Healthy Living: Adding and Not Subtracting

I caught a blog title on MFP today that talked about adding rather than removing. It’s so true! This past year was all about losing the weight. Reducing bad food from my diet. And shedding the old me for a new me. Instead, what if I had taken another outlook which was about gaining?

Now, the 5 suggestions are pretty basic and I’m sure geared toward those getting ready to embark on the obvious New Year’s resolution of getting back in shape, getting healthy, and shedding pounds (drink more water, get more sleep, eat more fiber, add in healthy fats. It was the last one that peaked my interest – try a new workout.

It was timely. Except for a day of skiing, my workouts consist of treadmill runs. Too cold for SUP – we were at 9 degrees today. Same for hiking. I want to go ice skating at city hall, but again, its frigid out there. I keep thinking I’ll hit a gym and then I can’t get my butt out of the house to sign up. So, if I can’t do that there isn’t much chance I’ll go.

What I did do without prompting from that article is pick up my body bars the other day. I have 5, ranging in weight form 5 pounds to 14. I grabbed the 10 pound one and did squats and arm exercises after my run. It doesn’t take more than ten minutes. Though, it does give me a workout!

Arms do okay as I will pick up my bars and do arm work after runs a couple times a week. It was the squats that awakened some muscles I forgot I had. I have no idea what you call this muscle, but it is in the back inside of my thigh. It is stiff, and sore, and kept me from keeping up with Tom at Target today. He had a grand old time speeding up as I walked faster and faster until I realized he was messing with me. The only good thing was that I had to really open up my stride which helped stretch those muscles and make them feel a bit better.

I’m not sure how working these muscles will change my legs. I’m only hoping that muscle is attached to my butt and it takes out some of the old lady sag. I’m also wondering if this will help my skiing even thought this isn’t a muscle that seemed to be challenged after the other day.

Anyway, I added squats. Not a big thing. Just something to say that its no longer about giving something up but gaining something back.



Should I get rid of the sag?

Pulling off 60 pounds and 35% of your weight leaves you with a little bit of flabby skin. A lot really. My knees are little elephant like. My butt is more skin than butt. My boobs a baggy mess.  It’s nothing that a nice pair of jeans and good bra can’t fix. But, it does bother me.

My knees are what they are and there is nothing I can do about them. My boobs and butt, maybe a little nip and tuck would be nice.

I can’t believe I’m actually considering this. It feels so vain. I mean, I’m not that young anymore. I look better than most 48 year olds. Tom doesn’t care. I just hate looking in the mirror every morning and seeing sag.

Looking around I found websites and videos of plastic surgery and was mesmerized and horrified all at once. If you watch a boob lift it is pretty extensive and reconstructing. It then takes up to 6 months before your are completely healed. So, this is no small thing like a botox shot or a simple eye job. No, it is major surgery.

I’m on the fence. Maybe I need to sit on this a bit more…

Is the scale right?

Look at my blog posts of late and you see a streak of paranoia under the surface about gaining weight over the holidays. Yes, I have a 5 pound insurance policy (meaning if I gain 5 pounds that was okay – just not more). The reality is, I don’t want to gain any weight. The thought of having to tighten the belt again is a horrible thought.

As such I’ve kept up my workout routine. I’ve continued to log everything. I’ve weighed myself everyday. I’ve even played around with my calories – upping them to 1500.

So, I got on the scale the other day and was 107.1 lbs. 3 pound under my goal weight. I wasn’t quite ready to believe it. I got on and off a few times thinking the scale was wrong. When I’ve dipped to 109 and even 108 I wasn’t really that worried. I’d certainly been at 110 enough and at times 111 and 112.  But, for the past three days I’m at 107. I’m not thinking the scale is the issue.

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what was happening. I felt like I was eating like crazy and certainly not eating as clean as I normally do. Yes, I was exercising. But I pulled it down to no more than 30 minutes a day vs. 45 minutes. And, the intensity is lower because I’m on the treadmill and not the road.

Anyway, I just pulled down my charts from MFP (overall tracking) and Garmin Connect (scale readings). It is a little clearer now as I look over the past month.


