ZANNACHAN   75,932
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ZANNACHAN's Recent Blog Entries

In Memory of Ian

Friday, April 02, 2010

This week has really been a rollercoaster week emotionally. There were lots of positives--I made healthy choices for the most part of food to eat, I worked out even though I went to visit a friend who was having a really rough week and helped tick off a bunch of things on her wedding to-do list and got to hang out with her and a couple of other good friends for the first time in a long time and spent many hours playing on the Wii.

Unfortunately, there was also some very bad news as well. A good friend of my friend (the bride I was helping this week) had a baby, but the baby was born with really bad complications and only lived 3 days. We're all devastated. I never met the baby--I haven't even met the parents, who live in another state. But they are really good friends of a good friend of mine, and I've seen pictures and heard tons of stories. I heard when the mom had gotten pregnant and about how happy and excited they were, and I was happy and excited for them. I know that my friend, who was to be the child's Honorary Aunt, was really excited and looking forward to having a nephew. I knew when the boy was born, and that he wasn't breathing on his own, and I was worried and prayed for all of them. But sometimes nothing can be done, and the baby didn't make it. I'm grieving now for a little boy who never really got a chance to live. I may not have known him, or even his parents, but grieving just the same.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the March of Dimes, as the March of Dimes was a huge help in the days after the little boy was born, helping pay for the ambulance between hospitals and a number of other things. It's a great organization. So my friend is organizing a team to walk at a local March of Dimes walk on the same weekend as her friend is walking in another state. I don't have a lot of money to donate, but I have two functional legs; I figure I can walk. So my husband and I are walking with a group of friends in a few weeks to help raise money so that maybe the next child that needs help WILL make it. We can make a difference.

I confess I'm a little nervous about it. The internet says the walk is six miles long--I haven't walked six straight miles since before my hip got injured. But I hiked--in a much more rugged area--three miles three years ago, and I've come a long way since then. I should be able to handle six miles, especially for a good cause.

If anyone feels like donating, we'd love donations for the walk in memory of Ian--even small donations can make a difference. If anyone feels like walking for a good cause, there are walks all over the US, of varying lengths and on a range of dates. And if neither is an option--and no pressure because I understand that it's not an option for everybody--I would appreciate it if you can keep us, and especially Ian and his mom and dad, in your thoughts and prayers.

(I apologize for the link not working, but if you copy and past it, you can reach my page for the March of Dimes).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Oh my...when anyone loses a child I think you grieve in a way that they will never know what it's like to go through this crazy thing we call life. We can only hope god takes them into his loving arms and cares for them forever. Your in my prayers always, I hope things get better.


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KOMAL53 4/4/2010 6:24AM

    It saddens me to hear such news---whatmust the poor parents be going through?????Please convey our condolences if you can----I'll try to walk with my friends on that day if possible. emoticon

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NIMI4444IN 4/2/2010 2:04PM

    I'm so sorry to hear abt that....
i know how she must be feeling, may b i hv nt gone through what she's going thru, bt i can surely understand.

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MRE1956 4/2/2010 1:00PM

    I'm sorry to hear about the loss in your circle......I'm planning to do the MoK walk later this's a good cause....

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 4/2/2010 12:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
What sad news to have received as your friend prepares for what will be one of her happiest days. I think it says much about you and your friends that you are walking in honor of Ian. What a great way to pay it forward.

I think you will be just fine. Since the walk is still several weeks away you can build your walking muscles. The weather is turning nice. Now is the time to start heading outside and walking. You can do this!

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SAASHA17 4/2/2010 12:32PM

    I am sorry to hear about that...I might walk too if the date works for me and if the walk is in my area....

and as far as u walking..take it easy and may be u r stronger go ahead and do it..and its for a good cause so god will always be on ur side...

take care

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Weekly report card

Monday, March 29, 2010

Well, last week was definitely a mixed bag as far as healthy living was concerned. I'm still trying to get back on track, and there are still lots of areas with way too much slippage--unacceptable levels of slippage. But I did well or at least better in other areas.

So I have decided to borrow an idea I've seen elsewhere on sparks and give myself a report card of my goals for the week--both to remind myself of what I did right as well as what I did wrong and to hopefully inspire me to do better next week.

Motivational Goals:
* Blog at least twice (preferably uplifting blogs, but really I'm okay if I just blog): emoticon

*Welcome new folk to sparks 3 times a week: emoticon

*Post on someone's spark page or blog at least once a week: emoticon
Heheheh, and then some. It's one of the team goals for the Sparks Leadership Team, but it's not a hard one for me to meet!

