Thursday, October 31, 2013

Feeling Fruity

How many fruits and veggies are we supposed to get in a day? I struggle to get in even one. It's not that I don't like fruit ... well, it kinda is. I've never even tried many of the fruits out there (strawberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, peaches and more). I've taken one bite of cantaloupe and kiwi and that was the end of that. Apples and oranges are all right if I'm in the mood. I do love pears, but I struggle to get them home from the store without damage. Bananas are a staple, but they go bad so quickly. I have a hard time keeping them around at the right ripeness. We all like the purple grapes ... if they are firm and crisp.  

This was a picture of my shopping cart from the summer. I really enjoy watermelon, but only in season. We're looking forward to the "Cuties" (mandarin oranges) to hit the shelves. I am trying to have fruit available around the house, and even keep it visible (like in the basket on the counter in the top photo) to remind the kids AND me to eat up.

I purchased a pomegranate for the first time this week. I've picked up just the seeds before, but I haven't been able to find them lately, and the fruit itself was on sale. But my heavens, since when does fruit need opening instructions?  I looked it up online, and I still did it wrong. I even tried eating one of the little seeds. If you know me at all, you know that is huge. I don't try things. But alas, I didn't like it at all (it's sour!). I've looked up a couple other methods of opening a pomegranate and getting the seeds out, so maybe I'll try an alternate opening technique. The kids like them. They are a favorite fruit of kid #3. It was a good thing I got my fruit photo when I did, because the next time I turned around, he had eaten all the arils.  

I have mastered prepping a pineapple. That's not nearly as hard to handle as a pomegranate.

I set myself up a "Feeling Fruity" streaks calendar. All I need to do to be able to mark off the day is it ONE serving of fruit. I don't know that I even got 50% for October, but at least I'm tracking and consciously trying.

I was proud of myself for trying something new ...even if I didn't like it. Maybe I need to try again. This article (Pomegranate Health Benefits) popped up in my BlogLovin feed. 

I consider it an NSV for the week and participating in the LinkUp. I had a second NSV too, I made brownies and did NOT eat one bite (I might have licked the spoon though). 

It's Halloween today! An email from the Jillian Michaels camp came up with healthy candy alternatives, (some being fruit) ... but sometimes I just want to indulge in good old-fashioned candy. I'll just try to keep it in control. What? Candy Corn isn't a vegetable?

And a final offering ...
A humorous attempt at substituting Halloween candy with more healthy fare.

I admit ... I laughed.

So tonight ...  door duty or supervising the kids duty?
Either way I should get some steps on my pedometer.

What are your favorite fruits?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ohhh ... I Want One!

I'm a gadget girl (married to a gadget guy).  I'm quite happy with my Fitbit tracker and while I keep my eye on and opinions open about the many similar items out there, I'm not planning on replacing it anytime soon (although I'd LOVE to give some of them a try  and compare if anyone wanted to comp me one! *Ü*) My brother shared a link to this new gadget ... the Airo, and I'm intrigued! Here are just a few links discussing it~ 

Like my Fitbit, the Airo will track activity and sleep. Ok ... I already have that. But THIS little wristband is also supposed to monitor your stress (tracking heart rate, I do have a HRM but I don't wear it all the time) and a spectrometer to ... track your nutrition!

From the Airo website ... "AIRO is able to automatically track both the calories you consume and the quality of your meals. With a built in spectrometer, AIRO uses different wavelengths of light to detect nutrients released into the bloodstream as they are broken down during and after your meals." The Airo can tell when you start and finish your meals, give you a calorie estimate, and even feedback on your eating habits in general (do you eat meals at set times during the day, or do you graze? You are probably aware of your own habits, but sometimes having them documented is eye-opening).

If that works ... that sounds AWESOME.

All the articles seemed to be released in the past day or so, so this is brand new. It is available for pre-order ($149 + $10 shipping, regularly $199) but it isn't set to be released until Fall of 2014. That is a whole year away! It doesn't sound like anyone has really had one in hand yet to try out either ... I'm really looking forward to reviews. 

