CANNONSMC's SparkPeople Blog CANNONSMC's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Competing with myself In 2011, I exercised 12275 minutes. Last year, I got serious again, and in 2016, I exercised 12406 minutes. My goal this year has been 12960 minutes; however, October was a low month for exercise, and I had to make up some minutes in November. I'm at 12030 minutes for the year today. 930 more minutes to go to reach my goal for the year. It's possible but will take some commitment on my part. <BR> <BR> I'm happy that I'm showing a two-year streak for exercising consistency, and I have no do... Tue, 12 Dec 2017 07:46:17 EST Tracking food: Are you getting your diet? I actually am a pretty healthy eater. In the past couple of years, losing weight has been slow. I have felt like I know what to eat, and I've wanted to be able to eat without a constant counting of calories. Dieting can feel restrictive--and they always say being healthy is about a lifestyle change. <BR> <BR> Our daughter, who has been vegan for a couple of years, was home for the summer. My husband and I decided we'd eat a plant-based diet at home with her. My husband continued to eat Greek... Mon, 25 Sep 2017 18:27:19 EST Exercise is my secret While reducing calories is the key to weight loss, I've realized for some time that I make more thoughtful decisions about what I eat when I'm in an exercise routine. Whenever I stop keeping track of exercise, I tend to gain weight because I begin to think less about what I eat. Therefore, I primarily use exercise to keep my weight in check. <BR> <BR> I rarely track calories, but I track exercise every day. I know what is healthy to eat, and I know about how many calories different foods hav... Tue, 23 May 2017 14:43:44 EST Exercising with an injury Two years ago I got an injury in April, and it derailed me. I stopped exercising and didn't really get back into it the rest of the year. That lack of exercise resulted in my gaining back some weight. In January 2016, I started over, and I've kept up the exercise. In the middle of April this year, a trip on the stairs in high heels resulted in two minor ankle sprains. I knew what could happen with exercise if I didn't come up with a plan. <BR> <BR> My solution for continuing exercise was to ... Sun, 30 Apr 2017 13:10:12 EST Exercising with a Minor Injury I ended up with two minor sprains in my ankles this week--sorry to admit that it was an injury related to tripping while wearing high heels. Flats are back! <BR> <BR> I can walk slowly (no need for crutches) but can't do impact cardio. Here's how I'm keeping up with my exercise right now. I'm doing Coach Nicole's seated cardio routine (video here at Sparkpeople) and other seated exercises. Coach Nicole has seated arm and core exercises as a well as a six-minute butt exercise that I can do. F... Sat, 15 Apr 2017 08:43:07 EST Walking and Dancing to the Tunes I walk to Leslie Sansone videos on YouTube a lot. But I know those walk-at-home moves. So today for my cardio, I went to YouTube and played a lot of fast beats and did those walk-at-home moves to some pop and rock oldies: <BR> <BR> Stayin' Alive <BR> Born to Run <BR> Go Your Own Way <BR> Walking on Sunshine <BR> Shake it Off <BR> Twist and Shout <BR> Born This Way <BR> Wake Me Up Before You Go Go <BR> Take On Me <BR> We Will Rock You <BR> More Than a Feeling <BR> <BR> Make your own list and... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:47:20 EST In like a lion While my cold and sinus issues in January derailed exercise that month, I got back to it in February and logged 1000 exercise minutes. <BR> <BR> Hope to be in like a lion during March! Sat, 4 Mar 2017 20:25:10 EST Got derailed a bit I ended up with a bad cold in January and took time off from exercising. Now that I'm well, I'm having a hard time getting back to it! I'm starting again today. Sat, 4 Feb 2017 11:33:43 EST Making Goals for 2017 In 2011--my previous best year for tracking exercise--I exercised for 12275 minutes. In 2016, I exercised for 12406 minutes. Both years, my goal was to reach 12000 (250 minutes per week/1000 minutes per month). <BR> <BR> For 2017, I'm increasing the goal by moving up to 270 minutes per week--which comes out to 1080 minutes per month and 12960 for the year. Ultimately, I want to show 13000 exercise minutes for the year. <BR> <BR> This increase looks reasonable and attainable. Essentially, j... