Sunday, March 28, 2010

No News is Good News?

You may or may not have noticed that I updated my ticker last week. I didn't post about it, because honestly, I wasn't happy about it.  The thing is, I went up a pound from the last time I updated.  However, I hadn't updated in so long, that in between updates, I'd gone up four pounds!  So, this weigh-in was actually three pounds down from where I was the last time I personally weighed (and didn't post the four pound gain).  Confused yet?

Anyway, I weighed again today, and was exactly the same.  I mean to the tenth of a pound, and the same on the body fat percentage.  So, at least I didn't gain.  Because I think I worked out once this week.  And I basically ate whatever I wanted. Which included a lot of Easter candy.

So here is where I pledge to do better next week.  Right?  Well, I'll try.  It's gonna be a stressful work week, so I'm not making promises.  Though, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous, which motivates me to walk outside much more.  Maybe the two will balance each other out and next week will have a happier headline.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oh The Places You May NOT Go

This week - with a view of spring tempting us - we started walking outside. Which got me thinking...sure, most exercise is pretty much NOT something that I look forward to. But what surrounding do I find the most preferable?

After much mental debate - I've decided that I can't live without either option. Here are the benefits / drawbacks as I see them.

You Are Going Nowhere Methods - This includes tracks, treadmills, stationary bikes, and other stationary equipment.

You can stop at any point - you don't have to worry about going so far that you are too tired to get back. I want to believe that this helps me push myself further...but maybe it just makes it easier to quit at a weak moment.

If it is a motorized piece of equipment (like a programmed treadmill) you don't have to trust yourself to set the pace. You just have to keep up with the machine. You can always push the pace up a notch - but I pretend that the "slow down" button is broken and off limits.

I live in an area where there are approximately 14 days per year that are bearable outside (in my opinion). It's either freezing cold, sauna hot, or wicked allergy levels. Being inside sometimes makes breathing possible - and I find that to be a necessary part of exercise.

You can set your own scene - loud music, low lights, set temperature, watching trash TV, if it's private there is no need to dress for public can pretty much have it your way.

Limited interruptions.


The scenery sucks. My son and I tried out a track last week for the first time. It surrounded a gym and had an "open locker" shelf where you could put your belongings. I took every vantage point to keep my eyes on one suspicious fellow who was hanging around the shelf that then held my purse, wallet, cell, and car keys - a little longer than I thought necessary. So I guess in that case, there was some scenery drama.

It can be kind of boring.

You might not push yourself as hard - especially if it's not a programmable / automatic machine. At the very least, I find it difficult to keep a steady pace on those machines.

Ease on Down the Road Methods-


Good or at least ever changing scenery.

Fresh air.

Could lead to a social encounter.

A good excuse to buy some cute workout gear.

You've got to get yourself back home. No quitting until you hit the finish line or front door.

Time moves a bit faster when you are paying more attention to your route and less attention to the countdown of the clock / miles.

The down side...

Could lead to a social encounter- this generally gets in the way of a serious workout.

Who looks good sweaty, panting, and without a mirror? Maybe it's best to keep it out of the public eyes.

Distractions everywhere...dogs barking, traffic, other walkers, the occasional dog running free and threatening to eat you.

Allergies, no temperature control, unpredictable weather.

It really is hard to expand your distance without fear of going too far. If you only have to drag yourself home, maybe this isn't too terrible - you'll likely survive. However, if you walk with a younger child - this requires some thought or quality earplugs to block out the whining.

Hills, potholes, no sidewalk, mud. We try to walk from home and our neighborhood just wasn't designed with the walker in mind. Driving somewhere so you can walk seems like an extra hassle- add a child that wants to take a bike, two dogs that have vet-paranoia, and soon you have to question the sanity of this plan.

No stereo - yes, I realize I could use my mp3, but refer back to the traffic, dogs, and child and suddenly this doesn't seem like a safe option.

And the winner is?

I would hate to only have one option. I think I would prefer outdoors a lot more if I lived somewhere with milder, user friendly weather...but since I don't I'll have to keep relying on both.

Which place do you prefer to walk / run? Do you mix it up or find that one style suits you better? Either way...keep on movin!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Frozen Fruit Cups

This recipe is from Don't Panic - More Dinner's In the Freezer - shown below in it's original form / directions. My notes follow.

20 oz. frozen strawberries, sliced and thawed
12 oz. frozen OJ concentrate, slightly thawed
2-20 oz. cans crushed pineapple
1-16 oz. can mandarin oranges
1/3 c. lemon juice
6 bananas, sliced

Combine all ingredients. Include juices from the fruits. Spoon fruit into lined muffin cups and freeze. Once fruit is frozen, place liners with frozen fruit in freezer bags.

