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WRITINGBLUEHAWK's Recent Blog Entries

My First Spinning Class

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yesterday, I did an excellent job of sticking to my eating and exercise plan. It was truly an A+ day. I got off work in time to attend my first spinning (cycling) class. There were 10 of us, including the instructor who was lean as a piece of gristle, a woman so grotesquely thin I wondered if she were anorexic, another woman who was what Iíll call ďfit-fatĒ. She was 5í6Ē and about 240 lbs, but firm and in shape. The group was all female and ages ranged from about 23 to 50. I was the only black woman, which only mattered because I admit I was concerned about sweating my hairstyle out.

If youíve ever attended a spinning class you will already know that itís done on stationary bikes and the instructor offers you guided imagery over a din of high energy music. Thank goodness I like rock music, because the instructor was playing stuff like Guns ĎN Roses, Van Halen and Poison during the class.

The class was intense, but I kept up with the group while maintaining my own pace. By the time our 45 minutes was over, I was drenched in sweat and my hairstyle had called it quits. I wondered if I would ever return not because of the intensity and my hair, but because the dang cycle seats were so hard and uncomfortable. Also, I have to warn you that if you've ever had knee problems, this is probably not the class for you. I'm grateful that I haven't, but standing up while pedaling is tough.

As I was driving home, I felt this twinge of self-pity as my inner voice unleashed a barrage of thoughts:

Why is getting healthy such hard work?
Why am I working so hard to drop one measly pound?
Why must this take so long?
Is a workout this hard worth the effort?
How am I going to do this the rest of my life?
Why did I let my weight get to the point where I would have to work like a dog to take it off?

My conclusion is that, for me, spinning is not going to be a class I take often, because it seemed more like work than fun. I think Iíll stick to group classes like Zumba or step aerobics.

Saturday, I am slated to go hiking with a meetup group I just joined. Iím looking forward to the experience because most of my friends are older and inactive, so I don't have anyone to workout with. Iím hoping that through this group, Iíll be able to go hiking more often. Maybe by joining groups that like outdoor activities, Iíll find a way to have fun while Iím active.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TACONES 5/25/2012 10:25AM


Those seats are really hard. emoticon

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EXQUISITEDEE 5/24/2012 11:24AM

    Keep up the great work!!!

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FLEURGARDEN 5/24/2012 11:16AM

    I drip sweat too when I ride on the stationery bike, but I haven't been brave enough to attend a spin class yet. That intense of a workout and standing up while pedaling just doesn't appeal to me. I agree with you that we need to find activities we enjoy so we will continue doing them for the longhaul and it won't seem like so much work to maintain our weight loss when we get to our goal weight.

Keep up the great work!

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Jumpstarting the more nutritious habits

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This morning, I got up and fixed my spinach and strawberry smoothie and two slices of turkey bacon for breakfast. At work, I'm drinking a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. For lunch, I packed a flatbread sandwich with spinach leaves, turkey and guacamole, baby carrots and hummus, and watermelon slices. For dinner I plan to have a leftover chicken breast and a salad, plus a skinny cow for dessert. I am snacking on pistachio nuts, a habit I attained from doing the South Beach diet two years ago.

This evening, I will go to the gym. If I leave work in time, I'll drop in on a group exercise class, maybe cycling, step aerobics or zumba. If not, I will do 15 minutes on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes on the stationary bicycle. Then, I'll go home, shower, chill and get ready for another day.

For me, planning is critical. I'm the most disorganized, unfocused person, so it's a victory if I know exactly what I'm going to do each day. Plus, the thought of eating the food I've planned doesn't fill me with dread. I happen to LIKE the foods I'm eating and would eat them whether I'm on SP or not. I think that's critical to staying on program. Also, being willing to try new stuff like my spinach and strawberry smoothie. And finding ways to include your favorite foods in your plan. For example, I love guacamole. By using it as a condiment on my sandwich, I get the taste I love but the calories are controlled. Adding spinach leaves to my sandwich gives me an extra kick of vegetables and I'm not sacrificing taste.

