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WRITINGBLUEHAWK's Recent Blog Entries

Reunited with my Gym

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

About a month ago, I switched from a commercial gym back to my good old community center. I had originally changed gyms because I wanted to belong to the gym in my neighborhood. I lasted a year before I decided enough was enough. Why didn't it work?

Several factors but the main reason was because they blasted all this rough, heavy metal music. Now, I like rock music okay, but after awhile it was getting on my nerves. I brought my own tunes to compensate. Another factor was I grew tired of the pressure sales tactics and the mysterious terms of agreement in the contract. I paid cash for my membership for this very reason; I didn't trust them enough to give them access to my credit card or bank information.

The clientele was okay, but for some reason, I wasn't entirely comfortable. Maybe the number of muscleheads? I also had problems with the condition of some of the equipment and the worn out appearance of the women's locker room. I also did not like how people didn't wipe the sweat off the equipment after use. There were signs posted telling people to do so, but it rarely happened. I found myself dreading my workouts and finding reasons not to go.

My community center gym is more expensive and farther away, but I was glad to be back. It's clean, relatively quiet and I like it there. It has all the equipment I need, classes I can take and a swimming pool.

I'm already noticing subtle changes in my body. The chub around my waist is a bit smoother and my arms and legs are looking a little more muscular. Right now, I limit my workouts to 45 minutes about 4x a week; 15 minutes on the weights and 30 minutes of cardio. I put on 3 pounds when I started my weight routine, but I understand that muscles store water after a strength training workout. I'm trying to be patient and trust the process. So far, 1/2 a pound of the water weight is gone. Hopefully, I'll drop the rest of it soon.

My eating has held steady and I'm consistently recording my food intake. Hopefully, these changes will be enough to bring results because it's a plan I can live with over time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLE1908 8/19/2014 9:32PM


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Sustainable Change versus Losing Weight

Monday, August 11, 2014

I've read the literature and seen the reports. It's not about losing weight, it's about making sustainable, healthy changes to your lifestyle over time. Losing weight is a side effect of those healthier choices.

But what if you've made several sustainable changes and you're still overweight?

In my mind, this is where "sustainable change" ends and the whole mindset of dieting begins. Any further change becomes tough and hard to do. So now, I'm counting calories or carbs and increasing the intensity of my exercise, which feels like work (hence the term workout). At this point, I either need to quit whining about the last 28 pounds or do the "work" that goes into dropping it. I need to find a high intensity form of exercise that I actually like and find a way to eat a 1,500 calorie diet that offers me the flexibility of an occasional treat or higher calorie day.

I read the story of a woman who lost 100 pounds. Did she go on a drastic diet and drop it in a year? No. She started in 2007 and did not hit her goal until 2012. She make a series of lifestyle changes one habit at a time until she reached her goal. It was a long process because she had to keep making adjustments in ways that she could live with. Sometimes, her plans worked, other times she'd plateau or even regain some pounds. But she always stuck with it.

I suppose I've answered my own question. In my case, I want to lose the last 28 pounds for good. I've bounced all over the place trying to find a plan that I can live with for the rest of my life. Yes, it's going to take work, but I have to figure out what changes I can make that I can sustain FOR LIFE. Going to the gym daily? Not sustainable. Two or three times a week? That might work, along with doing something fun (like hiking) on the weekends.

Cut out all treats, desserts and barbecue? Not gonna happen. Getting a barbecue fix 1x a month and eating leaner chicken every other month instead of pork spareribs? That might work.

I'm still trying to figure all of this out and I admit, it's long going. But just like that woman who lost her weight over time, I'm still pushing forward. One day, I'll get there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHOTOKIDO 8/12/2014 11:00PM

  Good insights emoticon

One of the things I find helpful for sustainable change is having goals that aren't about the scale at all.

Hiking a certain trail, or a certain distance, or beating a certain time on a route, or doing a hike with a certain weight of backpack are examples of the kind of goals that keep me going.

When I'm focused on those, I discover that I've lost weight or got my blood sugar regulated without even focusing on such things.

