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September Wrap-Up Review

Sunday, October 02, 2011

I'm sorry I have been a little absentee with commenting on the friend feed and friend's blogs. I've gotten some spark-fatigue and I am still tracking and doing everything I'm just finding myself not wanting to spend as much time on the computer. I have a busy time coming up but I will try to check in with everyone when I remember. I had a great vacation with my husband and my in-laws and managed to not gorge myself completely on goodies. I ate more than I normally would but within reason and never to the point of being over-full. I went hiking and swimming and our cabin/condo had 3 floors so there was lots of stair climbing. I had a bit of a hard time getting back into the swing of things at home after my few "free-reign" food days. I got back to tracking right away and reeled that in quickly.

I was really fatigued for a couple of days, I think in part because I had to change my thyroid medication schedule while we were gone and then switch back when we got home. So no exercise for almost a week. I was worried to weigh in after that, but I guess all my vacation activity made up for it because I was somehow still down 2.2 pounds. I expected at least some gain that I would have to work off. I was more than a little confused by that, but I'm sure there are many factors that could explain it. I'm not gonna look a "gift horse in the mouth" or whatever.

I did meet my personal goal to lose at least 20 lbs by this vacation!
I am glad I got a chance to have a little break from tracking every morsel that passes my lips and especially glad that I am now through to the other side and firmly planted back on the spark-wagon.

Coming up at the end of October is my birthday. We have a birthday weekend planned and I fully expect to eat whatever I want and not worry about it. We are staying at a hotel in Pocatello with a really fabulous pool, pretty much only so that I can swim. Last year we went all the way to Boise so I could swim (among other things) so this is slightly more reasonable. I will get to swim every day, maybe even twice a day and we are planning to hike along the greenbelt. I won't be near a computer to track and I know that after successfully making it through this vacation I can be ok with that. I can get back on track immediately afterwards and still meet my goals.

Total Fitness Minutes: 1,012

Total Exercise Calories Burned: 9,252

Miles Tracked: 30.65 (I don't trust the tracker on the exercise bike so I don't count biked miles, which is why this month's milage is so low, most of this is walked or hiked.)

Exercise Days: 20 out of 30

Pounds Lost: 9.8!! (8/30-9/30)

I have gotten back on the exercise bike and have phased out the Walk It Out game for a little while because it was bothering my knees. I do 10-15 minutes at a time because it hurts my rear end too much to do more, but I do it 2-3 times a day to make up for it. I have also gotten lots of late night walks in at the high school track. Soon it will be getting down to freezing at night so I don't know how much longer I will be able to keep this up. It's very windy here and that makes the cold all the more difficult to handle. I also pulled a muscle in my calf or something (walking the track) right before my vacation and was super worried that it was going to make me unable to do anything. I used the heating pad on it until it was time for bed and woke up to find it all better. I guess I'm pretty lucky there.

emoticonI've been losing weight consistently despite having a bit of resistance from myself to getting back on the exercise train. I feel like I'm giving in to excuses not to do as much because the weight loss numbers are still coming so maybe I don't need to work AS hard. I went from doing 60-90 minutes of cardio 5-6 days a week (120 once) in the beginning of the month to only doing 20-40. I think 60-90 a day was too much, but I need to get out of this funk and talk myself into being more consistent. 30-40 minutes a day I would be fine with, I just seem to be trying harder to get out of it altogether more often where as before I felt weird if I took a day off. I have a lot of other activities to occupy myself with this month so I think I need to make a list of priorities to hang up in front of the computer desk to see every day what I need to do and in what order.

Other Goals & Accomplishments for the month:

I did my measurements October 1st, but I'm still going to mention them here just to not have to write a separate blog. I've lost another 10 inches from various parts of my body for about 23 inches total. 3 inches from my hips total, 1.5 inches from each upper arm, and roughly 2 inches from each thigh.

I lost (just barely) 10 lbs this month which is the most I have lost in a given month since re-igniting my "spark"

As I mentioned before, I have hit the 20 lb loss milestone, almost 25.

I can walk over 2 miles at a time without stopping!

