What Do You Mean You’re Too Busy??

Hiya folks!!

Okay so if you’ve been with me from the start, you know my Get Fit journey has started with developing a better health mentality, followed by becoming more educated on “true” health vs myths and gradually built up into a wide open embrace of a healthier lifestyle. I’ve tweaked as needed and still finding that I’m slowly losing weight and gaining better health. Now due to increased responsibilities, I’ve had to find the most efficient process possible in terms of both physical fitness & diet (as in food I eat, not as in starve). All while still keeping my same “Lifestyle” approach—no gimmicks, no starving.
So for past 3 weeks, I’ve been working on my most efficient yet beneficial process yet and I believe my current program is very close to what my maintenance level (which is the level I need to be at to maintain my progress after I’ve reached my desired weight and health) will be.  Before I share it, let me set up some of what’s been going on at same time:
First week of July starting on the 1st, I worked 68 Hours at work, even though we had 4th of July as a Holiday. I started work at 8a and ended at 11p some days. I worked on Saturday too.
• Second week, starting on the 8th, I worked 62 hours (plus 9yr old stepson was here for the week so additional stress & preparations).
• Last week, I worked 58 hours. (Mind you no matter how much I work, I only get paid for 40 hours and so effectively, I was almost working for free when I considered the breakdown of hourly pay. Ouch).
• In addition, I was part of a 6 week Business Boot-camp for my primary business that’s going to kick off at end of year, which started mid-June and ended last Sunday. It required serious research and deadline based homework which took hours each week. 

I tell you all of this preceding stuff so you’ll know that if I can still work out and take care of my health under such stressful and busy circumstances, so can anyone else. Busy is not an excuse I’ve allowed because busy is my lifestyle. Busy is a lot of people lifestyle and it’s a big part of why people fail when they are on someone else’s plan. If I were on someone else’s specialized plan of “eat @ this time, that time” and “eat only this or that, prepared like this or that” and “work out this time, for this long, this exercise” then I would have failed for sure because I didn’t have time for a very specific structure.  This is the whole gist of my plan of lasting health means building healthy choices and exercises into my life as it is. I have to make health fit into my life whether I’m busy or slow or traveling or entertaining or not motivated or whatever the case may be. No Excuses.

Here’s how I’m doing it:

The key for me is to do what works and make my environment excuse-proof. I have found that a good 30 min session of yoga does triple duty of providing Cardio, Strength Training and Flexibility workout all in one. I am dripping sweat when I’m done equal to when I’m on my bike or gym equipment. I have muscle tone in places I didn’t know I had muscles. I’ve almost dropped another full size. I can do 41 push-ups in a row now! Woo-wah!! My Resting Heart Rate hit 68 for the first time last week, which is great health level according to Mayo Clinic charts!! (It used to be close to and sometimes over 100!)  I do my Yoga in mornings as soon as I roll out of bed now because doing it after work was touchy b/c didn’t know when work would end anymore. I literally unroll my Yoga mat out beside the bed every night before I go to bed. That’s the great part of working out in mornings; once you’re done, it’s doesn’t matter what else happens during the day. This is my Gym below–nothing fancy, I don’t have a Yoga room or big wide open space-I make do with what I have.

My Gym 2

 

The key is that My house is prepared. This means it’s stocked primarily with healthy foods so the option of junk is barely there even if I did want it. (Besides one thing about being busy is that I am often too busy to run to nearest fast food place)!  I have a refrigerator full of baby carrots, salad mix, cheese strings and fresh fruit. Freezer full of steamable veggies, fish fillets. I have a pantry full of raw almonds, quick cooking staples like boil-in-bag brown rice, cans of beans, tortilla’s. In 15 minutes I can steam rice in microwave, steam and pour Green Giant broccoli and carrot mix over it and serve it with any quick sautéed meat and have a balanced dinner. My husband loves the new healthier foods because it tastes good.  Forget the old chicken breast and broccoli mess. I make wraps. Salads. Steam packs of meats w/veggies in foil.  None of it takes much time-less than 30 minutes in most cases!