I haven't pre-ordered it yet myself... It's not the price that's stopping me, it's the wait. I don't think a prototype even exists yet. But I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this. If it was available right now, I don't know that I'd be able to resist grabbing one. I'm sure I'd still wear my Fitbit and compare the activity and sleep feedback. I love second opinions (and third, and forth ... I've said it before, I like redundancy). I'd still track on MFP and it would be SO interesting to see how closely the calorie count intake would add up... or didn't. I'd buy this for the "nutritional" feedback function alone.  If it actually works.

What do you think? 
Does this intrigue you as much as it does me?

.... and following up, sounds like it was too good to be true. Production was canceled and orders refunded (I'd never ordered, was waiting for some reviews). I read about it here ...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cake and Cuts

Last night we went up to Maga's (grandma) house. It was my SIL's birthday, and she's leaving for 18 months on a mission for the LDS church. So it was a farewell gathering too. Dinner was taco salad, which I don't like (and didn't eat) ... but I did snack on some of the Fritos.  When it came time for cake ... I ate cake. And ice cream. And instead of just logging in the same ice cream I indulge in at home, I double checked the calories and guess what. It has a LOT more calories than my usual brand.  Grandma buys the premium stuff. 

I hadn't been particularly good earlier at home either ... add those calories to the several hours sitting during the drive and the party and, well, it was NOT a good calorie day. After a not good weekend.

It was just one of those frustrating "why did I do that?" type of day (and weekend) ... I knew my exercise hours were going to be limited Monday, so why didn't I control my calories during the day? At the party, I didn't need to snack on salty chips. I'm not really a fan of chocolate cake ... why did I eat it? I know other's have mentioned at times feeling pressure to participate or not offend. That was not the reason I ate. I'm such a picky eater everyone is quite used to me not eating things when everyone else is.  It wasn't that I was particularly hungry. It wasn't that the cake and ice cream looked particularly good. I don't know ... I just wasn't caring that much.

It's so easy to see how I gained the weight in the first place. It was days like these.  I do still have them, but few and far between ... well, not this week. I've had a few too many this week.

I did enter everything into my MFP food diary. I saw myself move into the red. Upon returning home from the party, I could have done another 20min session on the elliptical, but I was tired. I don't know that one more 20min session would really have made much of a difference.

Aunt Olivia does hair ... 
she often cuts the boy's hair, saving us time and big bucks.
One last haircut before she leaves (on Wednesday)

(yes, that is considered LONG, SHAGGY hair)

to Shorn
She added a little color to #5

Weight was up this morning. Not a surprise. I have been pretty motivated to be good today. We'll see if I can turn things around enough to at least get back to where I was last weigh-in. I have a couple more days ... but one of those is Halloween, which in addition to candy temptations, also limits my exercise hours as I'll be at the elementary school most of the day, at the doctor (time to take the cast off) in the afternoon, and Halloween stuff in the evening.  It's scary!

I wish I didn't partake of the cake ...

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Big Bag of Sugar

I did a lot of baking last week (Been Baking) and we made gingersnaps last night.  With all this baking, I needed to restock our sugar supply. I went downstairs to our storage room and grabbed a 25 pound bag of sugar and lugged it up the stairs. It was heavy!  Then I had a moment of realization ... that's about what I've lost on my journey so far (depends on the day. My MFP ticker has shown 26 for the past few weigh-ins, it's back to 24 today. Up a little after a wicked weekend, oops!) I am really glad I'm not lugging that extra 25 pounds around every step of every day anymore. I'd like to lose another big bag of sugar ... of course I probably should cut back on the baking to help with that, right? *Ü*

It is a bit of a challenging week ahead. A family party tonight, helping out at the school for the Halloween party on Thursday (and some prep before that) ... Halloween itself, and the candy the kids bring home (Mommy deserves a few choice pieces, right?). Basketball practices and games almost every day. A doctor appointment to get the cast off baby boy. Family funeral on Saturday (my grandma passed away last week after struggling several years). There will be some eating and exercise challenges to end the month, but I'll do the best I can to keep up.

I'm very glad I won't be lugging a 25 pound bag of sugar every step of the way.

