Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Is it Time to Break Up?

If your playlist doesn't occasionally move you to tears, dump it like a bad boyfriend. Just break up. You need a playlist that will support and inspire you!

I'm so old that my first playlist was on a Sony Walkman, the cassette kind. That's right folks, I used to run to a mix tape. I'd run around Memorial Park in Houston singing, "Let it Be Me" at the top of my lungs. I didn't mind all those looks I got; I was inspired! I picture Phoebe when I imagine myself back then.

For the last couple of years, I've been exercising in front of the TV since I exercise at home. However, since I've gone back to running, I've realized that it just doesn't distract me enough. And it doesn't make me want to move my feet. When doing hard things, we need inspiration.

I decided to use beats per minute (BPM) to help me build my playlist. The easiest way I could find to do this was with an app. After admittedly minimal research, I chose Tempo Magic Pro.  I like it because not only does it analyze your BPMs, it can adjust them without ruining the song. You can actually y adjust them while they play! I have a lot of music on my iPod, so I don't tend to adjust the BPMs that much, I just look for songs that have the beat I need.  Using BPMs made it easier for me to add intervals to my playlist. When a faster song comes on, I match my footfalls to the beat. I push hard through that fast song knowing I can change tempo with the next one. It keeps me pressing forward. In case you also want to move beyond the mix tape, here are a couple of tips:

  • Your playlist should reflect you. 
  • Add your favorite songs first. 
  • Search your device for songs of a certain BPM. What you find might surprise you! I added "Timber" by Ke$ha because I just love the beat, 
  • Add inspiring songs. Don't underestimate sentimental value; I added Carrickfergus to my cool-down because it reminds me of a heart-warming time in England and a group of people dear to my heart. 
  • Add some just fun or silly songs or old songs
  • Order your list and see what's missing. I decided I wanted a longer warm up, so I front loaded a couple of slower songs. 
  • Try to start and end on an inspiring note.  
  • Shape your BPMs like a bell curve if you're building an interval mix.
It's your turn! Break up with that bad boyfriend playlist and get a fresh start. Shake it off. You know you've hit it when you're running along and you tears are running down your cheeks while you sing, " I am a woman on a mission. Nothing CAN stop me, I'm stronger than ever! I'm gonna see it through." 

Here's my current playlist. Be warned, some of the songs are a bit "colorful." If you will take a minute to share your  playlist with me, I'd love to pick up some new inspiration. On your mark, get set, go!

1. Fight Song - Rachel PLatten BPM 88
2. Proud - Heather Small - BPM 103
3. Let's Get it Started -The Black Eyed Peas - BPM 102
4. I Want Candy - Biggest Loser Workout Mix - BPM 144
5. On a Mission - Miss G - BPM 90
6. We are the Champions - Queen - BPM 63
7. You Gotta Be - Des'ree - BPM 94
8. Shake if Off - Taylor Swift - BPM 160
9. All About that Bass - Meghan Trainor BPM - 135
10. I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz - BPM 91
11. Timber - Ke$ha - BPM 130
12. Everything is Awesome - Lego Movie - BPM 141
13. Good Girls - 5 Seconds of Summer - BPM 142
14. Beautiful - Christina Aguilera - BPM 75
15. Mountaintop - The City Harmonic - BPM 63
16. Carrickferghus - Loreena McKennit - BPM 60

Friday, July 3, 2015

You Are Worth It - Links for Inspiration

(Part 1 is here)

If you read my post from a few days back and are interested in trying some new things for yourself, thought I'd share some of what I'm looking at. Before I do, however, I want to tell you that my 2 secret weapons are unfortunately, not really available to share; they are my teen daughters, Pepper and Sunshine.

Pepper has been quite regularly sharing in my body weight strength training, including being the person to hold my feet for my curl-ups and being the person who convinced me that I can plank!  She has also cooked a ton of delicious and nourishing food this summer! Sunshine has been very encouraging of my running, in particular, and saved me this very night. She came in when I was in the toughest part of my run and so "Way to go, Mom. You have this." How I needed that!

