Monday, January 31, 2011

A Day of Preparation

I'm writing this on Sunday, but it won't be posted until Monday. 


Today is my day of preparation. The day I prepare for the week ahead. 


It's a day to grade my kids' papers and go over lesson plans for the next week. A day to catch up on household chores that got lost in the weekly shuffle. A day to write and schedule blog posts. A day to look over and tweak my workout plan and cook ahead some healthy meals. A day to mentally and physically prepare for the week.


I find that the more preparation I do this day, the better my week will go. 


A few things I will be cooking ahead today:


Chicken breasts. Just baking them in the oven and sticking them in the refrigerator. Then they can be cut up and added to lunches, chicken salad maybe, or dinners, such as chicken and black bean chili. Cuts the prep time down tremendously.
This pic is from before I started adding yellow or orange peppers.
Breakfast filling. This is something I started making while on The 4 Hour Body and love it. I sautee: onions, mushrooms, orange pepper and spinach in a little I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light, then throw in some black beans. I then just have to make an egg white omelet and heat this for the filling. It's super yum and even great for lunch with some chicken breast.
Some Sundays I have baked turkey meatloaf and put it in baggies, pre-portioned. Or sometimes I make a big batch of meatballs (turkey or lean beef). Often I also bake some healthy snacks for the kids. When I'm really on the ball I meal plan for the whole week. 


My workout plan for this week:
Monday: ChaLEAN Extreme Burn Circuit 1
Tuesday: Insanity Plyo Cardio Circuit
Wednesday: CE Burn Circuit 2
Thursday: Insanity Cardio Power
Friday: CE Burn Circuit 3
Saturday: Run 3 miles
Sunday: REST


I find the more I can do on my preparation day to stream-line the week, the better. It is absolutely time well spent. If there are healthy foods at the ready it makes it so much easier to make those healthy choices. If my workouts are planned I don't tend to talk myself out of working out so easily and I am sure to have a more balanced workout plan than just winging it. If I have a few blog posts written and scheduled to post, I have more time to read other blogs in the mornings. Preparation just makes the week more fun and less stressful.


How about you? Do you prepare ahead?



Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Quote

The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.
Richard M. Devos

Friday, January 28, 2011

To Do- Be Awesome

We will all die some day, that's just a given, but sadly not all of us will have LIVED.


Not me. I choose to LIVE this life I have!

For far too long I lived a lackadaisical, mediocre existence. To hell with that.

I do not believe there is a single one of us that is meant to be mediocre.

Mediocre: Moderate to inferior in quality; ordinary.

No thank you, not me. Mediocrity no longer has any place in my life. 



I am grateful that I have the rest of my life to do it differently.

Awesome: Remarkable; outstanding.

My permanent to do list:

1. Be awesome.
2. Live an amazing life.
3. Help as many people as I can along the way.


I want to look back at my life and think: now THAT is how it's done. Tall order? Possibly. But what have I got to lose?

Guest Posted

Please go check out the guest post I did over on makingmesses.com: http://makingmesses.com/2011/navigating-dietland-by-kerri-o/


Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reminiscing

Today I'm reminiscing about when I came out of the 'blogset' so to speak. For new readers, or those who are simply confused, this explains the whole Kat/Kerri thing. Please go here: http://amerrylife.com/2010/04/24/kat-finds-herself-through-blogging/

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Little Extra Incentive

I just found out there is gong to be a big family BBQ for my mom's side of the family April 17th. 


You know the kind...lots of family I haven't seen forever...and the last time I saw many of them I was...uh, fat. 


So, I'm on fire to stay committed the next few months. Even more than I was before! (And I've been pretty fired up this year.) How awesome will I feel showing up all smokin' hot? Oh, did I type that out loud?!


OK, so maybe that's not the best attitude to have, but I say: so what?! 


So what if it lights a little extra fire under me? 


So what if I'd revel in the compliments and jaw-drops?


Heck, motivation comes from all sources, and right now, I'm going with it! 


No, we shouldn't wait until some reunion or wedding to 'start' our healthy living quest. But I see nothing wrong in embracing this as extra motivation along the way. 


What do you think? Do special events spur you on more? And...do you suppose I can get away with wearing my marathon medal....what? Too much?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5 Ways to Ditch the Scale

  1. Stand at your back door (AFTER clearing the area) and toss into the air as high as you can. Come on, make that puppy catch some air.
  2. Sledge hammer. Nuff said.
  3. Place behind car tire. Run over. Repeat as many times as needed.
  4. Mail it to: 'Santa Claus, North Pole' including no return address.
  5. Firmly tell it you are more than just a number and put it away in a cupboard.
Since quitting The 4 Hour Body the scale has inched up a pound or two. No big deal really, but what is a big deal is the obsessing that I've done over it. A little something like this:

"Oh crap, what's that about? Maybe I should go back on that plan. Maybe I should change my entire workout plan. Maybe I'm eating too many carbs. Should I jump feet first into some other crazy plan? Oh crap, can I really do this, can I reach my goals doing what I think works best for me? Will I always be fat? It's water weight...It's muscle weights it's, it's....Aaaaaaaargh!"

Ya, something like that. I refuse to obsess over the scale. Just not going to do it. So, I've chosen option number 5, although I have fantasized about choosing options 1 through 4. For a while (not sure how long) I won't be weighing in. Instead I will focus on my choices. I will also continue to take occasional measurements, unless of course those bug me, then those are history too.