Linking Up with the Motivational Monday Team.
Morgan @ Fat to Fit Confessions
Tiff @ The Fit Train
Katie @ The Carb Monster
Alisha @ Coily Locks

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Interesting Articles and Creative Costumes (SS#4)

... I got through several magazines this week (Self July2011, Health Nov2012 & March 2013, Fitness Feb2013, March2013 & April 2013, Women's Health Nov2012 & Nov2013). I enjoyed browsing them all, but nothing made enough of an impact to be included here. I did find some online stuff I thought I'd share:

With Halloween approaching, I thought I'd share this article about Alternatives to Halloween Candy. Just an option if you didn't want to bring candy into your house, or encourage the eating of it elsewhere.  There were some ideas that I think kids would really like.

 Another inspiring article from our local paper.  

If you have a post highlighting interesting articles, favorite blog posts, reading recommendations, or anything you think deserves a second chance in the spotlight, feel free to link up!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Weigh-In #15 ... Been Baking

As I set my goals for the month, they are mainly fitness related.  A certain number of steps or calories burned, so many minutes of activity ... I do pretty well achieving my activity goals.

There's fitness ... then there's food. This wasn't a great food week. I actually didn't go extremely over on any day, but I didn't have ONE day under 2000 calories (my poor little "Streaks" calendar for calories is awfully bare this week). Being quite active, technically I can consume higher, but 2000 does seem like a totally reasonable number. All the "Percent Daily Values" on food labels are "based on a 2,000 calorie diet" and I know that so many women manage to keep themselves at 1200-1600. I often think to myself "HOW do they do that?" but I know ... I know if I ate better, fewer empty calories (or none at all ... but who am I kidding? I'm not there yet) that it wouldn't add up so quickly. 

It was a baking week though ...

Carb overload I know. I really enjoy baking though. I like seeing things come together. The smiles on the faces of the kids and their friends. The moans of delight and the rave reviews. I just don't get the same feedback from making dinner (ok, sometimes they are pretty happy with actual meals too, but it's usually just downing dinner and off again, leaving me with nothing but dirty dishes). As the cooler weather of Fall has hit, I've just been in a baking mood ... there are a ton of other things I want to make too, and it's all on the sugar side of things. Unfortunately, I'm not one who can bake but not bite. While there are many dinners I make but don't eat, I really like eating this stuff too.

 ... here was my attempt at a healthy breakfast on Monday.
Overflowing Oatmeal ... Oops

So, goal for next week ... keep a couple of days at least down to a 2000 calorie day.
Does that mean no more baking?

So actual numbers ... UP .3 from last week, although my average is .1 down (155.4).  MFP ticker at 26 (same for WI #12, #13, #14).  Average intake was 2443 (ouch!) and average energy expenditure was 2827. Although I didn't go over calories any day of the week, I also didn't maintain my 500 daily deficit. My total deficit for the week was just 2687 ... not enough for a loss.

Linking up with Coffecake and Cardio's How'd I do Friday.
I need to do better. 

Other Friday Linkups I Like
Michelle at Mind, Body and Goal

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Photos of Food

If you've followed my blog at all, you've probably noticed that I focus more on the fitness than the food. I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on exercise, but I have NOT mastered food at all. It's a challenge. Every. Single. Day. 

I'd seen many bloggers post pictures of what they eat. In fact, there is a very popular link up called "What I Ate Wednesday" and you would not believe the participation (100+ each week).  I really never figured I would join in ... I'm too embarrassed to open up my electronic food diary on MFP. But I figured that could be a goal to strive for ... to have even ONE day during the week when I kept things in control enough that I felt I could share. I thought I could try making a photo food diary (in addition to keeping up my calorie counting on MFP) to see if that impacted me at all.  I felt it did! 

I read about an app called "Meal Snap" which seemed like a good way to organize and track my food photos. It was $3. It keeps all the pictures of my meals organized (breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc.) and my days separate. This app even gives me a calorie estimate based on the photo and description. Now ... THAT can be pretty dang inaccurate, but you can go edit things with a corrected count. It's just interesting to see the calorie count it comes up with at times!

I found that taking pictures of what I was going to eat before I ate it DID improve my intake. Just knowing there was going to be photographic evidence, I think I tried a little bit harder than I normally do. Even the simple process of taking a picture was helpful ... I had to stop and think about what I was going to eat, and was it worth it.  No mindless eating. I did more actual meals, instead of grazing and constant snacking during the day. It was interesting to literally look back on what I'd eaten.

