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Drudgery

Wednesday, April 16, 2008



Lately I've been trying to kick up my cario a notch, in order to avoid a plateau and to keep losing. I really want to make my goal or get as close to it as possible. Problem is, I am bored to tears on the cardio machines!!

Don't get me wrong: I LOVE to work out. I think I am just stuck in a gym rut.
I've been on every type of elliptical they have, as well as the treadmill and the bikes. Snoozefest!!

Today I was on 2 different ellipticals and also hopped on the rowing machine afterwards, just to mix it up a bit. The rowing machine was fun but I don't know whether it counts as cardio or strength training. I am logging it as cardio today, screw it!

I might just be tired because I have given myself a goal of burning at least 500 calories before leaving the gym. At least for me, that is pretty tough to do -- it means at least an hour but usually more at a pretty good pace. I know the machines say I've burned more than that, but I wear a heart rate monitor so I know what I am really burning. The machines lie!!

Anyway, even if I am tired, I sense there is a difference between when I am just tired and ready to go home and when I am truly BORED. I love my fitness classes. They are never boring. Thank goodness tomorrow is my strength training, i.e. Body Pump day. That will help I think.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DNJEN471 4/20/2008 5:06PM

    Mixing it up is always good. You are doing great!

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BLONDEGIRL10 4/19/2008 10:16AM

    The Nice weather is coming Babe! You won't have a problem soon enough! You can say bye, bye to the those machines if ya want and Kick It Up Outside in the SUN!! Take your gym classes and focus on kicking up your strength training! I Love Strength Training! And remember to take your measurements as a guide, Screw the scale if your measurements are going down because the Muscle is more important anyway! What I do know is YOU look Marvelous and YOU are doing Great with your exercising!!! Hugs-Gab

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PIGLETSMALL 4/18/2008 4:17PM

    You're meant to change your exercises routine every six weeks to avoid plateus. Just double check your exercise routine and see if you need to tweek it a little. I get bored easily too. But if I follow a plan for six weeks and change it after that so it's not so boring. emoticon

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LILLIAN364 4/16/2008 3:02PM

    I work out at home. I jog and I use a workout book to guide me in using free weights. I find that I need to change the exercise I do every two to three months or I get bored. I have a large enough collection of books so I can rotate my exercises to keep myself and my muscles from getting bored. Just changing the exercises made me have to reduce the amount of weight I was lifting. It was almost like starting over.

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 4/16/2008 2:52PM

    I was getting bored, too. I work out at home, so I don't have a variety of machines available to me. After doing some reading on Muscle With Attitude's website last night, I've decided to do high intensity cardio for a change. I go like nuts for five to ten minutes, get really sweaty and feel like I might fall off, take a five minute break, then go for endurance. Tonight I'll do the high intensity followed by lifting. When the snow is all gone AGAIN, I'll get my bike on the road and try skipping rope.

...Pam

Comment edited on: 4/16/2008 2:51:48 PM

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PEACHY78 4/16/2008 1:27PM

    I get books on cd out from the library and put them on my pod to listen to on the elliptical otherwise I get really bored as well.

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Shopping is fun again!

Monday, April 14, 2008


I spent a lot of time shopping this weekend -- getting some new spring/summer clothes, and especially for my upcoming vacation!

It was tiring because I pretty much need EVERYTHING but I had a lot of fun. It is so much easier to shop when everything you like fits and looks cute on. I am loving trying on size 4 clothes and small/xtra small! Woo hoo!!

For the past few years, I've hated going shopping. On more than one occasion, I was actually in tears from the experience. It feels so good to enjoy shopping again.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETHSTL 4/18/2008 4:54PM

    Yay for you! That's awsome.

-Beth

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CHARVONNE30 4/15/2008 9:58AM

    I am in the boat of crying when shopping and I know you are getting all the cute clothes - I am so happy for you - and I am sure you will be look flawless on your trip!

Vonne

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DNJEN471 4/15/2008 12:13AM

    Good for you! You totally deserved a good shopping spree!

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VIDABELA 4/14/2008 6:38PM

    yay how exciting! i can't wait for shopping to be fun again =P
i love your new pic...you look great! =)

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 4/14/2008 9:58AM

    Shopping IS fun now, is't it?! Pictures, please!