*Post on the stress relief forum 4 times a week: emoticon

* Write in my journal every day: emoticon

*Listen to a get-up-and-go song every day: emoticon
Though, really I think I have a lot of get-up-and-goal song lists that I listen to constantly. All my work music--whether that's exercise, household chores, writing, or whatever--is get-up-and-go music. So is that cheating?

*Work on Vision Collage a little every day: Goal NOT met, didn't even look once (may need to rethink how this goal works).

Healthy Living Goals:

*Drink 8 cups of water every day: emoticon
Sometimes it feels like cheating to say "I did this right!" when it's a little thing, but I still don't like drinking water and I've had at least 8 cups of water every day for 341 days. So that has to count for something!

*Get 8 hours of sleep every night: Goal NOT met: got at least 8 hours every day but Sunday.

* Work out for at least 10 minutes at least 5 days a week: Goal NOT met. I worked out for a total of 205 minutes, which isn't too shabby, but didn't quite meet my goal, either.

*Work out for at least 130 minutes every week: Worked out for 205 minutes emoticon

*eat at least one fresh produce every day: Goal NOT met. I just plain forgot on Saturday. I did really well the rest of the week, though.

*Eat within my calorie allotment every day: Goal NOT met. Not even close. I haven’t yet recorded my data for the weekend yet (bad Zannachan) but every other day I was over. I made some healthy food choices—but every day I was either overly hungry and just couldn’t get full, or I caved and had junk food, and a few days I did both. Normally I do a lot better with food than I did this week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAIN454 3/29/2010 6:08PM

    Awesome idea about doing the report card! Loving it!
hey, curious to know..what is one of your "get up and go" songs?!
Also, congrats on 8 glasses of water in 341 days!! That is awesome...on some days, I can do 14-16 easily and then some days I can fall asleep with only having 2 glasses max (on these days, I usually have too much soda...bleh!)

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 3/29/2010 5:24PM

    I'd say you got a passing grade! WooHoo!
Keep up the great work!

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CBOOGS 3/29/2010 7:54AM


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KOMAL53 3/29/2010 4:39AM

    Take a print out of your goals and stick them in such a way that they constantly are in sight----this works with me---this way I don't forget lots of things---and fulfill a minimum of 50% of the targets I set for myself!!!!!Give this a try-----and see if it makes a difference!!!! emoticon

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ILIKET3 3/29/2010 1:07AM

    I really enjoyed your motivational blog. These are great reminders for everyone, including myself. You are an inspiration - keep up the good work!

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And the Numbers Are In!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm really blessed with friends! Thank you all so much for being so supportive--I did not mean to worry you. It's just sometimes I have that annoying little devil--you know the one, the one that sits on your shoulder and whispers "you're not good enough, it's not worth the effort, you're not worth the effort, it's not working...." Most of the time I do pretty well at tuning him out, but somedays it's harder than others. Just because I know that I can do this, that it is worth the effort--*I'm* worth the effort--and that yes baby steps do matter and it is working, that little voice still sometimes gets through and I have my doubts.

And then I have all of you who smack me (kindly) upside the head and said, "don't listen to him! Look at how much progress you've seen already! At how far you've come!" If you are doing the right thing most of the time, a few slips--even fast food (and wow I can't believe how many calories I can get in a fast food meal if I'm not careful--it's like they inject it with extra calories somehow!)--aren't going to undo months of good practices. You haven't failed so long as you don't give up. There is no failure here; there is just life. And life sometimes comes with speed bumps; we just have to roll with them and keep going.

I may not have seen a lot of weight loss--in the last 6 months I've seen a net loss of 1 lb, at most (though at least that means I've lost the weight I put on over the holidays)--and I'd stalled on the cardio (probably overdoing it after I got so sick last fall, which wouldn't surprise anyone who knows me) but I have PROOF that I still have made progress, that this healthy lifestyle thing is making a difference.

I just got the results from my yearly bloodwork for my physical, and everything--EVERYTHING--is within acceptable boundaries--blood sugar, salts, protein, liver enzymes, thyroid, etc. My blood pressure at the time was a little higher than I'd like, but still within the healthy range (I can't remember the numbers now, but it was something like 124/80). But best of all, my overall cholesterol was down significantly. My HDLs were still not high enough, but much higher, and my LDL and triglycerides were all a little higher than ideal but lower than they used to be. Whoo hoo! Take THAT, little devil!

