When in Doubt…Go Back to Basics

Think It Through Thursday: When in Doubt…Go Back to Basics

Hello People!

I was going to film this update for you but decided to spread out the info over the next few days in separate posts.  I want to make the posts really personal from now on and make this blog more about me and my journey and what exactly is going on in my personal transformation.  In the past it tended to take on a more general approach to weight loss and staying in shape; although after saying that, all of which I have formerly posted I did and am doing.  Right now though, I want to be extremely selfish because I am fed up with the way things have turned out in regards to my getting and staying in shape…read: NOT.

Losing-Weight

First things first, it is NEVER a good time to start.  There is always a reason why it is too hard to do these things.  The fact is if you don’t do it now, then when?  I had to just make up my mind to stop staring at the clothes waiting patiently in my closet (for years now!) to wear because they are 3 sizes too small thinking, “I’ll wear those when I’ve lost weight.”  I am also wearing out my shape wear (a.k.a. gut suckers) and don’t want to buy more to flatten out my belly and thighs.  I just want it done and the only way to get it done is to start and then keep going until it is finished.  No dilly-dallying anymore.  No taking time and the easy route.  That has kept me in maintenance mode and in falling-off-the-wagon-one-too-many-times mode.  I have hitched my trailer to a fast car and am speeding down a highway called Lose Weight Now!  This is the only way for me to do it.  I am focused and have a plan with a mission.  Some may be shocked at my plan and may think I am a hypocrite because I have gone back against my word that I have written posts about, but it is all temporary to get the weight off.  Maintenance will be a different plan.

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So that brings me to my next point: Make a Plan.  My plan is mine and works for me but may not work for you. I’ll share it with you, but don’t think that I believe this is a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. Losing weight is personal and you must experiment (as I have been doing for years!) with what works best for you.  The long and slow routine wasn’t working for me, so I created a more direct approach with fewer pit stops.  The specifics of which I will share in later posts this week.  Just know that I have it in writing and I live these “directions” every day until it is done.  It’s sort of like following an instruction manual; do this, then that, then another until you reach the end.  It has specific guidelines to follow.  I write it all down and look at it and go back and look at other days I have recorded before just to reflect.  I’m using a small spiral bound notebook to track all of my food and exercise info.

My plan is to work in 6 week segments.  I will weigh myself once every 6 weeks (YES!) and measure myself as well.  I have a chart to write down this info on.  I have a goal date of June 10 which gives me about two 6-week groups.  If the weight isn’t all off by then, I will continue until it is. This is a hard-core plan, so a lot should be off by then.

Losing-weight-naturally

 

One funny thing I want to share with you all is that I have been weighing myself all these years on a broken scale!  My scale is probably from the 1970’s and apparently weighs me about 5 pounds less than I really am.  Now that’s a problem!  I only just realized this and was horrified to know that my starting weight was much higher than I had thought. Here are some stats:

Age: 43

Height: 5’2.5″

Starting Weight: 152 lbs.

Hip Measurement: 42 inches

Weight to Lose: 34 lbs.

Goal Weight: 118 (I’m short!)

Reaching Goals

Now I know that weight/weighing oneself is not that great of a measuring tool.  If I find that at 123 I look and feel great and have muscle tone to die for, then that is where my weight will stay. 118 is a goal that I am working towards and that number can be adjusted later if I want it to be different. I formed this very specific plan after I filmed my last video for you but am incorporating things I was doing then into what I am doing now. More to come on this topic later…

 

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Notable Quotable #1

Inspirational Sunday: Notable Quotable #1

Hello People!

I am following an exercise program (more on that in tomorrow’s post), and daily, I am given a quote to ponder.  I found this one particularly pertinent to me:

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’ “.                    -Unknown

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The program is rigorous. My commitment to keep up the 6 days a week regime at the start, were solid, and then there were snags 3 weeks into it…I got raging sick, twice.  I was working so hard and following the plan so well.  Pictures were being taken weekly for a before and after sequence.  It made me so mad that I woke up one day not able to get out of bed, much less lift a dumbbell.  Not following the program was hard enough, on top of that, when I get sick, for some reason my appetite rages out of control (not surprised, I’m defaulted to overeat by nature; being sick just heightens that even more) making me crave carbs like nothing else.  I suppose this is because of the lack in energy the virus is stealing from me and my body needing to fight off whatever ails me.

Unknown

That Katy Perry song has nothing on me, my “Roar” sometimes is a deeper promise for tomorrow. You know my desire to lose weight has been haunting me for years, I’m not going to now let a temporary sickness get in my way.  I told myself, “take the time to heal, then jump back in full force when you are up for it.”  It took about a week and a half, and many carbs later, but I’m back in the saddle again.

