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?

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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!

“I Can Make You Fat”

This was the best thing I’ve seen in a long time. Disclosing that I haven’t seen all six parts — I’m on part 2 — but I really like the message. I was prepared for a knee-jerk reaction as soon as I figured he was talking about a low carb diet (I’m not a fan of certain whole-food, low carb movements because of their cult-like WooWoo feel and following) but I was totally swayed by his two-sided approach. The presenter of this lecture is Dr. Jason Fung, a doctor affiliated with Scarborough General Hospital. You can read more about him here -> http://kidneylifescience.ca/

Here is part 1:

Looking forward to finishing the series.

It’s already influenced my breakfast decisions today. I had an egg white omelet with 1/2 an avocado and a bit of sriracha, and a coffee with just one sugar. That’s half of my norm — need to start somewhere.

Woah!

I finally stepped on the scale this morning after successfully avoiding it for more than a month, and it confirmed what my too tight clothing has been telling me. (BTW, the scale image to the left cracks me up. That blue light … it’s like the dread that goes directly to my noggin as I await the final number on my Aria scale.) Image

Anyhow, I’m going to re-prioritize a little. I focus exactly ZERO attention right now on my health and well-being. Nothing. I focus all my attention on school, my family, business and other people. For the last few months, I have spent a little on my home which keeps it from being a total sty but just the bare minimum. I have free time but I often use it to just zone out rather than doing anything productive because I’m mentally tapped and frazzled at the end of the day. I suppose zoning out is for me but it doesn’t feel that way — it feels like survival. Anyone know what I mean?

I started today with just being mindful of what I’m eating, and writing it down with an amount. Writing it down is key for me. I want to see that I’m eating things in balance. I’ll start with that and see where I’m at next week. You thrive where you place your energy and I need to place more on a healthier me, too.

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?

 

Weight Watchers and Healthy Habits

Today’s meeting was about making little changes to form new habits. The leader, Sue, wanted us to identify triggers for behaviours in order to make them a habit. Sounds a lot like classical conditioning. As I know from conditioning, you don’t really ever unlearn bad habits. They’re lurking beneath the surface waiting to rear their ugly heads. However, even though sometimes it can take a while for your brain to build a new associations,  it can be done!

My triggers for unhealthy habits are, in order of occurrence:

1. Being overwhelmed with stress/negative emotions. I’m highly susceptible to other people’s misery.  I can be like an emotion sponge and lately, this has been a bit of an issue. I have felt emotionally heavy lately — not like me at all — because of my occasionally frazzled environment. 2. Also, not planning my day properly or trying to do everything so I have too many things to do in too little time. 3. Not getting enough sleep or fun in my life. Fun? What’s that?

I then go on into cocoon-mode to protect myself, overeat and numb out.

I had a hard time coming up with triggers for positive habits and maybe it’s because I don’t feel like I have too many right now.  So how can I trigger myself for healthy habits?

One super small thing I can do is to start packing my water bottle in my bag. I hate bringing it because it’s so heavy to lug around and with my shoulder injury, my already heavy bag becomes near unmanageable. Maybe that’ll just convince me to drink the water to lighten the load.

I lost 1.2lbs this week. I don’t know how because I haven’t had a great week. Too much stress that I haven’t been dealing with well. Looking to take it one day at a time for the next 7 days.

A little update

So weight-wise I’m hovering right where I’m always hovering but I’m walking about twice as much as I was before 5-6 days a week. I keep forgetting to pack a lunch so I’ve been buying an anemic looking sandwich on campus and then when I get home I’m starving so I eat All Teh Thingz! Thank goodness for all the walking or I’m sure I would be up. This week I’m going to make a real effort to pack a lunch every single day. Ideas?

Life-wise, I don’t understand how people can go to university, have outside interests AND actually keep up with their reading/work. Something has to give. I have hobbies and friends that I’ve completely let drop this month, and it’s been a real balancing act with my family. I suppose non-mature students usually don’t have families to consider. It’s stressful and by Saturday morning, I’m in desperate need of fun.

Also, in an act of spontaneity this week, I lopped off a chunk of hair. Check it.

hair