Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Weighing In On My Fitness Goals

I am trying not to set myself up for disappointment by not putting too many expectations on 2014.  Up until 2007, I’d never been unemployed for longer than a few months and here I am, nearly 6 years later, with a new certification under my belt, I still have no job.  I can’t make a resolution saying I’ll make more money or have a job because these things are somewhat beyond my control.  I can put myself and my skills out there and only sit back and hope someone will offer me some money.

The same holds true for my weight.  I was exercising between 2 and 3 hours a day and I wasn’t losing any weight.  I eat well, measure portions, don’t go in for fad diets, and yet I gain and gain and gain some more.  I am officially at the highest weight of my life except when I was pregnant . . . with twins.  Even when I gave birth to my daughter, I didn’t weigh as much as I do now.

So my goal this year is not to necessarily lose weight.  Instead, I am going to focus on tracking my exercise and my diet.  I know I need to eat more calories but trying to do so and maintain a balanced diet (45-65% carbs, 10-35% protein, 20-35% fat) is nearly impossible unless I go out of my way to eat when I do not feel hungry.   I’m going to try to eat enough calories but not force myself to eat when I’m not hungry.  I’m thinking of eating more lean protein, even drinking protein shakes, in an attempt to hit my goal without having to eat piles of food.  I love vegetables so much that I could eat piles of them but I’d never reach my caloric goal before feeling bloated and stuffed.  After all, my doctor and the nutritionist she had working with me both said that I wasn’t getting enough calories. 

Yes, this means I’ll be tracking the foods I eat.  I’ve tried doing this online (SparkPeople, LiveStrong, and, most recently, MyFitnessPal) and I think I’m just going to use pen and paper, transferring the week’s food into a database in one sitting.  Yes it will take time but not more time than logging in and out at every meal.  Since I’ll have my planner with me all of the time, tracking things manually should be easier.  And I won’t try to hit my caloric goal on day one.  I’ll need to build up to knowing what I need to eat to reach my target.
  • According to calorieking.com, I need to eat 1350-1550 calories a day.
  • According to freedieting.com, I should eat between 1432 and 1654 calories a day.
  • And myfitnesspal.com puts me at 1444 calories a day. 
I eat about 1000, so I need to eat another nearly 50% and, seriously, I’m not hungry enough for that.  And it’s easier for me to eat a hard boiled egg than seven cups of spinach.  Same number of calories.  Just less filling so maybe, just maybe, I can reach my target with a little more focus on protein and less on vegetables.

My biggest obstacle while exercising is how tedious I find strength training. I have tried everything I know to make it more interesting and failed every step of the way.  My last attempt was to not worry about making it something I’d enjoy (instead of boring) and just make it a daily habit—lower body M-W-F, lower body the other days, with Sundays off.  Still didn’t work.  I would claim to be too busy and never make time for it.  So in my planner I will track my exercise and schedule doing a full body strength training workout twice a week, Monday and Thursday, which I hope I can eventually build up to thrice a week. 

Cardio isn’t a problem.  Walking the dogs ensures a one mile walk every day.  Even when it rains, I use walking DVDs.  I also enjoy doing yoga and Pilates, both of which help work my core and provide some strength training.  Only, now we have a new dog hanging around and I’m not sure how well she will handle my trying to do anything on my yoga mat.  I remember when Snowdoll first arrived and how it took me a while before she understood my yoga mat is off limits.  For this reason, I’ve decided to do some qigong for which I won’t need my yoga mat while also using my mat at other times so that she can learn it is not for her to lie down on or chew up or any of the other things Holly seems to think all things are for around here.  Eventually she will become accustomed to seeing it without assuming she should claim it for her own. 

Anyway, I can always find/make time for cardio and yoga but I hardly ever try for strength training.  I also need to start thinking about adding agility training, something I hadn’t considered before.   In the coming weeks you’ll see my post about my progress, the activities I accomplish, the caloric goals reached.  Okay.  Maybe not the first week.  Maybe not the second.  But I’m thinking that by month’s end, I’ll have a routine happening and will be more inclined to remember to write down all of the details in my life in my still-to-be-made planner.  Speaking of which, I probably should get busy putting the pieces together or it won’t be ready for tomorrow morning’s launch. 

My goal is to focus on fitness and healthy diet and not on losing weight.  What health goal do you have for yourself?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Some of My Highlights for 2013

There were some highlights from 2013 and I wanted to remind myself and you of those shining moments.  Especially since one of these wasn't blogged about at all.

First was passing the CPC Exam.  I’d invested so much time, energy, and money into this certification that it was a shock and disappointment when I first failed the CPC exam in 2012.  At a loss (and completely unfamiliar with failing an exam when I had studied so hard for it), I turned to Laureen Jandroep and her techniques worked for me.  I passed the CPC exam in June of 2013 and I know it was because of the DVDs in which we invested.  They aren’t very pretty or polished or anything but they communicate the information you need.  Without them I simply could not have passed the exam. 

Second was going on my honeymoon with Rob.  It took us 5 years to get engaged and another 5 years to get married so the fact it took us only 3 years to go on our honeymoon is remarkable, really.  And it was wonderful.  We made the perfect choice, going to New York City, and I am so grateful to my mother and my step-father for giving us the perfect wedding gift.  It would not have been delayed, of course, if not for my condition.  That we went on the trip at all is indicative of how much hard work I’ve put into my healing and how much progress I have made over the past few years. 

Third was learning that my granddaughter did not need a biopsy and does not have cancer.  Most of October and November and into December was spent growing increasingly anxious as we waited to find out if the mass in Brianna’s groin might be a neoplasm of some sort.  We hoped it would prove to be nothing more than a lymph node but there is little peace in hope and having answers from a hematological-oncologist allowed all of us to breathe a huge sigh of relief in December.  Just in time for Bibi’s sixth birthday! 

