Tuesday, October 22, 2013
I'm going to ramble a bit.
Got to bed by 10 last night and slept for 2 hours. Laid there for awhile hoping to fall back to sleep. Got up and made some chamomile tea and decided to come blog before trying again. Have a full day ahead so really would like to sleep. This has been going on for awhile (months, no years). Basically I sleep very well 2-3 nights a week, the other nights are like this one. Used to lay there, sometimes still do, to rest my weary body and esp. my eyes. But lately have been getting up for some relaxing tea and read or something. Then back to bed and easily fall asleep. Absolutely refuse to stress over this; trying to take it in stride. Not worried, sick (usually), or stressed (most of the time).
Am I getting enough exercise? Well, no. I am on a streak, however - Day 282 today of at least 10 min. a day. I usually get more like 20-40 min. every day of the week 24/7. Mostly strength training, occasional light cardio. I know I am exerting myself because my muscles are very sore, many of them; I also feel strong in my arms and legs. I still get winded at times, but this is because of my asthma and occurs more often when the neighborhood folks burn stuff.
With studies, I just haven't done more. Sure excuses are excuses. I am proud of myself for sticking with this streak even when I have been ill a few times. My longest streak ever! Still want to get back to walking but haven't. I have some very hard ground in the backyard soaking up water so I can break it up, add the compost I've been stirring, then move a flower patch over to it. Will move the pineapples that are growing there over to where the flower patch is presently. You see, the flowers are at one end of the clothesline where two wooden poles are. One pole rotted at the base - that's the reason for moving the pineapples over to that spot because they don't need as much water. After I do that maybe hubby will replace the pole.
I've been working on our updates and today finally decided I'm switching from our website to a blog. It'll take me awhile esp. with studies, but in the end, I will get out from under the stress and time consuming tasks related to this. Blogging is easier and quick. Also putting our list in an easier format for sending letters. That, too will save time and effort. I am glad that hubby finally came 'round to agreement on these things. He doesn't do anything on the site except write the first page, I do the rest. It's my time, after all. I want to spend my time on other things.
I've had computer problems again but think I finally figured out what is the cause - a program glitch. I will stop using that program. Have moved my work that uses it onto an old laptop and will proceed on there to avoid further frustration. Seems like so many things have been adding stress. Just call me the "Stress Buster"!!!
Have tried some new recipes. Fermented juice. Ever heard of that? I made ginger juice, added sugar and some yogurt started and it is fizzing on the kitchen table! Should be ready to refrigerate and drink today. Also made some acerola cherry juice, added sugar and trying the whey from yogurt to see if it works as well. It is taking longer than the ginger. Today I made lentil patties for supper and will repeat another time. Last week, I made a veggie pot pie (8 servings) and it was wonderful!
Last week, I found a new little health food store in town. One of the salesgirls was so nice and took time to explain a few things to me. I'm going to return later today to get the fish oil caps (Omega 3). She said that by taking them 2 times a day I would finally be able to get rid of some of the abdominal visceral fat that has plagued me for so long. I researched it online and liked what I read. It is s'posed to also make a diff. in brain and heart health, good things. It is not inexpensive but I'm gonna give it the 30 day trial she suggests and see what I think. Will let y'all know.
So there you go. And now you know what I have been doing lately.
Have a great rest o' the month, SparkFriends!!!
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
I have been thinking about this blog for several weeks and have decided that today is the day to share my thoughts. I will talk about my troubling areas and how I am dealing with them. I continue frustrated that no weight is coming off. Yes, I know about muscle replacing fat and I do hope that is part of what is happening. I am not doing much in the way of cardio but the years of long-distance walking did nothing for weight loss, so I am not going to put myself out for cardio right now. I am doing strength training every morning and an occasional cardio session.
What I have decided to do is what I know I must to maintain good spiritual, mental, and physical health. I would like weight loss, too, but if that is not going to happen without spending money, well, that will no longer be my main focus. I am tired of stepping on the scale and measuring with the tape measure only to find no or very little difference. I will try my best not to use these measurement standards any longer, at least not regularly.
