Friday, March 30, 2012

Almost April!

Hey everyone! It is almost April- here is a reminder that April is the 100 mile month! Just to recap here is the challenge:

Go 100 miles this month on your own steam, for the purpose of exercise.

It can be walking, running, hiking, swimming, or even the mileage from a stationary workout machine. If you do zumba, clip on a pedometer and count each step! If you bike count those miles up! You are earning them.

My plan is scheduled to start on Sunday and I am so excited to do this. It will be so nice to look back at the end of the month and feel like I have gone somewhere!

One of the ways that I push myself, is by earning a reward. If you knew my family you would say this is an "apple doesn't fall very far from the tree" scenario, since I was raised by a dad who believed we should earn everything, even if it meant walking past a bike every day, until all the chores were done! What that taught me, is that things feel great when you earn them. They mean more, and have infinitely more value.

This translates to two things that are helping me lose weight; In the short term there are calories.

 If I think of calories like money, something that must be earned before it is spent, then it makes the trade of workout for snacks much easier. The reason i gained all the weight in the first place, is that there is no credit limit on calories, you can borrow from your future until things are so out of control. And there is no declaring bankruptcy- you have to earn your way back out. But any financial planner can tell you, with a good plan and responsibility, you can pay down debt, so that is what I do at the gym every day. It makes the slice of pizza taste so much better, knowing that I earned it. The same way it felt great the first time you bought yourself with something from your babysitting money.

Things you work for, are worth more.

The other way the lifestyle of earning things is helping, is that once I want something, I know I can find a way to get it. If I tell myself that I can have something once I have lost a certain number of pounds, I know I want that thing. My latest motivation is skydiving.

I know, the thing that is motivating me, is a desire to jump out of an airplane. But I have done it before, and if you think you get an endorphin rush off a treadmill, you should try the adrenaline of skydiving. It is life changing. Last time I went, I was quite a bit thinner, and the place we want to go has a weight restriction. I was 50 pounds too heavy to skydive in November. Now I am 18 pounds to heavy.
I have 6 weeks, to drop those last 18 pounds, and I know it won't be easy, but I also know I can do it.

So Happy April! I hope you join me in this challenge, and I hope you share your results!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Junk Food isn't going anywhere

Weight loss is mostly not fun. The endorphin rush after a workout is nice, but mostly the partI like the most about this weight loss thing is I weigh less in the morning, and my clothes fit better, or new ones look better.

The actual not eating junk food on the couch part, is kind of lame. I mean, I love eating junk food on the couch!

But the reward of seeing the scale go down in the mornings is finally starting to feel better than a bowl of marshmallow mateys (Don't even Google them, they are the opposite of weight loss).

The view, thinking of junk food as something that will hurt later- like drinking too much booze, is helping me to say no. In fact- the alcohol analogy is a really good one, because just because you don't want a hangover, doesn't mean you cant have a glass of wine with dinner, it just means you can't have a bottle.

 And The mantra that has helped me the most, is that the junk food will still be there when I have lost all the weight. 

I know that seems like a strange thing to say, since obviously Cadbury is doing just fine, but one of the excuses I use to eat junk food is that it is a special, one of, etc etc. It makes me feel like if I eat the birthday cake today, it will be OK because tomorrow I will get back on the wagon aka elliptical and burn it off. But let's look at the year shall we?

Jan 1- hangover food (doesn't count)
Feb- Valentines day- chocolate and fancy dinner
March- David's Birthday/ Our anniversary
April- My Birthday/ Easter
May-whatever fun you do for the may long weekend, plus cinco de Mayo oh and Mother's Day
June- Father's day (maybe a brunch?) Graduations, birthdays, celebrations all over the place!
July- Independence day, summer BBQ's Popsicle season etc.
August- long weekend events in Canada, Birthdays, etc
September- Fall- seems like a good reason to grab a chai, and some baked apple treats
November- Thanksgiving- so much pie!
December- Chocolate Santa Month/ NYE!

And before you know it, another year has gone by, and the diet you meant to start didn't get started, and the cycle starts over.

I'm having a really hard time right now, saying no to Easter candy, because chocolate wrapped in pink shiny foil is all kinds of kryptonite for me. But telling myself- it will be there next year, and next year you will be thinner and maintaining, and it will be OK to have some. So don't think of it as not having any, but putting the treats off till later. Just like I used to do with my diet.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gadgets and Gizmos

With my 100 mile month challenge coming up starting on Sunday, I thought I would mention some gadgets that might just make it easier.

The first is technically an app, I mention all the time. My Fitness Pal (which can also be used online- no smartphone required!) This free website is how I made the plan that has helped me lose 31 pounds so far. I love this site!

Another handy gadget for helping, is a pedometer. I have this one:

And it is nice to know how far you walk! If you are using a pedometer to gauge your steps for the 100 mile challenge, just estimate your stride length!

The last item on my list is actually an item on my wishlist. A heart monitor.

This one from Amazon is pink, and it doubles as a pedometer, so score!

Keeping track of your heart rate is a great way to monitor your fitness and weight loss, and gauge how hard your body is working.  The way to use it is really simple- take your resting heart rate first thing when you wake up.

