eastbaymomma

Posts Tagged ‘health’

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

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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

Six Months, Thirty Pounds

In Random Thoughts, The Program, Uncategorized on July 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Alright folks, I am super impatient to get the remaining weight off. I feel like I have to do something while I wait! Starvation diets and crazy amounts of exercise aren’t going to work for me, tempting as the quick results would be, I have to be reasonable and still function well! In fact, I have been doing a plan for months that has been working, just very slooooooowly… So, to calm the jitters and the rapid extreme weight loss fantasy schemes going on in my head (as a Mom to a toddler I just can’t go crazy;I need my energy), I think it is time to set some goals

My baby turns two the end of January, 2014. How about I set my goal to have the remaining pregnancy weight (and then some) off by her birthday? That gives me six months to lose thirty pounds. That works out to be five pounds per month. This, I think, is doable, even with the multiple months of holiday food craziness near her birthday. This means monthly weight check-ins, here on the blog.

Also, I have heard that people who give themselves non-food rewards at milestones are more successful. Sooooo… On August 15th, if I have lost 5lbs by then I am rewarding myself with a new piece of jewelry that I can look at daily and say, I did it! I am on my way! I am going to make it! We aren’t talking diamonds lol, but something I wouldn’t normally ever buy so that it is a real treat.

64lbs down, 30 to go….The journey continues!!

Dieting State of Grace

In Random Thoughts on April 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

About three weeks ago I was going through a tough time – bored with the diet, frustrated by the slow movement of the scale, starting to cook up obsessive diet and exercise plans, etc. After pushing through it (and thankfully not making radical changes that just would have been distractions), I have arrived in this golden period of dieting that I don’t think I have ever experienced before: I am not obsessed with food, I am not overly hungry, I am not obsessed with dieting “tricks” and even though the scale only lightly decreases I am not freaked out about it.
What has happened???

It is a dieting state of grace. I am sixty-one pounds down and have thirty-eight to go and for some reason, the last few weeks, thirty-eight pounds doesn’t seem as irritating, frustrating and impossible as it did three weeks ago. I am so grateful. I have been hesitant to write a blog post about this because, superstitiously, I have been worried that if I acknowledged how great the last few weeks have been that it could go away. Fingers crossed that it won’t!

Stay the course

In Random Thoughts, Uncategorized on April 2, 2013 at 12:25 am

For the last week or so I have been doing some funky thinking about my weight loss plan and I have realized that it is a habit I need to call the three week curse. It seems like each time I commit to a new approach for weight loss somewhere around the three week mark I start having this internal debate about the effectiveness of the program and start beating myself up that perhaps I have not done as well as I should have. I then start trying to think up a new weight loss approach… even if the original approach is working!!!

What is up with this??? Is it that I have almost cruised into that awesome 28-day golden ticket zone where experts say health changes become habit and automatic so I for some reason want to self-sabotage before that point? Is it that I get bored with a program and want to change things up? Is it some aloof sense of fear of being thin again (if I am thin I can’t use being fat for reasons I don’t do x, y or z)? Does being fat give me some tangible way to express anger at the world, at people not treating me the way that I want because many people do treat fat people differently (I have been both) in my experience? None of these thoughts ring completely true to my situation. I can’t quite figure it out. But I have been at this weight loss game long enough to know this three week angst phenomenon exists.

This time around I think I handled it appropriately. There were two days I went slightly over my calorie allotment, but not by much. I allowed myself to engage in the defeatist and obsessive thoughts because really, how can I stop them? Most importantly, I did not stop my program. I am doing the weight loss the healthy way, modifying my calorie intake, making healthy food choices, not engaging in radical self deprivation and and only exercising moderately for mental health, not weight loss.

Previously I may have resolved to try a different weight loss technique after a weekend of “free” eating. I may or may not start that technique after the weekend was over. For sure I would have a lot of disappointed mental chatter. So, I am going to be like the turtle in the children’s fable this time. Slow and steady wins the weight loss race!

Another motivating metric

In Random Thoughts, Uncategorized on March 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm

I have lost more than 55lbs this past year but still have a ways to go. I have finally broken the pattern which I had since the thanksgiving holidays of losing and then regaining the same 10lbs over and over again. I am solidly losing again and I can see my body changing shape again. Yay!

Perhaps I have a masochistic bent or something because this morning I thought, hmmm, let’s find out if I am still considered obese. Well….. I am!

I was curious how doctors calculate that fact. They do so via BMI. I learned about it on this website.

If I had wanted a short term weight loss solution I could have done the rigid 12step food program that I used to lose a ton of weight before, but it was actually one of the most unhealthiest times of my life (and I have had some unhealthy times, let me tell you.)

Losing the pregnancy weight (and then some) has been a journey to discover a healthy lifestyle so that I can model one for my daughter. I have been trying many different approached this past year and overall, have found success. Forty pounds to go!

Back to BMI, even though I was in the obese category, it didn’t make me feel like a loser (surprisingly). It just made me happy I have a plan to keep losing extra fat. It is another tool in my healthy living toolbox.