To me it's more about being all around 'well' and sometimes that means ditching the numbers when I begin to regress and obsess.

What do you do when the scale is getting the best of you?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gym Plans!

The nearest gym to my home is about 30 minutes away. The nearest really cool gym is about 40 minutes. I don't go to the gym. Never have. OK, not since college when it was free.


I workout at home. I workout in my tiny little living room. I run on my treadmill. I run outside weather permitting. These have been my options.


Not terrible options really, but I seriously have workout gear stashed in every place imaginable. My treadmill is stashed in a corner of my bedroom. My weights, weighted vest, resistance bands and weight gloves, in a corner of the living room. My stationary bike is in the kids toy room. My Polar HR monitor is currently residing in a drawer in the bathroom where my sweaty bands, etc live. My TV hutch is shoved full with workout DVDs and my jump rope and ankle weights are in my makeup table/dresser in my room. My stability ball is in my office. And there may be a pair of running shoes in virtually every room.


It works for me, I am grateful that I have all of this equipment, but I crave a place dedicated to working out. To not have to have workout gear stashed in every nook and cranny. 


Do you hear the hallelujah chorus rising in the background? I'm going to get my wish!


A few years ago we added an addition onto our house (which was built in 1918 and has small awkward rooms). Just a small one, really, but all three levels. We made the kitchen bigger, our bedroom bigger, and added a bathroom upstairs. And then, there is the basement part. None of our basement is finished. It's just sort of there, in a creepy really old house sort of way. We added on to it in hopes of adding more living space, but have never done anything with it. We've decided that the old portion of the unfinished basement will be finished into a lego room (seriously we NEED one, not joking), bathroom, and new laundry room and the new part...all 11x18 of it...GYM! Wooooooot!


I am not sure when we'll start, soon I hope! I'll keep you all posted on the progress, I think pics and videos will be in order.


So this little workout freak is now dreaming up what to add to my new gym. How to lay it out...flooring, punching bags, and pull-up bars...oh my! What are must have home gym essentials? What equipment do you have and love? Suggestions??

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Quote

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.
Jim Rohn

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stretching Myself

I've shared some of my 2011 healthy living goals with you all, but I'd also like to share some of my other, just general life goals. Healthy living encompasses so much more than just diet and exercise!


In 2011 I plan to:

  1. Face fears. I've talked some in the past about how much fear has held me back. I've overcome many, but it still has a hold on my life. This year I plan to look these fears in the face. I'll do things afraid if I must, but I'm not backing down from fear anymore! Just because we feel the emotion of fear doesn't mean we have to let it win in our lives.
  2. Step outside of my comfort zone. A lot. I am so in my head all the time, always thinking, planning, second guessing. All the while safely planted in my comfort zone. Well, this year I will deliberately do things to stretch myself, things out of my comfort zone. Not in a crazy-unsafe way, but in a trying new things, making my life what I want it to be kind of way. Seriously, there's so many things outside my tiny little comfort zone it's nuts. Sushi? Never had it. Leaving the house without makeup? Are you crazy? Those are trivial examples, but the list is long...and it's about to get shorter.
These goals are so tied in and enmeshed with so many of my other goals it's hard to separate any of them. I guess they're sort of my theme for these next months. I think they tie in very much with healthy living. My mind must also be healthy for me to be a truly healthy and whole person.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tough Days--We All Have Them

I am feeling down today. I am struggling. I am doubting.


I do not want to work out. I don't really have an amazing blog post in me. Doubt has crept in for my career goals. I'm just all around having a tough day.


That little nagging inner fat chick voice is back. I want to just cave and wallow in some self pity. 


This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where change happens. This is where I give up, or I press on.


Listen here you bit@# inner fat chick: I WILL DO THIS. I have goals, I have dreams, I have plans. AND YOU CAN'T HAVE THEM! 


Today I will choose faith and belief over the doubts nagging in the back of my mind.


Today I will stay positive in the face of all these negative thoughts.


Today I will workout and make good choices even though I don't want to.


Today I will seek out the encouraging and positive and IGNORE the rest.


Today I will grab hold and not let go.


Today, I will rock. For me. I deserve it.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The 4 Hour Body--Final Results, Review, and Bagging It


Today will be my last day on The 4 Hour Body. Final stats:

Starting Weight180
Week 1 Weight: 179  Week 2: 178  Week 3: 178
Starting Body Fat %33.3 
Week 1 BF %: 32.3 Week 2: 32.2  Week 3: 32.2
Starting BMI: 29          
Week 1: BMI 28.9 Week 2: 28.7 Week 3: 28.7
Measurements: 
Arms(mid-bicep):
Right 12 3/4" Left 12 1/2"  Week 1:same Week 2: same Week 3: same
Waist(at belly button): 37 1/2"     Week 1:37 1/4  Week 2: same  Week 3: 37
Hips: 44"   Week 1:same  Week 2: 43 1/2" Week 3: 43 1/2
Legs(mid thigh): 
Right 22" Left 22" Week 1:same  Week 2: same Week 3: R and L 21 3/4



All told in 3 weeks on The 4 Hour Body plan I lost: 2 pounds, 1.1% body fat, and 1 1/2 inches total. I followed the diet plan in the book. Did the supplements and cinnamon suggested. And even experimented some with cold showers and ice water first thing in the morning. Now, it's not the results I'm disappointed with. It's the results in comparison with the claims made and also relative to the strictness of the plan.