My point here is that it doesn’t take long to get and stay healthy as long as you do a little bit of prep work.  Killing yourself or beating yourself up for not being able to work out for an hour is unnecessary. 20-30 min of Cardio (walking, gym equipment) + some basic push-ups and ab work and some squats takes care of almost every major muscle group in your body.  If you can do more, great but never let “busy” be a reason you’re not doing anything.  The Key is preparation, efficiency and focus on the quality of what you’re doing so that you get maximum benefit in shortest time. And for goodness sake don’t ruin your efforts with some whacked out diet plan. Eat like a human please. :)

I’ll keep you guys posted with a new weigh in soon~!

 

I’m Still Holding On!!

Let’s see—some progress to report!

• I can almost do a split, thanks to Yoga. I am still in love with it!
• I’m down 19 pds total. The late Spring/Summer has certainly slowed my progress. I primarily attribute it to 6+ weeks of Monsoon-like weather (considering trading car in for a Canoe) and additional hours at work, with a BootCamp (for my Coaching business) and travel—lot of travel. 25 nights -1-5 days at time) in a hotel since April. Ugh!! So I’m doing less cardio and less walking in the evenings. BUT because my eating is under control, I am still losing and on the track to good health.
• Sometimes I beat myself up about it because others I know are making massive progress via Jenny Craig’s and pill concoctions and BeachBody and so on and that’s awesome for them. I put in perspective by knowing 1-JC is Expensive and can’t be a permanent lifestyle. 2-Pills—just no, plain no. 3-BeachBody is great for working out and toning up but it’s tough to maintain. The moment one stops that, it all comes flubbing back and it relies heavily on shakes vs real food. So what happens when the shakes stop?? I’m going slow but I think I’m doing it in a way that will last forever.
• I am at peace with the gym at the moment. The aforementioned Monsoon has me in there more often and it’s just part of a day now vs a task or chore. It’s stress relief. I can squeeze in 20 intense minutes and it keeps me even-keeled for hours.
• I like shopping for dresses again. My Husband is happy about that.
• Ice Cream is not my enemy. I can indulge in Blue Bunny Pistachio & Almond and still keep losing weight because I understand Moderation now. It’s much more natural to go for a smaller portion vs a big heaping scoop. I understand my “triggers” that send me towards bigger portions such as stress, boredom, too busy. But my relationship with and attitude towards food is much less dramatic these days and I am not using it inappropriately (for reasons other than hunger or sometimes pleasure) nor am I terrified of it. It’s just food.

So things are still moving along and I am still excited about how I’m going to look in some snazzy black leatherish leggings this winter. It’s my Mental Motivation for Winter. (That Monokini is still in my sights for mid-August)!
I hope you’re all doing well and still moving towards your goals too!

The Dreaded PLATEAU!!!!! (And How to Get Over It)

This is My Shape

This is My Shape!! Oy!

First, sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted. New Project at work so I’m putting  in 12-15 hour Days right now. BUT I promise I’ve been doing okay and not letting all of the work stress and overwhelming cravings for all things sugary, cake-y, crunch-y, salt-y, take me down (at least not completely).

I’ve managed to keep it quelled with following healthier substitutions:

Sugary = Fruit. Fruit has sugar too but it’s not from an added refined product; just what nature gives…

Cake-y= Angel Food sponge cake cup filled with strawberries and light whip cream. Not the greatest but not the big fat slice of Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake I really want which is now sold at WalMart and Sam’s!

Crunchy= Popcorn – Natural, snack size bag of Orville RedBachers OR my latest craze, Gardetto’s Snack Mix. 140 CAL for ½ Cup vs 160 CAL for 15 measly potato chips!

Salty= I sprinkle Mrs Dash on my baby carrots snack (which I dip in 1 wedge of Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb Cheese) and it takes care of the salt taste I crave without the increased blood pressure or swollen ankles!