Will I continue to take pictures of my food? I'm not sure I'll do it every day, but I think I might try to do it at least one day a week. I don't know that I'll be participating in this link up again, but maybe every once in a while (I won't stop my food diary on MFP anytime soon).  So here was my food photo diary for the day ...

Breakfast: A little instant oatmeal, topped with cinnamon (the cinnamon grinder is a cute idea, but it was a bit of a pain, I think I'd prefer just to sprinkle ground cinnamon and not work my wrists so much).  I also have a picture of the oatmeal in the first cup ... I wasn't watching and it overflowed -  oops!

Lunch: Homemade chicken and veggie soup. I did go ahead and enter the ingredients into MFP to get a calorie estimate. I did have to enter this one manually as the Meal Snap estimate was way too low.

Afternoon Snack: I'm trying to get a piece of fruit in my food diary each day. This is a challenge for me! Tortilla chips are a common snack item though. Admittedly, I often do eat them straight from the bag (I know that's a no-no). See ... my MealSnap made me actually put a single portion in a bowl. 

Dinner: I definitely could have eaten better for dinner, but the kids requested this and I did partake. I tried the diet trick of using a small plate.

Today's Treat: In a recent Saturday Spotlight I mentioned an article about Oreo Addiction. I can resist the standard oreos, but these homemade ones ... they are just too yummy! And I must admit, I ate first, then took a picture (and added up the calories) after. Oops & Ouch! Luckily there are never any leftovers to temp me. My boys eat them all! But there is an expectation that I make these at least once a week. I hadn't made them on Sunday (the usual day) and had some pouts ... and that was from hubby!

In my post on Monday, I talked about how helpful I thought apps can be (My Appy Place). In my Tuesday post  (Picture Imperfect), I talked about improving appearance in pictures. I thought it a bit ironic that today's post is a bit of a combo of the two topics! My helpful app "Meal Snap" and I found I actually tried to improve the presentation for the pictures ... even if it was just photos of food.

Have you ever tried using a "photo food diary"?
Do you think a picture can be better than a written record?

Because I had set a goal for myself to share my food diary for a day ... I'll say I achieved it. That is my NSV for the week. Linking up with Katie for her weekly Non-Scale Victory linkup! I DO hope this will help with a regular old scale victory too though!  Even at about 2100 calories in for the day, I did have more than my 500 calorie deficit (TDEE was over 3000 with all my activity). I would like to stay closer to 2000 calories in a day ... another goal.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Wii and Me

I can't remember when the Wii first hit the marketplace. We did end up getting one for the kidlets, but I never got around to trying the various WiiSports (bowling, tennis, etc.)  Then came the release of WiiFit and the balance board. Surprisingly, it was my MOM who was the first to invest in this. While visiting grandma, the kids tried out the various activities and clamored for it's addition to our video game stash. As I was a bit intrigued by the possible workouts ... we got one.

That was several years ago. As with many workouts, it was used a LOT when it was still new, a novelty. I used it, but had to compete with the kids for time (it wasn't always available at my disposal).  It was also out in the main room, so there was often an audience ... or even "helpers" who would come press the balance board to throw things off.

As interest waned, I ended up moving the WiiFit into my gym. It's now always available, I don't have to switch out the disk with the kid's games, I don't have an audience  ... yet I still don't get to it that much. I guess I generally feel I get more "bang for my buck" with my other exercises (elliptical, treadmill, bike, weights, DVD workout).  But I do want to try and keep it in the repertoire.

I like the original, balance exercises the best. Those are the things I feel I don't necessarily get with my other workouts. I think the balance board is a unique idea. While the kids do still come in occasionally to do a little WiiFit, the can't beat Mom at soccer heading, Ski Slalom, Table Tilt, and Penguin Slide. Those are my main "exercises" ... I'll throw in a little hula at times (I bought an actual exercise hula hoop, and it's harder to spin the imaginary Wii one!), bike around the island or pop balloons while riding a segway. Sometimes I'll even fly ... you really don't want an audience for that one!

