Fat to Fit at 59

My quest to lose 50 pounds in 150 days. (Now that you know about it, I'm committed.)

Day 84—Super Bowl Stress February 7, 2010

Would you call me a wet blanket if I told you not to get too excited about the Super Bowl?

I’ll admit it. I don’t get the excitement about the Super Bowl. I guess what I should really say is, I don’t get football. I never have. But that doesn’t mean I begrudge you or anyone else the privilege of The Mother Of All Football Celebrations.

I don’t even begrudge you the traditional calorie- and fat-laden football-game foods (think chili-cheese nachos smothered in sour cream…artery-clogging bratwurst and hot dogs in gigantic enriched-white-flour buns; gooey, creamy dips dripping off of oily, salty chips; peanuts and pretzels (hey, how did those get into the picture? They’re even kinda healthy!).

What I do begrudge you is the chance of getting so worked up about the game that you do what people in several sports-spectator studies have done: suffered from acute cardiac episodes.

After all, I like you. I want you around so I can enjoy you. So do me a favor: When the game gets so unnerving that you find yourself (for whatever reason, pro or con) jumping up and down screaming, take a breath. Don’t invest your life in the outcome.

To read an article that contains specifics, visit http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/health_news_detail.asp?health_day=635738 .

 

Day 82—Wellness Trivia: Earn Points For Your Answers February 5, 2010

Can you answer these three health-related trivia questions?

For those of you who know me, you’ll also know that the pictre above is not me. But I wish I was that healthy and fit! If you do too, get a head start on health by answering the three trivia questions below. Three right answers mean you know your stuff!

1. When exercising with high blood pressure, what’s the best advice to follow?

a. Always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.

b. Start slowly, increase gradually and listen to your body.

c. Never hold your breath.

d. Use measures other than your heart rate to monitor your exercise intensity.

e. All of the above.

2. Uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to:

a. Blindness

b. Gum disease

c. Digestive problems

d. Kidney damage or failure

e. Amputation

f. Impotence

g. All of the above

3. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

a. True

b. False

To take the test online—and earn points for your right answers—visit http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/games_trivia.asp . And while you’re there, poke around. There’s a ton of valuable information there!  🙂

 

Day 78—I think I might write about Procrastination—later February 1, 2010

With all you have to do, where is exercise on your to-do list? (Oh heck, I just realized that I typed in 2009 for the date above. Sorry!)

I don’t know about you, but the tasks on my daily to-do list always outnumber the lines available to record them on my calendar. So it’s easy to look at that long list and think (’cause you’ve recorded tasks as they came to you—not in priority order), OK, what do I want to cross off my list next?

What’s your answer? For me, the answer is usually: What can I get done fastest and with the least effort?

So we all know where that puts a 30-minute (or more) run on the list: wwaaaayyyy down at the bottom!

I propose putting exercise at the top of the list. Whether that means making a “starter list” and transposing that in priority order onto your “real” calendar, or physically numbering your entries in the order you intend to tackle them, or…whatever. Starting today, exercise is my #1 priority each day.

If you have more tips to keep from procrastinating to the point of omission, please share!

 

Day 76—Half-Way Weigh-In January 30, 2010

It's drum roll day—again.

I’m amazed that I’ve already reached the half-way mark in my 150-day quest to lose 50 pounds. And it’s evident from the chart below that unless I do something drastic (does The Biggest Loser have an opening??),  I’m not going to be achieving that goal.

And yet, I’ve achieved other goals:

1. To be more aware of my health and fitness, and do more to be better to myself

2. To form a community of sorts to help and support each other

3. To give myself a daily writing fix

4. (I hope) to stir a chuckle or some other pleasant emotion in you

So thanks for reading, thanks for contributing and thanks for helping ME out. I’m not giving up (6.6 pounds is less than I’d hoped for, but it’s still loss)! Start that drum roll…

Weigh-in history:

Date    Weight    BodyFat  BodyH2O

Today       193         29.5      44

1/18/10     193        30.0%   43.0%

1/4/10     194        29.5%   43.5%

12/15      195.2      27.5     44.0

12/7        196.6     30.5     43.0

12/1        197.6      30        43.0

11/23      196.2      29        43.5

11/16      199.6       31        42.5

 

Day 75—Slimbesity: You Can Be Slim Yet Still Be Obese January 29, 2010

Can we look this slim and yet still be obese?

