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Thread: 2016 Health and Fitness Challenge

  1. #1
    The New Me EmilyD's Avatar
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    Default 2016 Health and Fitness Challenge

    Let's make 2016 a healthy year!
    EmilyD

    Word for 2018: Consistency

  2. #2
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    Hi Em! Thanks for starting the thread.

    In December, DH and I had our "numbers" done (Cholesterol, blood sugar, etc). They weren't what they should be, for either of us. DH's blood sugar was a little worrisome. My acid reflux had gotten quite severe. I was popping Tums constantly - even through the night sometimes. I'd had other stomach issues in the past several months as well. And my body was hanging on to weight like crazy - all recent attempts to "diet" were thrown out the window, because the results were so dismal.

    Together, DH and I decided to embark on a "Whole 30" http://whole30.com/

    It's essentially an elimination diet to let your body heal from the damage that has been done to it. No grain, no soy, no dairy, no vegetable oils, no sugar, no processed food. I'm eating vegetables and fruits, nuts, meat, and other whole foods.

    The hardest part so far has been that I'm not allowed to get on the scale.

    DH and I have cleaned up the kitchen substantially, although there are still foods in there I can't eat - with two teenage boys, I can't get rid of everything. But I figure I have to live in a world with food I can't eat, so I may as well practice.

    So, I've completed my first 7 days. My observations so far:

    The first day was pretty easy. None of the days since have been terribly difficult.
    I'm not hungry most of the time. When I am, it's usually time for a meal.
    I don't count calories, carbs, or anything else. I just eat.
    I've started drinking herbal tea in the afternoon when I get peckish. It's surprisingly effective.
    A mandarin orange is my dessert every evening, and without any sugar other than fruit in my diet, it does the trick.
    My acid reflux has been gone, completely, since day 1.
    After the first day, I had a headache for a couple of days. I have also been a little irritable and short-tempered.
    I don't love black coffee, but it's better than nothing.
    I am tired. The sleep tracker confirms that I don't sleep particularly well. I'm hoping for improvement here.

    Now that the diet is starting to take hold, I want to start moving more. Fitness is part 2 of this. I have new shoes, so its time to strap them on and hit the road.
    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  3. #3
    The New Me EmilyD's Avatar
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    Zip, glad to be able to help!

    I am also trying to do more weight loss and exercise.
    Since Jan 1, I have lost 6 pounds, most of which was
    because of being sick.

    "Dieting" doesn't work for me, so I have been eating
    what I want in reduced amounts, which usually works
    well for me. I lost 10 pounds this year and 10 pounds
    in 2014, and I am ok with another 10 this year if that
    is what I can get.

    Haven't done any exercise for several months. I got all
    the books that were lying on it packed up, so I will see
    if I can do a little each day on the treadmill, recumbent,
    and trampoline.

    With dh being here, I have regained the use of my knees
    a little, less pain as well. I don't want to jeopardize that,
    so a little at a time.

    Other goals are: 8oz water before each meal and bed, which
    is more than I am drinking right now, so it will be a beginning;
    continue to try to reset my circadian clock, improve my numbers,
    especially my glucose. Daily morning bs has been over 300 most
    days.

    We have been eating salmon at least once a payday, so that should
    help. I want to add more fruit and veggies and get back on my
    supplements and chews. Probably get set up and feel like it by Monday.
    EmilyD

    Word for 2018: Consistency

  4. #4
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    It looks like you're doing well, Em - a steady trend downward is a good thing!

    I've been on this elimination diet for 22 days now, and I'm learning a lot.

    It's incredibly difficult to eat at restaurants and be in compliance with this diet, which is a good indication about how unhealthy all the takeout has been.
    I often pack and take food with me because it is so much easier than trying to find something I can pick up and eat.
    It is a challenge not to have the feedback of the scale, but it has resulted in me being much more focused on what I should be eating.
    I am not hungry. I don't crave carbohydrates or sugar.
    My palate is adjusting quickly to having no added sugar. We had some berries and pineapple the other day as a "treat" and they tasted incredibly sweet.
    I am getting used to cooking all the time again, but I need to branch out to some new meals. In my need to keep things simple, it can also be a little bit boring.
    There are a lot more dishes, but a lot less trash.
    My acid reflux has been gone, completely, for 22 days.
    Cashew butter is so much better than peanut butter. I swear, it tastes like cookies.
    My sleep is still adjusting, but isn't as good as I'd like it to be yet.
    My joints hurt less, especially my knees.
    I still find it a challenge to eat breakfast.