I have set up a Yoga series ... but I don't do it as often as I should (on or off the Wii). The strength training or simple steps ... I guess I'd rather just do my own thing for those.

I know many people use the Wii for their weigh-ins ... I do always find it interesting to see how it compares to my scale (it's usually pretty close, but I am including some estimation for clothing).

I know there is a ton of other stuff out there - Jillian Michaels, Zumba ... not officially a "workout" but the "Dance" games can get you moving (my mom has a couple of those).  I'm pretty much JUST a WiiFit girl, when I even get that in.

Have you ever tried WiiFit?
Linking up with

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Picture Imperfect

Last month we got together with cousins for some family fun. During that time, there were a few photos. I remember feeling pretty good that day, so when my SIL posted the picture to Facebook I was a little chagrined. Not enough to bother untagging myself, but I so often wish I was a little more photogenic (I'm in the white shirt. I feel like I look big in this picture, I weigh less in the photo above than my profile picture in the sidebar). I can take a good picture, I have before ... but they seem to be few and far between (and I most often get them with a little "photoshoot" where multiple pictures have been taken). I've been working hard and have been pretty pleased with what I've seen in the mirror ... she just doesn't often appear in photographs!

I'm always on the look out for tips and tricks to look a little better in pictures ... I'm not talking photoshopping stuff afterward, but things you can do in that moment just to hopefully improve the chances in the original, untouched shot.  I do try to position myself in the back. I never want to be the one closest to the camera (you always seem to look bigger that way). I try to remember my posture ... suck in the stomach, shoulders back, stick out the chin a little. Try to have the photo taken from above, not below. 

I came across this article and thought it had some great tips and examples.

I remember having this pinned to my photography board on Pinterest
Huge difference in just the way you stand.
Strike a pose!

I'm updating this post as I come across additional articles.
How To Be Photogenic - Kate Pease 
Never Look Bad In a Photo Again - Maskcara

Here are some additional tips from Tuts+ 
Aimed more at the photographer,
but good to try and keep in mind for yourself as well.
And this article on Celebrity Posing Tricks was an interesting read.

Now in the picture set below ...
I'm NOT attempting to start a debate or even discussion on "transformation" photos.
I just thought it was interesting from a "how to take a better picture" perspective.

These pictures were actually taken 15 MINUTES apart ...
Check out the complete post.
Just a few tweeks.

This could also play a small part ^
Do you think that is true?

I'm working hard to lose weight. Better health and fitness are certainly part ... but admittedly, I would like to look pretty. To feel pretty. And I am feeling so much better about myself already. I definitely want photographs to reflect that as well. So I appreciate anything I can do to improve my chances at being picture perfect. I'm hoping I remember these tips the next time there is a photo shoot.

 Do you have any "skinny" tips/tricks for taking better pictures?
Linking up with Kristen and Kristen at Tips and Tricks Tuesday.

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Appy Place

I live in a techno-family (hubby is quite the gadget geek, always anxious for the latest and greatest) ...  yet I myself have a hard time with change. When the Ipod Touch first came out, I didn't need it. I was perfectly happy with my traditional ipod. Little did I know the impact apps would have. While I resisted an iphone for quite a while (just wasn't sure it was worth the monthly service cost) it is something I wouldn't want to be without now. In addition to staying connected (phone, email, texts), my gadget lets me read books, play Scramble (it's my turn, I know, you don't need to nudge me again), follow blogs and very importantly - aid in my journey toward losing weight. 

Last week, I saw an article from Time Magazine with the title "Weight Loss Apps - Don't Waste Your Money". Not long after, browsing Facebook I saw a fellow blogger had linked up to a similar read (Evaluating Mobile Weight Loss Apps) for discussion.  Then I noticed another article along the same lines on the Women's Health Magazine site  (Why Your Weight Loss Apps Aren't Working). 

All three articles were based on a new study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. There was much talk of "a list of 20 intervention techniques that have been proven effective as weight-loss methods" used to judge said apps, yet none of the articles included what these techniques were (WH did mention three: calorie balance, stress reduction, and portion control) or a link to the original document. One statement (in the Time article) said "these digitally-based approaches to weight loss may not be as successful as old-school diet and exercise.

