Tool for Accountability

September 23, 2010

For the next twelve weeks (starting this coming Sunday) I’m using Fitbook to hold myself accountable to my fitness and nutrition goals. Writing it down, and having visual indicators for my success, have worked for me in the past. I’m moving away from tracking on the computer (though I remain a fan of SparkPeople) since it has gotten to be too much of a hassle to be so very dead-on specific with every little thing.

So instead of tracking at a 100-foot level, I’m going to use Fitbook to track at a 1,000 foot level. Food items, but not precise calorie counts. Workouts, but not exact calories burned. Overall goals broken down into weekly progress checks. It’s big enough to have room for all the tracking items that are important to me, but small enough to be portable and fit into my purse. At first impression, it seems to be a handy little book.

We shall see if it effects my motivation and discipline in any way. If it does, it’s worth its weight in gold. If it doesn’t, well, I’ll keep on keepin’ on. Hopefully I’ll kick myself in the ass hard enough to see some sort of improvement by Christmas.

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Current Favorite No-Lettuce Salad

September 17, 2010

I’m sick of lettuce, so I’ve been leaving it out. Feel free to add it if you have a burning desire.

– 1 baby cucumber, peeled and diced (or about 1 cup regular cuke, peeled, de-seeded and diced)
– 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
– 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, whole or halved
– 1/2 cup garbanzo beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
– 1/3 cup feta, crumbled
– 1/2 cup snap peas, whole or halved
– 2 tbsp low-fat dressing of choice (I use Newman’s Own Light Raspberry & Walnut)

Mix all of the ingredients together and eat with a really big spoon. Or pack it into a piece of flatbread (nutritional info below is sans flatbread).

397 calories, 16 grams of fat, 48 grams of carbs, 15 grams of protein, 40 grams (?) of cholesterol, 8 grams of fiber, 28 grams (?) of calcium, 987 grams (?) of sodium, 415 grams (?) of potassium.

Obviously, I don’t know what unit of measurement to use for many of my nutritional values.


I Feel Bad About My Body

September 6, 2010

I’ll bet that’s not a title that inspires confidence about this being a cheerful, upbeat post. Well, it ain’t.

I guess, more accurately, that I feel dubious about my body. The thing is, if I hadn’t gotten into such good shape last fall, I wouldn’t be so upset about the way things are now. When I got back from teacher training in October, I was shaved of most fat, and I’d picked up a huge amount of muscle tone in my legs, my arms, my butt, and my abs. (Climbing up a steep trail on the edge of a canyon twice a day, along with hours of yoga every morning and afternoon, will do that to you.) All my clothes were loose. I felt light and quick and strong, and I was over the moon with how I looked and felt.

But of course I couldn’t maintain that. I had other things to do than keeping up my body and doing yoga. I had to work, I had to commute, I had to cook, I had to deal with life. Quickly I got soggy, and even as I fought back feebly with halfhearted aerobics and tough yoga that I really didn’t want to do, I found myself caving more and more to the siren songs of California Tortilla and Chili’s instead of the good food I’d gotten in the habit of making for myself at home. I started buying chips at the grocery store again.

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Stuck Like Chuck

September 4, 2010

What? Oh, hi! *Steps off scale*

Don’t mind me; I’m just a little obsessed distracted lately, as I come up on the three-month mark of my little journey here.

The first two months were really cool – well, cool is a relative term, as I spent most of that time trying to burn off calories in the sweltering Carolina sun. But I’d call it a successful period of time, as I learned to love walking in my neighborhood, was consistent with keeping track of everything I ate and managed to lose about thirteen pounds. I cleaned out my closet and was giddy every time I fit into something I hadn’t been able to wear over the past three years. Things were going well.

And then…screeeeeach – everything came to a grinding halt.

For the past month, I’ve remained steady at some number between 147 and 149 pounds. I have a digital scale, so I’m able to obsess note every day in my weight journal what number I am that day, down to the eighth of a pound. Or tenth? I don’t know – math is not my strong suit. For the first two weeks I was alarmed, then moved onto being amused and now I’m just confused. I know logically there’s been some fat replaced by muscle action going on. Something is shifting around in there, obviously, or I wouldn’t have been able to wear a pair of size 6’s the other day (whoo, that was fun).

I’m frustrated, but I haven’t given up. No, actually quite the opposite. If anything, I’m more determined than ever to somehow find a way past this and keep moving toward my goal. I’m more confident now with food choices and exercising is so much a part of my routine I feel weird if I miss two days in a row. I know the number on the scale isn’t the total picture. But still it’s…a little upsetting to see the same numbers day after day.

I’m going to try to kick it up a notch as far as switching up my work-outs, but if anyone has any advice, any tips, any thoughts AT ALL on this plateau subject, I’d be really appreciative if you could share.

*Tiptoes down the hall in a wide circle to avoid stepping on the scale again*