Wellness Wednesday–Putting the Brakes on Insanity

Doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results is one of the definitions of insanity, right?

So I guess I can’t expect to keep dabbling in such treats as these and think I’m going to see results of the exercises I’ve been engaging in with my Fit at Work project.

I’ll be honest. I added three of these treats to my breakfast of a hard boiled egg and fruit bowl this morning. These other two were intended to be an afternoon snack. Normally, I’d convince myself that, “It’s only two. And they’re mini cinnamon rolls, for heavens sake!”

This time, though, another thought occurred to me. “You’ve been rationalizing like this all of your adult life. But forty-one year old you can’t keep this up and keep this weight from piling on.” With that in mind, I dumped these little delectable delights in the garbage can!

Yay me! Gotta start somewhere, right?

What changes are you making to live a healthier lifestyle? Lose weight?

Happy New Year!

Welcome back the Wellness Wednesday. I’m so excited to be here at the start of this new year 2017. Not only because it’s good to be in the land of the living, as the senior pastor of my church used to say, but because I’ve got a plan to shed these unwanted pounds.

A realistic plan. Not like that frivolous plan too lose weight at the start of the holiday season knowing good and well I was going to be baking….and enjoying those delicious deserts. 

Yes, that’s why you didn’t see an update on that journey. I didn’t want to leave you on a gloomy note for 2016.

But on to better things. The new plan is to implement my strategy of getting fit at work. Even more exciting than that is that the journey will double as material for a 2018 book project. Lord help me!

The jury is still out on whether or bot I’ll be posting  weekly entries about my progress. However, I will give periodic updates about that endeavor while talking about a variety of health and wellness topics. 

I’m not going to rag on 2016 for being an ineffective weight loss year for. Instead, I’m pushing hard not to let 2017 be a repeat!

What are your health and wellness goal for 2017. Share in the comments below. 

Wellness Wednesday–Year End Weight Loss Update #2

Down 2 lbs!

I’m so happy to announce that. Ramping up my exercise game to include 2-3 days of power walking has done the trick. Enlisting the help of my neighbor has made a difference too. This past Saturday I was laying in bed considering my options for the morning:

1. Go walking by myself (my neighbor had a personal training session scheduled that morning–more on that in a minute)

2. Go to my coffee spot to write, walking afterwards

3. Get up and enjoy the quiet of the house while my husband and son remained asleep

Before I reached a decision I received a text from my neighbor:

Are we walking this morning?

I’d like to say that if she hadn’t texted my I might have decided on one of the last two options and ended up missing my walking opportunity as the rest of my day was pretty busy.

Awesome exercise buddy, right? Well… unless she goes rogue. Lol!

Apparently I re-lit the fitness fire of my neighbor friend and she’s just jumping feet first into her own fitness program. Since we started walking together, she’s contacted her personal trainer and started back this week.  Already she bailed on me for one of our walks because she was meeting her trainer the next morning.

But to her credit, she hasn’t completely bailed. She still hits me up for a walk in between her sessions. Plus, she’s invited me to go with her. I doubt I will, though. I’m not one for personal training sessions. Especially those that cost per month because I wouldn’t be going that frequently. Not to mention I already pay a monthly gym membership (albeit $10).

Anyway, I expect we’ll still keep each other going. And if things continue as they have been, we’ll walk together once or twice a week. That works for me. Plus, I’ll always be grateful for her showing me just how fast I can walk around my apartment complex. In the cold too!

Considering myself on target with a good exercise regimen, my next challenge is baking for the next and last holiday of 2016–Christmas. In 10 years, at least, no holiday has been void of one of my homemade deserts (cream cheese pound cake being the favored). But after the pounds my daughter and I packed on during Thanksgiving, I have to decide on a healthy alternative. This should be interesting…

Stay tuned! Looking forward to more lost pounds. Oh yeah!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

P.S. Follow me on Instagram @naturallylajeff

 

 

 

 

 

Wellness Wednesday: End of Year Weight Loss Journey Update #1

Dum dum da dum…

thanksgivingfitness

It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving and I have…news to report. Can’t quite call it good or bad news. More like smack dab in the middle news.

