Monday, September 29, 2008

Breaking the silence...

Have you ever had a whirlwind weekend? This past weekend would definitely fall under that title...hence it's Monday morning, and I'm just taking advantage of my first opportunity to write.

This past week, I added some new gadgets to my little supply of exercise equipment. I've wanted to get a pedometer for awhile, and I found myself with a few extra minutes at Walmart on Wednesday, so I walked over to their "fitness aisle" to see what they had. I browsed for awhile, and then decided on a cheap little blue one. Hey, all I really want it to do is count my steps! I don't necessarily need it to calculate my heart beat, tell me how many calories I've burned, or speak to me and tell me when I've reached my goal number of steps. Just count them for Pete's sake!

I didn't want to invest in an expensive one, because I'm really just curious to know how many steps I actually take in an average day. We are told to set a goal of 10,000 steps/day by the fitness gurus, so I wanted to know how I measured up.

So, I brought my little blue friend home and gave it a try. After reading through the instructions I put the tiny battery in, measured my stride length, set the clock, and stuck it on my waistband. I then proceeded with my workout on the treadmill. I was pleased to see that (if this thing is anywhere near accurate!) I walked over 6,000 steps while on the treadmill. Sweet! I was over the halfway mark and it wasn't even 9:00am! I checked again right before jumping into bed that night, and I'd walked over 12,000 steps that day. Alright! I actually exceeded my expectations.

The other thing I bought was some exercise tubing. Anybody ever used that stuff? I like it a lot. If you're a little leery of using weights for your workout - use exercise tubing. It's very easy to use, and you control the amount of resistance. I'm using it right now to work my triceps muscles, as I can tell they aren't near as strong as my biceps. It's a lot easier to use weights to work biceps (at least, it is for me) but I've struggled with effectively working my triceps. So, exercise tubing is working great for me. I'm feeling the burn in the back of my arms! Exercise tubing also works great with stretching and toning leg muscles. If you're looking for something cheap and effective to use - check it'll like it. =)

I was at the library this past week and spent a little time browsing through the health/fitness section and came across an awesome book on weight training. It's called, "Maran Illustrated -Weight Training". I love it! It has information on everything you'd ever want to know about weight training. Using photos and writing, they show you how to correctly (and incorrectly - so you know what NOT to do) perform hundreds of exercises for your upper and lower body, and they also have designated chapters on how to use an exercise ball and tubing. I flipped to this chapter after buying my tubing and found tons of new ways to work the same muscles. Anyway, if you can get your hands on this book - do it! (I'll return it to the library in a few weeks...=)

So, with all these new pieces of equipment and new exercises, I was curious to see how the weigh in would go. I hung steady at 170lbs this week, but that's okay. I'm enjoying the new clothes I bought a week ago and keeping my head held high.

This weekend was rough on the calorie end. We went out to eat at Pizza Ranch on Friday night after a long, fun, and yet stressful day on Friday. I decided that would be my cheat meal, so I enjoyed a few slices of pizza along with my salad. I forgot, however that Saturday night was our church's annual Chili Cook-off. That turned into another "cheat meal", as I did not do a very good job at saying, "No". Can anyone else relate to that???=) All this past weekend, I've just been craving carbs something fierce. Carbs were one of the hardest thing to get under control in my eating habits, but I've felt very confident these past few months as the Lord has been helping me to balance my meals and keep those carb cravings in check. So, the fact that I kept thinking, "Bread...pasta....pretzels..." all day long was a little odd. What was up? It had been several weeks since I'd struggled so much. My mom brought home some organic spelt sesame sticks on Saturday, and I could have eaten the whole bag! I discovered the answer to my question Sunday evening, which some of you might have already guessed. Yep! It was "that time of the month". So that's what was going on! Why didn't I think of that before?

With all these things going on, we'll see what this Friday brings. In the past, I usually show a slight gain during these "certain weeks" that occur every month. Something to motivate me to work even harder than before and trust God with the outcome.

Eesh! This is what happens when you don't post for a week. So much to tell! Thanks to all of you who participated in the poll. Keep up the good work!

Grateful for His love ~Bekah

Friday, September 19, 2008

What's your shape?

This morning, I stepped on the scale and wondered what it would say. Would I get down into the 160's? I was hoping to, and now I'm one pound closer. =) I lost a pound this week, which gets me down to 170lbs and a total of 72lbs lost so far. Just another baby step toward my goal!

Speaking of goals, I've had a few people ask me what my goal weight is, and I kind of smile when I answer, simply because my first response is, "Well, to be honest - I don't really know yet!". There are charts and graphs galore and I've studied them all. But, it really comes down to each individual person. We all have unique body frames and shapes, so I'm not trying to fit into a square on a chart or even a certain clothes size. There's nothing wrong with having a "goal weight" or a "goal size", especially for people who have lost weight before and then are trying to lose what they have gained back. But I don't want to set myself up for disappointment. What if I push myself hard to reach a certain lower weight only to find it almost impossible to maintain that weight? I mean, while exercise is important - it's not the only thing I do every day. I want to reach a healthy and strong and not overweight weight. A weight that I can maintain through daily exercise and healthy eating. In short, something realistic. I'm not striving to be a size zero, 'cause honey - that ain't gonna happen! And it's possible to reach a healthy weight that doesn't exactly fit into a super small size. I can be a healthy woman in a size 12 or 14. We're all different! Some of us are pears, some are apples, and yes, some have that "banana look". And that's awesome! I love how God made us all different, unique. How creative He is!

