Thursday, March 11, 2010
Oh, don't worry.... I know I'm not REALLY Wonder Woman! I just had someone tell me my figure resembled her and I loved the compliment so much that I ran with it......
But the fact is that I DID hit a vunerable moment and completely fell off of the clean eating/cutting diet bandwagon last night.
I won't bore you with all the stressful stuff that's been going on. Let's just suffice it to say that all the garbage in life lately (and I know many of you reading this have garbage piles way bigger than mine- I respect you all the more for still fighting the fitness battle through it all), combined with normal hormonal stuff in the female cycle (yes, it's THAT time of the month!) got the best of me and I found my hand in a box of Wheat Thins and my head in a jar of peanut butter.
I got the biggest case of the guilt's I've ever had from eating wrong. I felt like I'd let so many people down: My coach, who has been really proud of my stick-to-it-iveness, the people I know are watching me on Spark, Facebook, and through my blogs, and most of all myself. I have a specific goal to be as low fat as possible for surgery in early May. I felt I'd set myself back.
I was in the shower crying like a baby. Finally the REASON why I'd overeaten hit me, and it was like a dam broke. I've been really strong for a really long time. Last night I turned into a big weakling.
And then a sick thought crossed my mind: I considered, for a brief second, making myself vomit. And at that point I knew I'd crossed a line mentally that was headed in a dark and unsafe direction and I needed to do something to abruptly halt it.
So I called my coach.
I really thought I'd blown it beyond belief. I thought perfection was expected because I am on a cutting diet. I thought he'd be so very disappointed in me. But I had to get what was in my head out to someone, and somehow I knew he was the guy.
And you know what he did? The man I most trust and respect in regards to diet in the universe basically told me it would be all right. That people slip. That I'm human. That I am NOT Wonder Woman, and I was going to be Okay.
Then today he told me he's proud of me.
If he weren't in California and I weren't in Texas, he'd of gotten a big hug.
I'd fallen off the horse and landed face-down in the mud. But the good news is that somehow I'd managed to lift my head out of the mud and take a big breath of fresh air.
Look, he's right.... We all goof. Even those of us who are nutty enough to aspire to stand in front of total strangers in ridiculously bejeweled velveteen swimsuits and be judged on their unnaturally-orangey-fake-tanned -and-Pam-coated physiques.
So I decided to do all the damage control I could: I got a good nights sleep. When I woke up I did my regularly-scheduled cardio on as empty a stomach as I could, given that it still had quite a lot of goo in it from the night before. I planned my days clean eating.
But most importantly, I've thought through what happened and have tried to figure out what I can learn from it. And what I learned from it is that I need to have a little bit more of an afternoon snack when I'm PMS-ing. While it's a few extra calories in my day, it's nothing like the disaster that can happen in the evening if I let myself get too hungry while I am stressed. I also learned that I need to call of Email another partner in weight loss sooner rather than later.
We all need support. Even Wonder Woman had the Super Friends.
It's one thing to fall in the mud........ It's quite another to just lie there helplessly.
And yeesh................. I really hate being dirty.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I believe this is the root cause of why we Americans are getting fatter: We eat too much. Period.
We have become a nation accustomed to eating super-sized portions. And most of us don't even know we are doing it. What used to be a normal size 20 years ago and prior is now considered child size.
I remember when a normal cookie was 2 bites, and anything bigger was considered a colossal size. Then Mrs. Fields started serving the big cookies in the malls, and we started making them at home, and pretty soon they were expected. Now, what used to be a normal-sized cookie is considered a mini, and what we consider a normal-sized cookie is really enough for a small family to share!
Look at an ice-cream cone. I love the big, 1/4 pound dips at Braums as much as the next guy. (If you don't know what Braums is, I feel sorry for you!) But when I order a kiddie scoop it more resembles the ice-cream cone size we saw gals with what we now consider impossibly small waists in circle skirts eating in the 1950's.
In the 80's, when I was a teen, a normal hamburger or order of French-fries at a fast-food joint was the size now found in a child's meal. Children's meals were just coming out, and their size wasn't that much smaller than the adults size- they just had a toy and a small drink added. Adult meals weren't sold as meals: You had to order the "parts" separately. If I recall correctly, adult meals started up after children's meals caught on. We didn't have the option of salads back then, but we were thinner and healthier people. Go figure.
It was the portion sizes.
Smaller portions = Smaller people. It's not rocket science.
The bottom line is that to weigh less, we've gotta eat less.
Here are a couple of suggestions:
-Order the child's meal or the kiddie scoop. (Trust me, even though it's clear you are over 12, they won't stop you. They can't MAKE you order more food! And if you are with a kid, you can fake like it's for them).
With a kiddie scoop you still get the ice cream, you just don't get the big gut to go with it.
