Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Break!

We enjoy winter in Minnesota.
But at mid-winter it is time for a break from this:
and this!
So how about this instead?
or this?
How about the Magic Kingdom??
By the time you see this post hubby and I will be on our way to California (!!) to spend a week of winter break with three of the greatest kids ever: Nani (7), (Ellery) and Owie (5). Beach time, biking, hiking and of course Disneyland are on our "to do" list.
Nothing else but rest and recreation. Don't worry I planned my food (and lots of great 100 calorie snacks) and I will be BIKING!!!
I will be on winter break until February 7. Be back to blogging after the Super Bowl!
Have a great week blogger friends. Stay strong and TTFN,
Michele

Friday, January 28, 2011

Biscuits and taking stock

Happy Friday!
Wednesday was my seventh month anniversary toward better health. In honor of this anniversary, I weighed in today:
That is a new low for me, actually the lowest I have been in at least 10 years if not longer!!!! So, definitely a scale victory!! But, as you know, there is more to health than that number. Seven months: 27 pounds less. You can do the math: about 4 pounds lost a month. Yes, I am a slow and steady loser and I am completely fine with that. Here is why.

For years, I was one of those people who dreamed of a quick fix of losing 20 pounds in two months or some such unrealistic amount. Over the years of my obesity I can remember certain important events coming up where I wanted to lose weight, like one of my children’s weddings. Problem is I was always interested in that rather quick fix, something to get me to drop a few pounds. So, yes, I would lose a few pounds, maybe even 10-15, but after the event passed, the weight crept right back. Why? Because I was not really getting at the heart of the matter: life style change needed. That of course all changed in June of last year. I know now what is needed for me to lose weight and it is simply: eat less, move more, eat lots of fruits and vegetables and go easy on the junk foods. You have all heard that adage from me before. It is as simple as Marion says: for me: 1200-1500 calories a day; 60 minutes of exercise (for now mostly walking and skating); 4-5 servings of fruits and veggies a day and junk foods or treats on occasions with the calories budgeted in. That is it.

Yes, four pounds a month is not a lot. I know many of you bloggers shed that amount every two weeks. But that is not how it works for me, nor for my life. You see during the past seven months lots has happened: my father passed, all kinds of family birthdays and other celebrations, Vikings games, orchestra concerts, Christmas, Halloween, trips to Yosemite, Spain, Dodger games and well loads of other life carried on. Did I do perfect in my eating? Nope, of course not. But, what I am doing perfectly is finding what works for me. Finding the balance of eating less and moving more and in a life full of, well, life. And here is the deal: I am confident that I am going to lick my obesity once and for all. Kick it in the ass. Because over the past seven months I have stayed strong. I have learned to budget in foods that I enjoy (a burger or a piece of carrot cake or an ice cream cone) into my calorie account. I do not eat these often, but, I also do not deprive myself. I have learned to plan, plan and plan some more about the foods I will eat, including taking 100 calorie snacks with me wherever I go so I am not tempted to eat the things I should not. I have learned to anticipate events (like a BD) and “bank” calories. Yes, I have had more than a serving size of certain foods, but, I can truthfully say that in the seven months I have not BINGED on any food ONCE! Not once!! I do not feel deprived, either. All of these victories help me to know that this journey is going to stick. I know it. It will. Now I can plan, too, for my future. Like in six more months, I will lose about another 24 pounds, which is exactly when our son will be married (July 30). So, I will get my wish, all in good time and steady and slow, of being substantially downsized for one of my children’s weddings! That will be great.

Now, the biscuits: this is one more example of how I know that I have arrived at the new healthier me. I love biscuits. Love them. In the food section of the Star Tribune last week they featured a great looking recipe for "Biscuits Hot From the Oven." When I read that recipe, made with BUTTER (!!) I thought "yum-yum." My next thought was: “I will need to make these someday soon for a special occasion and bank the calories so I can have TWO!!” I caught myself thinking about those lovely biscuits and strategizing how I would be able to eat one or two and remain on my healthy journey. Without me even realizing it, my brain was planning how I could make them part of my food bank. My thoughts were not about making them with the "just this once" thought pattern. Nope. Without realizing it: I was planning for them. That simple thought process amazed me and gave me additional evidence that I am already healthy minded even though I am not as healthy physically as I will be. I amazed myself. I am amazing (to borrow from the Doc). Here is where you can find that recipe.

