Friday, November 29, 2013

Weigh-In #20

Twas the weigh-in after Thanksgiving ...

Yesterday, the morning before the big meal, I had my lowest weigh-in in a while. I didn't do too badly at Thanksgiving dinner, but I did indulge a little too much in chocolate pie. I wasn't surprised when the scale went up again for the weigh-in this morning. Hopefully I'll be able to correct that quickly. It's actually is a loss after the up from last week, but I had been lower the two weeks before that. 

So technically, .5 loss from last week. 
My weekly weight average was up .1 from last week. 
My combined deficit for the week was just over 3300. 

I'm really hoping to drop just a few more pounds and get UNDER 150. You can see in my sidebar that is my secondary goal. I've been so close for so long. Hubby has already lost a few pounds. Hopefully him being in the good eating/exercise mindset will help motivate me a little more. I just got some schedules for the boy's basketball, it's going to get BUSY ...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tipping the Scales

Scales need to be on a hard surface to register correctly, right? In our bathroom, we only have a tiny amount of tile, the rest is carpet. There is just a small section in the toilet closet. So, we need to store the scale upright, and move it down when it's time to weigh.  I do wish we had a bit more room so that I could leave the scale in a stationary position.

Anyone else have silly scale situations?

I mentioned on Monday that Hubs has begun his own weight loss journey (again).  He hadn't stepped on a scale in a while, and he hadn't ever stepped on THIS scale  ... I got it this past January. I had to laugh at his Facebook post:  "I decided to step on the scale this morning. It's a new-fangled digital device that went through about 20 seconds of "SENSING", whatever that is. At the conclusion of the sensing cycle it insensitively registered "ERR" and no weight reading. Perhaps a hint of some sort..."

The Fitbit Aria scale CAN be a bit temperamental. I know as I shift it from the upright to the down position, I can't step on right away. I need to give it a minute or two to calibrate or something.  Hubby has since had a readout as he weighed in. He doesn't have a Fitbit (yet), but I did set him up an account to track his weight wirelessly.  He hasn't weighed in a few days ... he says he's only going to weigh-in every week or so. 

I weigh in every day, with "official" weigh-ins on Friday. It's been a bit bumpy lately. The weight dropped this morning, if I can maintain, I'd be fine with this number for my Friday weigh-in. But ... tomorrow IS Thanksgiving. So we'll see. I don't really plan on overeating, but exercise will be impacted.  Linking up with Weigh In Wednesday  ...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Meal Snap App

I was reading on of my many magazines when I was drawn to a  recommendation for a new app called Meal Snap. The premise sounded interesting ... take a picture of your meal, and get a calorie estimate from the picture itself. It does sound a little too good to be true. The app was only $3, so I decided it was worth looking into. 

So I've had the app for several weeks now ... I mentioned it originally in my Photos of Food post last month. I must admit, I haven't used it as much as I should have. Not that I regret the purchase (all three dollars of it). I really like the organization, having all your meals saved chronologically in a calendar form. The estimates are off, I would not recommend trusting them, but I don't plan on stopping my food diary in My Fitness Pal anytime soon. Sometimes it's nice (especially when out and about) to just quickly snap a picture of my plate, then fill in the food on MFP at home ... it's nice to have the photo for reference as it is so easy to forget. 

What I love about apps, is that one purchase can be used by multiple family members. I mentioned that hubby recently signed up for MFP (The Hubs is on Board) and I encouraged him too add the app to his iphone as well. #1 son decided MFP sounded interesting and set himself up as well. He asked me "what was the picture taking calorie counter app you had?" ... so I think we'll be having some additional experimentation with our family.

Here's three "meals" from the past few weeks. I didn't go in and adjust the calorie count, although that is an option. This way you can see the Meal Snap estimates (wouldn't it be nice if my chicken and rice was that low? I did have trouble estimating it on MFP, because I don't eat the sauce that comes with it, which is included in the online counts. I estimated about 600 calories based just on white rice and battered chicken). I do need to go in and calculate the final picture... that was my boy's lunch today.

Capturing the pictures of food is also a fun way to lock a no-cal version in your memory (mmmm, Tepanyaki). You can see there are social media sharing options in the app as well. Sharing what you eat seems to be a popular trend (look around for all the "What I Ate Wednesday" posts). 

I do find it funny that I try to get an attractive staging for my food when taking a picture, even if it's just a little snapshot only for myself. But that extra moment you take to grab your phone and snap a picture does give you a moment to pause and think "Is this something I should be eating?" ... "Is this something I want picture proof that I consumed?" ... on the days I try to commit to taking pictures, I find myself a little more in control. Less mindless eating because I can't just snack ... I need to take a picture first! Ok, I do admit to forgetting to take a picture and pulling out an identical item to photograph after the fact.

   I even took a picture of just the wrappers once ... (ok, maybe more than once).

