Wellness Wednesday: Creating Meaningful Fitness Goals

My husband and I have a bad habit of falling asleep with our television on. He has a bad habit of putting it on a news channel. Why is this a problem? Mainly because I don’t want to be awakened to stories of carjackings, fatal car accidents, and senseless murders. The other morning this is exactly what roused me out of slumber sleep. I called out the name of Jesus for mercy on the world we live in, and then I immediately began questioning why I was stressing myself over the numbers on the scale. Blaming my previous day’s activity–eating an entire row of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies after lunch–for why I’ve been stuck on this roller coaster of gaining and losing 1.5 lbs.

roller coaster

When this life is over will those numbers matter in the least? Certainly not to those who love me. Heck!  Not even to those who don’t.

Still I longed to condone my over indulgence in sugar and carbs.

“It’s nothing wrong with eating a row of Girl Scout cookies in less than ten minutes. You only eat them at this time of the year.” I told myself the same thing I say every year around this time.

“Gaining weight is a fact of life. It’s not your fault that your metabolism is slowing down. How much you weigh has no bearing on the impact of your life in the world at large. Plus, you still have a cute shape that many women would love to have.” 

Sure, the above statements bear some truth. But the whole truth is that while I am living this life, I want to look and feel my best. And that really does go beyond the numbers on the scale. So while I do have a number that I’d like to see at the end of my weight watcher’s journey, I have some long-term goals that far outweigh that number.

I want to look 40 when I’m 60 and 60 when I’m 100.

I want to master hula hooping tricks because it’s fun and looks awesome. Guess I’ll have to keep going to hula hoop class and burn those 300+ calories an hour.

I want to get out of the bed every morning without achiness which means I have to work my body for strength, endurance, and flexibility.

I want to be able to choose from a larger selection of swimsuits.

I want to participate in “ride your bike to work” day every year. At the very least, I want to be riding my bike at 60 yrs old like my dad.

These are just a few non-weight related goals for me. What are yours? Share them in the comments below.

Til Next Time,

Naturally L.A.

 

Wellness  Wednesday(Thursday)–Setting Goals & Managing Expectations

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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–Benefits of Tracking

Weight Watchers: Beyond the Scale–Week 2

scale with feet

The excitement from the first week rolled into nervous anxiety for this week’s weigh in. First, I feared the dip that I mentioned in my last post about slacking off during this week and picking up some of the weight I’d lost during the previous week. Well, I guess my mind wasn’t set firm enough on achieving this goal. I gained 1 lb. Granted, I could say that those 1 lb may have been the weight of the clothes I was wearing—a long cow neck sweater. Maybe. However, when I look back over the pages I’ve been jotting down my daily food intake since the beginning of the year, I know different. In the two days before this weigh in, I indulged in cake. A few days before that, I had a scoop of ice cream (NOT low fat or light) on a cone. And the weekend before I wasn’t as prepared with ideas for fun healthy weekend food and ended up with Chinese food. To my credit, though, I did abstain from the fried rice but my beef and broccoli, soaked in gravy, I’m sure didn’t help.

I say all of that to confirm the importance of tracking with any goal that you’re trying to accomplish. Most of you already know of all the different apps and online tools available for tracking but just in case you need some suggestions, here’s a list of the best ten. But for those who don’t always want to be regulated by your phone or computer a good ‘ole fashion notebook always does the trick too.  I do both. What I like about logging in my notebook is that I’m free to not bother with ounces, cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc. I simply want a reminder of what I ate. My memory isn’t so bad that I don’t remember how much of it I ate.

notebook

Lack of categorization is the biggest advantage for tracking in a notebook. Sometimes you just want to write it down. On one page I write down what A.M. exercise I had a chance to do before leaving for work. Lately I’ve been doing seated waist twists with my 8lb medicine ball. This morning I did a few minutes of hula hooping and 15 kettle (15lb) ball swings (whew! on the latter). Shortly after arriving at work I write my breakfast down, and then follow that with whatever exercise I do during the day. Next is lunch, snack, and then dinner. Near the bottom of the page, I jot down any money that I’ve spent during the day (yes, I’m tracking that too).

Keeping track of what I’m putting in my mouth is helping me become accountable for the numbers on the scale or judging from how my clothes are fitting. I definitely recommend some form of tracking to keep you on track on whatever you’re trying to improve in 2016.

Are you a tracker.? Share your preferred method.

 

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.

Wellness Wednesday–Happy Thanksgiving

THANKSGIVINGFITNESSOn the eve of Thanksgiving–a holiday in which we express our thanks for all of our blessings by consuming double or triple the amount of calories we usually eat in a day, this Wellness Wednesday is extremely important.

