Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Review

Friday mornings, I sleep in a little (because the middle school boys have late start) and do my official weigh in for the week. This last one (Weekly Weigh-In #11) wasn't quite what I wanted ... and I'll admit, I did indulge in a Mint Chocolate Brownie a little later that day.  While I usually don't have a bunch of crazy plans over the weekend, it is just usually harder to get in good eating/exercise like I do during the week. But I was actually able to have a really good day on Friday (especially exercise-wise). 

Saturday was busy with back to back games. I had basketball with #4 at 10:00, and soccer for #5 at 11:00. I had #5 dressed and ready before I left, and arranged to have a friend pick him up for his game (Daddy was working). #4 had a great game (two baskets) and we rushed over to the soccer fields and made it there before the game started. #5 got in five goals!  Parking was horrendous though. We had to park pretty far away ... more steps on my pedometer.

It really was a lovely day out. I figured I should mow the lawn. Hubby has turned off the water and it really hasn't grown too much from the last time it was cut, but I love the look of everything even. I really enjoy mowing the law ... the smell of the fresh cut grass. And more steps on my pedometer. I pulled up all my poor petunias, which were fading fast, and cleaned up the flower bed. I brought out my pumpkins and autumnal decor. Much better. 

I did a little grocery shopping on Saturday too. I only got in three 20min sessions on the elliptical though. Only one hour of dedicated exercise ... but my non-aerobic steps topped 10k! I don't do that very often. I usually get in a lot of steps, but the majority of them are from dedicated exercise. I didn't quite hit my goal (22k steps, 3000 TDEE), I was close enough that I should have been motivated to do another workout, but ...

Sunday morning I was happy to see 155.0 on the scale. That's the lowest it's been in a while (January 8, 2012 to be exact, on my way up).  I'm determined to hang onto this. If that is my reading on Friday, I'll be happy (my MFP ticker showed 25 pounds lost).  I pulled out one of my favorite skirts. I haven't been able to fit into it in a while, but it fit fine today.  I'm on piano duty in the primary at church ...  just sitting for three hours is really hard on me! I don't like to just sit.

I got in 90minutes on the elliptical on Sunday ... more than on Saturday, but my total step count was lower. Just not a lot of non-aerobic steps on Sunday. A bit of a rest day, and ready to get back at it on Monday morning!

How was your weekend?
Do you have any non-exercise activities that keep you active?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Weigh-In #11

 Well ... it is what it is. Technically a loss, if you call .1 a loss *Ü*

Last week, taking the average of the week made me feel better.
The average was definitely down.
This week the average is up.

It wasn't a good week, I was aware of that as it was happening. With basketball back in full swing, I knew my evening exercise time would be impacted. Add in some food temptation and the daily calorie count went up. Calories in up, calories out down ... doesn't bode great for the weight. I did buckle back down Wednesday and yesterday (no chocolate mint brownies).

My Trendweight graph gives a sobering visual
I've had a pretty solid downward trend.
But it actually bumped up this week.

More numbers ... my average weight for the week was 157.9, up from 156.5 last week. My average food intake was 2400 (up from 2007), average TDEE (Fitbit Total Burn) was 2970, which was actually up slightly from last weeks 2933, but I admitted last week my activity had been dragging a bit (the weeks prior my average TDEE was always 3200+).

So ... I KNOW it's the food. I need to eat less, and I need to eat better. My activity is pretty good, but I probably need to shake it up. The elliptical is my "easy" fall back. It isn't that it is "easy" per say ... I do work up a sweat, I do feel like I'm getting a workout. It's just easy in that it doesn't have some of the same requirements other exercises do. If I'm watching a program that doesn't have captions, I can't be on the treadmill. The treadmill is just too noisy, I can't hear. It's not a problem on the elliptical. The treadmill, or circuit training ... they require me to put on SHOES, and my HRM. That adds time and discomfort, and makes me choose the elliptical over these other items.

But I know I need to shake something up to get the scale moving again ... just a few more pounds to drop from "overweight" to "normal" ... but I've been saying THAT for weeks now. Last week I moaned a bit about my MFP ticker being at 23 pounds lost STILL ... this week I'm actually glad that it's at least showing that, as it did slip back to 22, 21. When I requested movement, I did NOT mean backward!

I found a new LinkUp today ... How'd I Do Friday. I think my weekly weigh-in is a pretty good recap of my week. If you want details, I have them in my Day to Day Doings which I update each morning (well, at least by afternoon). 