Hmmm ... an app doesn't magically make us lose weight just by pressing buttons? Well dang it!

In my opinion and experience, these apps help me WITH my old-school diet and exercise. They motivate me to move, allow me to more accurately track calories and make educated food choices. They give me graphs and feedback. The app itself isn't making me lose weight. It's motivating me to eat better and exercise more. THAT is what is helping me lose weight. Yes, I could do the same things without the apps (keep a paper food journal, track my exercises manually) but it's so nice for me to have MFP on my phone where I can look up calorie counts and add them no matter where I am. I love syncing my Fitbit app to see my latest steps and activity graph on the go. My Streaks calendar motivates me to work just a little harder so I can put an X on another day and provides me with a quick visual of how I've done this month compared to last month. 

The APP isn't actually doing the work.  It isn't a magic bullet that will make fat disappear. If I don't utilize the app with my actions, nothing is going to happen.  It's up to me, not an app, or a website, or a magic pill.  I am the only one who can do anything about my health and fitness. But if an app can  motivate me, enable me, educate me ... help me, then I say it's a great thing to have!

Of course there are apps out there that I have tried and they didn't click. Different things work for different people. The study asked "do you get what you pay for?" When people shell out money does that motivate more than a free version (the answer was no ... which doesn't surprise me, as even if you pay for an app it's about $3. People shell out MUCH more for gym memberships, DVDs, etc. and are often not using them either). I think I've only paid for a couple of health apps, but  my main apps are available for free.

I'm sure there are many apps out there that do cost a little more upfront, or try to entice you with in-app purchases (I looked at the new Jillian Michaels app that has a monthly fee and passed on that myself. I know I'd do better with a basic video from her for a lot less).  Just like any other health product, you have to weigh the pros and cons and decide you think it is worth the money. Even though this Yahoo article has the title Why Weight Loss Apps Are a Waste of Money the author seems to be siding with me on this one. This article What Weight Loss Apps are Missing was a little more insightful than the first three I stumbled upon.

So the point of my post. The top three articles just bugged me a bit. I didn't like the generalization that "apps won't help you lose weight." They have been SO helpful to me. I'd hate to have someone who WOULD be motivated by apps not use them after reading one of these articles. I would also not generalize and say "weight loss apps work wonders" because it does depend on the individual. I say you need to give things a try (oh, if my husband reads that sentence he will fall off his chair laughing, as I mentioned at the start, I'm NOT one for trying new things myself), and latch onto the things that work for you!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Thou Shalt Not ...

Happy Sunday. Growing up, a fond Sunday memory was grabbing the comics section of the newspaper. I loved Calvin and Hobbes ... I just ordered the complete collection and hope to introduce it to my boys. Laughter is such an important part of life. Even though our health is something to take seriously, I think we can take some time to laugh a little too.  I thought I'd start posting some Sunday Food and Fitness Funnies each week. I had already started collecting some, and I'll actively be keeping my eyes open for items that make me smile. 

I think the low-carb craze has passed ... I never jumped on that bandwagon anyway!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Oreo Addiction & Other Articles ( SS#3)

Another week ... another list of links, interesting articles and tiny tidbits I thought worth sharing. If you have a post spotlighting some reading you would recommend, feel free to link up below. I appreciate hearing about what I might have missed around the web this week. Posts like ...

Goal Of Losing - Sitting is the New Smoking
Success Along The Way - Free Workout Resources
Coffecake and Cardio - Reflecting on the Past
I've been making it through my magazines ... I had a big stack of ones I had read and I wasn't sure what to do with them at that point. In the past, I'd pass them on to a fellow fitness buddy, but she had moved. Not too far, but enough that I couldn't just stop by her house with the stack. I happened to run into her at the grocery store, and she stopped by the house on the way home to pick them up. I prefer to pass them on to an interested party than just tossing them in the recycling.