...Pam

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Diet foods or healthy foods?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I've been on Spark for more than a year now. And once you've been here for a while, it's inevitable that at some point you will take a serious look at exactly what you are putting in your body beyond calories and fat grams. Lately, I've been thinking: Am I eating Diet Food or am I eating Healthy Food? There is a difference.

I have been a hungry-girl.com subscriber for about a year now. If you haven't heard of Hungry Girl, she has a newsletter (and a new book coming out) featuring diet-friendly recipes of typical high-calorie restaurant fare and foods we all love to eat but are commonly "forbidden" if you want to lose weight. She also stays on top of all the new diet foods that come out on the market. Her newsletters are fun to read and I've taken a lot of her recommendations in the past year. I am even a member of the Spark Team in her honor. She is not a dietitian or doctor, she's just a hungry girl. As such, she makes no health claims in her postings but she does indeed advocate eating fruits, veggies and whole grains. She's also very skilled at reading labels. Thanks to HG, I am up to date on all the latest 100-calorie packs, sugar free syrups, low-cal granola bars, etc. All the food that falls into the category of Diet Food. Unfortunately, this food -- which many dieters flock to -- is usually loaded with sodium, artificial sweeteners and chemicals.

On the other end of the spectrum, I recently bought a cookbook written by Ellie Krieger. She is a nutritionist and she has a show on the Food Network called Healthy Appetite. Ellie favors real ingredients: fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, natural sweeteners such as malassas and honey, real mayonnaise made with canola oil, and a little bit of real whipped cream (if you're going to have whipped cream), but otherwise low-fat (not fat-free) dairy. Organic when possible, and as few processed foods as possible. Makes sense to me!

But here's the rub: Sometimes I want a fun, snacky, diet food that tastes sinful but is not calorie-dense. And a war breaks out in my mind: Diet Food vs. Healthy Food. Who will win out??

Currently, there is a spirited discussion here on the boards about high-fructose corn syrup. People are doing a clean sweep through their refrigerators and cabinets and purging this offending ingredient from their homes. Seems to me that HFCS is the latest thing people are paying attention to, thanks to Oprah and Dr. Oz. No HFCS: What is left to eat? Even my beloved Fiber One Bars contain HFCS.

Thinking about all of this makes my head spin. It's so frustrating!
- When one offending ingredient (the one people are paying attention to right now) gets removed from products, the manufacturers just put something else in it that's just as bad or worse (like trans fat in place of saturated fat).
- If an ingredient is fat-free, that usually means more sugar. If something is low-cal, check the sodium. Uh oh! One bad ingredient removed does not make a food healthy.
- Experts have varying opinions and contradict themselves all the time. Some say artificial sweeteners are perfectly safe, others say they are the worst things to ingest. Dr. Oz says to chuck that HFCS! Next episode of Oprah has Bob Greene (also a so-called expert) with his "Best Life" label on all sorts of products made with artificial sweeteners and HFCS.
- Despite the studies done and the FDA claiming artificial sweeteners are safe, I am not convinced that they are. But I admit I enjoy some low-cal foods that contain Splenda. Still, I wanna know, is it better to just have real sugar? What is a healthy sweetener? Does such a thing exist?
- What's left to eat if you just want a snack or dessert???

I am leaning toward Ellie's point of view here. Still, that HG fan in me is often tempted by all those diet foods. But slowly, I am learning to love and appreciate healthy whole foods, with ingredients that I can pronounce. I crave the diet foods less and less. I also recognize the gimmicks that manufacturers use on their packaging to get us to buy their foods. I know they don't have our health in mind as much as they have their bottom lines in mind. And I hope to one day rid my diet of junk food entirely.

If only I could determine what is the best healthy, natural sweetener so that I can calm that sweet tooth without those fake sugars....


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLONDEGIRL10 4/12/2008 7:19AM

    You are awesome! It can be frustrating. I think the most important thing for me is balance, if I lean too far in one direction... something will give and topple over, and lead to disaster. We are human, you are finding what works best for you and questioning, which is all we can do. I think you are a lot like me, and balancing "diet" foods and "healthy" foods will be the key for us to maintain a healthy weight, be fit, and still enjoy ourselves! I just want to say it again, You are awesome! Hugs-Gab

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PIGLETSMALL 4/11/2008 4:16PM

    I guess I don't think about it too much. I tend to stick with what is healthy - except for chocolate that still keeps trying to hang out with me. It's not taking no as an answer to go away! hee hee.