There are also some compromises I refuse to make. I don't like black coffee and I'm trying to reduce my intake of artificial sweeteners. I also don't like fat-free cheese or salad dressings. I just count the calories. Each of us will have our own ways of making this work, these are mine.

I had set a goal to drop 20 lbs by August 31st. I have 16 lbs to go, so it's all good. Even better, I have no idea how much I weigh right now because I put the scale away until June 9th.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADRIENALINE 5/23/2012 2:42PM

    I really like the way the way you think. I lose some control because I have a family to think about but I can plan bkfst and lunch for myself and just that and my additional fitness efforts have made me successful. A much better way of determining if you are losing weight is to pay more attention to how your clothes fit rather than to worry about what the scale says.

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BUTTAPECANB 5/23/2012 12:00PM

    I really wish I could toss my scale. Im addicted to still trying to find out whether what im doing works. After coming off my TOM, im hoping this friday will give me atleast a pound. Im trying to not get discouraged but lets hope for the best.

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BUTTAPECANB 5/23/2012 10:52AM

    I really wish I could toss my scale. Im addicted to still trying to find out whether what im doing works. After coming off my TOM, im hoping this friday will give me atleast a pound. Im trying to not get discouraged but lets hope for the best.

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My first homemade smoothie

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Last week, I met with a nutritionist to learn more about how I should be eating if I want to lose weight and reverse my prediabetes. Many of the tips she provided were familiar, but there were several I had never tried such as fixing smoothies for breakfast. She highly recommended a morning smoothie because it was an efficient way to add more fruits and vegetables to my diet.

This morning, I woke up and threw the following into my blender:
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup skim milk
4 oz vanilla yogurt
1 c. fresh, sliced strawberries
1 c. fresh spinach leaves
1 T flax meal
1/2 c frozen banana slices

I got a 20 oz smoothie for about 320 calories. It was a ghastly color, but really delicious! Not good for a snack, but perfect for a meal. Plus, the prep and cleanup didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. I love the idea of chopping everything first, putting the solid ingredients in a container and just pouring it into the blender in the morning. That will definitely save time.

It's not even 9am and I've already had 1 serving of vegetables and at least two servings of fruit. Nice!

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIRENNEA 5/24/2012 12:49PM

    Stealing this recipe for my *book* and thread on my team! Thanks!

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LILSHINE 5/23/2012 8:31PM

    I've been green smoothing for the past 3 weeks. I drink either as a meal replacement or as a snack. I feel so much better since I started doing this. I use spinach, whey protein powder, peanut butter, banana, skim milk. I add a lot of spinach so it's mainly green but it taste aww sooo good. I've tried a few other varieties with pineapples, mango and also beets with carrots, apples and kiwis. Mix it up I've been told you'll be glad you did. So far I have been. I have lots more energy and the weight loss has been great too.

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SLFGOLF 5/23/2012 1:01AM

    I really need to start having something for breakfast. That has been my weakness all along. Smoothies might be a smart way to go. This sounds like a great recipe. I'll have to give it a try.

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JAZZEJR 5/23/2012 12:10AM

    Ummmm, yummmy. Did the spinach & strawberries make it burgundy colored? :)

ButtapecanB, I like to juice spinach (a fistful), carrots (1 lb), a couple of celery stalks, and an apple. It's good!

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SONYALATRECE 5/22/2012 7:23PM

    Sounds tasty!
I love smoothies for breakfast, too.
Win-Win all the way.


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BUTTAPECANB 5/22/2012 10:04AM

    I want to try something similar like this with juicing. Not exactly sure what to add though...any suggestions?

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Met with the dietitian

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Friday, I met with the dietitian. Thanks to SP, I already had excellent information about what I need to be doing as a prediabetic, so it's good to know I'm on the right track. Keep in mind, the tips below were provided to me in the context of my desire to lose weight, incorporate more fruits and veggies into my daily habits and bring my A1C down.

1. For every meal, half of your plate should be fruits/veggies, 1/4 lean protein, 1/4 starch (for example, peas, corn, whole grains).

