Thursday, January 07, 2010
Just goes to show that even though you may be good at one type of exercise, you can still find things to challenge you!
If there was an athletic event for the elliptical machine, I think I might be a medal contender. This afternoon, I'm working from home and thought I'd take 30 minutes to do some toning exercises during my lunch.
I got out my 'Gliding' DVD. If you haven't heard of gliding, it's these frisbie looking discs that slide on your carpet. I bought them because it simulates the motion of in line skating that I thought I could use to tone up indoors when 'blading outdoors isn't really practical. I like lower impact exercises like the elliptical and these gliding discs because my knees won't complain. Old age, I think my knee has an expired warranty!
Anyway, the Gliding program totally kicked my butt! I originally intended to do 30 minutes, but after 15, my legs and buns were a burnin'!
Hope this doesn't happen at my skiing lesson...!
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Hurray! This morning I got a hold of the ski club secretary and was able to get enrolled for ski lessons starting this Saturday! She apologized for the registration troubles, said I can send the payment by mail with no late fees, and to consider myself enrolled! So I now have 6 weeks of ski lessons!
Goal: Sign up for skiing lessons - done!
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
It's a harsh reality that I had to come to terms with before I could successfully lose weight and keep it off. When I was overweight, I made excuses. "I'm still the same wonderful person inside, it shouldn't matter what I look like on the outside." While true, there was something undeniably wrong about this.
I was unhealthy. No matter how beautiful I was inside or out, I had 42% body fat. That placed me at increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. I was sedentary, which also placed me at risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as osteoporosis and bone fractures. This was not an issue of whether I was beautiful or not. It was a matter of whether I wanted to live a long life, with reduced risk of pain and disease or not.
Five years later from the real change that I made in my life, I've lost most of the weight. It's not my ideal. I'm not finished yet, but I have accomplished something major, that sad to say, most people fail at. I lost 30 pounds and kept it off for more than two years.
Each of us have to find our own way. The exact details of what worked for me may not work for you. However, there are things in common that everyone who found success was able to do:
1. EXERCISE. They keep trying, but no one has been able to make a fat loss pill that is safe and actually works. There is no "Get out of exercise" free card. You *have* to exercise.
When first starting out, you're going to hate it. You're out of shape. It's hard. Your body can't handle the demands you're asking. It has to build up your heart, muscle tissue, and lung capacity. Your body has to rebuild itself to do what you want.
Not all of us are going to be able to workout an hour 4-5 days a week, especially when first starting out. It took me a long time to work up to that, and be able to do it routinely. I started off doing maybe 30 minutes 2-3 times per week. I could only handle walking and low impact aerobics. I had to work up to riding a bike and the elliptical machine at the gym. If 15 minutes one day a week walking beats your record of 0 minutes seven days a week, then do it. If you do 15 minutes one day a week for 4 weeks, congratulations - you've made it a habit. Now break your record again. Do 15 minutes twice a week. Or 30 minutes one day a week. Do what works for you.
2. DIET. Again, they still haven't made that darn fat loss pill. So in addition to exercise, you have to diet. The way you eat is a habit. Habits can be learned, and relearned. Eat fruits and vegetables. Eat your spark recommended calorie ranges. Eat the appropriate ratios of carbs/protein/fats. Make this a new habit. It will work.
If you don't like fruits and vegetables, I don't have good news for you here. It is impossible to have a healthy diet made up entirely of fat, protein, and starches like bread and potatoes. Those are all things we like to eat, right? Learn to love veggies and fruit.
I've never turned my nose up completely at veggies and fruit, but I did have to learn how to eat them regularly. I did this by keeping them around, and incorporating them into every meal. At the beginning, I threw away a lot of uneaten fruit and veggies. I kept at it, though. It got better. Now the lack of fruit and veggies is alarming to me.
3. SETBACKS ARE INEVITABLE. Get back up from trying something that didn't work, and try again. I've never met someone who lost weight that didn't fall off the wagon more than a dozen times. The difference between success and failure? Get back on that wagon.
4. JUST DO IT. Sometimes I hated doing exercise. I made excuses about how I was too tired to go. I got dressed in my gym clothes and forced myself to go anyway. I forced myself onto the machines, despite the child inside me throwing a tantrum that I didn't want to. For the first 5-10 minutes, I would think about how I just wanted to stop and go home. I ignored myself and kept doing it. Who's in control here? Me, or my inner brat?
