Monday, March 17, 2014
If you've ever struggled with the scale number, and especially if you've ever let the scale number cause you to give up your efforts to be your healthiest and happiest you, be sure to read today's Daily Spark:
After years of letting the scale bother and discourage me, I have declared this my year to make peace with the scale. Although I am aware that I'm just a bit over my declared updated goal weight of 132, I am focused on eating correctly and staying active. I am not overly concerned with the number on the scale. I feel more at peace and that it is a step forward!
I'd give me a B+ for eating yesterday and an A for activity. This morning I did Zumba with a friend. Only one man was in the class and he was dressed as a leprechaun -- very cute costume! After class my friend asked me to coach her in Power Walking. She came in 4th in our age group in the walking event I won at the Senior Games. We used the Kathy Smith one hour walking workout on my MP3 player, practicing proper form, exaggerated heel plant-toe up, glute push, and speed intervals. We walked in a pretty area with lots of birds by grassy ponds. Though the day was overcast, it was beautiful!
I plan to run tomorrow. Gwen is running a fever -- guess she's got the cold now I just finally got over-- and won't be able to go to the Y tomorrow. Hubby has quasi-committed to take care of her for me to get a morning run in. Think it will work!!
Hope you are having a great St Paddy's Day! Let me leave you with Natalie's knock-knock joke that she told me on the way to school this morning:
I rish you a happy St Patrick's Day!!
Saturday, March 15, 2014
I was so proud to see my SparkFriend, SlimKatie, featured in April's Runner's World magazine. She is AWESOME. Page 50 and 51 are more than half filled with her before and after pictures; she has lost 120 pounds. Her story on page 54 is one many of us could relate to. She realized that to maintain her weight loss she would either have to give up all sweets or keep running. She has her own web site called "Runs for Cookies." I also like that she avoids baking and buys her cookies at her favorite bakery, saving one for after her long run.
In the intro to Katie's article, Runner's World quotes an expert who says that dietary changes are vital to lose weight but that exercise is key to keeping it off. "... exercise helps fix a metabolism broken by inactivity." He (James Hill, PhD, Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, Denver) says that sedentary people are less metabolically flexible and have trouble switching between fuel sources so they burn less fuel and store more fat. A healthy metabolism will use fat, protein, and carbs, while a "busted system" simply stores some nutrients as fat. After a few months of exercise a person can eat a wider variety of foods and stay lean. Hmmm. Might be true. Very interesting. Have I repaired a broken metabolism at least partly by exercise? Maybe.
Enjoyed my solo run this morning around the lake at daybreak. I don't run as fast as SlimKatie, but I doubt many people enjoy running more than I. I came home still full of energy and did another hour of aerobics. I had a couple low energy days this week so I really, really appreciate feeling full of pep! Whether the exercise repairs a metabolism or not, I experienced years of low energy and I'm here to tell you that living with zest is THE way to really live!!
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
What can I say about 5 years of maintaining an 80 pound weight loss after more than 5 decades of being overweight or obese? I've already said so much. In "Please Read This Blog If You've Gained Back Weight Before," I credit Super Foods, increased cardio, and most importantly the mindset to "quit quitting" as my keys to maintenance success. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5042750 I still believe every word of this blog.
In "How I Found My Inner Jock" I tell about my foray into running after years of gradually evolving from couch potato status:
urnal_individual.asp? blog_id=5060314 Running has helped me. I love it. But I know that successful maintenance is probably 80% food and 20% activity. During time of injury or limited activity for any reason, I can still maintain by focusing on food. I feel best, though, if I get in my activity!!
What can I add at this 5 year milestone? Well, I am really surprised about a lot of things.
1. First surprise: I have kept off 80 pounds. Honestly, I did not think I could do it. And that lack of confidence scared me. I read that having confidence in your ability to maintain is important to success. I knew I wasn't confident, so I worked to try to build confidence. Earning trophies here at SparkPeople, blogging about small successes, acknowledging and savoring compliments from 3D friends and SparkFriends, celebrating minor victories all helped me gain confidence.
2. Second surprise: It still isn't easy. It takes a daily (or more often) commitment. And the hardest day to make that commitment is when I messed up the day before. I know those "getting back on track" days are critical to success. I've had an hour or maybe two in the past 5 years where I gave up. But I have not had a whole day. I grab some water, do some exercise, and declare myself back to healthy living NOW.
3. Third surprise: If I honestly look at how much time I spend struggling with food issues, it is a very small percentage of my life. Given that it isn't easy, and that I'm tempted to overeat every week (actually on most days), I could envision myself obsessed with food and food thoughts. That isn't so. Usually I have a small period of time after supper when it is hard not to eat even though I know I don't need more food. That time is harder when I'm tired but can't go to bed yet or when I haven't been able to exercise. Thinking about what I really, really want helps at those times.
4. Fourth surprise: I don't have to endure much hunger. Through the Beck Diet Solution I learned that I can endure hunger. Hunger is not an emergency. However, maintenance is easier for me if I'm not hungry. If I make wise choices and eat small meals often, I have very little actual hunger. If I go to a ball park and have a hot dog on a white bun or go to a birthday party and choose to have a piece of cake I will be hungry and want to go over my calorie limits. I know it is my choice. Do I want to eat a convenience food or enjoy a treat? If so, am I willing to endure a bit of hunger?
5. Fifth surprise: I have not nailed down my healthy routines. I still don't have menu plans that I have been meaning to develop now for years. Hubby still does the grocery shopping and our kitchen is filled with whatever is on special. He is great about always getting lots of fruits and veggies. And I always have tuna in water, fat free cottage cheese, frozen plain fish like cod and tilapia, 70 calorie Boca Burgers and other low calorie protein sources so I can choose to eat something other than what he wants. I've definitely learned to be flexible. I can make my calories balance out even if a last minute decision to eat out is thrown at me. I've learned that no food can trigger me to eat if I'm feeling strong and healthy and determined. I am stronger than peanut butter. I am stronger than candy bars. I am stronger than cake. I am stronger than any food.
And it is no surprise that the support I've gotten from my SparkFriends has been a major factor in my success! As ONEKIDSMOM tells me every day, life is good. Life is precious. And to be able to live life fit is a tremendous blessing to be valued and prized!!
Sunday, March 09, 2014
Five years ago today, on March 9, 2009, I weighed in at Weight Watchers to find I had finally achieved a healthy BMI. I've now had 60 monthly free lifetime weigh ins, and not once been over my WW goal. Since I was a pre teen this is the only 5 year period I've lived at a healthy weight.
Perhaps tomorrow I'll have some wise reflections about achieving this milestone.
Today I am just recovering from my athletic endeavors of yesterday and giving it some thought.
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