Sunday, October 30, 2011

Two gifts of inspiration and challenge updates

Happy Halloween!
As we enter the holiday season, I will share with you two of my favorite pieces of life inspiration, both easily accessible to the public. The first is the Stanford Commencement speech by Steve Jobs (2005). It is succinct, inspiring and profound. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.html. The second is found in Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat. Chapter 7 is one of the most compelling and brilliant chapters written on the "The Right Stuff," an overview of the kind of education required in our ever changing world. That book is easily available through public libraries. Neither are about getting healthy or being fit, but instead offer wisdom about living your best life that might give you the inspiration to keep moving forward on your, our, journey to better health.

Challenge Updates!!
I will begin today with my last update for the
My goals for this challenge were:

1. To aspire to 300 miles of cycling in October. I am shooting for 26/31 days on the bike. How did I do: Great! I rode 27/29 days for a total mileage of 325! We were lucky to have excellent weather for the most part fall in MN. I did not let the cold stop me (one day 28 degrees F) as I learned how to dress and cycle in cold, but clear weather.

2. Walking: I am going to strive for 10 days of walking and a total mileage of 35 miles walked. How did I do: I walked only about 20 miles all together, so I did not quite make this goal. I climbed that set of 49 stairs many times, including 14 times this week over four days. I know the walking and stair climbing will prepare me for the change in weather that is coming our way that will mean I give up cycling for a few months, at least outdoors,and do much more walking.

You all know my statement by now:
I plan to give myself a gift this holiday season. It is the gift of commitment to continue to move forward toward good health and renewed fitness by eating less and moving more. At the end of the season, my gift will be not only quantifiable in terms of pounds lost and miles cycled or walked, but will be the feeling of satisfaction and pride in my continued efforts to regain my health, even during the holiday season. To achieve my gift, I plan to adhere to the following action goals:

1. Track my food intake daily: I did this 7/7 days.

2. Stick to under 1500 calories on average a day: I came in most days at or under 1500 cals. So, I will check this one off as success, too.

3. Exercise, rigorously, at least 8 hours per week: I exercised again well over 8 hours this week. I cycled 79 miles, walked 5 and went up and down the stairs 14 times.

4. Weigh in every two weeks: I did weigh in and my new weight is 176.50; a 1/2 pound loss! That is 3.5 pounds for me for this challenge and I will take them all!

5. Plan for eating for the big holidays and other events during this challenge, including football games, Halloween, concerts, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas: I can check this one off, too. This week, I prepared for Halloween with a cookie bake with the GBS. I did not eat a single cookie, nor dough, although I had a "lick" of frosting. I also have 4 bags of treats for Halloween, two are candy. I am HAPPY to report that they are all UNOPENED for the first year ever!

6. Continue to learn about what works best for me in this journey to better health, specifically losing and maintaining weight loss as we age and our metabolism slows down: Yes, I did make progress here thanks to a prompt by a good friend (thanks, C!). I found out that I can access the New England Journal of Medicine via our public library. Although I did not find anything, yet, specific about metabolism, aging and weight loss, I did read this article: Weight Loss, Exercise, or Both and Physical Function in Obese Older Adults where the authors point out non-surprising findings: "In conclusion, our findings suggest that weight loss alone or exercise alone improves physical function and ameliorates frailty in obese older adults; however, a combination of weight loss and regular exercise may provide greater improvement in physical function and amelioration of frailty than either intervention alone. Therefore, weight loss combined with regular exercise may be beneficial in helping obese older adults maintain their functional independence."

7. Support and encourage other weight loss bloggers (including some butt kicking as needed): Yes, I checked in with all of you, at least I believe so, spreading encouragement and straight talk where needed.

Finally:
In sum, I think I am doing great for the Christmas Dress Challenge, too. If I do say so myself, I am moving ahead and forward. I am a slow loser, but am losing. I did try on that dress over a week ago (it zipped up!), but will wait to closer to Thanksgiving to try it on again.

