Category Archives: diet and exercise

Stepp’n up walking and diet

160 simI wanted to share my experiences for this month in exercise and diet, but this post if the things I use to help me along the way.

The reason I need to lose weight is a concern to get Diabetes. I’m already pre-diabetic. I also feel like a slug, with no energy, so very much out of shape, and want to increase my metabolism by winter so I can feel warm.

Here are my tools:

Fitbit Flex Tracker. I got this when I upgraded my phone last year, and the Fitbit was free. It’s a pedometer but has some nifty things to help with other things.

Currently, I’m working on 5,000 steps a day and hopefully will reach 10,000 by the end of the month.

Fitbit Charge This model of Fitbit includes a heart rate monitor.

Alarms– I can set alarms that buzz my wrist through the day or night. I can have it wake me, or set as a reminder, and can have a number of alarms through the day. Even alarms to remind me to walk.

fitbitFitbit App for iPhone– The Fitbit can be used with the computer only, but the app adds some additional features I enjoy. It tracks 250 steps you should be walking each hour of your waking day.


Scans food and adds to your daily tracking. Just scan the barcode with your iPhone and it adds the calories and serving size to your tracking.

Other smart phones can also provide this feature such as

Weight Scale. I do not weigh myself every day. I might weigh through the week, but the pounds only count on Fridays. The human body can change weight due to water weight gain, and I also recognize that gaining muscle will also add to the scale while you’re losing fat.

Weight measure tape. I measure weekly, on Fridays, to see if there are changes. I’ve seen no change on the weight scale but found inches drop off.

Eating six times a day. I eat smaller three meals, each including fruit/veggies, lean protein, and complex carb. I allow for three snacks, but eat mostly veggies, fruit, or the occasional piece of deli meat like turkey or ham.

Lots of water. I drink more water, sometimes tea, and only 1-2 cups of coffee in the mornings. Water comes first, and hydrate through the day.

My first week of September? I lost three pounds, probably water, but feel better.


September Adventures

September is filled with goals. I felt if I shared them, readers can hold me to them. More importantly, join or support me in my endeavors. So here goes;

160 simLose weight. Being an old woman, this proves more difficult than before, and it wasn’t easy in my younger days. This means a contending a lower metabolism with exercise (walking) and watching what I eat. This goals also means to get myself in shape, get more muscle.

I want to fit in my old clothes but also have a higher metabolism so I can feel warmer in the winter months. Being a slug lends to being very cold all the time.

sugar freeNo sugar. Yep, you read that correctly- NO SUGAR for the month of September. I’m even avoiding sugar substitutes and processed foods. Veggies, fruit, lean protein, and mostly water and tea rather than soda. I drink Sugar Free Hazelnut creamer with my coffee in the mornings, but that’s pretty much it.

My hope is that cutting out sugar will get me more energy, I’ll be healthier, and my brain will work with more clarity…hopefully.

Purple Crocus Pen Rubber Grip Pen Write and publish regularly. I want to focus on fiction, but I have a few non-fiction projects ‘in the works’. Between short stories, a novel, and non-fiction eBooks,  I hope to earn more income.

I have a number of books published on Amazon.


duolingoLearn conversational Spanish as well as some German. I focus more on Spanish, but German is fun to speak with all the visceral pronunciation. I would like to have a basic conversation in Spanish, perhaps even understanding reading or watching Spanish TV. I’m using which provides free language lessons via their site and smart phone apps.

Offer new services on my web sites. My writer’s site will have Book Cover Design and editing services, while my pagan site will have ecourses, workshops, and ebooks. I hope to have this all done and up by the end of the month.

Minor goals include:

  • Drink more water (no or only a little soda)
  • Practice Morning Pages (I’ll blog about this soon)

I’ll post regularly on my goals. So with perseverance, the end of this month, I’ll be slimmer, fitter, published, working more, speaking Spanish, and finding more things to achieve.



Diet, exercise e-motivations


This is a Fitbit Flex wristband I’ve been trying out for the past few weeks. Wow. Its been quite enlightening on my activity.

Fitbit Flex monitors your steps, and even your sleep if you remember to tap the band before you lie down. I don’t bother because I know it monitors movement, and I know I can have issues with insomnia and not move because I have a dog that sleeps with me, and I don’t want to disturb her.