Now, really quickly, here’s the Updates:

I hit a Plateau in May. I did not lose or gain anything for about 3.5 weeks! From March 15th -my 2 Month progress report- to April 15th, I went from 11.5 pds lost to 15.5 pds lost. Then from April 15th to May 15th, I was stuck at the 16 pd weight loss! Talk about frustrating as that’s Way off from my 5pd per Month goal!  I didn’t go on a “Oh forget it Binge” as I would have in past though.

So last week I finally took a hard look at what’s been going on; from my work situation to a true review of what I’ve been eating. It was then I realized that I’d picked up on my ‘grazing and nibbling habit’. I was still eating well, still doing Yoga, still walking (up to 4mi, 4-5 times per week now), still adding veggies to meal plans so I was doing okay in the BIG picture. But ah, it was the “little” picture that I was losing control over.

Turns out, I’d gotten a little sloppy with portion size monitoring.  I was nibbling more like a Cup of Gardetto’s vs the ½ cup serving I aimed for. I was eating more fruit than necessary. I found a store that sells the Giant Chewy Sweetarts which are so hard to find, so obviously it was my duty to buy some!  :p And I was also doing more frying of food because I had visitors who like fried foods and I didn’t want to eat separate meal from what I made for guests.

Added stress from day Job and from my Coaching initiatives meant less sleep (going to bed around 12 vs 10:30) which is never good for weight loss, further hindered me.  Check out this article for a better explanation than any I could give:

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain

Finally, I thought it best to re-analyze my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and sure enough, from last time I did it (6 pds ago) to now, I needed to reduce Calories by roughly 50 per day or needed to add few more minutes of exercise. I don’t count every calorie but I am mindful not to give my body more than it needs so having general idea of “Base” calorie needs helps me keep in perspective.

(http://www.calculator.net/bmr-calculator.html)

None of these alone would cause a weight gain and it wasn’t a gain at all. But cumulatively, they did stall my loss. Recognizing these things has helped me adjust as needed and get back on track.

So with this renewed effort, this week, I’m already back to losing!! From last Friday, I’m down almost half pound! I’ve since learned, the “food creep” is a common thing and if we are not vigilant throughout our Health Improvement processes, it can sneak up on us. Had I not examined what’s been going on, I could have easily said “I just can’t lose weight” or “I am doing everything perfectly yet I’m stuck so this must be my intended weight”. In fact, if I’d let my exercise slide as I did my food, surely I would have started to regain weight. Now I know I’ll plan to review my BMR every 5pds to adjust down to what my body needs.

I have already purchased a “snack bowl” that is ONLY ½ cup serving capacity. If I eat ice cream, snack mix or anything that’s not too great in bigger quantities, I’ll be eating it out of that container so I can’t eat more than that (without refilling it which just feels greedy so I wouldn’t do that, lol).

I think these steps plus just being on top of things, will keep me on track forthgoing. I have some “catching up” to do but I’m not going to stress it and risk stalling out my Metabolism; I’ll just keep going and by August 15th, I know I’ll be much healthier than I was on January 15th!

I promise to try not to let so much time pass between postings! In fact, my next one will be all about my Rocky Butt Blues (aka Cellulite) and my Resting Heart Rate—some exciting stuff going on there. :D Til Then!

Don’t Fall Over Like a Newborn Calf!

 5 Getting Healthy No-No’s!

Howdy all! So I’ve been on this Health Kick for a while now and between the Gym, the Beach and the Parks, I’ve seen some pretty traumatic efforts and uhm, other stuff that I really just don’t want to see ever again. I’ve also heard and witnessed some very strange weight loss behaviors that fall under Self-Sabotage 101. I have listed the 5 worse offenses in hopes that we all learn there really are just some things that shouldn’t be done, no matter what!   Let’s get started:

1.  Don’t wear Spandex. To be specific: Don’t wear Ill-fitting, crawling up your backside, brightly colored or patterned Spandex shorts.  No more needs to be said about this.

Better Idea: Where comfortable clothes that fit. You don’t have to the latest Nike gear and gadgets but you should be wearing something comfortable, breathable, non-restricting. How long can one sustain a workout with a chafing pant leg crammed up the Woo-hah?