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 10:25:04 EST Beating Goals I'm at 12362 exercise minutes for the year--so far. That number beats my previous year-end record. I'm at 1200 minutes this month and going for at least 1250 minutes for the month. If I go past that number, I'll beat my record from November. I find that setting goals and competing with myself is the best way to keep increasing my fitness. Wed, 28 Dec 2016 08:11:59 EST Reached year-end goal My original goal for the year was to exercise 12000 minutes--averaging 1000 per month. I exceeded that goal today! <BR> <BR> Now, I'm ready to beat my 2011 record of 12275 minutes. Only 248 exercise minutes to go this month! <BR> <BR> And--I'd love to also have another month of 1250 exercise minutes! Tue, 20 Dec 2016 10:30:06 EST Learning from History I don't want to look backwards to fill myself with regret. However, we can always learn from the past. I don't take weight off as easily as I used to--let's just call it the slower metabolism that seems to occur after menopause. I was at a good weight in spring 2015--where I am now. I tripped and messed up an ankle and fell off the exercise wagon. By last Christmas 2015, I was 10 pounds heavier than I was in April 2015. <BR> <BR> In January 2016, I decided to take that weight back to the Apr... Fri, 2 Dec 2016 07:55:50 EST New Goal for December I joined SparkPeople back in January 2011 and had an amazing year of exercise. I set a goal of 12000 exercise minutes for the year and reached 12275. This year has been my best exercise year since then. I began to get serious about exercise again in January 2016. I set another goal to reach 12000 minutes, which I'm close to achieving. However, I want to push myself a little harder this month and match or exceed what I reached in 2011. That means I plan on 1113 exercise minutes in December. I ... Tue, 29 Nov 2016 10:27:33 EST Post-Turkey Exercise Challenge Not too late to join me! I have a goal to get in 250 exercise minutes between now and the end of the month. (Previous Blog Post) <BR> <BR> I did eat too much at lunch yesterday and then had the sense to skip the pie before I was really miserable. Then I decided to look for some good suggestions for how to recover from a big meal. I took a leisurely 20 minute walk outside yesterday afternoon. Then because my daughter was so anxious to put up the Christmas tree, I made several trips up and dow... Fri, 25 Nov 2016 11:09:52 EST Invitation to Turkey Exercise Challenge Tomorrow on Thanksgiving, I'm going to exercise at least 52 minutes because if I do, I'll hit my 1000 minutes of exercise for the month. <BR> <BR> Things get dangerous in food land tomorrow but studies show continuing with exercise during holiday eating can help ward off weight gain. So I'm inviting you on my challenge. <BR> <BR> I have never hit 1250 exercise minutes before on SparkPeople; however, I'm going to do it this month! After, I hit 1000 minutes tomorrow, I'll have 6 days to accu... Wed, 23 Nov 2016 10:51:41 EST 85% completed towards my yearly exercise goal! For the past several months, I've maintained my weight by simply continuing with the exercise plans I put into place earlier this year. The weight loss from earlier in the year related to putting on weight last fall--and this fall I haven't gained weight, which is wonderful because the holiday seasons of the fall have always been tough for me. I made it through Halloween--this month I want to keep my eating in check at Thanksgiving. And I still want to lose a couple of pounds before Christma... Sun, 6 Nov 2016 10:17:57 EST Good bloodwork results! In December, I had good bloodwork except that the results once again showed my thyroid to be underactive. The doctor asked me to get these results rechecked in about six months. So last week I had them check my thyroid levels again--and they were in the normal range. I've been eating healthy and exercising regularly since January. I'd like to think these good habits are effecting my thyroid in a positive way. <BR> <BR> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:42:36 EST Love those SparkPeople trophies! The most valuable part of SparkPeople for me is inspiration to exercise. I have a job that involves a lot of grading at the computer, and I love sedentary activities like reading. I don't feel like I have a lot of free time--so exercising often gets put at the bottom of the list when I'm busy. Also, I've never been particularly athletic or competitive about sports. (However, if you play a board game with me, I'm brutal.) <BR> <BR> In order to get some activity in, I have a number of strate... Sat, 18 Jun 2016 10:03:00 EST Starting January Jumpstart in May! I just finished the SparkPeople Spring into Shape Bootcamp and finished the 28-day Bootcamp before that one. It's not January, but I'm looking for the next challenge--so for the upcoming month I'll be in the January Jumpstart challenge. You may have to use your search engine to find these 28-day challenges on Sparkpeople. They help keep me focused on exercising goals. Fri, 6 May 2016 08:05:54 EST Try the SparkPeople Bootcamps I don't think they advertise them much anymore, but I've always like the SparkPeople bootcamps. You might have to use a search engine on SparkPeople to find them. The bootcamps are essentially 28-day exercise programs that encourage you to get in at least five days of 30-minute aerobic activity sessions each week and 7 days each week of short SparkPeople strength-training videos. At the end of 28 days, you earn a SparkPeople trophy. Participating in these bootcamps helps me get in more exerci... Sun, 10 Apr 2016 10:36:05 EST Exercising at least 10 minutes every day: Such a good strategy! Most of us live such busy lives that we tell ourselves we don't have time to exercise. I fall back on that excuse myself. So when I realize