So my friends, what about you: in what ways do you know in your heart that this is it for you???

Have a great weekend everyone! TTFN and stay strong,
Michele

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Words on Wednesday!

Greetings Bloggers!
Today will be another installment of Words on Wednesday. Words are flowing freely this week in the news in terms of health and fitness. Here are three of my favorite stories:

As Wal-Mart gets healthier, will the nation?: Wal-Mart is winning over more consumers with their latest healthy marketing strategies. First, Wal-Mart declared last Thursday that it will launch a very aggressive initiative to make its food products more healthy, including lowering process on fruits and vegetables, and building new stores in underserved areas. Furthermore, Wal-Mart will lower sodium by 25%, decrease added sugars by 10% and omit all trans fats in the packaged foods it sells. Michelle Obama declared that this initiative could change the entire food industry. I agree. More people shop at Wal-Mart for groceries than any other supermarket so this decision will easily impact many other retail grocery chains. Decreasing fats, sugars and salt at the level they publicize is not enough, but clearly a first step. Read more here.

Spinning ahead: Like roller coasters? How about a cross between a roller coaster and a fitness machine for your next work out?? How about the new Sky Ride developed by Minnesota inventor Scott Olson?
If you recognize his name it is because he also invented the inline RollarBlade skate. His latest fitness machine, the SkyRide is a cross between a roller coaster and a fitness machine because it rides on a track suspended in the air. “We have two machines: the pedaler and the rowing machine. People get their workout by rowing or pedaling the machine while suspended in the air. Instead of going to the health club and going nowhere on the cardio machines, here you are on the track and going somewhere, moving and going fast.” Sounds pretty cool. Take a look here for more about the future of outdoor fitness!

Ride on! Think winter is too tough to ride your bike, especially if you live in the frozen north? Well here’s a great story that might motivate some of the less wimpy. “Every weekday morning, no matter how cold it is, how much snow is falling or how slippery the slush on the streets has become, Tom Lais climbs on his bicycle and pedals 18 miles from his home in Maplewood to his job in south Minneapolis. Minneapolis is second only to Portland, Ore., in the number of bicyclists, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and those numbers are rising.” In a recent story in the Star Tribune, Jeff Strickler reports that Bike Walk Twin Cities, which monitors local activity, confirms that the number of winter bikers is rising. “The group doesn't break its figures into categories for commuters vs. pleasure riders, but it has found that 20 percent of cyclists will ride in even the worst conditions, with the number reaching as high as 36 percent on warmer winter days.”
Minneapolis is way ahead of other urban areas thanks to Freewheel Midtown Bike Center, a one-of-its-kind, one-stop "bike transportation center" that offers commuters everything from showers (for both them and their bikes), to inside parking bays, to breakfast.” And yes, outdoor bikers are prepared by clothing and gear especially designed for winter riding so much so that the “cold becomes irrelevant.” Read more about how to dress up for winter riding here.

Stay strong everyone in your own fitness journey and maybe get outside once this week to exercise (??)! TTFN,
Michele

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Recovering

Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you for all the get well wishes! They definitely elevated my spirits. It is and was just the stomach flu, but, I don’t wish it on anyone. Yep, I am on the road to recovery, but I spent most of the weekend in bed or as a couch potato. Okay, to be honest and reveal all to you, I was in bed or on the couch except for a brief appearance at an international conference in MPLS to deliver a paper. I know that was stupid and I subjected lots of people to my virus, but, I could not let my student (co-presenter) do it alone. I paid, too, by being wiped out all weekend and not being able to go to hear the Magic Flute at Orchestra Hall. Plus I do feel guilty about spreading my germs, even though I washed my hands (but not in ethanol, Polar’s mom) and did not touch ANYONE!.

