Archive for the ‘Back to Basics’ Category

And She’s Back

It’s been a hellish year.

Bouts of insomnia. Unhelpful doctors, nutritionists, and dietitians. Just relax, you say? Right.

So here I am again. I hate to see how many times I’ve “started over” since I began this blog.

But I am back at the number that makes me cringe: 175.

Standing in front of the mirrors in Sam’s Outfitters trying on short yoga pants, and watching – with disgust – as my fat stomach rolled over the tops. Did I mention that these are X-Large yoga pants. Not surprising, since my new – relatively stable size – is 12.

How did this happen? And how did it happen so quickly?

Did I just stop paying attention? Apparently.

Did I just get lazy? Obviously.

So, yesterday, sitting in a trendy raw food restaurant in Brattleboro, VT, as I was waiting for my smoothie to arrive, I looked at my husband who was doing nothing but beaming love and support and I thought: I don’t want to be in this body anymore if I’m this fat.

Wow.

It’s not the first time that I’ve had that thought, but I had hoped that the time before last was the last time. Apparently I was overly optimistic.

Because despite what the tag line of this blog is, I have not learned shit about loving myself.

So, let’s begin again, shall we?

I looked back through my blog and I tracked down a number of things that had worked for me in the past, as regarding weight loss, not about loving.

Calorie counting (not in vogue, I realize)

Cardio, and lots of it (also not in vogue)

Less meat (also not in vogue, depending on with whom you talk)

And more raw (which may or may not still be “cool”, but is contraindicated for thyroid).

After looking at my diet, exercise, blood pressure (105:56), cholesterol panel (as perfect as you can get), and resting heart rate (56), my dietician only had two pieces of advice: 1) lower my calories to 1,200, which, she realizes, is not sustainable, and 2) try Bikram Yoga.

What?

The idea of counting calories is repulsive to me. I hate it already, which probably means that I should do it.

I hate the idea of taking a yoga class even more – especially one in a room heated to 105 degrees with a bunch of scantily class yogis.

To tell you the truth, I really can’t even believe that I am even considering, let alone buying new yoga pants (the last ones I had were size small), a sweat absorbing towel, mat cleaner, and a gym bag.

Despite that I live in the middle of nowhere, there is – believe it or not – a Bikram yoga studio not that far from my house. I logged on to check it out. Two things surprised me. 1) They want/expect you to practice 6 to 7 times a week during the first month, and 2) the letter to “New Students.”

i would like to believe that something as simple – or as difficult – as a yoga practice could change my life. I need a change. I cannot stand this place where I find myself when my thoughts run dark and dangerous. Importantly I know – at a deep level – that the negative stories, the recriminating talk, and the vicious narratives are just that.

I know it’s not true. I know that I really don’t hate my body. But it’s hard to remember, sometimes, in the day to day. In the crush of moments and deadlines and commitments….

Yet, when I went for a walk this morning, I watched the birds play in the field: red winged black birds bullying the robins and wood peckers pecking on anything from trees, to barns, and even painted metal mail boxes. I felt the cool morning breeze on my skin and I squinted against the golden sun. I smelled the lingering scent of fresh new grass, still damp from the morning dew.

All of that beauty – only available through my body.

I love my body and everything that it (she) allows me to experience when I take the time to appreciate it.

I don’t like the way she looks, however; nor do I appreciate how she feels as we trudge up and down the hills, out of breath for the first time in a long time.

So, today, I am starting over.

Again.

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Fall CSA: What to Do?

My husband and I have been traveling quite a bit this season and as a result we had fallen quite behind on eating the content of our weekly farm share.

As a result, our fridge was literally bursting with cauliflower, eggplant, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, beets, and the like.

Last week, I went on a broiling frenzy. I made containers and containers full of broiled veggies that were excellent, easy, and super fulfilling snacks, sides, etc. In the case of the cauliflower, which actually got a little crispy and developed this lovely smoky flavor, I would just eat it cold, straight out of the container. They also filled out the edges of packed lunches and late dinners after a long day at the office.

