Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Week One of My 2015 Challenge

I met my weekly goal of 1 pound lost!

A week ago I posted (whined) about not having a competition to keep me motivated in pursuing my health goals and my low carb lifestyle.

Low carb living has been pretty easy in the past two years, but I'm not really losing weight.  I'm also not really gaining weight either.  I guess at 50 years old I should be grateful.

By the end of that post I had developed a competition for myself to fit into my wedding dress by my anniversary on May 10. (That's two dress sizes and some toning.)

I've read several articles and snippets over the past week of expert opinions and other stories about how to be wildly successful.

Since I did achieve my goal of losing 1 pound this week, I have to believe it has something to do with what I'm learning and practicing.  Here is what I am doing that is helping me mentally:

1. Track everything.  8 weeks ago I created a spreadsheet in Google Drive to track my progress with habits I want to change.  I haven't been perfect by any means, but it is interesting how tracking what I am doing is really affecting my mindfulness.  The beauty of the tracking is that I can keep adding once I have been consistently successful with something.  Here are some of the things on my list:

  • drink more tea especially decaf at night
  • drink only 2 cups of coffee with cream per day
  • cut down the alcohol to a maximum of 2 drinks per day
  • meditate
  • listen to my affirmations
2. Reminding myself that I am in it for the long haul.  With my busy schedule its much easier to go for a 20 minute workout that turns into 30 because I'm having fun than psyching myself into a long workout.  I am listening to fun music and really playing with the exercise as if I'm a kid on the playground.  I can't think of any reason this shouldn't be fun.  

3. Starting a streak.  Today I started a running streak.  I usually walk/run 2-3 miles every time I work out.  This streak has me focused on developing my ability to run without stopping.  It's not a streak yet because it is only one day.  The plan is to run 1/4 of a mile as part of my work out every day for the next 30 days.  After that I'll spend 40 days running 1/2 mile.  Slowly I will work up to a mile.  If I can do it consistently without quitting I might try for the running streak to be listed on the registry.  I'm not making any big promises.  This is just supposed to be for fun.

Other things I'm trying out include:
  •  brewing a special pot of tea at dinner (to replace the wine I'd like to have)
  • watching positive and quality shows in the evening with my hubby from things I've recorded or have access to on Amazon prime
It doesn't hurt that I'm going public with this challenge (even if my dear brother is the only one who reads these).  I am motivated to stay above the RED LINE next week.

Speaking of fun, I listened to this song as I was wrapping up my workout.  I don't care if anyone saw me dancing up the hallway.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Without a Performance, I Don't Care Enough

There are hundreds of articles about motivation.  I could probably write this post about how to motivate yourself to exercise and list every tip ever given.  What I am struggling with is how to find the follow through in the exercise plans that I've made for myself while keeping realistic expectations and staying in balance.

When I was in boot camp from 2012 to early 2014, I was very motivated to get to the gym by 5:30 in the morning.  There was a group of people that I enjoyed seeing.  We cheered for each other and also pressured each other just enough.  It was a wonderful experience even though I began to develop quite a problem with my right shoulder.

Several months ago we decided to move and sell some of our properties.  Through that transition, we could no longer go to our boot camp.  Also, during that time my DH developed a severe injury (now diagnosed as frozen shoulder) so switching to boot camp at another location was not an option either.

So now, months after we've left boot camp, I'm struggling to keep a regular routine because there is no great goal.  No competition that depends on my practice.

The only bright spot in the transition is that the time away from the group has allowed my shoulder to finally heal.

When I was dancing, there was always an end of the year recital.  If you didn't practice, you looked pretty silly up on stage.

Now that I'm dancing on my own, in my own living room, there is no pending recital.  There is no bar to reach.  There is no one counting on a good performance from me, except me.

It isn't enough.  How does someone who is born to perform keep the drive and passion alive when no one is watching the performance?

I have been conditioned since childhood that you work hard, you practice over and over, because the big performance will come and you need to be the best.

And this is why my exercise regimen has been so inconsistent.

My crazy (and wonderful) brother on the left.
My brother has a lofty 50 marathons in 50 states by 50 plan which keeps him going.  I am very proud of him for that.

A few years ago our gym had an I Love Joe competition for Pilates.  That was fun and challenging.  I won some prizes and it kept me motivated.

I'm trying to find the equivalent goal for a dancer who likes yoga, Pilates, and cycling.

After an hour of searching I could only find:
1. Zumba instructor training - that might be fun but I don't want to teach it
2. Fitness competitions - ugg, no thanks on the body building
3. Mrs. Oklahoma pageant - double ugggg

Suddenly, inspiration strikes me.  What if I could fit into my wedding dress by my 12th anniversary?  That's a pretty lofty goal.  The dress is a size 6-8 (closer to a 6).