Some diet foods aren't much different to other foods. I've checked the labels and have been quite surprised to see only a couple of calories different with fat content almost the same.

I quite like raisins for a sweet burst! Or a cool smoothie made with frozen ice blended together with fruit juice. Yum!

Love ya' buddy. Hugs and love Helen xxx emoticon

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 4/11/2008 3:26PM

    My favourite, fun and healthy food is dark chocolate. In moderation, its a guilt-free pleasure.

As for healthy, natural diet sweeteners, try agave syrup or steevia. They are available from your health food stores. I haven't tried cooking with either, yet, but there are recipes online.

When I cook or bake, I use half sugar and half Splenda. Then I'm only half as guilty.

emoticon

...Pam

Comment edited on: 4/11/2008 3:26:13 PM

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VIDABELA 4/11/2008 12:17PM

    ooh i soooo fight this battle too! i *know* i should pick the healthy foods, but theres a part of me that just wants the fun diet-y foods. i am also a fan of hungry-girl and ellie krieger as well! would you recommend her cookbook? does it have pictures in it?

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BHLOVESTHIN 4/10/2008 9:30PM

    It is definitely frustrating! I actually can't have a lot of the so-called 'diet foods' because they have fake sugar in them and I happen to be allergic to fake sugars. I have been trying to slowly just get the processed foods out of my diet as I've noticed that the whole foods tend to keep me fuller longer and give me more energy. I'm planning on making my sweets at home using raw sugar or honey as sweetner. I would rather have home-baked goodies that I know what is in them than store bought where I have to decipher the ingredients. Good luck to you in your attempt to figure out what's right for you!

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My biggest incentive yet!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More than a year ago, I thought of a big prize for losing 63 pounds and making it to my goal weight. A huge trip! The trip of a lifetime. A trip to Israel!!!!

Well, hubby and I have been thinking of going in May and I have been desperately trying to make it to my goal. Truth be told, I thought I would be at goal by January, then February, then certainly by now. Well, I still have 10 pounds to go!!

And here's the kicker -- hubby bought our tickets today!!! No turning back now. We needed to get the tickets before they got too expensive and also before it gets too hot there to enjoy walking around. May seems like the perfect time.

So, I need to do all I can to actually be at goal by May 13! I don't want to fail. I want the trip to be truly deserved and earned, not just "close enough."
I think it's totally doable, but I have to kick it up a notch. Losing 1 pound every few weeks is not going to cut it. I need to lose 2 pounds a week.

I have a plan:
- No eating out at restaurants, especially not those Indian buffets that I love so much.
- Burn at least 500 calories every time I go to the gym (except on my strength training day)
- Participate in challenges with a couple of my SparkTeams to keep it fun and to keep me accountable.

If anyone has any other suggestions to help me lose 2 pounds a week, I am all ears!! Please????!!!!!

I gotta do this! I want to finally see an end to this weight loss and get into maintaining! I want to say "I DID IT!!"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DNJEN471 4/4/2008 4:49PM

    water, water, water. You can not get enough water and it really does naturally detox your system. That along with everything else you are doing should be good. You are very determined, I am sure you will reach your goal. You have huge motivation, Isreal!? Come on! That is an amazing motivation! The trip of a lifetime! A well deserved reward for all you have accomplished!

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ANNFOWLER 4/3/2008 8:43AM

    You can do it! Look how far you've come. You are an inspiration to this girl whose gained and lost the same 3 pounds for the last year. Thanks for sharing your journey. Good Luck on those last 10 pounds!

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PIGLETSMALL 4/2/2008 5:30PM

    Ha ha ha! I'm so pleased for you sweetie. Your hubby is amazing. You are amazing and you get to go somewhere amazing together. What does that tell you? Hee hee! I recently became a leader of the CRUNCHERS team. It would be great to have you on board. I have a few of our friends there too, like MUSIQLUVER, LWATER and ANNETTE to name a few. Come and take part in our April challenge where we are having a friendly competition on what team can do the most crunchers. It doesn't matter how many crucnhers you can do. Even if it's just 20! I'd put you in my team. You'd love it. Think about it. Hugs and love Helen xxx

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CHARVONNE30 4/2/2008 1:56PM

    Your plan is to the point - and it will take a lot of discipline but remember you have accomplish a major feat so don't beat yourself up too badly! You have your eyes on the prize and you have done a marvelous job thus far...just do what you do!