It's the weekend.
And there are still some chocolate mint brownies calling ...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Food Porn" & Chocolate Mint Brownies

So ... yesterday was the Weigh-In Wednesday link up. I often participate in this link up, but I didn't really want to yesterday. Why? My weight is up. It's been going in the wrong direction. Why? I've been eating too much. Not only that, what I've been eating has not been good stuff. Well, it's goooood (add a little moan here). Good tasting anyway. Good for me? Good for my weight? Well ... that's a different story.

Warning ... Food Porn Ahead
"Thank You" Bake-aholic for the image and recipe.
I made these brownies on Sunday.
I ate these brownies on Monday and Tuesday. 
I could not stop.
I want a brownie right now...

I hadn't registered a loss Friday at my last weigh-in (#10). Saturday was date night (Texas Roadhouse) and the scale went up even more. I usually get back on track on Monday ... unless I have chocolate mint brownies calling to me. So my weigh-ins haven't auto-corrected as they often do. And I still have some of these brownies left (in the freezer ... but you can eat them straight from the freezer, oh yummy). 

I had made these brownies before ... I had NOT made them since joining MFP back in mid-May. I knew, I just KNEW I wouldn't be able to resist if they were around. But I was glancing through Pinterest the other day, and there they were. And I was drooling. "I can eat just one" ... I said to myself. Myself was wrong.

As I mentioned in a previous post (Mucho Magazines), I'm making my way through my backlog of backissues. I was reading the September 2012 Women's Health when low and behold, an article on "Food Porn" and how even the images of tempting foods can be a problem (snapshot in the image up top). The article is online (The Food Porn Problem) if you wanted to check it out. It's an interesting read.  I also remember Food Porn being pointed out by a fellow blogger ( it's #3 in  Weight Loss Mistakes).  Though not labeled "Food Porn" ... tempting images were also discussed in a recent article in Fitness Magazine (Fat Proof Your Life). What are your thoughts on images of food. Do they affect you?


So ... I'm a day late, a dollar short and a couple pounds up. 
But I figured I'd still link up.
Weigh In Wednesday with Heather, Ash and Bailey.

I did NOT eat a brownie ON Weigh In Wednesday.
I resisted.
I've still got some brownies left though.

"Jen, Jen" ... seriously, I hear it calling ...


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Daily Miles


There are SO many different websites, apps, trackers and devices out there to help motivate, organize and keep track all the workouts we do in this quest for fitness and a smaller body.  Many of them do the same, or at least similar things. But I like redundancy, second opinions and different perspectives.  So even though I track all my workouts with my Fitbit (and have my Omron pedometer as backup), and I record my steps daily at Walker Tracker and in a spreadsheet on my computer, as of mid-August ... I've added  Daily Mile to my mix. 

I had heard of daily mile ... just like I've heard of Runkeeper, Map My Ride and Endomondo. I know others love them, but they just didn't seem to be something I needed. Sometimes I think, it's just whichever thing you start using first that you stay with.  

But then I saw a widget in the sidebar of someone's blog (see the image above. It's also in the sidebar of MY blog now too). Well that was cute and something I didn't have.  I liked seeing the most recent workout featured, and the divisions of weekly miles, annual miles and total miles. 

So I signed up.

I do need to input the data manually (I'm a little spoiled with my Fitbit at times, how it automatically links to so many sites) but that is fine. I'll sometimes update as a finish a workout, but more often I'll just enter it at the end of the day.  I generally don't have it post to my Facebook (as I do a LOT of different workouts) but occasionally is there is something that stands out, I will (it's easy to pick and choose what to share and what to just keep on your account).  I have set it to post a weekly Facebook update ...


Anyone else out there tracking using daily mile? I currently only have two friends, I wouldn't mind having a few more to follow (my profile is HERE if anyone wanted to friend me). I know all these apps and websites really motivate me!

Linking up with Skinny Meg's Workout Wednesday today.


Check it out  ... she has a great post today about all the "extras" (clothes, music, helps) to make exercise just a little bit easier, and as always there are tons of links to other blogs and workout recommendations too. Add your own and come link up as well!

Well enough sitting down at my computer ... off to J&G's Gym!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Say What?

When I first started on MFP (My Fitness Pal) and checked out the forums, there were a LOT of acronyms, abbreviations and terms that left me scratching my head a bit. Usually, I could just google the phrase I didn't understand and find a quick answer, but as a list of helpful explanations and definitions came across the forums, I thought I'd post it here on my blog for quick reference (I did ask the OP for permission) ...