The week before the holiday I sent out an SOS of sorts to my neighbor friend to buddy up with me on exercising. She jumped at the offer. Within minutes of my text, she responded with, “Sure, do you want to start tomorrow?”

No, I thought to myself, but I texted back. “Sure!”

We’ve been on it ever since. That first day we did 20 mins of Tae Bo with Billy Blanks. Whew! Hadn’t done that in about 15 yrs. But I had to make it through. Couldn’t let my neighbor, who is at least 10 years my senior show me up.

For the rest of that week we walked a lap around our apartment complex and increased it to two laps the next week.

According to my analog scale, I dropped 1-2 lbs. That’s the good news!

Then came the holiday: dressing, crescent rolls, and the cake. Really, it was the cake that did me in.

The Saturday after the holiday I decided to check out the damage. If not for the walking that I did with my neighbor over that weekend, I would have surely gained more than the few pounds that I’d lost the previous week.

That’s the bad news. I’m right back to where I started two weeks ago.

Could be worse, though. Right?

What’s awesome is that today is Monday–me and my neighbor’s regular walking day. I’m looking forward to walking those 2 laps (maybe 3) around the complex.

What’s even BETTER??? There’s no more cake!

First shot at pineapple layered cake 


My perfect cream cheese pound cake.
P.S. I need some healthy desert alternatives. Please post ideas in the comments below.

Til Next time…

Naturally Yours,

L.A. 
 

Wellness Wednesday: My Favorite Workout Spot

I’m going to be there every day at the same time for the same amount of hours. No matter how busy I get, there’s always time for fitness–I’m mandated to take at least a 30 minute lunch.  And it’s the only place that I can go where there’s no option to be anywhere else. 

Yep, you guessed it. My workplace is my favorite spot to work out. Even more so since I was finally granted the accomodation of a standing workstation. It’s a shame the company doesn’t provide them to all employees just because they’re better for you, but that’s for another post.

These here are so me:


I recently stopped exercising in private. Until a few weeks ago I kept my equipment–hula hoop, Dumbbells, yoga mat–in an empty office area. Then I realized I wasn’t using them as much I wanted to. Why? Honestly, sometimes I don’t feel like leaving my desk. Now I don’t hula hoop at my desk. That would be insane! God help me if I had a private office because I certainly would. In the meantime, thought, I do perform dumbbell exercises, lunges, squats, ab exercises, and I walk every chance I get: bathroom breaks, water runs, coffee runs, going to the prober and fax, talking to coworkers. By the time I leave work, I’m over the halfway mark to my 15k step goal! 

That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. No matter how many times my daughter tries to convince me that I can fit the gym into my schedule, I will continue to get it in at work. If by chance I get to the gym or do some increased physical activity after work, it’s just the cherry on top!

What’s your favorite place to exercise? Share in the comments below.

P.S. If you like these posts please subscribe and share with your friends.

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Wellness Wednesday–Progress One Meal at a Time

Ever start your day with a healthy green  smoothie or pack healthy snacks for the day like these:

only to get to  work and partake of the bagels and donuts the management team surprises the office with? 

 I’ll be honest. It happens to me all of the time. It’s hard to decline free goodies that don’t come often.

The good thing is that I learned a long time ago not to let one ( or two) meals ruin my day. My philosophy is that a healthy diet happens one food choice at a time. So as long as I’m incorporating good food choices throughout the day I’m moving in the right direction of a healthy lifestyle. And the more good food choices I make over time, the less inclined I’ll be to choose bad food.

In the meantime, I’m not beating myself up when I indulge in not-so-good-for-me food and I suggest you don’t either. Just keep doing the best you can and get better one meal at a time.

I’m always open for suggestions to do better on this health and wellness journey. Post yours in the comment section below.

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Wellness Wednesday: Diversify Your Workout

The experts say your body needs to be challenged with increased duration and/or intensity of exercises. I believe that to be true but I change up my routine more so to keep from being bored. If I’m bored, I won’t stick to it.
While walking is the main staple in my exercise arsenal, I diversify by:

1. Walking malls that include stairs and ramps

2. Attend Zumba class (when I’m in a funky dancing mood and don’t dripping in perspiration.)

3. Attend hula hoop fitness class. I was elated to find a class practically around the corner from me. It’s on Sunday’s so I can only attend once or twice a month when I’m not on ministry duty at my church.

