Sunday, December 18, 2011

Specific goals... continued.

So, in terms of reaching these goals... (and please note that I do brand-name-drop some stuff here; I have no motivation for this except that it's stuff I like!)

I love reading about nutrition so I usually have this department under control. I am not a saint in this department. I do sometimes eat processed foods (though, what really ISN'T processed in some way?) I don't eliminate any food groups. I focus on fruits and vegetables and whole grains. About one meal that I cook per week contains meat; otherwise I generally eat vegetarian. I eat eggs and dairy, but try not to substitute meat with a ton of cheese. I like beans and lentils. I can't restrict myself too much because otherwise I won't stick with it. I try to eat whole grains mostly but once in a while I will eat white breads (e.g. flour tortillas). I do read ingredients labels and avoid trans fats.

I use SparkPeople for my nutritional tracking. I think the reason I haven't kept up with blogs in the past is because I insisted on blogging every single day with every single thing I'd eaten. With SP I can just track it on there and leave it. I follow the nutritional guidelines that SparkPeople sets for me in terms of calories, protein, carbs and fats. I do hope, though, to maybe post on here a weekly summary of how I did that week. Hopefully that will help me keep on track. Generally SparkPeople gives me anywhere between 1300 and 1700 calories per day to eat.

I don't drink enough water. I eat breakfast every day but often don't even have a glass of water with it. When I get to work I raid the coffee pot. I kept buying water bottles but I have yet to find one that doesn't leak all over my bag. I finally just got a Nalgene that doesn't leak, and we have a great water cooler at work so I can re-fill it.

One of my challenges is that I love cooking, but it is hard for me to cook for just one person. Most meals I make serve 4. Many I can cut in half, but then that tends to leave me with leftover ingredients that I won't use in another meal before they go bad.  A lot of times I'll bring food over to my mom's and leave her with the leftovers, and I almost always eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. I do have a couple of "cooking for one or two" cookbooks.

I have way too many cookbooks so meal planning is not difficult for me. I use MacGourmet to organize my recipes and every week I meal plan before I go shopping.

So where does my difficulty lie in the nutritional department? Why do I weigh so much?  Usually emotional eating. I don't keep junk food in the house (and I live alone so that's helpful) but if I ever go out then I eat too much. I also have an "all or nothing" mentality that I need to learn how to change. Also, when alcohol is involved, then you can forget about it. Which is why I need to not drink! Not to mention all the calories in alcohol...


I go in streaks with exercise. I know how good it makes me feel. I've always enjoyed cardio more than strength training, so that's something I want to learn more about in 2012. I have a small but great collection of exercise DVDs. A couple years ago I decided I wanted to start doing step aerobics, and I'm really glad I did. I bought a step (this one) and a couple beginner DVDs. I learned the very basics from Gin Miller's "Everybody Steps" DVD (link) and then moved on to her Simply Step DVD which is a hard workout for me. Easy choreography but intense! I also have Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred as well as her Ultimate Workout 3-Pack - I'm not a big fan of Jillian and I don't like the concept behind the Biggest Loser but I do love her workouts. The cardio kickbox is a great 20-min workout for me. I also do have a yoga DVD that I don't use very often, and a great new SparkPeople 10-min workouts video which focuses on different parts of the body so I'm hoping to use that for strength training. I also got a Wii and Wii Fit for my birthday this year, and I love it. It's very low-intensity, of course, but according to my heart rate monitor the estimates that the Wii Fit gives me are actually fairly accurate. It's fun to play with and I can do it for an hour without even realizing it and I can burn up to 300 calories in that hour just playing on the Wii. 

I really enjoy my heart rate monitor, I use it every time I work out and the results have been surprising. I was actually under-estimating my calorie burning for almost every workout I was doing. The hour-long Simply Step video I mentioned had me burning 700 calories!

So, here are my specific goals for each week.
-- Stay within calorie range (determined by SparkPeople and my current weight) at least 6 out of 7 days a week.
-- For January, work out at least 90 minutes per week.
-- Drink 64 oz of water per day.
-- One day a week (Saturday or Sunday) have a "spa" day where I spend time taking care of myself - bath, lotion, relaxing.

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