2.  Don’t Gorge now, Pay Later:  In other words, you opt to eat 3 Donuts for breakfast because you’re going to Walk it off later.  So let’s see; the BASIC glazed do-nut has 200 Calories. A 155 pd person would have to walk 2 hours at a brisk 3.5 mph pace to walk off most of those 3 donuts. Are ya really going to do that??  Is it not more likely that after a 30 minute stroll, you’ll proudly call it a day, vowing to eat lighter the next day to ‘finish working it off’? And the day ends with 450 calories of sugar and flour clinging to your side saddles.

Better Idea: Earn your treats by working off their impact before you eat it.  If you want to eat your normal meals + 600 calories worth of donuts AND still lose weight, you’ll need to burn off at least 850 calories first to keep a deficit of at least 250

3.  “Just start somewhere” is a great idea; one I’ve probably touted myself. BUT “start with caution” is a better adage.  To have your first go at an advanced Spin class without having even been on any type of bike in 25 years, isn’t the best idea. IF you make it through it, making it OFF the bike with more grace than a newborn calf is next to impossible.  One wobble from clocking yourself unconscious on someone’s bike pedal…

Better idea:  Start on stationary bike for a few runs for at least a week before going headfirst into a Madam Spins class.

baby calves

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  “Teamwork! Let’s Do it together!” Partnering with someone else to make working out more enjoyable is a good idea until your partner runs out of steam.  I’ve seen it over and again—invite someone, who’s doing nothing, to come walk, ride bikes, etc and they say “Oh I would but I’ve planned to walk with Julie this afternoon”.  Okay. Afternoon comes and Julie’s cat is sick and she cancels to go to Vet. While logical for you to say “well I’ll go ahead”, what mostly will happen is now it’s very easy for you to say “well, guess we’ll reschedule”.

Better idea: Have an Accountability partner; someone who can help you stay on track, giving you the push you need and eradicating your excuses when you find a reason to slack off.  Partner when you can but always have a back-up plan and go it alone if you have to.

5.  Buying clothes two sizes two small as “motivation” to work out. I’ve seen this advice in magazines and it sounds nice, but in reality, it’s a waste of money. I know you already have something that’s too small in your closet; if that worked, you’d bring out the favorite thing you’ve tucked away 10 pds ago and use that as your “go go juice”.

Better idea: Save shopping sprees until you’re within 15 pds of your goal weight.  As your old clothes get too big, if you love the piece and it’s quality, have it tailored to your new size. Reinvent your former “small” clothes by adding new accessories, wearing different way, etc to keep yourself from getting to antsy and run out to blow your money.

Remember, this is a Lifestyle change you’re trying to implement. You want to avoid anything that’s going to cause you to give up. Keep going, stay focused and you’ll get there! Stand at the finish line with me!

Wine and Cheesecake – A Girls Best Friend & Worst Enemy

Hiya!

My sincere apologies for the delay in posting and updating my 3 Month Progress Report.  I knew April would be a challenge as due to either My job or my Husbands, I’ve been in Hotels more than I’ve been in my bed this Month. Throw in a 4 day weekend reunion and I barely know what day it is!

I did want to pop in though to say a few things:

1. I’ve had more wine in the past 10 days than I’ve had in past 10 years combined! Lol I did limit myself to 2 glasses (er, most of the time at least) so the calories didn’t wrack up too bad over alcohol alone.  I tell you what, my coworkers are a lot of fun after hours! Oy!

2. I managed to work out early in the mornings on most of the days my friends were in town. I even squeezed in a Yoga session. :)

3. When I had “bad meal” -either because I was stuck in a conference room and had to eat what was ordered in Or because my West coast and North East friends are all Foodies and wanted to eat “real Southern Food”, I only ate half of the meal.

4. My body Truly does not like rich fatty meals anymore. I just had dinner and it was my healthiest meal in over a week – delicious roasted chicken breast with quartered red potatoes in Grecian seasoning with a crisp green field salad and my body perked up big time!  Eating should give you Energy and I had adjusted to that because my body apparently missed it.  I’m not at all sluggish now–feel sated and alert.