My broiling technique is pretty low key.

Preheat the oven to 500 (on baking)

Chop the veggies up (in the case of the butternut squash, I also peel it and seed it).

Toss them in olive oil.

Put them on the pan.

Switch the oven over to broil and let it go for anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes, depending on the veggies and the desired crispiness.

I also took several baby beets, washed them, wrapped them in foil, and cooked them until they were tender. Here, I waited until they were cooked and quasi-cool to remove the skin with my fingers.

I think today I am going to tackle the delicata (truly one of life’s pleasures), the celeriac.

Celeriac

What’s in your fridge? And more importantly, what do you plan to do with it?

Another Full Body Experiment

The one thing about learning to really love your body is that there is not a lot to talk about. It’s just like when you’re in a relationship with another person. When it’s shitty, you can’t shut up and there’s usually an audience for that. When it’s going great, you forget about it – not that any one wants to hear about it anyway.

But a few weeks (cough, months) ago, my sister sent me another email about the importance for weightlifting for women over 40. Since I’m 43 (and I read the same stuff that my sister does) this came as no surprise. Then, the very next day, just minutes after I said to my husband, ‘I really need to start doing something with weights…..” I opened my email and in my inbox was an info product ad.

It came through someone who I know (who is an online entrepreneur). And I trust this guy, so I thought, surely he wouldn’t be hocking junk. And then I clicked on the 30 minute marketing video while I was drinking my green smoothie. And within 5 minutes, I was hooked. (I know a little about marketing and let me just say that this guy did his homework). I had my credit card out before the water for my tea had boiled.

I won’t bore you with the details of the program. However, it was a 12 week weight workout (similar to, but not nearly as crazy as P90X, which I had done several times in my 30s), and an eating schedule. I say schedule, because you can eat whatever you want, but they want you to rotate your calories so that you confuse your metabolism. It goes like this: for the first two weeks, you eat “down” 5 days and then eat “up” on the sixth day and then you repeat the process.

My down days are 1,250 net calories and my up days are 1,885 calories.

The one thing I realized is that I have not been eating very much. My net calories are usually closer to 700 (or less). Because I love cardio (still!) hitting the down day numbers are hard for me. Which makes me think that I had probably crashed my metabolism without realizing it.

So, I’m on week three of this program. The exercises are getting harder (the reverse lunge with press is my current “favorite”). I haven’t really gained any weight, I’ve lost inches, and I’m eating like a PIG. It’s quite interesting. It’s also funny to be in the position of worrying about eating enough calories, as opposed to eating too much.

Additionally, I sort of went Paleo about the time that I started this program. I say sort of because I’m not doing the whole bacon as an appetizer, main course, and dessert thing that you see on line. But I have upped my egg intake and cut my carbs dramatically, though I’m still eating over 100 carbs a day in veggies and stuff. Insight: you don’t get hungry when you’re not eating carbs.

I’ve decided that the day before my next “up” day, I am going to eat a bunch of carbs before I go to bed so that I’ll be ravenous the next day. Actually, as I look at my calendar, that would be today!

The other thing that I really like about this program (which is really just counting calories and resistance training) is that the producers are really working hard at breaking the associations with “good” or “bad” foods. Here you can have anything – you just have to count (and account for) the calories.

I’ll keep you posted. So far, so good. Because in addition to the loss of inches, the pushups, planks, and the variety of lunges are getting easier. And, even though it feels totally counter intuitive, eating a lot of actually sort of fun.

Data, not an indictment

So yesterday I decided that the game was up.

I was going to re-establish a relationship with my scale (a daily one that requires at least a single moment of one-on-one time) and with my handy dandy calorie counter (LoseIt).

Mainly, I decided to do this to establish a little accountability.

What I didn’t expect to find was compassion.