Then calculate your "max" heart rate. You can pay for someone to calculate all this for you with a treadmill and stuff, or you can use a basic formula. A good rule of thumb is 220- your age is a rough estimate of your max.

Then all you need is a little math, to tell you what your zones are.

Zones 2-3 are where you want to be for aerobic fitness and 4 &5 are anaerobic (basically you build muscle not burn fat) 

The easy/ free way to monitor your heart rate (which is what I do now) is the talking/ singing rule. 

If you can sing, you aren't working out hard enough, if you can't talk you are working out too hard.

For me a sign of fitness is how hard I have to work to get into a certain heart rate zone. At first- just thinking about the gym made me sweat, and 5 minutes on the elliptical got my heart rate up there. Now I have to be seriously rocking out with the resistance up to get my heart rate going when I fist start to work out. That little bit of progress helps me keep going, and push just a little more. 

Regardless of which zone you are in for your 100 miles, even if you do the whole month in zone one, Just think of how far you will have gone! And you will see how fast your body gets used to the work! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

100 mile Challenge- The Plan

So my last post was about the April 100 mile challenge...

I actually made the plan!
I know it is a lot, but I think I can do it, and like I said, this is my birthday gift to me. 
I gave myself a few days off, that way if I miss one, I can make it up later. It's like I have met me or something. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

100 mile month

Boy this fitness thing can really be addictive. The thing is, that for people who aren't into fitness, it can be really annoying. I spent a lot of years being annoyed by the "exercise junkies", preferring the much easier form of "cookie junkie" and I truly perfected the art. In fact, if you head over to my other blog,, there are some cookie recipes that might just knock your socks off. 

Next month is my birthday month, and it is so tempting to start thinking about all the yummy ways one could celebrate. Between those evil and amazing cadbury mini eggs for Easter, and the promise of cake at the end of the month, April might as well be December for all the calories I typically eat. 

But not this April. 

This April my gift to myself is going to be some self control, and the adrenaline rush from seeing the scale stop on a lower number every week. 

The 100 mile month

I have decided to do a 100 mile month- to challenge myself to really feel like my working out is accomplishing something. 

Here is the challenge: In the month of April, on your own steam, travel 100 miles, just for the purpose of exercise. April has 30 days, so if you plan to do it daily, that is 3 1/3 miles per day. (5.4 kilometers for you metric folks) 

You don't have to run, walking or biking, or hiking  is totally acceptable. They can be actual miles, outside, or figurative miles in a treadmill in the gym. 

Document your progress, however you want. Link here to your blog, or keep a note in your phone. Make a chart and hang it on your fridge, or take notes on the back of an IKEA receipt from your purse. 

You can make a plan, make a calendar of all the different ways that you can travel, or just play it by ear. I am doing this as my birthday gift to myself, why are you? 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

It isn't always easy to keep going at the gym. There are a lot of days when I am tired, or want to be lazy but David makes me go. 

So what motivation is there for me to keep going? 

It's Dory, from finding Nemo. There is just something highly motivating, about the "just keep swimming" song.

I am hoping that motto- can keep me going on the path that I am on, because I actually had to go to the mall and buy a few new things. My favorite skirt was literally falling off of me the other day. 

Seeing the change is good, and that motivates me too.  
So tonight when I am at they gym, I just hope people won't laugh if they notice me humming my little motivation song, cause boy is it working! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

"free" food- how to discount your calories!

One of the techniques that has helped me lose 30 pounds since November, is trying to eat as much that is "free" as possible. Not monetarily free, but caloricly.

By my definition, caloricly free (or um on sale) is a food that takes work to get, so you burn all the calories (or at least some) in the process of getting it.

My favorite way to do this is to walk to subway on my lunch hour.

A 6 inch veggie sub, with no cheese and only mustard as a condiment (Since mayo= yuck anyway) is 230 calories.

I have to walk about 13 minutes to get to Subway, so I round down to 25 minutes for calories. 168
That burns 168 calories, so my lunch only "costs" 62 calories. 

That isn't bad! Throw in a diet coke, and some sunshine and it is a pretty good lunch! 

Another great way to get a calorie "discount" is to go on a picnic over the weekend. For me, the weekend is a dangerous time, because I have less of a schedule, and boredom eating is a huge pitfall. So packing a picnic lunch and hiking it to a nice spot to eat is a great way to lower that calorie count. 

Especially if you have a craving you just HAVE to satiate, walk or run or bike to wherever you have to go to  satisfy that craving! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Trim Plan

In order to keep up the weight loss, and still eat healthy, I have started to appreciate soup more and more.

You have to be careful with store made soups, since they tend to be high in fat and so so so full of salt.

But making soup at home is as easy as throwing random things in a crock pot.

David and I have decided that we are going to make a "soup of the week" on Sunday, and each get a thermos to take to work.

(note to self- get permanent work spoon)

Here are some links to some great light soup recipes that will make your tummy full and warm!

(tip- bouillon cubes often contain MSG- so sub with some low sodium broth if you can!)

Gingered Carrot Soup

Minestrone winter warm-up

Low-Fat Potato and Leek Soup

Or try some free-form soup creative fun- courtesy of the NY Times!