Just for fun, here is a link to a rating scale for some of the candy that will be part of Halloween from Live Strong. Thanks for reading. Stay strong and TTFN! Michele

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall break and challenge updates

Greetings from the Northwoods!
It was a beautiful fall Saturday in the Northwoods of NW WI. For the last five days I have enjoyed the company of some of my favorite little people who were on fall break from school. It was warm enough for a picnic by the lake on Thursday afternoon with three of the grandbbaies. We rode our bikes two miles to this little county park. Noah (2) was in the Burley.
They played by the lake after we ate.

The grandbabies definitely slowed me down on exercising, although I still did get in over 51 miles on my bike. Many of those rides were slow because they were with me. I also towed the Burley over 20 miles with that two year old. I used our riding time to share bike safety with them and taught them a few tips about going up and down hills. Slow, but sweet rides.

Here is Owen my biking companion all week....

I can't believe we are in the third week of October!! Ready for my challenge updates?? The first two are:

You all know that I am taking part in three weight loss bloggy challenges. You have read my statement for the Give Yourself the Best Gift challenge: (I plan to give myself a gift this holiday season. It is the gift of commitment to continue to move forward toward good health and renewed fitness by eating less and moving more. At the end of the season, my gift will be not only quantifiable in terms of pounds lost and miles cycled or walked, but will be the feeling of satisfaction and pride in my continued efforts to regain my health, even during the holiday season). I will summarize my progress on my action points next:

I tracked food again 7/7 days, coming in about 1650 calories every day. I exercised 6/7 days for a total of over of 7 hours this week, with a cycling total today of 51 miles, walking 4 miles. I did not get up the stairs once this past week, but did walk a couple of small hills. I did not weigh in this week (every two weeks). I believe I checked in with all challenge bloggers spreading love. I failed (again!!) to read more about changing metabolism as we age and weight loss, but will! In sum, I think I am doing great on both of these challenges. I tried on that little red dress and it zipped up!! Snug, but zipped!! The fall challenge (next) will make that little red dress a reality.
My goals for this challenge are:
1. To aspire to
300 miles of cycling in October. I am shooting for 26/31 days on the bike. How did I do: Great! I rode 6/7 days with a total mileage so far of 51. My October mileage is: 248!! I am right on track for 300 miles.

2.
Walking: I am going to strive for 10 days of walking and a total mileage of 35 miles walked. How did I do: Great! Walked for a total of 5 miles.

Have a great rest of your weekend. Thanks for reading and stopping by. TTFN! Michele

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ruminating on challenges....

Happy Friday!
I just completed a 22-mile bike ride. The brisk wind and the fact that it was 48 degrees made the ride not easy. As I rode into the wind sometimes hardly able to hold my bike straight I thought of cutting the ride short. I was cold and let’s face it, it was not my idea of a FUN ride. But, I did not stop. I kept going. I persevered. I faced that wind and cold head on.

And here’s the deal: I could have easily quit or not even started in the first place. Along that 22 miles there were plenty of land mines in the shape of wind and cold. I kept on going on my bike because this is my NOW. I am deeply committed to renewing my health, my fitness level, and ridding myself of my obesity NOW. Not tomorrow, not on a calm and warm day, but NOW. Today. Because each day I stick to my basic plan of eating less and moving more, I am closer to realizing my gift to myself.

You all know that I am taking part in three weight loss bloggy challenges. You have read my statement for the Give Yourself the Best Gift challenge: (I plan to give myself a gift this holiday season. It is the gift of commitment to continue to move forward toward good health and renewed fitness by eating less and moving more. At the end of the season, my gift will be not only quantifiable in terms of pounds lost and miles cycled or walked, but will be the feeling of satisfaction and pride in my continued efforts to regain my health, even during the holiday season). To achieve my gift, I have outlined a plan and I am committed to following it. No one really would know if I shortened my ride or did not even go out and exercise today. But, I would know. I am not giving into the multiple landmines that I face every day on this journey to better health. Because this is my NOW and my gift will be better health and better fitness.

