Progress Notes – Have I Stuck To My Goals?

So, a little more than a week ago I committed to raising my average weekly steps to above 30,000 steps.  I’m a little short, but better than I’ve been for a long time.  I’m averaging around 27,000. It’s really not that hard to bump that up.

This week I rededicate myself to increasing my average weekly step rate to above 30,000.

I have not been out on my bike, though.  With the kids at home I have been conflicted about just taking off for an hour. I think it’ll be a bit easier when they are in school next week.  Also, my step count will consistently be higher as of next week, too, when I start walking my youngest to school and back again.

I am going to start some weight work.  I bought a kettlebell a few years ago and I haven’t used it in a long time. So, this week I’m going to do a short KB routine every second day.  I’m going to definitely do some swings and some some bent over one armed rowing – I only have one 25lb bell.  I want another exercise, too and will add that in.

My hope is that I will create this habit and then when it gets routine that I will return to learning to run on my alternate days. I don’t want to do too much too soon, however. 

Also, I am going to start listening to some mindfullness/metta discussions on podcast. I’m going to check out the Against The Stream podcast by Dharma Punx author Noah Levine. I want to work on my stress and work up to meditating. This is going to require that I regularly update my ipod so I can listen in my headphones while I take some me time or while I am working around the house. 

Finally, I downloaded the TwoGrand app to my phone.  It’s a food and drink tracking app that only tracks with photos.  It’s a bit like mindfullness in the sense that it helps you become aware of what you are eating and drinking and how much.  I’m shit at tracking and find the process of trying to come up with either calorie or points counts for the food I make from scratch to be completely crazy and overwhelming.  Photo tracking my meals and snacks is not.  But I have to remember to do it. 

If you’d like to “friend” me on TwoGrand, my user name is, wait for it: LeanneP. I set a goal of 2L of water daily – I got a UTI two weeks ago and had to drink crazy to me amounts of water and want to continue – so that is kind of my final goal. 

So, I want to lose a bunch of excess fat from my body. I’m going to walk a little bit more, do a short weight workout a few times a week, listen to some inspiring talks, drink more water and take pictures of my food. Totally doable, right?

Well, that was an awkward pause!

So, a little time has passed since my writing buddy or I have posted. 

And you can guess what that means: backward movement only. 

I floated up 10 pounds in the first months the kids were home from school.  Hmmmmm. Looks like that walking them to and from school thing is actually an integral part of my weight maintenance routine.  Which also makes me thing that all else being equal, upping my activity just a little would possibly cause a loss. 

In the last week I’ve made an effort to walk more every day.  I should be doing 10 000 steps but that’s just not happening for me right now. So I’m committing to raising my weekly average up from 20 000 steps per week average to 30 000. Just for now. When I’m regularly doing 30 000 I’ll bump it up again.

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I also bought a bike and am trying to get out at least once per week for about 30 minutes.  It’s tricky as it’s a cruiser and we live in a hilly urban area. Tiny inclines nearly kill me!  But, I suppose the hard work to manage the starts and hills with no gears is better exercise for me. 

Here’s to doing better a tiny bit at a time!

I’m going down!

Home made soupIn my first week on the Quantified Diet randomly assigned Mindful Eating plan, I have done the following things:

  • I have eaten at the table for most of my dinners and a few of my breakfasts (instead of on the sofa)
  • I have been putting my fork/spoon/piece of food down between bites to encourage slower eating
  • I have literally slowed down my chewing and increased the number of chews as I eat a biteful of food
  • I have taken a few moments before I eat to look at my food and enjoy the differences of colours and visual textures
  • I have smelled my foods as I prepare them; I’ve closed my eyes and savoured those smells, searching my mind for associations
  • I have focused on experiencing the wonderful textures and flavours in each biteful of food
  • I have prepared more whole foods and “from scratch” meals than eaten takeout or restaurant food
  • I have snacked almost exclusively on fruit instead of chocolate and baked goods

It’s not terribly hard to do. In fact, it’s ridiculously easy to do. The hardest part of it is to remember to do one or more of these mindful eating techniques while eating.

Additionally, I’ve bought more veggies to enjoy. My walking numbers have also gone up this week.

Week 1 Results:
2.1 lbs weight LOSS
1.0% body fat percentage LOSS

Yeah!

Starting over, again

I’m participating in the crowd-sourced Quantitative Diet study going on through Lift. I’ve been given the Mindful Eating Diet. Essentially I’m going to eat more mindfully one step at a time.

Today’s task: eat one meal using a mindful eating technique. My technique tonight was to eat dinner at a table.  I still looked at my phone occasionally and I ate far too fast, bu I ate at the kitchen table and not on the sofa. Yay me!

I’m also doing the Eat More Vegetables plan on Lift. Today’s first task: make a list of veg and fruits you like and one’s you’ve never tried.

