Friday, February 15, 2013
Off SparkPeople, a group I'm in has been doing a 28-day "Jump Start Bingo" challenge in February. Each day, we can make our own decision to tackle one of 28 "Bingo squares." So far, I've selected the following Bingo squares:
2-1-13 - Journal your food on a Friday (easy, I track every day on SP)
2-2-13 - Take your vitamins (again easy, I do every day)
2-3-13 - Schedule your realistic workout schedule on your planner for the next 7 days and stick to it. Send to Nancy to monitor progress. Okay, this one took a load more thought and planning. Fortunately, the 28-day Bootcamp and the 5K Your Way here on SP gave me some ideas on what to use for my plan.
2-4-13 - Did 45 min of Cardio. Yah! Went on a nice hike with HIKERBECKY.
2-5-13 - Try a new workout. Found a resistance bands video here on SP. Fun!
2-6-13 - Make a meal at home, share recipe & photo. Not only made a meal at home, created a new recipe for Acorn Squash Stew in my slow cooker. Even blogged about it (smile).
2-7-13 - Include Protein in each meal today. Hmmm, my snacks are usually just fruit. This took some planning. I ended up struggling to maintain the 5-7 fruits and veggies (though I did!) and ended up with too many fat calories by the end of the day, though I stayed in range overall.
2-8-13 - Refer a friend to a fitness newsletter. (easy, referred two)
2-9-13 - Give up a high calorie food item today. (This was a huge win and eye opener for me. Opening day of the Renaissance Festival. I always start my days out there by getting a coffee and usually stop at the pastry shop next door for a treat, which is often a "sticky bun." Oh, how I wanted that sticky bun, but I didn't fall for it. Got home and discovered that a sticky bun is 688 calories! Don't know if I'll ever be able to eat one again! So not only did this "Bingo" choice save me from a huge calorie gaffe on the 9th, it left me with a lasting lesson.)
2-10-13 - Journal your food on a Sunday. (easy, always track on SP)
2-11-13 - Reduce total sugars to 20g or less today. (Oh this was very difficult! Just one itty bitty apple has about 10g of sugars. I ate no fruit on this day and I really missed it. I fought cravings all day long. Still, it was important to me to keep this commitment and it was only for one day - thank goodness!) At the end of the day, my total sugars were at 15.9 grams. This is not a choice I'd care to make on a regular basis.
2-12-13 - Perform 10 squats every hour today. This was not as hard as I expected it to be. Actually did this almost every hour I was awake, for a total of 140 squats. I knew it would make me sore, so I spent 30 minutes on stretching, then took an epsom salts bath. Still, had to reschedule my 5K run/walk training back a day to let the legs recover. It was empowering to realize I could do this - it had seemed so HUGE!
2-13-13 - Convert a high calorie recipe to lower calorie. Did this! Blogged about it here on SP. Since I do not believe in deprivation, even when dieting, I made over a brownie recipe and cut the calories and fat by well over 50%.
2-14-13 - Eat at least 20 grams of fiber. Yep, this is easy for me, the vegetarian, high fiber gal. :D
2-15-13 - Burn at least 300 calories exercising. This is a wonderful lesson! Most people do not realize how much it really takes to burn calories in exercising (and although I knew it would take a lot of work, I didn't know how much, either). I went with SparkPeople's exercise tracker as my measurement tool. 5K Your Way workout (walk 3/run 2 for 30 minutes) burned 99. Uh-oh, that's a lot of work for 99 calories! Took three walks at work, two short and one long, then took the hounds on a very long walk after work. Add in two stretching sessions and my strength training and 127 exercise minutes later, I've burned 307 calories. This is definitely not something I can fit into every day!
So far, this February "Jump Start Bingo" challenge has been fun, with some challenging days and some easier days. I've learned a lot about myself, how my body works, and what it takes to actually accomplish certain goals relating to nutrition and fitness. It is a wonderful experience, learning more about myself and having a new challenge to choose every morning. I'm going to miss this "game" when February is over!