The band is waterproof and sweat proof. Parts include the rubbery band with a tiny monitor you have to periodically recharge via the included USB cord.  Charges last for almost a week.

You connect with to check your progress, add foods you’ve eaten, and there’s also an area to compare yourself with the average (if you pay the annual membership fee of $49.99 yr). The other stuff is free.

It works with a number of app, so I’ve chosen to connect my (free)account and my Striiv (free) account.

028MyFitnessPal has a very cool iPhone app where I can just scan my foods with the code, and it automatically adds it. This also tracks exercise, water intake, and gives some charts on your fat, protein, and carb ratios.

Striiv is a bit different. Unless you’re using a Striiv device, there’s no access to anything through their site. They do, 029however, have a neat iPhone app that tracks walking. It also includes a cute little game where the steps you take earn you coin and energy. The game reminds me of Farmville, but it’s a little village with magical creatures in it. The challenges are fun to do such as ‘reach 500 steps in 10 minutes’.

You don’t need a device, but the device makes it more accurate. There’s also an android version.

My workouts are basic. I visit the gym three times a week to use the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike (depending on my mood), and then I use weights for 10-15 minutes. I will then walk the dog down along the river.

IMG_1594 (374x500)I walk Pepper on days I don’t go to the gym, and sometimes on days that I do. She loves it, since she can sniff all the smells and explore in the woods. 

Diet is just calorie counting, although this time I do focus on less carbs, more lean protein, and low fat. I try to stick to 1200-1300 calories a day. If I go over a bit, no biggie.

Thoughts on habits and change

I’ve been doing some reading on changing habits in order to make improvements in my life. Namely, I want to get back into working out regularly, and get some productive things done instead  of wasting my time like I do. (Damn you, Pinterest!)
I used to say my worst habit was biting my fingernails. I’d bite them almost to the point of bleeding, and it was incessant. Half the time, I wasn’t even aware that I was doing it.
So how’d I change?
For starters, I recognized that it was a habit I wanted to change. That’s the first step. You can’t get too far with anything if you don’t realize the commitment you’ll need to achieve a goal.
The second part had more to do with understand the reasons why I bit my fingernails. It really wasn’t the nail biting that was the issue; it was feeling anxious and nervous. This goes for eating as well. Maybe it’s a human instinct to put something in our mouths when we feel like that, but once I recognized that, I had to find ways to calm myself down.
I also recognized that this wasn’t going to happen overnight. I bit my fingernails for 40 years. I couldn’t expect I’d just flip a switch in my brain and change that. It ended up taking months if not a year to accomplish, but I did it.
I found tricks to calm myself, and cope with issues I was trying to change. I always kept on hand nail clippers. I would file them at any given time to remove snags that often led to my nibbling. I also would mentally say the word ‘calm’ in an inner voice that was low, slow, and almost sounding like the ‘Om’ in meditation. Oddly, it worked.
A few months into this, I realize my nails clicking against the table. I eventually needed to trim them. I had to learn to grow accustomed to having nails, like scratching myself where it hurt and reminding myself “Oh yeah, I have fingernails now”.
Now I don’t have any want of biting them at all.
I need to do the same for a few other habits- like the eating sweets. My dad used to call me Cookie Monster when I was little because my voracious want for all things sweet. It wasn’t a sweet tooth- heck, I had a set of sweet chompers. NOM NOM NOM
And I want to adopt a habit of exercising regularly. This will be tough because 1) I hate exercising, namely sweating. My glasses slip down my nose, and its just upleasant. And 2) I can’t figure out the best time to workout.
I’ll figure it out eventually.

Resolution goal: weight loss

sharon-w-cameraI wanted to give a head’s up on my efforts on losing weight. Last year I lost about 15 lbs. I did that without starving, cutting out food groups, and although I could’ve lost more, I didn’t want the whole diet/exercise thing to make life horrible.

The picture here is when I was 122 lbs, before I got pregnant, and had tons of time to jog, work on a ski machine, and I was vegetarian, at the time.

So my plan is pretty simple;

I joined (free) This site work like many similar sites like Sparkpeople or other weight loss sites. I’ve tried other sites, but some don’t offer apps, and if they do, the app requires my typing in the food journal each time (0r requires the Internet to search the database) MyFitnessPal works offline, and provides a scanner. I scan the UPC code and it gets automatically added to the journal. The app also provides more of a social, encouraging type feature, plus you can download other apps to work with it.