I have been with SparkPeople for 7+ years. I know the answers given for all my questions in regard to weight loss. The only things suggested that I have not tried are gym membership and a personal trainer, which I cannot afford.
1. I continue to work on negative thoughts and am finally beginning to see progress in that area. I have hoped against hope to find resolution and with the resolution to lose the negatives from my head. But, so many times no resolution has worked out or been found, and so, the negatives have stayed. It is a very hard thing to realize and recognize that some bothersome things cannot be changed. I can imagine that many who read this will take it as pessimism. Maybe it is but the things of which I am referring are things that have not changed in many, many years. I have changed. These particular battles have not. I gave up putting forth so much time and effort on them. If they are to change, God will hafto do it; I have not been able to.
2. I will stop tracking food, at least for a while. I had stopped for a period of time and picked it up again just to be certain of how much control I actually have in choosing good food options and in measuring how much I am eating. I have been on track for months. Something needs to give and since I am sure of myself about this, I will stop for a time.
3. I will continue to read, read, read when I can take the time about exercise, nutrition, recipes that fit my plan, and mental development. I will continue with my plan for spiritual development. I should complete my formal study program by the end of 2014. By then I hope to know the next step.
4. I have some personal hurdles that I keep knocking down instead of jumping over. That's just a picture of how I see it. I have found some helpful reading in regard to these and will keep working to get them resolved or at least left behind. At this point in my life, in my sixth decade, I do know what the hurdles are and I am comfortable now realizing that I must let them go. I believe these things were used to make me who I am today so I may refer to them in the future. Yet, these things have weighed me down for far too long and I do not need them to be part of my life any longer. I admit that a couple of things will be dreadfully hard to release. A couple of things cannot actually be set aside but I now see the wisdom in moving them to the side rather than the forefront of my focus in life.
5. I am grateful for those (in person and online) who have been an encouragement to me as I continue to pursue a more positive outlook and find ways to use my strengths. Making hard choices would have been harder without you. I am glad that I joined SparkPeople these many years ago. I have discovered many helpful articles that have helped me to understand more about my personal views and outlook and especially how to better focus on what I hope to gain in this lifetime. The various teams that I joined have helped me through many challenges and tough spots along the way. I cannot imagine how I would have made it so far without the many long-distance friends that I have not met in person but who have pushed, cajoled, and walked along side me. Thanks to each one.
6. I enjoy the SparkPeople website and will continue to share it with others. At times, I may cut back on the amount of time I spend here, but I will keep returning. I have a streak going and may pick up another as time goes on. Right now, as of today, I have completed 157 days of logging in and spinning the SparkWheel (that will soon beat the previous 169 day streak). Tomorrow I will beat my longest exercise streak of 191 days in a row!!!
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I have been thinking about when I began SparkPeople. It was a slow-going thing with me. I had never before in my life actually exercised regularly - more of a hit-and-miss philosophy. Oh, I did start a few times, but it never progressed to doing much. I had a bike two times. One of the times, my brand-new bike was mangled because someone "borrowed" it without asking and left it parked behind a truck that ran over it. The other time, many years later, my brand-new bike was stolen right out of our walled yard!!! It was not replaced. I haven't felt the need to insist on getting another anyway. Sadly, I just don't feel safe in the town traffic.
So, when I joined SparkPeople, I feared not being consistent and just did not know where to begin. I started by joining a couple of teams and reading lots of articles. After a couple of months, I began to want to exercise. But, again, I feared not being consistent. What to do?
I looked over all of the suggested exercises. www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
I found some that I could do before getting out of bed. I began there. At that time, I needed ten in order to get all of the SparkPoints for exercising. I did them almost every morning before getting out of bed! It worked perfectly. After several months of doing that, I got stronger AND I wanted to try something else. So, I picked a few stand-up exercises.