So I'm a year behind ... currently just finished the Women's Health November 2012 issue. There were a couple of articles that were of interest to me. Not the cover stories. Sometimes I look back at the cover and think "did I even read that?" ... it just didn't grab my attention. The articles of interest to me were (links included, as I was able to find them online) ...
  • Food Fraud I remember being at the grocery store and seeing some extra virgin olive oil on sale for MUCH cheaper than I'd ever seen it. I love a good deal, but I was a little skeptical too. I did buy one, and I'm not an olive oil expert, but something does seem off about it. This article was about how there is food fraud ... purposely mislabeled foods (like it's really soybean oil, not olive oil), contaminants, and other issues. Just one more thing to be aware of while attempting to eat right. I also noticed this blurb in the newspaper today (Top Food Fraud). I guess Dr.Oz did a whole series on this too. Have you ever noticed once something comes to your attention, you see it everywhere?
  • Reading Results: This article explained in detail all the things the doctor may be looking for in a blood test. I did just have my annual physical a few months ago and I must admit to not being very knowledgeable about all the numbers ... luckily all my numbers were pretty good. My doctor's office had given me a printout of the lab results and I did pull them out for a closer look after reading this article. 

I snapped the picture above (I didn't even have to set it up, it just happened, it's not an unusual occurrence in our home) after reading about Oreo Addiction in Time Magazine ... I personally can resist them (but not my homemade oreos).

One of the blogs I follow, Affection for Fitness, also keeps a Facebook page where she shares many interesting articles. One that caught my interest this past week was Balance and Sports Injury Prevention. A little over a year ago, #2 broke his foot, a Jones Fracture, which is VERY slow healing. After four long months he finally resumed playing basketball ... and broke his foot (the other one this time). Jones Fracture again. It was just a fluke, bad luck ... but as he finally healed up, the doctor emphasized the importance of good balance, especially in preventing injuries in sports. He indicated someone with good balance could shift and correct, where an unbalanced individual would continue on a movement that could result in a break. Even super simple things like standing on one foot (while doing certain exercises ... or even during everyday activities like brushing teeth) can help improve your balance. 

I get a lot of healthy living links directly to my inbox as well ... I followed this link to an Everyday Health page. A little video started up showing "Five Secret Weight Loss Tips"  ... it was quite corny, but it did have some good information. Putting a blue light bulb in your refrigerator? Hmmm. The other tips were ones I had heard before (not exactly "secret") but still good refreshers. The video is embedded below ...

What have you been reading?
Any recommendations?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weigh-In #14

After my UP Monday morning (not surprising after my weekend), I really wasn't sure if I'd be able to correct enough to register a loss this week. I did see a steady downward trend once I got back into my weekday routine. I was happy Thursday morning to see my weight dip lower than I'd seen it in a long while. I was really good yesterday (so a bit disappointed its up a bit  from yesterday) but still a loss for the week.

153.9. Down .9 ... just shy of one pound. My MFP ticker is back on 26 as it was for Weigh-In #12 two weeks ago (it was actually on 27 yesterday, but 26 is much better than the ol' 23 it slipped back to on Monday morning. My poor moving MFP ticker!)

My average weight for the week is 155.5 ... which is up from last week's 154.9.  I crunched my numbers and came up with a total deficit for the week of 2950. Just shy of the 3500 needed for a one pound loss, so the numbers DO actually line up pretty perfectly this week.  If you happen to be interested in the details of my days, check out my Day to Day Doings where I give all my numbers. 

Here's a glance at my TrendWeight chart from the last three months.
A little less consistent lately - more ups and downs.
But still dropping overall.

But one thing to really smile about ...
It isn't easy being green.
I've been working toward this for a while now.

Technically ... I'm "normal"

Happy Friday
Linking in with How'd I Do Friday at Coffecake and Cardio
LinkUp with other Fitness Blogs too!

