Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Hello and Happy Tuesday!
Bright and sunny with a nice temperature (-10 celcius) for walking both me and the dogs! Yes, I often think of doing my walking in terms of taking "me" for a walk. I wouldn't dare let a day go past without the dogs getting out for a walk so why would I not treat my body in much the same way?
Speaking of my dogs, I have made an observation about their behaviour towards one another which prompted the thinking behind this blog. Warning to non-dog lovers - cuteness talk ahead!
Maddy the 10 pound wonder dog and Louisa the 65 pound "just happy to be alive" dog are our family. We take them everywhere we can and try to do things that they will enjoy. The latter seems kind of silly since they seem to just like being in our company (as we do theirs!!!)
In our house we notice that Maddy tries to "boss" around Louisa. One such example is his (yes, we have a male dog named Maddy - long story!) insistence on sleeping on the largest dog bed and looking very much like a newborn baby on a king-size bed. This leaves a fluffy dog bed for Louisa that is sort of flat on which Maddy insists on wiping his mouth off after each meal! I know you are all thinking "well, just buy another big dog bed" but that backfired and we now have FOUR dog beds and Maddy leaps for whatever one Louisa is headed for! Did I mention Maddy is quite nimble and Louisa not so much?
Outdoors, however, Louisa rules the roost especially if there is a toy involved. She will gladly plow anybody or anything over when she is running wild with her toy and seems to take great pleasure in "charging" Maddy and trying to knock him over.
So it seems size does matter in certain situations (now get your minds out of the gutter ) and I am sharing my thoughts on the matter. The following has nothing to do with dogs by the way so it is safe for you non-dog lovers to read!
If you are a larger person, you have probably felt those stares from nosey parkers everytime you eat something or put something in your cart that screams "I'm fat and I don't care". Yes, there are exceptions to the rule but sometimes those thinner people are not eating any healthier than the bigger people. I know of somebody who went to a nutritionist after losing 50 pounds and couldn't understand why they were sick all the time. It all became abundantly clear after the person revealed that he lived soley on frozen pizza for six months. Yes, he had lost weight but at what cost to his body? Don't any of you dare rush out to stockpile frozen pizza!!!
So as a 200 pounder, I have to ask myself where am I on the big/little debate? Do I want to be slim person who can eat what they want or a big person watching what I eat?
You know what, the answer is "non of the above".
I JUST WANT TO BE HEALTHY!
And I am getting there one little step at the time. Yesterday if felt really good to log in my food and to see that I actually reached all of my nutritional requirements for the day AND went to the gym and went for a walk. Going to bed last night I actually summed up enough nerve to look at myself in the mirror as I brushed my teeth and said " you are doing it Susan". Yes, I looked kind of funny with toothpaste on my chin, mumbling words to myself and trying to explain to my husband why I was in the bathroom talking to myself but the fact remains it is the face in the mirror, whether I'm big or little, that I have to be true to!
Think about it! Can you look yourself in the eye and tell yourself that you are proud of yourself? I did yesterday and I am going to make it a habit! Try it tonight and you might surprise yourself.....just wipe the toothpaste off your face before you do so you don't actually laught at yourself!
Sunday, January 08, 2012
The above is a clip from our provincial news in Labrador which is the non-island part of our province. Thankfully it never reaches that cold here on the island (or should I never say "never") but I thought my SparkFriends would enjoy seeing this clip.
I've had a good weekend and today I have been meal planning (yes, me!) for the upcoming week. I am including two recipes from my new Spark cookbook and will review them here for all to read afterwards. Last night I made the "make ahead oatmeal" and we tried it after being outdoors. My husband had to add honey to sweeten his up and he also thought it was too "cinnamony". As for me, I thought it was a little "bland" but refused to sweeten it or add the salt that I wanted to. With everything you used to eat pre-packaged it will take a few days to get used to something but I would encourage you all to try it if you have the book. It is packed with nutrition and I am sure is far better for me than the packages I used to eat! Overall a keeper recipe!
We had more snow overnight but it is manageable. The furbabies had a wonderful romp in the snow earlier this afternoon as we went on our daily hike. They came home, ate their meal and are now passed out in their dog beds. Ah, they have it rough, don't they.
Oh, before I go I have to tell you about the success of my goal-planning. Last week was week one and I did well overall. I managed to cut my sugar in my coffee from 2 teaspoons to 1, I tracked my food three times, I drank my water, and I walked over 12 km. I even went to the gym once so it got me back in the mood. So I need to do 9 more trips to the gym by months end and keep up with the other goals I made before I declare January goals an overall success.
I hope you all have a great week ahead!
P.S. I just realized the video clip is from last winter but it does give you a good idea of the temperatures in Northern Canada
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Well, all the local schools were closed today in anticipation of the first storm of 2012 but when I went to work there really wasn't much either on the ground or falling from the sky. However that did change over the morning and when we walked the dogs after lunch even they didn't want to be out in it. Blowing snow, ice pellets striking your face and slippery roads - why am I so disappointed that I only managed to walk 2.4 km before calling it quits? Oh, and I forgot to mention the sixth times I slipped and yelled and the time I actually slipped and tossed the GPS unit into the snowbank with my mitten attached to it! . Even I had to laugh because Louisa thought it was all a game with "mommy" squealing in delight (or so it must have seemed to her) and then she tried to steal my mittens off my hands and race around like she had won the grand prize at the fair. Maddy, in his dashing little red coat, looked slightly like a deranged Muppet character with all of his fluffy hair poking out of the neck of his jacket. Oh, how they make me laugh!