    I have 8 more days to go before I can begin considering adding certain foods back into my diet. It is really not too difficult to eat this way at home, but going out would be greatly facilitated if I could eat rice and a small amount of dairy.
    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  5. #5
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    Hey, y'all, good to read about your progress!

    This winter I put on a lot of weight. Saw a number on a scale at a Dr visit that I had never been close to. I had boots on, but still! And I only have a few pants I can squeeze into.

    I'm experimenting with heading in a vegetarian, perhaps even vegan direction. I've pretty much cut out sugar and gluten. I do fine with that, as long as I stick with it.

    I've been walking regularly, and getting some extra aerobic exercise going up the hill in front of my house.

    I got a gym membership for Christmas, and the new gym opens tomorrow. Today I got invited to a Zumba class. I'm going to go, but try to take it easy--no injuries is my main priority.

    I've weighed myself once and took a fat percent reading since the encounter with the scale at the dr office. Scary numbers, but they will give me a starting point.

    My biggest challenge is cooking. I'm not doing any. At all.

    I hope as I come out of this hopefully seasonal depression I will be able to make vast improvements in this aspect of my lifestyle.

    Sleep has improved overall, but I am having severe, frequent hot flashes that wake me up almost hourly all night. The good news is I am not having to nap during the day. I think this is because of a change in my meds.

    Starting numbers:
    172#
    41% fat

    Okay I have got to get dressed!
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  6. #6
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    Good on you for starting out, LL! It can be tough to get your ducks lined up and get a good direction.

    This is day 31, which means that we have officially completed the Whole 30 and can weigh in again.

    I am down 20 pounds, and DH is down 16. Today is a dairy trial day. So far, so good. DH and I continue on the program over the next 10 - 20 days, with trials of certain foods to see how we react.

    I am getting used to eating like this, but I'm looking for some new recipes that can liven things up a little bit.
    DH and I are settling into a pretty straightforward Paleo diet for the moment, with some occasional dairy. Rice will be a trial later this week.
    Acid reflux remains completely gone, 31 days now.
    Still not hungry and not craving things that I shouldn't have.
    I did enjoy having cream in my coffee this morning. That may be a regular add-in for me.
    Walked with DH and the dog this morning, and now one of my feet is not talking nicely. We'll see how that goes.
    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  7. #7
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    Wow, that's awesome Zip! Such a big project to tackle. Congrats!

    I'm pleased with my progress, slow as it is. I've gone to Zumba three Sundays in a row, and I can feel the difference. The first week I could only participate for 45 mins. This week we went well over an hour. My biggest victory is less back pain, more strength and range of motion. It's made getting dressed easier. I also really love the class. I think I have found a form of exercise that I can stick with because it's fun.

    And I adore the leader. My next goal is to go to a second, and then a third class each week. If I really want to lose some fat, I need to make this a priority.

    I've also been walking an average of 3 times a week. I'd like to maintain that, and get it up to 4 times, even if they are short walks.

    My focus for eating has been to stay off the sugar and minimize the gluten. I'm sorta surprised that I have been able to do that. DPs bought a big box of Valentine's cookies at Costco, justifying to themselves that they could give the excess away to their dear children. I had four cookies, but decided not to enable their sugar habit, especially at the cost of my own abstinence, so I did not take any home. That was a huge victory!

    I've made a couple of entries in a journal I've started about food. Right now I'm just trying to observe my eating pattern get a handle on what is going on. It's pretty crazy. I'll buy a variety of food, but I always start with the simplest carbohydrate, sometimes even finishing that off before moving on to something else. So over the week my diet is balanced, but on any given day it is not.

    Last night I cooked, a two-course meal. That was progress. I'm not going to try and integrate menu planning and cooking into my schedule for a week or two. Easy does it.

    I forgot to do my weigh-in until after Zumba on Sunday.
    2/14 = 172#
    And I forgot to do a fat %, but I look like I might have lost some fat and gained some muscle.

    The gym did not open up on time, which is actually fine with me, since I found Zumba. I have an appt for an evaluation/orientation the second week in March.

    I haven't taken any body measurements because I've been too lazy to set up a graph. But I guess I can still capture the data.
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  8. #8
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    This week I was able to add the second Zoomba class to my schedule. But I did not get up early on any day that I didn't have an appt. I was hoping that I could change my wake up time, but walking wasn't enough of a motivation to get up apparently. The unfortunate outcome of this was then I didn't fit it in later in the day. I probably could have, but as it stands, I didn't walk at all this week! So I need a plan B.

