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3/20/17 9:55 P

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I'm not a morning person AT ALL, but I get up really early in the morning for work. I have learned that what works for me is to set an alarm for an hour before I actually have to get up. Then one for a half hour before. And finally one for 15 minutes before that snoozes three times (so it goes off again at 10 minutes, 5 minutes and when I have to get up). This gives me a good sort of "warning" that the time is approaching rather than having to get up straight away.

As for the swimming, I swim a completely absurd amount of yardage (usually about 50 miles/month). But I also do it in the afternoon/evenings, so I'm having to rely on my years of two-a-day practices. On the yardage front: don't go straight into doing the 3000-4000 yard workouts; you will develop overuse injuries in your shoulders if you do that. Not to mention that your lungs, core, and triceps probably aren't ready for that distance straight away. Ease into it (do as I say, not as I do). You're going to be exhausted for the first little while. I do 3-5 miles/swim, and I'm exhausted when I get home and I've been back at that distance for more than a year. But you'll sleep well, so it won't be hard to get to bed by 10. As for food, basically, protein and fibre are your friend. Have eggs and/or oatmeal for breakfast. Yogurt is another good option. Snack when you need to on things like nuts and nut butters with veg. Plan your meals/snacks ahead of time once you get an idea of when you'll be hungry and how hungry you'll be. Definitely make sure you're eating enough, but also be aware that the tracker is wildly inaccurate for swimming. Unless I'm doing four miles of butterfly (I am not!) over the course of 100 minutes -- or sprinting a straight four in 80, which I am also (usually) not -- there's absolutely no way I'm burning the number of calories the tracker says I am. Today, I did 3.33 miles in 80 minutes. My tracker says I burned nearly 1500 calories. I usually ignore the tracker and keep to a set caloric range because if I followed what it said, I'd be eating 2800 calories on the days when I swim. Which is patently absurd.

Anyway, I hope that helps! I'm super jealous you're doing Master's swimming. The only team locally meets at times when I'm not able to because morning practices overlap with my start time for my day job and evening practices overlap with my teaching swimming lessons. I hope you enjoy it!

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3/13/17 9:01 A

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Hi all! I have been struggling with my 50 lb weight gain that happened starting in September with lots of transitions and stresses. After trying so hard (since January) to lose the weight, this past week I finally saw a 5 lb drop! I decided to stop tracking food and instead use the 21-Day Fix portion size containers, which has helped me get a lot more veggies in! But, other than my mental health and decision to stop tracking Calories, the big change for me was yoga. Before, I had been trying to do beach walks daily, lift weights, etc. Then added on the yoga--still no change. Last week I was dealing some bad allergies, so I just focused on yoga. And I finally lost weight after so many months of trying!

I had wanted to do swim team since I was a child, and I decided I wanted to do the master's swim at the Y. As excited as I am (and how much I love my new swimsuit!) I'm nervous! I don't want to overdo it and be too tired to do anything else this week, between working, my schoolwork (online MS student), and yoga. I can't sacrifice yoga since it has been the best thing I've done for my mental health since moving to Florida! I am also nervous that I won't continue losing weight, since it took so long for me to start losing weight. While I know this was mostly because of the depression I had experienced for months, I'm worried I'll be overdoing it and overeat or undereat.

The program meets three days a week for an hour and a half. Anyone who swims...please give me nutrition suggestions, suggestions for getting up at 4 a.m. (especially when husband doesn't get home until 9:30 at night), and keeping on the weight loss trend despite doing an activity known to give people the munchies!

Hugs fellow Sparkers!

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