Garmin weight Dec 1

My weight is fluctuating as I’ve noticed but still maintaining. That spike last week? That was a late night weigh in after a big Thanksgiving meal. I went to the scale saying out loud, “Let’s get the 112 reality check.” And amazingly I was right, 112.5. Food, salt, monthly cycle all came together. Add to the fact that I weight myself in the morning and there is the other flaw. But really, it’s a blip. It was the after affect slide where we pick up.

MFP Calories Dec 1

Now I look at my calories consumed. My goal is at 1500 calories per day. 11/8 and 11/14 are completely off because of the time changes from my Tokyo trip. You’ll see a few days where I was gluttonous, but the majority of the days I’m below my calorie goal. Through Thanksgiving I was actually doing well. But, when you get to this past week, even as I felt like I was eating a lot and keeping myself full, I’m really not hitting my goal. My paranoia has translated into dieting.

Take away here is that as much as maintenance mode can be scary, I need to continually look up and watch my patterns and not just look day to day. While many struggle with gaining weight now, I seem to have the challenge, for the time being, of allowing myself to let go a bit. Even as I had a bowl of ice cream with fruit compote and granola for dessert yesterday and a huge plate of Brazilian buffet for lunch today, I need to allow myself to eat all my calories and maybe even go over 50 – 100. Even if I think I’m eating, I may not be.

So, here is to a Friday night. I think I’m going to celebrate with pizza and beer!

Slacker Day Abroad

I was doing so well leading up to my Japan trip and even when I got here. Running (hit a PB of 9:07 min/mile) eating right, sleeping fairly well considering I’m halfway around the world. Getting to the hotel at 4p after I don’t know how many hours of travel from Boston, I donned my running gear, pounded a treadmill for 30 minutes, took a shower, checked email and headed to dinner with my client. Waking up yesterday morning, I ran again and made it through a very long day of presentations and drinks (only had one) out with colleagues until 10p.

I now sit in my hotel bed with definitely enough time to fit in a run. Instead I’m slacking, giving into inertia and complaining to you about my lack of motivation. I should get my lazy butt up as I have a morning of presentations before hopping on a plane back home and 18 hours of travel. I’ll essentially be run-less for two days. But, I’m done, a bit home sick, and honestly could use a dose of American food.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had some amazing Japanese meals. There was a clam dish served in an extra large shell that puts Boston’s clam chowder to shame. Yet, as I sat at lunch yesterday, the client executive who had to leave lunch early got a Japanese version of a turkey club with french fries. Let’s just say, I was certainly ready to have that as I smelled that wonderful fried aroma. My colleague’s expression said he was having the same yearnings, and he is French! It was a bit of disappointment when the vegetable puree soup came followed by various other Japanese small dishes. I know, typical American – what a Singapore acquaintance characterizes as just being a white person. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve succeeded in wasting enough time that I don’t have any left to hit the gym or get outside. Need to hop in the shower. Slacker Abroad signing out.

Living the Commuter Life Is Cramping My Healthy Living Style

Yes, it is time for my whiney blog. This week I stayed in town but needed to commute into the city every day rather than work from home. Boo hoo, you say as the tiny violin between your fingers plays, that’s life baby. But, I am so used to the flight of stairs commute to my office that spending 90 minutes or more on the Mass Pike into the city then againout to attend an event and meetings with my best vendor clients sucks.

What also sucks is that by going into the city I am confronted with the same challenges as when I travel: access to healthy food, eating in a timely manner before I hit the red zone, and working in my run. Add in the added hassles: Having to wake up at 5:45a and the fact that daylight savings time hasn’t kicked in so it is dark until after 7:00a means no early run. Meetings at lunch means no getting out for a run or even hitting the The horrendous commute back to my house in what city people would call the boonies.

By the time I did get home each day this week, my commuter angries and low blood sugar level by not having eaten anything since 1:30p kicked in. The only way to detox was to immediately shed my monkey suit, throw on my running gear and crash my treadmill.