This is one of those areas that most people would say, don't force yourself. Well, for me, this is what I had to do. Again, do what works for you. I had to do this in order to break years of bad habits where I would promise myself I would 'start going to the gym tomorrow' or 'I'll start eating right tomorrow'.
Today, or never. I rode my bike whether I 'felt like it' or not. I rode my bike whether I was 'tired' or not. Every time I eventually got on my bike, I was glad I did. Eventually, I realized that's what success felt like. I liked it a lot more than failure. When I failed, I was determined to get it right. In time, getting on my bike wasn't a chore; it was just a daily part of life that I loved more and more.
Two of my favorite quotes from Thomas Edison:
- "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that didn't work".
- "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up".
So many of us have New Years "goals" or "resolutions". Do better than you did last time. That's success. Keep doing it, and improve on it. That's progress. If you fall short, keep going. You have to know where you are now, in order to know how to get where you want to be.
Good luck to all of you in the New Year!
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Agggggh!! Day 3 of the new year, and I already have a setback on one of my goals!
After commando crawling down Snoqualmie after a skiing mishap, it's clear to me that I need more skiing lessons. So one of my 2010 Health Goals is to get skiing lessons.
As I mentioned, writing goals is very motivating for me. I am more likely to get things done if I write them down. After writing my 2010 Health Goals, I went to my employer's ski club website to register for skiing lessons.
Due to bad website design, I was unable to register for a class! After entering my payment details, the website dies, saying it's unable to process the transaction. ARG!
I called, but they are out of office until Wednesday. I sent an email, but they probably won't answer that until Wednesday either. Classes start Thursday and Saturday.
Maybe I should offer them my web programming skills to fix it for them in exchange for skiing lessons.
I'm really disappointed. True, I could sign up for lessons elsewhere, but my work's ski club offers a significant discount. If I can't get this resolved, I'm just going to have to mark this goal as 'deferred to next year'.
(Read more about commando crawling while skiing here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Call 'em a "New Year's Resolution" if you like. Some people love 'em. Some hate 'em. I'm a person that does very well if I have goals written down. I slack off and gravitate towards laziness without them.
One of the rules of goal writing is to be specific. "Lose weight" or "Lose 40 pounds" is a good starting point, but broken down into more specific terms to really define success is even better. If you lose 30 instead of 40, does that mean you failed? Try defining actions that lead to your overall goal to lose weight instead.
Some goals are recurring goals. Just because I've already achieved them doesn't mean they are necessarily 'done'. For instance, I do cardio exercise 45-60 minutes 3-4 times per week. I did that in 2009; does that mean I don't do it for 2010 because it's 'done'? Of course not! Many of the goals I've written doesn't necessarily mean that I am not already doing them (like food or fitness tracking).
Here is how I've defined my 2010 health goals.
- Reduce body fat from 33% to 25%
- Be more consistent with strength training. 2-3 days per week. Lift until muscle failure.
- Cardio exercise 3-4 times per week, 45-60 minutes.
- Try a spinning class.
- Take skiing lessons.
- Track fitness in Spark and GoWear Fit device.
- Get up from desk at work every hour and stretch.
- Eat zone diet ratios of 40/30/30 protein/carb/fat.
- Eat between 1200-1600 calories daily.
- No sugary drinks.
- Enjoy alcoholic beverage 1-2 times per week.
- Track nutrition in Spark.
- Write diet and fitness blog 1-2 times per week.
Due to genetics, I'm predisposed towards periodontal disease. I was diagnosed with early stages in 2009. Regular dental visits for professional cleaning and aggressive brushing should reverse the damage.
- Brush teeth three times per day. Twice per day minimum.
- Floss 1-2 times per day.
- Use antiseptic mouthwash twice per day.
- Visit dentist twice per year for cleaning.
- Re-enroll in college and finish degree.
- Setup my online blog for writing career related blog articles.
- Write career related blog articles 1-2 times per week.
As with all my goal lists, this is a living list that I will add to and adjust as needed. It's something that's defined for me to assess whether my general trend is improving. If not, then I need to take action. I'm a practitioner of GTD (Getting Things Done), so this will be a part of my weekly review to remind me of these goals, and also assess whether I am making progress.
Get An Email Alert Each Time VHALKYRIE Posts