Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Last week I was having trouble getting back into the exercise groove. I wasn't waking up early enough, then after work seemed to always be busy. But for the past eight days, I've managed at least 10,000 steps, which for me is a minimum of 30-40 minutes of walking on top of daily activities.
So what's the difference? I asked my husband for help. I told him after the first two days, that I had a streak of two days over 10,000 steps, and I planned to keep it going -- whatever it takes. It has really helped me that the time change has extended daylight hours in the evening. I've been able to squeeze in a quick 30-minute walk after dinner when I needed that extra boost.
Tonight, he put the kids (ages 9 and 8) to bed at 8:30 while i was out walking. Granted, that doesn't take a lot of effort at this age, but in the past, he would have acted put out that i didn't stay in and put them to bed. Or maybe, it was me all along. Maybe I felt obligated to stay in the house and put them to bed. Either way, I sense a change. I've told him how important this stepping streak is to me, and he's been supportive of me getting in the fitness minutes I need,
We can't do it all by ourselves. We need our friends and family to support us and lift us up. We need to rely on them more. Think about the roadblocks in your life and the barriers to eating well and exercising. Tackle them one by one and ask for help. You'll be glad you did.
And if you are discouraged, don't quit sparkpeople. Instead, ask for help from your spark friends and if you've built any kind of network, you'll get it. My sparkbuds pull me through, day after day.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I am battling a HUGE case of inertia, so let's talk about it.
If you took high school physics, or even advanced college physics, you should be acquainted with Newton's law of motion -- an object at rest will remain at rest and an object in motion will continue in motion unless acted on by an external force. This universal law applies in places other than matter and gravity. Thinking about a big project but just can't get started? Blame inertia.
In physics, inertia is defined as the tendency for objects at rest to remain at rest, and for objects in uniform motion to continue in motion in a straight line, unless acted on by an outside force. Mass can be considered a measure of a body's inertia. In other words, the bigger an object is, the harder it is to get it going or to stop it once it starts.
Word Origin: 1713, used as a term in physics 17c. by Ger. astronomer and physician Johann Kepler (1571-1630), from L. inertia "unskillfulness, idleness," from iners (gen. inertis ) "unskilled, inactive," see inert. Used in Mod.L. by Newton (1687). Sense of "apathy" first recorded 1822.
Notice the use of inertia as a "sense of apathy" in the word origins paragraph above...I've never personally heard inertia used in that way, but I suppose it has at some point. How true is that, at least in the psychological sense of inertia? Because if there is something you care about, you will take care of it. If you don't care, or you're ambivalent, maybe you will but more than likely you won't.
I've been battling inertia all month with exercise. This object (my fanny) has been at rest, and it has tended to stay there. There are many excuses but no real reasons. So I won't defend them here. For the past three days I have set my fanny in motion, and I've gotten my exercise in. It feels great to walk, especially with the brilliant sunshine now that spring is here in South Carolina.
Now I have to keep it in motion. If my metaphor of Newton's laws holds up, then my exercise streak should continue until something happens (another force) acts on it. So all I have to do now is learn how to manage or decrease the power of those other forces, which include such mundane things as kid's activity schedule, my work schedule, bad weather (I confess).
New strategy: When I don't want to exercise, I am just going to try to fit in ten minutes. Hopefully if I get moving for ten minutes, I will find the hutzpa to continue. I've had a three-day streak of over 10,000 steps. I'm challenging myself to see how long I can keep it going.
Next time you are evaluating a habit, think about it in terms of inertia -- what are the forces acting against you? Manage the forces and let inertia work in your favor -- maybe, just maybe, that "streak" will be what keeps you going when you feel you can't go on.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
So, What have I learned? I can't tolerate sugar.
Sugar is absolutely toxic to my body. I had been fairly faithful to the concepts on the belly fat cure if not completely strict, and was losing about two pounds a week. Then I had two (regular) pancakes Saturday morning with a little bit of syrup - probably about 20 grams of sugar, is my guess, but my husband wanted to fix pancakes for the kids.. Then we went to my sister's for a big birthday dinner. She had barbecue pork, which was without sauce, I went light on the sauce and ate no bread with it. Well, that was a tolerable choice after such a disaster of a breakfast. So far so good....
Then, my niece had cooked a strawberry cake from scratch...She's 13, and I couldn't pass on her efforts, right? And my brother's fiance made two chocolate pies, she would have been offended if I didn't at least try her pie....
Bottom line, Lord only knows how much sugar that ended up being on Saturday, but I could immediately tell. I popped back up two pounds, felt nasty and bloated all day Sunday, and just now had it drop out again. My intestines hold onto sugar.
What I learned is that all of the bizarre fluctuations that I've had with my weight are perhaps due to sugar and carbs instead of sodium like I thought.
So that was my experiment. Now I know. Even the occasional sweet-bite will put me out of sorts.
I have trouble saying no to sweets if they are around and it's a social eating event. I don't bake sweets and generally don't have them in the house. But if I'm at an event where there is cake or dessert, in the past I've permitted myself to have a small piece. After all, I don't eat them that much, right? That was my logic. Now I suspect that is what has held me above 200 for so long.