It’s not just the big reasons that make me break my commitment at times, it’s also the small things that come up.  Today, I just had a lack of energy to follow through on what I planned to do this afternoon.  The plans made for the day were put aside just to listen to what my body wanted: rest and relaxation.  I don’t have a good reason why, that is just how I felt.  I did not waste my workout or good eating habits though.  These remain a part of the plan no matter what.  But if I plan a day to garden for 4 hours, but all I want is a nap, then I compromise.  Instead of 4 hours, I did 40 minutes of simple stuff out in the yard.  I’ll make up for those bigger plans another time.  No big deal.  Tomorrow is another day and I can always do more if I’m up for it.

I also want to re-state that old stand-by: Consistency is Key.  It isn’t about just today, it’s about the total addition of day to day, week to week, month to month commitments.  One, two, or even three days out of a month that get “ruined” for whatever reason don’t need to derail one’s plans permanently.  Get back on the wagon tomorrow even stronger than before. That’s my roar speaking in a quiet voice!

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Resolutions 2014

Inspirational Sunday: New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

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Hello People!

Happy New Year as well.  It is indeed a new year, a fresh start for those of us who like turning a new page. Last year I posted my resolutions and I must say that I accomplished about 3/4 of them to great success!*  You can read about it HERE.  The other fourth, I attempted, but for one reason or another, were not completely accomplished; hence my 7 pounds out of a hopeful 28 pounds loss.  Not a total fail, but not completely done with. My list below is a basic outline of what I hope to “do” in 2014.  I left it a bit general for you reader, but rest assured, I have them written down in great detail and posted in plain view for me to see and think about each day.

This year, my plans that weren’t accomplished are more narrowed down to be more specific.  In other words, just saying “I want to lose 28 pounds this year,” I have made the job more of a weekly task to work on gradually with actual numbers and a plan.  More on that later.

I want to discuss, briefly I hope, the fact that even though my best-laid-plans of 2013 weren’t completely conquered, there were so many important things that I realized about myself that are important to point out.  Perhaps you also realized things about yourself through my journey.  Plans are good, but growth is the most important thing to me.  Becoming a better version of myself is always number one on the list.  So here they are itemized in no particular order of discovery or importance:

  1. I am gluten intolerant.  Well, this certainly cuts down on a lot of once available calories for me.  That’s been the plus side.  It is still easy to overeat (I’m baking my gluten-free birthday cake as I write this!), but regardless, this will be something I will have to contend with for the rest of my life.
  2. Lots of extraneous exercise will not help me to lose weight. You may remember my posts about marathoning and walking for hours upon hours only to gain weight.  I called it the “marathon effect.”  Cardio, strength training, and stretching are great in moderation, but are only 15% of the equation in losing weight…DAMN!
  3. Proper macronutrient ratio’s help me feel full.  I’m a person who needs equal parts of complex carbo’s to protein with some fat.  Too little of carb or protein and I am toast.
  4. Sugar is my enemy and creates binging problems.  This one sucks.  I love sugar.  But, it is a completely useless and un-needed “food.”  It triggers my blood sugar to rise and drop, sometimes to dangerous levels and then makes me frantic to eat the first thing I see…and then keep eating.  I turn into one of those spring caterpillars before they go into the cocoon.
  5. Binging can be dealt with.  Not completely done with this one yet.  The devil on my shoulder will always be there.  But I can learn to master those temptations by following the former two discoveries listed above.  Most of all, riding out the wave of greed, and always being prepared if it does strike, is key for me.

And now for the Resolutions:

  • Find a home church to meet new people, find ways to socialize and commune with like believers. (I am protestant Christian, if you didn’t know)
  • Find the best Baked Beans recipe. (I know that may sound weird, but I LOVE them)
  • Financial Responsibility (this is more detailed, but that’s all I’m going to list here)
  • Lose 4 pounds a month (this is also more detailed, but I’ll write more about it later)
  • Visit 5 museums
  • Attend 5 Art Openings
  • Make 5 artworks (more specifically written down, but again…)
  • Cook through the cookbook How to Eat by Nigella Lawson (sort of a Julie & Julia scenario)
  • Improve romantic social life (not going to give you more on this, but I have a plan)
  • Make a “Garden of Envy” (I’ll take photos all through the year for you to prove it!)

I wish you all the best if you also have set goals for yourself.  It is easy to give up and quit.  But then nothing ever changes.  If it isn’t working, what if you re-work the goal?  Good Luck!

* I successfully accomplished goals #3,4,5,6 & 7

How to Accomplish Goals

Think it Through Thursday: How to Accomplish Goals

Losing-Weight

Hey People!