Even if you're not on MFP, you'll probably come across many of these terms on blogs or other fitness forums ...  HTH *Ü*




  • 30DS: 30 Day Shred: A cardiovascular and plyometric exercise program. Developed by Jillian Michaels. 
  • AMRAP: "As Many Rounds As Possible" ... often used in CrossFit and circuit training.
  • BodyBugg: From the website: the bodybugg calorie management system is a proven solution in weight loss management. The bodybugg system works by keeping an accurate daily record of calories consumed vs. burned making it easier to stay informed, make decisions and more effectively manage your weight. (http://www.bodybugg.com/) 
  • BMR: Base or Basal Metabolic Rate ... the number of calories you burn each day at rest.
  • BumpTo bump a thread on an internet forum is to post a reply to it purely in order to raise the thread's profile. This will typically return it to the top of the list of active threads. At MFP, it will also cause the thread to be listed in your "My Topics" for easy reference.
  • C25K: Couch to 5 K: A running program designed for beginner and non-runners to get them from the couch to running a 5K. Some are 8 weeks, others are slightly longer. 
  • DH/DW/DD/DS or : Dear Husband (Darn Husband as the care may be) ... wife, daughter, son. SO: Significant Other
  • DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: From wikipedia: Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), also called muscle fever, is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise. The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. 
  • DYEL: Do you even lift? 
  • ED: Eating Disorder. There are several kinds. Go to www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-resources/ for more information. 
  • ESE: Eat Stop Eat. A type of Intermittent Fasting diet plan. 
  • EMTLW/EMTWL: Eat More to Lose Weight/Eat More to Weigh Less 
  • ETA: Edited to Add (people often like to explain what was edited as they modify an existing post)
  • Fitbit: a small electronic device attached to clothing to monitor steps taken and movement throughout the day. http://www.fitbit.com 
  • GW: Goal Weight- Related to the following:  UGW- Ultimate goal weight- The final weight goal a person wishes to attain  SW- Starting Weight  CW- Current Weight 
  • HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training 
  • HRM: Heart Rate Monitor 
  • IF: Intermittent Fasting is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting (usually meaning consumption of water only) and non-fasting. 16:8, 5:2, 4:3, are numeric terms you will in see in conjunction with IF discussions. 
  • IIFYM: If It Fits Your Macros- See Macronutrients.  
  • IPOARM: In Place of a Road Map: From the MFP page: "In Place of a Road Map is simply a way to get your metabolism functioning at max capacity while eating as much as you can and getting the results that you need. This is also a Fat Loss program.  Never confuse Fat Loss with Weight Loss.
  • Macros: Macronutrients- the large categories of nutritional ratios of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat. 
  • MFP: My Fitness Pal 
  • Net Calories: number of calories eaten minus number of calories burned in exercise and baseline metabolism. 
  • NROL4W: New Rules of Lifting for Women (an often quoted book).
  • NSV: Non Scale Victory a dieting and weight loss term for noticing your weight loss success off the scale. This includes smaller clothing sizes, measurements, compliments, etc. 
  • OP: Means "original post" or "original poster" of a forum topic. Example: "The OP was clearly talking about carbs instead of fat." 
  • P90X: A high intensity, 90 day cardiovascular/plyometric fitness routine. Created by Tony Horton. 
  • Paleo: From Wikipedia: "The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed..." 
  • PCOS: Polycystic ovary syndrome- Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of a female sex hormones. This may lead to menstrual cycle changes, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health changes. Weight gain and obesity is common in women with PCOS. Losing weight can help treat the hormone changes and health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Read more at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001408/
  • Primal: From Wikipedia: "The Primal Diet is a carnivorous, low carbohydrate raw foods diet, pioneered by Aajonus Vonderplanitz. It can also be considered as a Paleolithic diet with the addition of raw milk products."
  • QFT: Quote(d) for Truth- QFT is used when a previous or quoted post is so on point and correct, you "QFT it" for emphasis and agreement.
  • SL5x5SL5x5 (or plain SL) = StrongLifts 5x5 - a strength training problem stressing compound lifts - squat, deadlift, bench press, barbell row and overhead press.  Other related weight lifting terms: BW - bodyweight (as in bodyweight exercises, like push-ups)  DL - deadlift  OHP - overhead press  BP - bench press  LP - leg press 
  • TDEE: Total Daily Energy Expenditure 
  • TLDR/TL;DR: Too Long Didn't Read. 
  • TOM: For women- "Time Of the Month"- The monthly menstrual cycle. Important in terms of fitness because of the uncontrolled body changes and water retention that can affect weight loss and fitness goals and plans. 
  • Vegetarian,Vegan,Pescatarian,Flexitarian:  http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianvegan101/tp/TypesofVeg.htm 
  • VLCD: Very Low Calorie Diet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very-low-calorie_diet) 
  • WOD:  Workout of the day 
  • YMMV: Your mileage may vary. Basically means that if you try what the poster recommended, it may not produce exactly the same results. 