Only 4 books read for September again but they were all really good. I had a couple of false starts on a couple that weren't very good and not worth my time. I FINALLY got Bossypants by Tina Fey and really liked it (I was 14th in line for it on hold at the library). I also read a fiction book about a woman who had gastric bypass surgery and was dealing with life after weight loss (and quite a few other personal problems). Such A Pretty Face by Cathy Lamb, more chick-lit than is my norm but I highly recommend it. It was long but it had so much going on that I breezed through it. Right now I am just about finished with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which is non-fiction by Barbara Kingsolver. I'm thinking of writing a blog devoted to it because it is fantastic. Recommended for fans of Super Size Me (movie) or Fast Food Nation and things of that nature. I am still on track for my goal for the year, and I have some spooky fiction lined up for October.

I still need to get better at doing strength training more often. I did really well for about a week and had sore TRICEPS for the first time I can ever recall (that lasted 2-3 days no less).

I have been doing really well at cutting down on sodium. I added 3-4 teaspoons of paprika to my favorite seasoning salt shaker to thin out the salt. I use it on popcorn, potatoes, pretty much everything and it is actually very tasty with the paprika. And bright red which is fun.

I am still eating fruit every night and even brought a bunch with me to have for breakfasts on our little vacation. In-laws think it's weird that I refrigerate bananas, but oh well. Grapes will probably not be this cheap for much longer so I will probably have to transition to apples.

My follow-up appointment to do bloodwork and see if my thyroid medicine is a high enough dose is in a couple weeks. I also get to have my annual 'lady-parts' exam at the same visit which I am not too thrilled about. I haven't had one done in 3-4 years so I guess I'm due. I'm hoping that when they weigh me someone will actually notice the difference from last time, we'll see.

Cooking Adventures:
Now that the weather is going to be cooling off I am getting into baking in a big way and loving it. I made oatmeal/wholewheat bread last week that turned out to be more of a breakfasty or snack type bread because it was very sweet, but sooo good. This week I am going to try to make a sandwich bread for my husband to use so we can stop buying bread. I am getting back into making my own healthy pizza crusts with things like ground flax and oat bran and wheat germ. I have done this for years now but I keep repurposing the recipe to be more nutritious and fewer calories. Because of my husbands work schedule we rarely have meals together so I like to have pizza nights for myself (within range of course) to watch my favorite shows. Or I will make a big pizza for us to share on the weekends. I have about 12 incarnations of my pizza recipe in my sparkrecipes as it is ever evolving.

Lumpy bread loaf.

Proof of crackers.
I am making my fabulous crackers to send my father-in-law as a birthday present (since we also got him a pretty hideous swim suit). Next week I am going to try my hand at making whole wheat tortillas (with some other healthy things thrown in) to make burritos for my husband. There are some really good healthy ones on the market that I want to try to emulate that cost 3-4 dollars a bag. I am hoping this will work out because it will save us a lot of money.

Doesn't really relate to anything, and maybe I'm way late to the party, but I found pretty much the best nerd-feminist-girl blog ever. I'm not that into comic books but if you skip over some stuff there are a lot of really great reads here:

October Goals (yes I am talking to myself here):

Get MORE STRENGTH training in. It is super easy you just have to remember to do it. I have Kettlebells for Dummies coming from the library so hopefully I can figure out a good routine.

Keep up the outdoor walking until it's too cold to do so anymore.

Keep stationary biking, even if you have to do 10 minutes 4 or 5 times a day.

Don't let your birthday be a roadblock to success. Enjoy yourself for a couple DAYS, not the whole week. Get back on track quickly, stay motivated, and finish the year STRONG. Focus on the clothes in the closet that still don't fit. Focus on not turning another year older, fatter again. Can't be at goal by/before 27 if we don't power through 26.

Get some Art/Craft projects done. My mother-in-law asked me to make some things for her booth at a holiday bazaar that she participates in every year so I have to get these things done and sent to her before November. I have just barely started so I need to get some work done on that.

