's time to take Princess out for our morning walk!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APRILWALKING 12/1/2011 9:31AM

    You know I love this! Thank you soooo much for sharing it! I have saved it.. :-)

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 11/29/2011 3:26PM

    Fabulous blog!

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 11/29/2011 12:24PM

    Great blog! Walking does wonders!

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LINDAKAY228 11/29/2011 9:57AM

    Amazing how much walking can affect all parts of our body! Princess is going to make sure you are healthy!

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MOM4407 11/28/2011 8:45PM

    Walking all of us can do it. Thanks for reminding me how wonderful the much understated form of exercise is.

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WENDYWITKOSKI 11/28/2011 7:16PM


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MAYBER 11/28/2011 6:35PM

    Thank you for sharing all these thoughts on walking
It is the least expensive exercise you can do
One day at a time
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNYARIZONA 11/28/2011 5:59PM

    Already knew MOST of this, thus try to walk EVERY day!!!! Thanks for putting it all in one place!!! More power to Princess!!!!

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_LINDA 11/28/2011 12:59PM

    Here is to walking! My main method of getting around as I don't drive! Even without a dog, my step dad is making the effort to walk twice a day, although he did go farther and longer with his Bendix -big dogs need lots of exercise. My Mom, in spite of all her constant chores, can't wait to get out and walk every day -she loves the outdoors! Fresh air rules!

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TRAILTRODDER 11/28/2011 12:57PM

    A nice helpful blog Lynda. The reduction in the risk of getting Alzheimer Disease is one of the many reasons I hike and walk. I also have read that reading helps slow the process. Funny, but most of the books I read are about hiking. It's kinda nice, but reading is a great way to end a day wich included a good hike.

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LGAR519 11/28/2011 11:44AM

    I'm so glad I walk 3 miles a day. Thanx for posting. Maybe there is hope for me yet!

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TAGSUIT2 11/28/2011 10:27AM

    If walking does all that, i know that i will be walking a looooooong time.

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PANDARAECASH 11/28/2011 10:21AM

    Wow, I didn't know that walking did all of those things! Good thing walking is on my agenda for today!

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10 Commandments of Weight Loss

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I don't know where this originated but thought it was worth sharing, even though most of us have heard all of it before

10 Commandments of Weight Loss

1. It's a Lifestyle, Not a Diet - this is not a short term fix; it's a way of life

2. Get Organized - Structure your life and you'll structure your eating

3. Eat Small - Portion control is crucial for losing weight.

4. Learn to Leave Food on Your Plate - This helps you take control of compulsive eating

5. Never Feel Deprived - This only encourages binging.

6. Make a Meal Out of It - Make a ceremony out of every meal so that you really appreciate what you've eaten.

7. Eat Slowly - That way you'll feel satisfied before you've eaten too much.

8. Enjoy Your Food - It's one of life's greatest pleasures, not a punishment.

9. Move It! - Exercise is a key essential for losing weight.

10. Get Enough Sleep - Structuring your sleeping patterns will regulate metabolism.

It never hurts to have another reminder - hope you enjoyed it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RR1_RR1 11/28/2011 10:55AM

    Good thoughts. Im copying this to my journal for future use! emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 11/28/2011 9:23AM

    Always good to be reminded of these! Thanks for sharing them and have a great day today!

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 11/28/2011 8:57AM

    Number one is the one I go by. It is a way of life change. emoticon

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DIDMIS 11/27/2011 11:18PM


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_LINDA 11/27/2011 11:00PM

    emoticon emoticon for sharing!

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/27/2011 9:53PM

    I like 'em, thanks!

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TXMEMAW6 11/27/2011 8:56PM

    Thanks. emoticon

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WENDYWITKOSKI 11/27/2011 8:43PM

    Love it! Thanks!

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LGAR519 11/27/2011 8:38PM

    Thank you. Reminders are always good.

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How to have a REALLY good day - Happiness Revealed with a Bonus!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Takes 15 minutes total to watch these - I promise you'll find it worth your time!

The first one takes 10 minutes

And then spend another 5 minutes watching this one - all I can say is wow!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFSPIRITMOM 11/27/2011 12:33PM

    Beautiful! emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 11/26/2011 2:34PM

    Great links! Thanks for sharing them and inspiring us! Have a great day.

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BRAVERUDE 11/26/2011 10:20AM

    Both are very beautiful - thank you!

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