With Thanksgiving coming, this little app could be a helpful item in controlling and counting your calories. Providing you with a picture record, an estimate (however inaccurate), and a moment's pause before eating your holiday meal.  Linking Up with Tips and Tricks Tuesday. Check out the link for more tips and share some of your own! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hubby is on Board

Today's post features the hubby (this is us back in 2007)
I'm on the treadmill, he's on the bike.
We've since rearranged the gym (to add my elliptical)

For me ... after marriage I settled into a fairly sedentary lifestyle. Add pregnancies and family history and I just figured weight gain was inevitable. I didn't really even try to fight it. Then after the birth of our last baby, I lost the weight and added exercise every day. I never really mastered the eating, so in spite of the activity, the weight crept back on over the years. I did gain most of it back (about 50 pounds), but still felt more fit than I had been originally.  I feel like this time is really only my second time losing weight.

Hubby has had several cycles.
He's had his ups and downs as far as weight/fitness goes. 
Hubby and the two youngest (4 and 5)
Hubby said this picture was a wake up call (Spring 2008)

Hubby and the middle two kidlets (2 and 3)
I think the mustache makes him look even thinner! (Summer 2009) 

When the hubs is on, he is on!  When he makes the decision to eat healthy and exercise, he gets results. He's extremely motivated and has wonderful willpower.  But then there are times the healthy habits go out the window. If you look through our Family Photos, you can see some of the changes in him as well as in me. And he had a couple successful weight loss cycles prior to any of those photos too (I remember his first real one was when I was pregnant with #2 ... I thought it was so unfair that he was getting so fit and trim while I was "blossoming" in my pregnancy). 

When hubby is active ... he is active!
Some pictures from the last few years ...
 He has a road bike and participated in a couple of races, 
including a century (100miles)

 He ran a couple half marathons, 
and then finished a full!

He also enjoys trail riding.

We did a lot of hiking together one year (Take a Hike)
Then he did some harder hikes with friends.

... he got into climbing quite a bit too!

He always includes strength training as well.
(I showed you all the machines/weights we have in our home gym).

When Hubs is NOT in a healthy mindset, he can hit McDonalds every day, drink Redbull and inhale oreos ... he's a cookie monster!  When he focuses on health, he'll make his own cranberry/apple muffins, almond milk, overnight oatmeal, smoothies ... all sorts of "good for you" stuff and he actually enjoys it. 

When he's "fallen off the wagon" it's usually one of two things. Crazy work schedule or injury.  Back in 2005 he was quite active up until he ruptured his Achilles tendon. He has tweaked his back here and there, and had a bad case of sciatic pain this past winter. 

The hubs just recently changed jobs. We hope this new one will give him a little more free time and less mental stress. And with this change, the hubs in back on the health bandwagon. He signed up for MFP and has started to track calories and make better food choices. We've talked about getting him a Fitbit, but he's not totally sure he wants to wear one yet. I did set him up a Fitbit account, so our Aria scale can keep track of him.

He's easing back into exercise. During the week he gets up earlier than I do, but this weekend we both headed down to J&G's gym at the same time (so he had to use the stationary bike on Saturday, and I postponed my workout a bit on Sunday so I could use the elliptical after him ... and watch MY show).  

I'm betting he's going to pass me up on pounds lost in no time. But maybe this will be the little boost I need to get things moving a bit more myself. 

Linking up with Motivational Monday
Tiff @ The Fit Train
Katie @ The Carb Monster
Alisha @ Coily Locks

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Interesting Articles from Fitness Mag and More

I've been trying to get through my magazines ... should I read the oldest first, or stick with the most recent and work my way back? I just renewed my subscription to Self and Shape (they had run out) when the munchkin was selling subscriptions for school and I just got my first issues this week. I wonder if I will ever catch up!

I did get through several magazines these past weeks, nothing really had enough oomph for me to include it here in my Saturday Spotlight until I picked up the June2013 issue of Fitness. It had a few good articles.

  • Take the Crazy Out of Busy ... brings up the "not a priority" statement that was also featured in a couple blogs last week (You're Not a Priority Right Now) and the article did have some good tips to consider.
  • Can You Be Fat But Fit? ... you can't judge a person's fitness by looks alone. This was a good article. I know as I browse the blogs of several girls who might be heavier than I am, but are probably more fit! You can be "fat" skinny too!
  • Home, Slim Home: Simple tips and tweaks to help you burn a few more calories around the house. One was to keep the thermostat turned down a bit ... I've had my house at 68° and my boys think that is too cool. 

I didn't have a lot of other items from across the bloggosphere, but if you like posts like this, check out ...
If YOU have a post like this (spotlighting links or articles) feel free to link up! Share your reading recommendations! I'd love to check them out.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Weigh-In #19

I must admit, I'm disappointed. I've had ups before ... but they were always "deserved" or explainable. I think this is the first time I've had an "up" with really no idea why. I actually kept calories in check last weekend and the rest of the week was pretty normal. I had a deficit every day.  My total deficit for the week was 3778, so according to the numbers, I should have been down one pound, not up 1.6.   I was able to drop my intake a bit (average for the week was 2100) and average TDEE  was 2850.  I keep thinking my average is 3000+, but maybe I need to adjust me thinking. Although I do still get some days each week that are over 3000, it's been many weeks since I've been able to get my average that high.