I can't give them to you but please do find a couple secret weapons of your own! Meanwhile, here are some links to what I've been loving lately:

Food and Recipes:

Totes "Tortilla" Soup
Triple Almond Scones - oh. my. goodness. Just do it.
Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimchurri
Paleo On the Go Restaurant Tips - so helpful on the road
The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook ($3 on Kindle; not much of a gamble)
Eating Well Quick Mediterranean Recipes



Nerd Fitness Beginner Body Weight Workout
Kenda's Trail Runner's Strength Training Workout (also mostly bodyweight)
Navy PRT training information
Hotel Work Out - this has helped so much this summer. I do mine on the front lawn of the hotel. I'm that awesome.
The Strong Knees Workout

Help for Working out!

Fitbit (how I love thee). We've been in a relationship 6 years. Any fitness tracker, really.
Tempo Magic - makes it easy to build a playlist for your workout.
Simply Yoga
Fight Song by Rachel Platten - makes me WANT to run!
Shake it Off by Taylor Swift
All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor

General Helpful Information:

Beginner's Guide to Paleo 
Weight Watchers International
Fooducate's Scanner App - get your nutrition info into a tracker instantly
Calm is an app that helps you do just that

If you try any of these things out, let me know how they worked for you. Now put down that phone and put on your trainers!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

You are WORTH It.

I am back on the losing train again, Woo, WOOOOOOOO.

This is typical of my journey. Work hard, not get a lot of results, get discouraged, gain a couple of pounds, come back to it and bam! Something works.  I have not given up in about 10 years of this battle due in large part to the encouragement of those around me like my dear friends Gina, Anna, Colleen, Will, Christine and my indefatigable Weight Watchers leader, Carolyn.

I had a long conversation with my internist about my weight loss journey a couple of months ago. He said that, with my family history of extreme obesity and terminal diabetes, the cards were stacked against me. He also said that I must not give up my efforts. Even if I am maintaining my weight or losing at my typical glacial pace, I am still staving off the health problems that will inevitably come if I begin gaining weight. He pointed out that though I am yet significantly overweight, all my insides are healthy. My cholesterol reading is in the normal range, but could be a lower number; otherwise, I'm in great shape. I exercise more than most "normal weight" people. I have no known health risks outside obesity. He credits that health to my having waged this weight loss battle almost continuously since 2005. Hearing this, I made a decision then and there that I will fight with renewed vigor.

When school got out, I determined to use my time flexibility to build in more exercise and research eating styles that might support me. Clearly it is not just a numbers game for me. Once again, I was drawn to a modified paleo approach to eating. (Here's a good synopsis of it if you're interested). I also set up a spreadsheet to track my intentionality in this quest to "level up my life."  It's not pretty but it's functional and here if you'd like to see it.

These two changes--additional exercise and modified paleo eating--  have made a difference for me! Since our last day of school, June 8th, I have lost 7.4 pounds. It was apparently enough to  push me down a size; my pants, loose at the end of school,  were literally falling off me at at last weekend's ball tournament. What's more, I feel more toned and am so much stronger. I have a fitter frame, suddenly, and I can feel it on the inside! I have not had a weight this low since 2010, and I will soon blow those "lows" right off the charts.  Next time I will post a few awesome resources for you.

This was a lot of personal detail and I have said it all to underline one thing: We must never give up on ourselves. I am worth it; You are worth it. If people around you aren't saying that to you, call me up. I will say it.  (1-512-983-1390) You have time to spend on your health. (Yes, you do.) You have a right to surround yourself with support. You can make choices that are better for you. Small changes can really add up and you can make those changes because you are worth it. 

Here it is again: You are worth it. You are more than a number on a scale. You deserve a life worth living. You deserve a healthy future. You matter.

Please let me hear from you and how you are waging your battle for greater healthfulness. We are stronger together.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer Friday Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

Happy summer Friday! I hope your long summer days have been filled with fun! Now that I've adjusted to school being out, I am buckling down to focus on (all of our) health and fitness.

