Apr 5
Trying something different
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Diet and Fitness | icon4 04 5th, 2012| icon32 Comments »

Usually, Thursdays are the worst day of the week for me.  I’m tired and it makes for a difficult, long day.  This week, I decided that, instead of resting on Thursday nights, I’m going to rest on Wednesday nights and see if that helps.  So far, so good.

Also, as soon as tax season is over, I am losing my morning walking partner.  Currently, she works at the CPA firm down the hall from my office, and beginning April 23rd, she has a new job.  She had a family commitment this week, so hasn’t been here.  I spent the first three mornings this week catching up on various work-related projects, but, today, I decided to do something different to see if I liked it.  I got to the fitness center at 6:00, when it opened, and I did my cardio training for 45 minutes before I had to get ready for work. 

I had hesitated because I didn’t know how busy it would be, but I have to get to work so much earlier than most people that I was the first person there, the first person done, the first person at the showers and blow dryers.  In fact, there was no one else in the dressing room when I got dressed for work.  I liked it!!!  I will be back there at 6:00 tomorrow morning, and when April 23rd comes around, getting in 45 minutes for a good cardio workout will start my day.  Then on the three afternoons a week I go there, I can concentrate on core and strenghth training.

I’ve wanted to see how I can up my workouts and this may be the way of my future.  I’ve always had more energy in the morning than after work, so getting in my cardio at this point of the day just makes sense to me.  And the upside?  I had in over 6,000 steps by 7:00 this morning.  Oh, yeah…  gonna be no problem getting in my 10,000 steps a day with this plan.

I hope you have a lovely, stress-free and productive day.

Mar 15

Officially, I walked 20,042 steps yesterday, blowing my previous record of someplace in the 15,000 range out of the water.  According to the program I use, that’s 7 and a half miles.  Whew!  And how much weight did I lose?  0.4 of a pound.  Grrr.

If you decide to use www.myfitnesspal.com, start it when you are really ready.  I started it when I weighed 160, then ignored it for a few weeks.  When I went back to it I weighed 164.5.  Since then, I’ve lost 5.1 pounds (in a week and a half), but My Fitness Pal shows only .6 lost because it is looking at the 160 as the beginning point whereas I’m looking at the 164.5 since that is what I weighed when I finally decided to get serious with this thing.

And, while I was getting dressed this morning, I noticed the beginning of some muscle definition on my upper arms.  Woohoo!!!  It’s working!!!

So, only Roxie and I have committed to walking 10,000 steps at least one day a week.  Any others???

Mar 13

After a couple of months of ignoring the weight loss thing, I gained back about 9 pounds.  Last week I lost 3.6 of them, so I still have over 5 pounds to go to be back where I was last fall, but with Sandy working out at the gym with me, my workouts have gone from 45 minutes to 90 minutes three days a week, from 30 minutes to 60 minutes two days a week and to 30 minutes on each of the weekend days.

I almost lost 5 pounds last week, but in a moment of weakness, I had some Chinese food Sunday.  Chinese food is full of sodium and that made me go from 4.9 pounds lost to 3.6.  Grrrr!!!  It’s a good thing this is a new week.

I am using the www.myfitnesspal website to help me track everything and I love this!  For once I can add in calories burned during my cardio training sessions, which I had no clue about before.

Also, I am going to revamp and restart the 10,000 Step Club.  I’ll admit that I’ve let it go over the past couple of years, but beginning March 5th, I started purposefully to get in a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.  On the days I go to the gym, this is pretty easy, but on the days I don’t, I have to put in the steps on the treadmill or take a walk elsewhere in order to get the steps in.  I made it most days, and this week I intend to make it all days.

So, with this relaunching of the 10,000 Step Club in mind, and in order to help you dedicate yourself to getting fit and healthy, I am asking you to pledge yourself to walking a minimum of 10,000 steps so many days each week.  Below is a poll asking you how many days you intend to meet the 10,000 step minimum.  I am curious as to how many days a week people think they can do this.  And, let’s face it, I work at a desk all day, and my hobbies are weaving, spinning and knitting, so I sit doing those as well.  If I can get in 10,000 each day, then so can most people out there.

Also, let me know if you are interested in the 10,000 Step Club T-shirt. 

If you are, I’m thinking about putting it up on Cafe Press so you can get the shirt in the color of your choice and maybe add in tote bags, coffee mugs, etc.

 [poll id=”2″]

Mar 12

I got very little work done this weekend.  Two weekends on the go and being swamped at work made for a tired Benita, so I rested.  The good news, though?  I lost 3.6 pounds last week.  Let’s see if I can beat that this week.

I hope you had a good weekend, too.

Feb 15

Just to show you that I have been meeting my five minutes of knitting most days:

Now that I’m on the foot, this sock will be done before I know it and I’ll be able to start its mate.