Calorie goal: 1400 calories per day. I can eat what I want, providing I stay with that, and limit the refined carbs and fat.

I downloaded Striv to the Iphone. (free) This fun app works like a pedometer and cheers you on as you walk/run. You can set goals and the app provides a number of challenges such as 8,000 steps to reach. Once you achieve the goal,  you earn ‘coins’ for a little game that’s in the app. (Its similar to the Facebook type games).

IMG_1594 (374x500)I walk or jog, sometimes with the dog. There are charts out there that will tell you how many calories you burn while walking a dog, and oddly enough, it implies you burn less than just regular walking. They obviously don’t know my dog- who is an Australian Cattle Dog/Aussie Shepherd mix. Sometimes I get dragged along, but I’m not allowed a leisurely walk- not ever. I’m certain I burn more calories that way…

I also need to incorporate some strength exercises. I don’t like strength exercises, where you count repetitions. I like cardio, where all I do is concentrate on breathing and moving. Otherwise, I can lose myself in daydreaming or listening to my music. But as a 45 year old woman, strength exercises helps with stronger bones and posture.

My current weight is 147 lbs. I want to get down to 120-125 lbs. by the summer. If you care to join me, sign up with MyFitnessPal and I will encourage you on, and perhaps you can do the same for me.

Created by MyFitnessPal – Nutrition Facts For Foods

Fun with a new app- Striiv

striivI got a new Iphone app today called Striiv, which works as a pedometer. I was glad to see I didn’t need to buy any equipment, but simply turn it on and start walking. you can find many apps that do this same thing, but Striiv has something a bit different; it includes a number of trophies you earn.
Take note of the graphic, and you can see I burned enough calories if I drank a sugared soda. You also can select challenges to earn more points and trophies. With those, you earn coins and ‘energy’ for this game that comes with the app.
myfitnesspalAnyway, they send me an update alert that they’ve partnered with a number of apps and services (that require electronic devices such as pedometers) but I see this one, Striiv. The idea intrigues me; walk to earn stuff for this game.
striivgameThe game itself is primitive, kind of like Farmville on Facebook, but I get started just walking around the house and yes indeed- it keeps track of my steps. The app doesn’t require any pedometers or equipment. It uses the Iphone to navigate.
You unlock things, and can also just walk around your house to earn the steps needed for the game. Or not play the game.
I’d love if they incorporated other games, something akin to the Zombies Run! app, but with spies or other adventures. That would be so cool
I’m definitely motivated to walk my dog more now.

UPDATE: I ended up deleting the app. It kept screwing up the numbers for calories/exercise on I would find it gave me 130 calories that I ‘burned from walking’ when I didn’t walk at all.

Smoothies, Ziploc vacuum bag, and funny family quotes

smoothieThe other blog post, I mentioned how much I loved morning smoothies for breakfast. I use frozen fruit- mostly strawberries and bananas, but sliced and frozen beforehand. A cup of almond milk (unsweetened) and a scoop of protein powder, and viola! A tasty thick shake for breakfast.  Tastes like ice cream.

Since making them, I find when I buy bananas before they go bad, I slice them up and freeze them. Even if I did have rotting bananas, I froze them too, to thaw out later for banana bread or something.

I also discovered this nifty new product by Ziploc called the vacuum bag. I wanted to get the machine, but this is so much cheaper and uses a small hand pump. I can now vacuum seal things in the baggies, often washing them after to be reused later.

See the video to see how its done.

Some funny family quotes:

While discussing mental/health/social health in homeschool my son Danny tells me “I like my family, because they’re messed up”

The other night our conversation at dinner:
David mentioned the Williamsport Days had crab balls. I didn’t say anything, I just snickered. David rolls his eyes “That’s why Daniel is the way he is!” to which I pointed out him being inappropriate with me earlier that day. I heard Daniel say “Best parents ever!”

While playing this game called Minecraft in multiplayer, Danny and I are in some sort of weird prank war. I didn’t like his putting dirt in my windows, so I decorated his house with tons of torches “Look! Its Christmas!”, so just now he said he ‘might have’ left a TNT explosive in my house. o.O

My Blog Posts:

Tigger as my totem

Wicca- How to Begin (A reading list)

A recipe for Ginger ale Syrup (good for tummy troubles)