And there you are.   Those were the three best moments of 2013.  While I did have a lovely time with my mother at Kripalu, getting to meet Donna Eden and learn more about her Eden Energy Medicine methods, I was still so sad about Romanov’s that the whole trip felt more surreal than fulfilling.  If Rob had not insisted on my going, I’d have happily stayed home.  But I’m glad I went.  My mother loves me enough to allow me my sadness and we had a lovely, love-filled, time together in spite of my grieving.

No year will ever be perfect.  I’m grateful for so much that was a part of my life in 2013 while looking forward to what I hope will be a better year in 2014.  I think that’s fair.

What were some of the highlights of your year?  

Pyrotechnic display with a colourful 2014 in fiery sparklers on a black background to welcome in the New Year
Image found here.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

And Yes, My Finger Must Be Feeling Better

This is the time of year I usually pause to reflect on the previous year, assess the vagaries of what worked and what did not, with an eye to making changes for my future hoping to improve my experience next year. 

For the first time, I prefer to just look forward.  Maybe Holly’s to blame.  She broke the tree today.  Instead of having the quiet afternoon I had hoped to enjoy, I was caught up with packing up the ornaments, putting away the figurines and such.  Normally we leave these things up longer but it doesn’t make sense to fight the inevitable.  We can either make ourselves miserable, trying to keep on top of her or we can focus on housebreaking her, keeping her from eating whatever strikes her fancy, and such.

I make it sound so miserable but it’s like an adventure.  She saw the broom in our kitchen and decided to carry it to the other room.  She chewed up one of my slippers.  She tried to run off with:  a Grinch plush, a neatly folded gift back, and a pillow.  She even pounced one of the dangling ornaments, which is how she broke the tree.   

Truth is, she fits right in.  Snowdoll gets along with her, playing with her, trying to get her to play tug-of-war with a toy.  There is some jealousy but Snowdoll hasn’t done more than rumble a bit when one of us is loving on her and Holly comes over to check out what is going on.  But that’s as far as it’s gone.  Holly should be worm free in a couple of weeks and we can once again push to find her a new home.  By then we may have her housebroken too.  No doubt, being a healthy puppy and knowing to go “outside” will go a long way to making someone fall in love with her because she is definitely easy to love.

Yes, even when she’s knocking over trees. 

One of the things I’ve decided to do for myself is to stop trying to make my life fit.  I’ve tried so many resources to make myself a bit more organized.  I’ve used printed planners but they aren’t quite right.  There seem to be two kinds out there:  ones for the busy mom-on-the-go with shopping lists and places to put in all the children’s activities; and ones for people who have regular employment and need to plan their day out hour-by-hour.  I don’t need to keep track of various schedules nor do I have to track my day each and every hour. 

I do need a to-do list so I tried online tools.  It made sense.  Rob uses online tools all of the time.  He syncs his calendars, emails, and whatever else but that still never seems to work for me.  I simply don’t think to use the technology and become frustrated when something essential falls through the cracks because I’m not in the habit of referring to the interwebz to organize my life.  And I never seem to make it a habit, no matter how much I try to commit myself to the idea of making it work.

So I revert back to paper.  That’s the plan for 2014, anyway.  And rather than try to fit myself to someone else’s design for my life is to design something that works for me.  Furthermore, I’ll be creating something that more “all purpose” where I’ll not only keep my to-do list and my plans for the week but where I’ll track my food and exercise, what I read and watch, write my morning pages, and do whatever other things I want or think I want to do in one place, on three-ring binder.  Too often before I would have different parts of my life in different places—a notebook for one thing, a notepad for another, a planner for still another.  It doesn’t work for me. 

I have a good feeling about this and I’m likely going to talk more about all of this in the coming weeks and months as I fine tune a system that works for me. 

Do you have any goals or intentions for your new year?  I'd love to hear them.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Picture's Worth Day Thirty-Three

Holly Needs a Home

This is Holly.  She was apparently used in a puppy mill but that hasn't kept her from being a sweet as can be Siberian Husky, with beautiful blue eyes.  

She is underweight but as gentle as can be.  Unfortunately, she is not neutered and has worms, a quick visit to the Humane Society or a local vet can fix that (pun intended).  She is very intelligent and, although she is not now housebroken, she was already catching on to the idea that she should go outside.  (We think she was kept in a kennel or crate and was not taught properly.)  Obviously, she loves to lie on furniture but did not object when we told her to get down from our couch.  She gets along very well with other dogs and with people.

Here is what we know about Holly besides what I've written above.  She was abandoned at a condominium complex and was taken in by the property management.  They took her to a vet.  No chip.  No tattoo.  Nothing to identify her.  They named her Holly and she is approximately 2 years old. 

However, this is a place of business so they cannot keep her.  A woman offered to give Holly a forever home but changed her mind within twelve hours.  She claims that Holly was aggressive with her other two dogs although, as you can see from the photo, we saw no evidence of aggression between her and Snowdoll.  

One of the residents at the condos works for a dog boarding facility and has offered to take Holly for the weekend but she will be returning to us on Monday.  We cannot afford to give her the medical attention she needs but we will do everything we can to take care of her and find her a loving home.  

Please share this if you live in the metro-Atlanta area and/or know others who do.  Holly is too sweet to homeless for the holidays.  

(If you want to contribute to Holly's care while we're trying to find her a home, my paypal email is satia62 at gmail and I assure you all money collected for Holly will go to Holly and/or with the family that adopts her.  I will not keep even one cent of it.)