Category Archives: weightloss

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.

IMG_0127

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 myfitnesspal.com.

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.

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 Duolingo.com 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

027

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 Fitbit.com 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 MyFitnessPal.com (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.

Clutter and repairing the dog bed

Home

Yesterday, I worked on cleaning and organizing the upstairs. I’m still not done, but its been cathartic and energizing to get things in order.

Considering I still have this stupid cold, I’m amazed I have the energy, but I figure the sweating and exertion helps work the cold out- at least, I hope so.

IMG_3117One tip I can share is that I snap photos with my iPhone of the places I want to organize and clean. I also take measurements of dimensions so when I find a basket or bin to buy, I can get the proper size. And its all stored on the phone.

Take for instance, the photo of the top of my washer; The stuff is okay, I guess, but I don’t like seeing all the cleaners. I want to get a box to store everything in, or maybe get shelves higher up on the wall.

IMG_3105You won’t find Narnia in this closet. I promised myself that if I don’t lose 5 lbs this month, the ‘skinny clothes’ will be removed. That way I get incentive to lose weight, and if I don’t, then I clean out the closet and have more room.

Take note of the three pairs of black shoes. What the heck was I thinking? I’ll get rid of two pairs, because I don’t need three pairs of the same color and I refuse to wear heels any more.

IMG_3102

This is our dog’s bed. Note how flat and yucky it is? So I take a photo to remind me that I need to fix it. I’ll rip the seam, remove the innards, wash the outside, and stuff it with the two pillow stuffings you see in the upper left corner. Pepper will get a fresh, clean, re-stuffed bed to sleep on.

MantisDavid found a Praying Mantis in the root cellar (he’s organizing stuff in his areas, too), and so I brought it out to the grape arbor to find bugs there. It feels like good luck when I find a mantis around the house. Its lucky for the yard, anyway. Maybe it can eat the Stinkbugs that keep showing up.

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 MyFitnessPal.com. (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

I officially lost 12 lbs

 

I got on the scale today and realized I lost 12 lbs since the beginning of this year.  I started at nearly 158 lbs and now see 146 lbs. I have 20 more pounds to go to reach 125 lbs for my 5’5” frame.

At first I felt a bit disappointed, after all, shouldn’t I be able to lose 2 lbs per week? Well, yes and no. Two pounds per week is maximum so you’re not cutting too much in your calorie budget, where you can seriously deplete nutrition if you’re not careful. I also didn’t do much in the way of exercise, which I should be doing. If I did, maybe I would’ve seen faster results. Either way, 12 lbs is something if you look at it realistically. I’m also unlikely to gain it back since I’m not doing any drastic diet that will change when I reach my goal weight.

What’s nice is that a number of people comment on the weight loss. I notice a difference in my clothes, finding clothes that were too tight, now fit just fine. Yeah me!

How did I do it?

  • I counted calories, sticking to around 1300 calories per day. This will be different for each person depending on your activity level as well as height/weight/age.
  • I used portion control. I felt silly at first when I measured out things like pasta or used a kitchen scale to figure out how much an ounce of chips were, but as long as I stuck to the 1300 calories a day, it was allowed.
  • I allowed myself treats, but limited them. For instance, I would measure out portions, or even cut a portion in half if it was ‘bad’ for me.
  • I did exercise (although not enough or as much as I should). Well, I tried to do that regularly, but this stupid house shakes when you walk across the floor, and doing aerobics was just embarrassing. The summer was exceedingly hot to walk/jog, so that didn’t work out too well either.
  • Cut back on junk; increased the healthy stuff. I went nuts for salads this summer, sometimes eating just salad for a meal.
  • I allowed some cheating. Again, I might’ve seen faster, more drastic results if I didn’t, but damned if I was going to be miserable for the entire time to lose weight.

So I have twenty more pounds to lose to reach my goal. I hope to start walking/jogging on Monday now that the weather turned mild, and I’m sure my dog will be happy to help keep me at a fast pace. I also need to strength exercise. I hate weights or other strength exercises. Its so boring.

I’m hoping to reach the goal by the end of this year, but even if I see 5-10 lbs this, I’ll be fine with that too.

Dieting and Tasty Tips

I’m back on the diet wagon again. I was doing a basic diet of using the LoseIt! app on my phone to keep track of my calories and added three or more times a week, walking the dog. And guess how much I lost? Nothing! Not a single pound!
I have no idea what I did wrong. I ate less, took up walking to increase my activity, cut out the sweets, and for nothing. I did this for three weeks before giving up-
Well, I took a break. I can’t really give up because the doctor said I was pre-diabetic and need to lost 15=20 lbs.
Now I’m back on the diet wagon, watching my calories and scheduling myself for visit to the gym. I’ll work harder at the workouts. Something must change, right?
Dieting sucks, but fortunately, my diet plan allows for anything providing its within 1400 calories a day. I can have candy bars and junk, but you learn very quickly that you can’t have much without sacrificing the good healthy food. A single candy bar is almost an entire healthy meal.
So one of the things I’m changing is switching my three cups of coffee to one or two, and switching to tea. (Coffee creamer adds calories)  Tea isn’t the warm, cozy drink I love, but I realized if I added a dash of orange or vanilla extract, it makes for a better, tastier tea. I can also sip caffeine free tea in the evening hours.
I also switched from mayonnaise to garlic hummus. *You can buy pre-made or make your own). The hummus has a better flavor, lower fat (and includes the healthy fats), and provides tons more health benefits. It also adds more taste, in my humble opinion.
Its making those little changes that will hopefully provide me the much needed change in weight. At least I hope to see something. Even if I can see a change in strength, alertness, or other health benefits, I’ll be happy.