5. I did indulge in more dessert than usual. :/

Now for the Progress: As of April 15th, I was off goal slightly- Total Pounds Lost = 14.8!!! Whoo Hoo!!! I wanted it to be 15 but .2 could be a full bladder so I’m not stressing it! Lol Now I don’t know what the scale says at the moment– for rest of Month my hope is just not to GAIN even if I don’t lose. I’m in a Hotel yet again tonight and next week, I’ll have a few more days in yet another.  But that one will have a Gym so I can at least work out in mornings there.  I’ll be glad when I get home! Losing weight is possible and challenges like these do come up when you’re ‘Out of routines’ but it IS harder. I make no excuses and know there were times I could have made better choices but days and days of shunning provided food and social outings is tough work. :p

Til next time!

What’s My Motivation? A Repost from 2011!

Ya know what’s pretty cool? When you find something you wrote in the past that can certainly help you now.  Today I found a Note I’d put in FB back on March 8th 2011 about my motivation to workout!  I was not really grounded in my decision back then as I am now (3 month results coming on April 15th) but to see this now is really a boost.  I was on a maybe 2 Month spree at this point and my 6ft tall European Gazelle Girlfriend talked me into doing a 5K with her in April. It was a trail run-muddy, rugged wooded, hilly trail but I did it. And I twisted my ankle and hobbled the last mile. I was out of  commission just long enough to lose the habit I was still building. I ultimately did get back to running and we ran another 5K on July 15th of 2011 and I did one more in Oct 2011 & I did okay. But I didn’t keep up the working out I was doing before because my mind said “well you’re running a little so that’s enough” (wrong!) and then I stopped running too. I was not really trying to lose weight then so I was slogging along at a pretty heavy weight. Finding this Note is pretty neat because even though now I feel like for most part, being active is a Habit, it’s still nice to have more reminders.

The “Why I Work Out” FaceBook Post from March 2011

Consider this self-motivation when I need it. Feel free to use it if you need it.

Why I Work Out:

1. Sundresses. I have my eye on a perfect little colorful sundress to wear this Summer. Toned arms & shoulders required.  (The April 2013 version is that Monokini, set to debut in August on my 38th Birthday).

2. My Butt. I sit on it 50+ hours per week working. 16 17 years of that will certainly do a number if it’s not counterbalanced somehow. Squats. Stairsteppers. Lunges. Pilates. Cycling. All because I Must lift butt.  (April 2013: Remove stairstepper and Add Yoga to this list– a big part of my sticking to it because I actually love yoga & hated the stairstepper).

3. Tina Turner. It was just couple years ago that at least once a summer I’d hear from random strangers: “You have Tina Turner legs”. I wanna ‘em back. (April 2013: They’rree baaaccckk!)

Sum up Reasons 1-3 as Vanity.

4. I feel weak. I hate not being able to do 35 push ups anymore. I feel defenseless. I couldn’t fight off a criminal or run fast enough, far enough to get away.  Hate that feeling. Must be in at least “Escapable” shape in this crazy world.  (April 2013: I stand a chance for a few minutes at least. I can do 29 push ups before I poop out now).

5. Mental well-being.  I have a strong mind. I should have a strong body. (April 2013: Stands the same).

6. Accountability & Authenticity. How can I spend my life coaching others to their best self, if I’m not my best self? (April 2013: Still stands to be a reason).

Main Reason above all: To live a long life having fun with my old man! We want to climb stuff, hike stuff, row to stuff, squeeze through stuff, crawl over stuff. We do NOT want to spend the majority of our golden years visiting Doctors and taking meds & wasting away in some crummy old folks house, due to lifelong neglect of our Bodies. So when I feel like hitting snooze at 6a, I’ll think of this ….& I’ll hit the floor instead. This is why I work out. (April 2013: I hit snooze more like 5:30a these days).

There you have it. I feel pumped up right now and determined. What’s your Motivation when you need it?

Warning: Gloating to Follow!

In a rare moment of complete lack of humility, I proudly pat myself on the back.

pat on back

I’m facing a challenge this week–the kind that would jump my train off the track in previous “Get Healthy Plans”.

