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Archive for August, 2009

Weekly Summary And Weigh In

I did OK last week. I was a bit better with the dessert thing, although I did have four Oreos last night. One serving of Oreos is three cookies. And I’ve come to realize, I’m no longer a huge fan of Oreos. I used to love Oreos, but now, meh, I can do without. I’m happy with my chocolate Special K.

My exercise last week went great. I did two days of my usual strength training, and on Wednesday I had my house cleaning workout. Adding in an extra set of “manly” push ups is going to be fine I think. I did three sets of 15 on Friday and this morning. The third set was a bit of a struggle this morning, but I did it. I feel stronger with my entire weight routine with my arms. If I had a higher set of dumbbells I’d be contemplating going up in poundage. But the highest I have are 8 pounders, so I’ll think about just adding another set of 15. Not at the point yet, but will get there. As it is, my husband told me Friday I had “Jennifer Aniston arms”. I had to laugh at that. Fine with me! I love her arms!

I tested out my foot on the elliptical this morning, and it’s still a no go. I had no pain at all Sunday and very little on Saturday. I did two tenths of a mile and had to stop. Not where I’d like it to be at this point. I am glad however, that I discovered I’ve only been off the elliptical for one month and not two. So that makes me feel a little better about taking more time off. I plan to take one more week off, maybe two and go from there. I may look into buying new shoes as well. Not sure though.

I did put a folded towel under my left foot to give that a leg a boost, and that will help again I think. I also concentrated on shifting my weight more back and forth and pushing with my whole foot. The shifting of my weight won’t be a problem, but pushing with my whole foot will take time and practice. I find myself slipping back to the toe pushing very easily. But I will work on it and it will get there. Just need to rest my foot a little more.

Oh yes, I did weigh in this morning, and I am down a pound. That’s fine, since last week I was up three I believe. And that was most likely due to the dessert thing that week.

The plan for this week is three days strength training, and rest the foot. Already have one day down so it’s a good start!

How are your workout plans set for this week?

Nutritional Information On Restaurant Menus

I had my first experience with seeing nutritional information on a restaurant menu today. I know some places have this sort of thing on their menus, but I’ve never actually seen it for myself.

We went out to Mimi’s Cafe this afternoon after running a few errands, and as I was skimming through the menu, I saw their Fresh And Fit section. I instantly fell in love with this option. I had always loved the idea of restaurants adding nutritional information to their menus, but once I actually saw it, it just made my opinion stronger. The nutritional information isn’t done in an “in your face” kind of way at all. I think the type of people who are against this type of idea are those that don’t like to actually see the damage their doing to their diet. They don’t want to know how many calories they’re eating and don’t want to feel guilty about having eaten it later.

Mimi’s doesn’t have nutritional information for their entire menu, just for their Fresh and Fit section. I personally would love to see all the nutritional information, for every dish. As it is now, I go to the Calorie King web site to see if the restaurant we’re going to has any of their meals listed. Either that or I will go to their personal web site and see if they list any there. If they don’t I’m assuming the meals are high in calories and fat. But I could be wrong.

At Mimi’s Cafe I had the Sweet and Sour Chicken. I would have thought that the sodium count for that meal would be high. I was shocked to see the sodium was only 209 mg. That meal was only 555 calories, 19 grams of total fat, and 3 grams saturated fat. Not too bad at all! And it was pretty tasty. I was a little hungry a few hours later, while everyone else I had lunch with was still somewhat full. So I grabbed a nectarine and that was perfect.

So, yes, I am definitely all for having nutritional information on restaurant menus! I hope this becomes standard for most restaurants. And if not, I hope they at least post the facts on their web sites. I know it takes a lot of pressure off when I know exactly what I want, and not have to guess at which meal is the healthier option.

What do you think? Would you like to see nutritional information on restaurant menus? Or would you rather not know the amount of calories you’re eating?

House Cleaning Workout

Today I did not do my usual workout routine. But I did get a workout. Between squatting to get laundry out of the dryer, pushing and pulling the vacuum cleaner and scrubbing the dog in the bath tub I managed to work out several parts of my body.

