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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Whole Grains and Such

Before I go on to whole grains, I want to address my goals again. I realized that I put too many on one week. I need to make 2 or so a habit before adding the next one and so on. I've been so resistant to doing some of these things, that I need to start a little smaller. But I'm only dropping #6 - the "to do" list. The rest are too important to put off.

On to whole grains.........

I love to bake. I've always done some baking, but lately it's become almost an obsession. Even worse, it's a great way to avoid doing what you really SHOULD be doing - like laundry, getting dressed, exercising and counting calories! On the other hand, I really, really enjoy it and am amassing a wonderful collection of recipes. So, I figured if I'm going to bake, at least maybe I can try to find a more healthful approach to baking. In that vein, I asked for and received King Arthur's Whole Grain Baking. So far I really like it. Even if the recipes don't always turn out fantastically, I'm learning about different kinds of flour, what works and what doesn't. Even bad recipes are learning experiences. I haven't had any downright bad recipes from this book yet, but some have been better than others.

Why eat whole grain, you ask? Check out these articles for some good information:

Get the Whole Truth (MSNBC/Newsweek)

Why is it important to eat grains, especially whole grains?

Dish Up Whole Grains (Cooking Light)

Anyway, you can check out these recipes over at The Savory Notebook. Although these are whole grain recipes, they are NOT low fat, so you still need to eat them sparingly. Which is a big reason why I really need to count calories!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Time to dust this blog off......

........and try again. Wow. I can't believe that Halloween was my last post! Well, I guess I can believe it.

Time to try again!

While I'd like the main focus of this blog to be health and fitness, I have realized that I need to make other changes to my life in order to get not just my fitness program jump-started, but my life in general.

Although I have been working part time subbing in the schools, so far it has been very part time - I am basically a stay-at-home-mom these days and therefore without a set schedule. Even worse, I do not have any activities outside the home to keep me busy. When we lived in Indiana, I was always pretty active even as a SAHM with things like MOMS Club, scrapbooking with friends, etc. Here, I don't have a social circle to help me get out of the house and keep active. I do volunteer at the schools occasionally, but those opportunities don't arise often enough to keep me busy much.

The result? I spend a lot of time doing inactive things like surfing the internet for recipes, cooking (gets me up and moving, but also eating) or working on my blog(s). It's admittedly fun to have time to do these things, but at the same time, I spend TOO much time on them.

The lack of schedule has not only made me more sedentary, but also less organized with no real routine. So, I have more time on my hands than ever, but I feel like I'm getting less done than ever. Ironic, huh? I find that I put off what needs to be done because I can always do it some other time.

The only good thing to come out of this extra time is more cooking (as opposed to takeout) and at least a hobby of some sort - blogging. Still, cooking and blogging don't get the house clean or the bills paid. Actually, bills are one thing that I have been very organized about - we are on a tight budget, so I've really been keeping a very close eye on finances. And thank goodness. A disorganized house is one thing, mishandling finances another thing entirely!

Some people are natrually energetic and self-motivated. I am not one of those people. Therefore, I need to set up a few goals and get myself on some sort of schedule to keep myself going and accountable. I plan to put a few of FlyLady's principals to work here to help me get started. More on FlyLady later. And to be fair - it's not as if the house is in terrible disarray - it's not - but it could be better and I let things (like laundry) go too long and there are quite a few projects that I would like to get done that I keep putting off and putting off, for no really good reason at all.

To get things started, I'll set a few fairly simple goals:

1. Exercise 5 times a week.
2. Weight train 2 times a week.
3. Count calories.
4. Showered and dressed by 9:00 a.m.
5. One load of laundry per day.
6. Make a "to do" list and accomplish at least one thing off that list every day.

Some of these goals may sound pretty silly to some of you, but this is my reality at the moment - I need a major kick in the butt! I'm going to start small and add on and/or change these goals as weeks progress.

That's it for today. Just enough to get things started. As FlyLady says......babysteps!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

DH is out trick-or-treating with the kids and I'm sitting here, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the trick-or-treaters to show up. It's almost an hour past the official start of trick-or-treat and we've only had one group of 5 show up! I don't want to get stuck with all that candy! Wahh!

Since today was so nice - sunny and warm - I took Bailey for a longer-than-usual walk. I still need to add up my calories for the day, but I think it will turn out okay. While I could have eaten a little better, I don't think I overdid it on calories.

We had a really delicious, quick, easy, nutritious soup from Cooking Light for dinner. You can check it out over at The Savory Notebook.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Weekly Weigh-in (10/30/06)

When I don't post for a whole week, that's usually a pretty good indicator of how things are going.

