Monday, March 22, 2010
A year ago today I made my Weight Watcher goal. A year! Wow!!! I have now been at a healthy BMI for a full year. My cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which were high, are now normal. I feel better. I have much more energy. I am happier. I look better.
During the last year, I have continued to make progress. I gradually lost 12 more pounds from March to September 2009. Then I found SparkPeople. I added strength training for the first time. I started paying attention to my sodium intake. I realized that I often ate too much fiber and too little healthy fat. I started to improve it by giving up "diety" fiber enriched products and by adding more oil (canola and olive) as well as nuts. I had really fallen off of the water drinking after Weight Watcher reduced the required amount. I'm back to 8 or more glasses a day. Looking at my daily nutrition report encouraged me to be more consistent about taking a multivitamin. I started tracking my sleep hours for the first time, going to bed earlier, and getting more sleep. Since September I've lost another 15 pounds and last month my Wellness Coach rated me at 20.2 BMI.
I have set a goal to increase muscle and reduce my percentage of body fat. I am almost certain it is working. My quads are noticeably harder and stronger, and I think other muscles are following. I have read so many SparkPeople articles, many of which have hit home and made a difference in the way I think, eat and exercise. I am more knowledgeable about health, nutrition, and exercise/fitness.
It's been a great, healthy year! Celebrate with me!!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
This week's Weight Watcher meeting was all about portion control. Our leader came out in clothes, hat, and shoes way too big for her. She then took off the huge shirt and had on a too tight shirt underneath. Then she took it off and the huge pants and was dressed right. Got everyone's attention about paying attention to sizes.
She then had different sizes of cups and glasses for us to guess how many ounces. She had all different shapes and sizes of potatoes again to quiz us. We looked at different amounts of cereal and various fruits. I actually did not guess as good as I thought I would. Sometimes I feel like I'm being compulsive when I weigh and measure my food, but this exercise made me think it is not wasted effort.
One tip she said that seems kind of obvious, but I haven't always employed, is to use a specific bowl for cereal. Perhaps it has a stripe or pattern so you can learn where one cup or half a cup is. Get to know your glasses and where one cup is in them. Using a smaller bowl, plate, or cup also makes you feel like you have more, which leads to feeling more satisfied, less deprived.
I was wondering what helped each of you learn portion control?
I think SmartOnes and other frozen dinners were one way that helped me see right off that generally I was eating way too much. My scale, measuring cups and spoons helped, too, along with the tracking.
Fear of guessing wrong and doing the portion control wrong probably kept me from making as many WW and SP recipes as I might have. It would be so helpful in recipes if they would say a serving is 1 cup or 6 ounces or the like, rather than just so many servings. Otherwise, you have to weigh out the whole recipe and sometimes it is heavier than my food scale will weigh. Then you have to divide it into the 6 servings or 12 servings or whatever. I know when I estimate sometimes I'm off significantly.
However, I'm trying to estimate more now that I'm on maintenance. Sometimes I'm still a little obsessive about getting just the right amount of food. You, too??
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Sometimes you have to make decisions. You just can't be more than one place at once - at least I don't know anyone who can. Today I wanted to go to my Weight Watchers meeting and I wanted to go to the YMCA for step aerobics/pilates/zumba and I wanted to go to the Polk County SparkTeam walk. So, I got up at 6am and made it to my 7am Weight Watcher team on the west side of town. Then I debated with myself. On the pro side, if I went to the Y I would burn more calories. It is on the way home from WW and I wouldn't drive as much. Step is 9-9:30, pilates 9:30-10, and zumba 10-11.
But if I went to my SparkTeam walk I would get one on one personal support from caring people for my current struggles. Possibly I'd be able to give some encouragement and support to others. If I went to the walk I'd enjoy more than an hour outside in the beauty of native Florida, seeing birds and gators, bugs and flowers. I love the Y and my increasing fitness, but the soul wanted the friends and nature. I drove east of town to the Circle B Ranch.
Cyndi, our team leader, and Theresa, our new co-leader, led us on a long loop by moss-covered oaks, past alligators big and small - close and in the distance, Ibis, various herons, coots with beaks of red or neon white, a cloud of starlings circling, anhingas drying on' dead grey tree trunks, turtles plopping into the swampy water, and wildflowers of multiple colors and subtle shades and interesting shapes. And through these marvels of local nature, so near our day to day lives, but so unseen, we talked and laughed and I felt truly supported in my efforts.
So, I could not do it all. I had to choose. I might have preferred a later WW meeting, but getting up early was a good thing. I really wanted to do Zumba, or better Zumba, pilates, and step aerobics. But I did the right thing. I got fresh air. I got to be one of a group of in-person smiling faces determined to live healthy. I got restored by a sunny day with my local, live, caring SparkTeam. Thanks, team!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Today I was asked what my favorite filling foods are. Good question.
The foods I think satisfy me the most and help me stay within my calorie range include oatmeal, bananas, apples, fresh broccoli, brown rice, low sodium canned beans (black, garbanzo, pintos), popcorn, eggplant, yellow squash, tomatoes, strawberries, cantaloupe, red/yellow/green bell peppers, vidalia onions, fresh green beans, grapes, peaches, oranges, grapefruit, okra, salmon, cod & other white fish, chicken breast, pork loin, tuna, and boca burgers. I probably could say almost all veggies and all fruits.
When I was losing I drank quite a bit of sugar free hot chocolate because it seemed to satisfy a craving. I used quite a bit of fat free sliced cheese, too. Now I try to drink more skim milk. I have cut down on popcorn. I had it almost everyday while losing. However, I usually had too much sodium and often had too much fiber. I've cut back on Progresso light soups, but they were a great help. Now if I want canned soup, I take half a cup and add my own salt free, fresh veggies. I rarely have frozen dinners now, but they were a great help to me when I first started losing and was re-learning portion control. I try to get in olive and/or canola oil every day because I know we need some healthy fat, not because I really want the taste.
I like variety. Every once in a while something just tastes wonderful. A few weeks ago I just couldn't get over how good grapefruit tasted. I wanted it every day for a week or more. Now I wouldn't mind having one, but I'm not craving it like I was. The asparagus last week was really good. Sometimes I kind of forget about some food and when I find it again it is almost like a long lost friend. That happened with wheat germ. It's really yummy on cereal and banana.
Oh, I could write about food all day! Enough already ---
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Yesterday at the YMCA I was doing strength training: lat pull downs, squats on leg machine, seated chest press, rows, etc. When I was about give out and thought I couldn't finish a set, a thought just came to me, loud and clear: Marsha, Strong and Healthy. One.... Strong and Healthy, Two... Strong and Healthy, Three... Strong and Healthy ------------ Fourteen...Strong and Healthy, Fifteen.... Strong and Healthy. The affirmation made it all so much easier, the goal -- the reality, actually -- set firmly in my mind. So today I feel great gratitude for knowing that I am Marsha, Strong and Healthy.
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