Remove 30 min prior to serving.
Makes 25 fruit cups.

Calories - 17

I had frozen sliced strawberries - so I used those instead and I didn't thaw them.
I didn't have any muffin liners on hand, so I used my silicone cupcake pans instead. The recipe indicates that you will have enough to make 25 - but I found that it made much more. I made 24 regular sized cups. Then I started filling one tray of roses shaped cupcake pans (they tend to be larger than typical cupcakes- but they turned out too cute). After making 29 total cups, I still had enough for us to eat for dessert that evening - and I'm not sure that we just ate a single serving each.

In their totally thawed state, everyone really enjoyed them. We have found that in their frozen and then slightly thawed state - they are very tart / strongly acidic. Overall they are a hit with the family - but if I make them again, I may double all the ingredients except the lemon and orange juice and see if that helps to tone down the tartness. Of course, that means we will be eating a lot of fruit cups- so I plan to freeze some in 3-4 size servings.

I think these will be the perfect summer day treat! Bring on the sunshine!

This recipe was linked to :
Tuesday's at the Table with Cole
Tasty Tuesday

Friday, March 19, 2010

Extra Credit

One week out of the Perfect 10 and I'm missing it I'll just pretend that we're still on the mission and give you a report anyway.

I'm very thankful that Mother Nature was kind to us this week and blessed us with the promise of spring. Thanks to this weather, we walked 3 times this week. Two of these were verging on the 2 mile range - which is good for us.

I've avoided the soda - but drank one last week after the update. Let this be the reminder that I'm not out of the woods yet.

Eating - not so perfect. Not even close. I have consumed a good amount of fruits - but I'm failing veggies. Too much snacking - skipping meals (usually because I'm not hungry at "meal time" and then it's too close to the next meal to eat a meal - so I snack - I see the pattern).

Push-ups. Work has been a bit heavy this week and while I have been in overdrive I've not taken time for myself to do any desk exercises. If the weather holds (I'm nearly laughing / crying as I type that b/c we are currently having an ice storm with snow on the way. A warm up is promised by Monday.) then we should be able to continue the outdoor walks, I may replace my usual gym breaks - where I would walk with some weight lifting and arm work. The reward will be getting to step away from my desk for a much needed break.

Boxes - None came in the house.

When I had my rendezvous with the scale this morning - I saw that I'm pretty close to my "sick weight" and within one pound of that number. I'll give it until next week to see how it's all going to work out and update then.

Are you still on track with your goals?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Have a Nice Day

I walked today for the first time since before I got sick. Which was...two weeks ago today? Ugh. I never feel like working out when I'm sick, but this time I really did have the fever, and symptoms "below the neck" that they (who are they again?) say you shouldn't work out with. So, I felt justified.

And honestly, I thought it would be rough getting started again today, but it wasn't. It felt pretty good to get moving again. And I only coughed a few (dozen) times.

In all fairness, I haven't been totally sedentary. I went to a conference for three days last week. A conference that I swear was all uphill. Both ways. It was at a resort by a lake with a lot of hills. Our rooms were on the far end, and we had to walk and walk and WALK everywhere. It was all hills if you walked outside, and all stairs if you tried to walk inside. I decided hills were less evil and did that most of the time.

Also, I went to see Bon Jovi in concert Monday night, and spent two plus hours shakin' what my mama gave me. And yelling. Not sure how many calories yelling burns.

I do think I've lost a few pounds from all this illness. Which isn't the way I'd choose to lose, but I'll take it, and I hope I can get right back into eating healthy and working regularly out in order to keep it off. I haven't officially weighed to see what's what, but I will soon.

Most Awesome Song I Heard While Working Out: "Have a Nice Day" by Bon Jovi. Not my favorite song of theirs, but it's one I do kinda like, and one they did not perform Monday night.  So I was glad to have it pop up on the iPod today. Plus it's got a good beat for walking, and the message about living one's own life is a good one.  "I ain't gonna do what I don't want to.  I'm gonna live my life!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

So That is What WELL Feels Like?

Perfect 10 Update - Final Week!

It's been a long time since I've felt this good. And while I would NOT say that I am 100% yet, I am very happy to be 90% well - and looking forward to the rest coming along soon!

Is the Perfect 10 REALLY over already? I feel like I'm just getting back in the game - only to find out that the buzzer is ringing. Here's how it wound up - this week and overall.