I am not doing so amazing on my weight loss! LOL.  This is such a disappointment because I have been almost blogging for a year now and only have about 5 – 6 pounds lost to show for it.  It should also be said that I don’t have tons of weight to lose in the first place, but still!  This is not how I envisioned the plan working out – or NOT working out in my case.

Therefore, it has come time for a re-boot of the program; a re-setting of goals and what I want to accomplish.  This post could be used for a variety of topics in regards to going after what you want, but I’m going to use my weight loss endeavors as my example.

First of all, I will say I have learned valuable things along the way during this year process.  My gluten-intolerance realization has been a God send.  I had no idea a year ago that this was something I would have or deal with for the rest of my life.  I have also done a lot of research on health and have come across so many great pioneers on the trail to wellness.  Their insight and truths about food and our culture have been phenomenal in the choices I make towards my eating and exercise programs.  I also adore my French research on how that culture views food and health.  There are plenty of posts on all of these subjects throughout my blog.

Now, how do I propose to change my ways this time?  Well, it has come to my realization that I need more structure.  This is not going to be something everyone will agree with or even work well with.  But, over the years, when I think of how I accomplished great achievements, such as my Bachelors and Masters Degrees, learning a lead role for a musical or opera, training for a marathon, etc, there was some major structure in the program in the way of planning, rules, consequences and set-points. You know, if I don’t read the material, I can’t write the paper, then I fail the course – type of stuff.  How does this translate to losing weight?  Let me explain…

PLANNING

“Not planning is planning to fail!” Who said that?  I don’t know, but I’ve been hearing it all my life and unfortunately, this has been the mantra for my non-weight-loss this past year.  Planning takes some organization, so I suggest, if you are anything like me, you get yourself to pen and paper (or colored pens if it makes it more fun) and write your shit down!  This can be done in the form of just a plain piece of paper and then tack it onto the refrigerator or bathroom mirror; buying a daily planner and writing down to-do lists everyday and/or monthly; or composing some sort of planner on the computer or tablet that you update and look at frequently.  I prefer writing it down, because then I remember it better and I just like that tactile exercise.  For instance: I bought a cute french-looking weekly paper planner that has all sorts of goodies in it.  On one side of the planner it has a weekly outlook where I can write in what types of things I want to accomplish each day.  I mostly use this to organize my week so that I get things done, but I also use it for food and exercise planning.  I write down daily what I’m eating and if I exercised.  I also write down how many calories I burned during my workouts.  It helps me to keep track of what is exactly going on.  I also include upcoming meals I plan to make and shopping lists for those meals accordingly. This writing process gives me a sense of things to do.  It isn’t just willy-nilly so that I’ll eat whatever is lurking around the house that day.  What I’m going to eat is already scheduled way in advance.  I have definite plans to exercise that include the exact time and what activities I will do during that time.  You plan to dress each day you go out, right? You plan to brush your teeth and feed the dog/cat?  Then, try planning for the goal of losing weight.

(Disclaimer: I actually use my daily calendar on my iPad for more specific planning, so in a sense, I use two planners to keep my life in order!)
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RULES

Icccckkk….rules.  But I love them too.  Nothing makes me get on task then trying to work within rules (I know, I’m a psycho.)  Children need them, they respect adults more if they have them.  If we didn’t have rules for driving how much worse would it be out there?  Some people like breaking rules, not me.  There is something self-satisfactory about making rules and sticking to them – within reason of course.  I don’t carry a whip…or do I?  I’m talking about rules like: No eating after dinner and/or 8 pm; dessert is for the weekend; Drink 64 oz. or more water a day; etc.  That kind of stuff.  I have made a brightly colored list of rules for myself and and I will continue to work on it as I see the need.  My biggest problem is not eating enough fruits and vegetables.  This is a new rule: 2 servings of vegetables at dinner.  This, in addition to other servings throughout the day.  I just never eat enough at dinner.  Another rule: Exercise 5 days a week planning what, where, how and when – again, back to the planning. And this one: No eating out – pack all meals eaten out of home.  That may not work for you, but I can make it work for me.  One of my biggest downfalls is not knowing how many calories are in food prepared in restaurants, plus, I lose all resolve once I sit down at at table.

CONSEQUENCES

Ok, this one goes with the rules.  If perhaps, rules are “accidentally” broken, there must be a pay-back.  This must me swift and brutal.  Don’t wait a few days to correct the problem or you will find an excuse.  For example: I ate too much the day before – next day will have a calorie deficit (in approximation of extra calories taken in) and/or extra exercise to work off said extra calories. Another one: I skipped my workout – I will add 15 minutes to the next 3 workouts to make up for it.  If I don’t want to deal with consequences, then I don’t commit crime in the first place.  Stick to the plan+follow the rules = no consequences. Brilliant!