2. Consider blending spinach or kale in with a morning smoothie. It sounds crazy, but it's a great way to add a serving of veggies to the serving of fruit with one meal.

3. Instead of sautťing vegetables in oil, heat them plain until they start sticking to the pan, then add enough water or chicken broth to unstick them; repeat until the veggies are done.

4. Wait until your meal is almost done to add salt. This way, you get more salt taste and less sodium.

5. If you're a fan of junk food, consider getting "Heavy Girl" recipes and preparing lower calorie versions. OR google recipies and see what you get. (I will also look at more SP recipes)

6. To lose 1 lb of fat a week, find out your BMR x activity factor, then subtract 500 calories. For me, that means eating around 1,200 calories a day. Since the body releases water when it burns fat, the scale will register more than one pound.

7. Collard greens can be softened in water and used as wraps in place of tortillas. (I plan to try wrapping one around some red beans, whole grain rice and turkey sausage to see if it is something I'll like).

8. Instead of focusing on what you can't or shouldn't eat, flip the script and focus on incorporating healthier choices. Eventually your healthier choices will crowd out your less healthy choices.

9. Limit but don't eliminate your favorite foods. Find ways to do them differently. I told her about my BBQ addiction. (Imagine that--we're in Kansas City, lol) She endorsed my current strategy which is to alternate between pork spareribs and chicken and to ditch the potato salad and baked beans in favor of grilled veggie kebabs.

10. Buy some flax meal (not flax seed) and sprinkle it into your soups, casseroles, cereal and other dishes.

I also got a handout about other strategies for sneaking more fruits and veggies into my diet. Most of the items on this list are familiar--things like adding fruits and veggies to omlettes, oatmeal, pizza, spaghetti sauce, etc. My dietitian also works at a Whole Foods Grocery Store and mentioned they give free store tours and offer weight conscious recommendations during the tour. Whole Foods also hosts cooking classes, which was news to me.

In a nutshell for me, I need to identify two or three strategies to incorporate into my eating habits each week. What eating like this requires is being able to plan, plan plan. It starts with finding good recipes, intentional and strategic grocery shopping, and making the time to cook at home. I'm planning to get more active with my SP cooking healthy team, so I can keep this momentum.

BTW--after shaking off that nasty plateau, I put my scale away. No plans to weigh in again until around June 9th.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MDWSTRNR 5/21/2012 9:00PM

    Thanks for sharing these great tips!

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FLEURGARDEN 5/21/2012 5:02PM

    Sounds like you have a great plan!

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SUZIEMAH1 5/20/2012 3:14PM

    Great blog, I liked the idea of using collard greens as a wrap. I'm gonna try that with other leafy vegetables as well... emoticon

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UMBILICAL 5/20/2012 3:03PM

  Great Info.

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My Plateau has Ended!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Woo hoo!!

I weighed in today and discovered that I had lost one pound! After four weeks of weigh ins with no results on the scale, I FINALLY saw a loss.

The lesson learned?


No matter how frustrated and tired you are...


On those days when you've eaten more than you should've...


When those cakes, cookies and pies are calling your name and you know you shouldn't have one, but...


When it's too early to exercise or you can't find time or it's too late or you're injured...


No matter what happens in your life while you're on plan....


Remember, it is always darkest beyond the dawn. If I can do it, you can do it and together, we can succeed if we...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZEJR 5/20/2012 1:46PM

    See! So glad you didn't give up! Yea!

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XTINEMAS 5/19/2012 11:10PM

    What's worse than a plateau is a gain

emoticon emoticon

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BUTTAPECANB 5/18/2012 8:54PM

    Amen to that!!!!

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DIBANANA 5/18/2012 8:18PM

  Awesome! So glad to hear it.

I'm on a losing streak right now.Hope it continues for a while. I was not losing but then I wasn't being the greatest. I am back on track now so things are good.

You are so right, Don't give up, That is what I did in the past which is why I never got to where I wanted to be!


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CMCBRIDE37 5/18/2012 4:35PM


You are right don't give up!

I believe plateaus are the body's way of leveling off and resting and resetting its set points before a second wind of loss.

Good luck to you.


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