That means I would have to drop 2 dress sizes in 19 weeks.  A little over 1 lb. per week.

For a busy 50 year old business owner, this is not as easy as it would have been 12 years ago. (And I thought getting in shape before my wedding was tough.)

Challenge accepted.  Maybe to give it legitimacy I should create a Facebook event and invite competitors.  Just kidding.

What I will do if I make it is take the dress to be altered as a short dress that I can wear at a cocktail party.  THEN, I will host a cocktail party.  Let me know if you want to be on the guest list.

Does this competition have weekly prizes??  Yes.  I think I will need some. :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Low Carb Lifestyle and Goals for 2014

A year ago I weighed 13 lbs more than I do today.  My weight loss has slowed down so much that I haven't seen any real losses for a few months and I do know why.

With a big wedding and a lot of business travelling in the past two months, I haven't been able to stay in induction despite my best efforts.  Even though I'm sticking to the rules, I'm not writing down my carbs either.  The good news is that I'm not gaining weight.  I have been very faithful about my commitment to a low carb lifestyle.

But here it is, December of 2013 and I am I still 20 lbs from my goal weight.  I'm turning 50 in 5 months and I'd like to see 10 more lbs gone by then. That's only 2 lbs per month, yet at the age of 49 and my current weight, that's not a small goal.  I've lost weight at a faster pace than that several years ago and ended up losing my bust with a sunken face.

Here are my rules for the next 5 months:

1. Continue to use my keto sticks every day.  I used these earlier this year and made huge progress because I just love seeing the PURPLE.

2. Find a good app for tracking my carbs.  I downloaded a good calculator, but I haven't found a good tracking app yet.

3. Work on my running goal.   My hubby and I are still doing boot camp twice a week (or more), but I'm toying with the idea of running the OKC Memorial half marathon in April.  They have a 5K walk which isn't fun, but the event is very special.  I'm probably going to use the Zen Labs app since I liked their app for C25K.  The biggest challenge is finding a decent place to run outside. Construction has interfered with the trail along the river.  My hubby seems to think that it's open down there enough to tray again.  I hope so.  I can't see myself running 260 laps on the indoor track at the YMCA!

4. Do a better job of packing when I travel.  I don't have any immediate plans to travel, but the next time I do I will be better prepared with low carb snacks.

5. Reward myself for incremental progress.  Every 2 lbs should be celebrated with an item from my pinterest wish list.

Once I get the tracking app and solve my running path problem I'm headed in the right direction.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Atkins Progress at 2 1/2 Months

Here we are, 2 1/2 months after I read Dr. Atkins book on the plane home from my Hawaii vacation.  I am so grateful that I read the book.  (Thanks, Sheila!!)

I not only learned that coconut rum has 5 grams of net carbs per ounce (which explains some weight gain).  I also shifted my mind away from low calorie thinking.  It's very hard to live in a low carb world when you've been raised with low calorie thinking.  (I now make a similar version of my vacation drink with Torani Sugar Free Coconut Syrup!)

So, how am I doing?

I'm down 14 lbs in 2 1/2 months!  Starting at 168 that's not bad progress for a diet that is easy to maintain and takes very little effort.

I am happy with the progress.  It could be faster, but I choose not to give up on the things that make me feel like I could do this low carb thing forever.

For example, I drink scotch every day after work.  I drink two ounces and find that I am drinking less alcohol than before I got serious.  I am losing 1 to 2 lbs per week now and could probably do more if I would not have any alcohol at all.  The scotch seems to be more controllable than wine.  I don't like scotch with dinner so I drink regular water at dinner.

The flavored Torani's sugar free syrups are also a big part of my day.  The different flavors have allowed me to customize recipes to yummy low carb versions.

Something else I've noticed, though, is that cheese is really an enemy.  Since I drink coffee with cream two or three cups per day, I really can't have that much cheese.  If I do, my weight loss stalls.  If I take a cream OR cheese approach, I continue to lose weight.  It's so exciting to eat to satisfaction and still see the weight melt away.

Last night my hubby grilled hamburgers which I ate with slices of tomato, homemade pickles, sliced onions, and mustard.  It was wonderfully satisfying.  For dessert, I made an improvised cheesecake in a mug with an egg, an ounce of cream cheese, and some Torani's sugar free raspberry syrup that
I microwaved for a minute.

Tonight I munched on red pepper strips with my sugar free Tequila sunrise drink at happy hour (made with sugar free Torani Raspberry Syrup).

Which reminds me, the other truth to Dr. Atkins plan is eating the vegetables that he suggests.  If you skip the veggies, you don't lose weight.  My experience shows that when I am super busy and only snacking on protein, I just don't make the progress that I see when I have a salad or salad veggies every day.