Tips - Get in Your Potassium

Even healthy eaters can have a deficiency. Recently I was suffering from night-time leg cramps and thought potassium might be the culprit.  Just in time, Fooducate posted this article on the topic:  Potassium: You're Not Getting Enough.

The article lists several good sources for potassium -- and yes, it includes more than bananas. In fact, several foods offer twice as much potassium as bananas. Check it out.

Top Tricks for Restaurant Dining

This week delivered some shocking  news on how quickly restaurant calories add up from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

But you certainly can be successful eating out. Your best bets? Check out these restaurant tricks:

Ordering Tricks

  • Start with a brothy --not cream -- soup, eaten slowly. Research shows this single action can greatly reduce the number of calories you consume in your meal.
  • Avoid anything with these words: breaded, fried, cream sauce, creamy, buttery, buttered or gravy.
  • Ask for sauces and dressings on the side.
  • Have your meats and seafood broiled or grilled and,
  • Let your server know you are watching your waistline.
  • Share an entree with a friend; you can always order an extra salad or soup.
  • Order a to-go box WITH your entree and put half your meal in the box; you'll never miss it.

Cocktails, Anyone?

  • If you won't enjoy your outing without alcohol,by all means have a drink! But take a minute to Google the company's nutritional info and know the cost in sugars and calories before you order.
  • Easier: order wine or beer instead of a cocktail.
  • Order a bottle of sparkling water with wine and dilute it 50/50. It is still delicious(!) and you get twice the beverage for the same calories. 

Mealtime tricks:

  • Push the breadbasket to the far end of the table. 
  • Eat slowly, beginning with all the vegetables on your plate. 
  • Try your baked potato plain! They are surprisingly flavorful
  • Dress your salad sparingly at first and only add more dressing as needed. 2 tablespoons of dressing is a serving.
  • Drink a full glass (or two) of plain water with your meal.  
  • If it's a special occasion and you want dessert, split it with a friend or better still, the whole table. 
  • Finally the best eating out tip of all: If it isn't delicious, don't eat it! 

Inspiration from an Unlikely Source: Fast Food!  

Good news for fast food lovers: Amy's Kitchen is opening a quick-serve restaurant  Amy's is well known amongst vegetarians, gluten-free eaters, and healthy eaters nation-wide. Their organic, vegetarian frozen meals have been around for over 25 years and were the standard-bearer for a heathy, organic, non-GMO  frozen food. Amy's Kitchen's labels read like recipes; to wit, the ingredient label onn their famous black bean burritos: Ingredients: (Vegan) Organic wheat & whole wheat flour, filtered water, organic black and kidney beans, organic onions, organic potatoes, organic broccoli, organic corn, organic bell peppers, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/sunflower oil, organic tomato puree, organic sweet rice flour, spices, sea salt, organic garlic, cilantro, organic tapioca starch, organic green chiles, organic jalapeƱo peppers. Contains wheat. 

Amy's Kitchen was a dream come true for vegan eaters, those avoiding gluten, and other folks just trying to eat with awareness. Now there are other contenders in this specialty frozen food market but Amy's Kitchen has found a new way to make waves with a quick-serve restaurant.   Fooducate reports that the restaurant will serve fresh cooked, affordable, high quality foods and will feature a drive-through. This outlet, an antithesis of fast food (healthy, local, and vegetarian), will open this year in northern California, near the companies headquarters.

I am pulling for the success of this venture and hoping it leads to a chain!. Busy parents and professionals could use a fast food restaurant with a whole foods, healthy eating mindset! Yay Amy's!

Those are your Tips, Tricks and Inspiration for this week. Next time look out for "Nerd Fitness," an android game that is encouraging exercise and some great news from the FDA.  Cheers!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fit Friday: Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

Thank you, Smart Phone. I am finally able to get back to my health-reading habit since my smart phone allows me to squeeze that activity into the nooks and crannies of time available in my 3-Ballplayer-Mom lifestyle! Which leads to our Friday Tips, Tricks and Inspiration.