Have YOU encountered any of these acronyms as you've been reading? 
If I missed any, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to update the list. 



I'm linking up today with Tips and Tricks Tuesday.  I hope this has been a helpful tip.
I know I wanted to keep it handy for myself!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Basketball Mom

#4 in his game on Saturday

We are a basketball family. In addition to the traditional winter season,  my boys have been playing  in spring/summer/fall  leagues for several years now (Hoop Dreams ... A Basketball Mom Blog).

During some seasons, the boy's basketball is actually beneficial to me getting a workout in. In a recent post (here), I wrote about the gyms with a track above the basketball court. I could watch and jog at the same time, and often get in five miles or so during games and practices.

I have three boys in basketball for Fall (#2, #3 and #4). Alas none of the games/practices are being held at the gyms with the track above.  Dang it. So instead of getting in steps, I'm driving, sitting, sitting & driving.  There is a two-hour practice every Monday and Thursday. There is open gym every Tuesday evening. Wednesday is another practice for #2, and games starting next week for #3. Thursday is game day for #2, practice for #3 and #4. Saturday is game day (for #3, #4). #5 is playing soccer (games on Wednesday and Saturday) as they don't have basketball for his age group. Juggling the schedule can get tricky. I do all I can, then get hubby, #1, and even Grandpa to help out when things overlap.

Busy busy! 
But I do love watching my boys play. 

As I'm NOT jogging around the track during these games, I stay busy running my video camera. Then I take all the good shots and make a quick highlight reel. This does mean MORE sitting back at home, but the boys really like them. 

Here's a peek at my boy in action.
My #2 is #2, the point guard.
Poor kid had back-to-back breaks (right foot then left)
It kept him out of basketball for almost a year.
He's SO happy to be able to play again!

Well, I best get down to my gym for some cardio and weights while I can!
My evening exercising is going to be limited!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Weigh-In #10

Well ... no loss this week. In fact, a small gain, 1/2 a pound. I did actually hit a new low (Sunday morning) ... right before the challenges of this week started. Sunday of course, is always hard for me. If I can't offset with exercise, I almost always go over my calories. The rest of the week was just super busy with uber activities every evening, and I wasn't feeling great (knee pain, tooth pain, headache ... just dragging).  

It was a few weeks ago, on Weigh-In #7 that I first gleefully posted the 23 pound loss on my MFP ticker. At this point, while I'm glad it is at least still there, I was REALLY hoping for a change. Come on 24, 25 ...
Weekly Weigh-In #7 (08/30) 157.1
Weekly Weigh-In #8 (09/06) 157.6
Weekly Weigh-In #9 (09/13) 156.1
Today ............................... 157.1



I don't know if I really consider this a plateau ... IS this a plateau?
I'm certainly not trying to maintain at this point. I'm not there yet!

According to my numbers, I had a weekly deficit of 4865 calories. More than enough that I SHOULD have registered a loss.  I had one day over calories (on Sunday), mostly decent days (with my 500 deficit), and one bigger deficit day (Tuesday). I have seemed to notice that unless I get in a few BIG deficit days (1000-1500 deficit) I don't seem to lose. And it seems best if those big deficit days are the ones right before weigh-in (so Wednesday and Thursday). I was really struggling these past couple days, so I'm not super surprised there wasn't a loss. The small dip to 155 during the week does give me hope though ... that is the benefit of weighing in everyday I think. I can see there ARE changes, I just need to hang onto them. On a good note, there was NO bump up to the 160s on the chart above (which is a first in a while) ... so I'll focus on the positive of that!

A friend recommended also taking the average for the week ...  here's how the averages have changed in the past several weeks.  160.1, 159.4, 158.5, 158.6 ... and last week 156.5. So THAT shows a change. *Ü*




Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Bit Bruised

I know traditional bike riding, whether it be street or mountain, has inherent dangers. A helmet to protect your head is a necessity. You must watch for cars, other bikes, people and try not to wipe out, as the results could be very damaging, even if you aren't at top speed. But a stationary bike ... that's completely safe, right?

I posted a picture of what my bike looks like in a previous post (here). There are small arms extended on the sides of the seat, just to give you a different position to hold your hands while riding. As I was getting off the bike on Tuesday, I stepped over, but my right leg was still there by the bike. I then lost my balance (it was quite unexpected, I'm usually fairly coordinated) and started to topple over. Luckily/UNluckily ... my leg caught on the arm there. OUCH. I would have rather just fallen down. I know, it isn't a terrible injury, but it hurt, and it did impact my workouts yesterday a bit. I was just off.