We went for Chinese last night ... this was my fortune.
I'm going to forge ahead!

See how everyone else is doing with these Friday Link-ups.
Michelle at Mind, Body and Goal

Onto my song of the week.
Music is so important, to workouts, to life. I first heard this song on "The Voice" a couple weeks ago. Sung by A Great Big World, featuring Christina Aguilera I found it free from my library (Freegal) without Christina. It was not the same. I love the haunting harmonies in the duet. It's got a melancholy mood ... matches mine of late.

The station that inspired it: "Back That Azz Up" on Pandora Radio.
The purpose: To start our weekend with some fantastic jams.
The rules: Link your jams up and have a jam sesh with all of us!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Liquid Calories

One thing I've learned as I started tracking calories on My Calorie Counter is that MANY people struggle with drinks adding up. I guess I'm lucky, as I don't consume many liquid calories, what you see in the picture above? That's pretty much all I drink. Linking up with Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday ... although MY post is a little more "What I Drank Last Week"  *Ü*
  • Water: We are a water drinking family. I keep a big jug in the fridge and have to refill it every day. I keep some bottled water (the family prefers Dasani) to grab and go.
  • Milk: As featured in the photo, milk is front and center. I LOVE milk. As far as calories are concerned, that is where I need to be the most careful. And while I do love me a nice, cold glass of milk ... milk is often combined with other items (cookies, cereal, donuts, etc.) and that is where the calories really add up. If I can eliminate those carbs, my milk consumption does drop drastically. I have been happy with skim milk for years and years now (even before I was ever consciously trying to lose weight) and I really can't drink 1% or 2% ... they are just too thick. My oldest son had some 2% and fell in love, so I do usually try to keep a gallon around for him (hubby and #2 prefer it too). Even though my two youngest don't drink milk, we go through a ton as a family. I'll stop at the store and often buy five gallons at a time. I'll splurge on chocolate milk occasionally (drinking it myself I mean, it's pretty much a staple for the family, especially #3) ... my boys will ONLY drink "TruMoo" though, no other brand!
  • Sugar-Free Punch: I keep a gallon pitcher of punch in the fridge at all times too. I do drink a lot of it. Now, I am using a gallon container, and still mixing up just a 2-liter pouch of powder, so it is a bit watered down. I water it down further when I drink it ... I just like a bit of flavor (although I do love water too, it depends on my mood.) But ONLY cherry or fruit punch flavor, I won't drink anything else (no cherry limeade, pomegranate or raspberry flavors).  The kids got on a lemonade kick over the summer, and we kept a pitcher of that in the fridge too ... I will drink lemonade, but I rarely did.
  • Soda: I'm not a big soda drinker, although I will have some on occasion. I have a hard time with carbonation itself. I can't drink it quickly, so it is never something that I would drink to actually quench my thirst. I like root beer, Sprite and the citrus types (Fresca or Squirt), but I've never had any of the colas, Dr.Pepper, MountainDew, etc.
  • Juice: I will drink orange juice, although it isn't a favorite ... I don't drink ANY other kind, ever.
  • Coffee and Tea: I love hot chocolate, but I've never had coffee or tea. I actually can't stand the smell of coffee. Coffee itself (not all the additions that often go with it) has seemed to have some health claims of late ... tea too, but I'll be missing out on those.
  • Alcoholic Drinks: I've never even tried one of any kind. No beer (it smells awful!), wine, margarita, nothing. Yes, there were some religious constraints against drinking growing up, but I honestly don't know that makes a difference for me ... I've got eating issues and I think I'm even pickier with what I drink. Although there seem to be some health benefits associated with certain drinks, I think overall I'm probably pretty lucky I don't like these types of liquid calories. My MFP friends who do drink complain about the calories adding up (and the lack of self-control for eating that can often accompany the drinking). I have no excuses for my lack of self-control ... I just like to eat!
  • Creamy Drinks: I'll down an ice cream shake (vanilla or chocolate only though) with pleasure, but anything else ... protein drinks, meal replacements, smoothies ... that's not going down, even if you say "it's just like a chocolate shake" ... it's not, my mind knows it's not.

It's been a discouraging week looking at the scale.
I've been having daily deficits, even over the weekend!
Yet the numbers are inching up.

I have been keeping track & controlling my calories.
I'm lucky the liquid calories aren't too much of a temptation.
Can I count that as an NSV for the linkup?