Tips: Choose a Plan You Can Stick With and GET SUPPORT

I'm not one to get into flame wars so in complete honesty, the part of this editorial  ("Why Protein Isn't Bad for You") that goes after Dr. Ornish wasn't personally interesting to me. However, this thought provoking op-ed piece reminded me once again of the importance of a balanced, moderate approach to eating and the importance of in-the-flesh, ongoing support in your weight loss efforts. It never hurts to be reminded!

The salient points are these:
  • Choose a moderate and healthy eating plan that you can continue over a long period or -- ideally -- forever. 
  • Protein is a necessary part of our diet. Avoid processed meats; really folks, these should be for occasional treats or actual emergencies
  • Any eating plan is more successful with regular -- think weekly -- ongoing support
  • Online support has simply not been proven successful as a sole means of support; in the high tech age, it turns out we all still need people "in the flesh."

Tricks: Gastric Bypass Surgery is Not a Panacea for Instant Happiness

In fact, it's a proven successful method of weight loss that comes at a high price. For many people, it's life saving. Yet it's not easy nor instant, and the changes that come with it are hard for some people to handle. I hope you will take a minute to read this first-person account of weight-bias with a few words on the side effects of gastric bypass.

Who Knew? Getting Off Our Butts is Saving our Lives! Friday Inspiration.

I do write about this frequently but that's because there is an explosion of research on the topic. This recent study looks at the effects of sedentary behavior as related to our mortality. Straight from the researcher's pens' is this conclusion: 
" . . . long periods of sedentary time was positively associated with an increased risk for dying (from all-causes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases) and increasing the risk for certain forms of cancer . . ., cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Our meta-analysis found that the largest association was with type 2 diabetes (91% increased risk)."

That's pretty hard to ignore. One of my loved ones died of complications of diabetes after a tough battle of many years that saw her losing both her legs, Death by diabetes is slow and painful.

The study authors go on to suggest that 30 minutes/day of physical activity is critical to longevity and health. They also mention other recent studies that suggest even that amount of activity will not necessarily counteract the negative effects of long periods of sitting. This has been much in the news lately, resulting in recommendations that we never sit longer than 20 minutes at a stretch. This is a very challenging goal to meet; I know because I try to keep it. 

It would be instructive to just notice how long your stretches of sitting are currently. If you have a Fitbit or Jawbone or similar device, it's easy to do: Just look at your data. If you do not have an activity monitor, it would be easy enough to keep a notepad on your desk or near your sofa. Try wearing at least a basic pedometer and increase your steps every day, paying particular attention to long periods of sitting.

It's easy enough to do:  I am going to focus on getting up during commercials when I watch TV in the evening which is when almost all my sitting takes place.  I am also going to make sure I get a minimum of 10,000/steps every day (even when ill!) which will help me accomplish the previous goal.

What will inspire you this week?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Had a Dream

Do you visualize yourself at goal weight? It's something we all know we're supposed to do but I don't do it.

I have been overweight so long now, it's hard for me to imagine myself another way. I went from skinny (and I do mean skinny) to fat practically overnight -- 19 years ago. I barely remember myself another way. And I did not appreciate my trim body when I had it, so I never really looked at it! I have always been insecure about my appearance. I was a late bloomer, painfully thin and unmercifully teased throughout my growing up years. I wore bikinis as a young adult -- ones with 4 times as much fabric as they have nowadays! -- but never looked at myself in the mirror.

It's more than that, though. If I plumb the depths a little, I can tell you why I don't visualize myself at goal weight. I am scared that it will be "too late." I'm afraid my skin will hang in ugly folds and my neck will be a huge, swinging waddle. I'll have basset hound hands and feet. And worse, I'll still be ugly. I will still look in the mirror and say, "ick." (Yes, yes, I know I'm not ugly now. Obviously some work to do there too.)

After several successful weeks in a row, I've had two weeks of no change and I know this week my weight will be up. I know this because I've  and eaten a lot of things I did not track and choose not to remember. Notice how my troubles correspond exactly to the amount of time we've been in Lent? Yes, it's my Lenten Rebellion. That is, of course, exactly how to gain weight. My actions are not too surprising in light of my lack of vision!