Limit to 1 Soda a Week - Again, I went with no soda this week. Overall, I have gone from being a "several a day"drinker to about 1 a month. I am very pleased with this result and believe that I will be able to continue this pattern. (I even made it through the "sick period" without returning to my old ways - previously, this would have been a deal breaker!)

Push-ups 3xs a Week - I did do 1 day of push ups and for the rest of the week I had one of those BOX weeks - that I did enough lifting to mimic weight training! And I have the aching muscles to prove it. Due to illness - I'm out of practice. I think that overall, I did very well. I plan to continue this practice in hopes of shaping and toning my arms to reach a "sleeveless quality"

Walking 2xs a Week - I walked twice (counts for last week) after updating - and I didn't think I would feel that good. I'll be walking this weekend as well. With spring approaching, I see this routine developing into a regular thing - the dogs love the walk and so does my son, since it gives us "talk time". I plan to get back on track with this and also to increase - by joining a new found pal on a regular schedule of walking...though she would like to convince me to run! Time will tell!

Limit calories - I was much more successful at boosting fruit intake this week. I spent some days without meat as well. And what I did eat the rest of the time was pretty reasonable and appropriate in portion size. This is a work in progress and I don't know that the goal is ever "met", but I'll keep working on this. I know it's the only way to make my scale my friend.

Limit Boxed Foods - I did purchase a few boxed food items. Not in crazy amounts. This challenge has really forced me to look closer at my box purchases and while it has not prevented all "junk" foods from entering my pantry - it has limited my relationship with them. I do plan to continue this challenge - I see the direct correlation between what goes in my cart and what is available to go in my mouth mindlessly later. Go figure.

Unknown thing about me: I am legally blind without the glasses. This is somewhat related to my month+ long headache. I'm hoping that a new pair of glasses with new prescription and progressive lenses (don't be fooled - that means BIfocals - a fact that made me cry) will help put all that headache business to rest once and for all.

I am happy that I've been able to experience success with this project. I'm sad to see it end. If nothing else - the weekly posts kept me focused and honest and accountable. I may continue updating on a weekly basis - before this challenge it was easier to say nothing. Cross your fingers that all my work is rewarded with being the random winner of some exercise equipment that will NO doubt help me continue meeting goals and getting fit! Thanks for all the support / comments and new followers - we hope you stick around. Also, a big thanks to Steve for hosting this physical challenge and for giving me an excuse to push myself and report to the world!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lose Four Pounds While You Sleep!

Or don't sleep. Or can't sleep. Or maybe it's more accurate to say, lose four pounds while you cough and blow your nose and generally feel like crap and lie around on the sofa and don't feel like eating because you can't smell or taste anything.

Yes, that's right, I've decided to follow in Regina's footsteps and lose weight through illness! Okay, it wasn't so much a decision.

But I'm sick. And I'm sick of being sick. And I'm making multiple vows to never again take feeling well for granted. Which might mean I should start taking better care of myself once I can drag myself off this sofa and out of this house.

I'm hoping, at the very least, to come out of this whole ordeal a pound or two lighter, because I'm not eating much, because I can't taste anything. I'm basically on a liquid and jalapeno diet.

I'll let you all know how it goes, but honestly, even if I lose ten pounds, I wouldn't recommend following our plan.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Still At It- Update

Still working on recovery phase...

Soda - none.

Walking 2xs week - I have been out of bed most days this week. Does that count? Seriously, my activity level has increased - but not to a point that would be considered "exercise".

Push-ups - not yet back to this.

Boxes - unless we are counting boxes of fries (see previous post) I'm still doing good there. 2 boxes purchased this week - both were drink mixes to stock up.

Reduce calories - eating is not back to normal, so I'm still at an unhealthy low level.

In my last post I talked about how I've dropped down into a new body fat category according to my scale. However, I was not completely correct - I thought I previously was in the Obese category - turns out I was only in the Overfat category - still an ugly "o" word. According to my scale / scale manual I am now flirting with the upper range of the "healthy" weight. When I look in the mirror (or at the size on my pants) I don't see it - so I'd like to be closer to the middle or lower part of this range. Baby steps in the right direction.

Little known fact about me: While I am usually a fan of all-things-chocolate, I do NOT prefer chocolate cake. As a matter of fact - I usually will only eat chocolate cake of any sort if it is frozen...which is a whole other odd thing about me - my preference for cake products in a frozen state.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Ups and Downs

I just updated my ticker. I should be thrilled - I'm down several pounds.