What calories do YOU consume in liquid form?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Feeling It

Last Work-Out Wednesday, I posted my full body weight workout.  Sometimes, I do get that sore feeling the next day, other times I don't.  I actually enjoy a little stiffness. It's a reminder that I did put in a good workout. If I do NOT feel sore, sometimes I wonder "did I workout hard enough?"

I did my weight workout as usual on Monday, and yesterday... I could feel it. I actually posted on my MFP wall  "Just the perfect amount of soreness, enough that I know I did something, without it interfering in my day to day :)"   But as the day progressed, so did the soreness! By the end of the day, I was hobbling a bit.  Now I managed to work through it all yesterday (10miles on the elliptical, 3.5 miles on the treadmill and 10 miles on the stationary bike) but I am still feeling it this morning. I had some Jillian planned (Ripped in 30) but I'm not sure I'm up to that.  I do still plan on getting in my elliptical, but other than that, I might take it easy.

I've also been struggling a bit with some hip pain. I'm trying to remember how long it's been going on. I remember examining my hip a while back, looking for some visible bruising (wondering if maybe the hula hoop had caused some damage). It's just been a minor, nagging pain. But recently it's gotten a lot worse. It's my left hip, and it's really only a problem as I attempt to get out of the car after driving (it doesn't seem to happen when I'm a passenger). It's gotten so bad that at times it is taking me a full five minutes and grimaces of pain to make that move.  After a few steps, it seems to work itself out and it doesn't really impact my exercise at all ... but I do dread getting out of the car!

... add to that, I'm just in a bit of a funk. I was all weekend, although I did manage to stay on track and not fall into any emotional eating. It was actually a pretty good weekend as far as calories were concerned.  I've been keeping calories in check, I've been getting in my exercise. I have been hoping to see something on the scale to reflect ... but instead, it just inches up. Not by much, nothing like the five pound jump after last weekend, but still, it's a bit discouraging when I've had deficits every day. Weight this morning was 154.2 compared to the 152.7 from Friday. 

Don't worry ... I'm not obsessing over it, I'm not throwing in the towel. I'll keep plugging away. 

How does muscle soreness affect you?  
Linking Up with

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Amazon & Exercise

I've been an Amazon Prime member for a couple of years now. Admittedly, I do like the convenience of shopping online, and I've been impressed with Amazon's prices and customer service. So our Prime membership was mainly to get the free two-day shipping. 

The streaming services Amazon offered were just an extra. Our family had converted to Netflix a few years ago and we were finding plenty to keep us busy. I did eventually start looking through Amazon's offerings and watching some of the programming that they stocked that Netflix did not.  It wasn't until recently that I stumbled upon all the exercise and fitness videos available (and what is pictured above is just a small sampling, there were a lot more!) 

I'm not sure if this is a recent change  (I know I purchased Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones on DVD just a month or so ago ... something I wouldn't have done if I had realized it was available to stream for free) or if I just hadn't noticed it was one of the "prime" titles.  I do know that Netflix (and I assume Amazon) is constantly changing their streaming library as contracts come and go, with with my PlayLater service, I can actually copy any available title to my home computer to keep on hand, even if it is removed from the Prime library. 

Linking up with Kristen and Kristen 
for Tips and Tricks Tuesday.

If you already have Amazon Prime, be sure to check out the fitness titles they have available for free streaming. If you don't have Amazon Prime, they offer a 2-week free trial to try it out (you do have to cancel if you don't want to be charged, and they do auto-renew ... but I love my Amazon Prime so I don't think we'll be cancelling anytime soon).  I hope to be trying out some of these many exercise offerings and letting you know which ones I like.  Have you tried any of the titles listed above? What did you think? 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Everymove Update

A while ago, I did a post about some of the various reward sites out there (Reaping the Rewards). Organizations that allow you to connect to your exercise trackers (Fitbit, BodyMedia, Runkeeper, even MFP) and earn rewards for your activity. I thought I'd do some follow up posts about my experience with these various organizations, starting with the one I have been most impressed with ... Everymove.

Everymove has the largest selection of "connections" of any of the reward sites.
Do you see something you use? There are even more than what is pictured here above ...  I connect with my Fitbit  and it auto syncs all my data. I get a weekly email update (pictured above), I can check in on the webpage, or they have an app as well.   I choose my reward and earn points based on my daily activity. Now granted, most of the "rewards" are really just discounts in disguise. I haven't signed up to earn anything I'd have to pay out of pocket for. Usually I just select a $5 donation to the Make-a-Wish foundation as my reward.  Here's a quick recap of what I've "earned" these last few months...

Of course I adore the Amazon gift cards ... they don't come up as a reward very often, but I was happy to snag them a couple times. I was very impressed with how quickly I received an email with my Amazon code once I earned my reward. Make-a-Wish is a good organization (did you see the Bat Boy story in the news?  It was one of my links in my last Saturday Spotlight) and I'm happy there is a charity option to choose.  I went ahead and signed up to earn a t-shirt/water bottle for my last reward... I admit, it was partially a test to see how quickly I would get my reward when it required actual work on their part (shipping and mailing) and again, SO impressed! I got my t-shirt and water bottle this past weekend. 