I have to be in a Hotel down in GA this week. Came down last night and here until Saturday.  I did not get to select the Hotel; company did. No biggie, right? I’ve managed to adapt in hotels by using their gym, putting my own lunch and snacks in the fridge, etc.

Well guess what? This dagnabit (<–southern term) hotel does not have a Gym! Imagine that–a Holiday Inn on an Island withOUT a Gym? Furthermore, they don’t have a Fridge or Microwave in their rooms–only the King Executive Suite, not this regular old King I’m in. Wow! I didn’t even think any hotel didn’t have this anymore so I was shocked to get here at 10p last night to learn this.

I moaned and groaned with indignant disdain at such a horrid inconvenience. I mean Full Prima Donna mode, I’m telling you. The old man was at a loss for words. lol. I mean “My God how will I do this without my convenient failproof routines?? I’m going to put fat back on this week, waaaahhh!!!  I can’t go to dinner with my brother-in-law & his family because I can’t eat at all! Waaah!! Oh screw it. Guess I will just try to cut some calories, be extra extra careful eating. Waaaahhh!!”

At some point, the inner project manager in me stood up and slapped me upside the head. “Hey Stupid, this is life. You’re changing your lifestyle. This is just one of those things. Sh*t happens. The world doesn’t cater to you. Stop making excuses. Adapt. Fix it!”  Man…my Project Managing Id seems to be of military background and does nothing to comfort the vain & prideful Leo birthright within me. Pffft. Anyway,  logic (and my refuse to be beaten ego) did at last prevail so I unfurled, took a deep breath. Let’s take action: First, what are my options?

A call to front desk and I learned that they have complimentary access to the local Health club “across the street”. Uhm, it’s half a mile up the road and across the street. “-Shut up lazy Lioness!” says Project Mgr Id. Okay so not as convenient as walking down the hall but okay, it’s an option.

A little investigation revealed a short walk down the hall is a Microwave in their pantry. I can heat up my Healthy Choice Steamers. No refrigerator needed. Not ideal but doable. (I’m not big on convenience foods -too many non-food chemicals, sodium and preservatives but in a pinch like a hotel stay, it’s a better option than local fast foods).

Old man said we can get a cooler for keeping my yogurt and carrots. I don’t want to lug around a cooler so I will eat yogurt from the breakfast area in mornings and eat a banana. I can eat baby carrots at room temperature.

Alright. Problems solved. Life goes on. I’m patting myself on the back because I didn’t give up as I easily could have and in the past would have. If I let that happen, who knows if or when I’d get back on track. But instead…  I remembered that I’m not doing anything with an ENDING. Being healthy is my life regardless of the circumstances.  Life gets inconvenient sometimes but it doesn’t mean throw all effort to the wind. What’s funny is adapting to change and making alternate plans after issues arise, is what I do all day within my job role. Why in the world did I panic when it came to doing the same thing for my health? For a moment, my brain really shut down and I could see no options. That’s plain nuts. Lol

Anyway, I went to that health club this morning and worked it out on the Elliptical with a bunch of geriatrics and all was well.  I had my yogurt. –Not the kind I prefer but yogurt nonetheless.  Then I figured since I do Yoga online watching my PC screen, no reason I couldn’t do a cardio workout that way. Don’t need my DVDs. Turns out there are plenty of free options for cardio workouts. I even have some on my podcasts on phone that I remembered so even without a gym, this can still work!  And I did note that sidewalks are all around this hotel so if weather permits, I can take a walk among the pretty palm trees and lush island greenery during my lunch hour.

Yes. I can do this! You can do this!