I come from a family with a history of high cholesterol, despite careful, low fat diets. Even though I have never had high cholesterol myself, I had the same pattern of too high "bad" cholesterol and ridiculously low "good" cholesterol, which to me at least was a concern. I never want it to reach a point where the only way to manage my cholesterol is with pills, or, worse, to have a heart attack or a stroke because my arteries are clogged. So I'm very pleased to see progress there, and healthy numbers all around.

emoticon: 0

emoticon: 1

*Happy dance*

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KOMAL53 3/27/2010 8:08AM

    Told you----it's how you feel inside--the healthier feeling is the real thing---baby steps are best---WOOHOO!!!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 3/25/2010 4:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I am so happy that you are seeing good results from your new lifestyle even if it's not on the scale. I go for my physical next week. We'll see if I have as good of results. I am so proud of you and the changes you have made in your life.

You inspire me with your courage and honesty. Without you here the site would be missing something really special for me. I hope that your cholesterol continues to move in the right direction. Hey, 1 lb is nothing to be sorry about or ashamed of. You are still down that 1 lb. I know you've probably read the story of the 1 lb that is happy because nobody wants to lose just 1 lb. Well each 1 lb adds up, even if it is slower than others. We compare ourselves to our friends and others on the site. In the same amount of time I lost 3 lbs another friend has lost over 100. If I were to compare myself to her I would have to quit.

Do you know how she did it? She exercises several hours a day and measures everything she eats (including meals dining out). I am not ready or even able to commit to that kind of lifestyle change. So I will continue to creep towards my goal in comparison. I will play the tortoise and keep my eye on my own prize. As long as I/we are moving we are winning the overall war.

I may have lost the battle, but not the war. (As Chris said in The Spark.) Never give up, never surrender! Make each decision the best one possible!

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MCJULIEO 3/25/2010 4:20PM

    That just lifted my heart!
Happy Dance for You!

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NIMI4444IN 3/25/2010 4:09PM

    See ur baby steps r starting to bear fruit. i'm very happy for u.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Lots of emoticon

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SAASHA17 3/25/2010 3:09PM

    Hey Zanna..


R>*did a lil jig for ya*....ooh my

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sometimes I feel like I'm some how a fraud, that I'm not living up to the promise of the healthy lifestyle--especially the last few weeks. This week I've sort of gotten back on track with the fitness. I went to the fitness center on Monday and did 30 minutes on the treadmill (apparently WAY overdoing things, oops) and then 40 minutes of strength training. Tuesday I went back and did another 30 minutes on the treadmill (which went a lot better, by the way. I still need to play around with the settings to find the optimal one for my pace, as I'm not sure the work out was quite intense enough, but I didn't feel like a wet noodle when I was done, either). Today I was supposed to do 30 minutes of treadmill and 40 of strength training, and I just couldn't make myself do that. I ended up doing about 25 minutes of my Bollywood dance cardio instead and am wrestling with the feeling that I somehow cheated.

On the upside, the Bollywood dance cardio is a serious workout for my thighs especially--it's a fun work out but leaves my thighs burning, and that's with me skipping the hopping maneuvers which I'm still not allowed to do. So it feels a lot more intense than the treadmill, though I don't know how it compares in terms of calories burned. Still, I didn't strength train.

Even that wouldn't be so bad except that I've also been way off on the food this week, too. Ironically, when I wasn't working out, I did really well on food--I ate within my calorie limits, I had fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains, etc. I start hauling myself back onto the exercise wagon, intending to work out at least 5 days a week instead of 2, and suddenly I'm hungry All. Day. And making unhealthy food choices--I got into cookies, and chips, and candy. Today I caved in and got Taco Bell, which I've been craving for awhile now--and ended up eating 2,500 calories today as a result (that's really easy to do whenever I eat fast food, unfortunately).

. emoticon :2, Zanna: 0

It was my decision. I knew it was going to be unhealthy and I did it anyway because I wanted tacos and I didn't want the healthier option. And I think, in the long run, I can live with that decision, just as I can live, even if I'm not entirely happy with it, that the fact that I was hungry Monday and Tuesday meant I ended up eating more than my calorie budget. I am working with accepting the fact that I'm not perfect and I still am balancing my craving for sweet, salty, and fatty foods (though usually not all at once like this week) against being healthy. Once I get more used to working out regularly again, I'm hoping that my appetite etc. will get more manageable again. Getting my routine solid will help, too. Working on that.

