Friday, July 8, 2011

Three Components of Losing Weight

Everyone talks about diet and exercise and how they go hand in hand for successful weight loss.  I agree but I'd add a third partner to the mix: sleep.  I've been sleep deprived lately and haven't felt like exercising and haven't been very good on my diet.  I was trying to get up early and go running and not being able to get to bed at night.  That only worked for awhile until my body said "I need a break".  Now I realize that I need to put sleep first in order for the other two to work.  If I don't get enough sleep, I won't have energy to exercise and I won't have the discipline to make healthy food choices.  My metabolism also slows down and when I do try to exercise, it is harder on my body.  I notice that my heart beats harder and I figure that can't be too good for me.  So sleep has to be more important to me and I have to fit it in my daily schedule.  I found an interesting website on sleeping:  They have a Zzzz score quiz that asks a few questions and provides recommendations on how to get more or better sleep.  I've never paid much attention to my sleep quality before, but I'm now seeing some reasons I might want to.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On Taking a Break

I haven't been overly motivated to exercise for the last week and a half.  I figured my body just needed a few days off so I've been giving it a rest.  I've been tired and draggy and haven't had much energy, which isn't helping me to get back to exercising.  I think I've figured out part of the problem though.
Taking a break isn't a bad thing, but not taking one from all exercise.  It was one thing to stop running and doing high intensity exercise, but I still need to get my heart rate to burn calories and have more energy.  If I don't feel like my usual exercise routine, I need to take a walk or do something active.
And the longer my break from any activity, the worse I feel.  Taking a day or two off is okay but then I need to do something.  Otherwise it will start a bad cycle.  After not exercising all week, I've been getting sleepy earlier and I'm tired in the morning and then I want to eat more.  I feel much better today after walking on the treadmill for fifteen minutes so I know it helps.
I still have to learn the exact combination that works for me, but I do know the importance of exercise for me.  So, now I'm back on the exercise wagon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Article on Weight Loss

I just wrote an article that I've been researching on the connection between sleep and weight loss.  It's amazing how much the amount of sleep plays in being able to lose weight.  Not just in altering your body but your mind as well.  I know I don't have as much discipline not to eat when I'm tired.  My body seems to tell me (but I know it's my mind) that because I didn't get enough sleep, I need to eat more.  I probably do need to eat more for energy but not the sweets and sugar that I crave.  I've always been one to say I can make my body run on any amount of sleep but I need to rethink that attitude.  I need to make sleep more of a priority in my life instead of treating it as a luxury that I can give up.
For that article, go here:

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Took the Weekend Off

I had planned to be good, but that didn't happen.  After eating extra calories at my lunch meeting on Friday, I was discouraged.  I ended up not counting my food for the whole weekend.  But looking back, I didn't do too bad.  I ate fairly reasonable and made healthy choices.  I finally had some of the ice cream I'd been craving for several weeks, but it was a smaller amount than what I would usually have.  And I really enjoyed it, which should always be true of what we eat.  How many times do we put food in our mouths and not really taste it?  I know for me, the answer is way too much.  I eat because its there but I can't say I truly enjoyed it.  But the ice cream, which by the way was vanilla with hot fudge and peanut butter, was awesome.  I savored every bite.  So I'm not too disappointed with myself and it's a new week.  I'm back to being good.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Trying to Be Good with Bad People

They really aren't bad.  And they aren't out to sabotage me.  I know that but sometimes it feels that way.  I had just declared I was going to be perfect on my diet for the next two weeks to try to break out of this plateau.  And then what happens?  My boss calls an unplanned meeting and tells me to order lunch.  He picked the restaurant and the menu so I was left with no healthy options.  And since it was during lunch I wouldn't get a chance to eat otherwise.  I can either get discouraged and give up or I can try to gain back some of those calories by exercising this week.  I have to keep in mind that it takes 3500 calories to gain a pound and I didn't eat that much.  I did track my calories so that I know what damage I did and what I need to burn to gain it back.  I never would have done that a couple of years ago so I've made progress.

There are some really good calorie websites out there to help you stay on track. was where I checked my damage.  963 calories for a gyro and french fries. also has some good options.  I usually try to go the restaurant's website if they have the nutritional value listed.  If not, I try to find something comparable so I have an idea. is another good place to go.  So even if you can't find out the exact number, you can get pretty close.  There's no excuse for me not to keep going.  Now to figure out how to burn those calories...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thoughts While Running

I only ran a mile and a half this morning.  It was hard to get motivated but at least I did something.  That is part of my new view on being healthy, not to always push myself so hard but to do something to be active.  Sometimes my body needs a break but I don't want to get out of the habit of regular exercise.
Since I've become a mother, I've developed a passion for preventing obesity in kids.  The statistics are staggering.  Something like one in five kids are obese or overweight and most of those will grow up to be overweight adults.  A nutritionist that spoke at a meeting I attended last week said that kids as young as two years old have buildup in their arteries and that there are eight year olds on cholesterol medicine.  We have to do something! 
That got me thinking while I was running that I'm not just running for myself but for my daughter and her future.  The best way to teach her to be healthy is to set an example.  Teach her healthy habits by following them myself.  It's hard to change our ways as adults but if we could start kids off right, then it would be much easier for them to stick with that as they get older. 
So when I'm tired and don't want to exercise, I'm going to think about her and know the real reason I do this.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Countdown

I've been losing weight for a year and a half but I've now decided to write a blog about it.  I'm still almost thirty pounds away from my goal, but on the positive side, I've lost over forty.  Through the journey, I've learned a lot and there are still some things I'm trying to figure out.  The big one is how not to be hungry and I'm beginning to think that is just part of losing weight.  I have learned how to not let it conquer me which is a big lesson.  My focus is not just about the number on the scale anymore but on how I look and feel.  That's why I gave myself permission to not work out much last week since I didn't really feel like it and not consider myself a failure or to think I might as well give up.
My goal is to lose the rest of the weight by the time I turn forty next March.  It's getting harder now that I have less weight to lose.  My sister is planning to take me on a vacation to the Bahamas for my birthday and I'd like to buy a swimsuit and be proud of how I look in it.  That's why I'm focusing more on strength training lately.
There are a lot of reasons to lose weight, about as many as there are diets around.  And our motivations change as we age or our moods or lifestyles change.  I've thought about that recently.  Ten years ago I lost a lost of weight and it was to look good to attract a husband.  I laugh at that now, but it was serious motivation then and it worked.  I lost thirty pounds.  But then my mom got sick and life got hectic and my weight or my desire for a boyfriend didn't seem important. 
After losing both my parents, I began the process of getting licensed as a foster parent to start a family of my own.  That's when I realized I needed to get healthy to be able to play with my kids.  When I was placed with an infant girl, I knew I wanted to be a role model for her, including in my health.  So I got serious about losing weight and getting healthy.  And as she gets older, I'm more conscious of how my actions affect her and what they teach her.  So I'm still on the journey and headed in the right direction.