Tuesday, December 31, 2013
“Small changes lead to big changes and big changes lead to results.”
“Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle
The first is a quote from one of today's SparkPeople emails. The two together struck me as good thoughts to start my review of goals for the new year.
This past year I've fallen off adhering to consistent sound dietary and exercise habits. As a result, I've had a net weight gain for the past year and additional health issues that could possible have been avoided if I'd taken better care of myself.
So I've spent a good part of today and yesterday reviewing some of the Spark solutions and success stories to glean new ideas, motivation and relearn how to set smart goals to strive toward.
What I gleaned is that
1) Don't go on a diet but strive to make better food choices to meet my health goals. With that in mind I have set a measurable goal to every day have a healthy breakfast within my caloric range. Recently I've tended not to consume enough protein at breakfast so I have set a goal of having 25% of my daily recommended protein at this morning meal. Portion control is essential for my success.
2) For me, I prefer 3 meals a day with 2 snacks. This might help boost my metabolism. I will use the Spark nutrition tracker to help me track and be aware of if I'm meeting my nutritional needs as well as staying within my caloric range.
3) I also need to make sure I get between 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruit. I will concentrate on vegetables more than fruit as a Type II diabetic, I want to monitor closely the sugar in the various fruits. I mainly prefer berries along with my morning meal or as part of my snacks.
4) I will build momentum by starting a few streaks.
1. One streak is to make at least 10,000 steps per day. I'll use the SparkPeople Fitness tracker for this. The steps count includes both general moving about and exercise related movement.
2. For my second streak I am establishing a short term activity goal minimum of 20 minutes per day. This weekly activity will include 3 days of aerobic and 2 days of strength training. The intermediate goal for physical activity begins at the six week point, and ramps up minimum activity to 30 minutes per day. At the 3 months in point, my daily minimum level will become 45 minutes.
3. Another streak is to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.
5) Improve my culinary skills by reviewing recipes from cookbooks, online and other sources and preparing at least one new one every week.
6) Improve my sleep habit by setting and adhering to a time to go to bed; improving my sleep environment by not watching TV in the bedroom, soften the lighting in the room and by playing soft relaxing music. I may need to drink chamomile tea prior to bed to help relax me as well as limit food intake to include stop eating or drinking anything at least 3 hours before my established bedtime. Also limit my afternoon nap to no more than 20 minutes.
7) Set some non-health related goals:
1. Make daily entries into my journal
2. Connect online with at least one distant friend once a week
3. Read (for pleasure) at least one hour per week
4. Start and complete at least one painting per week
5. Play instrumental music (piano or one of my other instruments) one hour per week
6. Ride my bicycle for at least 10 minutes three times per week.
7. Ride my motorcycle once per week for at least 20 minutes
8) Practice yoga for 20 minutes at least 3 times per week
9) Define rewards – i.e. buy a new magazine; purchase a new DVD; buy a new article of workout clothing; go see a movie or concert; take a mini-vacation
In one SparkPeople blog I read today (Onekidsmom), she mentioned Gratitude and “recognizing the good that is LIFE, the seed of grace in the challenges … have I truly lived today?”
I think this is a terrific concept to keep in mind and don't forget to acknowledge at least some of the things for which you're grateful.
One thing for sure, every day I'm grateful for the SparkPeople community and all that it entails. Hope everyone has a blessed and happy New Year.
Here is a painting I did of my dog Zoey painting in 'her' studio.
Sunday, June 09, 2013
Well that's how I felt like saying after I finished my seventh mile (walking) this afternoon. It has been pouring rain in varying intensity since last night and all day long so far. I decided that outdoor walking wasn't going to happen so I popped in a DVD by Leslie Sansone and walked 5 miles and then repeated the first two miles to get a total of 7 miles. Well maybe 7 miles according to their calculations, but my FitBit only registered as 10.6K of steps as opposed to the nearly 14K I get when I walk a similar distance outdoors. Since her 'miles', besides walking in place, involve a lot of side steps, knee lifts, kicks, and other movements that aren't picked up my my fitbit I hope her mileage is accurate but that's also why I did the extra 2 miles to make sure I got my 10K of steps in.
Five days a go, I decided to really try to stick with my daily minimum steps goal of 10K and accept nothing less until I've attained it even if it takes me all day long. Since setting that as a firm goal I have been able to do so despite foot and toe injuries and the beginning of the deep south heat and humidity settling in for the late Spring, Summer and most of Fall. I suspose I shall have to make sure I have it a trackable goal in Spark so that the exercise log will help me keep track of my streak. I've gotten so that I rely of my Fitbit sync to input my aerobic exercise data. Its hit or miss if I record my ST which I haven't been doing neither much of nor often.