Avoiding over-indulgence is the name of the game. But not everyone is playing and that’s okay.

The Internet is overwrought with articles about the dangers of over-eating  during the holidays or any other time, for that matter. And all the info is very poignant. Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t care. Most people are looking forward to enjoying all of the yummy food that will cover the dinner table. For those of us who want to do something different, who care about the long-term effects of over-indulging for ourselves and others, my message today is simple:

Lead by example.

Leave the podium behind closed doors and the be the example you want others to see. Don’t invite your family to your house for a dinner of baked skinless chicken, kale salad, pita bread and hummus, and fruit salad for dessert. Do that, and they may not only not come back, but you might not get an invitation to the family dinner next year! Instead, have such healthier items as options to choose from along with your family’s traditional foods. Refrain from only having smaller plates for portion control because that’s you want to do or you risk controlling more than your portions, if you get my drift.

Thanksgiving is a celebration of blessings, family, friends, and food. Enjoy yours how you want and allow other to enjoy theirs. No matter how much we eat or don’t eat, the memories that are created during the holidays have little to do with the calories we ingest.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Wellness Wednesday For Caregivers

Yes, I have a particular interest in caregiving these days. Perhaps because I fell into the role about eight months ago. And even in that short time I can attest to the devastating effects it can–NO, it does take on the caregiver’s life. At forty years old, a divorced, married, divorced, and married again mother of two, I’ve experienced my share of ups and downs and this, is, by far, the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to deal with.

But there’s good news!

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President Obama declared November 2015 the first National Family Caregiver Month and the Internet is splattered with resources to help family caregivers, first take care of themselves, so that they are better prepared to take care of their loved one.

So for my Wellness Wednesday post, I’d like to share some of the things I’ve implemented in my life is to avoid burnout and live while I’m helping my sick loved one.

  1. Going to the doctor for myself. I’ve never been to so many doctor offices in my life. And that’s including my children’s’ well baby exams and impromptu urgent care visits. But once I realized that I needed to get involved with my husband’s medical care, I started attending every doctors’ appointments. Several months had gone by before I realized I hadn’t made time for my own annual physical!
  2. Make the most of my time. I’m a caregiver who also works a full time job. Since home is also a place of work–it kind of already was being a wife and mother–I tried to get as much done during my nine hours away from home. I try to write or read during my lunch time or other down time at work. I use breaks for exercising (.i.e. walking or hula hooping, stretching, or dancing).
  3. Have some fun. Honestly, it took me some time to not feel guilty when I had to get out and have some fun that didn’t involve my sick loved one. I felt like I was being selfish, leaving him home. But a light bulb went off in my head when I realized that when my loved could get out without me to enjoy himself, he did just that and didn’t appear guilty about in the least. So why wouldn’t I? Besides, whether sick or not, each of us only has one life to live. A caregiver can’t give theirs up completely because their loved one is sick.
  4. Pamper yourself. Hair appt. Manicure/pedicure. Massage. Facial. In caregiving, you’re doing all if not most of the giving. You must take time out to let someone do something for you. Minimum once a month.
  5. Pray/Meditate. This should be at the top of the list. God is a healer, a comforter, a way maker; your strength in times of weakness. EVERYDAY you must engage in time with Him. Start and end your day with thanksgiving and praise because, believe it or not, your situation could be worse.

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

(c) LaCharmine (L.A.) Jefferson 2015

Wellness Wednesday’s-It’s the Same Gallon

My husband was recently diagnosed with a lung disease. In order to increase his life expectancy, his doctor recommends a lung transplant BUT in order to get on the list he has to lose a considerable amount of weight. Losing any amount of weight–beyond the vanity weight of 5 to 10 lbs–is quite the challenge when your medical condition prevents you from doing vigorous excercise.

So what does his ever so helpful wife suggest???

“Honey, you should work on drinking a gallon of water a day?”

He looked at me ever so lovinginly and replied quite animatedly, “I ain’t drinking no damn gallon of water! That’s crazy!”

We both cracked up laughing. Even through this challenge of his illness, this man can still make me bust a gut laughing.

After we recovered from our laughing fit, I replied, “Well, honey, you you can interchange that gallon of juice you drink in a day with a gallon of water. It is the same gallon.” 😉

   
 
Reluctantly, he conceded the point. And we agreed that he can start with 1/2.

Sometimes small changes can seem big until you look at them comparatively to something else you do.

Naturally Yours..in Health,

L.A.