Tuesday, March 09, 2010
I think that most people who make an effort to lose or maintain their weight do better with either food or exercise. I know there are people who are great with both - but my guess is that most people struggle with one or the other in the long term. For me, the struggle is definitely with food.
Sure, I don't always exercise as much as I could but overall I think I do pretty well. I identify opportunities to fit some exercise into my day. There are days that I don't work out at all, but I think it's been well over 3 years that I've actually gone an entire week without some sort of physical activity beyond just walking around. I love it and rely on it to help clear my mind, improve my mood and manage stress. My day just does not seem complete without exercise. But food is something I still need to work on, even now - after 3 years of Sparking.
*ETA: OOPS...I lied! I did go weeks without working out after I had the baby. Six weeks plus the week in the hospital. That is actually a long time without exercise, but a good reason ...doctor's orders. :)
My eating habits have improved ten-fold since I was 60+pounds heavier. I've worked hard to limit fast food and make better choices when I do eat it. I incorporate more fruit, veggies and whole grains in my daily diet. I pay attention to portions. I prepare my own, healthier, meals at home much, much more than before. Still, I know where I need to do better:
- Calories: I am not restricting my calories too much right now because I am breastfeeding. Still, I should stay within a healthy, reasonable (albeit higher) calorie range so I don't gain a lot of weight. Thankfully, I have been maintaining. But I have 8 pounds of weight that needs to come off. As it is now, I am consistently ending up way overboard on the calories by the end of the day. I'm good abut tracking my food, but that does me no good if I am always going over my calories anyway.
- Sugar: I have a crazy sweet tooth and get cravings for sweets late afternoon and evenings. Gum and distractions help, but I indulge more often than I'm comfortable with. They might be "better" indulgences (dark chocolate or muffins made with whole grains and applesauce for example) but they are indulgences nonetheless. I know that resolving never to have treats will set me up for failure. I am looking for balance.
- A balance of nutrients: There's that word "balance" again! This one throws me for a loop. Every evening after I run my nutrition report, I am, without fail, always over in some nutrients and under in others. If I stay within my range for fat, I am over in sodium, for example, or carbs. I am also consistently low in calcium and other key vitamins and minerals. I haven't yet been able to figure out how to stay within all the recommendations AND keep my calories within range. Because it seems like in order for me to be perfect in all these nutritional areas, I need to eat more food so I can have everything covered.
I will continue to explore ways to improve my diet so I can maintain a healthy weight AND still enjoy food and life. That is the only way to sustain weight loss for a lifetime.
So, Sparkfriends: How do you keep your nutrients balanced? What helps you curb a sweet tooth? Are you able to stay within your calories most of the time?
Monday, March 08, 2010
Happy Monday, Spark people! We've had a beautiful, spring-like weekend, and the nice weather is continuing today and tomorrow! I am so, so happy. My spirits are lifted just a little higher for every minute the day is longer and the sun is out. Looking forward to my walk with the little one later today and my workout at the gym tonight with hubby.
Not too long ago, I spun the Sparkwheel and won a SparkPeople exercise DVD. It came on Saturday. Woo hoo!! I was wondering if it would be one of the two I already own but thankfully it's different. It does have some of the same workouts on it, however. It's a little older, I think, and not as high-tech. But hey, it's free and will probably be a nice addition to my little collection of at-home fitness options! :) I haven't worked out to it yet, but I did pop it into the player to see what it was like. BTW, I tried to sell back Leslie Sansone yesterday at a nearby store that buys used DVDs and CDs but they didn't take it. And then hubby dropped some stuff off at Goodwill but forgot to grab it. It just doesn't want to leave me. Begone, Leslie! :)
Friday, March 05, 2010
OK, it's definitely time for a new blog! It's been a while. The snow has since melted and we have been blessed with some sunny days. This weekend, we are supposed to get an inkling of Spring. Sunny and mid-50s. I'll take it!