My #2 son still wins the award for "best bruise" in our family ...
 He was doing a flip on his bike.
The bike rammed into his thigh.

Hubby is  a close contender ...
This is not really a bruise.
He ruptured his Achilles Tendon.
That wasn't a pleasant experience.

At least no one was around to witness my lovely dismount ... the bruising doesn't need to extend to my ego. I need to be more careful though ... those stationary bikes can be dangerous too!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

... a little OCD

I've been trying to incorporate a little more running (ok ... jogging, my measly 5mph pace can't really be considered running) into my exercise routine. Running/Jogging is NOT my favorite exercise. Running requires me to wear shoes, I hate shoes ... I wear slippers for my elliptical and stationary bike.  But I've committed to trying to run one whole mile each day, without stopping. You read that right, a WHOLE mile. Without. Stopping. 

So ... the other day I actually went above and beyond. An additional 1/4 mile. Aren't you impressed? As I hit the 1.25 number for mileage, I figured I'd continue for just a few moments more to get a nice round number for my time.15 minutes. But then I noticed the calories ... 194. Hmmmm. I probably should keep going until that hits 200, right? A nice round number. But then the time would be an odd number, and the mileage would be even odder. WHAT TO DO??? An OCD moment. I wonder, if I just kept going, would the numbers ever line up so that all three were nice, even numbers? Or something ending in a 5 or a 0 ... you know what I mean, right? I'm not the only one ... am I?

I called it at the 15 minutes (I'll just drop those extra five seconds when I write down my numbers). I think my machine is over-estimating on the calories anyway (HRM and Fitbit were closer to 125 calories).


  • Do you feel the need to finish a workout with a round number? If so, which number count is most important to you? Time, Distance or Calories ... Do you round your numbers or keep them exact?
  • Weigh-In on this topic with a comment below, and post your own weighty topic for this week's Weigh In Wednesday link up.
  • Check out Skinny Meg's Workout Wednesday for links to other bloggers and their workouts. Any other OCD exercisers out there?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Brunch

Hubby and I haven't gone out on a nice date for a bit.  As we didn't have duties in church today, he suggested going to Sunday Brunch. This is a very rare treat for us. We had hit the one at Little America a few times, but it was no longer being served. We thought we'd try the one at the Grand America Hotel. Here's a glimpse at the menu (here). 

The ambiance was very nice ... a small trio playing music, cloth napkins and tablecloths, good service. The food was pretty good, I stuck to the breakfast basics (some pancakes, bacon, a croissant). Hubby enjoyed the crepe station and omelet station and tried the prime rib and lamb. Neither of us are big seafood fans (especially cold), so the lobster, crab and shrimp didn't really temp us. Hubby had some cheesecake for dessert, I tried some chocolate cake, but it had a fruit filling (I don't like fruit IN anything). I did indulge in some hot chocolate with whipped cream.

Now ... when paying $45 a person, it is tempting to eat more just to attempt to get your monies worth. Today, I set all thoughts of the cost aside. I was there to enjoy the day with hubby. I didn't worry overly about calories, but I don't think I went overboard (I actually probably eat more at a simple buffet with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, rolls and soft serve ice cream!). Just for fun, hubby checked what my calories for the meal were (937 estimated) ... so 5¢ per calorie! I don't think we'll be back. The brunch at Little America was a better experience (and a tad less expensive)... I'm so sad they shut it down.

Back at home ... the children still expected to be fed (can you believe that? I wasn't hungry anymore).  We actually do a large breakfast/brunch every Sunday. Belgian waffles, bacon, hash browns. I went ahead and made it for the kidlets.  It is one of my challenges every Sunday, because I do like breakfast items!  Yum. Another Sunday tradition is Homemade Oreos (recipe is HERE on my family blog if you want it)... I guess I'll be making them tonight. I probably won't be able to resist eating them.


  • Is there a particular day of the week that is consistently harder for you to keep calories in check?
  • How do you handle eating out at buffets?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Magazine Musings & Paper Ponderings

As I mentioned in my Mucho Magazines post ... I'm trying to make my way through my backlog of magazines. I'm not expecting any profound words of wisdom or extraordinary insights, but as I'm reading, I often come across a tidbit or two I think I might want to remember or post here to get feedback from any of you. 