Stuff I Like

  • avocado
  • asparagus
  • apples
  • apricot
  • eggplant
  • bananas
  • beets
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • boysenberries
  • broccoli
  • brussel sprouts
  • garlic
  • grapefruit
  • grapes
  • green beans
  • green onions
  • sweet peppers
  • melon
  • lettuce
  • cabbage
  • canteloupe
  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • cherries
  • coconuts
  • cucumber
  • corn
  • cranberries
  • kale
  • kiwi
  • leeks
  • lemons
  • limes
  • radishes
  • raspberries
  • rhubarb
  • raisins
  • rhutabaga
  • mangoes
  • mulberries
  • mushrooms
  • oranges
  • snow peas
  • spinach
  • sprouts
  • strawberries
  • tomatoes
  • turnips
  • onion
  • parsnip
  • peaches
  • pears
  • peas
  • pineapple
  • plums
  • potatoes
  • zucchini

Though I’ve eaten them before, it’s not often; I’d like to try squash but I don’t get much support at home. I’d also like to try jicama, but I think I have a familiarity with a lot of veggies that I don’t really need the second list. I could easily eat a wide variety of fresh foods if I committed myself to it.

I’ll also be starting the Easing Into Running plan shortly. I’ll be starting on a day that is not snowing and not -22C. I really enjoyed my attempt at starting a running program but it was far too intense for me. This plan is much, much more gentle.

I’ll be writing about my experience with the Quantitative Diet program in the Lift Community on Medium. You can read my first piece They Don’t Carry Girdles In My Size.

 

 

Habits, Systems and Goals

This article is brilliant and completely in line with what I have been talking about regarding habits. Basically: if it’s the system or plan that gets you to your goal, set up and follow the system  and don’t even pay attention to the goal and you’ll get there anyway without the stress of looking at that seemingly unattainable goal out there in the future.

Duh!  That’s one of those brilliantly simple and obvious things that seem like an epiphany when you figure it out.

A system is a plan made up of repeated steps. Repeated steps are just habits.

My goal is to re-shape my body in such a way that it works better and fits betters into my clothing. It doesn’t matter what the specific numbers or sizes are. My system is to change the way I eat long term and get more activity in – in an organic way, I’m no dieting gym-bunny. The habits I need to make that system work are adding vegetables into all of my meals, increasing the amount of water I eat, improving the quality of my snacks while reducing the amount of snacks I eat, getting my 10,000 steps a day and starting a running training program.

If I make all those habits regular, if I turn them into a system that repeats over and over and over then the goal will happen whether I think about it or not. So, I’m not going to be miserable focusing on the 50lbs I was hoping to lose by summer. I won’t feel like it’s so far away and so huge and unattainable that I should not bother at all. No, instead I will think about my habits – establishing and maintaining them – so that all the little things I need to do to achieve my goals will be completed, on auto-pilot. One day I will wake up and realise that I’m achieving my goals, and even better: I’m achieving them easily, with little thought or inconvenience.

What kind of habits are you trying to establish?

Habits and Tools

I have terrible habits and habits are where it’s at.

My weight has been holding steady which is good in that it’s not going up. But it sure isn’t coming down. And, though I’ve been far more active in the last few weeks, a quick examination of what’s going in my mouth reveals a shocking lack of vegetables and a huge amount of starches and sugars.

So, I have to change my habits. I need to make eating better more regularly an unconscious part of every day.

I’ve written about Lift before and I found it very useful. Quickly: it’s a site/app where you define habits you want to create and then track how well you do each day. It works well. But, it’s undergoing some updating and they’re including a goal feature.

I don’t know if people will be able to define their own goals but they currently have a number of goals in different categories. They look a lot like those memes going around FB and Pinterest such as 21 day squat challenge or 30 day plank challenge that list activities to do each day that build to the goal of a firmer stomach or something similar.

I got an email the other day that announced the website overhaul and the launch of a new endeavor within the Lift app called the Quantified Diet Project. A person chooses one of 10 diets and then the app provides guidance over the course of a month to follow the diet and achieve whatever goals you define – lose weight, get healthier, sleep better, have more energy, feel less depressed, etc.

The diet options are pretty wide-ranging, to. Everyone ought to be able to find something that works for them out of the plans: paleo, slow carb, vegetarian, whole foods, gluten-free, now-sweets, DASH, calorie-counting, sleep and mindful eating. The really interesting thing, though, is that Lift is pairing up with UC Berkeley who are doing a massive diet study and you can choose to be randomly assigned as a control participant.

I am thinking of following the Whole Foods approach which is based on the Summer Tomato/Foodist approach. I loved the Foodist book and Darya’s Summer Tomato blog.

You can go to the Lift website and download the free iOS or Android app to use the tool or just use the website itself. Be sure to click on the Sign Up To Be Notified button.

Anyone want to join me?  What diet do you think you’ll choose?

 

Sometimes You Have To Say No

It’s midnight. I have not yet had a late night snack. I will not have a late night snack tonight. I keep thinking of all the lovely things I could eat, but then I tell myself “No! I will not eat anything tonight.”

Habit the first: no late night snacks.

I mean, if it’s so late that I’m hungry, it is past my bedtime.

Here I go, off to bed.

No snack in hand.

No Halloween candy. No salsa and chips. No toast with peanut butter. No boiled eggs. No homemade hummus. No homemade guacamole. No no no no.

Good night.