So, what's new? I've added a few more fun, at-home workouts to my lineup! For my birthday last week I received 3 games for the Wii: Just Dance, EA Sports Active and EA more workouts. "Just Dance" is just silly fun but it gets your heart pumping! There are songs of all kinds and an avatar that dances to each one. All you have to do is mirror the dance moves of the avatar on the screen. Sounds easy, but if you are uncoordinated like me, it's kind of a challenge. You get your results at the end of each song: % great, % OK, % X. I'm usually around 50% great and OK combined, at best. LOL. I'm sure I will improve as time goes on. If not, it's OK. It is fun anyway. There also could be miscommunication between the remote and the game when you are moving it around so much.
The EA game is pretty cool. You get a personal trainer that is supposed to whip you into shape. You can choose your own workouts/exercises or set it to a 30-day challenge, which chooses them for you. Each day you have different combination of exercises. So far, I've done boxing, tennis, running and walking on a track, jumping, and lots of ST moves such as squats, lunges, etc. I think you can even work out online with someone else who has this game, which would be fun too. Anyone out there have it?? I have to play around with it more, for sure. So far I've just let it set my daily workouts. It also shows you your progress and estimated calorie burn, though I wear my HRM to be more accurate. While the workouts are great, so far it is not getting my heart rate up high enough for a sustained amount of time. That's because for each new exercise you do, you get a little "show me how" video, which slows me down. But I watch it so I can see how to do the moves correctly. Eventually once I get through all the exercises once, I won't need those videos and just skip them.
I've also been making it to the gym more often lately! Last night I went to Body Combat. YAY YAY YAY! Plan to go again as usual tomorrow morning.
Oh, and I found out what my waist-to-hip ratio is! I subscribe to a Jillian Michaels newsletter and today's e-mail contained information about how to find out what your ratio is. Jillian says this is a better indicator than BMI. My ratio is .81 - pretty much where it should be for women (.80 is ideal). :)
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
...and trying to pinpoint why. Is it hormones? The weather? Cabin fever? Feeling pulled in different directions? All of the above? Probably.
The "Emotional Eating Monster" has arrived and is wreaking havoc. I am eating sweets (brownies, chocolate) like crazy! I mean, like the world is running out of them. Earlier today I ate the last brownie in the pan I made on Sunday, then 4 squares of really high-calorie chocolate with hazelnuts from Trader Joe's. Yummy but I have now blown through my calories for the day and I haven't even had dinner yet. In the words of Oprah (and I don't quote Oprah very often), "What am I hungry for?" It's not my appetite (physical hunger). My stomach wasn't growling from not having enough to eat before I decided to gobble up all that chocolate.
We've had a crazy amount of snow lately and it's just now starting to melt. We might get more snow at the end of the week or early next week. GAHHHHHH! The mommy/baby class I signed up for has now been postponed till March as a result of the weather, but that's fine with me. It will be easier to push a stroller to the gym after the snow melts.
Speaking of the snow, a terrible thing happened last week that I can't get out of my mind. My husband's colleague and work friend was on his way home from work last Tuesday when a cab in front of him got stuck in the snow. He got out and helped to push the cab out. A while later he started having chest pains and drove himself to the hospital. He had a heart attack and unfortunately passed away. I did not know this man personally, but from everything my DH told me about him, he was a good person with a wonderful sense of humor who went out of his way to help people.
A few examples: That past Friday, when the snow first really started to come down, he saw my husband walking home from work and gave him a ride. Last year when he found out we were expecting, he gave us a stack of Baby Einstein DVDs that his kids had outgrown. After we had the baby, he asked about her often and genuinely wanted to know how she was doing. He also tried to help us find a pediatrician (since we had her early we we were scrambling to find one).
He left behind a wife and two young kids, both under age 3. From what I knew of him, his family was his world. I've been thinking a lot about this family in the past week and hoping they are somehow able to find peace in this difficult time. So very sad. Hug your loved ones and friends. Life is short.
I usually try to be positive when I write these blogs. If there is one thing that being here on SparkPeople has taught me, it's that positivity is absolutely KEY to our success, not only in weight loss but in any goal we wish to accomplish. But I just had to get this out. Sorting through my mind, so to speak...
Thanks for reading.
Friday, February 12, 2010
I am so excited about the Olympics starting tonight! I am ready to sit and stare at the TV screen in awe of all the amazing athletes from around the world.
While I am nowhere near their fitness level, I know that if I just keep exercising, trying new things, and challenging myself a little more each time - I too am capable of great things.
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