Friday, September 19, 2014
Itís that time again. Once more I am looking to find my goals (and motivations) for the Biggest Loser Challenge (BLC) that Iím involved in. We took our first weigh in (WI) on Wednesday. I am not where I wanted or hoped to be, but Iím not far off from where I expected to be.
I took the summer off. I rarely exercised. I just lazed the summer away. It was my choice. I needed the rest I think as even with getting on average about 3,000 Ė 4,000 steps a day (and many days less than that) Iím still within 1 lb of where I ended the last round. Thatís a tribute to my eating habits I think. And they are just that, habits. I eat the same things most weeks and so I know how many calories are in the foods and eat pretty much in a consistent range now that Iíve gone gluten free. Losing those desperate cravings, those (to me) undeniable urges to eatÖ everything in sight has made a huge difference.
But now is the time to start moving forward again with my plans. Iím tired of maintaining. Iím TIRED of being 10 Ė 15 Ė 20 lbs above my goal weight. I want to live between 140 Ė 145 lbs. That is 10 Ė 15 pounds from where I am right now. Iíve revised it upward by 5 lbs. I donít think, realistically that I will make my previous goalÖ ever. It is unrealistic to expect my 50 + year old body to go back 20 + years and be what it was. It will never happen. Even if I get back to that weight my body wonít look the same. 145 is the top of the BMI healthy weight scale for me, so that is where Iím aiming. I am not giving up or giving in, not really. I am looking at my lifestyle, what I am willing and able to do. I can always reevaluate later. But it sounds so much better to only need 10 Ė 15 lbs to goal than 20 Ė 25. Iíve been trying with limited success to lose that same 20 Ė 25 lbs for years! The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.
If I lose 0.25 lbs a week Iíll be within striking distance of 150. If I lose 0.5 lbs a week I will be below 150 (a sticking point in my mind. If I lose 0.75 lbs a week I will be below my top end goal. If I can lose 1 lb a week I will be at my low end goal by the end of this challenge.
I havenít been below 150 since before 2003 and I was only at 150 for about a month in 2003. So I have my mental work cut out for me. And Iím going into that time of year that is traditionally hard for me to do anything other than maintain. Yup thatís right. Fall and winter seasons are usually colder, damper and less sunny. Thatís when I go into extreme hibernation mode normally. I have to find a way to counter that.
So I am going to have to make some changes. Something has to give and itís all mental at this point or at least mostly I think. I know what works. If I eat better foods like fruits and vegetables more home cooked and less prepackaged foods I feel better and do more. When I exercise consistently I do & feel better as well. But, when Iím tired and achy it becomes really challenging to do so.
What can I do to motivate myself during the upcoming challenges? How can I overcome this mental block that keeps me from accomplishing my goal? What am I willing to do and to change to make this happen?
I have already made some great progress. Iíve eliminated gluten and soda pop from my diet (I know I mention this a lot, but as they are one of my few long term successes I need the affirmation that I CAN make changes that stick). Right now Iím ready to make sweeping changes and commit to them, but that doesnít work for me. I eased into the gluten free eating and have been eating this way for almost 1.5 years now. I have no intention of going back. In fact we just bought a large amount of gluten free emergency foods for me, so even in times of emergency I wonít fall back into that habit that hurts more than just my waistline.
The only extreme change I made that I was able to keep long term was giving up sodas. I *had* to do that all at once as that is an addiction. The combination of sugars/caffeine make it impossible to have just one. I have been soda free for 6 years now (I think). I have tasted regular and diet Coke/Pepsi products. They now just taste nasty. The diet sodas have a horrible aftertaste and the regular sodas are now waaay too sweet. Yea for change tastes. My biggest downfall there was the fizzy sensation on my throat. This time I found soda/carbonated water. It quenches my thirst and has that soothing fizzy sensation I crave. So now all I drink is tea (both iced & hot depending on the weather) and water. I will have the occasional glass of wine or hard cider (maybe 1 or 2 on average per month).
I toy with the idea of going paleo or cave man. After all both are really gluten free, but Iím not willing to give up dairy or grains. I feel better when I eat them. Therefore I will not eliminate them from my diet. My diet is one I plan to keep for life, not just for a short time to lose the weight, but to feel my best.
But I digress. This is blog is to be about the goals Iíve set for the next 12 weeks and how to achieve them. I think Iím avoiding having to commit to anything. Once itís in writing I can fail. Silly me.
I will lose weight this round. I will lose somewhere between 5 & 10 lbs.
To do this:
I will exercise regularly. This means 5 times a week.
I will include strength training 2 times a week.
I will enjoy my rest days and not feel guilty for taking them. Rest is as important as exercise.
I will rock climb 1 time a week. We just rejoined the climbing gym, now utilize it.
I will walk an average of 8,000 steps a day.
I will eat to live. That means more foods prepared at home. I need to work out the specifics on that as our eating habits have changed. We now eat our main meal at lunch rather than dinner. So I need to find ways to work with that new dynamic that doesnít involve a lot of fast food or frozen prepackaged foods.
I WILL listen to my body and eat accordingly. If I am truly hungry I will eat. If I am not hungry I will not eat just because itís my normal time for food.
I will read motivational/inspirational books and not just pleasure reading books.
This is MY time. I WILL find a way. I will live my motto. Never give up, never surrender. I WILL succeed! (Scary as that is.)
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
3. Make a PLAN for maintaining or losing over the BLC break then post or blog about your plan
My plan for the break between rounds (which is extended this time as we wonít start again until September, with new contestant sign-ups starting in mid August) is to continue using the CAMO Crew weekly template. This template has us committing to weekly goals to focus on. This format has shown real promise for me in getting results. So here are my weekly goals for between rounds.