Channeling Jessica Rabbit: “I’m Not Bad. I’m Just Drawn This Way”

Unexpected Tidbits…

  1. Slogging along on the Arc Machine last week & noticed that I felt kind of “zippy”. I felt like I was moving faster than normal even though my settings were more resistant. Something was different…easier…not as hot. Hmmm. Aha!! Suddenly it hit me that I could not feel my upper inner thighs a slappin’ anymore! They weren’t swooshing-swishing each time my legs moved! I was so excited that I almost tumbled off the machine and dropped trou right there on the spot to confirm. Progress!! This was the reverse of my last Fat Roll episode. I was driving & my seat back was uncomfortable. I thought my shirt or bra or something had jumbled up behind me. I reached around to straighten it out & lo and damn behold, it was just my own upper-back fat roll!!! I was mortified. My fat was literally rolling!! **shudders** Maybe -just maybe- feeling that extra air between my legs now is just the thing to reverse that traumatic moment!
  2. Yoga makes my – (warning, dirty talk follows) uhm, stubborn bowel much more relaxed.  For a person with digestive issues including constipation, this is a big deal. I guess all that bending and downward dogging loosens things up! I’m almost ready to ditch the extra probiotics! Who knew…?
  3. And keeping with the dirty trend, yoga’ing is seemingly firing up some kind of inner libido.  My imagination is getting much more vivid lately. It could be the emerging muscles, lasting tightness & new flexibility, which gives a boost of confidence. Or maybe it’s the additional energy I have now or heck, even the mental positive vibe we get when we’re doing something to improve our lives! Either or all, works for me! I am starting to feel a bit Jessica Rabbit’ish—slinky and cool, kittenish and teasing. I like it! (And so does the old man!)  “You don’t know how hard it is being a woman looking the way I do.”   No Jessica, I don’t know but maybe one day soon, I will.
I feel ya Jessica!

I feel ya Jessica!

Rampin’ it Up

Okay so we know that many popular Weight Loss plans start out with an extreme change upfront in order to get people to lose fast weight which is supposed to convince them the plan is working while inspiring them to stick to it. These prequels to the “real plan” are called “jump starts” and boy does it sound exciting to be able to lose “up to 12 pds in 3 days!” (I wish you could see the smirk on my face right now). Obviously, I think it’s a recipe for failure.  The fast weight loss is water and some muscle, but not fat.  Plus, it’s due to drastic changes such as liquid meals or extreme calorie cuts–changes that can’t or won’t be maintained so the weight loss will return or stagnate which will result in frustration and dropping of the plan.  But what do those promoters care; they have your money by then! There is lots of evidence of this being more than just my sarcastic opinion.  Do you ever see the 1 yr or even 6 month Follow Ups for these people?  Frustrating to watch people get their hopes up only to have them dashed when they realize they can’t live on celery alone… This is why I’m starting slow and building an active Healthy Lifestyle.  Yes, it starts slow but it’ realistic. It accounts for factors in for my real life, my own challenges and tendencies but all the while it grows each Month.  Each month I build upon my plan and will do so until I get to a “natural” place of maintenance and health.

Here’s a Breakdown of my Ramp Up so far…

Month 1:   The goal was to just get moving; start setting the habit of being conscious and real about the state of my health. I did 20-25 min of cardio if I had to go to gym OR a minimum of 1.5 mi walk.  I didn’t really have a set number of times per week -the point was to simply get started, to move more, be more active in general.  I’d say it was average 4 days per week.  I didn’t cut out much from my food choices but I was vigilant about portion sizes, measuring and moderation of snacks. I learned a LOT about nutrition, sodium and the perils of eating out. I did some basic calorie counting of my most common foods so I could understand how much I was eating but it’s not natural to count calories, measure food or whatnot.  I’m not doing that for rest of my life so I didn’t want to depend on it. I did it enough to know what I was putting in my mouth but it’s not something that should happen all the time.

