Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I live in a state that usually ranks as the thinnest in the nation, Colorado. The town I live in has world class Olympians and many, many, many residents bike, run, etc., and are very thin and very in shape. On one level, this is inspiring. But, it can be very intimidating. I have finally decided that I compare myself to these people and this hurts my exercise program. I say to myself: I cannot run a marathon so I better just give up. Or, I cannot mountain bike 20 miles up steep hills so biking probably isn't for me. These are defeating attitudes. Last week, I decided my mantra is now: "Be an Athlete (For Me)." What does this mean? It means that I started pushing myself within my limits and I have stopped comparing myself to others and especially the elite athletes that surround me. For some reason, I will probably never be them and really don't event want to be.... but, lately, I have: a) started a weight training program; b) am riding my bike 20-30 minutes longer each time c) worked out harder at the gum and even, started GOING to the gym d) am doing yoga every single day in some form or fashion and e) am hiking 30 minutes to 1 hour longer than I would have otherwise. You get the gist: If we compare ourselves to standards that do not fit us, it is self-defeating. If we set an exercise goal that is fun and comfortable, chances are we probably will stick with it. My mid-term goal is to lose 4.5# by the end of July. I am going to do it by using this attitude: "Be an Athlete (For Me)." As a side note, Colorado still has a lot of obese people and that number is sadly growing.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Today is the day I have lost 10.5#. Woo Hoo! I am now roughly 1/2 way to my goal of losing 18 to 20 pounds. At one point, I was so stuck, I thought I'd be at my highest weight forever. I had no hope. I was wearing all my "big" clothes. I deleted pictures of myself. I had given up except for one tiny voice in me that said I had to try. What is working?
1) Positive Visioning: If all one does is focus on "how bad my weight and body are", then I believe that The Universe will bring "bad weight" into your life. I am trying instead to focus on positive messages such as: a) I would like to bring XX weight into my life because I will be healthier b) I am exercising to reduce my risk of diabetes and because it makes my muscles feel good or c) I am trying this recipe because it will be fun to learn. You get the gist. Keep a journal of messages you give yourself and pay attention if they are negative or positive. Give yourself messages that are in the affirmative not burdened with "bad" thinking such as: " I should " " I am terrible because " " I am not worthy of... " or " I cannot ."
2) "Go White Free" -- Six months ago, I started practicing a "South Beach diet- modified." The minute someone tells me, "You have to be on a diet", is the minute that I start eating incorrectly. My diet is essentially low carb and low fat but very healthy, delicious eating. I have eliminated most things processed, "gluten" "white" and "wheat" such as: white bread, pasta, potatoes, crackers, chips, etc. I have eliminated sugar entirely. I am never hungry. With so many food choices out there now for those who are gluten sensitive or intolerant, this switch has been easy. I eat rice pasta and rice crackers (no more than 1/2 C each meal). I buy gluten-free bread from a local baker. I take snacks on the road when traveling so I don't get crummy food at convenience stores. I have veggies and lettuce washed, cut up and ready to use. Each week, I challenge myself to make delicious salads complete with a protein such as tuna, chicken, steak, feta cheese and/or nuts. I search the internet and my recipe files for carb-reduced or -free recipes and challenge myself to make at least two new ones/month. The point: reducing refined carbs and everything "wheat" and "white" has been very easy and in fact, fun.
3) Next, exercising more...I "shoot" for 200 to 300 minutes a week and am rather compulsive about tracking Fitness Points on SP. I do an exercise tape 2 X week; walk/hike or x-country ski or snow shoe 2 or 3 X week; and do yoga and at-home strength training 3 x week. Again, I am not a rigid person so I do what feels good on that day. It's direction not perfection.
4) Reduce alcohol.....Everything I have read says that women should only have 7 drinks a week, men can do 14. I track on alcohol because those glasses of wine with dinner or when out with a friend really add up. I have switched from wine to Vodka with Diet Tonic.
5) Get a grip on stress: The most effective tool for me has been a complete reduction of stress. I have changed my job (I work for myself so this was somewhat easy). I have quit seeing some people in my life who are stressful. I let go of petty conflicts. I am trying to meditate more often. I don't take on unnecessary projects or things that seem stressful. I say no. I have started to take care of me first and then everyone else later.
6) Finally: I have tried my hardest to deal with any health issues that prevent me from having energy or exercising to the extent possible. For me, I have had to get allergy treatments; I had to admit I have exercise- and cold- induced asthma; and I had to deal with menopause symptoms. I have heal pain and had to deal with that... My point: until these underlying health issues were addressed, I simply didn't have the mental or physical energy to shop correctly, cook good food, exercise a lot or truly believe I could lose 18 to 20#.
Not all of these will work for everyone and I don't profess to say what works for you. But, a year ago, I thought I was just going to be certain (big) size forever, and predicted I would be a very unhealthy older person. This picture is of me hiking in New Mexico this weekend. I am triumphant. I am happy. I am healthy. You can be too.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Well, I started back on SP in June and have lost 10#. It really works. For me, the best feature is the Spark Minutes. I try to do at least 150/week if not 220. When my husband and I start a hike, I say: Did you turn on the spark meter? I count everything......walks in malls, stretching in the morning and of course, my walks and other, harder workouts. I also like reading success stories. While I have at least 10# still to go, I was recently on a beach vacation and actually felt good. I felt good in my clothes and was very proud. I don't plan on giving up on SP....ever! Love it.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
I recently went back on Spark People after gaining 12# back that I had lost over 18 months (due to a long period of respiratory sickness, walking pneumonia, allergies, you name it). Good news! I have lost 7.5# and counting. So what am I doing?
* 210 minutes a week of exercise (biking, hiking, health club, yoga, hard hard work)
* Really cutting carbs and I cut out most wheat a year ago (feel 100% better)
* I focus on salads (good ones), eating good meat, and not eating carbs especially for breakfast and lunch
* Track wine drinking (it does add up)
* No sugar
* Very little cheese and dairy
* 5 F/Vs a day
Love SP..........will eventually reach my goal to lose 12 more.
If you are just starting Spark People, keep at it. It will eventually change your life.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
This year, I went through a number of very busy cycles and a five month bout with allergies that turned into asthma. Bummer... I gained all but 2# back of the original 10# I had lost over about 17 months. So demoralizing. I am now back on the proverbial horse though! I remember now that losing weight is a long term proposition; doesn't have to happen overnight; and it's all about counting calories and exercise.I am now very set on losing 10# and plan to do it NO MATTER WHAT.
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