Vonne

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JLITT62 4/2/2008 11:14AM

    First, congratulations on losing 53 pounds so far. That's awesome.

Secondly, I've gotta be frank here. I do think 10 pounds in 6 weeks is too high an expectation. Not in the beginning, but as you get further and further along in your weight loss journey, the pounds come off slower and slower. And sometimes when we try so hard to make a goal, and we fail, we just get more and more out of control.

So why not just concentrate on eating healthy and exercising regularly until you go?

How about eating out once a week, but choosing restaurants where you know you'll have healthier choices?

Can you kick up the cardio a bit? What are you doing for cardio now; try adding 10% more.

If you do make it, that's wonderful. But if you don't, you're still wonderful.

And I'm envious! I've never been to Israel. My parents just finally made it just a few years ago, in their late 70s.

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PLAYFULLKITTY 4/2/2008 11:13AM

    You have a wonderful plan planned out....and you can do this... no crash dieting needed... follow your plan...sneak in extra excercise when you can... and don't forget that water... and i will be looking forward to hearing you say "I DID IT"

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From couch potato to runner!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

On Saturday I finished the Couch to 5K program. For those who are not familiar with it, it is a 9-week beginner running program designed to help you go from being a couch potato to running a 5K.

I am so excited to be able to say that I completed this program because I used to HATE running. I would get so tired and gaspy and out of breath, and I wondered why people would willingly do this to themselves. But as with anything, the key is to start slowly and build up and that is exactly why C25K is so effective. Also, I started this after almost a year of doing regular exercise, so that helped too.

I want to thank my special Spark friend Anne7777, who motivated me to get off my butt and actually start the C25K program. I had been tossing around the idea of starting for a few weeks but was not actually starting it and making tons of excuses for why not. She just said, "Come on, I'm starting on Jan. 31, let's do it together!!" So I said, "OK!!" She and other wonderful members of the MP3 team were so great and supportive and cheered me on throughout the whole thing. It made the program so much more fun for me.

The Couch to 5K Group was also awesome. People were always at the ready with a welcome, a kind word of support, or help with any issues you face. For anyone who is thinking of starting the C25K, I highly recommend joining this SparkTeam.

Now, I am thinking about where to take my running next. I think I will keep running 3x/week for 30 minutes until it gets easier and increase my time at that point. Once the weather gets a little nicer, I will take more of these runs outside. I will also focus on gradually increasing my speed. Maybe I will sign up for a 5K race in the next few months and maybe even a 10K in due time. new.music.yahoo.com/singleVideo/?vid
=29495025

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENSFITJOURNEY 4/1/2008 3:27AM

    Hey sweetie!!! You are a runner!! This was a great accomplishment!

Big hugs and congrats to you!!
Jen

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VIDABELA 3/31/2008 4:19PM

    wow that is a huge accomplishment!! you must feel so good =D i think you should definitely sign up for a race!

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HUGS2013 3/31/2008 4:11PM

    Good for you Tweety. You must be so proud of yourself. Thanks for sharing your success story. Deanie

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QTCOLEY 3/31/2008 1:28PM

    ooooooo... congrats!!! way to go chica :) I read up on that program. I've started a lil bit, but i'll probably get serious here soon. In fact, maybe I will today! Thanks for being such an inspiration... you're awesome!

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ANNE7777 3/31/2008 11:34AM

    Hi Tweety!!!!! Congratulations! Awwwwhhhhh Thanks for the props! I am flattered if I can help anyone...It was so much fun "training with you!"
Good luck with your running!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO--Peace--Anne
PS--my 2nd 5K race ever, is on May 3, you should totally sign up for a race, they are a blast!!!!!

Comment edited on: 3/31/2008 11:39:01 AM

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 3/31/2008 10:45AM

    Woo hoo! Congrats.

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TLC4EVER 3/31/2008 10:17AM

    That is inspiring! I've restarted for the third time and haven't gotten past week 4 yet. You make me want to go all the way this time.

Thanks for posting this.

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PIGLETSMALL 3/31/2008 10:06AM

    Woo Hoo! I'm so proud of you buddy! You are awesome. Keep up the good work and keep posting your achievements. It makes me smile. Have an awesome day, my friend. Love and hugs Helen xxx

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