  • Gummy Vitamins: I've seen the gummy vitamins in the stores and I've purchased them for my little ones, but I have wondered about the "adult" gummies. I guess I'm just not a big fan ... I'll eat the occasional fruit snacks, but I'm pretty picky (I really only like the cherry ones). I'd much rather just swallow a pill then have to chew something. And in gummy form, they might temp children. We did have an issue once where my young son consumed an entire package of vitamins (they were a "melt on your tongue" kind) ... luckily he suffered no ill effects. What do you think of the adult gummy vitamin trend? (Prevention June 2013 or online  HERE).
  • Shredded Cheese: Also in the June 2013 Prevention there was a little blurb about shredded cheese (online here). Now it seems like I've heard that it's better to buy the block of cheese and shred it yourself ... that what ever is put on it to keep all the pieces from sticking together make it harder to melt evenly. This says it's not good for you either (which really isn't a stretch if you think about it, additives seldom are). Pre-shredded cheese is convenient, but I do have a handy food processor. 
  • Presyncope:  Presyncope is that wooziness, when you feel like you are going to pass out (if you do actually pass out, it's called syncope.) I had issues during three of my pregnancies (2,3,4). I did pass out with #2 and was practically homebound with #4 (I just didn't dare go anywhere, I didn't want to pass out behind the wheel of a car!) Luckily my issues seemed to resolve once I had the babies. My oldest son however has troubles with this quite often, and has actually passed out a few times. We had discussed it with his doctor, with basically the same information given in this article (Prevention  February 2013 or online HERE).  
  • Cool Hands: In the October 2012 Women's Health there was a little blip about a study on a "cooling glove" which would chill your hands, sending cool blood back to the heart. The results of the study indicated increased speed, lower blood pressure and inches lost. There is a specific product (Cool Point hand cooler ... not great reviews on Amazon, sounds like people expect immediate results whereas the study seemed to indicate more long run effectiveness) or you could simply carry cold water bottles.  Huh ... wonder if that works! (WH didn't have this portion online, but I Googled it and found the study HERE). 
  • Food Traps: Normally, articles addressing anything food related don't relate much to me and my eating issues, but I liked this article in the September 2013 Fitness (actually reading a current magazine!) Nothing really profound or new, but just some nice reminders that relate to most everyone. If  you have a minute give it a read ...
  • Love Languages: While the main focus of most of these magazines is either fitness or food related, there are other articles too. In Prevention's July 2013 there was a truncated version of Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages. This really is an interesting concept when looking at your relationships. My mother gives out the full book to couples as wedding presents. If you haven't read it, it's worth checking out.
In the local newspaper I noticed a couple of interesting articles as well ...
  • Walking and Working: This was an AP article picked up by my paper and many others (when I looked online, one is HERE) discussing treadmill desks or other "moving workstations".  Very interesting.  I have tried reading while on my treadmill (but reading while on the stationary bike is easier).  I wonder how hard it is to type or do actual WORK while walking ... 
  • Kid's Summer Fitness Loss:  Another article in my paper I was also able to locate online (here). Personally, I think MY kids move more in the summer than they do during the school year (I even got a Fitbit for my 14-year old to track his steps. There were some days of too much tv/video games, but many days he'd be active for hours and would beat me in steps ... which is rather hard to do!).  I'll have to gather and graph all his data and double check!

I'll probably have some similar posts in the future as I continue to work through my backlog of magazines ...

Have you read any interesting articles lately?
Do you have any thoughts on these topics?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pin It Party

I'm ALWAYS a little late coming to the party! Email was out for ages before I finally got set up. Blogging, Facebook ... going digital (in cameras and books), I'm slow to adapt to the latest changes and trends. Pinterest had a strong presence, and I was aware of it, but didn't get sucked in until last year. But I do love Pinterest, and thought I'd participate in a Pin It Party hosted by The Lean Green Bean (here).  It's just a fun way to highlight some of your favorite posts, and to check out what other bloggers think is pin worthy.

Here are my five favorite (pin worthy?) posts ...






 I'm a fan of the Fitbit activity tracker.
Check out this post to read all about it and see if it's right for you.


Fitness is its own reward, but if you want a little extra kick back ...
Several charitable options as well.



A quick, printable overview of the exercises.



An inexpensive app to help you keep track and motivate.



The same numbers (i.e. your changing weight), presented slightly different ways can look completely different. Before you get discouraged with your weight loss, remember a lot of it is how you look at it!

I've seen some handy dandy "Pin It" buttons appearing on some blogs, and if you hover over my images you can see that I've incorporated that into my blog for this post. I didn't think I'd be able to figure it out, but there was a nice tutorial HERE which helped me out. 

Are you on Pinterest?
 Do you have some pinnable posts on your blog?

