Friday, April 30, 2010
My second streak is to exercise 360 minutes per week. I'm currently working on week 27. I actually have 345 minutes so far this week. I don't plan to push to get in the last 15 minutes.
I don't think it is important that I exercise that exact amount. Right now I have two higher priorities: 1) to balance my calories in with calories out in order to maintain my weight and 2) not to injure myself. Based on recent complaints from my left hip and left shoulder, I believe moderation in exercise is called for. This is a streak that I can let go of right now.
Perhaps I should set a lower number, like maybe 180 minutes per week. That would be 6 days of an average of 30 minutes. I have no intention of becoming a couch potato. The reduced goal may help me stay on track. After I finish analyzing my streaks, I will develop a new set of goals and a new set of streaks to work toward. -Marsha
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I just passed the 6 month mark of being active on SparkPeople. SP has definitely been a great help to me. I am doing strength training consistently for the first time in my life, and I can see some results. I track my cardio and am at least as consistent as I've ever been with heart pumping exercise. I track more nutrients and eat as well as I've ever eaten, and far better than I have done most of my life. For the first time, I have drastically reduced my sodium intake. I drink 8 glasses of water daily. I make a real effort to get to bed on time. I have lost about 14 pounds since coming to SP. I did not set a goal to lose more weight. My emphasis was on increasing my strength and improving my nutrition. Losing down to my current weight was just a great side effect.
It is now time to review my program and perhaps make some adjustments. I'm going to look at each of my streaks, deciding which ones to keep and what new ones to add. I want my streaks to be motivating, a little stretch, not just a given. I want them to be meaningful in contributing to my health; not insignificant. I need fewer streaks, but more targeted streaks.
My first streak is to log in and spin the wheel. I have a total of 186 days, starting October 26, 2009. My longest streak is 174 days, from November 7, 2009 to present. I don't think I can delete this streak. SP tracks it automatically. But I log in to SP to get help and motivation, not to keep this streak going. If when we are traveling this summer the streak gets broken, so be it. Even though the points won on the wheel are kind of irrelevant, SP decidedly contributes to my health and my participation is meaningful. So this streak meets the criteria to continue anyway. I'll look at some of my other streaks in later blogs.
Are your streaks meaningful? Have you deleted any streaks because you had other priorities? What streaks are a challenge? Which ones have you struggled with and won? Overall, have your streaks motivated you?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
It has been eight days since I reduced my exercise in order to allow my minor hip injury to heal and reduced my calorie range in order to maintain my weight while exercising less. It truly has been eight good days. Although the results are decidedly preliminary, it appears that I don't have to workout 90-120 minutes per day to maintain my weight. At least for this past week I was able to do it in 30 not so vigorous minutes. So, I may have quite a few more choices about how to live my life at goal weight than I previously thought.
I was somewhat scared to reduce the exercise, but I feel more confident that I can handle whatever comes along. If I decide to go back to work, I am not going to give up. I am not going to assume that I am going to gain weight. I am going to adjust my food (calorie intake), my cardio exercise (calories burned), and keep strength training. I will also remind myself often when stressed that food is the answer only when hunger is the question. -Marsha
Monday, April 26, 2010
I went to lunch with an old friend recently. It was great to see her and get caught up. I remember her as a big coffee drinker who loved real cream in her dark roast coffee. I was surprised to see her drink black coffee. She commented that she had vowed to go with fat free drinks only. Fat free coffee?
Of course, she is right. Cream (or half and half) does have a lot of fat. But somehow I'd usually thought of it as a minor indulgence or something just a little richer than milk. I never thought of the cream as fat. At home I always use skim milk, but when I'm out I often put a little (1/4-1/3 of a creamer) in my coffee, just lighten it up a bit color wise and taste wise.
From now on I'll be more aware that the cream is fat. And if my friend can go with fat free drinks, I just might be able to as well.
(PS Teeth whitening progress to be addressed later.)
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Two days ago, perhaps you read my blog, I tried on a formal just for fun and felt like a princess. Well, a grey-haired princess, but regal and slender just the same. Yesterday I bought a new pair of pants (another size 4 - hard to believe) and several cute blouses on sale. I enjoy clothes shopping now and feeling good in my new clothes. When I was a size 2x if I could get an item of clothing on and it looked half way good, I got it. Choices were limited. Now, there are so many things that look fine, there are almost too many choices.
Okay, and then I had a real reality check. Yesterday I decided to buy a new bathing suit. I would enjoy going swimming at the Y, both laps for exercise and for fun with my granddaughter, if only I had a suit that fit. Well, I had hoped to have that same proud feeling, to find many suits that looked okay, and to have a lot of choices. Well, I tried on a couple hundred suits. Nothing really looked like I had hoped. The shape is there, but the skin is so saggy. Most suits in my size have no support. And, of course, nothing hides the inner thigh sag. (Oh, well. Just accept that one.)
As I tried on suits it brought back a memory from my high school. My dad's oldest sister was put on a drastic sleep diet in the 1960's. She stayed in bed for weeks and only ate 600 calories a day. I was there on the day she was allowed to get up for the first time. She knew she had lost a lot of weight, but was horrified as she looked in the mirror at the wrinkled skin hanging from her posterior half the way down the back of her thigh. I thought "elephant butt." Fortunately I didn't say it.
Although my skin doesn't hang down that far, I have my own version of wrinkled elephant butt, I'm afraid. I really wanted a suit that hid the sag below my glutes. That limited my choice to very few suits.
But I finally found a suit that I thought was okay. I look slender, but very conservative. It comes up high on the chest and down low on the leg. It is black with a blue flower pattern. I bought a really cute black terry cloth cover up, matching flip flops, visor, and beach towel. I can see myself swimming laps for exercise, then walking down the corridor to the child care area and getting Natalie for a swim together. I can see me in it at the beach even. It will do just fine.
Maybe my skin will tighten up a little as I adjust to this new body. Maybe building muscle will help. Maybe not. Maybe I'll get better at bathing suit shopping. Maybe not. Maybe I'll even find a bikini that looks acceptable. Maybe not.
You know, that is okay. I'm happy in my clothes. And truth of the matter is I'm happy in my skin, too, even though I wish I could purchase the skin in the next smaller size.
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