I really can't even comment in detail about how I did last week because I simply didn't keep track. I probably walked 5 times, therefore perhaps meeting my goal of doing some sort of exercise 5-7 days a week, but I didn't do any strength training and I didn't track my calories.

I don't know why I'm having such a hard time truly commiting to losing this weight. I sure am tired of not fitting into my clothes! And even if I did fit into my clothes and was a size 2, that certainly doesn't mean that I shouldn't be exercising and strength training.

Anyway, time to pick myself up, dust myself off and get on with it. No dwelling on what didn't happen, only looking forward to what I can and will make happen this week.

Same goals as last week, but I'll add another one. I need to blog at least two times between weigh-ins. Every day would be ideal, but I'll allow that that might not happen. I hope that blogging about health and fitness will help keep health and fitness front and center in my mind. It can't hurt.......

Still, the news isn't all bad. Despite my unmet goals, the scale was still down 1 pound. But I'm not feeling it on my clothes, that's for sure. That's when I'll really feel like I'm moving in the right direction, when my pants start feeling a little looser.

So, here's to a better week this week!

my-calorie-counter.com The webs free Calorie Counter

Monday, October 23, 2006

Weekly Weigh-in (10/23/06)

Just a quick check in tonight to review last week. I'm weighing in on Mondays, but my weeks run Sunday to Saturday.
  1. Exercise 5-7 times a week. Even if it's just for 20-30 minutes, I'd like to try to do something every day. Check. I exercised 6 out of 7 days.
  2. Weight train at least 2 times per week. Just a start. Hopefully I will up that as time goes on. Check again. Eventually I'd like to up this to at least 3, but I need to get myself into a pattern first.
  3. Count calories - sticking to about 1200-1800 calories per day with an average of 1500 per day. On weight training days, I tend to allow myself more calories. On days I don't exercise much, I try to cut back. Almost. I ended up not counting calories for 2 days last week. I don't get too worried about missing one day a week, but I'd rather not miss 2 or more. Still, it's a definite improvement and I know I ate quite a bit less than I would have otherwise.
For next week, I'm sticking to the same goals.

Last but not least, the weigh-in. My scale is definitely testy, so it's hard to tell. Sometimes I get on it and I know it's not right so I get off and get back on and it will often go up or down by 2-4 pounds. I can't figure out why it does that. Anyway, testy or not, it looks like I'm down a pound from last week and I'll take it.

my-calorie-counter.com The webs free Calorie Counter

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A few too many.....

So, it's been a little busy with guests this weekend which meant a little too much wine and a little too much food. I didn't keep track of my calories for Friday and Saturday, but will try to add them up for today. When I get chatting, I don't pay much attention to what I'm eating, so one of my challenges will be to figure out how to keep track of my calories during visits and other social events. I don't have any problem allowing myself one free day per week, but two is too many if I'm serious about losing weight.

For whatever reason, the scale was off last Monday when I weighed in. I knew it seemed low, but I got on and off a few times and it stayed at the same number. The next day, though, it jumped up 3 pounds which was closer to where I thought I was at to begin with. Obviously I didn't gain 3 pounds in one day, so for some reason it was just off that first weigh-in. I will go back and edit last week's ticker to reflect the correct weight.

I will be back tomorrow with my weigh-in for the week.................

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Today I worked out the lower body - whew! I think I dislike working out the lower body even more than I dislike sit-ups! Not only is it a large muscle group, but it tends to be a pretty aerobic workout as well, unlike working out the upper body. Pretty exhausting stuff.

The workout I did today - Cathe's Legs and Glutes - requires very little equipment - I did most of it with my step alone. Cathe uses weights for about half of the exercises, but I find them challenging enough that I don't use weights except for one or two of the exercises. I sometimes use weights with squats and lunges, but this workout has so many repetitions that I don't find weights necessary - I feel the burn plenty without them!

I find that when I do these kinds of videos, or even in classes at a gym, I modify a lot. I think it's important to not let what the instructor or other class participants are doing discourage you from getting a good workout at your own level. Not only did I skip weights for most of this workout, I also modified how I did exercises according to my equipment or lackthereof. I used my doorways for balance during some of the leg lifts instead of a pole and I used my stairway and banister to do my calf raises. Whatever works! Whatever you need to do to get through the class - slow down, drop the weights, take a rest, use different equipment - the most important thing is to just move.

And of course I couldn't ignore Bailey, so I took him for a 30-minute walk. Here's a picture that shows what I often see - today included - when I try to get down on the floor for mat work...........

I have a busy day tomorrow with the in-laws arriving later in the afternoon for a visit, so I hope I'm disciplined enough to squeeze in a walk with Bailey. If it's not raining, that is.....