So, now, I am on the road to recovery. It was a good weekend in Minnesota to be sick with our highs at 5 degrees above zero. Although I am happy for the Packers (and I am a Vikings fan!) that they are going to the super bowl, I thought the Packers vs Bears game was awful with the best part being the third string QB Caleb Hanie. You will hear more from him in the future!! As I write this post, the Jets (who I am cheering for) are sparking-maybe they have a chance against the Steelers!!

My exercise was non existent these past few days. I am still so woozy that I know I will have to take it easy. I hope I can get a walk in around the block tomorrow, but am not gong to push myself. I want to fully recover because next weekend begins our winter get away to California with our three older grandbabies!

Look forward to catching up with all of you!
TTFN,
Michele

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flu-ed out

Stomach flu is making the rounds with a vengeance through my family. The one-year old passed it on to me. So not the best past couple of days. Will be back to posting on Monday. Have a good weekend everyone and wash your hands!

TTFN,

Michele

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Arctic zone and skating

Top of the Morning to you!
Today Minnesota will once again live up to her reputation as the Frozen Tundra Capital of the world. As I write this it is -12 degrees F. It will warm up to 10 above!! More cold Arctic air will swoop down from the North and a high pressure system has settled in. Our lows will go further South in the next couple of days. Bundle up. Bundle up.

As you know, the cold air does not keep us inside. After school today, I will pick up the school age grandbabies for some ice-skating. Yes, it will be cold, so not long on the ice. Something you do not know is that we have warming houses by every ice rink, too. These are rooms where you can lace up your skates but also get in from the cold. They are toasty warm and WONDERFUL accommodations that make skating possible on cold days like today. Speaking of ice-skating, I am now only using the stroller when I start out, just a round or two to get my skating legs a little more secure. Last weekend, I was able to set it aside and skate without it for about 40 minutes! I am finding my skater within!!

How about you, what kind of weather will come your way today??
Stay strong and TTFN,Michele

Monday, January 17, 2011

Award Day and More About Me!

Many thanks (!!!) to Joy, Patrick and Ishmael for bestowing blog awards to my blog during the past couple of weeks.

Thanks, Joy for the Honest Scrap Award.

I had to ruminate about this one for a while, so here goes. My job is to post 10 honest things about myself and then give this award to 4 other bloggers who have shown tremendous honesty through their blogs.

1. Privilege: I am privileged and have a great life and breath of experiences. So much of my privilege stems from being born in this country, always having plenty to eat and good clean water, good shelter and access to education.

2. Love: I have experienced deep love, both receiving it and giving it back. Because of that love, and the feelings of security that come with it, I have blossomed into the person that I am now. I would never have guessed that I would be so deeply loved growing up in the way I did. Love makes the world go round is certainly a true statement for my life.

3.Education: Because I have had excellent access to education, I have a professional career that I enjoy tremendously. My work as an academic is varied between teaching, research, writing and service that keep me coming back for more. I am one of those people who can easily lose myself in the work that I do, thus one of my themes for 2011 is to find greater balance between my professional and personal life.

4. Reader: I am a reader, and a discerning reader at that. I learn something from every book I read. Right now I am reading a fabulous memoir by Katherine Ellison about ADD/OD. I highly recommend this book for any one interested in increasing their understanding of matters of the brain.

5.Life long learner: As noted above, I learn something new each time I read something. I am a quintessential life long learner.

6.Work in progress: I am not as “complete” as I will be someday, as savvy as I should be, as graceful in conversation as I might be, as fit as I might be, as wise as I should be. Thus, I am a work in progress.

7.Passion and curiosity: I am simply a passionate and curious person. Born with it and love the fact that is me! That would be me, the one with all the questions.

8. Cluterer (Not sure if that is a word): Ability to clutter: that is me. One of my themes this year is organization. I am working on de-cluttering my life, thus I am a (maybe??) recovering clutterer.

9. Girlie-girl is not me: 11.I am not a girl who likes jeweler or make up, much. Although, like many women of a certain age, I adore dangly earrings!

