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Looking Forward Not Backward

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Another year has arrived and I'm looking forward to experiencing success as I strive toward my various goals I set to help me improve my overall health. Since this is a dynamic process I expect those goals and the measurements will also change as the year progresses. I wish everyone a healthy and successful new year. Life is great and I'm grateful to have another year to explore possibilities. I tried to upload some of my recent paintings for this blog but guess the reference files were too big and I got tired of waiting for even one to upload so I'll try that again in a future blog.
No resolutions for me, just an update of my goals and measurement methodology. These were previously stated in yesterday's blog. So I'm prescribing a new lifestyle patch to repair the leaks in last year's model.

Happy Healthy New Year everyone. emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPEEDYDOG 2/11/2014 5:25AM

    Hi Terry,

You and I are in the same boat. Not going backwards is progress. Hang tough.

Thanks, Bruce

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TAICHIDANCER 1/2/2014 6:40AM

    Onward and upward!

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GREENGENES 1/1/2014 11:56PM

    I agree. Forward Ho!

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KTLASERS 1/1/2014 11:53PM


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    Very good goals and you can do it.

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JUSGETTENBY42 1/1/2014 8:41PM


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Last Blog of the year Musings

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.


Initiating Streak for Daily Minimum of 10K steps

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. emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 6/9/2013 10:26PM

    I try to get 10K steps in every day also. A few months ago my streak ended at just over 100 days. Now I'm lucky to get 5-7 days in a row - I've just got to buckle down and make sure I do it! Good luck on your new streak!

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Painting hobby going well, weight loss not so much

Friday, May 24, 2013

I've been enjoying painting again. I only paint one or two times a week so I don't accumulate a lot of inventory. I thought I'd share some of the latest ones that I consider completed.
1. Abstract Female

2. My dog Zoe 'paw painting'

3. Huntress in a mist

4. Buffalo grazing

5. My cheshire-ish cat

6. Evening calm

7. Western beauty

8. Snacking Prairie dog

I got off my plateau and have resumed a downward trend but overall I'm still up from a few weeks ago. Its gotten too hot to walk outside so I'm resuming my indoor walking with Leslie Sansone and trying to learn a basic kettle bell routine. I decided that the 5/2 fasting wasn't working for me as after sticking faithfully with it for 6 weeks, I actually had a net gain! My doctor did say my metabolism is a lot slower than it should be at this point, so that isn't helping me achieve my needed weight loss and those days of fasting actually made it even slower! (just a smidgen though).
So its back to accurate accounting in the food and exercise diary. I rely of my Fitbit to input the exercise and sleep info.
Hope to be able to continue a weight loss but I know for me it will continue to be a very long haul as I continue to tweak and refine my lifestyle to help me improve my overall health. Have a safe Memorial Day weekend everyone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 5/26/2013 11:02PM

    Terry, I'm struggling also. We just have got to stay in there and do the best we can. We will get there if we don't give up!

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PLMITCH 5/26/2013 10:47PM

    Yep, it's all about the long haul...as in our lifetime! I'd love to be able to turn the clock back to our teenage years when we could eat everything in sight, but, alas, that isn't going to happen!

The paintings are FANTASTIC! You have much to be proud of!

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SPEEDYDOG 5/26/2013 6:01PM


You have quite a wide range of talent, from abstract to realism. Nice work. I don't find any trick in losing weight. I have found that simple weight lifting and cardio does the trick in raising metabolism. Of course, that is just me. Everybody is different.

Unless we eat continually, we all fast between meals. Good luck on your journey.

Thanks, Bruce

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0309COOKIE 5/24/2013 10:39PM

    I enjoyed looking at your work. Thanks for sharing.

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Changes to get off a plateau

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 3/21/2013 9:14AM

    Sounds like you have a great plan for getting the weight off. Good luck to you in your efforts, Terry!

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BBECKER1955 3/21/2013 6:57AM

    Good luck with your new plan.

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STRIVERONE 3/20/2013 10:24PM

    I'm stuck on a plateau too, so I'll be interested to see how the fast works out for you.

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MSROZZIE 3/20/2013 8:46PM

    You really have a good weight management plan. Stay focused on your goals and good luck! I enjoyed reading your blog. emoticon emoticon

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