Ok - so it's orange (not blue, like in the picture) and I ordered it too big (I said extra large, I do still need that in some shirts, although in others I can wear a large or a medium ... maybe it will shrink).  I had to laugh when my son walked in and saw my swag. He burst out "You got a t-shirt? And a water bottle?" I asked if he would like me to switch HIM to earning such a reward and he said ... "no." 

Last week, I mentioned how several family members have a Fitbit (A Fitbit Family). Since then, we've added another (my SIL) and another SIL was also asking about it. We're all friends on Fitbit, and also on Everymove. One benefit of being friends on Everymove, is that you can earn bonus points for an active day, and you can give points away to your friends.

So if Everymove is new to you, I do think it is worth looking into. 
I don't know that it motivates me to move more than I would be already, 
but I'm glad to be part of the program.

Check out my Saturday Spotlight #14
where I spotlight the cute shirt I earned with Everymove.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Getting Back To Your Original Weight ...

I probably should have posted this last week for my Sunday Funny (as it was my birthday).  I was 6 pounds 4 ounces when I was born... what was your original weight? This is a good reminder to keep your goals realistic. How did you determine your goal weight? My 135 goal is my pre-wedding weight, before five kids. While I did reach it back in 2006, I remember feeling good at 140 and 145 though too. Pretty much anything under 150 felt fine. I'm currently flirting with 150 ... just a few pounds to go.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Piano Stairs and Other Stuff (SS#6)

Welcome to my Saturday Spotlight. As I browse blogs, online articles and get through my stack of magazines, I'll keep track of interesting items to share here and keep for my own reference. It's what I've been reading this past week ...
  • Make a Wish Batman: I'm sure you've probably already heard about the big wish that happened yesterday in San Francisco. If not, follow the link or one of the many other news stories covering the event. It's a great feel good story. I have donated $40 to Make a Wish these past few months just by linking my Fitbit to the Everymove reward program (Reaping the Rewards). As we are a Fitbit Family, I've also set up accounts for two of my boys, both my parents and my brother ... we're all earning while exercising and donating our reward to Make a Wish. 
  • A Deeper Look At Doritos: I don't eat them often, but I do like them and my boys adore them. Are they actually designed to be addictive?
  • The Scientific 7-Minute Workout: There a so many HIIT workouts available out there, I like this routine with body weight exercises and simple visuals.  I have yet to try it (finishing up Jillian's Ripped in 30 during November).
  • Fat Foible:  An article with an interesting look at graphs and the "war on fat" ... I think Paleo people would agree with the findings, although plenty of comments attacked the article as well.
  • Fitness Apps. Another article on apps, specifically mentioning Fitbit and MFP (two of my favorites). I did my own post about apps (My Appy Place) after reading a different article downplaying their effectiveness. I love my apps!

Then I happened upon a couple of different approaches encouraging people to be a little more active with interesting incentives. In Moscow, you could get a free ride on the subway if you did a series of squats before. You can read more about it here.  On another blog, there was a link to a video of a Chilean taxi, you could lower your fare if you pedaled during the ride (the article isn't so much about the idea, but the fact that Coca-Cola was the one sponsoring it, you can read about it here).  These two attempts at getting people to be more active reminded me of a similar experiment featured a while ago, If you have NOT seen this video, it is worth watching!

Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator and feel better” is something we often hear or read in the Sunday papers. Few people actually follow that advice. Can we get more people to take the stairs over the escalator by making it fun to do? See the results here. 

Have you read anything interesting this week?
Feel free to link up if you have some spotlights to share.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weigh-In #18

Well ... I'm at exactly the same number I was for last Friday's weigh-in. 152.7. I'm actually ok with that. At the conclusion of last week's post, I listed the challenges I'd had that week, and that I would have no excuses this coming week. While I didn't have any of those particular challenges ...

It WAS my birthday (Sunday).
The weekend was a challenge.

We went out to dinner with my parents on Friday night. Texas Roadhouse. I DID limit myself to ONE roll. Saturday we went to a dinner theater and had pizza (cheesy bread basically, as we subbed alfredo for tomato sauce, and just cheese as a topping) and rootbeer. Sunday was my hubby's bbq (which actually even beats Texas Roadhouse! So yummy). Lots of eating, not much exercise.

I was up FIVE pounds by Monday morning. So I'm pretty pleased to at least be BACK to where I was. I had a great day Monday, not so good on Tuesday, then kicked back into gear for Wed/Thurs. As always, you can follow all the details of the days if you want (Day to Day Doings). 

Numbers ... not surprisingly, my weight average was up (154.8, same as two weeks ago). My average intake was 2414 (oops! only three "under 2000" days and my over days were o-ver) and TDEE average was 2943 (almost to my 3000 goal, I did have two 30K step days).  Total weekly deficit was 2148, so I didn't hit my goal of 3500 (500 daily deficit). 