Weekly Weigh-In #9

Down .9 pounds from last week. I wasn't sure it was going to happen. The dreaded "160s" reappeared Monday morning after the bad weekend (over calories both Saturday and Sunday). That was THREE pounds up from last Friday's weigh-in. Yikes!  I had a couple other "normal" days (deficit of 500) and then three days with a larger deficit, where I actually kept calorie intake down (under 2000 anyway). Total deficit for the week (according to my calculations) was 5124. I would have liked to see a whole pound, but after not losing last week, I'm just happy to see it go down at all!

My MFP ticker is showing 23 (same as two weeks ago).  I'll try to shift that this week.  Continuing to plug along.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My First 5k

Another "Throwback Thursday" post ... this picture was taken four years ago in 2009. It was a family 5k, organized by my cousin raising funds for MLD (you can read her website here.) It was a great event ... not just my little family, but my dad, brothers, their kids, all my cousins, aunts and uncles ... when I say it was a family 5k, it was a LOT of family. There was a lot of community support too.

I had never done a 5k before. I didn't do any real training. I had been walking a ton, jogging some. Hubby and the two older boys took off from the start. Yes, even pushing the two little ones in the stroller, hubby left me in the dust. #3 was on his scooter, and he was the perfect pacer for me (in fact, I probably would have stopped to walk a few times, but I didn't want to let him out of my sight).  Fairly close to the end, I came upon #1 son sitting by the side of the road. He had pushed too hard and run out of steam. He commandeered the scooter, and #3 finished jogging the race with me. #2 finished easily, at a very competitive pace for his young age (and he totally beat me!). This was a fairly casual race, no exact times, but I think I came in around 38 minutes, which is much faster than I had ever done three miles on my own. It's hard not to catch the fever and adrenaline with a bunch of people running together.

It was a really good experience. I totally wanted to do it again. I even looked up some local races and talked about it with hubby ... but it never happened. Saturdays are just busy with sports (the bigger boys play basketball, the little boys play soccer). I've got some anxiety issues with crowds and driving new places. I just didn't MAKE it happen.

So I am officially putting it on my "to do" list again ...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Treadmill Time

I know a LOT of people call it the "DREADmill" and prefer running/walking in the great outdoors. I however, am an inside exerciser ... so the treadmill is a great piece of equipment for me.  I don't have to worry about dogs, or weather, and I can go five miles and still only be one minute away from home (good for "mom" emergencies, but that does also make it easy to quit).

A treadmill was the first machine we had in J&G's gym (that and the weights). Back in the day, the gym was really just G's gym, as I (the "J" of that equation) never stepped foot in there. That all changed back in 2006 ... I started walking on the treadmill, and I walked a LOT. I'd up the incline (it went up to 14!) and I'd walk backwards (it had long arms for stabilizing). I had 30+ playlists on my ipod, to match my mood. I walked and I walked ... until one day my treadmill stopped. I had walked it into the ground.

We called a repairman, but it was not able to be fixed.  We got the HR 550i (pictured above) as a replacement.  It's been fine. It doesn't feel quite as sturdy as my original. It only has an incline up to 10 and no long arms. It does fold up to save space, which is a nice option ... but we are lucky enough to have enough room that we rarely need to do that.

I have to admit, since we added the elliptical to J&G's gym, my treadmill has been a bit neglected. As I've gotten revamped for weight-loss, I've also been jumping on the stationary bike more too... but now it's treadmill time again.  The other day, I turned on the treadmill and committed to running (jogging) a WHOLE mile without stopping. That's right, an entire mile! I did it, and I've been doing it almost daily. I'm not following any specific C25K plan or anything, but I do think that (a 5k) is the goal. I did one once, and I'd like to do one again.

Check out this link for some funny treadmill gifs ...
It's good for a little laugh *Ü*


How do you feel about the treadmill?
Check out Skinny Meg's Workout Wednesday for other bloggers ideas.
Post on your blog and share what YOU have been up to lately.

Also ... on the Runs For Cookies blog, there is a nice post with 50 Running Tips, with everything from shoes to some specific tips for treadmill time. I definitely agree with the one about having a fan blowing on you. Of course that pretty much goes for ALL my exercises down in my gym.  I thought there was some good information there.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Canker

I am quite healthy, and very thankful for that fact. One reoccurring issue I do deal with is canker and cold sores. I've suffered from them for as long as I can remember. I HATE cold sores, as they not only hurt, but they look terrible too.  At least canker sores are in the mouth and not visible ... except for that rare occasion when they form on the outer lip. I'm dealing with this currently. Now the canker is still no where near as ugly as a cold sore, it's really not that noticeable... but on the outside of the lip it's even more painful than when it's in. When my top lip connects (as lips are bound to do) it creates a suction, which is then painfully pulled apart the next time I open my mouth. This dang canker has really interfered with sleep, eating (anything salty getting in it literally makes me dance around) and even exercise. I usually have a fan blowing on me, and it gets dried out and painful. I've had to keep lip balm stocked at each exercise station (elliptical, treadmill and bike) and at various locations around the house, car and purse. And of course ... it interferes with kissing too!