the needle on the scale is going in the wrong direction, I find the best way to get back into the habit of exercising is do it the SparkPeople way and exercise at least 10 minutes per day. <BR> <BR> This strategy has worked very well for me this year--I've been taking this approach for about a month and a half now. Most mornings before showering and hea... Tue, 8 Mar 2016 07:22:11 EST Could your thyroid be behind your trouble losing weight? For a long time, I've known that weight does not come off easily for me. In December, a blood test showed my thyroid to be underactive. Now I have an explanation for cold extremities and why it takes a lot of time for me to lose even a half pound. My doctor is going to check my tests in another five months, and I've been wondering if proper nutrition might help. I've learned that it could help. Here's the video post I came across today:<BR>/ <BR> <... Sat, 13 Feb 2016 08:47:52 EST Never quite got back on track...until now Once I got off crutches, I never quite got back on track with exercising. Somewhere back around June I did lose a few more pounds. However, when the fall hit, I got off track with stress-eating and by January 1, I had gained 10 pounds. So in January, I began to get exercise again--almost made it to 500 minutes of exercise in January. I'm back! And I've lost two of those ten pounds I gained last fall. <BR> <BR> Regarding eating, my daughter decided to eat vegan on January 1 and has stuck with... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 07:32:35 EST Back again--off of crutches It's been four weeks today since the fall that put me on crutches. Two weeks ago I began walking slowly without crutches. One week ago, I noticed that I can walk pretty close to my old pace. I'm careful on stairs and not great about squatting low and getting up again. However, I'm much better! They say it takes about six weeks for a sprained muscle to heal. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, my daughter and I joined a health club that's really reasonable. $29 annual fee and $10 per month. What a fantastic... Sun, 26 Apr 2015 12:36:09 EST On crutches--doing seated exercises The good news is that although the fall I had on this past Sunday hurt my right knee, I can get by with one crutch and put weight on that leg. I just walk very slowly. After resting quite a bit this week, I realized I hadn't exercised since Sunday--I had simply been walking up and down the hallway from my office to my classroom using that crutch. So today, I exercised to two different Coach Nicole seated videos--one for arms and one for abs. <BR> <BR> I figure this type exercise is better t... Fri, 3 Apr 2015 14:00:53 EST New Challenge: On Crutches This morning I completed my two SparkPeople challenges: Spring Into Shape and the 10 minutes of Exercise a Day. It's crazy, but I indicated my completion of these challenges from the emergency room on my iPhone while I was waiting and waiting for X-ray results. <BR> <BR> Here's what happened: I tripped while literally finishing up an outdoor 45-minute walk this morning. Anyway, the short of it is that the X-rays show no fracture or serious damage; however, I can't put weight on my right leg... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:37:23 EST Back on track One of the cool things about coming back to SparkPeople is that I have a record of my exercise for the past several years. January 2011 is when I joined, and I did great. Starting that month I logged about 1000 hours of exercise almost every month through January 2012. In February 2012, I was off to a good start--and then we decided to sell the house and move across the country. At first, it wasn't too bad because I was busy cleaning, painting, and getting rid of stuff. I wasn't logging exer... Fri, 27 Mar 2015 20:23:44 EST Walk the dogs at your local animal shelter Even when I'm not doing as well with exercise, one thing keeps me walking once a week. I'm a volunteer who walks dogs at my local animal shelter. My daughter and I go every Saturday morning. A number of people I know had no idea that animal shelters often have volunteers to help keep the animals active and socialized. So even if you don't have a dog, consider volunteering. You and these animals will benefit from the exercise. Some people are afraid they'll be too sad helping these homeless a... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 08:34:52 EST Spring in my step The weather is great--hope the cold winter is over. I've been consistently exercising since mid-January and now am into 10-day streak of exercising at least 10 minutes a day. <BR> <BR> I've joined a couple of SparkPeople challenges and am eating really healthy. <BR> <BR> Today, I feel more energetic than I have in a while. I don't think it's just the weather--it's also how good I feel about sticking to my goals! And maybe my body just feels better, too! Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:27:03 EST Taking the green fruit and veggie challenge I liked the blog that invited us to take the St. Patrick's Day 5 green fruits and veggies a day challenge. Off to the grocery store to buy: <BR> Broccoli, Spinach, Avocado, asparagus, peas, kale, zucchini, green apples, lettuce, brussel sprouts, pears, kiwi, grapes, and limes. <BR> <BR> Take the five-day challenge with me, and we can give each other Spark Goodies for each day we complete the challenge! Sun, 8 Mar 2015 11:06:26 EST Tigger is bouncing Glad to report I've been exercising regularly for the past six weeks. Bounce! <BR> <BR> In the fall, I attended a weekly nutrition session at work--that weekly reminder helped keep me from getting back into bad eating habits and from gaining back weight that I lost late last summer. I just didn't do much with exercise and only lost a couple of pounds that I regained during the holidays. <BR> <BR> Since mid-January, I've been going to a center where I work out for an hour in a small group (... Tue, 3 Mar 2015 19:53:28 EST Maintaining and back to lose more I lost 12 pounds last summer by early September. By the end of the fall, I lost three more pounds, but gained those three pounds back. Still, I can say that I haven't gained back the original 12 pounds lost in the summer. I was in a bit of a "maintenance" period during the fall. My main goal was to avoid gaining those 12 pounds back. I attended a weekly "Eat Smart, Move Less" program at work in the fall, which helped me at least stay in a maintenance mode. In mid-January, I joined a fitness p... Sat, 7 Feb 2015 10:13:32 EST Eat less and move more Happy to be down 11 pounds since I began weight loss on July 7. I suppose today is my two-month anniversary for changing my eating habits. <BR> <BR> As I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm getting excited about clothes again. And I find that as I pay more attention to dressing in an attractive way that I'm more motivated to lose more. I can now wear some of my pants from a year ago without a muffin top! Losing 11 pounds has made a difference! Also, I read online that my "apple" tummy w... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 08:53:45 EST Slow and steady wins the race Another pound came off this week. That means I've met my first ten pound of weight loss. <BR> <BR> I still need to do better with incorporating exercise into my routine; however, I'm doing better with being active in general--taking stairs instead of elevators... <BR> <BR> I'm moving in the right direction. Next goal--keep up my will power so that I can take off another ten! Mon, 1 Sep 2014 09:02:26 EST Doing better with exercise I got back into SparkPeople last Monday. I've been working to take some weight off (notice that I didn't say "dieting") for about a month and a half. I didn't lose any additional weight this week, but I did improve my exercising. It's not particularly rigorous, but I did join the "10-minute challenge" to make sure I'm exercising at least 10 minutes every day. Some days I did some of Coach Nicole's strength-training; three other days I walked dogs at our local animal shelter as a volunteer. <... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 08:19:20 EST Time to shape up I made a not so successful try at getting back in shape in January of this year. Once my classes began again I stopped eating well and exercising. I gained back the four pounds I lost that month and even gained two more. Five weeks ago, I convinced my husband to lose weight with me. He needs to take off weight more than I do. I've lost eight pounds, and he's lost 27. I didn't blog about it because I hate saying I'll do something and then not follow through. It really helps that we're losing ... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 08:23:51 EST Half Empty or Half Full I'm doing the 28-day Bootcamp Challenge that I've successfully completed in the past. First two weeks went great; last week was marginal. I continued to track food and I did exercise but did fall short of the Challenge goals for the week. I didn't actually exercise at all on three days last week. I tried to make up for some of the loss yesterday and am caught up and back on track with the videos. I'm still behind on what I wanted to do with cardio. No weight loss--but also no weight gain... Mon, 27 Jan 2014 10:00:40 EST Halfway to my challenge trophy When I tried SparkPeople the first time, the exercise challenges were one of the biggest things that helped me. Usually, it's hard for me not to finish something I begin publicly. The goals and videos make completion so concrete; therefore, it's harder for me to talk myself out of exercising. <BR> <BR> I'm 15 days into this exercise challenge, and I've exercised a minimum of 30 minutes per day and an average of 40 minutes per day. I have a 30-minute indoor walking routine that I'm doing ... Sun, 19 Jan 2014 13:04:40 EST Lost another pound--putting it into perspective Last night I was thinking: "Well, I'm exercising and eating better--I'm surprised I haven't lost another pound by now." Well, the good news is that when I got on the scale this morning I had lost another pound. <BR> <BR> However, my next thought last night was: "I gained about a pound per month over the past two years--maybe I should be happy to lose a pound per month over the