10: Blogging: Honestly, I have NEVER been a journal type person, but I have come to adore blogging about this journey to better health, reading other weight loss blogs and of course relishing in the supportive blogging community. Once again, if you are reading this, THANK-YOU for stopping by during your day!

My four nominations:
1. Faridha: Fraidha blogs at becoming my best self by FYT614. I know she is taking a break from blogging right now, but in my book, she is as honest as they come. Take a look if you do not know her: she is a single mom working so hard at life and weight loss.

2. Shane: Shane G: Shane’s blog is full of inspiration and determination. He is, like Faridha, working on so many things at the same time and doing well with all. He is about 90 pounds lighter than when he first started his getting healthy journey.

3. Karen: Karen from Waisting time: I do not know if Karen has received this award, but if so, here is a nod from me. She has done some soul searching through her thoughtful blog posts. Like all of us she is a work in progress, but well on her weigh.

4. Polar's Mom: This is consistently one of the most honest blogs I know about weight loss and other topics about life. Find it here, you will not be disappointed.

Now onto the next award that I received first from Patrick and then from Ishmael.

Ishmael had a unique and fresh style in her "acceptance" of this award, so check out her blog. Thank-you again, both of you! Here are the rules:

1. Post and link back to the person who awarded you this award (Done)

2. Share 7 things about yourself

1.My favorite color is red.
2.My birthday is in May (which by the way is the best month to be born in!).
3.I am a middle child.
4.I like my coffee with a little milk
5.I want to learn to type without so many mistakes….
6.A couple of my favorite comic moves are: What about Bob? and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
7. I do not wear pullover sweatshirts, or anything “pulled over” because I feel trapped in them (I know this is irrational).

3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers (or as many as you can)
All the blogs below are not necessarily new, but, they are blogs with substance and inspiring to all of us, wherever we are on our getting fit journey. They are all worth a look by bloggers who are reading this post. I included a few more because I believe some of these Stylish bloggers have received this award! If they have received this award before, now they know that I find their blog "Stylish," too!!!

1. Andi
2. Ann
3. Birchgirl: my apologies, too, for initially misspelling her name with a "t" instead of an "r."
4. Chubby McGhee
5. I will lay down my idols
6. Darla
7. Jennifer
8. Jess
9. Jo
10. Julie
11. Mallwalker
12. JW
13. Loretta
14. Margene
15. Roz
16. Shabby Chic Mom
17. Twix
18. Val

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!
Yes. I am working on the contact!
Stay strong everyone TTFN,
Michele

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Friday and Weekly Update

Hello My Blogger Friends and Happy Friday!
Today I will start with a few pictures along my morning walk at our hobby farm in Southern Minnesota. Our farm is in a river valley, a lovely area of the world with rolling hills and hardwood trees (mainly maple) in the woods. The first two are the area in front of the barn and our long driveway.
Here is where I make my U-Turn to go back home.
Here you can see how I walk along the edge of the road.
Not a single car passed me this morning on my walk. Lovely!
It has been a good week for me on my getting healthy journey. Here is my weekly recap:

I exercised mainly with walking for 60 minutes on 6/7 days this week. I made the loop of my 5 KM training course 2 times. I spent three days at the farm where I was able to do an extra walk every day. Plus, well, you know, I started ice skating, although I do not really count that as exercise, yet!

Eating: I also did well. I am working hard on more 1200 calories days, and was fairly successful. I tried to keep up with SpunkySuzi’s challenge from last week and eat without any distractions, which for me is reading. It was hard. But, I did it most of the time. The other thing I am finding is that on days when I exercise or walk hard, 1200 calories is not doing it for me. I will be having my annual physical in about 10 days so I will talk to my doc about it.

Now my self-improvement themes for 2011:
Downsizing: Physically: no weigh in this week, but my clothes are feeling LOSE! I did finish my office at work. I downsized tremendously there: a full 9 filing cabinet drawers are now empty, plus about 6 of my book shelves!

Organization: Office is organized at work!!! Tubs and materials are even LABELED!

Balance: Well, I am making progress here. I am allowing myself to work for about two hours then a break for at least 15 minutes. I am also following the Babauta advice by making my “most important task” list of the day each day. This has really helped. I listed “ice skating” on two days (including today).