I have this negative, nagging voice in my head that keeps telling me "you're just fooling yourself. You aren't making a difference. You aren't good enough. Who are you to give advice or support or even claim to be making a difference in your life? You had Archway cookies this week. Today you had Taco Bell and skipped your strength training." I feel like a fraud because I read about people who ban trans fats (guilty, this week--I had 2 archway cookies, at 1 gram of trans fat each) and I don't eat a lot of trans fats but they aren't banned, either. I read about people who have cut soda from their diet and I still drink about one can of sugared soft drink a day--lately I'm trying to cut back again from 2. I read about people who don't eat processed foods, which I'm definitely guilty of. I read about people who eat only whole grains, while I still eat a lot of refined grains. I only do about 30 minutes of cardio a day on average, with 40 minutes of strength training 3 times a week (at most, seeing as I skipped today), and I know lots of people who routinely do an hour or more. And so forth.

But you know what, I'm not a fraud. I'm not fooling myself. So I skipped strength training--I still did what was, for me, a demanding cardio workout. I may have had Taco Bell, but I still had whole grains and fresh fruit and drank my water and so forth. It wasn't perfect, but it was still better than it might have been. I'm making a difference.

Nextyear posted a quote in her blog from a man who first ran a marathon in his 60's--when asked how he did it, he said "Start slow, and gradually slow down." His argument is that most would-be marathon runners start out really enthusiastic and then quit because it's too much. The trick is to pace yourself so that you don't burn out.

Well, I think that's what I'm doing. Pacing myself. So white flour isn't banned from my house--I'm still eating more whole wheat than I used to. I've even found some whole wheat foods I like, though I still find plenty I don't (the whole wheat crackers I had for my snack today, for example, I won't be buying again. Bleah). I'm drinking more water, drinking less soda, and eating more fruits and vegetables--even on the days when I made other, less healthy choices. I never stopped working out, just slowed down, and now I'm working at being more consistent again. It's been slow, with a lot of trial and error, but baby steps do make a difference.

But I'm not a fraud, so long as I'm upfront about it, right? I'm not perfect, folks. I sometimes make unhealthy food choices. I sometimes skip work outs. I'm losing weight, but very slowly, and I'm struggling to find my balance between healthy and not feeling punished, deprived, or just having it just take up so much time it's not sustainable, and sometimes I slip and even backslide. But I'm still plowing ahead, working on those two steps forward for every step back. And from what I've read, that counts a lot. I have made real progress and maybe I slip up sometimes, but I'm still doing better and living healthier than I was before I started on this journey.

I just need to remind myself that this isn't a competition--it doesn't matter that one person I know eats no refined flour or another person eats twice as many vegetables or that another person runs/walks 40 miles every week. I'm doing this for me; what matters is that I'm doing the best I can within my limits for a healthier, fitter me. And that includes accepting that I won't always make unhealthy choices--what matters is that I make healthy choices more often than not.

But I do hope that I manage both food and exercise better tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 3/25/2010 4:15PM

    Right there with ya and you are soooo not a fraud. You are my friend and you shouldn't talk about her that way!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 3/25/2010 6:54AM

    I've been feeling the SAME way lately!
I've realllly slacked off the past 5 days (which I blame on 1) the gray weather and 2) this "I'm plateaued so what does it hurt to eat more/not workout anyway) and I feel like such. a. fraud.
Hate it! But you know what? Being healthy is about making really good/healthy choices 80% of the time. This is what I've realized. Because I"ve been 'perfect' 100% of the time in the past and I was a miserable, miserable girl.

I am so proud of you and always inspired by you. So don't feel like a fraud because I seriously don't know where I'd be w/out you!!