And HUBBY has a birthday this coming week ....
Check in next week to see if I deal with it any better than I did my own!

I almost forgot my Friday Link-Ups!
Michelle at Mind, Body and Goal

...and I have to admit, I've seen the backthatazzup Friday linkup on several fellow bloggers Friday posts. I hadn't totally investigated what it was all about. It's about sharing a favorite song. Music is SO important, for life in general, and as a motivator for moving! An upbeat song can do wonders. As I was taking the boys to school today, "Chasing the Sun" by Sara Bareilles came on. It totally lifted my spirits on this grey and dreary day.  So I thought I'd try participate in this link up for the first time!

Chasing the Sun by Sara Bareilles on Grooveshark
Just press play
I need a little sun today.  It's one of my Top 10.

What's your current favorite song?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A "Survivor" Experience

Throwback Thursday ... when I was in college, I took a Social Psychology course. As part of that class, we went on an overnighter in the woods. It was largely a team building experience. I'm the gal in the white jacket in the middle, holding hands with my then boyfriend (as a funny side note ... he ended up marrying the gal standing next to me).   

Anywho ... one of the TV programs I enjoy is "Survivor". I missed several seasons when I gave up watching "live" television. I committed to only watching TV if I was working out, and while I had a TV/DVD player in my gym, I didn't have a way to watch anything live, or even recorded. But I since figured that out (Streaming VS DVDs) and so I've gone back to watching. "Survivor" is a good show to workout to. As the contestants struggle through very physical challenges, it's hard not to get a bit of an adrenaline rush myself as I'm on my elliptical. Many of the things they do remind me of some of the challenges we did in our psychology class during that trip.

In last night's episode of "Survivor" there was a food challenge. Oh my heavens, I can hardly watch it! I've mentioned on this blog that I am an uber picky eater (Eating Issues). I could NOT participate in a challenge like that. Even if it was a team challenge and everyone was counting on me. Even if a million dollars was on the line. No way. 

Back on my psychology trip there WAS a food challenge. We'd all been asked to bring a couple of cans of food. There was corn, soup, applesauce, beef ravioli ... our professor opened them all up and dumped them together into a big pot. We had to eat it. Part of our grade depended on it. I was a straight A student on academic scholarship ... I did not eat it. 

Hubby and I joke about it sometimes. If there IS a zombie apocalypse (or an earthquake or big storm) and I was actually starving ... would I eat? I'm sure I would. In fact logically I will even say "I've never eaten a peach or a strawberry, but I'm sure I'd eat those before I would eat a hamburger, but I'd eat a hamburger before I'd eat things like grubs or pig intestine" (that's what was offered up on last night's Survivor food challenge).  

Some things I wish I could make myself eat and like; salads, smoothies, whole wheat bread and brown rice, so many fruits/veggies, green tea, dark chocolate ... but I don't think it will ever happen.

Check out this TimeMagazine article on Foods That Are Changing The World. Grasshopper taco anyone?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Not Just a Weight Watcher

I've posted about my home gym before, and spotlighted my machines (elliptical, treadmill and bike). But I'm not all cardio. I like to lift too. Now the majority of the "weights" stuff is for hubby. When I first got interested in adding strength training to my routine (this was years ago, when I was originally losing weight back in 2006) I had the hubs come down and show me some simple moves to work on the different muscle groups. I've picked up other ideas from books and magazines through the years too. I've never followed any of the specific programs, but have just done my own full body workout.  

You can see in the picture above that we have a bench and a full system setup with bars, pulleys and plenty of plates. In the back corner is a calf machine, and on the other side of the room is a leg press. We have a rack full of dumbbells and my lone kettlebell (20pounds). I also have a couple medicine balls and some resistance bands. 

I use the dumbbells the most.
The top row is the 10 pound to 30 pound.
The top row is generally all I need.

I like to switch between the different muscle groups, rather than resting in-between sets. I do stick with the standard "3 sets" and rotate between a couple different exercises for each round.
    • I start with legs and chest. Mostly lunges and squats, with some pushups in-between. I'll usually add some bicep curls with the lunges/squats.
    • I move to the bench and alternate chest flies & skull crushers using using 10-15 pound weights, then sit-ups on the ball in between the bench work.  
    • Then back/calves ... alternating dumbell pullovers (20 pound dumbbell) and the calf machine. While on the calf machine I also work shoulders with 8 pound weights (lateral raise and military press). 
    • Time for legs/triceps. Butt blaster (20 pound dumbbell at the knee) and Tricep extension (20 pound dumbbell).
    • Wrapping it up ... leg curls on the stability ball (hamstring!), superman, plank and a couple additional ab exercises.
I'm not super strict with my routine. I'll change it up and throw in different exercises at times. I try to hit all the different body parts and finish up at an hour.  Sometimes I don't really feel like doing my weight workout, and I just tell myself I only have to do a quick 20 minute one ... and I almost always end up the full hour.