Calorie counting, day one: without changing a lot about the way I eat, I rang in at right about 1600 calores. The big difference though was that I actually did about 45 minutes of cardio for the first time in weeks (this put me at about 800 calories below my budget for losing a pound a week).

I got up this morning and stepped on the scale.

Up. And not a little up, but a lot up. Up 1.8 pounds to be exact.

Normally I would have been really upset; and ironically I wasn’t as upset as I was yesterday.

Instead, I was amused – if not a little resigned.

Obviously, I did nothing in a 24 hour period that should have caused that big of a weight gain (even if it is just water). So, that was obviously her – my body, doing her own thing.

I didn’t get mad; I didn’t burst into tears.

In fact, I smiled indulgently (if not a little maniacally).

There was something freeing about that unexplained and unexpected weight gain. I simply logged it, noticed the spike, and read the notification. “You gained 1.8 pounds. You’ll reach your goal of losing 28.2 lbs. on Dec 11, 2012.” Though December 11, 2012 may seem like a long time for someone who went from a size 4 to a size 10 in less than three months, what I really thought was: Promise?

I’m curious (if not a little apprehensive what tomorrow will bring) and this way, by facing it instead of merely crying about it and pretending it’s not happening, I’ll know. And I’ll have plenty of data for my endocrinologist for the next time he asks how everything is going.

So Ends the Experiment

For years I have been listening to people talk about intuitive eating and the dangers of calorie counting.

I’ve tried it before and I’ve just finished trying it, again. Both times were an abysmal failure.

I just had to step on a scale for the first time in a year (because of some not routine medical tests) and for the first time in nearly five [years] I am once again, overweight. I am now bigger than I was before all of this started. I am now bigger than the first time when I met my husband – the time that I told him that I was really going to transform my body before I hit 40.

I was 36. I am now 42.

The experiment failed.

I’m not saying that intuitive eating doesn’t work – but it doesn’t work for me.

Maybe it’s the stress. Maybe it’s the whacked out thyroid. Maybe it’s the overactive immune system. Maybe I was just fooling myself when I thought that I knew what my body wanted, when it was hungry, etc. Who knows?

Regardless, I do know one thing – I’m allowing it to affect every aspect of my life, from my work to my relationships. All of the cognitive therapy that I’ve been doing so that I can love my body from the inside out? Well, despite the immense talent of my coach, it folds in the face of the illuminated number on a silver scale. It folds in the face of the double digit clothing that I can barely fit into. It folds every time that someone touches any part of my body that roils underneath the slightest bit of pressure.

So, intuitive or not, it’s time for a little accountability.

If I can’t be truly in touch with my body then I at least need to know what’s going on so that I am not just sitting around weighting (every pun, intended. Do you believe that that was actually a Freudian slip? It was – really) to find the right combination of seaweed, protein, whole grains that just so happen to be gluten-free, etc., that is going to unlock all of the nutritional and weight loss secrets of the universe.

In other words, I am going to revert back to calories in/calories out.

Now, I can hear the groan from my friends – at least a thousand of whom are graduates from one of the best schools of integrative nutrition in the country. But I know that all calories are not equal, so you don’t have to worry that I think that a 800+ calorie bomb from McDonald’s will have the same nutritional value as 2 of my green smoothies (even without all of the cruciferous vegetables that contain goitrogens that suppress thyroid function). But at least this way I will know – that I’ll know that it’s not something that I’m just fooling myself about. I remember the autumn that I gained 10 pounds eating “healthy cookies….” Could it be?

Because if it really is me – then maybe I can learn to do something else. But if it isn’t me (and it really is her, my body who is suffering under the unmitigated stress of my life) then, maybe, I can learn to forgive myself and my body and allow myself to connect not only with her – but also emotionally, mentally, and physically with those other people in my life who really don’t seem to mind if I weigh 140 or 170 pounds.

