Friday, October 29, 2010

Tips, Tricks and Friday inspiration

Sugar is in the news this week.  It looks like our new "front of the box" food label requirements may not require sugar.

Here is a comparison of our favorite sugar to hate:   Corn syrup.  This article compares the high-fructose version with regular corn syrup.  To me the real danger in corn syrup is not the corn syrup but that as a nation, we've become acclimated to so much of our food being sweet. 

And to inspire you today -- this little gem came to me on Facebook and -- I apologize -- but that's where you will have to view it.  This little gal really knows how to start her day.  There is nothing like a good look in the mirror!

Happy Halloween weekend everyone.  May your tricks be few and your treats wisely chosen!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tips, Tricks and Friday inspiration

Today's inspiration comes from a cool blog on celebrating the small things.

I'm constantly inspired by my dear hubby, who is maintaining his 70 pound loss since May.  Recently we talked about how much fat you really need and found this great article to advise us.

On a personal front, my parents have just arrived with their RV for a visit of several weeks.  Traditionally, I throw my health plans out the window when we have guests but I am going to do things differently this time.     I don't want to see a six-week setback so I am committed to staying the course.  Here is what I commit to:

Log all my food
Get 3000+ calories of exercise each week (log it!)
Post a weekly check-in each week after weighing in.

The day of my check-in post may change as I accommodate sight seeing -- but I will weigh in and post each week. 

That's it for today folks.  Happy weekend!

Note:  Can one of my faithful readers please let me know if these links don't work for you?  I'm not sure if SparkPeople works without logging in!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Weekly Check In

Without further ado, here is my weekly check-in which I have decided to resume:

Current Weight: 207.6
Weight Last Week: 209.3
 Weight loss since last week: 1.7 pound

These are Weight Watcher's numbers;  my scale weighs me at almost 5 POUNDS less!  This says to me that I need to get there every week at least to weigh in -- I have been letting family things get in my weigh -- er way -- lately.

On a scale of 1 to 5 with "5" being perfect, here's how I rate my week:

Eating 4
Exercise 4
Motivation 3

It "felt" like work this week.  What I notice is that when the children are out of sync, I get hungry.  Hmmm.  So I am committing to more deep breathing and less stuffing the pie-hole.  Even if what I am stuffing it with is "in the box"  -- somehow my metabolism seems to know the difference!

My creative exercise opportunity for the week was my crazy day in which I had all my friends write my routine.  It was tremendous fun and my muscles are STILL sore!

This week my goal is to get my exercise in early in the week.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fun and Productive Workout

Yesterday I woke up unhappy because my Wii was out of commission.  I love the Wii -- it entertains "The Littles" so well while I exercise.  So I logged into my favorite weight loss site asked for help for creative ideas to burn the 800 calories I needed to make up for what I didn't finish the day before!

I got 10 or 11 responses and  I decided to use almost all the suggestions. I figured out how long I had to do each to burn about 100 calories at that particular activity.  This was by far the most fun I have EVER had working out!  I think I will re-run it tomorrow!  My Chanelle (age 12) took the pics for me.  I think she thought I'd lost my mind.   We can't show you "The Little's" faces because of foster-care privacy, but we found some creative ways to include them since they were part of the whole workout. 

My first exercise was Hula-Hooping.  I have never hooped more than 5 minutes before, so 10 was a big stretch.  The thing I love about it is that it is IMPOSSIBLE not to smile.  It's just plain fun.  

Next up, stairs - even though we only have 4 steps!  I let the two least sick kids play in the front yard while I did this (the front yard is a rare treat) and it was great.  By the end, they were running the steps too!  Well, running is a bit of an exaggeration since one of them still has to crawl up the steps and the other needs the railing!

There was a  great idea to jog through the house and lift up "The Littles."  This was hilarious fun and WAY harder than it sounds.  They totally loved it and I think I will get 100 calories knocked out this way every day.   For a while the baby chased me around -- that was pretty funny too.  He thought I was chasing him but it was definitely the other way round! 

Next up:  Jillian Michael's Deck of Cards.  I drew a lot of lunges, which are hard for me and I was definitely sweating at the end of the 13 minutes it took me for 100+ burn!  I liked the intrigue and may riff off it with my own little circuit of some sort tomorrow. 

The big girls were outside, so I went with a suggestion for dance.  I put my iPod on "shuffle" and just did whatever came up next.  It was interpretive dancing I guess.  I'm sure I looked ridiculous but I had so much fun.

Then I moved to exercise TV.  My 12 year old is into hip-hop so I entertained her by doing some hip-hop with her.  Pretty embarrassing but she looked good.  Isn't she beautiful? Except for this one, she took all the photos.  You can see I am getting tired by this point!

More Fit TV.  The Littles were up by then so I did Family Walk Strong -- it was fun and awesome.  Two of the babies came in and out of it -- I will definitely do it again!  Here I am with my 9th grader (well her legs anyway!)

Another round of  "Dance."  This time I did a crazy dance thing on Exercise on Demand.  I had to laugh at my lack of skill!  Yikes. 