Yes, I am bagging it in week 3 and not going the full 30 days. Why? 

  1. This plan is just too hard for me to stick to. Even just the diet and not everything else in the book. I am craving healthy things like MAD. Things like my beloved Coach's Oats and fruit. The one day off plan is nice, but doesn't curb my cravings as I'd hoped. It's not like I'm cravings candy bars and soda here!
  2. It is magnifying my obsession and constant thinking about food. 
  3. Sort of an extension of the first: the results aren't earth shattering enough for me to WANT to stick to it any longer than I have.
  4. There are a LOT of things to do, just so. I've been told I'm not doing the plan right. Well, I did it to the best of my ability and really, stuck to the book very well. As I tracked over at Adventures in Tracking. If it requires perfection I'd wager no one can give that.
  5. Weight loss isn't worth all that craziness to me. Before trying this plan I would have said I'd do just about anything to lose this weight. Turns out, not so much (and I don't think this is a bad thing!). I was absolutely not willing to take ice baths and all the other craziness in the pursuit of fat loss. Also, the supplements were a lot to shell out.
  6. It just doesn't work for me.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It really is an interesting read. I love how it's unconventional and not your typical health and fitness book. I think there are a lot of really great tips and research included. I loved his focus on data and all the geeked out stuff. (Yes, I read every footnote). I will take away from it several tips (especially workout tips) and suggestions. If you can weed out what will help you and what won't it's definitely worth reading. But the fat loss plan as a whole...not for me. It is just too strict for such little results. I could second guess why this is all day, perhaps it's because I was already eating very clean and pretty low carb, perhaps it's the change in the Zodiac?...but quite simply, I can go back to lower carbs, tracking my calories in and out and get as good or better results, minus the insane cravings. 

Things I did enjoy:
  1. The off plan day. I think I will keep this in general now that I know I can do it without freak out binging.
  2. The weights workouts focused on lifting heavier and slower (5/5 cadence) and the abs moves.
  3. The recipes I dug up while on this plan. But these didn't come from the book, I searched them out in magazines, etc. These recipes will definitely stay in my rotation.
  4. Not feeling hungry. If I ever re-visit this plan it will be for this reason. Often I feel under-lying hunger constantly, this plan crushed that.
So, is this book hype or help? I'm am going to say hype. For two reasons:
  • The claims made just didn't pan out for me. Yes, many others claim to have lost tons of weight, but in my test on myself this didn't happen.
  • It is really hard to stick to. I enjoyed it the first week, and it was downhill from there.
And...if you need me I'll be luxuriously having some oats and fruit...

I am just a blogger, not a doctor, trainer, or any sort of professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, supplement, or new workout program.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Muscle & Fitness hers Review

I thought I'd share and review some of the fitness magazines I've been reading lately. I love fitness magazines for the tips, information, and inspiration. How about you?


My absolute favorite magazine right now: Muscle & Fitness hers
newstand
I like this magazine so much that I subscribed recently. In an effort to de-clutter around here I now only subscribe to a few select magazines (at the moment only 2). All the rest I only pick up once in a while when they catch my eye with something interesting. 

In the most recent issue (Jan/Feb) of M&F hers I have loved the recipes the most. Several fit perfectly with The 4 Hour Body Plan I'm on and were absolutely delicious. From this issue I've made the: Chicken & Black Bean Chili; Turkey Sausage, Kale, White Bean & Tomato Stew; and Chicken Ratatouille. All of these recipes were fabulous! Not just so, so, good for a healthy recipe, but really yummy. Hubby and kiddos even loved.

Aside from the recipes I also enjoy:
  • The fit models this magazine uses. Their physiques truly inspire. Not uber thin waifs, but strong women. Muscles galore, yes please. 
  • The 'day in the life' feature which shows the exercise, eating, and schedule of very fit women. I find it fascinating. 
  • The 'Buyer's Guide' at the end of the magazine. It tells you where you can buy the outfits models are wearing throughout the magazine. I thought that was nice, I hate it when you see some super cute workout capris and have no idea where they're from. 
  • The workouts. There are many different workouts given. All with great pictures and instructions.
M & F hers has lots of great articles, recipes, and workouts. I enjoy the layout of the magazine and the content. The only thing that's a little annoying is all the 'fat-burner' type ads (Hydroxycut, etc). They abound (although I think Oxygen may be worse for this). Easily overlooked in my opinion. I realize a magazine has got to pay the bills. As I said, my favorite magazine right now, I give it 4 1/2 stars.

Have you ever read Muscle & Fitness hers? 

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Overeating Triggers and Solutions/Swaps I've Found

I spent the last year paying attention. To myself, to my body, to foods and how they make me feel. To things like binges and the foods and events that preceded them. It's amazing how much I discovered simply by paying attention! In my quest towards more 'normal' eating habits I have learned many things. One of those things was the foods and situations that are triggers for me. 