4. Do apprx 2 wks worth of those 30 challenges (squats, abs, arms)

5. Pilates and/or Yoga (I prefer Pilates but need them both equally)

6. Stretching

Only thing missing from the above list is strength training. I’ll talk more about my challenges with this beast on my next wellness post.

How do you diversify your workout. Share in the comments below. Like and share the post!

Til Next Time,

L.A.

Wellness Wednesday: My Weight Watchers Results

 

Welp…my Weight Watchers session came to a lackluster end last week.

4.4 lb total lost

Nothing to write about but I’m encouraged enough to give it another try. Why? Because I’m no quitter! I can and will lose this stubborn 20 lbs.

Don’t worry. I’m not beating myself up too much for my little 4.4 lbs. After all, it’s better than I did 5 yrs ago when I tried Weight Watchers when I was only trying to lose 10-15 lbs. If memory serves me correctly, those end results were like a 1-1.5lbs.

But you can’t attain a goal without a strategy. Here’s mine:

  1. Renu Herbs Detox Trio- After listening to Gospel sensation Yolanda Adams rave about the results of Robin Anthony’s Detox Trio body cleanse products for the last few years, I finally did the tax-refund-thing-to-do and splurged on some products. I’ve been wanting to do a detox for quite some time but have been put off by some of the requirements like…not eating. I don’t do well with plans that don’t include eating throughout the day. However, with this detox trio,  I do have to eat as clean as possible and for the last couple of days I’ve been doing okay.
  2. Weekly weigh in WITHOUT looking at the results. Sounds like it defeats the purpose, right? Well, my experience with Weight Watchers was every week that I lost, I followed with a small decrease the following week. SMH for real. On our group’s Facebook page one member posted that she didn’t look at her results until the end of the 12 weeks. And she lost a whopping 14lbs! Maybe that method will work for me. In fact, when I’d lost weight in the past, I did it without weighing myself weekly, preferring a bi-weekly schedule.
  3. Making small changes  week at a time. Right now I’m working on not eating after 7pm. Also, at work, I’m drinking a 1/2 cup of coffee instead a full. Future plans include reducing beef to once a week, increasing fish, and going totally organic for fruits and veggies. The cleanse is helping me with that.
Our next session starts next week and I’m confident that I’ll have already lost 2-3 lbs from our last weigh in with the small changes I’ve already made. Plus the cleanse. I feel it working!
No worries. I’ll keep you posted. If you have any suggestions for small changes I can make, post them in the comments below. Share your progress or struggles, too. We can help each other.
Til next time,
L.A.

Wellness  Wednesday(Thursday)–Setting Goals & Managing Expectations

img_7298

Haha…thought I wasn’t going to give you my week 3 weight watchers update??? I know you’ve been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for it.

Down 2.6 lbs!!! Pretty awesome, right? I’d say so, especially considering I didn’t starve myself or ramp up my exercise regimen. Not only that…but I ate pizza all weekend before the weigh-in, although I didn’t overdo it. So what do I think attributed to this weight loss? Honestly, increased water consumption. The day before and the day of the weigh-in, I consumed every bit of the recommended 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water. Prior to that, I was dinking water everyday but not keeping track of how much. Plus, once I got home, I was usually done for the day. This water bottle solved that problem.

water bottle

And I know for sure that before I wasn’t getting the proper amount because with this bottle I have to start drinking pretty much when I get home and usually need the 16 oz when I get home. Today marks day 5 since I’ve been getting the amount that I need–okay, I missed one day of the entire amount but still…you get the point.

The best thing about my weight loss for this week is that it helped me achieve my January goal! I don’t want to get too personal with y’all–not yet anyway :)–but my goal was to lose 3 lbs this month. “Why not five? Why not ten?” You may want to know.

I wanted to be reasonable with myself. I’m not brand new to this program so I knew that it was a likely possibility that I was going to gain in between the first and the last weigh-in for January. Some might say I set myself up for failure but I say the opposite. The overall goal is to lose weight. How much I lose is up to me and what I’m willing to do to make it happen.