Seriously, as I even write the number, tears come to my eyes and the thought, unbidden, how could this have happened to me? How did I let it happen?

Tuned out, tapped out, turned off

At some point last year, a friend of mine loaned me a copy of one of the Esther and Jerry Hick’s recordings regarding the law of attraction.

I’ve never been able to get my head fully around that to tell you the truth, despite the fact that I know quite a few people who not only swear by it, but who are also living their dreams.

Even though I haven’t quite “got” it, there is one thing that stuck with me.

At one point, Esther made some comment about being, “Tuned in, tapped in, and turned on.” She was essentially encouraging people to tune in, tap into, and get turned on by the universal energy, etc, etc.

When I returned from New York recently, that phrase really resonated with me, particularly as it related to my body. I felt totally tuned in, tapped in, and turned on. I was really present with my body and totally with it. I was loving my life, loving my body, and especially my tummy that was getting – like magic – thinner and thinner.

Essentially, I was living in pleasure. I ate with pleasure. I moved my body with pleasure. It was awesome and beautiful and, or so I had assumed, easy.

However, something changed once I returned from the holidays.

I started leading with my mind, instead of my body or even my spirit. I started doing what I thought I should be doing, what I “knew” (intellectually) would work. I wasn’t listening to my body – not at all. And I certainly wasn’t enjoying myself and allowing myself to experience a range of pleasurable experiences. In fact, even the things that had been pleasurable before, all of a sudden seemed rote.

And here it is (January 12) and just two days ago, I was in such a place of self-hatred that I barely recognized myself. I also had a ton of new digestive issues (that in the name of delicacy should remain unnamed) that hadn’t been there before. I had dislocated my knee while doing yoga. And I was spilling out of jeans that were a size bigger than the one’s I’d worn home from the holidays. To quote one of Michael J’s favorite modern composers: “WTF?!”

What the heck had happened?

It’s simple: I was no longer tuned in, tapped in, or turned on.

I was no longer listening to my body; instead, I was once again waging war. How quickly we revert to old patterns.

So in an effort to get back to tuned in, tapped in, and turned on (as opposed to tuned out, tapped out, and turned off), I am embarking on a number of experiments or, given that my body and I are one being, we are embarking on a series of experiments.

Although I (have you ever noticed how the the “I” almost always refers to the brain?) will be setting them up, she (as opposed to it) will be the one to decide if it’s a success. It will be up to me (aka “I”) to listen and to make adjustments accordingly.

Experiment One: Elimination

Well, as it turns out, I had added 4 new things into my diet since November:

1) black tea (on a more than daily basis),
2) yams (on a daily basis),
3) peanut butter (also on a daily basis, even though I have a sneaking suspicion that I have an allergy), and
4) a rice protein based shake mix (also on more than a daily basis, despite that one of my health coach friends told me months ago that people with Celiac’s or other forms of wheat/gluten intolerance should stay away from rice [go figure]).

Over the last three days I have removed all of these things from my diet and, lo and behold, I feel ridiculously better. Of course, I had to go through the “Woe is me, etc., etc.” phase, because, seriously? Yams? But bottom line, my body doesn’t like something on that list. I’m going to give a couple of weeks, then I’ll start adding things in one by one (though I’ll probably skip the rice protein, because I know for a fact that my body loves hemp powder and if the other things don’t automatically kick start indigestion, bloating, and general discomfort – isn’t it amazing how you don’t even realize quite how bad you feel until you begin to feel better – it’s really not worth the risk).

Experiment Number Two: Radical Self Love

To this end, I have dusted off some of my old handy dandy coaching tools that I have collected over the years. Just after 10 morning rituals, I’m already feeling a shift. But just to knock it up a notch – especially to repair the damage done to my relationship with my tummy (my tummy that I love because it allows me to hula hoop, process food for energy, walk upright, etc), I bought an info-product to learn Samba. The main lesson is literally called, “Thirty Days to Shake Your Booty.” Well, I’ve done it once, at least the first 15 minute section on macro movements.

