Wednesday, September 15, 2010
to begin to lose muscle mass when you stop strength training.
I had often wondered about this and Trivia gave the answer today. Bad news for me, since when I went to the gym, I was much more regular about strength training. Of course I also put off going to the gym and was NOT as regular about my cardio, and I told myself that cardio was really more important, and I could always do strength at home just as easily.
But somehow I haven't.
Funny how these little spark reminders come just when you need them. For the last few days I have been more regular about the strength stuff. I've been very busy at work & it's been harder to get in 3 miles of walk/run or 40 minutes of cardio. So I've done 1.5 miles & watched my calories carefully...
AND I've added some cardio that I do during commercials for my favorite shows - NCIS, The Closer, the show right after that that has Jane the cop & Maura the pathologist, and NCIS Los Angeles.
My notion is to do one arms exercise, one legs, and one core/abs. Often I'm tired so I don't max out, but I can usually do 6-10 sets of 8-10 reps each. I'm going to try to vary these each week & try new things from sparkpeople. Right now it's wall pushups (close position), thighmaster, and bicycle crunches.
I can feel my arm & thigh strength improving. The crunches are harder but I can do 10 x 10. Funny thing is, I actually like strength training, once I get started with it! It's just that it's hard to start. Silly me.
Maybe the motivation of knowing that it only takes two weeks...
will help me get going!
Friday, September 10, 2010
Yesterday I was pottering through old spark emails that went to a previous email address and found a WONDERFUL blog entry from Stepfanie Romine. I've often wished you could save blogs to favorites and I definitely wanted to save this one.
She was reporting on the work of a weight-loss scientist, Dr. Binks. Here is what he had to say about daily weighing in...
"'The research actually supports that people who weigh frequently, even each day, have better success over the long term.'"
WHOA, did I read that correctly?
"Dr. Binks first learned about daily weighing while working with Dr. Patrick M. O'Neil of the Medical University of South Carolina, a leading obesity researcher. There he discovered how to help people, to learn how to measure weight both frequently and appropriately.
'The reason that it's so controversial is that people beat themselves up about the number on the scale,' he says.
What he recommends is pulling out a piece of graph paper or using an online program and creating a longer-term view on paper. This way you will learn to stop reacting to the daily fluctuations, and instead pay attention to the overall trends. It's OK to notice the fluctuations but don't see each one as a success or failure. Just look at how the line trends over the course of each month.
If people are willing each morning to 'stand on the scale and put the dot on the graph, they might be a little more likely to make a healthy choice for breakfast or take a walk.'
In other words, once again, small steps add up.
He also says: 'There's a side that we never talk about, but when people have a really good number on the scale, it's sometimes seen as permission to go off the plan.' Attending to long-term trends on the graph eliminates this, too."
ACK! Somebody KNOWS THIS IS ME!
"Advocating such daily weigh-ins might have at times had some patients and colleagues wanting to 'run me outta town' but Dr. Binks says that this method can--and has--taken the power away from the scale for countless people he has worked with over the years."
TAKEN THE POWER AWAY? Hm, that must mean WE have the power...
"Weighing every week or two weeks and not knowing what number will appear is like playing Wheel of Fortune. Will it land on jackpot—a weight loss--or bankrupt—a weight gain?"
HO HO HO...like Santa the Spark Wheel! Was I good or was I bad? Pressure!
However, "Weighing daily and graphing it 'keeps you aware of the long-term impact your overall plan has on your longer-term goals and keeps you from going off the program.'
Morning is the logical time to do it, but weigh-ins can happen any time of day, as long as it's the same time each day.
'It helps you to teach yourself that the number is a variable, that it's not carved in stone,' he says. 'One day it's down, the next day it's going to spike up. It's a way to keep reminding yourself that it's just a number, one data point of the many you might track.'"
JUST A NUMBER. This should go on my mirror. I am such a slow learner.
I KNOW this. But I spent at least one whole year of my life hopping on the scale, being happy it went down, then pigging out. Go figure. I did master ignoring the variations for about a week, until I could see it go down several numbers. THEN I would pig out. Is anybody else this goofy? It's the big diet mentality, yeppers...
"Even if a person sticks with the plan, daily numbers will rise and fall. Daily weighing proves that those fluctuations are normal, and by allowing a healthy weight range--say, a few pounds up or down--it allows someone to relax as long as it's within your typical ranges and the overall trend is downward.
If it's not trending down, then 'maybe it's time to start monitoring and measuring and tightening up your plan a little.'"
DAILY WEIGHING-IN ALLOWS ONE TO RELAX! Hm, what a concept. I have tried it for 3 days now. Sequence 143, 143, 141. 141 today. JUST A NUMBER, I say to Self. Self smiles...
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Well, I'm not very happy with myself - I didn't resist temptation this weekend - but I did at least try to count up accurately how I gave in to it. Saturday night and Monday night both involved goodly amounts of food and drink. Even though everything was healthy, fresh-made, etc., STILL more calories than I should have consumed. Oops, there is that "should" word. OK, I "could" have chosen to eat less of them.
So why didn't I? Compensations...
My body was tired from LOTS of heavy gardening work on Saturday and Sunday. And the tasks out there are still not done...but I must leave them for a few days because work planning has to take priority. It hurts me to see plants sitting waiting to be planted...but if I get out there, I will be too tired again to do what I MUST do this week. So there we are.
On the other hand, two corners of the garden with the worst soil are completely transformed - peat moss is mixed with soil and clay, those plants are in and watered and looking good! So a lot HAS happened.
Come to think of it, that garden is a lot like me. The worst bulges of me are so much less in evidence, and even though I had two self-indulgent evenings, my jeans still fit! Weigh-in tomorrow will hurt my pride...but I gotta remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint.
And when I think about it, I realize that I WAS more deliberate in my eating this last weekend...more mindful. Sunday was a temperate day, so it didn't turn into a binge. Today I feel good about sticking to my calorie limit...
Let's keep running - even at a slower pace! Go, little turtle, as one of my spark friends likes to say!
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Ugh. Those last two pounds have returned. From 139.5 to 141.5 in one week. OK, I could just say it's water weight. Or body readjusting. Probably it is both of those. But it's also the box of Cheez-Its I ate over the weekend! Do I regret it? No. Well, maybe a bit! Did I need to blow off steam? Yes! so maybe it was worth it.
Note to self - time to get serious about dealing with stress in a different way.
1- Stress of writing about self
2- Stress of planning yearly hymns/fall choir repertoire
3- Stress of weather change from nice and cool to HOT again
4- Stress of having lost weight and fear that I will regain weight!
I just discovered on the weigh-in page that you can list your stress and energy level every day. At first this seemed excessive, but maybe not. If I can track this and see what the correlation is with food and fitness points, it might be helpful.
For now, I know I have let my water consumption slide the last few days, from 8 glasses to 4-5 a day. And instead of doing more energetic Leslie, I have been walking outdoors - because I haven't had much energy, and because it's hot, and because the days are getting shorter and soon it will be harder to walk at night. I've also had periodic difficulty sleeping so have had some 1 AM cereal/banana snacks.
I'm really trying to cut back my wine habit to 4 days a week.
As of today, I think I'll make that 3 days a week.
In the past I have always just let myself medicate my stress with food, excusing that habit by pitying myself. I think I won't do that any more.
55WALKER sent me some relaxation music and that makes me think, OK, let's try medication with music! Often this is not relaxing if it's vocal or choral music, my brain begins to work since that is my job. But I've just finished a book called An Equal Music which is about a string quartet and describes some quartet music so vividly that I really want to hear it. I think I'll listen to that.
I'll let you know how it goes!
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