I was in a major cleaning mood this morning and I took advantage of it. I first managed to get the dog corralled in the bathroom, a major feat all on its own. George is a Chinese Crested, the kind with fur thank you, and is around ten to twelve pounds I’d guess. The first couple of times that I bathed him it was no problem getting him in the bathroom. Now, he’s wise to my motives. I call him in and he starts cowering and shaking, the poor thing. So, I get him in, telling him it will only take five to ten minutes to get him all sudsy and clean again, but he gives me the pitiful puppy dog look. I lift him in and turn the water on. He behaves this time and doesn’t manage to jump out like he did last time. Midway though, my lower back is aching from bending over the tub. My arms though are getting a good workout by the rub-a-dub-dubbing of the pup.

Now comes the fun part. Getting George out of the tub and trying to contain his spray of water. He has a lot of fur, a lot, and it holds a lot more water than you’d think. He recently got a trim in April I believe but he still has a lot a fur. I went through three bath towels getting him somewhat dry before letting him unleash his pent up energy through the rest of the house. I then use another two bath towels to mop up the water on the floor, toilet and walls…yes, walls. The little dog can shake I tell you. And come to think of it, I somehow managed not to get soaked.

Think that’s the end of the dog washing? Nope. I don’t want him to track water all over the tile in the hall and kitchen area, so I bring him into the bedroom. He loves the bedroom. Why? Because our three cats hide out there. So I let him in, and warn the cats with a “look out kitties, here he comes!” and he zooms right in. I get him over to my hair dryer and start on the long drying process. It takes me longer to dry his fur than it does to dry my hair. Trying to keep him still and in one place while drying him works the muscles too. So I hooked a finger in his collar (probably not too safe to do, for fear of attaining a broken finger) and went to business. Not sure how much time has past, but between kneeling on the tile bathroom floor and then kneeling on the bedroom floor, my legs were tired. I do a sort of “genie sit”


while drying him off so that works the fronts of my thighs.

So, with the dog mostly dry I send him out of the room, give him a treat for behaving fairly well and move on to the next task. Laundry. With most of my bath towels were used up having quite a few already in the hamper, I haul the load into the laundry room and dump them in. After I of course put the blanket that was in the washer into the dryer. Now I can relax right? Nope. Out to the kitchen I go to empty the dish washer and reload the sucker. I got balance practice in by putting away glasses and dishes on the upper shelves. Side bends were done loading dishes into the washer, and a major test in balance was achieved when putting pans on the tippy tippy top shelf of the pantry. Success.Thank goodness for the chair behind me in case I fell over.

I had a bit of a break by having lunch and watching some news. Then came time to do some squats with the dryer. Got the blanket out and it was still not quite dry so I hung it up on my elliptical (sad to see it used for a drying rack at the moment), and put the huge load of towels into the dryer. Next I hauled Ashley’s (our second cat, about 10 years old) makeshift bed (my old comforter from college) and loaded it in.

Since her bed was now in the washer, I decided to give our bedroom a thorough vacuuming. I love my vacuum.


It gets dirt and fur and sand that others just don’t get. I was going to sprinkle the floor with carpet freshener powder and vacuum the room a second time, but my husband got back from work. So that will have to wait until tomorrow or whenever. The carpet is starting to get that “cat” odor to it again. So after pushing and pulling the vacuum around, I was finally done. I went from about 9 AM to 1 PM non stop, other than lunch which was all of ten minutes.

And as I was writing this post, our youngest cat Abby, about 8 years old, decided to get sick on one the covers that covers the couch. So I hauled that sucker into the washer and it is now being cleaned. So with a slight headache, I am tired, but I feel very accomplished. I may not have gotten my traditional workout in, but it sure feels like it. And to all you moms out there that do this, or similar activities every day, my hat is off to you!

Weekly Summary…A Bit Late And Weigh In

Where did the week go? It just flew by and I haven’t written anything here at all. I have a few thoughts I want to write about this week, I just need to do a little research and get my thoughts in order, but posts are coming!

Last week was an OK week. I’m still not doing any cardio activity due to my right foot, but I did get three days of strength training in. I’m managing two sets of my arm exercises with no real problem now, so I’m improving there. And push ups! I usually dread push ups, but those are getting somewhat easier. And I’m not talking about “girlie” push ups, these are MAN push ups. I’m doing two sets of fifteen and they’re getting pretty easy. So, as much as I dread them, I plan on adding another set of fifteen. I don’t go down to the floor all the way, but I go as far as I can without feeling like I’ll fall on my face. I’m sure if a real trainer saw how I do them, they’d tell me to get lower. Ah well, I do them my way.