Triggers (these are specific to me, I have no idea whether anyone else would react the same) I have discovered and ways I deal with them are:

  1. Sugar. OK, that's probably a duh.
  2. Lack of sleep. This one is huge for me. If I allow myself to get over tired I am on a collision course for a binge. I am much more diligent about my sleep now. I get 8 hours. Period. It is a huge priority. If something comes up, like an emergency, sick kids in the middle of the night, etc I have learned I must be proactive. The day after lack of sleep I focus on consuming lots of water and protein the next day. I also nap if I can and avoid completely sugar and high carb foods that may set me off.
  3. Salted Butter. Toast is something I have avoided completely for a while now. I will polish off insane amounts of toast on a binge. I originally though toast was my trigger. Turns out it was the salted butter. I tried some I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light and can happily eat one piece of toast. Good to know! I simply traded the two.
  4. Strawberry Jam. I am not safe with strawberry jam in the house. I will eat it on toast, on ice cream, in yogurt, straight from the jar...all in a row! It is a huge trigger for me. Sadly, right now I just don't keep it in the house. It's the only way I've found. Even homemade jam has the same affect.
  5. Eating too many carbs, especially processed. I have found that things like Special K cereal or bars, Fiber One bars, Nature's Valley Sweet and Salty bars, things we would normally consider healthy, are triggers for me. I keep them out of the house. I make different choices, that won't set me off. For example, I have found that Uncle Sam Wild Strawberry Cereal (and the other flavors too) is a good replacement for the Special K and doesn't trigger a binge. Otherwise I just limit my carb intake and choose the carbs I do eat carefully. I feel better and am much less likely to be primed for a binge. Normally (I am on The 4 Hour Body for 30 days right now) I have Uncle Sam Cereal or Coach's Oats a several times a week and lots of berries and apples. That and vegetables are the majority of my carbs. It's what works for me.
  6. Not getting enough protein. When I don't get enough protein I feel naggy hungry and am much more likely to over-eat and make poor choices. Not binge, necessarily (although I think it may contribute), but I find getting lots of protein just sets me up for success.

Fascinating what you can learn just by paying attention! Now that I see these things clearly I can be proactive and not at the mercy of that binge feeling. It's been quite some time since my last binge. I know another one can sneak up on me, but I feel more in control being proactive and avoiding these specific things I know trigger me.


I am just a blogger, not a doctor, trainer, or any sort of professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Quote

The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Running Update

I haven't talked about my running much lately. Mostly because there hasn't been much to talk about! The cold weather and shorter days along with my dislike for my treadmill have curtailed my running the last few months...excuse, excuse, excuse. 


Enough of the excuse making. I ran through crazy weather while training for my marathon! What's a little snow and cold? I just need to get creative.


Hubby leaves for work when it is still dark and doesn't get home until it is dark, so my plan is to get runs in on Saturday and Sunday when he is home all day. Then when the days get longer again I'll return to early morning runs before he leaves. I may also include one day of interval running on my treadmill, need to work on my speed.


I got new New Balance shoes and a Polar heart rate monitor with foot pod, but haven't put them to much work so far this new year. I ran with them today down at the track for some speed work (my first outdoor run in months, hooray). Love playing with new gear! Hey, whatever motivates us, right?


My goal for this year is a sub 30 minute 5k. My fastest so far was 32:50. I decided I needed a race to get me motivated and focused. Having one on the calendar works wonders! My first attempt to break 30 minutes will be April 16th. This is the race I pr'd in last year. It's a good race: small, local to my sister, around the lake, easy course, lots of fun. I have plenty of time to work on my speed (and weight loss which always helps my speed) until then. I sat down today and added my running to my workout calendar.


I'm excited, I'm focused, hooray! I'm back in the running groove. 


How about you? Do you run? Any races on your calendar yet?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Friday!



Today I feel very determined, very focused. 


I have been allowing myself to feel discouraged lately. I go from giving it all I've got (in several aspects of my life, not just talking weight here) to feeling disappointed that I'm not seeing what I expect.


Nonsense! No more. I am focused on my goals. My fitness and weight loss goals as well as my goals with writing as a career. 


I am talented, intelligent, well equipped, and capable. I deserve good things. I can see them coming my way! I got this. I got this.


Sometimes we just have to give ourselves a pep talk!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The 4-Hour Body--Week 2 Results

14 days down on The 4-Hour Body Plan...am I in love? Not so much. First the results:

Starting Weight: 180  Week 1 Weight: 179            Week 2: 178
Starting Body Fat %: 33.3 Week 1 BF %: 32.3        Week 2: 32.2
Starting BMI: 29          Week 1: BMI 28.9                Week 2: 28.7
Measurements: 
Arms(mid-bicep):
Right 12 3/4" Left 12 1/2"              Week 1:same   Week 2: same
Waist(at belly button): 37 1/2"     Week 1:37 1/4  Week 2: same
Hips: 44"                                         Week 1:same  Week 2: 43 1/2"
Legs(mid thigh): Right 22" Left 22" Week 1:same   Week 2: same

Don't get me wrong, that is some slow and steady progress. Sensible even. BUT, there is nothing sensible about this plan. There is nothing slow in the claims this book makes. This eating plan is strict, and there is a lot to remember, not to mention the supplements I've shelled out for. For a pound a week? I could happily do that on some other plan and eat my fruit and Coach's Oats too! (can you tell what I've been craving? lol) Yes, I'm having my doubts about this.