I have a big dress shopping day coming up next weekend.  I'd like to lose 4 more lbs before then.  If I don't have happy hour and keep my exercise regimen, I might hit my goal.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Atkins Progress at Six Weeks

It's been six weeks since I have started so I thought I should post an update. 
I am down a total of 10 lbs.  It was 11 but the July 4th holiday weekend got me.
Mowing, weed pulling, and moving concrete blocks in the heat added weight!
Well, actually, the food did.  Even though I envisioned sweating off 5 lbs it just didn't happen.
It was really a shock to go work the ranch for the long weekend only to find out that I had gained weight and was no longer in ketosis!
I was horrified but I tried not to let it derail me.  Looking back over it I can see what happened.
1.  Too much dairy - farm work makes a girl hungry. Between the cheese and the sour cream that I dipped my pork rinds in, I think I just lost sight of how many carbs I had consumed.
2. Too much light beer - farm work makes a girl thirsty, too.  Even Michelob Ultra has carbs.  Slug down a couple and you could go over your count.
3. Even tiny bite size chocolates have carbs.  Enough said.
Thankfully, the keto strips showed deep purple two days after I made corrections.  I have noticed that I lose more in a week if I eat salad once or twice a day. 
I am hoping to lose 8 more by the end of the month.  I see more salad and C25K training in my immediate future.
Concrete blocks don't move themselves.  This is actually a windbreak wall ...work in process.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Atkins Induction - Day Eleven Review

Eight pounds lost.

I hope I never find them again.

Of course I am joking.  I don't have to find them if I don't want to.  I have a clear image of the fitness level I want to maintain throughout the rest of my life.  If I continue to love myself enough to tell myself the truth then I won't ever find those pounds again.

Worse than the weight is the spare tire around the middle.  There is not an article of clothing that you can wear which will make a pudgy tummy look good.  That's why I like to think about induction continuing to chomp away at that tummy. Chomp, chomp, chomp.

I didn't work out again today and my legs are itching like mad from the sunburn several days ago.  The kitchen is a mess when I get home from work so I guess that will be my workout.

I'm joking, of course...not about cleaning the kitchen.  That still needed to be done.

What I ate today:

2 cups of coffee with heavy cream and Torani s.f. hazelnut syrup
1 oz sharp cheddar
1 oz OM turkey slices

Lunch- (I had a stressful morning at work, so I took my husband out to BJ's for lunch)
Small BJ's cobb salad  (lettuce, turkey, bacon crumbles, avocado slices, vinegar, a little olive oil)
Amber beer (whoops)

1/2 cup coffee with half and half (2 tb), 1/2 packet splenda
2 sugar free coffee candies
Green tea
The tops off of 2 slices of pizza (1 black olive, 1 oz cheese, tomato sauce, 1 cube of chicken, mushrooms)

4 oz. Turkey burger patty
1 oz Goat cheese
Mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and butter
3 oz scotch
2 (literally) peanut m&ms (just because I was too tired to get up and look for the sugar free candy)

Looking back on it, I'm bothered about why I wanted something sweet after dinner.  I could have done without.  I didn't feel like I NEEDED it.  I just wanted it.

Tomorrow I'm going to use the keto strips.  If I am disappointed then I will drop the scotch again for a few days.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Atkins Induction - Day Ten Review

I still haven't used my keto strips.  I am nervous.  Maybe I will try them on Saturday.  I am losing weight so I am happy.

It's getting easier to ignore foods that aren't allowed.  I like to think about my body literally chewing on the fat around my middle.  It motivates me and since I have started drinking scotch at night again I need the motivation to stay moderate.

I started the day with boot camp.  It was a pretty tough workout (when is it not?).  It felt good getting out even though I often think I can't afford the time.  Working out is good for your brain.  While I think that is pretty common logic, I like Dr. Amen's specific take on that theory.  I hope to publish a review of his books soon.

What I ate today:

Breakfast -
2 cups of coffee with heavy cream and Torani s.f. hazelnut syrup

We ordered pizza for a lunch meeting at work.  I ate the tops and threw away the crust from 4 slices (2 chicken, 2 black olive and mushroom)

coffee with half and half and 1 pack splenda
24 oz water

The topping of 1 piece of pizza
4 oz chicken breast
sugar free coffee candy
3 oz scotch

This day was very long.  We left the office an hour after everyone else.  Looking at my food log for the day, I'd like to know where the veggies are.  The tiny bit of tomato sauce on the pizza tops accounts for a little A, C, and B6 with some lycopene, but it can't be more than a trace.

Ah well, this was the best I could do for today considering everything I had to do.