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KOMAL53 3/25/2010 5:35AM

    Know something????Loosen up---you're still young---these are goals you've set for yourself not deadlines that you've to meet----don't become so deadly serious about this!!!What's with you young folks today----just learn to have a little fun---eating a few things here and there is OKAY----nothing works---specially a Diet----which is not elastic.Learn to relax and sit back a little----you'll find you're enjoying yourself again and Life is less of a pain again!!!
Guess that's the Mom in me to the fore again---you remind me a lot of my Sayali!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHASINGTHENOW 3/25/2010 1:34AM

    Doing your best doesn't make you a fraud. The key is stop comparing yourself to others. If you want to start cutting out trans fats and sodas then by all means please do so, but if that's not where it's at for you then shake it off! :)

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NIMI4444IN 3/25/2010 1:13AM

    U r not at all a fraud n dnt forget no 1's perfect we all go through these phases. important thing is u kno it n change accordingly. smtimes its ok to give in to ur carvings but ensure u take it in small quantities. we cant stop eating comfort foods completely, so try to take them in moderation when u want.

I'm sure u'l do fine with ur target n achieve them. think positive n follow your plans. we all r here for u too.

Luv & emoticon


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SAASHA17 3/25/2010 12:42AM

    hey r not a fraud buddy!!in the few months i have known u..u have come a long way....u had soda every single day...

well its not easy trying to ban foods out of ur life...and its ok....ur not living in a gets in the way..u dnt have to be perfect....but slow prgress is good enough..

so NO u r not a fraud.....ur doing so good...taco bell is fine once in a while....

take care

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SPARKGIRL32 3/25/2010 12:27AM

    It doesn't matter what you are doing--as long as you are doing something! Chances are if you don't like what you are aren't going to do it for a long period of time! If you are doing something you like (like an exercise video) most likely will continue to do it!! Good luck :)

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Tired but Succesful

Monday, March 22, 2010

Well, I went to the gym. I came very close to not going, I confess. I really didn't want to go. I could go tomorrow, my inner brat said (to borrow the term from 41HealthyCindy); I'm tired. But really I just really, really, really didn't want to go. But I made myself go anyway.

I did 30 minutes walking on the treadmill, including about 5 minutes of warm up and 5 minutes of cool down. I have never used the treadmill before, but I'd read that you should raise the incline and even though I was aiming for a more relaxed workout (so that I wasn't over doing it) I still wanted it to be a decent work out, so I set the incline at 9 and the speed alternating between 2.5 and 3.0, trying to find a comfortable but brisk walking pace. But 2.5 didn't seem quite enough and 3.0 seemed to be too much, because my heart rate hit 180 and I was exhausted before I was half through, even though I wasn't actually breathing all that hard. So I'm a bit confused. I guess I need to experiment with it some more. I also wasn't sure how to enter it into sparks--there all sorts of things like percent incline and how many minutes a mile you go and stuff--but I'm not sure how level 9 translates into % incline. I did 1.3 miles, which wasn't great, but is better than having spent the afternoon on my couch.

I feel ridiculously out of shape for someone who's been working out regularly for over a year. emoticon

Then I did strength training, a mix of some new exercises (because I thought it a good time to mix things up) and some old ones. That part went okay.

And, hey, I went to the gym. I really didn't want to but I did anyway and that has to count for something.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KOMAL53 3/23/2010 4:43AM

    Are you mad??????Treat your body with respect as well as love----don't take unnecessary risks---please!!!!Take it from one who has truly suffered---better to be safe than sorry!!! emoticon emoticon

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 3/22/2010 6:21PM

Are you nuts? Putting the incline on level 9 which is like the high end? The first time on a treadmill? No wonder you were exhausted. I can't even do a level 9 incline. Level 1 is a low incline, I think level 9 is about a 45% angle (off the top of my head). OK, now then here is what I do on the treadmill. First I warm up on an level incline. Then I start doing intervals. Playing with speed and incline levels, some of them level for a break. I have never reached an incline higher than level 3 and thought I was doing great.

I wouldn't worry about the incline and getting a good workout until you can easily do the walking at a 0 level incline. I never worried about it until I felt I wasn't being challenged by my walks on the treadmill. I wouldn't want you to re-injure your hip by trying to do more of an incline than you can comfortably do.

Try the treadmill at 0 - 2 to start. No wonder you are so wiped out after a workout. You are probably in better shape than you know. Most people I know don't use the treadmill at level 9 except as an interval.

Feel more energized soon!

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SAASHA17 3/22/2010 5:16PM

    U worked out..yay U/...

So listen this is wat i do on the treadmill..I go on incline 6-7 and maintain 2.7...or go on 3 and go really mom taught me that...incline like 11-12 and speed huigher, so its easier...

but dnt do too much of it, as it may hurt ur knees...

I am thinking of getting those shape ups from skechers but they r expensive ..they r supposed to help u tone..lets see..

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