Also, I managed to knit 3 rows on my sweater last night when I got home.  Oh boy!

I had an appointment with my heart doctor yesterday afternoon and he was very happy with me.  He said my heart sounded strong and that I had lost 5 pounds since last year.  I spoke with him about my working out and he has given me permission to push things harder, which is something I have been wanting to hear.

Jan 31
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Diet and Fitness | icon4 01 31st, 2012| icon34 Comments »

At Push, a trainer took me around to all of the weight machines and helped me set everything for my optimal use.  Then we adjusted the weights until they were where I should be starting and everything was written down on cards for my future use.  Then she showed me these “work-out” cards, each with a different and complete work out on them – just follow the instructions.  The instruction cards said to do each circuit 2-3 times with short cardio spurts in between.  Then at the end, you do 15-20 minutes of cardio.  I managed to do each circuit twice, but did end it with 20 minutes on the treadmill. All-in-all, it took me almost exactly one hour to complete.  Total steps for yesterday? 12,654!  No wonder I was tuckered when I got home last night.

Because I was too tired to do the week’s cooking last night, I got up at 3:15 this morning and got 95% of it all done.  All I lack is dividing up the BBQ chicken that is currently in the crockpot.  Scott will not go hungry this week, that’s for sure.

There are a couple of new items this week.  Starting the first of January, Scott and I decided to no longer eat wheat and wheat products.  After reading the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, we decided to see if what he said about how we would feel panned out for us.  I will say they have – big time!  I no longer have that mid-afternoon slump, nor am I foggy brained.  My workouts have been easier, too, since I’m not going into them so tired.  Scott has noticed a huge increase in his energy levels too, and his productivity at the art table has amazed both of us.

With this “no wheat” guideline, we have had to look for some alternative items for the foods we love, like breads, pastas and (I really hate to add this one, but…) cookies!  This morning, I cooked a pasta made from quinoa.  I tasted it before I added the cheese (yes, mac and cheese is on this week’s menu) and it wasn’t bad at all.  In fact, I really liked it!  Besides it being gluten-free, it has a lot more protein and fiber, which is good for both of us.

One thing we did try that no one liked (including my co-workers at the office) was Udi’s cookies.  They were really nasty.  Udi’s bread isn’t bad, though, just a little dry.  One thing we have tried that we really like is King Arthur’s gluten-free pancake mix.  Now that was better than the wheat pancakes we have had in the past.  In fact, we like them cold for a snack.  The first time I had them I added a bit of honey to them since I hate maple, but this last time I didn’t add anything and they were wonderful.  If they taste this good by themselves, then they’ll save me a few calories.

Do any of you eat gluten-free foods?  If so, I’d love to hear what brands or different items you like.  My MIL says Pamela’s brand is the best tasting to her, and I bought a bread mix to try out.  I still have some more experimenting to do.  Also, if you can think of other starch or grain-type of foods that would be a great addition to meals, I’m open for those, too.  So many things are made with wheat, so eliminating wheat from our diets can only open us up to more and different foods that will be better for us.

Jan 5
Hitting the Gym Again
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Diet and Fitness | icon4 01 5th, 2012| icon34 Comments »

Well, not exactly a gym, but a fitness center for women.  It’s called Push for Women and it’s less than 5 minutes from my office.  I joined just before the end of the year and, for my money each month, I get Zumba, Pilates, Yoga and Aerobics classes as well as the traditional cardio and weight training machines.  Since Cardinal Fitness closed down, I have really missed working out with weight machines.  I hated the thought of going to a busy gym where you had to stand in line for machines, and deal with all the people.  After a day at work, I tend to get peopled out.

Tuesday after work was my first night, and I really enjoyed it.  I get off work at 4, now, so I beat the after work crowd.  While I was there, only three other women were there, although when I left, the cars were pulling in like crazy.  I did 30 minutes on the treadmill, then hit the weight machines.  I really like how they have them set up – Upper body, next to a lower body machine – so you can go from one machine to the next and get in a really balanced workout.  I made it through about half of the machines around the perimeter of the weight room.

Last night, I, again, hit the treadmill for half an hour (I have a goal of an average of 10,000 steps per day in 2012), then started the weight machines where I left off.  This way, I feel I’m getting in good workouts, but the mixing it up from night to night will make it less boring and be better for my body. 

I am planning, in a month or so, of getting a trainer once a week for a couple of months, just to get me into a routine that will help me stay focused, and to see how far I can push myself without ending up in the hospital again.  I have to admit, I’m rather leary of working too hard right now, although I am doing three sets at each of the machines.  I have a fitness evaluation in a couple of weeks, and they will help, too.