But I know the truth of it. For those following the Perfect 10 updates, I've been sick - looking at the calendar - I've not been NORMAL (for me) since Jan 21st. That's a long time to feel out of sorts and not have any good reason for it. In that time, I've been blessed with a pure lack of interest in eating. That part has been a gift that I would ask to keep. The rest of the illness could just leave anytime and I'd be eternally grateful.

During my month of low energy - I've tried to keep up with some amount of activity. I've been successful at staying away from soda - with only a few moments of craving. (Luckily, my hubby must have read one of my posts -because when I recently requested his cooperation in feeding my craving - he refused. Kisses to you!) I could not tell you how many trips I've sent him on to the land of McD's - clearly, I have not been so concerned about sticking to healthy eating.

Somehow the pounds are still dropping - maybe that is the secret. If you want to eat McD's you need to only eat ONE meal that day? Not that I would advise such actions. And in case you are wondering - it's not water weight. I've been monitroing my fluid intake pretty closely and seeing the result on the scale.

I have crossed the magic percentage of body fat. At the beginning I was just ever so slightly in the highly overweight (notice avoidance of the "o" word) category. I've been in the "slightly overweight" category for about a month now and making progress at getting in the lower range of that category. I had a randomly insane thought today as I peeked at the numbers - imagine how much weight I could have peeled off if I had actually EXERCISED during this fasting period? But even the burst of brilliance nearly sent me back to bed from exhaustion.

Now that I'm starting to have just a smidge of energy return - my first focus will be on force feeding myself some kind of nutrious food on a daily basis. And breaking my love affair with far as he is concerned, I'm going back into hiding.

I'm kind of sad about the thought that my numbers will realistically go up as I get better - my current intake of food is nowhere near a sensible diet. So, be kind, as you watch the yo-yo effect that I will undoubtely be taking. I think it's the first time I've ever been hesitant to share good news - with the fear of "failing" in upcoming weeks.

I keep hearing the weatherman promise signs of spring to come...and I can't help but hope that I recover from my winter cold symptoms before we begin ragweed season! Never a dull moment - but I'll keep hanging in there! Hope you are all doing the same - with fewer germs!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Don't You Know Who I Am?

We watched the movie Fame this weekend. Not the classic one, but the remake. R's daughter loves musicals, so I thought she would enjoy it, and I'd kind of been wanting to see it. It was rated PG, so I figured it would be okay for a seven-year-old, and it basically was. There were one or two instances of cussing, and one scene in particular that she probably shouldn't have seen, but I truly don't think she even understood it.

It wasn't all that fabulous. I don't remember seeing the original (but now it's in my Netflix queue) so maybe it was just a sucky remake. Or maybe it wasn't that great a movie to begin with. But it was okay.

Anyhow, my point here is that as I was watching, I was mesmerized by the dancing. Not just because I love dancing. But, it hit me while watching that I would LOVE to have that much control over my body. Because basically I feel like I have very little control over my body.

Once upon a time I was an active kid who ran and jumped and flipped and turned upside down and played on monkey bars and took gymnastics classes. I could almost do the splits. I could water ski. I loved to dance. I had some measure of control over my body, and I could basically make it do whatever I wanted it to do.

Now it has a mind of it's own, and we don't always agree on what it should do. It doesn't move as easily as it once did. It isn't as flexible as I'd like it to be. It's much more tired than I think it should be. Yet it doesn't sleep when I want it to. It's pretty hard to get along with. If it were my teenager, it would be grounded a lot.

I'm not into the Olympics much, or sports in general. But I do watch certain athletes in awe. I was watching a baton twirler practice in the gym today while I walked, and I was amazed that she could control her body in such a way as to make that little stick do exactly what she wanted. I'm amazed when I see gymnasts fling themselves into the air, around a bar, or across a beam. I can't imagine this body ever being at my beck and call enough for me to convince it to do any of that.

But, I realized while walking and pondering all this that truthfully, what I put in my mouth and what activities I make my body do are completely in my control. I feel quite often like I can't control my food intake, or like I can't make myself go to the gym. But the truth is, I can.

And maybe from now on I will. At least a little bit more often.

Most Awesome Song I Heard While Working Out: "Fame" by Irene Cara (not the remake, the REAL one) I have always loved this song. I kind of think of it as one of my many "theme songs." You know, like how Ally McBeal's therapist made her have a theme song? And she chose "Ooh Child"? "You ain't seen the best of me yet! Give me time, I'll make you forget the rest."