What about you? Is this your NOW?? I read many challenge update posts this week. Many of you are achieving your goals. For those folks: Bravo! But..... some of you (and you know who you are) are falling short of your goals. Your landmines might not be cold and windy weather, but they are there. You identify them in your blog posts. Whether it is overeating your caloric budget, failing to exercise, eating fast food or whatever, you are falling short. If not now: when? When is your NOW? When will you give yourself the gift of renewed good health and fitness. When my friends? It is a long and slow process, but it can be done. I am proof that eating less and exercising more works. So is Dr. Fit. So is Debbie. So is Mike. So is Deb. So is Empty Nester. Give yourself that gift. Face that cold and brisk wind, like I did, head on! You can do it.

Now for the rest of my updates:
I tracked food again 7/7 days, coming in about 1550 calories every day. I exercised 7/7 days (total hours: 8); cycling total as of today is 74 miles, walking 3.5 miles and did the stairs twice. All of those efforts paid off, because I am DOWN 1 pound to a new low of 177! I believe I checked in with all challenge bloggers spreading some love, but also kicking some butt. I failed to read more about changing metabolism as we age and weight loss, but will! In sum, I think I am doing great for the Christmas Dress Challenge and Give Yourself the Best Gift, too. The fall challenge (next) will also make that little red dress a reality.

My goals for this challenge are:

1. To aspire to 300 miles of cycling in October. I am shooting for 26/31 days on the bike. How did I do: Great! I rode 7/7 days with a total mileage so far of 74. My October mileage is: 197!!

2. Walking: I am going to strive for 10 days of walking and a total mileage of 35 miles walked. How did I do: Great! Walked 2 days for a total of 3.5 miles. I also climbed that set of stairs I did with the June Boom (49 steps) twice.

Thanks for reading. Make today your NOW! TTFN! Michele

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Picture time and challenge updates

It was a great, great week last week for me and our lovely state of Minnesota! First our weather was just terrific! 70-80 degree every day. Sure, it was windy, but look at our beautiful fall colors.



All of the pictures above were taken on a 20-mile ride around lakes and through ravines in Minneapolis on Millie, my road bike.
But the fall beauty does not stop there. Here is a view from my deck. That little head in the lower right corner is a certain two year old GB boy. We were having lunch and I just could not believe the majestic yellow surrounding us.
You may have heard about this:



I was lucky enough to attend my first WNBA Finals when the Lynx were at home. Seimone Augusta (at the line) and Maya Moore (post game on scoreboard) are two women who we will all hear from for years to come. Seimone earned MVP for the Finals and Maya is the Rookie of the year. From all I read and hear they are terrific women, role models and athletes to boot. What a treat for all of us to have this team make Minnesota home.

Now onto.....Challenge Updates!!
Let me begin my updates with:
My statement:
I plan to give myself a gift this holiday season. It is the gift of commitment to continue to move forward toward good health and renewed fitness by eating less and moving more. At the end of the season, my gift will be not only quantifiable in terms of pounds lost and miles cycled or walked, but will be the feeling of satisfaction and pride in my continued efforts to regain my health, even during the holiday season. To achieve my gift, I plan to adhere to the following action goals:

1. Track my food intake daily: I did this 7/7 days. If I do say so myself: I rocked this action point (again)every day!

2. Stick to under 1500 calories on average a day: I did not stay below 1500, I actually was above most days with an averagof 1650 per day.

3. Exercise, rigorously, at least 8 hours per week: I exercised again over 10 hours this week. I cycled 102 miles, walked 6 and even went up and down the stairs twice.

4. Weigh in every two weeks: I weigh in only every two weeks, so no weigh in to report.

5. Plan for eating for the big holidays and other events during this challenge, including football games, Halloween, concerts, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas: I could have done better here. I was at two major sports events this week. I had my usual popcorn and diet soda, brought sliced apples, but also had (actually shared it) an ice cream on both days.

6. Continue to learn about what works best for me in this journey to better health, specifically losing and maintaining weight loss as we age and our metabolism slows down: Okay, still did not get to this....