Life is really hectic right now. My husband has a chronic illness and I’m needed at home for physical and emotional support. So I’m not in a place where I can schedule 3-4 days in the gym. Honestly, I don’t even want to. The last thing I want to do is start a workout program that I’m not going to commit to long-term because that leads to weight gain once that activity stops.

It’s important to set goals and manage expectations according to your own lifestyle and preferences. What someone else is willing or able to do may not work for you or be what you want to do. For example, a friend of mine participates in a very intense workout program. The kind that makes you say, “Arrgh!”

intense expression

Nope, not for me! LOL! I’m more interested in…

yoga

My focus is on the 80% of that 80/20 makeup we hear so much about regarding weight loss (80% food, 20% exercise). Time for exercise fluctuates over time, depending on what’s going on in life, but eating is continuous. If I can get that under control, I’ll hit my ultimate goal in due time, which may not be during this 12 wk weight watchers program.

And I’m okay with that. I increased my desired weigh loss for this month by a couple of pounds and I can’t wait to achieve it on February 29th. Stay tuned for updates.

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Wellness Wednesday–Beyond the Scale

  Whelp…I’m now a complete week into Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale program and so far things are going well. Following the plan, I lost nearly 2 lbs (1.8) in the first week. Now the pressure is really on!

Losing a pound or more (some participants in my group lost 5lbs) in the first week is not hard to do with Weight Watchers or any other weight loss program. Why? Because at the start of the program, participants are highly motivated for achieving long term goals they’ve set for themselves. They dive in, head first, and do everything right. Then when those first few or several pounds are lost, over-confidence can set in and works against us in  the following weeks.

Okay, I’m not speaking of any researched facts on the matter. Maybe it’s just my story (I doubt it).

The first time I participated in Weight Watchers, I yo-yo’d the entire 12 weeks. By the end of the program I was pretty much where I started. But that was at a time when I was only concerned about losing vanity pounds-10lbs. Quite honestly, back then, I was participating mainly because of the other people in the group.

Not so this time. I really need to lose a minimum of 20 lbs. And that’s just to get me away from my “OMG!” weight range. But I’m a sensible woman. I’m not on any special timetable for this desired weight loss. I’m  more interested in long-term lifestyle changes.  The Beyond the Scale Weight Watchers program  is perfect for that.

Unlike the past programs, Beyond the Scale focuses on the participant– not the number on the scale. Participants set their own goal rather than striving for what Weight Watchers says you should weigh. However, if you want to achieve the Weight Watchers Lifetime Member status, you do. That’s my long term goal. But for now I’m striving for control and mindset change!

I’m tired of always giving into temptation and immediately feeling like a failure afterwards.  I’m tired of wanting to improve my physical appearance for myself  and acting like I’m not in control of a BIG piece of the puzzle. I may not be able to control my body type–that’s God given, but I am 100% in control of what I put into my mouth.

As for short term goals, I’m already halfway there!

I’m particularly proud of my first Friday on the program. Like most families, I want nothing more than to unwind on Friday after a long workweek. Who wants to cook? Not me. Fridays are usually a guaranteed fast food night in my house, usually pizza. Well, knowing this, I started thinking about how I was going to combat this as early as Wednesday. After plugging in some essential facts about myself and what I like to eat, I get food ideas that coincide with my likes when I log onto the Weight Watchers site. Lo and behold I came across an easy enough recipe for homemade barbecue chicken pizza. My husband and I had been ordering such a pizza from a bar and grill not far from us. Most of the ingredients needed were already in my kitchen (I love when that happens). All I needed were I already some tortilla wraps and mozzarella cheese. 

The pizza was well received by my husband. So much so that we ate them Friday and Saturday. And for dessert, we had graham crackers with mini marshmallows and semi-sweetened chocolate chips. Just the amount of sugar to satisfy and a lot less fattening than the chocolate chip cookies I had eaten the weekend before.

I’ll keep you updated!

Are you on a similar lifestyle change journey for 2016. Let’s keep each other encouraged!

Til next Wellness Wednesday!

Naturally L.A.