This was absolutely the most fun and with the exception of Jillian's cards, they were all high burn rate too.  Next time you are looking to mix it up, take orders from your friends -- it was the most I have smiled working out in ages.

Here's my recap:
Hula-hoop, 10 minutes, 100 cals
Run stairs, 8 minutes, 101 cals,
Jog and lift, 11 minutes, 104 cals
Jillian's cards, 13 minutes, 101 cals
iPod dance, 10 minutes, 101 cals
ABCs of HipHop, 11 minutes, 101 cals
Family Walk Strong, 21 minutes,, 101 cals
Jive Dance - 11 minutes, 101 cals

Grand total 817.  Try it yourself!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tips, Tricks and Friday Inspiration

Woo-hoo another weekend!  Good for the soul -- but will it be good for the body?  My "default" weekend plan is to stay the course but I recently heard an idea that is now in my "back-up plan bag." 

Consider maintaining for the weekend, particularly if you have some type of social event or on holiday weekends.  Why?  Most of us have had the experience of going into the weekend with a vague promise to "be good," making some impulsive poor choice, then throwing the food plan out the window with a vow to start anew on Monday.  The trouble is, this happens weekend after weekend.  Plus, we all know the "weekend" actually starts with Friday lunch.  This is how it looks graphically.

Progress Toward goal Monday through Thursday: 
+ + + +
Back-tracking from goal Friday through Sunday:
- - -
Assuming you do no more damage on the weekend then the progress you made on the other days, you are actually only making progress on ONE day:

When I look at it like this, no WONDER I fail to lose some weeks!

If we maintain our weight on the weekend, it looks like this:
++++ = = =
so 4 days net progress, 4 times the results for the week.

I am putting it on my calendar each Friday morning to look at the weekend and make a conscious decision to either lose or maintain.  How about you?

PS:  Here's a link to my favorite article this week - it's on corn syrup.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Light-bulb Moment

Lately I have been struggling with my weight loss.  Weight Watchers, says that 90% of plateaus aren't caused by metabolic problems or "water weight"  90% of plateaus are caused by lessened effort.  I am sure that is true of me -- sometimes I wait too long to eat and then just grab whatever is fastest, within reason, of course.  But I knew that I have not been lax often enough to account for this long plateau. 

I mentioned this to my support partner, along with my contention that it was my emotional state causing the plateau.  He placed a question mark over this assertion.  How would that work?, he wondered. He was very quiet and subtle about it, but I ended our call on Thursday with that question mark hanging over my head where the light-bulb  is now.

So . . . back to the drawing board I go.  I recalculated my BMI - Body Mass Index -- (yep, still overweight) and my BMR - Basal Metabolic Rate -- based on today.  Then I calculated my desired BMI and my BMR at my goal weight.  Looks like my goal weight (165) is a good one -- that will put my BMI at 23.  I will probably never be a 20 again, 145 will just seem too skinny on my 5'11" frame. 

There are lots of good calculators for these two things, but I quite enjoy doing the math myself.  I use the SparkPeople guidelines for this.  If you are curious as to what the math looks like, my calculations are below.  I just copied them off my virtual sticky note, so they are a bit cryptic.

Surprise!  It turns out that at goal, my BMR will be around 1400 calories/day.  And right now, it's around 1600.  My guidelines have been to eat 1200-1400 calories and burn 2000 with exercise. So I am eating too much and not exercising enough.  If I can bump my exercise up to 3000-4000 calories a week, I can lose 1 to 2 pounds a week.  At my current rate, I can only lose about 1/2 to 3/4 pound a week.  Of course it is really not only simple math; weight is impacted by more than calories in, calories out.  But those things (metabolism, medicines, etc.) actually have a relatively small impact, percentage wise.  I am going to bet on these numbers and start tomorrow by planning where the time for all that extra exercise is going to come from!

If you are struggling as I was, maybe it's time to get out the pencil and slide rule and go for your own light-bulb moment.  But as for me, it's time to turn off the light-bulb and go to bed!

BMI/BMR Calc  Now v. Goal, 10/2/2010
Multiply height in inches by 2.54 to convert inches to centimeters. (180.34) 1.8 meter
Divide weight in pounds by 2.2 to convert pounds into kilograms. (95)

Divide weight in kg by height in meters squared to find BMI
w/(h*h)=bmi (current 29, goal 23)
h*h*bmi=w  (goal 145-165)

Female BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg.) + (1.8 x height in cm.) – (4.7 x age in years)
=655+(9.6 x 95) + (1.8 * 180.34) - (4.7 * 51)
= 655+912+324.612 - 239.7
= 1651.912 (current) [w/ 2000 cals exercise 1938)

w/4000 cals/wk ex = 2223.34

at Goal:
=655+(9.6*75) + 324-239.7
1459.3/day (bmr at goal)

assuming 2000 cal ex a week, [2000+(1459.3 * 7)]/7 = 1745/day (bmr w/ ex)