Tonight mu hubby and I are going on a date to the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänskä (the young Brett Favre of conductors in my book!) to hear one of my favorite pieces of music Mozart’s Jupiter symphony and then out to one of our favorite pubs. I am budgeting so I can have one of my favorite brews (Old Speckled Hen) with a salad. Can’t wait!

How about you: how did you do with your health journey and other self-improvement goals?

Have a great week end everyone. TTFN, Michele

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Facing fear head on!

Greetings on a Fine Wednesday!

Ice. Fear. Ice. Fear. Ice. Fear. Ice. Fear. Ice. Fear. Ice. Fear.

By now you might be getting the idea that I fear ice. You all know that Minnesota is known for the amount of snow, but also the amount of ice that we get. My fear of ice is deeply rooted in two events. The first incident occurred in January 2001. I was walking out to the barn at our hobby farm on a balmy 32-degree day. It was so warm I was not paying attention. At the junction of the sidewalk and gravel driveway I slipped and hard, fell right on the back of my head, suffering a pretty major concussion and head injury. The consequence to that event is I became a migraine sufferer (mostly under control now). I still have moments of vertigo. But, the enduring problem is that I am very sensitive to light and sound. Very. I had to give up being a (amateur) cellist with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, because I could not handle the brass section in my rear (sorry Alan). On a side note: I plan to pick it up again and play in some small ensembles, if my brain can handle it, this year while I am on leave. The second incident occurred in February of 2008 when I slipped again on some ice while taking my college students to an environmental learning center on the North Shore of Lake Superior. I was looking at their shenanigans on the ropes course and cheering them on. Once again not paying attention to where I was walking. The result of that slip was a broken leg that now sports some pins and screws. So, fear of ice. That is definitely true of me.

This week began my year long sabbatical (sorry, don't mean to rub it in!) and one of my goals is to push myself beyond my comfort zone and to conquer some of my deep seated fears. I am facing my fear by getting out on the ice and ice SKATING!!! Well, slight correction: learning to ice skate. I bought a pair of hockey skates a few years back, which I wobbled into a few times on the ice. But not now. I am going to learn to skate!

Guess what is helping me??? A stroller. Okay. Laugh all you want. But, here is the deal: I am no spring chick and I don't want to crack my head or break another bone. The stroller gives me a way, with support, to find my skating legs and feet (plus a grandbaby can sit in it and rest their tired skating legs). In the Netherlands (where hubby hales from) the little Dutchies use a small chair which they push around the ice as they learn. So, that is where my idea came from I am taking baby steps, though. Every time I am out there I have to really work my left leg (the one I broke) because it just does not want to skate (has a mind of its own you see). But I am doing it. I am gliding some on the ice. Some. Fifteen-twenty minutes at a time. I want to try to get out on the ice 5/7 days. Minnesota has many winter perks. One of them is that almost every city park has an outdoor ice rink for recreational skaters and a rink for the hockey crowd. I intend to use that ice.



Back to my journey and skating: Many of you have posted about the other rewards of your own journey to better health such as finding out more about why you eat, pushing yourself more, etc. It is the same with me. My decision to get healthy and fit has permeated in to many other facets of my life, especially the physical. There are so many things I want to try. Just liken many of you. For me, I enjoy the outdoors (no secret there) and want to indulge myself in as many different outdoor experiences as possible. Ice is one of them. It is time to face my fear and conquer it. I am doing it and life never felt better. How about you: what fears have you faced or conquered lately?

TTFN and stay strong my friends. Michele

Monday, January 10, 2011

Non scale victory and leave

I hope you all had a good weekend. It was a cold weekend in Minnesota. We were down below zero (I won't say how far down) for at least some of the time. You just have to dress warmer for your 5km training walks! Layers and layers.