Wanting to give this book a fair trial run I went back through the suggestions for common mistakes in the book and tweeted with some 4 hour bodiers on twitter. From there I have tweaked a few things I was doing 'wrong', mainly not getting protein within an hour of waking. I am also ditching the cream in my coffee, which *gasp* means ditching the coffee on all days except my higher calorie day. I am going to give this one more week. Then, if results are still snail's pace, I'm over it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Routines and Habits

I talked yesterday about taking our goals and breaking them down into action steps and tasks. Today I want to take that a bit further even. There will be things on those lists of tasks that are repetitive. Things that need done daily even (depending on your goals of course).


For instance with fitness and weight loss: there are many things that we will need to do daily to reach our goals. These things we need to add to our daily routines and eventually build them into habits. Only then can we truly make this a lifestyle change!


Some of these things for me are: 

  • Water. I have three 1 liter water bottles. Every night before I go to bed I fill them and put them in the refrigerator. I simply added this to my nightly routine. It makes water a no-brainer for me. This helps me so much. Why? Who knows, but it works for me, so I'm making it a habit.
  • Exercise. I really believe exercise can become a habit, something we just do. For me, I set my alarm for 4 or 4:30 (yes, I know that's crazy early, but I go to bed early too), I get up and I exercise. I want to get in this habit. Even on off days I still get up, because I want to keep the habit (plus I enjoy the early morning quiet time). I find the mornings I don't get up and I sleep in instead: exercise is much less likely to happen. I also schedule my exercise about a month or so out, so it's again a no-brainer, I look at the schedule and do the workout listed. Now, this works for me, of course find what works for you, but I think scheduling exercise into your day is so important! It's so easy to just let it get lost in the shuffle otherwise.
  • Tracking. Some people track, some people don't. Right now I do. I think I need it, so I do it. Daily. Every meal. Every workout. I track it. If you're a tracker, pick how you want to track and make it a habit. 
Habits are built through simple repetition. We need to choose the habits we want to build and then make it a point to do these things over and over and over and over...you get the point. Make a to do list, leave yourself sticky notes, or set alarms on your Blackberry (what I can't be the only one still using a blackberry?) If we mess up, we simply start over. Beating ourselves up does nothing to get us closer to our goals. Nope, just forgive yourself and focus on the next opportunity to practice your habits!

Now, I find I thrive on routines, when I stray away from them I fall apart. That's just me. But I think that everyone can benefit from building healthy choices into habits in our lives. 

I'll be hosting the Sears Fitness #SFCFit chat on Twitter tonight (Jan. 12) discussing turning our New Years goals into habits. Please join us! It's a really fun fitness chat. I'm @katdoesdiets on twitter and an easy way to follow the chat is to go to: http://tweetchat.com/room/sfcfit The chat starts at 6:30 my time (mountain), 7:30 CST. 

What are some things that you need to do daily in working towards your goals? 


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Action Steps

So, now we all have our goals written out for 2011...right? You do have your goals written out? If not, go do, quick...I'll wait. I read somewhere that simply the act of writing them down makes us a bazillion times more likely to accomplish them. (OK, it wasn't a bazillion, but it was much more likely)


Once we've written our goals out...now what? Do we simply let them sit around and collect dust? No! We take action! This is where so many people get hung up. OK, so I want this thing, I have this goal, but now what?


There's many things we can do from here: we can write out affirmations surrounding our goals, use visualization, and we can write out some action steps. Action steps is what I want to talk about today.


What are some things we can do to get us closer to your goals? What are the steps it will take us to get from here to there? Sit down when you have time and think about this. What will it really take to reach this goal? Write these things out, these are your action steps.


Now break them down into bite-sized tasks and get started! 


For example, if one of your goals is to lose weight (or whatever your goal is, it all works the same), write out the action steps you will take to accomplish this. Like: drink more water, exercise, clean the junk out of the cupboards, etc. Then break these down into tasks: buy a water bottle that will measure your water intake, or figure out how you'll track your intake; will you join a gym, buy some workout DVDs, or simply start walking? Take each action step and break it down into the tasks it will take to complete it. Make these tasks as 'bite sized' as possible. Last, make a list of these tasks, this is your plan, now simply DO them


Don't get overwhelmed by the big picture. Look at your list and take one task at a time.


I want to lose roughly 40 pounds this year. Wow, that can get overwhelming if I focus simply on that goal, but if I focus on the tasks it takes to get me there--much less overwhelming. I have written out my workout plan, now I need to get up each day and do that task. I have picked the eating plan I'll be following right now, now I just do it. Little by little all of this will add up until I've reached that 40 pound goal. Same with all my other goals: I've broken them down into what it will take to get there and I focus on the tasks.


We all talk about lifestyle changes, but how do we do this really? We figure out where we want to go, then what it is going to take to get there...and then we take the steps. Over and over and over as many times as it takes...until we're there, at our goal. It's not impossible. It doesn't take extra human willpower. Just persistence. Step after step after step. 


I really believe that writing all of this out makes a difference.


**2011 Journal Entry: Take your goal list and break it down into the action steps and tasks it will take to reach them.

Monday, January 10, 2011

GOALS!