next two years." <BR> <BR> Happy to say I'm losing and not gaining! Thu, 16 Jan 2014 07:39:40 EST Love those trophies I completed week one of the bootcamp challenge. Having done these SparkPeople challenges to lose weight and get in shape a couple of years ago, I felt like I was reconnecting with an old friend. And I got one of those email trophies for exceeding 250 minutes of exercise. When you're at the beginning of losing weight, like I am again this time, those little trophies can keep you motivated until you begin to see actual results. That's why I came back to SparkPeople: the videos, the recipes, ... Sat, 11 Jan 2014 16:27:05 EST Almost fell off the wagon today--thanks for the support! This morning I didn't exercise because I needed to spend the early part of the morning preparing a training presentation for some colleagues. I figured I'd exercise after work instead. So how did they thank me? A gift bag of three kinds of chocolate from a really good gourmet store: truffles, homemade dark chocolate toffee, dark chocolate covered fruit. So there was the temptation before me. I did eat some. One truffle--the best I've ever had--and some of the chocolate covered dried fru... Thu, 9 Jan 2014 21:02:13 EST Moving in the right direction So I've tracked my food and eaten healthy (lots of fruits and veggies) for four days, and I've exercised at least 30 minutes every day. I've stayed away from sweet treats. Result: I lost 1.5 lbs in four days. Hurray! Thu, 9 Jan 2014 07:43:05 EST Taming my sweet tooth When I was pregnant with our daughter 16 years ago, I actually gave up sugar starting with the second trimester. I had had terrible morning sickness during the first trimester, and given that I was older having my first (and only) child, I wanted her to be a healthy baby, so I approached the rest of my pregnancy with a very healthy diet. I probably ate healthier during those six months than I ever have. Sweet treats can be my downfall--so yesterday I grazed on blueberries instead of sweet t... Mon, 6 Jan 2014 08:44:46 EST Food So many of us have a difficult relationship with food. I'm not sure that I eat all that much--but being short means I don't have a lot of room for extra calories. I can gain weight so easily. Exercise and monitoring what I eat has always helped me get back on track.I eat for comfort when I'm bored or stressed. Today I completed two workout challenges. And so far--my eating is on track today! Sun, 5 Jan 2014 11:41:52 EST I'm back We moved. I got detrailed. I'm back to January 2011 weight. I'm back. Looking forward to progress in 2014. Tue, 31 Dec 2013 12:53:44 EST Back on Track I got a bit derailed a week ago. Had a business trip, lots of grading, etc. I exercised a little but really wasn't watching my eating (consumed more Valentines temptations than I should have). And I gained a couple of pounds. For me maintenance is really going to involve this continued monitoring of food and exercise. So I guess I took a week off, paid the price, and am now back on track. Fri, 17 Feb 2012 08:58:16 EST Success Model I love the book "Made to Stick" by Chip and Dan Heath as well as their more recent book "Switch." Both books essentially give ideas for how to get people to remember your ideas and to get people to change. <BR> <BR> The first book uses the SUCCESs model: <BR> S = Simple <BR> U = Unexpected <BR> C = Concrete <BR> C = Credible <BR> E = Emotion <BR> S = Stories <BR> s = no entry for this "S" so I think of this one as "So what?" <BR> <BR> I think this model can be used to help people lose weig... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 12:26:08 EST Varying the exercise routine I've enjoyed the January Jumpstart Challenge. Using the new challenge videos and checking out new cardio videos at the library have helped me mix up my exercise routine. As a result I've lost another pound. While I'm in maintenance I wouldn't mind losing a few more pounds. It would be amazing to get closer to what I weighed before our daughter was born! Sat, 14 Jan 2012 04:29:46 EST Weigh-ins: good or bad? I see lots of advice on SparkPeople about the pros and cons of weighing. And I know weight can fluctuate. I had been discouraged about a couple of pounds that I had put on about a week ago--and those pounds remained until yesterday when they were gone. <BR> <BR> I realize that I sometimes put too much emphasis on the scale. The reason I weigh most days is because in the past when I've gained back weight it's because I've stopped getting on the scale. I've let myself lose track and let th... Sat, 7 Jan 2012 11:28:48 EST Ringing in a Healthy New Year! A year ago today I went to my brother's New Year's Eve party. The next day we flew home; I stepped on the scale and had added a couple of pounds of holiday weight. Given that I was already at my all-time high weight, I knew I had to do something and went with the old-fashioned New Year's resolution. <BR> <BR> So on January 2, I began watching what I ate and exercising. An email reminded me that I had joined SparkPeople months earlier (doing nothing with it but reading an occasional arti... Sat, 31 Dec 2011 08:57:15 EST