Wednesday, February 20, 2013

finding inspiration

I admit it: I'm a Biggest Loser addict.  I love watching these people get their asses kicked.  I love the looks on their faces when they have a big week. I love it when someone with a viciously bad attitude gets knocked down a peg.  It's all awesome. 

I tend to root for the young twenty-something women (shocking, I know) (Except Conda).  This season I've been pulling for Danni - the poor girl was on her own with Jillian Michaels riding her all day, and she pulled some fantastic numbers.  Plus, she doesn't go down like a Brazilian soccer player anytime she gets a bruise.  

This past week, she made it under 200lbs.  This is something I've been dreaming about for a good 9 years now, and it has always seemed like a pipe dream.  For the first time I can ever remember, getting into "One-derland" is actually a real possibility for me.  Let's ignore the fact I've been playing with the same damn 5 lbs since last July like Napoleon with a tetherball.  I find it insanely inspiring and empowering to see someone I can relate to accomplishing such a huge feat.  That girl started at almost 270lbs! 

If you're having trouble keeping your eating clean or getting your ass out for a walk, try to think of someone you're really inspired by.  I really had zero desire to actually go to boot camp after a long day at work today, but I decided I wanted to get under 200lbs more.  Sitting on my butt tonight might have felt really good in the moment, but that second I step on the scale and I'm in "One-derland"... that's probably going to feel way better and be much more memorable. 

Ugh, was this a cheesy post or what? I'm just a giant marshmallow sometimes.  
Some comic relief.  Or maybe Paula Deen inspires me. 
Kind of like how my teaching job inspires me to practice extra-safe sex.

Friday, February 15, 2013

me likey: My Fitness Pal

If you have been having difficulty tracking calories (as I did), you may want to check out this nifty (neat? swell?) little app.  It's called My Fitness Pal and it's been making my life considerably less difficult this week.  Even better: when you sign in and make a profile, it will let you know what your calorie target for the day is.  

I've been using it for the week and I ended up losing 3 lbs.  Not too shabby! It bases calorie values on a searchable database that you can peruse through and pick from.  Not sure how many calories that mocha was? Oh, it will tell you.  And then you cringe a little and go "Okay...better go for a walk (to China)."

The layout is pretty user-friendly, so even if you suffer from "sausage-fingers" like me, you can make your way through the day with less "I didn't f***ing press that, PHONE." You simply click on the meal/snacks that you want to add to, and you have the option to search a database, choose from foods you've made or you choose most often, or quickly add calories if you don't want to go through the lengthy process of adding an entire entry for whatever it is.  Found a fun little feature - if you start "creating" your foods and adding all of the nutritional values, you can actually check your stats and see how you're doing for grams of fat, carbs, fibre and all that other stuff.  

The Skinny

Pros: User-friendly interface, won't judge you if you go over your calorie limit, can take it anywhere with mobile version for iOS, Android and Blackberry (I know, no one uses Blackberry anymore, but goshdarnit they made it anyway!), can also add exercise to increase your daily calorie limit.

Cons: They might actually have this feature, haven't really looked too hard, but it would be nice if you could add the times of day that you're eating at.  It can be helpful to start looking for patterns ("Hmmm, why do I always eat 9 donuts at 4pm?").  I'm also aware it would add an extra step for calorie tracking and make it slightly more annoying, but maybe if it was an optional feature?

All in all: Get it!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

why not start tomorrow (not monday)?

In case you needed some ideas of good habits you could start your week with on Sunday and strive to do all week, here is a little list.  

  1. Eat a piece of fruit and some almonds for your morning snack.
  2. Drink at least 3L of water each day.
  3. Drink green tea instead of coffee.
  4. Have a salad with your lunch instead of chips or crackers.
  5. Cut out diet pop.
  6. Wear something each day that makes you feel fabulous.
  7. Take a multivitamin.
  8. Don't eat out.
  9. Find a new recipe every day to try for supper.
  10. Find a yoga video on YouTube and do it.
  11. Write a compliment to yourself on a Post-It and put it on your mirror.  
  12. Have something with protein at every meal/snack. (Try cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs!)
  13. Eat every 2-3 hours.
  14. Do 5 burpees every morning when you get up.
  15. Smile more.
 Feel inspired yet?

Friday, February 1, 2013

cut yourself some slack

Don't start something on a Monday.

I knew this already.  You've got enough on your plate having to go back to work after two glorious days away, yet alone trying to make a major change in your routine.  Try a random Thursday.  Just not a Monday.

I was going to commit to counting my calories this week.  It didn't really happen.  I did make more of a conscious effort regarding my snacks being mostly fruit and salads for lunch.  Did I write everything down? No.  (Did I write anything down? No.)  Is it okay? Yes.

Cut yourself a damn break.  So you had a glass of wine when you didn't really need it.  So you had dinner out and got the pasta instead of the broiled chicken.  One misstep in your plans, or one day where you eat more than you intended, is not the end of the world and it is not a sentence to a lifetime of failure. 

I had a student whose weekly goal was to have a positive attitude for the week.  She ended up having a pretty unsuccessful week in that regard, and I was trying to have a chat with her and remind her of her goals on Thursday morning.  She says "That went out the effing door on Monday." I asked her if that was any good reason not to try and turn it around at that juncture.  While I did not receive a very positive response from her (okay, I got sworn at and a broken pencil thrown at me), it made me realize that all the baggage of my past failures isn't any good reason that I can't keep trying.  

No one is going to be perfect at eating.  No one is going to be perfect at exercising all the time.  Pick a goal that feels comfortable and manageable for you, like eating fruit for every morning snack this week or drinking 2.5L of water every day, and give it a try.  Imagine how good it would feel to do it.  It may not taste as good as chocolate at the time, but it sure as hell will make you feel better.

What's your mini-goal for the week? Start tomorrow. (Not Monday!)