Karen, had a post last week about her new scale and a give away. Her post got me to ruminating about a scale victory that is actually quite significant to me. I used to be someone who weighed in almost every day. In retrospect, I think it was actually an interesting practice, because it did not motivate me to DO anything about my weight or my increasing pounds. Whenever I tried to lose weight, I would weigh-in in the morning and at night. I had an obsession with the scale and the numbers, but, again, I really did not do anything about the numbers. I simply ignored it. It was all part of the denial that was part of my life before this journey.

Fast forward to now: I do not weigh my self regularly: maybe a couple of times a month. I know I am losing weight slow and steady (I can feel it). I can predict with some accuracy how much weight I will lose a month (5 pounds). I used the prediction to develop my goals and targets for weight loss for the next 4 months. I eat less and move more, eat lots of veggies and fruits and go easy on the junk. I know I am moving forward, albeit slow, to a healthy weight and healthy life all together. What I realized after reading Karen’s post is the significance of not being tied, drawn or pulled, almost to obsession to weigh in every day or more. I am trusting myself and the methods that I am using to move toward better health. I know the scale will respond favorably if I give it enough time. To me that is another and profound non-scale victory!

Today begins a new and long awaited professional endeavor for me: a yearlong sabbatical leave!!! It is indeed a privilege to be able to experience such a gift and I intend not to take it lightly. It will be a year of the five Rs: rest, reading, recreation, research and ’riting. As exhilarated as I am to begin this new chapter in my professional life, I also am facing my fear of not using it well. So, I have started a different blog to help me to track my ruminations as I am on leave and beyond. As I wrote at the start of this year, my themes are: down-sizing, balance and organization. All of those themes plus my 5R’s will permeate in my ruminations of an incremental nature.

Now that I am on leave I will begin some much needed maintenance of this blog, including some updates to photos. Stay tuned!
TTFN and stay strong,
Michele

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snacking and weekly recap

Are you a snacker? Well, I am, too. Here are a few pictures of my favorite snacks. They each come in at 100 calories or less.

Joseph Pita with Trader’s Joe’s roasted red pepper hummus.
The taste in my mouth of those two combinations is just lovely.
Together they are about 90 calories.
Oranges or Clementine’s are in season now.
Each one is also about 65 calories (if they are small). Yum.
Trader Joe’s fig bars.
These are excellent for me on the go.
I keep a couple near me just in case. They are 120 calories,
so a little more than my 100 target, but worth it and filling.
How about you: what snacks are you enjoying lately?


I am now in the habit (thanks Steve and Hot 100 Challenge!) of recapping my week on
Friday so I will keep this up at least for now.
Exercise: I exercised mainly with walking for 60 minutes on 6/7 days this week. I made the loop of my 5 KM training course 3 times, plus, walked in other places, too. I know I am finding my stride. I walk faster, stronger and taller than I ever did. By taller, I mean that I find myself straightening my posture as I walk. It feels great!

Eating: I also did well. I am working hard on more 1200 claries days, and was fairly successful. One thing that continues to help me is to have my pre made salad fixing ready to grab at any meal. Spunky Susie challenged us this week to avoid all distractions at meals. I have to confess this was HARD, especially with breakfast and the morning paper. I found myself trying to read the headlines upside down!! I will continue to work on this (thanks, Suzie!)

Now my self-improvement themes for 2011:
Downsizing: I have not physically downsized any more. But, I worked on downsizing my files in my home study and my office at work. I have downsized (recycled or given away) about half of my paper files and many, many books.

Organization: Worked on this. Research files all sorted in to “topical” bins.

Balance: I am taking SpunkySuzi’s challenge about eating without distractions into other areas of my life this week. In Decemeber Alan wrote about our cluttering and "ability" to multi-task. This week, I am working on shutting OFF my e-mail so that as I work on other computer related tasks, I am not distracted by what is coming into my inbox. So begins my journey to be more mindful of what I am doing presently.

How about you: how did you do with your health journey and
other self-improvement goals?
Have a great week end everyone. TTFN, Michele

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome new followers and "training" for a 5KM!

Welcome to all of you who have recently signed on to follow me. I LOVE your support and encouragement as I move forward on my journey and I will support you, as best as I can.

