Thursday, April 27, 2017

Who are you and what did you do with my couch potato?

I feel like my husband has to be asking me this in his mind. I have been a bit of an athlete in different areas of my life, but I have never been a runner/ walker. I walked for purpose. I did not walk for pleasure. I have never been interested in racing or any other running activity. As a matter of fact, until quite recently, I would laugh and say "If I am running, you should run too. Something is chasing me."

Now, I am proud of my movement. I want to get out and move. I am excited to run more. If you look back a few weeks, the coolest thing I had done was completing the first "run" on my c25k app. I have repeated that week a lot. I did try the second week, and went back to the first. BUT guess what??? I am getting faster. I am also able to run more of the sequences. The first week there are 8 sequences of running. My first week, I ran maybe one sequence. I would walk faster for the others. I started to say walk fast, but I am not fast. ***Full disclosure, I almost run a mile in the same time I did in high school. Of course Coach Neale would yell at me and tell me I was an embarrassment. I was sassy and snarky in high school and every time he yelled I would go slower to prove I did not care. I was "doing" the mile that he asked me to, so he couldn't really give me a lower grade. I was just not going to hustle. ***

I enjoyed dancing/ acro. Had he let me do cartwheels, front hand springs, and split leaps down the track, I might have actually finished faster. HAHAHA. I enjoyish running now. It still kicks my butt, but I am looking forward to each improvement. I am getting better. Just this week I ran a total of 5 of the 8 intervals. I ran run 1, most of 2, 4, 6, 8 and a little tiny bit of 3 and 5. Oh my! I am improving. No I am not good, but I am better. I have also shaved about 3 minutes off my beginning snails pace. I still only move about 3mph, but I am 3mph faster than I was two months ago! I don't care about split times, I care that I can do it.

My first 5k is Saturday! Wish me luck. Peace and happiness.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Goal Setting and Winning

Having goals is always a good thing. You should make goals in all areas of your life. Goals give you direction. Before I tell you about my non-scale victory, I want to tell you some of my goals and we can critique them together.

One of the things I see often right now is the acronym SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time. Here are some of my current goals. Some are general and some are weight loss related.

Be a better listener.
Be a better housekeeper (always a goal, I am not good here)
Be more organized.
Lose 53 more pounds by July
Add 1000 steps to daily goal weekly, ONLY if I reach my goal 3 or more days that week. (More on that in a moment.
Be healthier.

My problem with my goals is they are kind of vague. Be a better listener, be a better housekeeper, be more organized, and be healthier are not very specific. Non-specific goals are not very SMART for many reasons, but I need to work on them. I think I may try to make a list of 12 goals and tackle them each month. I will come up with specific, measurable goals, and ways to reach them each month and try to do them. I will probably forget or not get that done, because I am flaky and disorganized. :)

I have 2 goals here that are specific. One may seem confusing but I will explain it momentarily. First, lose 53 pounds by July is Specific, sort of. Fifty-three is a specific number and July is a specific month. The problem here with the specificity is that I don't say when in July. The first? Fifteenth? Thirty First? Okay, so lets say the 23rd which is the hubby's birthday. Well, that's almost fourteen weeks. In fourteen weeks it would not be advisable by most to lose 53 pounds. Healthy weight loss is generally 1-2 pounds a week. At fourteen weeks, that's only 28 pounds recommended loss. So, it's specific, measurable, attainable (I can lose 53 pounds in 14 weeks) it's not realistic. Let's adjust that weight-time ratio to my anniversary. So now, if I say that my goal is to lose 53 pounds by

October 31, it is Specific (certain number of pounds in a certain amount of time), Measurable (I can see the pounds on the scale and the date on the calendar), Achievable (I can lose weight), Reasonable (I can do it in 27 weeks, and it has a defined Time. I can make it a SMART goal easily.

On to a SMART goal that I am slaying. I made a goal to add 1000 steps to my step goal each week, if I hit my step goal at least 3 days that week. Then when I hit 10,000 as a goal, I will add 1000 every other week until 15000. Let me give you an example that might make it more understandable: Let's say this is week one, and my goal is 6000 steps a day. I must hit that target at least 3 days in week one in order to increase to a goal of 7000 a day in week two. I don't beat myself up if I don't meet my goal, but I do try again next week. I began week 1 with a goal of 5000 steps per day. Low, I know. I was even struggling to hit that goal. I don't know exactly what week I am on (it feels like week 4000), but I have been consistently adding 1000 steps. I am now up to 9000 steps per day. I have almost doubled my weekly goal. That is great. I have also begun to hit that goal with less effort.  I will post a few pictures. Keep in mind that when you raise your step goal with FitBit it doesn't maintain your goal at the time of the steps. For example, when I adjusted my goal on Sunday (I always change on Sunday) any day that didn't hit the new goal doesn't have a star, even if it did before. Also, FitBit adjusts the scale on the y axis to meet the needs of the graph. The first chart starts at 2000 and stops at 6000  but the second one begins at 6000. There are significantly different numbers at play here. The biggest thing is that I have doubled my weekly steps in just a month, and I feel good about it. I am reaching that goal. I should make the goal again this week, which means next week 10,000. I will then start reaching for 15,000 essentially. That's triple my original goal! It matters. I feel better, I look better, and I am happier. Be proud when you reach a goal that doesn't involve the scales. Set SMART goals, and go for them. 
 3 More pictures to show the last 3 days:  In order they are 4/17, 4/16, 4/15. Whew!