Last night, though, I had a miracle. I had a dream of myself in a swimsuit at goal weight. It was very realistic. I could see my whole torso and for some reason, I had my arms over my head and I could see that they were definitely my arms, mid-century arms, with a lot of swing! Yet my body looked a lot different than my body of my youth, thicker, but stronger too. I realized on waking, I am so fit now. I was never this fit in my young adulthood. I didn't value fitness as I now do! 

I have it now. I can "see" it. I recommit to my eating plan and to logging my food. I recommit to my goal to drop 50+ pounds this year. I will make some plans right now and head off into spring break well-armed to eat well.

Now. . . how about you?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fun Friday: Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

Happy Friday! Here are your Tips, Tricks and Inspiration!

Get Off Your Bottom and Save Your Life!

There was a very thorough and helpful article in the March/April 2015 issue of Weight Watchers Magazine on how sitting is the new "smoking." Your life can be seriously shortened by a sedentary lifestyle, even if you are regular exerciser. I cannot find a link to the Weight Watchers article -- which is excellent and worth your time to track down and purchase -- but here is a link to a shorter article on the same theme.

The crux of it is this: your desk job may be killing you! If you have a desk job, see if a standing desk can be made available for you. Get up at least once an hour for 5 minutes; this can have a huge positive impact on your health. Even better is getting up every 20 minutes.  The Weight Watchers article has a whole page of ways to implement this lifestyle change.


We all know movement and exercise are crucial to weight loss and maintenance. But the trick is to keep ourselves motivated. 5 or 6 years ago, I started wearing a fitbit, intrigued by the accelerometer and more accurate (than a pedometer) step-tracking. There are several competing products out there now, too. It doesn't matter which product you use, these activity trackers are amazing. They make you aware of how active or sedentary you are and they are practically work-free. You just put them on with your clothes each day and charge them every few days. They sync by blue tooth so all you have to do is walk near your computer. All the products have mobile apps, of course. Most sync with the Weight Watchers app and other popular weight loss apps.

These products are a perfect example of something you don't technically need but once you start using them, you won't know why you waited so long! In the interest of full disclosure, I read a study that said half the users lose interest in the product over time. Fair enough. For the other half, though, these simple devices can lead to long-term lifestyle changes.

Start small. Simple devices like the fitbit zip are under $50. (Full disclosure: I am just a fitbit fan. I am not getting anything out of this free and unsolicited endorsement for their products!)


As I said recently, friends help with the challenges of ongoing weight loss. Sometimes they help without even knowing it! The fitbit app allows you to "friend" other fitbit users. One of my friends, Anne, gets tons of steps every week. Last night she had over 84,000 for the week! I asked her, "How do you always get so many steps?" Her answer: "I told myself there will be NO MORE days under 10,000 steps." So simple, right?  She totally inspired me! I took up the gauntlet for myself and I went from being in the middle of the pack of my friends to consisently in 2nd place, right behind Anne, of course! 

What this means in real terms is that I am now moving through my weekends instead of sitting through them. Last Saturday, I knew I'd be scorekeeping at 3 games and watching 1 or 2 more ballgames. I decided to leave my chair in the car. I stood up and did some jogging in place in between batters. I ran all over that ballpark. I never sat down! I'd have never done that without my 10K/day commitment. Sunday, I cleaned my house from top to bottom. Okay well I didn't get it all done but it was my most productive weekend in ages. 

Connecting with other fit-minded individuals is such a boost. Yes, it's exposing too, but transparency is a great thing. It's so freeing to be an open book and in so doing, you may inspire someone else. Allow yourself to be inspired --or be an inspiration -- this week!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Hard Part

I haven't reported in for a while, so here goes:  I have committed to perfect attendance at Weight Watcher's this year. It's going to take some planning, but I have checked in every week so far. If we take our planned cruise in November, I will have to figure that one out! Do cruise ships have Weight Watchers meetings (ha, ha.). They do have AA though in case you need to know that!

 I have lost 7.6 pounds in 2015.  My goal for the year is 50 pounds, which I figure means I need to lose about a pound a week, so I am right on track technically.