Month 2:  Minimum walk was upped to 2 miles, minimum cardio 30 minutes.  I added beginner yoga towards end of 2nd month and sped up the time of my walk to get it around 16 minutes per mile.  By Mth 2, I could easily eyeball proper portions.  Sweet snacks were often swapped out for fruit.  I started to cook a lot more at home, trying new recipes. It’s amazing what you can do with recipe help. Lol I added water to my day–I didn’t drink a lot of water before. I made sure to eat vegetables daily and still do.  I noticed lower stress levels. My job is deadline oriented so the stress can add up and by 11a, I was chewing through pencils like a beaver chews trees. But working out in morning seems to keep stress at bay longer so I don’t chew pencils until maybe 2p. :)

Month 3:  I’ve fully incorporated Yoga and I’m riding my bike now.   A whole day of bad eating makes me feel sick now so I’m cutting out cheat day and turning into cheat meal on Sundays.   A typical good-weather day looks like: 30-45min Cardio in a.m before work.  (I do work avg 50 hrs per week but I work from home so I don’t have to travel (unless I’m going the 1.8mi to gym). After work is Yoga upstairs. I make a bit of a deal out of it-door closed, candle lit, do not disturb sign. (Easier for me because we have no small kids at home). Hubby and I then go to park for our 2 miles. After walk, we hop on bikes for at least 5 miles. We couldn’t do this before DST b/c it’d be dark by time we finished our walk.  Reading it seems like a lot but it’s really not.  The cardio is only thing that feels like exercise. The Yoga, Biking & Walking feel like fun and relaxing. Pretty much 6 days per week, I’m “exercising” and I don’t even dread it.

Month 4: (April 15th-May 14th)  This will officially begin my Couch to 5K plan. I’ve ran 5k’s before but I want to do it under 30 minutes for a change. Lol I’m going to surprise my 5K running friend (who’s a 6ft tall European Gazelle) by at least not giving her time to be fully dressed and eating orange wedges while waiting on me to cross the finish line. :p I also plan to take a Spinning class and a bonafide teacher lead Yoga class at the gym.  By this month, I hope to have conquered the wobbles so that I won’t knock anyone over.  I hope making good food choices is more natural to me by this time.  I will really focus on taming my cake, pie, cookie tooth this month.

Each Month has had some kind of Challenge. January was a birthday party with cake and fried stuff.  February was Valentines Day celebrations. March was some business travel (4 days in a hotel -which had a gym thankfully). But April, I will have the Month 4 challenge of a Week-long conference, 3 hours from home, in which my coworkers and I will be jammed into a conference room all day, ordering in lunch, eating out dinner, sitting in front of corporate goodies. I will have to be careful!  What’s more, there’s a 4 day weekend before this conference in which a reunion with about 10 friends from all over country. They will be visiting here (Charleston SC) and one of them -my gourmet cook friend- is bunking with me.  They have all demanded to be fed traditional southern fare so the organizer has plans for some really good eating. Uh oh. We shall see how this plays out!

For now, this is how it goes.  Wish me luck!

Progress Report: Month 2

Quick Update (sharing PC for the moment so haven’t posted as much but I do want to say this):
To Date, I have lost 11.5 pds (8 weeks, 3 days)!  That equals one size.  And check this out —->

5-lbs-fat

 

 

 

 

 

Take two of the 5pds of blob and a 1pd blob of fat and that has fallen off of my body!! Isn’t that amazing? I mean go pick up a 10pd dumb bell–that much weight was hanging onto my stomach, sides, face, fingers and thighs… Another 23.5 of them are still hanging on but they are coming off too.  

Know what else? I think I’m giving up my Cheat Day for a Cheat Meal instead. A Cheat day no longer feels enjoyable to me. I feel like this after I eat too much nowadays!!

Me after a bad Cheat Day!

Me after a bad Cheat Day!

It’s not a good feeling!  I thought it was fine to “have at it” on Sundays since I don’t really deprive myself anyway; I simply eat cleaner and smaller portions.  But now that I’m really paying attention to what I’m eating (thanks to the discipline and practice Yoga is teaching me about mindful eating), I now can feel what my body likes –and what it does not like.  And let me tell you, it does not like eating too much!  I’m much more sensitive to my “satisfied vs full” level now so cheat days are simply too indulgent for my body now.  Sluggishness, digestive issues, uncomfortable feeling in upper chest area–ugh!  Not worth it.  I’ll go with one cheat meal instead of a whole day.

I am loving this whole getting healthy journey!  And oh, friend of mine who stuck to being my Guinea Pig, lost 5pds in her first 2 weeks! This Common Sense weight loss thing is going pretty well.