Here's a picture of the leg press machine. I do use it sometimes. You can see my treadmill to the side, and my stack of magazines there in the back.  I don't often use the bars or plates in the weight system, although I pull sometimes do a triceps pull down. I guess I'm just not very comfortable with the bars and anything I would need a spotter for (as I'm always alone when I workout). 

I always get in at least one full body workout a week. At times, I would try for two-three, but that wouldn't always happen. When I did Jillian Michaels 30Day Shred, I set my weight workout aside and I missed it. I do like Jillian's workouts as well. They introduce me to some new moves, but nothing with the heavier weights and feels as much like a "weight" workout to me. So right now I do MY full body weight workout once a week (on Mondays) and then am working through Ripped in 30 on some other days during the week.  Just to switch things up.

Linking Up with

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tapes and Measures

I admit it. I'm a scale snob. I weigh myself every day. I know that as part of this journey, you are not supposed to rely solely on the scale as points of progress. Progression pictures, how clothes fit and measurements are also encouraged to track your changes.

I really have a hard time with measurements. Do you measure at the smallest point for the waist measurement? Or at the belly button? Do you suck in or just try to stay neutral? I know the key is consistency, but even keeping that in mind I really am not sure I trust my measurements. It seems like if I breathe differently or move just a bit, I can lose an inch right there!

So ... I have attempted to take some measurements. I bought this MyoTape (pictured above) from Amazon and I DO think it is an improvement over just a regular measuring tape. You can loop it much larger than you need then press the little button and it then retracts until tight. This function is good for storage too.

I've looked up an article  "How To Properly Measure Your Body"  and will read and review it as needed. So instead of this post being too helpful for YOU ... anyone have tips for ME on taking measurements? Are measurements an important part of your progress tracking?

Linking up with Kristen and Kristen 
for Tips and Tricks Tuesday.

Monday, November 11, 2013

It's Monday ...

I usually love Mondays. I'm ready to return to the routine after the "wicked weekend" ... weekends are hard. This last one was no exception. It was good ... which means it was BAD (funny how that works). Much of that had to do with it being my birthday. We went out with my folks on Friday. Saturday we stopped for donuts after the basketball game, and then had pizza & root beer while we watched a funny show (live theater,  "The Hungry Games" a parody of "The Hunger Games").  On Sunday, hubby made his wonderful BBQ and I made a yummy pudding dessert I had been craving.

Three days of BIG calories in.  Three days of not as much exercise, so not many calories out.  I did get in a little cardio, but looking back on these past three days, 20-40 minutes only gives me a TDEE of just over 2000. If I want my 3000+ daily burn I really have to work for it. 

This morning didn't start out great. Stepping on the scale, I'm up FIVE pounds from the weigh-in Friday morning. Although I ate bad this weekend, I know I didn't eat an extra 17500 calories. I'm fairly confident that I can turn the weight around with a few good days and then get back to actually losing "new" weight. But I'm still dragging ... not sure if it's still the time change or what. I got some good sleep over the weekend and I hoped that would help. 

This morning, #1 son was up at 4:30 ... and that woke me as well. He has early morning seminary, and his scout group was on flag duty (putting up flags throughout the neighborhood for Veteran's Day). He had thrown his laundry in and I could hear it clunking in the drier (I'm a light sleeper). Now looking on the positive ... I have a teenage son who can and does get himself up and off every morning. He also does his own laundry. So I'm trying to focus on those positive points (and not the 4:30 wake up call).

#2 has basketball tryouts tonight, which has me a bit on edge as well. He's a freshman, going out for the high school team. I'm fairly certain due to both politics and the amount of talent that he won't make the high school team this year, which I'm actually fine with. I know he'll make the 9th grade team and it has a great coach, is closer to home and is a lot less expensive and time consuming. But still ... I'll be glad when this week of tryouts is over and we know for sure. Uncertainty always has me on edge.

We had some issues with #3 and a book he needed, we got off a little late after trying to do a quick digital download (unsuccessfully) #5 wasn't feeling well. There are loads of laundry to do. I'm behind on sports videos.  Just NOT a good morning.

But, it's Monday. Motivational Monday. Gotta kick myself into gear. The weekend is over and it's time to adjust for the slipups of the last three days and push forward again. I've done two 20minute sessions on the elliptical already, and I will get in three more. I've got weights on the schedule too, and hopefully some bike and/or treadmill time. I'm watching "After Earth" before returning it to Blockbuster (as they have announced their closing. We did still get DVDS from them) and I have "The Good Wife" and "Downton Abby" recorded and ready ... I want to watch them. It's good Monday motivation for me!

Linking this up with Motivational Monday.