SET-POINTS

I use this term in reference to an actual goal that is tangible and doable in a certain period of time.  In other words, you should have big and small goals for your major accomplishment.  My big goal is to lose 26 pounds.  The small goal might be: I will lose 5 pounds in 4 weeks or a month. Write these things down as well.  Put them on the calendar in bold and a bright color so that they scream out at you to be remembered.  That is your cheerleader egging you on to keep going when the going gets tough.  And the going will get tough, I can assure you. When I was training for the marathon, I set daily walking goals for myself that I HAD to accomplish because I was up against time running out for training.  If I didn’t accomplish the small goals, the big one suffered too.

I hope this gives someone hope to keep trying no matter what.  Even though I have gone another year and “failed” to lose weight, I’m not going to see it entirely that way.  I’ve learned things that have worked and a whole lot of what doesn’t.  Planning my food and exercise will make it actually easier to stay on track because it is a daily/weekly/monthly reminder about what it is exactly, in plain sight, that I want to accomplish.  Irritating, yes, but doable.

2013 Resolutions

Hey all,

Today’s Thursday Post is a personal one.  I wanted to list publicly my hopes and dreams for the coming year so that I will stick to them when the going gets tough.  I’m not usually one to list a goal and not fulfill it too.  When I plan on accomplishing something, I usually do.  So New Year’s Resolutions usually work for me if I intend them into existence (I usually don’t). I just so happen to be one of those weird people that actually enjoys planning and organizing and setting goals big and small for myself.  What’s frustrating is that things don’t always come to fruition as quickly as I’d hoped, but that just tells me that I need to plan better for the next one.

So here they are, in no particular order of importance, as I see them equally important.

1. Lose the Remaining Weight

Losing-weight-naturallySo, I set a goal for myself last year to lose 26 pounds.  As of right now I have lost 7.  Life has been up and down for me this past year and there have been some really difficult moments.  I wanted to make sure that I didn’t let myself get too off-track with being healthy, fit and trim so I announced on YouTube that I would be publicly losing weight and sharing what worked and what didn’t with my viewers. About 10 videos in I decided to switch over to a blog because that seemed more interesting to me.  I will still make videos, but they won’t be as regular as blog posts. More to come later on how I will hold myself accountable to this goal.

2.  Financial Freedom

freedom-1024x494Yes I am one of the gazillion people in America that used the CC too much. Too be really honest, it is because I don’t have a job that sufficiently pays for all of my needs.  This has been an uphill battle for me for all of my adult life.  Being a musician / vocal professor is nice sounding, but it doesn’t always pay the bills, so to speak. There is a light on the horizon and I will be pursuing a different career very soon.  My singing will always be a part of me, but the income needs to change and fast.  I have already put into action a CC payment plan that I had been sticking quite nicely to; then darn old Christmas came up and I am back in the red. Onward and upward!!!

3. Art Appreciation

TGSE01346_mI not only am a singer, but I love art, culture and historical places/things. This year I plan to dedicate a day to venturing out of my cozy home to visit the vast arena of options that Los Angeles offers. It may be worth mentioning that I am also a ceramic artist and have always had a great love of visual art.

4. Creating More Structure, Organization, and Planning to Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Activities

dateBookBeing one who likes goals and achieving them, this one probably comes as no surprise.  The thing is, if I don’t plan out what I am going to do – NOTHING gets done; and I mean NOTHING.  There are so many projects, outings, restaurants, etc. etc. that I want to experience and it will only happen if I write in in the calendar.

P.S. I have already planned out every day of January, leaving room for spontaneity.

5. Read 3 Fictional Books

endless-booksI read a ton on Non-Fiction and never have room for the stuff of dreams.  Heck, I haven’t seen any Harry Potter movie because I want to read the books first.  Same goes for The Hunger Games.  Three may not be a big deal to some, but this is a realistic goal for me.

6. Design & Re-Decorate Bedroom

Ok, so the pix above maybe a little out of the budget of one who is seeking financial freedom. This goal is on a shoestring amount, but I’m a crafty cat.  The only problem I can foresee will be affording someone to paint the room, but I may be able to get someone to help me out with that one.

7. Find the Best Roast Chicken Recipe

roast chickenYum! I’m always on a culinary journey.  This year I want to find something that is healthy but also delicious and versatile.  Everyone needs roast chicken in their life! Oh, except if you are vegetarian or vegan….but WHATEVER!!!

Reaching GoalsSo what about you? Are you a resolutions kind of person?