Who knew Samba was really a combination of belly dancing and hoop dance?

According to the instructor (who I came across on the recommendation of Jenna LaFlamme, my pleasure guru), dancing is one way to get from stress to pleasure. It’s a way to love your body as it is, to appreciate your body despite its limitations, and to turn your body into a fat burning machine that will not only help you look better, but also younger, and more energized. Sounds pretty good, right? Sort of.

Normally I find dancing stressful, but I am going into this with an open mind. So far so good, because even though I didn’t “get it” right out of the gate, I still had fun. And I can tell after just 15 minutes, I’ll be feeling this in the morning. The class also came with a beautifully laid out 27ish page ebook with daily rituals to practice self love that will catapult us into “body joy.” I haven’t digested all of the material yet, but once I do….

So here I am, starting over yet again – but with a shorter turn around time than ever, for which I am grateful. Speaking of, one of the samba instructor’s recommendations is to start a daily gratitude list stating ten things for which you are grateful, five of which must involve your body. This is one of those things that I have read about over and over and never done (that and creating a vision board!) But, for the sake of experimentation and of getting tuned, in tapped in, and turned on as quickly as possible, here it goes:

Day 1:

1. I am grateful for Michael J, because he is
2. I am grateful for my hands, which allow me to communicate my thoughts to the world
3. I am grateful for my feet, which allow me to move easily from one location to another
4. I am grateful for my lungs, which allow me to breathe and to connect viscerally with my environment
5. I am grateful for my bad knee, because it reminds me to be mindful with my body
6. I am grateful for my hair, because I’m vain and it keeps me warm
7. I am grateful for my family, for raising me
8. I am grateful that I have access to clean water, good food, and clean air
9. I am grateful that I am resilient
10. I am grateful for the time that I have to work on things that I love, including myself.

I won’t post these everyday, but it’s worth thinking about.

And, just out of curiosity, what are some of the things for which you are most grateful?

Never be afraid to ask for what you need (or to put your money where your mouth is)

Yesterday, I woke up feeling refreshed; literally like it was a new day. And for the first time in a long time I felt optimistic about my weight loss efforts. I was looking forward to wearing my new clothes and feeling comfortable.

However, I know myself enough to know that wearing a pretty new dress wasn’t going to cut it, at least not on day one.

First things first: I admit that I am a calorie counter. This was a problem, because I was counting the empty calories as I ate them. I’ll continue to count calories, but I will also be more diligent about the quality.

For example, the apple that I had yesterday afternoon was much more satisfying than 1 1/2 Reese’s pieces cups that I get for the same 95 calories!

Remember the candy bowl – you know, the infamous office candy bowl? Well, unfortunately we became reacquainted – after an almost two year hiatus somewhere along the second week of February? (Can anyone say Valentine’s Day?) What started off as one piece of substandard dark chocolate, quickly became became two, and then eventually shot up to 6 or 8 pieces a day. And, much to my chagrin, I was no longer limiting myself to dark. I’ll admit it, I hooked again – not on cheap chocolate, but on the sugar.

And for those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, sugar, for some of us, is as addictive as crack.

So the very first thing I did yesterday morning was draft an email to my entire office:

Hello all!

I need your help as I have fallen afoul of the infamous bowl.

If you see me with a piece of chocolate in my hand, or even reaching for one, I will give you $20.00.

Thanks for your assistance in this small, but consequential matter.