    The Stats:
    174# (up two points, boo!)
    39% (down two points, yay!)
    Last edited by lizzie lou; 02-22-2016 at 04:07 PM.
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  9. #9
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    This week I didn't get to Zoomba--I probably could have fit it in, but that would have meant planning ahead. I made up for it last night by going to the fitness center at the hotel I am staying in. I did the elliptical for 45 mins. While I watched Netflix. Then a couple laps in the pool and a short soak in the hot tub.

    I also got a couple of walks in. It was important to get back in that saddle.

    I did not eat that well. Sugar crept back in to my diet. In the form of ice cream and cookies. I have not weighed in yet, but I suspect my stats are probably worse.

    I picked up a book called "I'm with Fatty" at a book exchange. "Losing 50 pounds in 50 miserable weeks." Written by a humorist about his travails. I can relate. I think it's time to incorporate my food issues. I guess the place to start is by simply journaling what I eat. Not the calories, but just to get into the habit and raise my consciousness.

    I'm excited about having access to a fitness center today and tomorrow morning, and plan on making the most of it.
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  10. #10
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    This week I read The End of Overeating by David Kessler, MD. It explains how salt, sugar and fat hijack our brains. Cue --> dopamine (motivation)--> food --> opiates (reward) --> habit. All on an unconscious level, which makes it hard/impossible to control. The only place we have control is at the very beginning of the cycle--that's when we can "just say no."

    The strategy is basically the same one that I have learned in dealing with my other compulsive behaviors/addictions.

    Exercise the "no" muscle (vs. the "yes" muscle).
    Make a new habit, that rewards healthy behavior.
    Do counter-conditioning (overeating = yuck)
    Think it through--what is the outcome?
    Don't debate with yourself--put it out of your mind.

    Plan your eating.
    Start out strict--with a ban on high fat, high salt, high sugar foods.
    Learn and stick to "just right" portions.
    Count calories or weigh food until it becomes intuitive.

    Eat fiber, protein, fat that you like.

    When going into risky situations, rehearse your behavior.

    When upset, find other ways to cope.
    Keep the frontal cortex active.

    Know your triggers and trigger foods.
    Refuse what you can't control.
    Avoid cues/limit exposure.
    Remember the stakes, think it through.
    Direct you attention elsewhere.
    Learn active resistance.
    "Am I going to be better off? Am I going to be satisfied?"
    Write your own script.
    Externalized the source of the devil on your shoulder.
    I.e in 12 step programs they say "it's not me, it's my disease/inner addict/etc."

    Eat small.
    Follow the plan.
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  11. #11
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    Last week:

    Mon--elliptical 45 mins, swim 10 short laps, stretch in hot tub
    Tues--urban stroll 45 mins
    Wed--none
    Thur--none
    Fri--none
    Sat--none
    Sun--Zumba 60 mins

    After eating high salt/fat/sugar on my vacation, I was able to cut out the sugar again. But depression did a number on my walking practice.

    Stats:
    172# (back down two points)
    41% (back up two points)
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  12. #12
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    last week:

    Mon: 1 mi walk
    Tues: 1 mi walk
    Wed: 1 mi walk
    Thurs: 1 mi walk
    Fri:
    Sat: 1 mi walk
    Sun: no Zumba

    I'm going to switch to a "senior" Zumba class until my core gets stronger. Lower back has been seizing up periodically the last two weeks.

    stats:
    my weight fluctuated a lot this week; today at 174#
    today at 40%
    Last edited by lizzie lou; 03-24-2016 at 02:00 AM.
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  13. #13
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    I've made two major med changes. I've started HRT, hoping that it will help with hot flashes. I've been having them every 40-50 minutes all night this winter, and it's wrecked havoc on my sleep schedule. Unless I have an appt, I haven't been able to get up before 2:00 PM for months.

    I've also gotten off two meds that have caused or exacerbated muscle clenching in my face. I've replace it with a med that has a happy side effect of reducing appetite. That is temporary, however, but hopefully it will get me started.

    My gym finally opened. I need to go and get oriented.

    Mon
    Tues
    We'd
    Thur walk 1 mi
    Fri walk 1 mi
    Sat go for a hike
    Sun

    169.5#
    40%
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  14. #14
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    Looking good, LL! It's past time I checked in again.