One of my goals for the New Year is to walk/run a 5KM. In my walks the last two days, I figured out a little course along a creek and woodland area near my home that is about 5KM (actually a tad more). The trail has little elevation ups and downs, which simulate in my mind, the actual course (whatever they may be) where I will tread. Here are a few pictures of what it looks like now. I do not walk down at the creek, but stay up on the snow covered trail that meanders along Minnehaha Creek right in the beautiful city of Minneapolis.

Our "boy," Giovanni, has a little Saint Bernard in him, so he loves these trails, too!

Yep, it is cold and snowy along my course. But it is Minnesota! I love being outdoors. For me, being outdoors is as refreshing as the exercise. Simply restorative for me to be out and about the sights and sounds of winter in the frozen tundra(!!) including the sweet song of the beautiful little chickadees. I can do my walking loop in about 1 hour. I walk steady but not fast, plus plodding through the snow takes effort, too.

On January 1st the Star Tribune featured an article titled "Winter doesn't stop runners in their tracks." Loads of good tips for exercising outdoors and don't forget your Yaktracks! You do not need to have a subscription to the Trib to read this article, but do have to register.
Have a great day everyone and stay strong!
Michele

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy Monday!

My blogger friends, Shane and Ann recently posted some of their non scale victories and sweet stories of their own triumphs as they move toward better health. Sharon also summarized her journey in 2011. Well, those three got me to ruminating about how far I have come in the last 6 months, sure, I am only 1/3rd through my journey toward better health. But, to me it is a FIRST that I start a new year already on a journey to get healthy and not a restart. This is the first new year year that I weigh less at the beginning of the new year year than I did at the beginning of the year past! I also was thinking about two very tangible ways that help me to understand how much weight I have lost and how far I have come. One is baby Noah, my 16-month-old grandson. He weighs in at about 24 pounds, which is slightly less than the amount of weight I have lost.
When I see him, hold and carry him around I FEEL just how much weight I lost!. Second, I have a pair of jeans, size 20, with the stretchy elastic waist band (you know the kind). These jeans are way too big now (I even have to fold the waist band over twice so that they do not fall off!), but I still wear them. The fact that I can swim around in them is a great reminder of how far I have come and a great way of keeping me focused on my journey and moving forward. Wearing them makes it easy for me to pass up on foods (you know the kind) that are not part of my plan.

What about you? Do you have tangible reminders of how far you have come that help to keep your own focus up?
TTFN and Stay Strong, Michele

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year and Goal Setting!

Happy New Year Everyone!

I am starting this new year after much ruminating about who I am and where I would like to be. I have decided that my overall focus for this year will be captured in three descriptive themes: balance, downsizing (not just physically) and organization. Today I will lay out for you what I am thinking about in terms of downsizing that refers to physical health.

Physical downsizing: My journey toward better health is now 6 months in duration. While I have been successful, I have decided that it is time to set some goals to help me maintain focus on my journey. The goals below refer to weight loss, regaining fitness and overall better physical health.

First goal: Be at 170 by the middle of April 2011. This is a reasonable target for me because I lose about one pound a week. I am picking the middle of April because I will be presenting two papers at conferences, one in New Orleans and one in Orlando. This is an incentive for me to wear some professional clothes that are sized down. I will need to lose about 18 pounds between now and then.

Second goal: Keep up my fitness level and increase the rigor of my regime. Since starting Steve’s How 100 challenge, I have been working toward one full hour of exercise a day (combination of biking and walking). Before winter set in, I was riding about 25 miles a week on my bike. I would like to first meet that goal on the stationary bike since I can not get outside safely for awhile. My goal is to increase this to 30 miles per week by mid February. As far as walking, I am getting in about 10-12 miles per week outdoors. I would like to increase this, dependent on weather, to 15 miles per week by the end of the month of January.

Third goal:
Track miles walked and biked for the year.

Fourth goal: I would also like to start the Couch to 5km by February 19. By my birthday (May 22) I would like to have run/walked my fist 5KM. The Couch to 5km lasts about 9 weeks which would be May 1 for me.

What about you? What are some of your fitness and health goals for 2011??
TTFN and Stay strong!
Michele