Peace be with you.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Recipe time!

Food, YUM.

I see people post questions all the time on Keto/ LC boards that ask "How do you make your egg salad?"

Here's how I make mine:
Warning! It is boring but I like it!!!

6-8 Eggs (I usually use 6 Large or Extra Large)
2T Mayo (I try to get mayo without sugar added)
1-2 t mustard

In my pressure cooker I place the eggs on the steamer basket with 1C of water in the pot. 5-6 minutes pressure and then quick release and remove to ice bath. Once eggs cool, peel and mash/ chop. Pressure cooking makes peeling a delight. Sometimes I use the food processor to mash/ chop the eggs. Once I get the eggs mashed into my desired chunk size, I add mayo and mustard and stir. I usually get 5-6 lunches out of a batch. I don't do more because no one else in my house will eat egg salad.

Lately I put a scoop on a lettuce leaf and roll it up. MMMMM tasty! Sometimes I eat it on a salad. Once in a while I will have actual bread. The horror!!!!

Happy eating.

What is right for me?

In many groups on Facebook and on SparkPeople I see the question, "What diet should I follow?" or something similar. Well, here's the answer everyone should be giving you "I don't know. _______ plan works for me, and I love it because ____________." This could conversely be answered with "I don't know, but ______ did not work for me (seems dangerous), because________."

Here's the thing, people are passionate about what works for them. Yesterday, I made the mistake of pointing out reasons that certain plans might not be right for everyone and drama ensued. I was subsequently removed from a group, but that's okay, every time I answer a question in that group, lately, someone takes my response wrong and gets pissy anyway.

Here's the thing. Keto eating can be great for any number of people. For some, like me, it is far to restrictive, and due to medical issues can actually be dangerous. Don't tell the die hard Keto people that, or you will be strung up and flogged. I do restrict my carbs, generally 40-50 these days, because since beginning my workout routine I am too tired to function at 20-30. Some days, shhhh don't tell, I do up to 100 net carbs. Yesterday I did 89. I did not die. I also work out almost every day. Even on my "rest" days, I try to be active and do some stretching. I have several apps I use, and I love them. Keto is not right for me. If you ask me what plan, and you are a low carb person, I am going to tell you what I think. I need to add the caveat "but that works for me" to every post.

Second, I do not like a diet that completely removes an entire food group. I am not fond of vegetarian or vegan diets. I am also not fond of a Ketoer who will NEVER eat a grain or potato again in his or her life. I think each food group has valuable nutrients and benefits. Heck, even dark chocolate and wine have antioxidants that are beneficial. Now, that chocolate cake should not be consumed on the regular, but a cupcake now and then can lift your spirits a bit. If you feel better, sometimes, you will do more to improve yourself.

We all know that I am doing a low carb diet. It is what is best for me. I am at a higher risk for diabetes and similar issues. Low carb high fat (LCHF) is the preferred diet for these conditions. Does that mean that everyone at a high risk or with these conditions "better" do LCHF?  Nope, you should do what works best for you. I talked about this a little a while back when I mentioned that your fat is not my fat. I do, however, think that it bears repeating. Every body is different in the way that it processes food.

Now, while I don't like certain diets, that does not mean that one cannot be healthy on them. I do know what certain foods contain higher amounts of things we need. Animal fat is more readily processed by our bodies and some of the oils and fats that are plant based are so refined and processed their benefits are greatly reduced, if not eliminated. That said, avocados (yuck) are a great source of plant fat. Proteins are also more easily obtained from animal products. Does that mean that the only proteins are in animal products? No! Many people skip dairy for many reasons. Just to name a few: cows milk is meant for baby cows, hormones in animal based dairy, and allergies. Does this mean someone dairy free cannot get the vitamin D and calcium they need from other places? Not at all. I am not a fan. I am also not the diet police. I have read, many times, that your body prefers nutrients from food sources and supplements lose some of their potency and need to be taken in higher amounts because of what the body eliminates. I am not fond of supplements unless you just can't seem to get the nutrients, even through a fairly balanced diet. I hear, also, that most Americans, at least, are magnesium deficient. I may get mine tested. I am going to start looking for foods higher in magnesium. I don't want to be deficient.

I don't have to like your diet, journey, or life. I do need to be respectful of your choices unless they are very obviously dangerous. If you tell me you are doing meth then driving your baby around, I might just have to step in. If you tell me you have cut all pink food out of your life, I will wonder how many foods you eat that are pink to start with, but if it works go for it.

After reading this, I want you to take one thing from it: Be respectful and kind of each other's life style. Peace and love.