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!