Read more. Halloween has been my absolute favorite holiday since I was a kid. My October tradition is to make a big list of spooky theme fiction, and then put as many on hold at the library as I can get. I will be busy with some other things but I would like to get 6-8 books read because I am really excited for some of my choices this year. We also have probably 10-15 horror movies saved on our DVR from movie channel free previews so we need to have more movie weekends.
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EDIT: I have been thinking of re-starting a non-spark related blog I wrote a few posts on a long time ago and turning it into a recipe blog. I probably won't be able to start on it until November, but it looks like my crackers will have to be the first entry and I will definitely share it with my spark-buds. Thanks everybody for asking about my cooking projects!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sounds like a great month and I can't wait to see the recipe for the crackers. That bread looks yummy too. I've never made bread by hand but never had any luck with bread machines. I need to pull out my kitchen aid dough hook and try to make some recipes I have been saving to try. I found a dairyfree sandwich bread to try but have been putting it off since most of my cooking experiments lately have been duds. Have a great October!!
    2451 days ago
    Wow - awesome catch up! Thanks and great work on everything!
    2452 days ago
    emoticon The most important thing about weight loss is doing what works for you. On the ST have you thought about yoga? It gets the heart rate up some because of the breathing and it counts as cardio here but it's a great way to ease into ST. At least it was for me. I like Sara Ivanhoe and Corrina Hammer. a friend suggests Lilias! AM and PM Yoga for Seniors DVD because it's gentle, she suggests ignore the seniors part. She got hers at the library.

    Keep going. I look forward to your update on the thyroid.

    2452 days ago
    Woo hoo September, and may October be even better! I totally hear you on the not wanting to exercise; I went through a couple weeks like that. Sometimes I forced myself to do it, sometimes now. I had a weekend of indulgence, and then for some reason it was really easy to recommit. So I'm now convinced we all have these down cycles, and it's good to indulge them a little bit as it makes returning easier.

    I hope you guys have a fun birthday weekend! My grandparents left Pocatello (well, Burley) in WW2 to move to California, so it's always fun to see that it's a real place!
    2452 days ago
    As always, you are moving in the right direction. And you are so pragmatic in your approach. Sometimes I think my single-mindedness - while having benefits - could do with some tempering so that I do not burnout. Thankfully, today is not that day.

    Nonetheless, I am always in awe of how well you keep account of your efforts and your results. You keep your details so well in order that I think I must be doing a much poorer job very often.

    I'm so proud of you and your hard work and determination. You are on the right road, and I am always honored to share your path with you.

    Enjoy the journey. Done correctly, it will not end until you do. :)
    2452 days ago
    You are amazing! Congrats on the weight loss and successful vacation. I, too, have also over sparked and work hard to find a balance. I just started ChaLean Extreme which is all about the weight training and think it's making a difference. I still need to do measurements and body fat, but I know a couple of things are going to throw a wrench in this program before I'm done (a trip and probable surgery) so it will take me a little longer than three months to finish. However, it's definitely weight training and I'm loving it.

    As for the exercise, I aim for about 45-60 minutes a day and that works. With the ChaLean, since it's six days a week (different workout each day which is super good for me), I'm doing it even if it's later than I normally do and am revved after each workout, so think in those terms - how awesome you'll feel when you're done.

    I barely finished a book this month, so you're four is really good! Just a lot going on and I think I wandered a bit with the book so the next one will just be something plain fun.

    The bread and the crackers look amazing. I use crackers with my tuna and am wondering if maybe I should follow your footsteps and make my own. Is it a recipe that can be shared!

    Have a super good week!
    2452 days ago
    WOW! What a September! Congratulations on the weight and inches losses!

    Your birthday weekend and getting to swim sounds great! Let us know when it gets closer to your birthday!

    I'm also very interested in your recipe for crackers if you will share.

    Happy October!
    2452 days ago
    Wow, what a wrap up and your goals are pointing you in the right direction.

    I'm like you sometimes, the continuous sparking has to give and a break is warranted.

    Good job on the vacation, it sounds like the lifestyle change=you. It sounds like you are planning on how to deal with potential pitfalls very well.

    You should post your recipes on Sparkrecipes they sound very good and I am really interested in the tortilla's you are planning to make. The crackers look great too! Are they really crunchy? It all looks so yummy. emoticon
    2452 days ago
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