The old saying is true: Looks can be deceiving. We can be stick-slim, and yet still be obese. How?

Even when our weight falls within the normal range for our height, it’s not really the weight that determines if we’re obese or not. Or rather, it’s not only the weight. It’s also the percentage of that weight that’s body fat.

Enter the importance of resistance training in our daily fitness routines. Even when we do our cardio religiously, we can still be out of shape if we don’t build muscle as well.

NOTE—Don’t confuse body fat percentage with BMI. The two are quite different. For a good explanation, visit http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/fitness/a/bodyfatpercent.htm .

And to read more about the subject of slimbesity, go to http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/HealthyLiving/people-considered-average-weight-normal-weight-obese/story?id=9671590 .

(And BTW, thanks to my oldest daughter Kristin for the use of her photo above. She religiously works out and is nowhere near obese.  😉 )

 

Day 73—Free Money For Fitness January 27, 2010

Are finances an obstacle to your health and fitness goals?

Some people (who shall remain nameless but whose initials are GOV) don’t seem to get the concept of living within your means. You can’t spend money you don’t have unless someone—you or your heirs, usually—pay back a whole lot more in interest.

Now I’ll step down off my soap box. But seriously, if your resources are stretched to the max, how do you invest in things like better nutrition, medical care, gym memberships and fitness equipment?

You may be able to redirect the dollars you already have. How, you say?

My friends at GMA outlined some steps that can keep more money in your pocket:

ENERGY—

1. Power down your rate. Check out alternative energy companies called Retail Energy Providers (REPs) that are allowed due to deregulation in some states. They may lock in a lower power rate for you (but be careful to check the reputation of any REP you consider).

2. Take back your taxes. Invest in energy-efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, doors and windows  if yours need replacing (also included: insulation). There’s a federal tax credit of up to $1,500 in it for you through 2016, plus the possibility of state and utility company rebates.

CELL PHONE SERVICE—

1. Pick your plan wisely. Don’t pay for services you don’t need or use. You can track your talk time at overmyminutes.com .

2. Tap your boss. Participating in employer plans may get you a discount.

CABLE TV—

1. Secret service. Cable companies don’t advertise that they may offer below-basic service. “Lifeline” channels (2–14 only) come at a reduced rate if all you want are major networks and better reception.

2. Save a tree. Going paperless can save you as much as $1 per month on your bill.

3. Opt out. If you’re really determined, cancel your service altogether and use your Internet connection to watch your favorite shows.

You can watch the entire Elizabeth Leamy segment (it contains even more tips and related links) at http://abcnews.go.com/gma . Click on the Tuesday tab, then on Save Money On Your Household Expenses. Or enter the article name in the search box and hit Enter.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a few extra dollars to invest in your health? You’re sooo worth it!

 

Day 72—Didja? Huh? Huh? Didja? January 26, 2010

Raise your hand if you checked out the program. Pat yourself on the back if you DID the program!

If you read Fat to Fit at 59 yesterday, you remember that I provided a link for a series of short daily exercise routines. They only require an exercise ball ($8-10 at WalMart), and hand weights are optional. (Hint: If you’d like to use weights but don’t have any, you can use canned fruits or vegetables, bottles of water…whatever.)

So who in the audience tried it out? I did routine #1 yesterday, and #2 this morning. Seriously, it was pretty painless!  😉 All you need is about 10 minutes and your ball. By the time you realize you’re exercising, you’re done!  😉

Combined with 30 minutes of cardio (walking or whatever you prefer) several times a week, this regimen will improve your endurance, strength and flexibility. Even if all you do is the routine without the cardio, you’ll feel better. And when you feel better about yourself, it’s easier to control those eating urges.

So start where you can. If five minutes is all you can commit to, then by all means, do the five minutes. And don’t feel guilty that you didn’t do more. It’s all about progress at your level of comfort. As you do a little, you’ll want to do even more. (Really!)

If you missed yesterday’s post, go to the box at right that reads “Where We’ve Been” and click to reveal January. All of January’s posts will come up. Or, just click on this link-replay: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1075 .

Until tomorrow…