7. Support and encourage other weight loss bloggers (including some butt kicking as needed): I checked in with most people on the challenges. Looks to me there are a whole bunch of folks finding success. Wahoo!!
In sum, I think I am doing great for the Christmas Dress Challenge, too. I am going to take Thursday's Child's suggestion and just try the dress on once a month.The fall challenge (next) will also make that little red dress a reality.



My goals for this challenge are:

1. To aspire to 300 miles of cycling in October. I am shooting for 26/31 days on the bike. How did I do: Great! I rode 7/7 days with a total mileage of 102.

2. Walking: I am going to strive for 10 days of walking and a total mileage of 35 miles walked. How did I do: Great! Walked 2 days for a total of 6 miles. I also climbed that set of stairs I did with the June Boom (49 steps) twice.

Now I am off to check on all of you! Thanks for reading. Stay strong and TTFN! Michele

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Meet Morgan and Challenge Updates

Meet Morgan:
She is an older model mountain bike and remarkably fits me great. Yes, I am somewhat of a bike junkie. This one is used (left at our family cabin by the former owners) and in pretty good shape. She needs a little adjustment to the derailers, but rides quite nice. I took her out today for the first time (14 miles). The area around our cabin has a number of hilly roads. Many of the roads in NW WI were once logging roads so at times the pavement runs out and they become gravel which makes for rough terrain for my road bike.
Plus, our driveway is sandy.
Like her sturdy horse namesake, Morgan took to these surfaces with ease.
Today, I went up and down a few hills...
To here:
The St. Croix River
And back around a lake...

A perfect fall day in Minnesota for cycling!

Now onto.....Challenge Updates!!
Let me begin by update with:
My statement:
I plan to give myself a gift this holiday season. It is the gift of commitment to continue to move forward toward good health and renewed fitness by eating less and moving more. At the end of the season, my gift will be not only quantifiable in terms of pounds lost and miles cycled or walked, but will be the feeling of satisfaction and pride in my continued efforts to regain my health, even during the holiday season. To achieve my gift, I plan to adhere to the following action goals:

1. Track my food intake daily: I did this 7/7 days. If I do say so myself: I rocked this action point every day!

2. Stick to under 1500 calories on average a day: I stayed below 1500 calories per day all week!

3. Exercise, rigorously, at least 8 hours per week: I can easily check this one off, too. I exercised for about 10 hours, with 93 miles biked so far this week (my highest weekly total). I also did a couple of great and long walks.

4. Weigh in every two weeks: I am happy to report that I am down TWO pounds!!!!! Back to 178!

5. Plan for eating for the big holidays and other events during this challenge, including football games, Halloween, concerts, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas: I am going to the Lynx final game today. I plan to have a diet soda and maybe some popcorn, but that is it.

6. Continue to learn about what works best for me in this journey to better health, specifically losing and maintaining weight loss as we age and our metabolism slows down: Okay, still did not get to this....

7. Support and encourage other weight loss bloggers (including some butt kicking as needed): I am still making the rounds, but it looks to me like most of you are doing great!!
In sum, I think I am doing great for the Christmas Dress Challenge, too. I am going to take Thursday's Child's suggestion and just try the dress on once a month.

Another challenge: Some of you are taking up this challenge sponsored by Clyde and Jessica.
I think this will be a great challenge to make that pretty little dress even more of a reality.

It is simply called the "Fall 31-Day Challenge" and started on October 1. I think this challenge will help me focus on some tangible and real numbers that will ultimately pay off in that dress. Here is what I am going to do:

1. I would like to aspire to 300 miles of cycling. October is the last really good month of cycling in Minnesota. So, I am upping the ante. I am going to shoot for 26/31 days on the bike.

2. Walk: I want to increase my walking to get ready for winter. I am going to strive for 10 days of walking and a total mileage of 35 miles walked.

Finally: The best sporting news in the Twin Cities remains the WBNA Minnesota Lynx.
They open the WBNA Finals against the Atlanta Dream at home today.
As a team they have given us something to stand up and cheer about!

Thanks for reading. Stay strong and TTFN! Michele

Many of you know Shane from Losing it for the Family. He had great success in his weight loss, but was absent from blogging for a while. Let's give him a great welcome back!