One thing I really like about the place is the peace you feel there.  Both nights, I have come away tired in body, but refreshed in mind.  I never felt that way at Cardinal Fitness.  I think I am going to be happy working out at Push.

Nov 26

I made it through Thanksgiving and lost .2 pound.  Woohoo!!!!!

Nov 20
A shameful confession
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Diet and Fitness | icon4 11 20th, 2011| icon35 Comments »

I haven’t talked about my weight lately, mainly because I gained back part of what I had worked so hard to lose.  Too many excuses not to go to the gym, then the gym abruptly closing down, then trips out of state, then, then, then…  Too many excuses period.

So I came up with a plan – a reward system – that looks like is going to work.  Rather than saying, “I’ve lost a couple of pounds, I deserve that cookie (or Snickers bar)” I’ve decided to reward myself with something more tangible.  Money!

Starting last Monday (starting weight 162.3), I am paying myself $1 per day for every day I keep my caloric intake at less than 1000 calories.  For every 10 calories I go over, I lose 1 penny.  Also, for every pound I lose, I pay myself $5.  This money is put into a special jar, and I cannot touch a penny of it until I reach my goal of 120 pounds, then I can spend it on whatever I want, and I can guarantee it won’t be food.  I earned $6.86 from the calorie part (yes I was a little over 1000 a couple of days) and I have earned $15 for weight lost (I weighed 158.6 this morning making it 3.7 pounds for the week).  I know not all weeks will be that much with the weight loss, because I’m pretty sure that most of this week’s was water, but it is a good start and I’ll take it.

I am being very careful at recording every calorie that goes into my mouth.  I am measuring everything and am being precise (a heaping tablespoon is not one tablespoon’s worth of calories) and I’ve really upped my veggie intake (lots of food for very little calories).

I like money, and this little bit each week won’t kill my budget, and, when I reach my goal, I’ll have some funds to play with.  I have no idea what I want to buy with it, but we’ll see when the time comes what catches my fancy.  With 38.6 pounds until I reach my goal, there are several weeks of earning power in there, but the sooner I reach that goal, the sooner I can have the money I have earned.

And I love dropping that cash into that jar each day.  I’m like Lucy when someone drops a nickel into her can – I almost want to pick it up and shake it and crow about that sound of cold hard cash.

And speaking of nickels, Scott came up with his own reward system.  He hates counting calories, and for some reason he isn’t interested in being paid to lose weight (with him needing to lose about 90 more pounds, you’d think that $5 reward for each pound lost would appeal to him – I mean, that is some serious cash he could be earning!).  Instead, as an incentive to work out now that the gym is closed, he suggested getting paid for working out.  So I offered him a nickel for every minute he works out each day.  If he works out for 30 minutes a day, that’s a dollar and a half in his jar.  It will add up quickly and when he reaches his goal of 170 pounds, he ought to be healthy and rich, too.

And, for those of you who know me, yes I have some fancy-dancy Excel spreadsheets to keep track and calculate everything for me.  Goodness I love embedded IF statements.  I know, once a nerd, always a nerd, so I’ll just embrace it and move on.

My next goal is to lose 10 pounds (from yesterday’s weight) in three months.  That’s an average of 1.6 pounds a week to lost, but I can look at that as at least $5 a week in the kitty and $50 total just for the weight lost.  Yes, cash may be the best incentive I have ever had to lose weight.  It’s like doing extra book reports or something for extra credit at school, and I always did those, even if I was getting a good grade anyway.  You can always use extra credit points.

And it sure beats rewarding myself with the very thing that has gotten me fat – bad-for-you-but-oh-so-good-tasting-food!

Sep 27

Well, the foundations class at the gym is history for now.  Seems like my ticker liked it even less than my muscles did.  I ended up with a couple of minor angina episodes after that workout (mostly some heart spasms – baby asprin helped), so I’m back to working out with the weights and using the recumbant bike for the time being.  I did add an extra set on the weights last night and will keep this going through the next few weeks.  I’m up to level 4 on the recumbant bike (out of 25) for 35 minutes, so my workouts are taking about 50 minutes all said and done.  And that is on top of the morning 1/2 walks.  On the days I get to the gym, my steps are easily over 10,000.  I just need to manage to get to the gym more often – like every night after work.  If wishes were fishes…

Scott’s weight is contining its downward journey and his energy level keeps climbing.  I keep forgetting to weigh in the mornings this week, but if my clothes are telling me anything it’s that I’m still holding steady.  I hate plateaus!!!! 

On the other hand, I should have a new pair of socks by the end of tomorrow.  I’m ready to start the toe decreases.  I should have pictures on Thursday for you to see.  Then it’s off to finish a bunch of other already-in-progress projects and some projects for others that I need to have done by the end of the year.  November and December are going to be super busy.

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