I did have a few nights of “bad” desserts last week. I had chocolate pudding one night, coffee crumb cake another night, and Nilla wafers with a peanut butter, powdered sugar mixture spread on top two nights. I allow myself two nights of bad desserts, but I went a little overboard last week. I checked my ranges for the week, and I need to watch my fat intake and my calorie range since I’m still not able to get on my elliptical quite yet. I was over my range for calories three days and my fat range four days I believe. And that is why, my weight crept up again. Yep, this morning was weigh in and I’m back up three pounds. That’s OK though. It’ll get back down once my foot is 100%. When that will be, I don’t know.

As far as me wearing my shoes, I did wear my tennis shoes all day last Tuesday. I didn’t really feel a difference though, so that was the only day I wore my shoes all day. My foot did feel a bit better on Saturday when we went to see the movie District 9 (movie was way over hyped). It still ached, but I got no real twinges at least.

My plan for this week is just like last week. Three days of strength training and watch the bad desserts. Keep on moving all!

Monday Weigh In

August 10, 2009 2 comments

Monday is my set weigh in day. I was not expecting to see any kind of movement on the scale this morning, especially a downward movement. But that’s what I got. A nice little surprise. I’m now one pound away from the high end of my maintenance range again. I’d like to lose about six more pounds to get into the middle of my range, but I’m quite happy.

Had a nice short workout this morning. I did my floor routine of abs, arms and legs. I skipped the standing arm and standing leg routine as I wanted to stay off my foot. Felt strange not to do half of my workout. But I did the other half.

As for my foot…it’s not improving like I thought it was. My husband and I went over for a quick run to Target. As soon as I stepped outside, I knew it was not where I thought it was in terms of getting better. Sort of felt like something was jabbing me in the lower toe joint. I did notice when I focused on putting my weight on the outer part of my foot, it felt better. But if I lost concentration…ouch. Not unbearable pain, but it did hurt. I’d say out a 1 to 10 pain scale it was around a 6 at most.

So it looks like I’ll be sans cardio workout for a while longer. I know, I know, you’re all saying go get it looked at by a doctor. What they’ll tell me is “stay off it” and “take some Advil or Aleve” just like they told me when I was having pain in my knees about eight years ago. So, I’m staying off my foot and will start taking Aleve. I’m not going to spend a bunch of money for a doctor to tell me what I already know. I know my body better than anyone, right? Right. If I went to the doctor for every ache and pain I had, I’d be in there every other week. And of course if I was unable to put any weight on my foot at all I would go in. I’m not that silly.

So, yes a nice surprise on the scale this morning. Shocked me actually because I ate over my calorie range most days last week. Must be doing something right.

When you have an ache or pain, do go in to the doctor every time, or do you self diagnose and treat yourself?

Weekly Goal Summary And Thoughts

Over on my blog at Spark People I write down a summary of the past week’s goals. I’ll do my best to post one here as well every Sunday.

My goals for last week were to get in three days of strength training. That was basically it. Seeing as my toe was still giving me problems, I took the week off from my elliptical again. I did get in my three days of strength training, I had to really force myself on Friday to get it done. I had a bad night’s sleep Thursday and was just not in the mood. But I told myself “It’s only 45 to 60 minutes out of the day. DO IT!”. So I did.

Normally when I force myself to get it done, I have one of my better workouts. Friday, not so much. Yes, I felt good for doing it, but it just seemed to take forever. I’d find myself thinking “Am I done yet?” “Can I be done now?” and similar things. When I was done, I thanked the weekend gods for arriving and that I didn’t have to do this again until Monday.

I had the plan of wearing my shoes all day last week to see if that would help my toe heal. Well, it didn’t happen. I went barefoot like usual. I wasn’t in the mood for shoes. I also think that what happened to my toe is actually a sprain. Due to how I push the peddles of my elliptical, that toe joint was just getting too much pressure on it, and it sprained. I looked up what to do for a sprained toe, and it gave the usual R.I.C.E treatment.

R: Rest – I did indeed rest my foot.
I: Ice – Ice never really works for my injuries. I find heat works best for me, and I have a couple of bean bag heating pads that I use. Just pop those babies in for 45 seconds and let the heat loosen the muscles and tendons. I have cold feet anyway, so they always feel good.
C: Compression – I didn’t use any kind of compression other than squeezing my foot with my hand to see where the pain was originating from. Doesn’t really count though.
E: Elevate – Yep, I sure did. I propped my foot up on the couch when watching TV, or else I’d put it on the coffee table.