I know I'm not on track though. I'm not getting in the exercise sessions I committed to and for the last 2 weeks, I haven't tracked my food. I have enough experience to know where that will land me, so I recommit right now!  Pre-tracking -- logging all my food in order to plan my meals -- seems to work best for me, so I will do that for the remainder of the week.  I have been taking salads for lunch and eating healthfully for the most part, but if I don't sharpen up on activity and tracking, the whole house of cards will fall down.

This is the hard part. The hard part -- and I don't think I'm alone in this -- is not sabotaging myself. Yesterday I did not get all my steps in. I knew it. I considered watching TV from the treadmill, but I didn't do it. There is a "you deserve a break" tape playing constantly in my head. It isn't logical but it's alluring and quiet and constant.

The hard part is making myself weigh in when my friends can't make the meetings. The hard part is weighing in when I wasn't tracking. The hard part is believing I deserve better than what I'm giving myself. The hard part is having faith in me.

I do deserve it so I am going to act like I believe it until I do. You are worth it too.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Frigid Friday: Time for Tips, Tricks and Inspiration!

Finally it's Friday. I have fallen off on my Tips, Tricks and Inspiration for some months now, but we're back, Baby!


Want a tip to get your new year of weight loss or maintenance started strong? Get a group and get a support partner. Research shows that the components that add up to a successful weight loss or weight maintenance equation include:

  • Tracking food and exercise daily
  • And, having set goals for same
  • Regular (at least weekly) weighing
  • Using meal replacements on a regular basis (this includes frozen food like Lean Cuisine)
  • Written contracts for goals
  • Group sessions to discuss progress and/or work with a health coach, nutritionist, etc. ("Interventions")
Interestingly, on that last bullet point, face-to-face meetings were significantly better at providing successful support. Individuals who signed up for on-line only weight loss groups did little better than the control group which only received a written newsletter.  That in-person, real-time support is very important. The more frequently study participants attended such meetings, the more successful they were in reaching their goals.


Way back during my PRT Challenge, I wondered why I run so slowly. I'm fat but I'm not that fat, you know?  No matter how I tried, I was not able to make significant gains in my running speed. Then I read a study by Weyand that explained it all: Running speed has everything to do with force which is a direct result of leg strength.  They tested bunches of runners and found that the big difference was in the push off the pavement. Almost nothing else, including running style, mattered.  What??? I do have weak legs. I have had years of chronic knee trouble and I cannot do typical strengthening activities like squats and lunges. The article suggested the trick to increase running speed was the simple and safe leg press. Yes, weight is a factor because the force is diluted by mass. Nonethless, I'm committed to trying it and see how it affects me. Now you know why I listed those machine-free-at-home leg presses last week.  Maybe there is another PRT challenge in my future!


This week's inspiration came straight out of the teacher's lounge at school.  I was talking to a friend about exercise and she said, "It's so much easier to lose weight if you add in exercise and  not only put your effort in what you eat. It's really hard to justify cheesecake when you just spent 40 minutes sweating off 305 calories!"

Isn't that the truth?  When I am consistently on the treadmill, bike or elliptical, my desire for non-healthy foods is greatly diminished.  Suddenly a 1/2 cup serving of ice cream is plenty, or all-together unnecessary. A banana or apple will cure that sweet tooth. There is nothing like being able to equate the ease with which the calories go in the effort with which they go out!

Studies bear this out. Exercise has so many benefits in addition to burning calories, including a release of endorphins, stress reduction and a general strengthening of resolve. Inspire yourself with a good walk today and see if it helps!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

3 Weeks In

January 24.  This month is flying by. I thought I'd better take a minute to check in on my goals for the year:

I am still not tracking my food so I also don't know if I'm staying in my points allowance. Okay, I admit it, I'm resistant. I will plumb the depths of that resistance a bit later and see what's driving it. Similarly, since I'm not tracking, I'm missing out on the opportunity to see what is behind the eating choices I'm making. Okay, I've convinced myself. I will track today!

