eastbaymomma

Archive for 2014|Yearly archive page

Week 1: yoga REVISED to aerobic activity goals

In The Program on August 11, 2014 at 1:28 pm

I have been the primary caretaker for my bedbound mother and with all the lifting and twisting from her and from caring for my very active two year old I hurt my back and aggravated old wrist injuries. No fair! Yoga for me is out for a few more weeks.

The reason I started this program with a weekly yoga goal is because it was a way to get back in touch with my own body and to release some endorphins. Despite being injured I am finding ways to do that. The fitness guy at the YMCA recommended a stationary bike so that’s been my primary form of exercise. In fact, I am on it now as I write this blog.

I think starting a major exercise program early on in a weightloss program isn’t a good idea. Although exercise gives you a mental boost it also can make you more hungry and more tired. When you are beginning some serious lifestyle tweaks, being more tired can erode willpower and clear thinking. That has been my experience in the past. Focusing on food first has led to more longterm success for me.

That said, getting back into my body via exercise has been invaluable in developing a deep love for my body and a desire to take care of it as best I can.

So, at week seven, following my injuries, I looked at the US governments weekly exercise recommendations. here is the info I found:

ADULTS
(18 to 64 years)
Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a moderate level OR 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a vigorous level. Being active 5 or more hours each week can provide even more health benefits. Spreading aerobic activity out over at least 3 days a week is best. Also, each activity should be done for at least 10 minutes at a time. Adults should also do strengthening activities, like push-ups, sit-ups and lifting weights, at least 2 days a week.

So, I am subbing week 1’s yoga 2x/week challenge for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a moderate level OR 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a vigorous level. The strengthening recommendations will be added in, in future weeks. Stay tuned! And, good luck as you navigate how to best care for your one and only precious body. Be gentle with yourself and your expectations. As “they” say, your mileage may vary.

Review of my plan:
Week 1: weekly aerobic activity goals
Week 2: 8 glasses of water a day
Week 3: no eating after dinner
Week 4: one sweet treat per week
Week 5: switch from sugar to a healthier sweetner
Week 6: proper fruit and veggie intake
Week 7: proper protein and dairy intake
Week 8: appropriate grains intake

Week 8: the dreaded grains adjustment

In The Program on August 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm

This is the week I have known has been coming and that I have been dreading: time to focus on modifying my grain intake to healthier levels. I love all things grains and I am not talking about refined flour products, I am talking about the healthy whole grain non genetically modified stuff. But, nothing is healthy no matter it’s makeup if I am consuming more than my body wants/needs/can healthily process.

According to this chart by the US government, I need about 6 ounces of grains a day, half of which is to be whole grains. This chart reviews what constitutes an ounce.

I am up for the challenge and no doubt this will make a huge difference in my weight loss goals.

Review of my plan:
Week 1: yoga 2x per week at least
Week 2: 8 glasses of water a day
Week 3: no eating after dinner
Week 4: one sweet treat per week
Week 5: switch from sugar to a healthier sweetner
Week 6: proper fruit and veggie intake
Week 7: proper protein and dairy intake
Week 8: appropriate grains intake

Week 7: proper protein and dairy

In The Program on August 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm

This week I have been focusing on protein and dairy intake per the US government’s recommended intake guidelines. Do you notice I am saving limiting my beloved grains for last? (I am pretty sure I am way over the recommended servings but we can address that in future weeks….baby steps are working!)

After reviewing the dairy and protein recs I was surprised by how little protein (5oz) and how many dairy servings (3) is recommended for my age group. Notably, the recommendations are for someone with a sedentary lifestyle and I have a very active lifestyle so I am treating the guidelines as a baseline; I must have 2.5 cups of veggie per day but I can have more if I wish. So far, in the last few weeks it has been the dairy and veggie goals that have been the ones I have had to put extra thought into, to achieve.

Have a great week!

Review of my plan:
Week 1: yoga 2x per week at least
Week 2: 8 glasses of water a day
Week 3: no eating after dinner
Week 4: one sweet treat per week
Week 5: switch from sugar to a healthier sweetner
Week 6: proper fruit and veggie intake
Week 7: proper protein and dairy intake

Week 6: amp up fruit and veggie intake

In The Program, Uncategorized on July 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Moving towards a super healthy diet, this week is all about monitoring fruit and veggie intake. In other words, making sure I am getting enough of the healthy stuff my body needs. As always I am taking baby steps to make sure this diet/lifestyle and these wellness goals are sustainable. No quick fixes here! No crash and burn diets! No overwhelming, time consuming, obsessive plans. One weekly goal at a time means I am building a healthy, smart, tailor-made, reasonable, sustainable weightloss program to say bye-bye to the pregnancy (and then some) weight forever.