God I miss the road. I miss healthy food that doesn’t make me feel bloated, achy stomachy and hungry an hour later. I even miss having to live healthy when traveling since then I at least don’t have to deal with commuter traffic and the airport lounge and hotel staff always take care of me. I miss the fact that I can roll out of bed at 7:00a, hit the gym or road for a run and still have time to get ready, eat and head to my meeting.

So, to those of you struggling to get healthy and stay healthy while road warrior-ing, there are no excuses. It is so much easier on the road.

In the grand scheme of things, I dropped to 108 (almost 2 lbs) on Monday and all my running around like a crazy lady has kept me there. It gave me license to add back a little on my plates this week. Good thing too; there was Boston Cream Cake pinafores on the dessert buffet table. Score!


RVing and Running

Day 3 and finally I have an internet connection again. It was the first long haul trip in Bertha, our RV, and except for a wrong turn down windy mountain rounds in PA, it's been great.

Pulled into Black Moshannon Campground late and missed my window for a run. But, the next morning I got in a trail run along the lake and through the woods. I got a nice tour of the park and some ideas for the day. The park is beautiful. If I had more time I'd hike the Allegheny Trail. For a family get away, there are cottages, boats to rent, and pavilion areas for gatherings.

We hiked the ski slope trail that was supposed to be the most difficult and tallest point, but was really more like my runs through Hopkinton. I think Mid Westerners might get scared of New England trails. I was all about this 3 mile loop for my morning run but I woke to rain. So, we pulled out after only a couple nights and headed into Ohio.

The ride to Alum Creek in Delaware Oh was pretty easy. We got in late afternoon and my legs were itching for a run. I got lucky that the Mid West summer heat and humidity today was missing. As soon as we were hooked up with slides out I had my running gear on and was out the door.

I checked with the desk ahead at checking about running trails and they showed me a small trail outside the campground. A couple of the women said I wouldn't like it back there, too rocky. But that was exactly what I wanted. They thought I was crazy when I said I like dirt over pavement. Oh well. Anyway, couldn't find trails and did keep to pavement and through the nearby state campground. Not the most scenic, but at 3.5 miles, I hauled (for me) at 10:30 min/mile. It took my runner legs edge off and with a jump in the pool and a glass of wine, my day is complete!

Obsessive Compulsive Food Tracker

I thought I was crazy. I track food in my Weight Watchers app and my LoseIt app.  I have my reasons, like, the WW app doesn’t have a way to look at my nutrient breakdown to know if I am managing my carb, protein, fat and sugar levels. It also doesn’t provide feedback insights on my eating patterns to let me know what is working and what isn’t. But I like the WW app because snapping points with my scanner makes shopping really easy and keeps me connected to the program and the meeting discussions. Anyway, then I also have my Apple Watch that tracks my activity.

For an analyst, all this data is amazing!

Then I get to my WW meeting and find that tracking is just something people are doing to log their points. They might even do this at the end of the day rather than as they eat. Whether that works for them or not I’m not going to judge, to each their own. But, I realized that I must sound like an obsessive compulsive food tracker.

Then comes my analyst colleague, Brandon. I knew he was in our WW group but since we are both big travelers, this was the first time we were in a meeting together.  When asked how us newbies were doing with tracking, Brandon told his story about spending 3 hours in the grocery store scanning everything and realizing how eating what he thought was healthy was actually not as healthy as he thought. He is as obsessed about the tracking and data as I am!

Anyway, there is something about this tracker approach that does help a lot. If you are with others that are also tracking, each is learning something new about how to not only get the most out of the program but also learn how to reset your eating (and activity level for that matter). You can share favorite foods and let each other know how many points they are.  For example, I love nuts. Janice in my WW group mentioned that I could swap out my 4 point nut snack for a 2 point option of 20 pistachios.

So, if you are tracking and only doing it because its just something you were told to do, stop, think. It drives a level of accountability with yourself. It allows you to talk to people and get support in a way that general conversation doesn’t to learn new behaviors. And, most important, it will help you recognize where to make changes and how to keep those changes for life because you form new eating and activity habits.

Yes, at times double tracking, plus looking at my watch, plus blogging takes time. But, if I can fit this into an incredibly hectic life that most would not envy, you can do this too.

Chubby girl out – going for a walk with my dog to track some activity!