-If a kids meal just ain't gonna cut it and you REALLY want that bacon cheese-burger, okay!! Go ahead and order it, but with modifications: Get a single patty and ask them to leave the mayo off. If there is "special sauce", have that left off, too. Skip the fries! The burger is enough of an indulgence without adding those cholesterol-laden potato sticks into the mix. And try to order it with water or tea, but if you HAVE to have something sweet, add a little splenda to your tea or a diet Coke instead of sugary soda that has absolutely no nutritional value. If you want a side, get the salad with fat-free Italian dressing or light vinaigrette. And for Pete's sake, take those croutons off!
Yeah, I know it doesn't sound like fun, but as the old saying goes: If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. And what do you want more? Momentarily happy taste buds, or a permanant satisfaction with the way you look in the mirror?
Monday, March 08, 2010
So last night I was talking to my sister on the phone about the snags she has hit lately in her weight loss battle. And in the middle of the conversation she says something that leaves me speechless. Well.... almost.
She says "I have only lost 23 pounds."
I replied back, "Betsie, 23 pounds is a lot of weight!"
"I have a lot more weight to lose than you did, so it's not as much on me as it is on you."
I asked her what in the heck was she talking about? A pound of fat is a pound of fat, and it doesn't matter who the weight is off of, be it me, her, or an elephant.
Know what she said back to me? (This is so typical Betsie!):
"An elephant loses 23 pounds when it poops."
So, to try and give her a visual of how much she's lost, I asked her to picture 23 pounds of elephant poop. But then it occurred to me that neither one of us really knew what 23 pounds of elephant poop looks like.
So I went to my cabinet and looked at my container of shortening.
Would you like to know how much a container of shortening (I mean the regular-sized ones, not the little apartment-sized containers) weighs? 3 pounds! When I told her she'd lost almost 8 regular-sized containers of shortening she said in amazement "That's a lot of weight!"
Uh, yeah... that's what I'd been saying..... But it even surprised me the volume that 3 pounds of fat takes up.
So next time you get ready to say "I've only lost x-amount of pounds", divide it by three. That's how many containers of shortening you've lost.
And then pat yourself on the back. Because you have something to be proud of! And the more proud of yourself you are, the better you will feel about yourself. And the better you feel about yourself the more you will want to help yourself.
After all, who wants to help someone they don't like?
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Here's a question a lot of people wonder about: What is the best time of day to exercise?
There is some scientific evidence that an early AM workout is the most beneficial. So if you are a person who has the option to work out first thing in the morning and it's compatible with your personality, I say go for it! Why not?
I like to work out ASAP in the morning. I'm more energetic in the morning and it's out of the way. For me, it's worth it to wake up super-early to get my workout in, if possible. That way, any excuse I can find for not doing it later on in the day is not given a chance to take hold. It's already done.
However, if your schedule won't allow you to work out in the early AM or you are one of these people who just simply can't put out your best effort right out of bed, you need to find a time that works better for you. As I keep saying, any exercise is better than no exercise.
If you can't give 100% to your workout in the morning but you can at 6PM, you will gain more benefit from working out at 6PM.
If you simply can't find time to work out until 6PM, you will gain more benefit from working out at 6PM than you will from not working out at all.
One precaution about working out late in the day: Some people will have a hard time getting a good nights sleep if they exercise within a couple of hours of bedtime. And sleep is vital in the fitness battle, so don't sacrifice your sleep for your workout.
Whenever you decide is the best time for you to exercise, schedule it into your calendar and treat it like a non-negotiable appointment. This is your health we are talking about. It is that important.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Here is my list, in what I feel is order of importance, of things someone who is new (or just coming back after a break of years) to exercise would need to start an at-home exercise program:
1.) An instructional book on weight lifting. I don't care if it's designed for men or women because we all lift weights the same way, but it needs to have a good description of many different weight-lifting exercises for all body parts, because eventually you're gonna get bored with doing the same stuff and want to change it up. Plus, change is good for muscle growth and symmetry.
It is better to lift correctly with no weights than incorrectly with weights, so pay close attention to the technique instruction in the book!
2.) Dumbbells. If you are a woman I'd recommend starting with two each of 1 lb, 3 lb, 5 lb, 7 lb (if you can find them), 8 lb, and 10 lb. For a man I'd recommend starting with two each 5 lb, 8 lb, 10 lb, 12 lb, 15 lb, 18 lb (if you can find them), and 20 lb. The cheapest iron ones will do. That's what I have. As you grow stronger you can go out and buy two dumbbells in the next size up. This keeps the cost in check, as well.
If you cannot get dumbbells, don't despair! I worked out when my children were small and we were flat broke with cans of food!
3.) An adjustable (you can make it taller) step aerobics bench. This not only works for it's obvious purpose, but it doubles as a weight lifting bench for most exercises requiring a bench. And it's usually cheaper.
4.) A step or other kind of cardio DVD. I like step best because it gets my heart rate going in a small amount of square footage. This is great for getting in cardio on those days that you can't get outside for a walk or rualk (run-walk). I have a bunch of aerobics DVDs because the same one over and over gets monotonous.
5.) An exercise ball appropriate for your height. Between this and the step bench, my need for a traditional weight lifting bench at home is pretty much gone.
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