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!!
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??
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!!
WALK YOUR WAY TO BETTER HEALTH
ANATOMY 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
BURNS MORE FAT THAN JOGGING
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!
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!
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