Last week I even went to a gym for three days and , after getting a little bit of instruction, did a bit of strength training using a TRX machine. I was unfamiliar with the TRX system but its basically a huge metal bar (like a swing set bar) with various adjustable straps hanging down from which you do various exercises utilizing your own body weight while keep your core 'tight'. It was harder than it looked but there were some foot adjustment I could make to allow my legs to carry some of my weight instead of just my arms and chest. The planks were a lot harder to do correctly than the ones I do in yoga class as the TRX ones require me to suspend myself at the ankles and have my forearms flat and 90 degree bend at the elbows to keep the rest of me parallel to the ground. Most uncomfortable to try to keep the back properly straight while doing this when I have such a huge girth still. However, it was something total new to me.
As part of my summer reading program, I purchased several artsy fartsy books to peruse as well The Spark Solution. I haven't read any of them yet but have skimmed through the artsy ones to see which one I want to start with first. I probably won't read the new Spark book until after I've finished some of the drawing/painting exercises in my artsy books. Hope everyone had a great weekend.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Happy first day of Spring!. At least here in my part of Florida, we're having a normal day, not too warm (62 degrees) slightly cloudy with a litte breeze but not a bad day like others are experiencing.
Today I decided I'd try something new to me. For several months I've stalled in meeting my weight loss and exercise goals. That doesn't mean I haven't lost some weight but the plateau has lasted more than two months and I'm starting to see a small increment of increased weight. I've been exercising nearly daily but I'm slowing down on that front too. The current statin drug I take is causing me to feel a lot of pain in my muscles, joints and bones and its getting worse to the point where a long morning walk will result in me spend the rest of the day in bed and well into the next. I've met with my primary doctor and discuss this and other problems with him. He agree that, based on my last two blood test results, I can stop taking the statin drug and see how I feel and if I can exercise again without being subsequently penalized (pain)for my efforts and will revisit the blood work in three months to see how my numbers are affected. I also told him that I'd like to try incorporating a couple days of fasting (600 calories maximum on fast days) and then my normal eating the other five days as per the Fast Diet recently aired on Good Morning America and as being practiced in Britain by its enthusiasts.
I recently read and reread the book 'the Fast Diet' by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer. I haven't seen his BBC program on Horizons but have seen excerpts on YouTube and visited related websites. Today I chose to start it as part of my normal routine and chose to fast for my first day. I didn't know how I'd feel and tracked my blood sugar readings several times throughout the day. I use the SparkPeople food trackers to help me stay aware of total calories consumed and the food checker to verify portions and relative values. I decided to have my 600 calories divided into two meals as I like having breakfast. Today I ate some delicious large strawberries (5) and two large boiled eggs. I drank lots of unsweetened and no creamer added coffee as well as consumed several cups of various blends of tea. I didn't experience any hunger pangs just my usual emotional eating urges due to boredom and seeing my 'regular' fare laying about. I thought about sanitizing (visually) my environment for this fasting day but then reconsidered that behavior is something I wouldn't continue to do in the long haul so why start now. The temptations were that strongly felt on this first day as I know that tomorrow I'll be able to eat my preferred regime. For supper I drank tap water and ate 4 ounces of white crabmeat spread over a 3 cup bed of romaine lettuce, spritzed with 10 sprays of Wishbone Raspberry Bliss dressing. For dessert I had a half cup of sliced peaches. I intend to sip on a tumbler of iced tea until an hour before bedtime. For exercise today I did walk two miles and do ten flights of stairs. Granted that didn't net me my daily goal of 10K steps but then I wasn't sure what level of post exercise pain would be metered out. So far the pain is minimal, its there but more closely at the noise level than must take some anti-pain meds. Hopefully this fasting will help me feel better, better manage my caloric intake and to be more mindful of the food nutrient density of my choices as well as the portions, and how I feel. My goal is to reach satiety long before I feel full. Glad to say I haven't experienced any problems with controlling my blood sugar levels, no withdrawal headaches nor strong cravings or sense of denial. I did take time this morning to weigh myself, calculate my current BMI, measure my waist and neck and will use those figures weekly to see if I'm making progress toward getting off my plateau and achieving my short term goals.
Get An Email Alert Each Time NWFL59 Posts