Veronica @ V Watts' Thoughts
Morgan @ Fat to Fit Confessions
Tiff @ The Fit Train
Katie @ The Carb Monster
Alisha @ Coily Locks

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Burn 800 Calories In Just 30 Minutes!

Welcome to the second installment of Sunday Fitness Funnies. Here's a calorie burn claim that sounds a bit inflated ... but you know, it's true! Anyone can do it too. *Ü*  I am always suspicious of claims of large calorie burns. In my limited experience trying to get an accurate count (Exercise Estimates) I can see how widely varied the different estimates can be. I do try to err on the side of caution and take the lowest calculation. 

... and back to the picture posted above ... 
I did overcook a waffle this morning. 
I toasted 300+ calories in just over 5 minutes!

We have belgian waffles every Sunday. We call them "Sunday Circles".  Alas, I wasn't watching the "done" light closely enough and this poor waffle got toasted and no one wanted it. I certainly didn't. If I'm going to indulge in 300+ calories, I want it to be perfect and yummy. I don't like waste ... but it's better to waste the waffle than eat something just to avoid waste. I'll just try to keep a better eye on my cooking!

Hope this edition of Sunday Fitness Funnies could make you smile today.
Go burn some calories the right way!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday Spotlight #5

I didn't post a Saturday Spotlight last week ... did you miss it? *Ü*  I don't know if I just didn't get in as much reading, or if I just didn't find any posts that struck me as interesting enough to include, but I just did not have a list to post.  This week's offerings are a little short too ...

  • Kids & Concussions - There has been a lot of focus lately on concussions. I know with all my kids sports I have to sign a sheet outlining the signs of a concussion. Here in Utah, after a head injury you have to get a doctor's ok before the child can return to play. This article takes it even further, saying even a return to mental activity (school) should perhaps be postponed.
  • How Foodie Are You? This is a little Facebook quiz going around about 100 rare foods, to see how you stack up on what you've tried. As I'm uber picky, I figured I would probably get zero, but there were five I had tried. A rootbeer float is rare?  I haven't had one in years and I don't really like them (I'll have the rootbeer and ice cream separately) but I have had one before ...
  • How Old Is Your Health: Another quiz, answer a few questions to see how your "health" age compares to your actual age. The title link takes you to the article, direct link to the quiz can be found here (online calculator). I did come in under my actual age. 
  • Food That's Not Food: In the "clean eating" world, almost all processed food gets a bad rap, but even among the processed foods, there are some that perhaps don't deserve the label of "food" ... 
  • Trans Fats Ban: Trans fat has been so vilified that most products have stopped using it, but there are some still out there. If it's actually banned, I wonder what will be developed to replace it?

... just a little shout out to a couple other bloggers with posts similar to this. I enjoy hearing what others have been reading about.  Check out SuccessAlongTheWay and Strength&Sunshine for more reading recommendations.  If you have a post sharing something you've read and think deserves a second chance in the spotlight, I love it if you linked up!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Weigh-In #17

It's Friday, that means it is time for my "official" weigh-in.  Weight is down .7 and it is the lowest I've been in about four years (I had been lower back in 2009). MFP ticker at 27 pounds lost, like last week. I was happy that I never bounced back up over 155, back into the "overweight" category even once this week. My weekly average was also a  new low.

This past week was a bit off kilter, in addition to TOM ...

  • Sick Stuff:  I've been a little under the weather. Nothing major, just some sniffles and coughing that really didn't affect me during the day, but impacted my nights some. I wasn't feeling well on Saturday though, so that was a very slow/low day that dragged down my averages for the week. 
  • Time Tweaks: The "Fall Back" has felt hard this year ... I've been absolutely dragging by the end of day. Still adjusting to the switch.
  • Hubby Home: The hubs is changing jobs, and this past week he took off in-between. Just having him home throws the schedule off a little. He's usually "early to bed, early to rise" but not so much this week. We used this time to get the cars serviced, so that was some extra running around that isn't usually in my schedule. We managed to make it out on a breakfast date one morning too.
My numbers weren't quite where I wanted them to be. Average intake was 2200 ... I had a good "under 2000" streak  ( last Tues-Sun) but THIS week it just wasn't happening. There wasn't any family parties, dates or dinners to blame ... it was handfuls of peanut M&Ms and leftover Halloween candy that just added up.   Average TDEE was 2887 ... I like it to be over 3000. 

Total deficit for the week was 2629, so just shy of the 3500 goal. And the .7 was just shy of a one pound loss ... so the numbers DID seem to line up this week.

Tom has finished up, hopefully I can shake the sniffles and adjust to the time change. Hubby starts his new (actually, it's his OLD job, the one he had before this last one).  Fall basketball is winding down (Winter ball is right around the corner, but I may have a bit of a break for a week or two) ... No excuses this coming week! 

Flirting with 150 ... I really want to get there!

Time for Friday Link Ups

Michelle at Mind, Body and Goal
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