Now that a little of the New Years Resolutions hoopla has died down I thought it'd be a good time to share the goals I plan to accomplish in 2011. In particular the fitness/running/weight loss related goals.


In 2011 I will:

  1. Run a 5k in under 30 minutes. My fastest 5k was almost 33 minutes, I plan to incorporate some more speed work into my routine and shave this down.
  2. Reach my goal weight of 140-145 pounds and go into maintenance mode. This will just take consistency in my food choices and workouts.
  3. Do 5 pull ups and 5 chin ups. Considering I can do neither I have my work cut out for me here!
  4. Run an 8 minute mile. My fastest mile was 9:26. This may be a reach, but I'm going to give it my all!
  5. Obsess less. Less about food, weight, etc. This might seem contradictory to all the rest of my goals, but I don't think so. I need to seek more balance in my thinking. Less obsessing about these things. Focusing on them at certain times, like when I'm working out, or when I'm eating is normal. But focusing/thinking about them constantly is not. This has been my struggle, I want to make more progress towards a healthy balance in my thinking about food and weight. That is one reason you will see me trying new eating plans this year, to me a plan makes it mindless, gives me less to obsess about.
  6. Try a TON of new things. In my quest of finding what works for me I plan to try a ton of new things this year. New eating plans, new workouts, new gear, etc, etc. That's sort of the reasoning behind my Adventures in Tracking blog and Hype or Help experiments. To try lots of new things all year; how can I know what works best for me if I don't try new things?! Plus, it cuts the boredom and monotony of weight loss.
**2011 Journal Exercise: Now you, what goals will you accomplish in 2011? Write them out!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Quote

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but instead will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.
Thomas Edison

Friday, January 7, 2011

Opening Up

This is a tough post to write. How does one let the whole world know that you’re a mess?

I’m not perfect, in fact, I’m a mess.

LOL, well that was easy. OK, seriously though, Yum Yucky’s post on compulsive eating got me to thinking a LOT about my issues. My issues, my uh, problems, my eating disorder, hmm maybe it’s disorders. I have an eating disorder? I have an eating disorder. Can I say that? Guess I just did. Wow…that is hard to put out there.

This is Wikipedia’s definition of compulsive eating: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsive_overeating  I think it’s a fairly good definition.  I mentioned in my what I learned in 2010 post that I’m a food addict, binge eater, and compulsive eater.  The lines blur between all of those, but yes, I’m all three.  Yum Yucky’s post and resulting comments got me thinking about all of this, and I’ve decided to share some of my why, my past, why I believe I have these issues.

I definitely learned disordered eating as a child. I can’t really pinpoint it, but I know some of these behaviors stem some from then. I learned an unbalanced/abnormal relationship with food. I also never learned how to handle emotions. Anger was really the only emotion that was acceptable to express.  Now had I just lived a normal happy little life from there I may have been OK. Hard to know, but I didn't.

As a teenager I flirted with anorexia. I don’t think that I ever was clinically anorexic, but I displayed a lot of the behaviors. My weight was never unhealthy though. The smallest I was, was a size 3 and about 130 pounds for 5’6”. But I remember feeling hungry and it felt powerful. Ya, screwed up I was.

Then, I got pregnant when I was 17. The father was a year older than I was. It was a dysfunctional relationship with a capital D. He was in and out of my life until I was about 23. I married him, divorced, lots of drama all around.  I won’t go into details, but he lied a lot, drank a lot, and was violent some. He did some things that cut me to my soul and killed any self esteem I had. I was broken. I wasn’t me anymore. This time in my life was the beginning of my full blown eating disorder.

Briefly after having my son I turned to alcohol. Thank God for my mom and dad during this time (my son was always safely with them when I was being an idiot). This was a bad time in my life. I realized I needed to grow up and be a mom, but still didn’t know who I was or how to deal with life, stress, or emotions. I was still very much so broken.

I turned to food. I never saw it in the same light as my drinking, it was somehow more acceptable. But it became my new addiction, my crutch, my obsession. I thought about food all the time, I binged on amounts of food that would shock you, I ate until I was so full I wanted to vomit, I ate when I wasn’t hungry, I ate so fast and didn’t feel like I could stop myself. I ate in secret.  Food controlled me. I barely even tasted food; I just shoveled it in almost trance like. It was my drug.

I put myself through college as a single mom and met a wonderful man. I functioned well in the rest of my life, but my relationship with food and my weight continued to be out of control.  It was only in the past few years that I realized I had a problem, that it wasn’t just will power, weakness, whatever. I knew my behavior was abnormal, but I never came to terms that it was an eating disorder (for some reason that terminology is hard for me).  I have an eating disorder. It goes far beyond normal overeating. I have been completely obsessed with food. It has been all consuming for a large portion of my life. I have thought about it constantly.  I’ve been filled with shame, self-hatred, and hopelessness for years.

 Healing has come in increments and sometimes one step forward, two steps back. It’s been a long road. But over the last 10 years I have found me again. I’m no longer broken. I like me and I am filled with hope. I may always have to be aware of my food issues; there are still days that food is all I can think about. I still struggle, but I have hope. I have knowledge, and I have support. I know I will beat this. I know that I am worth it.

It may have taken me over 10 years to realize I’m not a piece of trash, but standing here, on the other side, I know that those 10 years have formed who I am. And I am strong.