Over the years, I have changed up, switched around, printed the exercises to have in front of me, rearranged them, changed how many, did sets 2, 3, 4, 5, and progressed to doing Core, Upper Body, and Lower Body exercises on progressive days, and then repeating them. Getting back to it last month, I arranged them all into groups of about 20 or so exercises, according to Core, Upper Body, and Lower Body. I am exercising now 7 days a week, getting in about one hour of strength training, and on 3 or more days, getting 30 minutes or more cardio a day. I have done less on some of the Sunday mornings, but it still adds up to 30 minutes or more.
I haven't always found that I have lost weight, in fact, more often it is firming that takes place. Since my restart, a month ago, I am weighing and measuring on Saturday or Sunday morning. I have lost 3.5 inches total, mostly in my waist and no weight loss. I am glad for the inching down and I am continuing to hope to see the scale go down too. I intend to keep this up. My aching body is telling me that I am pushing myself so I am fairly certain I am on track.
Each week now, I am changing what I do with the strength training. The exercises have not changed, however, I switch around how many I am doing. Last week I did 2 sets of 20, this week, 1 and 2 sets of 40. I also have been changing the weights often so that my body does not get used to a certain weight. I have 4, 7, 9, 11, and 13 lb. dumbbells. I am considering doing a week or two of sets changing the weight size with each set. I also have a kettlebell and will eventually get that going again. I was disappointed that I have not been able to find more of them here; maybe one day, I'll see them for sale again. I talked to hubby about making me a hula-hoop so I might get to do that.
For my recent cardio, I have been walking outside or indoors with a DVD and bouncing on a rebounder. I have other DVDs, a pickup tire to flip, a punching bag and an elliptical trainer. I will get back to those eventually.
In the meantime, I am studying and doing some church work. We have a ladies area meeting coming up shortly and I am in charge of decorating the platform, which includes making two large tablecloths. I will be helping in the kitchen and have volunteered to wash dishes. I thought that would keep me moving about rather than anything else that might not be as active. I also will help set up and take down tables and perhaps do some food prep. It has been very warm (90s), so I am praying for a cool day.
~119 days exercise
~ 85 days logging in to spin the SparkWheel
~130 days of at least 8 glasses of water
I was reminded of a song that has been an encouragement to me in recent years. Stronger Than Before by Olivia Newton John
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Just over a week ago, I was looking at some of my SparkPeople charts and it dawned on me that I just might be able to go back to look at what I did that lead to weightloss and dropping 4 dress sizes from 2006-2008. Why? Well, I have been so terribly frustrated over these years since then. You see, I lost 35 lbs back then. At the beginning of 2009, it started creeping back until now I weigh about the same as when I started SP. Sadness but not defeat!
Over these years, I have tried hard to figure out why. I tried a lot of different things. I was decisive that I would never starve myself again or that I would make exercise the top priority of my life. I want to do more in life than exercise. Yeah, yeah, I know what the experts say and I have been told repeatedly how to go about this. But, once again, it falls back to I will not cut down so much on my cal. intake that I feel hungry most of the time and that I feel deprived.
For several years, I have increased my walking to the point of doing several marathon walks. I am super pleased - proud of my efforts and ability to do that. But, guess what? I gained instead of losing so my reasoning for keeping up that pace and prep for doing the long distance walks with all the time involved just doesn't make sense to me anymore. I have returned to school and have had to spend a lot of time on that. It is frustrating because I cannot do everything. So, what to do about the sitting so much for schoolwork and the need to lose weight?
That's where I am now, except I need to finish telling you about my discoveries in regard to how I managed to lose the weight back in 2006-2008 and what I have decided to do temporarily to see if I can repeat that or for good, if it works again.