I'm doing well with my goals (I highlighted them in yesterday's blog) and am pleased to say I have my 12 km walked this week and have one trip to the gym under my belt. I have managed two days now with cutting my sugar back in my coffee from 2 teaspoons to 1 and I think by the end of the week I will be used to it. I even tracked my food yesterday - yep, even that Big Mac I had for lunch. I have it without the sauce which I know doesn't make a whole lot of difference to the calories but it is a start. Now if I had only taken off one of the patties and the third bun!
Although I bought the Spark Cookbook I have yet to make anything in it. Several recipes sound quite doable while others have ingredients that I'm not sure I can find here. I will make a conscious effort all the same and will look into substitutions. Living on an island in the north Atlantic does have its disadvantages this time of the year when food is all trucked in. We could never survive on the 100 mile diet unless they opened the fishery up again!
I know I mentioned this one time before but are groceries expensive everywhere? I saw 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts the other day for $13! I wouldn't buy them as I buy them on sale but still at that price who can afford to eat them? I often wonder if it is because we live on an island but we do have chicken farms here so that shouldn't matter too much. Oh well, I'd rather pay a bit extra to eat healthy if it means few health bills etc in the long run.
I'm about to sit back with a nice cup of tea shortly and to read some blogs. Oh, I hear the snowplow going around now....thank goodness John has gone out and I am supposed to be cooking supper or else I would feel guilty about not being out there with a shovel in hand.
Okay, I've babble on long enough! Take care my SparkFriends and I hope you are all having a great day!
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
While doodling last night when I should have been meal planning I came up with a pictorial description of some of my short-term goals. This is a big accomplishment for me since this is the first time I have put down on paper (and here on the computer screen) what I hope to achieve during this month of January.
Drum roll please..........
I, Susan, do solemnly pledge to:
1. Log into Spark daily
2. Blog on a regular basis - at least three times a week
3. Use the Friend Feed option more often - at least three times a week
4. Walk at least 12 km a week
5. Go to the gym a minimum of 10 times by month's end
6. Drink my water everyday
7. Weigh in on Mondays - for the Virtual Weigh-in Team
8. Lose four pounds over the month
9. To cut back on the sugar in my TIm's coffee from 2 teaspoons to 1
10. To track my food three days each week for the month
How am I going to accomplish this? Well, I have the list printed off and I am finally going to use the Spark calendar I was given last Christmas! Up until now it has been too "nice" to use!!! Funny how I think that way, isn't it.
Here is another little trick I use: I made up a computer sheet with blank columns for date, minutes, type of activity, miles, km, counts as and a note section. This is something I came up with in October when I wanted to have an "in my face" record of how far I have been walking for my trek aross the Newfoundland T'Railway...I'm now just under 80 km to go on my 800+km journey!
I log those minutes/km straight from the GPS when I walk or when I go to the gym I have the times/amounts/etc scrawled on notepaper which I immediately transfer to this sheet when I get home. Of course I also add this informtion to the fitness tracker but I like "seeing" my accomplishments.
So overall, I am basically continuing on my journey with Spark with a few modifications that I needed to make for me. Tracking my meals has been a trouble-spot for me as you all know so I will start out slowly. I am paying myself $25 at the end of January IF I get all points covered...the $25 will go towards new spring/summer clothes which I am hoping I will need and be able to fit into by the time Spring rolls around here.
Wish me luck!
Sunday, January 01, 2012
Happy New Year!
Right now, lets have a show of hands of who feels they ate too much or exercised too little during the week between Christmas Day and today, New Year's Day? Let's see, I have 100+ SparkFriends so I kind of guess I am seeing almost that many hands up. Okay, some of you can put your hands back down because I know you've done great and have incorporated holidays and get togethers into your lifestyle makeover. But the rest of you, well lets just say I'm glad to see you all are human.
One of my Facebook friends posted a status update the other day that really got me thinking. "Stop focusing on what you eat between Christmas and New Year's and instead focus on what you eat between New Years and Christmas". Same words - just rearranged but a whole lot of thought behind them. Now, this same friend has lost an incredible amount of weight and was even flown to the United States to speak at a T.O.P.S. (Taking Pounds Off Sensibly) conference which is a huge achievement for anybody let alone a guy from a community of 500 people with no gym access!
So my challenge to all of you as you hastily make resolutions is to try to make gradual changes to your lifestyle over the next year so that when this time next year rolls around you will be proud of yourself!
I know I ate the wrong stuff this Christmas season but I also know I have come a long way. I finished the year with an impressive 17,000 fitness minutes when my goal was for less than 6,000! Obviously last year this time I thought 6,000 was a great goal for 2011 and so it was considering that in 2010 I couldn't walk the length of myself!
I am not making any resolutions other than to continue what I started when I joined Spark in August 2010. I am a work in progress and I am still aiming to drink my water daily, log into Spark, walk a minimum of 12 km a week, keep my depression manageable, and work towards my weight loss goals. Oh, and maybe, just maybe I will aim for 20,000 fitness minutes this year! Will I slip up, YES, but I will dust myself off and keep going and so can YOU!
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