At this point maybe I should rename the blog “losing that toddler weight” since I have yo-yoed so much during my daughter’s toddlerhood. I have lost more than half of the pregnancy weight but never have lost more than two thirds of it because for the last year I have been gaining and losing the same 10-15lbs over and over again. This yoyo pattern makes sense to me since I have been under intense stress as I care for my mom going through hospice, but still, enough already!!! Yoyoing is frustrating aesthetically and also is super unhealthy for my poor body trying to cope with all the extreme measures I was placing on it. Time to care for my body in a healthy way and not have us be adversaries. Thank goodness this latest approach to healthy weight loss has been working. The past six weeks of “easy does it” changes are adding up to success. My clothes are looser! Just as importantly, I am hitting all my daily and weekly goals and that feels so good.

Anyways, this week, the way I am figuring out my goals for daily fruit and veggie intake is from the US government’s guidelines. In lieu of going to the doctor and getting her input, this seems like a fairly reasonable source. Hopefully there aren’t too many lobbyists influencing the guidelines lol! I am finding the
US government’s website very easy to use. To check the chart for how many vegetables you should consume based on age and gender click here . For fruit click here.

For me I should have a goal of 2.5 cups of veggies per day and 1.5 cups of fruit. I probably hit these goals half the time I would say, so I am excited to amp up my intake and reap the benefits of better nutrition. Take some time to explore the whole website in general because it has some great info that hopefully is backed by lots of science. For example, it is interesting to note on the the veggie chart that it shows you should shoot for particular quantities of various subgroups. I bet I don’t get 5.5 cups of red and orange veggies a week.

Have a great, healthy, reasonable week!

Review of my plan:
Week 1: yoga 2x per week at least
Week 2: 8 glasses of water a day
Week 3: no eating after dinner
Week 4: one sweet treat per week
Week 5: switch from sugar to a healthier sweetner
Week 6: proper fruit & veggie intake

Week 5: coffee makeover

In The Program on July 21, 2014 at 8:20 pm

This week I am continuing to kick the sweets habit. Last week’s rule of one treat per week felt like it made a huge dent in my caloric intake and emotional eating habits. Plus, allowing a dessert a week feels like a reasonable and sustainable plan for weight loss. So, this week I am swapping out my morning sugar intake via two cups of coffee with milk and refined white sugar to two cups of coffee with milk and a healthier sweetner. I have agave nectar on hand and will use that but I have also recently acquired coconut sugar which definitely works well in coffee and seems more economical. I highly recommend it. Don’t use Splenda or sweet n low or substances like that. (A quick google search will tell you why.). Stick to the more natural stuff.

This morning I was offered hand-rolled, hand-dipped hot out-of-the-oven gourmet doughnuts and I didn’t even want them! At first I checked the sky to see if pigs were flying but then I realized that my informal refined sugar detox over the last few weeks may have just resulted in me being less interested in sugary treats. Shocking! And good for the scale!

Review of my plan:
Week 1: yoga 2x per week at least
Week 2: 8 glasses of water a day
Week 3: no eating after dinner
Week 4: one sweet treat per week
Week 5: switch from sugar to a healthier sweetner

Week 4: One Dessert Per Week

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm

As stressors in life increased coupled with chronic sleep deprivation over the past six months I reached more and more for artificial boosts: caffeine and sugar. My emotional eating historically has not been with sweets but with cereals and pastas. But the need for immediate “energy” this year brought on a candy and other sweets habits. I want to be realistic and not ban sweets all together because I really don’t want to live feeling like I have a bunch of rules just asking to be rebelled against. But the multiple sweets per day habit must go!

The first few days of this new habit proved surprisingly tough, but by Thursday (I start habits on Sundays) I had made it through the week and still haven’t had my treat yet. I am really hopeful that this habit is sustainable and will lead to real weight loss.