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MOBYCARP 8/12/2014 7:34AM

    Yes, this. I resisted recording what I ate for years, loathing the concept. I reluctantly started recording with SparkPeople, and found that it was maintainable.

But give up sugar? Ain't gonna happen. It's a rare day that I don't have some candy. Giving it up is not sustainable. Recording it, counting it toward daily calories, and controlling how much is sustainable.

You just have to find what *you* can do, regardless of what works for anyone else.

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    Thank-you! I like this hard-nosed common sense. And you have done beautifully so far. I have no doubt that you will find what works best for you in the long term.

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MRSCAMACHO 8/11/2014 4:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Don't forget your vitamins! (I love Lucy)

Monday, July 28, 2014

As I was reading up on nutrition, I remembered one of my favorite "I Love Lucy" scenes ever. I am sharing it so you can laugh as much as I do whenever I see it.


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ROBBIEY 7/28/2014 1:42PM

  emoticon I love Lucy was one of my favorite shows growing up. Thanks for the memories.

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Preventing Exercise Boredom

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A few days ago, I rejoined the community center gym that was a big part of me dropping 50 pounds nearly two years ago. I'm 10 pounds over goal and am determined to not only return to goal, but drop eight more pounds before the end of 2014.

Today, I started up the strength training routine for my upper body. While I was working out, I realized that lifting weights is something I enjoy. I don't know why I stayed away so long, but I'm glad that I returned. I have to keep this in mind for the days when I don't "feel" like going to the gym. Part of my self-talk might be to say "just go and lift weights for 10 minutes. If you're still not feelin' it, then you can leave."

I've learned that I get excruciatingly bored doing the same thing over and over--especially if it involves cardio machines. To cope, I'm breaking up my thirty minutes of cardio into three 10 minute sessions while I'm there. I'm mixing in some high intensity intervals to keep things interesting and torch more calories.

I think that's why I ditched my walking/jogging routine. I was getting tired of walking around the neighborhood or at work and being at the mercy of bad weather. Besides, it's best for me to stay indoors in August and September because I'm allergic to ragweed and it's really bad that time of year.

I'm already thinking ahead to how I should switch up my fitness routine in the fall. I might be glad to return to walking outdoors by then. I might also try a different aerobics class, yoga, tai chi. Who knows? The big lesson for me is that if my exercise routine starts to feel stale, I need to do something different--not quit.

It's all good; I'll figure out what it takes for me to stay on plan some day. Until then, I will keep pushing!

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SIRENNEA 7/28/2014 10:47AM

    I don't like to deal with weather either. I use Leslie Sansone walk at home videos to prevent boredom. I also skim YouTube for freebies.

Tai Chi looks fun.

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Staying Motivated

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I put my scale away. Although I'm still celebrating yesterday's two pound weight loss, I believed I was getting too scale obsessed. I really want to focus on continuing to build on my healthier habits and doing what I need to do to remain in this focused frame of mind. I plan to avoid the scale until a week from tomorrow.

Yesterday, I hit the gym for the first time in five or so months. I had been walking outside, but now that temperatures are hovering in the 100's, it is now impractical. I strength trained, used the machines and did some walking and wind sprints.

Today, I got up this morning and went to a Zumba class. My eating has been decent and I'm staying in my calorie limits. I've also been spending time visualizing myself 18 pounds lighter.

My hope is that if I'm aggressive, that I can lose 10 lbs of it by my birthday in September. Again, if I'm eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day and exercising 4x-5x a week, I believe that I can get there.

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MOBYCARP 7/27/2014 4:47PM

    It's great to be motivated, and of course we do all we can to stay motivated. But sometimes, motivation takes a vacation without leaving a note as to when it will be back.

The trick is to use the periods of high motivation to build habits that pull you through the periods of low motivation. If they pull you through well enough to make progress when your motivation is low, that's great; but it's really good enough to have habits that keep you from going backwards when your motivation is low.

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SHOTOKIDO 7/26/2014 7:30PM

  Good for you!

Balance in everything, including the use of the scale. emoticon

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STEVIEBEE569 7/26/2014 6:11PM

    emoticon emoticon

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