I believe that this year I will get to a healthy weight for the first time in a very long time. I also believe that I can have a normal, healthy relationship with food. I can, I will, I am strong.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

4 Hour Body First Week Results


Well, it's been an interesting week. I had tons of energy and felt great the whole time. My workouts were off and happened much less often for me, just life stuff, not really any other reason. I have them planned out now, and that always helps. I think I stuck to the eating plan as set out in the book pretty well. You can follow all of that over at Adventures in Tracking. All in all a good week I'd say.

I did start getting a few cravings on days 6 and 7. (Only having fruit and my Coach's Oats once a week is proving tougher than I thought!) Today will be my off, or higher calorie day, so I hope that'll solve that. I was reluctant to take an off day since my week one results weren't stellar, but it's a part of the plan, so I am.

It's a very interesting plan. Lets just say I'm not QUITE sick of beans yet, but after 30 days I just might be! (and I like beans)

I did start the supplements he discusses in the book, but only for the last two days of this week. I wanted to see how the diet plan was on its own first.

After all the hype and hoopla I'm a little disappointed in my week 1 results (although it is that time of the month so I can't say the weight is accurate), but I've committed to 30 days, and 30 days I shall do. 

Without further yammering, my week 1 results:

Starting Weight: 180 pounds    Week 1 Weight: 179
Starting Body Fat %: 33.3        Week 1 BF %: 32.3
Starting BMI: 29                        Week 1: BMI 28.9
Measurements: 
Arms (mid-bicep):  Right 12 3/4" Left 12 1/2"    Week 1: same
Waist (at belly button): 37 1/2"                        Week 1: 37 1/4
Hips: 44"                                                           Week 1: same
Legs (mid thigh): Right 22" Left 22"                  Week 1: same

Nothing life changing so far, except that I will say I am not hungry all the time like I'm used to. That has been wonderful. In fact, during the last week I had to remind myself to eat. NOT normal for me, but kind of nice.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, OK...Almost

A couple thoughts from my outing yesterday.

My library haul. It doesn't have to cost a lot to learn and try new things. Plus, I think it's always wise to check things out you're not sure about before you spend the bucks.
and, second...

Seriously?! How about I just hand my kids a bowl of sugar instead kthxbye.
Happy Wednesday! How are you doing with your goals?
  ***Note: please go visit Mrs. Fatass's post today, and give what you can: http://mrsfatass.com/2011/01/chickadee.html

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bring Back That...Motivated Feeling

This time of year a lot of us are all riled up and raring to go. We are ready to kick some butt, do this thing, be awesome, and dominate the world...We have motivation oozing from our pores (surely that's not just me). But for most of us that will fade. Life will happen, curveballs will be thrown, and we'll lose that motivated feeling. What then can be done?


Like I said in yesterday's post I think it's most important to focus on our commitment, hard work, consistent good choices, and surrounding ourselves with a positive support system. But, I do think there are things we can do to capture that motivated feeling again too. When we're just not feeling it we can:
  1. Rely on that positive support system we've formed. Whether it be calling or texting a friend, reaching out in the blogging community, or even facebook and twitter: ask for help, admit you need encouragement, do not be afraid to share where you really are! I think you'll be surprised how invaluable this can be. We are often afraid to admit when we're having a tough time, until we're mired in funkyville. We do not have to do this alone! Reach out. Enough said.
  2. Make a vision board. I have a wall in my office where I have plastered pictures that represent my goals, words, sayings, etc. I can just go up there and sit for a while, take it all in, and visualize my successes. I feel refreshed, re-inspired. Mizfit will be sharing about this idea during the #SFCFIT Chat on Twitter Wednesday February 2nd at 6:30 Central time. Mark your calendars and join us for that!
  3. Read success stories. You can find these in book form, online, and even in magazines. Seeing someone who has succeeded at what you are trying to do can be amazingly encouraging and inspiring. I love to read the success stories in Oxygen magazine, peruse the before and after pictures. It reminds me that it's not impossible, that I can do this thing!
  4. Start a friendly competition. With yourself or with a friend or two. Competition can really get some of our motivation juices flowing. Compete for bragging rights or pitch in a little for a prize for the 'winner'. Or simply compete with yourself. Can you best your fastest mile? Your 5k? Your bench press? Pick something (get creative, don't just make it pounds on the scale) and challenge yourself and/or others.
  5. Remind yourself why you want this, why you are doing this in the first place! **2011 Journal Entry: Anyone following along with these, this is our first journal prompt. Sit down and write out your WHY. Why do you want this goal you have? Why are you doing this? Why do you want this success? Whether it is to lose weight, or run a marathon, or write a book. WHY do you want to accomplish this goal? Go crazy, write out every single reason you can think of. Come on, don't just write 5 or 6, have fun, make the list as long as you can. Do you want to rock a little black dress at a family event/class reunion? Do you want to run your first 5k or inspire your family members? Write it all out. Then, whenever you need re-motivated, get this list back out. Feel those feelings you felt when you wrote it. Sometimes we just have to stir ourselves up!
Those are some things I do, I hope they're helpful. What about you, what do you DO when you want to feel motivated?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Myth of Motivation

Once upon a time there was a woman…let’s call her Sally (forgive me if your name is Sally I use this as my pseudo person name a lot). Sally needed to lose weight. Sally wanted to be fit and healthy. But she just couldn’t get MOTIVATED. She couldn’t get motivated to get to the gym. She couldn’t get motivated to workout at home. Sally couldn’t get motivated to shop for and cook healthy meals. Poor Sally just couldn’t get MOTIVATED to lose this dang weight.
Then one day Sally found MOTIVATION. And presto: Sally worked out every day, found the time to shop for and cook healthy meals and lived happily ever after being perfectly motivated every day.
THE END

OK, not to burst anyone’s bubble, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret, lean in real close now:

MOTIVATION IS A MYTH!