The habit I have broken twice is the no eating after dinner habit. Twice in the middle of the night I have been awakened to take care of the toddler or my bedridden mother and have had bowls of cereal, justifying it in the wee hours because it was a “new day,” ie, past midnight so not technically after dinner. Maybe the habit needs to be renamed from “no eating after dinner” to “no eating between dinner and breakfast?”

Review of my plan:
Week 1: yoga 2x per week at least
Week 2: 8 glasses of water a day
Week 3: no eating after dinner
Week 4: one sweet treat per week

Week 3: No Eating After Dinner

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2014 at 11:43 am

I find that i can be “good” with my eating choices all day but by the time the toddler is in bed, the bedridden mother is settled in and the chores are all done for the day, I want a snack! I want to collapse on the sofa and watch tv or check email and eat cereal. Now I know my body and I am not one of those people who take a few hours to wake up and want to eat breakfast. Nope, I have always been an early morning breakfast eater and a daytime eater. It has only been in the last few years that I have developed the late night craving routine. It’s time to break it! Now some people because of their body rhythms may need an evening snack to stay balanced and have proper caloric intake. Not me. Nighttime eating for me is almost always for emotional comfort and/or physical exhaustion, not for nutritional sustenance. If you are like me, this week, do whatever you have to do to stop being a nighttime snacker: close the kitchen door, brush your teeth or even go to bed early. Note this is the first week we are actually altering food intake so you may experience some internal resistance. Don’t give in and snack! All these baby steps are going to add up to a very healthy you in 52 weeks or less! Have a great week!

Review of my plan:
Week 1: yoga 2x per week at least
Week 2: 8 glasses of water a day
Week 3: no eating after dinner

Week 2: eight cups of water a day

In Uncategorized on July 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm

There are all sorts of health benefits to drinking eight glasses of water a day. Knock yourself out googling them! In terms of my weight loss 52 week plan I chose this focus for week 2 because I find I often eat when I am actually thirsty. I used a free app to assist with this goal, MyWater, which I highly recommend.

The week went well. I was surprised to see how helpful charting my water intake was. I think of myself as someone who drinks a lot of water. In fact I definitely wasn’t getting 8 glasses a day.

I am happy to report that I stuck to week one’s goal of two yoga classes a week. I also thought a lot about what goals I am going to set in the next few weeks – all of which will be totally reasonable, healthy and doable. This (manageability) is especially key as I walk through this difficult time in my personal life. Caring for my mother as she good through hospice while caring for my toddler daughter is very challenging and a crash diet is a recipe for failure and added stress. This 52 week program allows me to take care of my own health in a healthy way while having the energy and strength to take care of others.

Week 1: Yoga Twice Weekly (at least)

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2014 at 11:12 am

For my first healthy habit that should contribute to sustainable and steady weight loss I am going to commit to yoga at least two times a week. This past week I have attended three classes and my body feels really great. I am attending classes that are not rigorous (titled restorative yoga, yoga for everybody, etc). If you don’t have access to in-person classes I highly recommend the free yoga website grokker.com. There are other free instruction options on YouTube or check out (in the US) your public television station listings for yoga shows like Wai Lana yoga.

I love the way yoga makes me feel: all stretched out and relatively de stressed. The more connected I feel to my body and the lower my stress level, the better able I will be to make healthy eating choices and conquer the last third of this baby weight. Namaste!

It’s been a year!

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2014 at 11:03 pm

It has been nearly a year since my last post. I am at least ten pounds lighter then I was the last time I wrote, having lost about 60+ pounds overall, but I still have about 30 to go. Sheesh! This baby weight loss thang is going sooooooo slowly. Then again, not everyone gains 99lbs in 9 months (the newborn was only 6lbs8oz at birth)!

So, how to take the final 30 off? I need a gentle method as I am going through a tough personal time (caring for my mother as she goes through hospice) so extreme dieting and exercise isn’t sustainable. However, I am willing and am eager to make small changes that will add up big time.

I came up with a gimmick that I think will work for me; I call it Fabulous in Fifty-two. There are 52 weeks in a year so each week I will start a new healthy habit or make a healthy change. The cumulative effort should really add up to a 30lb weight loss in a year (what I have been averaging anyways) and the best part is that it is a custom plan for me, my body and my current life circumstances. I am really looking forward to this year and continuing the steady decline towards a healthy weight!