Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday -- Survival Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

Happy Thanksgiving!  I mean it sincerely -- I am thankful for you, faithful reader!

Now, enough of that -- tomorrow is Black Friday my favorite shopping day of the year.

Do you get hungry when you shop?  I get ravenousHere's a tip for you:   As you're about to make your late night turkey sando, take 5 minutes to prepare for tomorrow.  Fill a small cooler with grapes, 100 calorie packs of crackers, water, oranges (peeled and sectioned), string cheese or a boiled egg, yogurt (spoon too, please) and baby carrots.  Each time you walk to your car to unload, take a 3 minute break.  Really, those door busters can wait!  Sit down, take a breath, and have a filling snack and 8 oz. of water.  Your shopping will go more smoothly and you will be less likely to pop into IHOP for your whole day's worth of calories on a single plate!

While you're at it, get in some tricky exercise during that shopping trip.  Park way out on the edge of the lot (daylight hours only, please) and really power-walk to and from that store.  I have been known to jog to and from my car, much to my 13-year-old's chagrin.  On Friday, she'll be in charge of pushing the cart while I get my groove on.  She will likely pretend she doesn't know me!  Also, forget fashion, folks.  Wear your exercise clothes and your running shoes.  You'll be less likely to nosh at the in-store coffee shop and more likely to jog in the parking lot.

Finally, bring your best self to the shopping. I am not talking about your attire. Let your holiday spirit show on your face, slap a santa hat on your head, and be an inspiration to one and all.  I am always amazed at how much scowling I see on Black Friday.  Hey, people, we're shopping for gifts here; for our loved ones.  Go ahead and enjoy yourself.  Sing loudly to the background carols.  Hug people.  Act the fool.

Let me know how it goes!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Woo-hoo Friday! Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

A new study shows what we already know -- people don't take their kids to McDonalds for healthy food.  So maybe it's an obvious tip but my advice is this: Skip the fast food lane altogether and pop in your nearest grocer for some cheese, hummus or deli meat, whole wheat crackers, grapes and milk or yogurt.  Go to a real playground for a picnic with fresh air and everything!  You'll be a hero and your kids will benefit! 

Is your warm-up more trick than necessity?  Here is an interview with the author of a fascinating new study.  The upshot for me is that if I am trying to increase performance, I will experiment with reducing my warm-up time. If I am simply exercising, I will likely continue my warm-ups since exercise is exercise and I prefer to err on the side of caution.

This week's inspiration is an (oldish) NY Times article on Bento boxes.  C'mon, already, time to stop thinking about it and build your own bentos!

Have a fun and fit weekend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hitting the Wall

I had a breakdown Wednesday.  It wasn't the quiet, pretty kind with a single tissue and a little delicate nose blowing.  It was a full-out fit accompanied by a lot of snot and loud nose blowing.  And then I could see the light again.

Last week I was already moaning.  Remember then I thought it was fear of success.  By mid-week it had become absolute hopelessness.
I guess you could say I'd "hit the wall" (metaphorically) in my marathon of weight loss. Not technically of course -- I think my glycogen stores are fine -- but emotionally.   If you've been following this blog, you know; I've been at this a while.  It is definitely a marathon and not a sprint.  Last week, my mind suddenly got hold of the notion that it's been "too long, it's too hard and is, in fact, hopeless."  In retrospect, I can see that my cold -- which had taken a gross turn for the worse at that point -- probably had something to do with it.

Thank goodness for support partners.  He picked up on something in my voice in the first moments of the call and went after it like a hound dog.  When he got his teeth into it, he did not let go until my mind-talk surrendered and truth was able to float up like a balloon.  Thanks, buddy!

When I was able to tell the truth, I realized that I do not know how long it "should" take to lose weight.  I am controlling what is in my capacity to control and there are always places I could work harder.  I have been really hard on myself;  there is a dictator in the corner bossing me around.  I don't have to do that.  I can (and choose to) be kinder to myself and still stick to my word to myself. 

I made a couple of choices for this week:
1) reconsider doing a FAMILY photo instead of a children's photo
2) buy myself some pretty holiday clothes instead of just "making do" with whatever is in my closet
3) Move my strength training earlier in my day (so I will do it!) and set an alarm on my phone.

You probably can't see the obvious correlation between what I said was going on and my choices but I'll spare you all the grizzly details. The takeaway here is that I don't have to be a diet dictator.  I can LOVE myself "through the wall" instead!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Willingness and Fear

I did lose weight this week but nonetheless, it's been a tough week.  We started with Halloween then had our first spate of cold weather and ended with a softball tournament.  It was a wonderful week in the life of a family and a very challenging one in the life of weight loss.  Yesterday I ate two donuts.  I know, not the end of the world, but so very definitely not on my plan. 

For me the challenge is all about willingness.  Am I willing to take the extra five minutes to wrassle the jogging stroller into the car so I can squeeze in some exercise while the team warms up?  Am I willing to take time to make my healthy shake while three pre-schoolers are demanding their breakfast?  Am I willing to go outside and take my walk even if it's cold out? 

The list goes on.  It is so easy to convince myself that it will be all right to skip this one workout or eat a donut because I didn't' want to take the 5 minutes to make a shake.  And the truth is that I can do these things but if I do, I'm not keeping my word to myself.  Which raises the question:  Why am I so willing to do things for others but so unwilling to do them for myself?

It boils down to one thing and I don't think the "thing" is fear of failure.  I think it is fear of success.  So this week, I will be making a list of what I am afraid will happen if I finally succeed at getting to my goal weight.  Stay tuned.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fit Fall Friday: Tips, Tricks and Inspiration!

Welcome to November!  Are you ready for some tips, tricks and inspiration?

Today's tip is based on a saying:  "Fail to plan and plan to fail!"  Try spending some time this weekend planning all your meals for next week.  I am now making use of Google calendar to plan my menus so I can have our favorite meals repeat in two weeks, three weeks or a month.    I note the calorie count/Weight Watcher points on the menu so I don't have to re-do the math each time.

Fat-free Salad Dressings are a trick and can actually sabotage your quest to a healthier you!   According to Fooducate, those dressings are mostly water and chemicals and that little bit of fat in your dressing will help you absorb all those great vitamins in your salad!  Read more here.

Today's inspiration is coming from you!   Think of a time when you were doing well on your weight loss journey and re-read a few journal entries or blogs from back then.  What was different then from now?  Let me know what you find and I will do the same! 

Have a wonderful "fit fall" weekend!