KJLively

Now I would have loved to have seen their faces, when they opened that message. Because, trust me, it didn’t take long for the responses to start pouring in. Here’s a sample:

This is a great decision. I should also become brave like you and participate in the pledge. But, for now, I look forward to making some money this year. I will be watching you very carefully. – M

As incoming chair, I wouldn’t mind if your first official act in office was to remove the bowl in the first place! But I’ll keep an eye on you anyway. Let me know when you want to have lunch. – J

To me it seems like you have infinite will-power, but I will be happy to help out (and take your money!). – D

I shall be vigilant and have started my vigilance by absconding ten minutes ago with one Hersey mini from the infamous bowl. – B

One thing that many of you may not know about me, because this is a blog about food and not money, is that I am about as cheap as anyone can possibly get. I also have enough pride to choke a horse and even though I am willing to bare my foibles here, I am not willing to do so in the office. And though I know that there are going to be times that I am alone in the office, I have enough personal honor to know that if I were to reach for a Hershey’s miniature (shudder) that I really would feel compelled to leave a $20 on the departmental administrator’s desk.

And, knowing her, and not to mention my luck, I can just about guarantee that she’d use it to – you guessed it – buy even more chocolate!

The funny thing is that now that I went public, I am no longer tempted. Nothing’s changed. The bowl still sits right outside my door. But the thought of laying down $20 for a single piece of candy (or $120 for 6) or people watching me do it….

No way.

I’m not quite willing to offer Michael $40 every time he catches me in the tahini jar, but it’s a close thing.

Back to Basics: Three Solid Squares or Five Small…Triangles???

One of the biggest contradictions in the health and fitness field is how much you should eat and when.

In my mother’s day, the conventional wisdom was that you should eat three square meals a day (whatever that means) and minimize snacking.

In recent years, however, the experts say that it’s better to eat five half meals a day (usually between 300 and 400 calories per meal).

The former is supposed to give your digestion system a break between meals.

The latter is supposed to keep your digestion system running – burning more calories. Also, eating every couple of hours is supposed to keep your blood sugar from crashing, which helps prevent fat storage. There are a lot of really healthy, skinny, and attractive people out there who swear by this method of eating and it makes a lot of intuitive sense to me.

However, in practice, it just didn’t work. That is, it didn’t work for me.

My problem? I’m not sure, but my best guess is portion control.

See, I like to feel full. I tend to eat fast and I have never gotten the hang of stopping when I’m 80% full. If I could remember to eat slowly, I would imagine a whole host of problems would resolve themselves. But no matter how hard I try, I’m usually 75% through my meal before I remember, “Oh yeah. You were going to slow down.”

I kid you not: I’m actually considering having the worlds “breathe” and “slow down” stenciled on the wall of my office.

Of course, not eating at my desk might also help, but I digress….

Regardless, eating five meals until you’re full really meant that I was eating way too much food.

I have tried to eat less. I have tried to slow down.

Unfortunately, however, “try” is outcome equivalent of “close.” And as “they” say, “close” only counts in horse shoes.

Thus, I have gone back to three solid squares a day and, so far, it’s working for me.

It’s working in the sense that I am less hungry and, contrary to popular belief, I am actually eating less food, calorie-wise.

At first it seemed scary to eat a meal with 500 calories in it, but I’m getting used to it. And as it turns out, the key to feeling full (and not crashing your blood sugar) is protein. Lots of protein.

For the last several days, it’s looked like this:

Breakfast Smoothie (384 calories; with 54 grams of protein).

Lunch (385-450 calories; with 21-24 grams of protein)

Snack (150 calories; 14 – 27 grams of protein)

Dinner (400 – 600; 30 grams of protein)

After dinner snack: herbal tea!

And, believe it or not, so far so good.

It’s working a lot better than the 5 meals, though I suppose that could have something to do with the fact that I have completely cut out sugar (averaging about 16 – 25 grams a day)….

I haven’t been back on the scale since this has all started, but I’ll be sure to let you know. I was thinking about “weighing in” on Friday…or not. Though I probably will, because, as I will discuss in another post, I’ve also come to appreciate having tighter feedback loops.

Oh, one last thing! Since I’ve gone back to larger three meals – instead of five smaller ones – I’ve had virtually no stress eating or any other compulsive food-related behavior. That in and of itself is worth the cost of an extra meal.