I know, it's a minor complaint compared to the issues and injuries so many have to deal with. Like I said, I am very grateful for my health. I'll also be VERY happy when my mouth is back to normal!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend ShenaniGAINs

Happy Monday. I am actually one of those strange people who LIKE Mondays! I love the structure of routine and weekends really wreck the routine! They can be SO hard when you are trying to exercise and eat right.  Today, I thought I'd link up with Sami's Weekend Shenanigans as I had a not-so-nice THREE pound gain from Friday morning. I must have been sheneniganing ... or shenaniGAINing!

I do count Friday as part of the weekend ... my routine goes out the window. The middle school starts late, so we all sleep in a bit. The elementary gets out early, so that disrupts my afternoon.  Friday means friends for the boys. A bunch over at our house, and I did end up running #2 to go hang out with his basketball buddies. Hubby came home from work exhausted, so no date night ... which actually meant I stayed pretty much on target for the day for exercise and eating.

Saturday was birthday day for #1. 
He is now 18 years old! 
We had a family outing to The Cheesecake Factory to celebrate.
Ipods are great for keeping the kids entertained while we wait ...

Ipods are also great for reflecting light into poor  #2's eyes.

... and we took an entire 10" cheesecake home.
#1's request for his "birthday cake"

So .... Saturday was NOT great for eating/exercise. Sunday wasn't either. We had our usual big Sunday breakfast (Belgian waffles, bacon and hash browns) and then hubby made his fantastic steak/chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner. I made rolls but resisted eating any. And of course there was still cheesecake leftover for dessert. Now ... I don't really even like cheesecake. I don't regret the meals, but I do regret eating the cheesecake! (I did still get in a little exercise both days, as you can see here, not enough to combat all the calories though).

So ... I bumped up into the 160's again this morning. Three pounds up from Friday morning. No, I didn't eat in excess of 10,000 calories, even with my wicked weekend. I'm hoping with a few good days back under my belt this scale bump will go back down. I was just really NOT wanting to see the 6 as the middle number again!

And BIRTHDAYS are done for a while (it was #3 and #4's birthday just the week before, so LOTS of celebrating and cake lately ... my birthday is next, and it isn't until November).  Up next ... SPORTS will be monopolizing Saturdays (and weekdays too!) Basketball and soccer starting up soon.

How was YOUR weekend?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mucho Magazines


Back when I first lost the weight (back in 2006) I was really drawn to all the weight loss/fitness magazines out there. They were motivating, they did give me some information I wasn't aware of, there were new workouts, recipes and food plans (with my eating issues, none of the food stuff really worked for me though), inspirational stories of success... The subscriptions really weren't that expensive, and they were one of my rewards to myself. I'd look forward to each new issue as it arrived in my mailbox.

Generally, I'd just read through them once and be done (I'd usually pass them on to a friend who was also into fitness). Occasionally there would be an article or recipe I would want to save for reference. Most often though, if I pulled something from the magazines, it would be a workout. I have a a couple of binders that I store things in, super easy to flip through ...


 ... and I also hang some favorite workout displays on  the 
unfinished walls of my gym

... through the years, I didn't get around to reading my magazines as much.   Life was just super busy, or when I did have those spare moments, I preferred reading a novel. My magazines were on a year subscription, some multiple years, some with auto-renewal. 

... I'm embarrassed to say I'm a BIT behind in my reading ...

As I rededicated myself to fitness and weight loss a few months ago, I decided it was time to get back into my stack of magazines. I have been making a dent in it, and enjoying it as I used to. Not just diet and exercise, but articles about everything health related (skin cancer, headaches, plants to help clean the air in your home). Some beauty and style too (although I'm not terribly stylish myself). 

I do wonder at times ... how much "new" material IS there? Every single month, year after year ... hasn't every topic been covered countless times? Back before my fitness freak, I was a scrapbooker. Back then I subscribed to all the scrapbook magazines. With those too, I wondered how long they could come up with "new" content. There actually aren't many of those magazines left now. Creating Keepsakes (who I worked for in 2003-2004) just announced they are basically shutting down paper subscriptions (still doing some direct sale publications, switching to digital for others) ... but fitness magazines still seem to be going strong!

I've found a couple interesting articles during my reading, I might share a few that impact me here on the blog in the future.

Do you subscribe to any of the magazines?
Do you feel they offer good information and motivation?

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