The good news is, it’s not hurting as badly as it was. It used to hurt all along the inner foot. That part has gone away, it’s just the big toe joint now. And that’s slowly improving. Not so much that I’ll be doing 30 minutes on the elliptical Monday morning, but I might jump on maybe Wednesday and see how it is. If I feel any discomfort at all, I’ll stop. I’m doing my best to be patient.

As far as this week’s goals. Pretty much the same as last week. Three days of strength training and that’s it. Rest the foot. I’m thinking of skipping my standing leg routine as that puts pressure on the toe, especially standing leg lifts and calf raises. So that pretty much nixes my entire standing leg routine. In the past, if I skipped one portion of my strength routine, I’d skip the entire thing. I need to get rid of that “all or nothing” attitude. It’s OK to skip part of a routine. I need to get that into my head.

I have my weekly weigh in Monday morning, and I’m not expecting a loss. I had some high calorie meals last week (i.e. Domino’s pizza), so we’ll see what happens.

How do you deal with an injury? Do you do what you can or do you take a break from all exercise?

How I Lost 35 Pounds

August 6, 2009 2 comments

Losing weight is a different process for everyone. Some go on strict diets, by cutting out junk food all together, while others use diet pill or diet shakes. I’m not saying these methods don’t work, but I knew they would not work for me. I tried dieting off and on for about ten years by cutting out junk food totally, and it worked for about week or so, and then I’d get fed up and go on a junk food binge.

I knew I needed to lose weight and I went looking online in the beginning on 2007 and found Spark People. This is a wonderful tool for anyone wanting to get healthy and to lose weight the healthy way. They’ve got a nutrition tracker to log your food intake and a fitness tracker to log your exercise. Let me tell you, it was a big eye opener when I first logged my food. They taught me how to look at serving size information and to pay attention to various things such as sodium and fat contents. Wow. No wonder I was getting big. I was eating at least two and a half to three servings of cookies and ice cream every night. No to mention eating pound cake for breakfast and a bag of microwave popcorn for lunch.

Spark People also has hundreds of helpful articles on nutrition and fitness, along with motivation and wellness articles as well. Reading these articles I learned so much about food and what certain foods help or hinder your body. And I can’t forget the wonderful community of Spark People. Their forums are wonderful and filled with helpful people ready to provide answers to any questions you may have. I belong to several “teams” that have monthly challenges and those challenges help me to stay focused and keep me going.

So, yes, Spark People has been a huge part in my weight loss. But let’s face it, I’m the one who did the actual work. They provided me with the tools, but I did it essentially on my own. I paid more attention to what and to how much food I put in my body. I came up with a workout routine that worked for me. I took it slow in the beginning and was only doing about five minutes total on a miniature stair stepper. After about six months, I was up to about an hour.

I don’t see myself on a “diet”, but more of a “healthy lifestyle”. To me, a diet has to end sometime. A healthy lifestyle never ends, unless you choose to go back to eating unhealthy foods every day. That’s another thing, I believe in moderation. I have desert most nights, but for the most part I choose a healthy choice. My favorite dessert right now is Special K Chocolatey Delight. It gives me that chocolate taste I want but is still fairly healthy. You can have that piece of cake, just have one serving, and it’s best not to make it a nightly habit.

Staying on track with a healthy lifestyle can be challenging at times depending on who lives in your household. I have my fair share of challenges here, but I make my own choices and stick to them. I might be called a “food snob” sometimes or a “brat” because I’m focused on my exercise routine, but those are just words. I tell them I’m doing the right thing for me and my body. And like I said in my previous post, if I don’t keep moving, I’m going to be in trouble.

If I slip up and have more pizza than I should, or if I skip a workout here and there I don’t beat myself up. I just get back to it and keep going. One bad day won’t undo everything I’ve accomplished. I eat what I want and I keep track of certain ranges such as fat content, sodium and of course calories. I also am mindful of my calcium range, and because it is so low, I now take Citrical to help with that.

It’s different for everyone. I do have strong opinions on diet pills and the various fad diets, but I won’t get into that in this post. If those work for you, great! I just know that they would not work for me.

So how about you? How did (are) you lose (losing) weight? Pills, moderation, diet books, surgery? Let me know in the comments and tell me if what you’re doing is working for you.