I do have perfect attendance at Weight Watcher's so far, and it is paying off, in spite of my lack of attention to tracking. So far, I've lost 4.8# of my 50 lb. goal for this year. 49 weeks and  45.2# to go.

As far as my exercise goals, I'm getting in my  60K steps and then some; now I need to focus on my minimum 1 hour of strength training and working up to 30/min a day of structured exercise.  I got 20 minutes of Dance Party yesterday. I will get 30 minutes of structured exercise today.  My fitbit week starts on Sunday, so that exercise will be strength training plus about 8000 steps to get in today.  I found some great leg presses without machines I will try. (Here's another. And one more.)

My glaring "miss" so far is I still have not gotten my official support partner on board. It's because there's been an awkward silence between us for some time so I need to break that silence. I will do so with an email today. I know that if I had more accountability, I would be hitting more of my goals!

I'm working on my first every self-made workout playlist. The last thing I had that was even close -- try not to laugh -- was a mix tape I made in the early 90's and played on my Walkman! Oh I am so old!  I think getting my playlist will help me get those weekend steps in. 

How is YOUR year going? Are you meeting your goals? What do you think is helping you succeed or getting in your way?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 Goals and a Plan to Succeed

Hello, out there.

Yes, it has been a long time.  Yes, I've been busy but honestly, not that busy!  I have not posted frequently here because . . . quite honestly . . . it's hard to keep up a weight loss blog when there is almost never any weight loss to report.  There, I said it!

I have my list of "reasons" too -- some real, most excuses -- but that isn't the point, is it?  The point is, I have a commitment to myself to reduce my weight, and by golly, I am going to.

The good news is, I haven't given up. I have managed not only to maintain, but to lose another 12 pounds since school started. I have lessened my effort at times since Thanksgiving but am still on a losing trend.

I have made a big commitment for this year: To lose 50 pounds. For me, that's a lot, as a typical loss ratio for me is about 1/2 pound every two weeks. What I have learned since September, however, is that increased muscle tone and activity can give me the metabolism boost I need to sustain a higher rate of loss.

Frankly, it's going to take a higher rate of loss for me to ever get there since -- and I know some of you can relate to this -- every time I get sick or for some reason lose my focus, I immediately gain 2 pounds.  That's four weeks of work at my normal rate of loss! I can't afford to lose at such a low rate when gaining is as easy as breathing for me!  Okay, that's a little dramatic, but you get the picture.

Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows -- no one ever lost a pound by "planning" to lose. It takes real and concrete action.  Here is my action plan to get those 50 pounds off:

  • Re-vamp my daily schedule with planned exercise periods (done);
  • Get back to tracking my food to give me the opportunity for course correction;
  • Stay within my Weight Watcher's Points Plus allowance;
  • Have perfect attendance at Weight Watcher's this year;
  • Notice the life-shocks that precipitate poor eating choices and deal with them;
  • Get 60K steps a week, plus a minimum of one hour of strength training and work up to at total of 30 min/day (6 days a week) of structured exercise;
  • Get a strong support partner on board and keep working with my WW partner.

I think this will be the recipe for success for me. The trick -- as always -- is sticking with it and believing in myself. My last list-item will help with this.

The elephant in the room in all this is this: My last post on this blog was in June; over 6 months ago. At that time I was in a self-made PRT Challenge.  Needless to say, I did not complete the challenge or reach my goals. I allowed myself to get distracted, especially when it got hard.

All I can do from here is forgive myself, learn from my mistakes and move on. That's what it's all about right?  I know I have re-started a thousand times, but what is the alternative? If I'm not forgiving myself and trying again, then I'm giving up -- and that is not an option.  I am quite certain if I hadn't been fighting all these years, I'd weigh 300+ pounds now. I gain weight so easily.

There is some science to help me:  Research shows most people give up their weight loss efforts within a few weeks. Other studies show that people who participate in a weight loss or accountability group are twice as likely to succeed at weight loss.  Additionally, losses of more than 44 pounds are more likely to be maintained than losses of 24 pounds or less. I am planning to get all of these things working for me this year.

What about you? Where are you in your weight loss efforts? What is your New Year's plan?