Back to Basics: A little is better than nothing

Last year I got into this rut: if I didn’t have an hour (or more) to exercise, then I just wouldn’t do it. In my mind I had created this belief that if I didn’t burn at least 500 calories per exercise session than it just wasn’t worth doing.

I realize that that’s crap (for a couple of reasons).

1) there are a lot of exercises that are great for you that don’t take an hour and have nothing to do with actual calories burned – such as High Intensity Interval Training exercises, which are currently all the rage but that I hate with a purple passion and therefore will not do so it doesn’t matter how effective they are) or even just Kettle Bell Swings (ala Tim Ferris, author of the Four Hour Body). Both of these forms of exercise – and I am sure there are others – elevate heart rate (that’s why they’re called High Intensity) and build muscle, which causes you to burn more calories all day long – even while you’re sleeping. Can’t beat that.

2) and even more simple than that, 30 minutes of exercise (even if it’s just 200 calories burned the old fashion way) is better than no minutes of exercise (and 0 calories burned). That’s just simple math. And it doesn’t take into consideration the psychological benefits of exercise – the increased mood (studies show that mood is elevated for up to 12 hours after exercise!), the sense of accomplishment that keeps many people, myself included, from eating unhealthily after exercising, and the joy that comes from living up to your self-promises. It also can provide an important degree of structure to one’s day – especially if it’s done at a regularly scheduled time. And it helps you sleep better, which also helps you to stop storing fat. Again, can’t beat that.

So, this year, I’ve ditched my self-defeating belief that I have to workout for a certain length of time or burn a certain number of categories. And I’m just moving my body. Six days a week – with one day off.

So far, this is the workout, but it’s subject to change:

M. W. F.:
30 minutes cardio (the old fashion Nordic Track ski machine is my current activity of choice)
30 Kettle Bell Swings (20lb bell)
20 Butt lifts
30 Kettle Bell Swings (20lb bell)
30 Pointers (or whatever it is that you call that yoga pose where you start on your hands and knees and extend opposite arms and legs).

T. Th. Sa.:
30 minutes cardio
60 air squats
60 wall pushups
60 chest pulls
front plank 2×30 sec
left side plant 2×30 sec
right side plank 2×30 sec

Su.
Day off or yoga

I’m not burning many calories, but I am seeing some definition in my stomach again.

And on the days that I over sleep, I’ll reduce the cardio, because – as noted – 10 minutes is better than no minutes.

Back to Basics: Carving out the time to exercise

I’m thinking of starting a blog within a blog. Make sense or just plain silly? Maybe that’s what tags are for.

Regardless, these series of posts are going to detail me getting back to basics. These are the things that everyone knows about losing weight and exercise, but are the very ones that I somehow forgot to do.

Carve Out Time to Exercise.

Somehow I forgot this. Maybe it was when my thyroid was so crashed and I was in such a funk that I could barely get up or maybe it was when all of the work that I’d been putting off came due…seemingly in the same week. Regardless, I stopped exercising at the same time (that is, as soon as I got up) and then it just didn’t get done.

So perhaps I should be more specific: Carve out Time to Exercise First Thing in the Morning.

Exercising in the morning is good for a number of reasons:

1) it elevates your mood first thing
2) your body’s natural rhythms are primed to burn calories in the morning
3) it’s easier to actually get it done before the rest of your life (aka “real life”) starts rearing it’s ugly head.
4) it also encourages you to drink plenty of water straight out of the gate.

In order for me to carve out time for daily exercise, a couple of things had to change.

1) I had to start setting an alarm again (heck, I had to start setting two);
2) I had to get more efficient about the exercise I was going to do (especially now that classes are in); and
3) I had to get serious the night before and get all of my crap together (including my low fat, virtually no sugar, high protein, healthy carb lunch)!

See, I wasn’t kidding when I said basic.

Stay tuned….