I was careful to watch portion sizes and generally tried to avoid fries . But the food choices I made were loaded with hidden sugars. Ketchup, sauces, salad dressing...Freezie pop before bed, no fat, right? Only 60 calories or so....Umm.......Pure sugar. Then top that off with the natural sugar in fruit and there you have it. Every loss was followed by an immediate bounce back up and I was doing it to myself.
So, I'm working on this faithfully, trying to pinpoint the areas where I fall back and have products loaded with sugar and I've found a few solutions.
Now my answer when dessert is suggested in a social setting is that I can't tolerate that much sugar any longer - it makes me sick. Why not? It's true. That will work well when I'm in a situation when I don't feel comfortable sharing the fact that I am on a new eating plan (I refuse to say diet).
As a further bolster, I have given up all desserts and sweets for Lent, which is another good answer when someone is offering me such nonsense. I've given up sweets for Jesus -- how does that sound? Surely they can't argue with that?
This morning, 202.4 -- Three weeks ago 207.2. You do the math! That's enough motivation for me.
I love all you sparkers!!!!! Keep the faith!!!
Thursday, March 03, 2011
This is long... so bear with me...
A three year weight loss journey....
A little bit about my story.... In January of 2008, I had noticed I was having chest pains. I weighed on average 217 or 218, which at 5'2" is a lot of weight to carry. I started exercising and trying to watch what I ate, and tracked my weight religiously. I lost about 5 pounds. Then, over the summer, I stopped weighing in. Check out the graph below....The green line disappears in August. Football season started, and with it every weekend was taken.
Fast forward to January 2009. A little bit better off, but not much. Started the year at 215, with a fast drop because most of that was water weight. Hung around 210 for a while, popped back up to 215, went on a low-carb diet in November, then stopped weighing and paying much attention because it was fall, kids were back in school, and everything was crazy. Are you noticing a trend yet?
January 2010 started the year off a little bit better, again, dropped holiday weight fast, then settled in around 210. I joined Sparkpeople March 3, 2010, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made concerning weight loss. I finally broke 205 in May, hovered around the same, then stalled out at 200.2. Now, those of you who have tried to break 200 know what a mental barrier it can be. I stalled, then fall hit -- again. Exercise dropped, stress went up, and before you know it was I was back up to 205, pushing 207.
But, thanks to Sparkpeople, this January, I was at 205 instead of 215, and I feel better about myself than ever. I weigh religiously every day...because I have a graph to maintain. I have decided to track my average weekly weight on sparkpeople. Since I'm in my early 40's, my hormones are going crazy, and my cycles are all messed up, so my daily weight is anybody's guess. So I graph it.
If you noticed my purple line, I'm actually dropping some weight right now. This morning I weighed 202.6. On February 15, I popped up to 207 because it was "that time". How's that for crazy ups and downs? But starting February 15, I began drastically cutting sugar and carbs. That has really helped, and I feel like for the first time in months that changing eating is showing results. I won't say 200 here I come -- because I've said it before in this forum and been wrong -- but maybe it's just around the bend.
Now there are those of you who will say that muscle weighs more than fat, and it does. And I was a size 20 in 2008 and now I'm a size 16. I can also walk faster, I have completed two 5k races, two fund-raising walks of around 3 miles, and I am stronger. But all of that stuff is difficult to track. If I can fit into a size 14 for my brother's wedding in April, that will be awesome, even if I'm still over 200. But it would be nice to see my weight begin with a 1 instead of 2. Really really nice.
So, despite it's ridiculous infomercial name, the belly fat cure seems to be working for me. In another blog I'll talk more about the kind of things I'm eating these days -- this is already a dissertation.
I love you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I cheated last night. After staying true for almost 6 days, I gave it up last night. After an on-plan breakfast, lunch and snacks, I had a marathon evening. I left work at 4:15 to go get my kids, who were 45 minutes away from my work because they stayed with a family member since they were out of school for President's Day. By the time I got home, it was 6:15 and I had to be at a church committee meeting by 7:15. So we picked up Arby's, and I ate a roast beef sandwich and fries, with a little bit of sauce. So higher on carbs and sugar both for that meal.
Then I came home from the 2-hour meeting wired and exhausted at the same time, so I unwound with a beer, chips, and a few chocolate pieces. So when I blow it, I blow it.
One of my goals is to learn how to handle stress better. The meeting at church wasn't exactly confrontational, but it was intense, because a lot of serious decisions have to be made and ramifications could be big. I probably could have taken a bath to unwind instead of drinking the beer, but my husband wanted to hear all about the meeting.
Turns out this morning that part of the reason that I was on edge last night is I was *surprise* getting my monthly visitor a week early. (aside - I hate perimenopause)
Having said all of that I'm not discouraged. This new eating plan is definitely good for me. I've generally had more energy, I've felt more like exercising, and I feel like my body is processing its waste more efficiently. I just need to make sure and plan ahead for these "tight-schedule evenings" where I have events.
So I'm taking my lumps for my cheat day and moving on. After this hormone filled week shakes out, I'm hoping to post a big loss.
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