    I'm down about 37 pounds off my high, a bit more than 30 since Jan 1.

    I still avoid most grain most of the time, although I have allowed myself small amounts of everything in the past 8 weeks. I do best if I stay away from too many carbs and too much sugar.

    I've mainly left the cream out of my coffee, because even though it's a nice luxury, I don't need it. Acid reflux has only been back a couple of times, but it's been almost totally gone.

    The past few weeks I have mainly just maintained without losing. I'd like to add back in some exercise at this point and cut the experimental carbs and sugar back to the point where I'm losing again.
    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  15. #15
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    Hi Zip! That's an inspiring accomplishment.

    Last week I didn't post because I was back up to 173# and mad at myself about it. But I also had a big aha--I realized that my basic problem is compulsive binge eating, and essentially always has been.

    I realized that my strange shopping habits have been an unconscious attempt to deal with that. But when I am in binge-mode, I will eat anything. Last night, for example, I ate toasted bagel thins spread with Greek yogurt cream cheese with slices of sushi ginger on top. (It was actually pretty good!)

    My point being is that the sushi ginger is probably the very last of the sugar in the house. If there are simple carbs to be had, I will find them.

    The binging goes along with the obsession. I will obsess about cake the way I used to obsess about cigarettes. Except I knew better than to obsess about cigarettes. I would not allow myself to think about them. Why do I allow myself to think about cake? It's all in Kessler's book. The only time our poor brains have any power is at the beginning of the process. "Just Say No."

    And the week before last I started obsessing about cake. But Sonoma is not a dessert town. It is a wine and cheese town. So I compromised and went to Black Bear for pancakes. And then waffles. You can see what the weigh in reflected.

    Also I didn't keep good records, not sure how much I'll be able to reconstruct.

    Week of April 4th
    Mon--walk
    Tues--short walk
    We'd--walk
    Thur--?
    Fri--check out gym
    Sat--?
    Sun--?
    173#

    Week of April 11th
    Mon--?
    Tues--?
    We'd--gym orientation and leg workout
    Thur--?
    Fri--Senior Circuit
    Sat--walk
    Sun--
    169.5#
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  16. #16
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    So the last three weeks have disrupted my nascent routine: BABSCon, then being sick with "con crud," then a conference. The good news is I haven't really binged, or even eaten that much. Probably a combination of being sick and the appetite supression of a new med.

    The net result is I lost some weight. As I didn't exercise, I'm doubtful that I improved my fat %. I will try and remember to measure that tomorrow.

    So now to get back into the exercise groove. I took a walk yesterday, but cut it short, as I was tired. But I anticipate getting back to my edge rather quickly.

    165.5 #
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  17. #17
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    Honestly, I don't want to post. But that is when I need to.
    This week I focused on spending time with my friends. Brought sugar into the house. Frosted flakes and ice cream.

    Mon: ditched Sr. Circuit
    Tues: walked to, at, and from farmer's market
    Wed: nada
    Thur: slow but long hike up some steep hills
    Fri: Sr. Circuit
    Sat: Boogie Housework
    Sun: day off
    Mon: ditched Sr. Circuit again, but went for a walk later

    166.5#
    39%
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  18. #18
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    I'm working on integrating the gym into my weekly routine. But it's not compensating for all the night-time eating I've been doing. My weight it creeping back up, which is disheartening.

    Mon: ditched Sr. Circuit
    Tues: nada
    Wed: gym (Somatics and upper body)
    Thur: nada
    Fri: ditched Sr. Circuit, but went for a challenging hike
    Sat: walk
    Sun: nada
    Mon: Sr. Circuit and 30 mins on eliptical

    168.5#
    ...Friendship is Magic...

  19. #19
    Good Morning Princess! lizzie lou's Avatar
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    I haven't. been keeping my timesheets or my fitness journal, so I will do my best to recreate my week. What I have been doing is focusing on my sleep hygiene, and I have finally been making some headway with that. It has turned out to be the key to addressing the nighttime bingeing.

    My DPs have followed my lead, and are slowly banishing sugar from their house as well. I think it's because they are so disturbed by my weight gain, but hey, whatever works.

    Mon--Sr Circuit and 30 mins on eliptical
    Tues--nope
    Wed--nope
    Thur--nope
    Fri--elliptical, somatics, leg day
    Sat--nope
    Sun--mayb a walk?

    166#
    ...Friendship is Magic...

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