(Note, I have stopped tracking my goal of eating gluten free every day as it has become a habit and I choose to eat only gluten free foods every day without thought so it is no longer a goal but a lifestyle)
1. Walk an average of 7,000 steps daily.
2. Bring lunch 2 Ė 3 days a week
3. Track food 2 Ė 3 weekdays
4. Track food 1 weekend day
5. Complete 140+ intentional fitness minutes weekly
6. Strength train 10 minutes (+) 3 days a week
7. Morning exercise 4(+) weekdays
We also add in a special ops focus for the week which rotates between exercise, water, food, relaxation and sleep, or something we have declared in our weekly challenge depending on what we need special help with.
I will continue to focus on one healthy living aspect a week to focus on.
I will also continue to weigh in on Wednesdays to check any tendencies to slack off during the break. This is just a break between rounds, not a break from my chosen healthy lifestyle.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
This is the final week of round 25. As part of the last challenge we are to do 3 things in a blog. I will tackle the first 2 parts in this blog and then once Iíve considered the plan a little more post a second blog with part 3.
1. Post or blog the best thing about your experience with the BLC this round or about the progress you made due to your participation in BLC
If youíve seen the TV show you may have some very strong reservations about belonging to a group called the Biggest Loser Challenge. After all, the show is all about doing anything (including tearing others down to what some would consider cheating) to win the top slot.
Well, this team isnít quite like that. Yes we are divided into different teams. Each team, while focusing on healthy living, has its own focus. Some teams focus on getting in a lot of exercise minutes; others target nutrition and eating within your range; while still others focus on social aspects and support. You choose your team and your team chooses you (you give your top 3 choices, usually but not always, you are given your top team choice) depending on where you want your focus to be for that 12 weeks.
I have been on 4 different teams over the years Iíve been involved with the BLC. Each fit my needs at the time, and there is a time that change is good because I get too comfortable and then stop trying as hard. Every team I have been on is full of people (mostly women, but there are men included) who are trying their best to live happy, healthy lives, to support and be supported by their teammates.
It is really tough for me to single out just one thing as best. I could talk about how motivating it is to be involved in a group dedicated to getting healthy, exploring different avenues to that goal and supporting each other. These were all big components in my success this round (as in round past). The support and camaraderie made this round fun.
But the thing that stands out for this round I think is that knowledge is power. On the CAMO Crew (my team this round) there was a lot of health talk. Talk about vitamin deficiencies how these deficiencies can affect out moods, energy and life. There are those who focus on strength training because it helps them maintain their mood as well as bones, muscles, etc. How drinking too little or too much water can also affect a number of things. As a result, I had my doctor do a more extensive blood test. I was diffident in vitamin D. Once I started supplementing my vitamin D I began feeling more energetic. I was able to exercise more which in turn helped manage my pain, which made me feel better and an upward cycle begun. I have only missed a handful of scheduled exercise sessions since. If all goes well with my final WI on Wednesday July 23, I will end this round with a loss. Granted it will probably be a small one, but thatís perfectly fine by me. Ending with a loss, any loss is a victory for me right now and can be built upon for next round
2. Post or Blog at least ONE NSV (Non-weight Related Victory) or accomplishment you did the round
The biggest (or at least the one that stands out most this round) is finishing 500,000 steps in 3 months. I had let myself forget this challenge for work during the first two and a half months of this challenge and needed close to 200,000 steps by the end of June. Well, with the encouragement of the CAMO Crew and pushing my body to the limit, finding out about a vitamin D deficiency and correcting it, I DID it. I managed to actually complete the challenge 2 days early.
I did not complete the week 12 fitness tests (as done in weeks 1 & 6) as I have been sick for the past 2 days. I plan to repeat the test sometime in the next week once I am healthy once again and post the results.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Wow! Has it already been six weeks since my last blog?! EEP! I meant to do much better than that. Anyway we did our 6 week fitness tests to look for improvements. Hereís mine for comparison.
Week 6 recap:
I feel that I did better overall with the tests. I made some great improvements overall, although, the crunches didnít improve at all. I am working on learning to do a crunch like they say to on the crunch test this next 6 weeks.
wk 1: 17
wk 2: 21
wk 1: 0 (12 - 3" crunches)
wk 2: 0 (12 - 3" crunches)
3 min Step Test:
wk1: heart rate 92
wk2: heart rate 120 (hr taken differently from first test)
wk 1: 16.30
wk 2: 12.52
Now, on to the rest of my life. Iíve lost focus for way too long. Iíve been drifting along without making much of an effort. I am/was just exhausted all the time and my ankles have been hurting/swollen more often than not. So Iíve used that as an excuse to not move as much as I need to feel my best. Iím also way behind on my quarterly work challenge. If I donít get moving I wonít get the insurance premium discount this quarter. NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. The challenge is 500,000 steps, or about 5 Ė 6K a day. I havenít even been averaging that. As of last night I had taken 340,391 steps, which leaves close to 160,000 steps left. It means I must take approximately 12,300 steps daily to meet this goal.
I can do this. I have done this before.
Iíve now been married for over 23 years. I think I love him more now than I did when we married. He has supported me in health and in sickness. He has taught me how to stand up for myself and make myself more of a priority. He has supported me through fad diets, giving up, starting again, low carb, low fat, weight watchers, and many other ďdietsĒ. Right now he is supporting my decision last year to go gluten free. He eats gluten free at home. If we go out I will not force this lifestyle on him. Itís his life and body.
I cannot and WILL not FORCE my lifestyle on anyone else. He is thinking about limiting wheat/gluten as heís seen what itís done for me and because of my choices heís started researching the effects of gluten on the body. But he has yet to commit to this lifestyle. I think he is afraid that he wonít like the foods as much as what he eats/ate as a child.
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