Well, now before you click out and go back to your Facebook page let me elaborate on that. Motivation is a feeling. The funny thing about feelings, they come and go. Some days we will feel motivated to do the things we know we need to do, and some days we just plain won’t. By all means on those days we have that motivated feeling we should take full advantage of it! But on those other days...

We cannot rely on how we feel to win this weight loss/healthy living/getting fit war (or to reach any other goal for that matter). Yes, sure, the motivation of being healthy, fitting into that size @#$ jeans, feeling better about ourselves, being a good example for our kids, (or whatever, you get the point) may help us win some battles, but it will not win the war! Motivation will come and go. We cannot rely on it to keep us going. When times get tough motivation will take a hike (trust me, I know).

What can we rely on then?

Commitment, hard work, consistent good choices, and a positive support system.

I know, bummer right?

But if we want to win this war and not just a battle or two, that’s what it takes.
  • o   We have to be committed: to ourselves, to accomplishing the goals we’ve set for ourselves, to making these healthy choices into habits, to sticking to it no matter how we feel. I'll be hosting the #SFCFit Chat on Twitter January 12th at 6:30 Central time and discussing making our New Year's goals into habits. Please join us!
  • o   We have to be willing to do the hard work. To do the work it’s going to take to reach our goals.  Whether that’s getting up early to fit in our workouts or finding the time to plan, shop for, and prepare healthy meals. It takes work, no way around it.  
  •  o   We have to make consistent good choices. We don’t have to be perfect mind you, just consistent. Working out like a crazy person for one week and then frittering out doesn’t cut it (trust me, been there, done that). Eating perfectly one day and then everything in sight the next three doesn’t work either. We must choose balance and consistent good choices. There’s just no way around it: it’s the only way for lasting success. 
  • We have to surround ourselves with positive, like-minded people. I cannot stress this enough. When push comes to shove this is a HUGE asset. 
Our motivation and our efforts will ebb and flow, that's just life, but I believe focusing on these four things will get us from point A to point B in the straightest possible route.


Now, all that said, I do think there are things we can do to capture that motivated feeling more often. More on that tomorrow…

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Quote

"I believe there is no greater joy in life than seeing others blossom, grow, and reach their potential."
John C Maxwell

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The 4-Hour Body--My Plan and Beginning Stats



Well, here are my starting stats for The 4 Hour Body Test. Both BMI and Body Fat % will be taken from my OMRON HBF-306. Keeping as consistent as possible with time of day and hydration when taking these measurements. I've never really taken measurements, very eye opening!

Starting Weight: 180 pounds
Body Fat %: 33.3
BMI: 29
Measurements: 
Arms (mid-bicep):  Right 12 3/4" Left 12 1/2"
Waist (at belly button): 37 1/2"
Hips: 44"
Legs (mid thigh): Right 22" Left 22"

Diet: 6 days a week I will be sticking mostly to the starred foods on page 72 of The 4-Hour Body. Definitely to only  foods from that page. I’ve already been scrounging for recipes to avoid boredom. There are 3  I found in my Jan/Feb copy of Muscle & Fitness Hers that are perfect!

Then on the seventh day I will have a high calorie day. He calls it a cheat day or even a binge day. I’m just not comfortable with looking at it that way because of my food issues. So, for the seventh day I’ll be adding things that are missing from the other six along with some treats. For instance: my beloved Coach’s Oats, dairy, and fruit. And then there will be some peanut butter cup ice cream or ooey gooey Starbucks treats on that day too. Strictly in keeping with the spirit of putting the diet 'as is' to the test ;) But no eating until I’m sick. Been there, done that, burned the t-shirt.

I will also be trying the little tricks he mentions in the book such as cinnamon and eating protein within an hour of waking, as well as the supplements he recommends (including what he calls PAGG).

All of this I will track in pictures over at http://adventuresintracking.blogspot.com

Workouts: There are several different workout plans he lays out in the book, depending on your goals. The one that most fits my goals is built around kettlebells. Problem being: I don’t have any. I debated this, but since I’ve already shelled out for the book and the supplements (and I’m obviously doing this just for fun and not getting paid for it) I’m not going to go buy kettlebells right now. So for workouts I’ll be following a lot of his suggestions on workouts, like the abs exercises he suggests and the frequency of weights workouts he discusses, but not a plan to the letter. Although the diet claim is that you can lose without exercise I’m also not willing to give up the hard work I’ve done in building my exercise habit for this little experiment. Not that he says you shouldn’t exercise, just that the diet will help you lose weight even if you don’t. So I’ll be doing weights, running, etc as usual, just taking his recommendations into account.

So, that's my plan. How about you? Have you read the 4-Hour Body? Started a new diet or fitness plan?