Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's Been A Long, Long Time

Well - it feels like it anyway. Since the dreary part of winter (even in the south) has FINALLY passed I have been otherwise occupied and this blog has gone down on the priority list. Of course, this weight loss journey continues and WILL continue.

I've been on 3 hikes these past 3 weekends. A couple of the trails I do regularly, the other was with a old friend I hadn't seen in forever. I've used these hikes (4-5 miles) kind of as a "get-the-winter-rust-off" hikes. I didn't worry about the scenery or stopping to look at any foliage (especially since there wasn't any to speak of yet). One big thing I've noticed this year over last year is that I'm able to get through the hikes quicker and not having to stop and catch my breath after any of the hills. And, I've vowed to up my trail mileage this year to 6-8 miles on most weekends.

I will be going on a trail within the next couple of weeks that I was on last year. It has a hill that kind of kicked my butt. When I was on it last year I told that hill that I would be back - in better shape - and this time I would be the victor.

I still have a long ways to go. However, its these small victories that I use as "mental vitamins" for the journey.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Goal Met

Have already met my March goal of 4lbs of loss to reach 254. Will now shoot for another 2-4lbs of weight loss. Averaging at least 1lb dropped per week is still the goal for the long haul.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What Do You Crave?

This week I noticed something wonderful. And that is, since I've started on this journey in early December 2009 I've had maybe 10-12 sodas. That happens to be a significant decrease over what I used to drink. Over the previous year I was consuming at least 3-4 per week, sometimes more. Now, I didn't even include fewer sodas in any of my goals since I started. It just happened. And to me that's great news.

Wendy's fries I do get a craving for from time to time. Yesterday was the first time I had any in over a month. And when I gave myself permission to have one sausage biscuit every week I have actually had only one since then - and that's been a few weeks.

Progress is being made, for sure. However, I know that I will have to always be aware of what I am consuming lest I fall back to my old habits. That is why it is important that I accumulate in my backpack the right tools that will allow me to be successful throughout my COMPLETE journey.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Activity Journal

Having had success with keeping a food journal, I am now going to start keeping an activity journal. This is to help monitor how much extra activity I do each day. Now, I don't plan on keeping track of what has been my normal activity level, but it will keep track of the changes I am trying to incorporate.

My journal will be basic and will include the good (hiking, walking, yard work, etc) and the bad (how much time did I sit in front of the tv each day). The bad column is like the fat gram column in my food journal. Some intake is fine, while too much can be down right scary when you look at the numbers!

The journal will only contain the activity, and how many minutes. This will fit in nicely with my NEAT goals listed on my goals page. I will keep this journal for a minimum of 3 weeks, but as long as necessary until I know that the awareness of those numbers has become habit.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Move It

What are you doing to move more in your daily routine? How sedentary are you?

I started reading a book a few weeks ago titled "Move a Little, Lose a Lot" by James A. Levine, Md, PhD and Selene Yeager. Although I haven't read any more of this book since then I do plan on reading it and start incorporating the principles this month. This book addresses the NEAT* science developed by Dr. Levine that at it's core is by moving more during our day we will burn more calories and therefore be able to maintain a healthier weight. (*NEAT stands for nonexercise activity thermogenesis - or the calories you burn really living). In his studies he mentions that by averaging 135 minutes of movement -any type- each day then we can burn calories and increase our energy.

Now that the weather is getting better, it will be easier to get outside and incorporate more movement. The activities I know I can do, some fun - some not as much fun, are walk in the neighborhood, yard work, mowing, gardening, pulling weeds, hiking to name a few. Also, I can get in my shop for some woodworking since it's not freezing out there.

There are plenty of things inside as well that burn calories. Preparing meals, vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, laundry, standing/walking while on the phone, etc.

The point is, we need to look for ways to get off our duff. Even the mere act of standing burns more calories than sitting (not much - but it does).

I recommend purchasing the book and reading it. When reading it you may think "no duh - basic common sense". But his book goes more into the science of it and serves as a good swift kick in the pants for us.

I've added some movement goals to my GOALS page. Join in with me and make this month a new beginning for more movement.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Adjusting My Mindset

While on this journey I am realizing that I constantly have to readjust my mind to what is an acceptable max weight that I want to see on the scale. Now, I know that my body will go through fluctuations both natural and adjusting to the new lifestyle I have chosen.

Since I am on the scale usually twice a day I know that typically in the evening I will weigh 2-3 lbs more than in the morning. Using that information, what I have started doing is writing on a post-it note the max weight I want to see on the scale in the evening. That number goes on the mirror where I see it everyday. Once I have dropped another pound or two then I will put up another lower max weight post-it.

What I am trying to achieve is that by the time I reach my goal weight - or health, then my mind will already be trained to a max weight that I am comfortable with. And then, if I go over that I will know that I need to make the changes to get back to my "ideal". I want to get away from the thought that it will be ok to gain another 5-10-20 lbs since I weighed quite a bit more than that at my heaviest.

I've been doing this for about three weeks now and it seems to be working. This might be something that you can also use with whatever tweaks you need to make to it.

Happy trails!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fat Gram Reality Check

In previous posts I talked about my food journals. In those journals I would keep track of actual serving size, calories, and fat grams. That got me into a great routine of thinking about what I was actually eating. In the past few days I have actually backed off from keeping the journal, although if I feel that I've made some bad choices for a particular day then I will write it down and see what I actually consumed. A couple of examples would be: 1) did I eat any fast food, or 2) did I skip any meals or snacks.

What I have come up with now is a list of foods that have been a main part of my life, but that shouldn't be. Having that list posted in a visible place is always a reminder when I start getting a "craving" for a particular food. I keep mine on the refrigerator. This list will contain what I used to normally eat, the calories, and the fat grams. Looking at that list can be quite a shocker!

Some examples are:
  • Wendys Spicy Chicken Combo Meal: 970 calories, 32 fat grams
  • Sausage & Biscuits: qty 2, 56 fat grams
  • Captain D's 2 piece fish dinner: 1204 calories, 76 fat grams
  • KFC Extra Crispy Breast: 510 calories, 33 fat grams (doesn't even include the rest of the meal!)

This list doesn't yet include some things that we usually had for snacks (ie., potato chips), or things that we prepare at home (fried foods, breaded meats), but you should get the idea. And that idea is to scare you straight! :o)

This is not to say that you can never have those foods again. It's just keeping the consumption to a minimal frequency.