Michelle at Mind, Body and Goal

I had indicated (in my Monday post) that this weekend would be a challenge ... a mini vacation. Well, just kidding. Hubby and the two older boys left moments ago, but I'm still home with the three little ones, who decided to sit this one out. Water fun and a munchkin with a broken wrist and a non-waterproof cast just didn't add up. So ... NO excuses!, In fact I should be able to do much better than usual this weekend (no tempting date night with hubby, no sports on Saturday as it's Fall Break). Let's see if I can move more comfortably into the "normal" range! 150 is my secondary goal and I really, really, really want to reach it soon! I know it's just a number on a scale ... but  I want to see that number!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Soccer... Past and Present

Throwback Thursday! During my middle school years, I played soccer. Center Fullback was my favorite position. I liked being on defense. I didn't score many (any?) goals, but I prevented the other team from scoring a lot. We had a pretty competitive team. At one point, I remember a few of us were tapped for an "All Star" team. Most of us were on the school track team too (I'm NOT a Runner) and I think the two sports complimented each other. As we all moved to high school, the team dissolved. There wasn't a girls soccer team at my high school (then) ... but that didn't stop ONE of the girls from continuing to play! I myself turned to music and theater. You really could only participate in one after school activity as they all seemed to practice at the same time.

When I first lost the weight back in 2006, I got back into soccer for a time. There was a MeetUp group that would get together and play pick up games. It was so much fun. Then the kids sports kicked into full gear  again and took up most of my time. 

All my boys have played soccer at one time or another. #2 played on a competitive team for a year, and I'd join in on some of the workouts with the team. I could see the preference for basketball kicking in with the older boys (Basketball Mom). #4 broke his arm during a game, and it was so traumatic, he said he wasn't ever going to play soccer again. But my munchkin, #5 ... he's a little soccer star. I was even the coach for a few seasons (it's not very hard to do at the pre-school age). I do wonder if I would have been as willing when I was heavier though.

Spring 2011 
(I can't remember the team name)

The Blue Sharks - Fall 2011

Red Rockets - Spring 2012

You can see my Omron pedometer in my pictures. I had pockets! Ah, the Irony of my Omron "Pocket" pedometer! I was always surprised at how many steps I got as coach during games and practices. At this age, the coach is on the field and quite involved chasing/directing kids.

While I enjoyed coaching ... I also really like to be on the sidelines with the video camera so I can capture the action. My little guy played soccer this fall, but between scheduling conflicts and then his broken wrist, I only got three games on video. That WAS enough to really show him in action though! He's #10. His final game was last Saturday ... and he played, even in his cast (he had a long sleeve shirt on, you could hardly see it!)

I LOVE watching him play!

Have you ever played soccer?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I have a little notepad sitting on the treadmill downstairs in my gym (J&G'sGym).  At the top, I always put the day of the week, and the date. Then, as I complete a workout, I write down my stats. Time spent, distance, calories burned (I do write down the machine "calorie burned" readout even though I think the machine readouts are too high, see my Exercise Estimates post).  You can see so far today, I've done 20 minutes (2miles) on the elliptical ... 

At the end of the day I make one final trek downstairs to grab the top sheet. I then sit down at my desk and pull off my Omron pedometer and write down my total steps, aerobic steps and aerobic minutes. I write down my sleep stats (time I went to sleep, time I woke up, and number of hours asleep ... according to Fitbit) and my daily weigh-in. 

The next morning I grab my calories in and calories out (Fitbit adjustment) from MFP and write those down, along with my Fitbit numbers (total steps, total burn, very active minutes).  These are changing up until midnight, so that's why I wait on them until the morning. 

Sometimes I forget to throw away my old "numbers" in a timely manner. 
I get a BIT of a pile up on my desk. 

I keep everything in an excel file (although I've actually switched to Google Docs after a recent computer update invalidated my excel license). I also write down all this info here in my Day to Day Doings. I copy that info to Walker Tracker and update my Daily Miles

Redundant? Obsessive? Crazy?
A Little OCD?
I admit it. It's true.

Linking up with
  • Workout Wednesday (instead of tracking food numbers, some try a photo journal of food). I'd like to try this ... well in addition to tracking my food numbers on MFP. 
  • Weigh In Wednesday  (my weight today is higher than last Friday, but down from the last couple of days ... I have a few more days before my "official" weigh-in to try and at least get back to where I was last week).

...well enough time on the computer this morning. Time to get back down to the gym and add more entries on my little numbers sheet ... I plan to get in five 20min sessions on the elliptical, some Jillian (Ripped in 30 Level 1) and ... maybe some bike or treadmill. It's early out for the elementary today. A basketball game in the evening (a late one ... doesn't start until 9:00).

What numbers do you track? 
How do you organize your numbers?
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