I discovered I am eating way less than I did when I lost weight! I also have gotten unbalanced in regard to fat, carbs, and protein intake - way too low. I made copies of the charts to look at as I go and to help me keep on working at it. I have increased my calorie intake from trying to stay under 1200 calories a day to staying between 1300 and 1900 calories a day. I am working hard to preplan daily meals so that I get around 180-300 carbs, 40-65 fat, and 60-70 protein. That is on the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker. It is different than SparkPeople's recommendations, however, it is where I was from 2006-2008 when I lost the 35 lbs and dropped the dress sizes (size 18/20-10/12).
I also checked my fitness charts and found that I was doing roughly 1 hour a day of all exercises including strength training, plus a 3 hour session about once a month. So I am building back up to that. Every morning this week, I have been doing from 45 to 60 min. of strength training and 10-20 minutes of cardio. I will continue to increase the cardio slowly. In this one week, I have dropped several inches, but no weight yet. I am feeling better emotionally and breathing better. My posture has improved.
I expect this to continue. Thank you, SparkPeople for hanging on to my stats. Although it was a lot of clicking to access them, they are all there.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
What do I mean by SparkDreaming? Well, the dreams I had before SP came into my life were actually dreams that would probably never happen because I did not realize that I needed to invent the steps to my goals. I needed to reach all those mini-steps in order to reach the bigger steps that would take me to my goals. My life is much more than reaching my health goals, yet everything is interconnected so that when I work towards goals in one area, the other areas of life are affected. I have not reached goal weight. I have gotten off track in regard to that many times. And I come back to it.
Also, a person can only do so much and when things get overwhelming something has to give. I don't give up. But more and more, as time passes and I am older and wiser, I understand better what I must hold as priority and what I can let be for awhile. I am expecting things to let up a bit these next several months so I am refocusing on steps toward the weightloss goals, which begin with the basics of knowing how many calories I ingest and having the best ingredients available when prepping meals.
Gonna try to keep this brief - lots to do this week.
I started tracking food yesterday. Going to check out my new SP DVD this afternoon. Finished up two online courses yesterday. Have hardly done anything else since starting these right after our return in January. I did it! And, I passed them both. One is a pre-req. for the next one that I will begin next week. And, it was tough! I have been stretching so much - incredible (I think) for someone my age; course I don't look my age! Hah!
Beginning exercise at 4 p.m. most days. It has been super-hot here in the past several weeks - over 100F/40C. So, I am not sure the late afternoon exercise is going to work. I do not plan to do the intense long-distance walking I did a year ago and before so it might just work out okay. Will try it and if not, revamp! Pushing to drink more fluids, esp. water, in this heat.
Eating is going fine. Have stuck with vegetarian and since we are at home, it is easier to make what I need rather than so much eating out (and not always finding what I needed so substituting things I shouldn't eat to get by) that we did in the states. I made my Calico Bean Salad today and it is wonderful. Have been trying to figure out how to get more protein in. I do not eat milk derivatives or soy, so it is not easy. Do have eggs once in awhile, so bought some albumin and will see if I can get this more balanced.
Being careful to eat less or no GMO foods; another BIG challenge here. Looked at combining foods for more complete proteins, which I did a lot when raising our children. Have been wanting cornbread but no organic cornmeal around. Difficult to find variety of organic grains. Have seen quinoa but don't much like the flavor of it. Find myself wishing for a nutritionist to help me but no money for that so will keep reading. The SP Nutrition Tracker really does help me with this. Down at the bottom you can click on "See today's full report" and see how well you've done. Breaks it all down so I know where I need to work on it.
Feeling tired - also trying to get to bed earlier this week especially since I don't have homework deadlines! Did not sleep enough last night so will try to go to bed just a wee bit earlier tonight and see if I do better. Because I am taking just one class the next 8 weeks, I hope to be on SP a little bit more often. I'd like to interact with my SPFriends a bit - miss you guys! I know you understand.
In a few days, I will complete my 7th year as a SparkPerson!!! Time seems to have passed so quickly and I have learned so much being involved here! Glad for all that has been done to facilitate my growth. Every year, I accomplish more than I ever imagined possible!
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