I think it's very easy to fall for the lie that says, "All the people on TV who lost weight now fit into a size 4 or 6, so that means I have to, too.". Not true! For some of us, the truth is that we'd actually be unhealthy if we fit into that small of a size. God made some of us (me included) with a larger body frame. So, when a size 6 is just perfect for a lady with a smaller body frame, a size 12 might be the perfectly healthy size for you. Embrace that fact! Don't despise it. We, as Christians are called to be healthy and strong, able to carry out whatever the Lord calls us to do without worrying if we can physically accomplish His work or not. Praise the Lord we don't have to fit into a certain size to be able to be used by Him!

So while I'm not aiming for an I-HAVE-to-weigh-this-amount weight or a certain size, I do still have a goal. I needed something to work toward! Right now, I'm planning to reach 150lbs, and then evaluate whether I'm fine there or if I need to lose more. So as of today, I have 20 more pounds to go. My last "little" chuck!

I enjoyed a piece of homemade apple pie tonight for my "cheat item". Yum! The important part - I had one piece. And, that satisfied me.

Rejoicing in uniqueness ~ Bekah

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New glasses...

This has absolutely nothing to do with weight loss, but I wanted to post it anyway. =) I bought some new glasses this week, as my 5 year old pair got a crack in one of the lenses and were pretty much worn out. It was quite fun picking these out! My old glasses were the "blend into your face" kind, which isn't bad - but I wanted something a little more...exciting! Anyway, I'm getting used to what I look like in them. I keep thinking someone else is looking back at me in the mirror!
We went out to eat after church today to celebrate Hannah's 16 birthday (which was on Thursday). We planned to go to Olive Garden, but we didn't really feel like waiting for an hour to get a she picked Red Lobster instead. I personally am not a huge fan of fish, so I settled on the Apple Walnut Chicken Salad. It was yummy! It had a vinaigrette dressing with grilled chicken and red peppers mixed in with the lettuce, apples and walnuts. And, I limited myself to having one of the cheesy garlic biscuits. Everything in moderation, remember? You can eat out and eat smart! Restaurants are no excuse for throwing your new healthy lifestyle diet out of the window. Plan what you're going to have ahead of time and stick to your plan. Tell your family/friends what you're going to order so they can keep you accountable. Look for things that are grilled not fried, steamed veggies instead of potatoes or coleslaw for your side, and don't cave into the desserts! I've found that almost every restaurant serves fruit smoothies, so if you really have a sweet craving, get a smoothie and split it with someone. You leave the restaurant feeling satisfied and energized, not stuffed and lazy. =)
Have a great week! ~Bekah

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What's the # this week?

Yesterday was one of those "crazy days" - when you have more things on the schedule than you probably should. :-) But, it was a good day. I taught my first class (I'm teaching a 9 month class for homeschool girls based on the Laura Ingalls Wilder books) and it went really well! We made homemade butter and I just scooped a little on my fingertip to have a taste. (I mean, we shook a quart jar for 30 minutes to make this stuff - I had to at least taste it!) It was very light and creamy, and while it was quite tasty, I was content with the little bit I had. I hadn't had butter in a long time!

Anyway, I woke up and realized it was Friday, which was hard to believe. It's been a whole week since I last weighed in? Wow. The scale read 171lbs, which is where I was at last week, but I was actually pleased with that. The past 2 months or so, I've been having a hard time maintaining the weight loss. I'd lose a pound or two, then the next week gain one back, then lose....then gain a little...well, you remember. :-) So, even though I didn't lose any this week, I was proud to be able to maintain my loss from last week. I'm really eager to get below that 170 number! Hopefully only a few more weeks...

I'll have to post more tomorrow - hopefully with some new pictures. Gratefully His ~ Bekah

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Your challenge for the day...

Okay, everybody! Get up out of that chair and start moving! I mean, NOW! It's cold today, so create your own body heat by moving around a bit. Chase after a ball, do jumping jacks, march in place for 10 minutes, jump rope 100 times - get your heart pumping. It'll boost your metabolism and your energy levels and you'll feel just great. Then, post a comment and tell me what you did.

Hey.....why are you still reading this??? Get moving!!!

Groovin' and movin' with you ~ Bekah

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm tired of thinking of titles!!!

Looky here! I actually found another picture of just me. This was taken in July when we were waiting for fireworks to start and had nothing better to do than take goofy pictures... :-)
I've been faced with a little problem this week. It has been cold this week (I suppose it is getting to be autumn, but it's hard to believe the summer is almost over!) and today was cold and rainy - not suitable weather for shorts and a t-shirt. So, I went digging through my closet in search of warmer clothes only to find once again - everything is too big. Seriously! I got rid of almost every piece of autmn/winter clothes I had last year. I did manage to come up with a pair of big comfy sweatpants and an oversized sweatshirt to wear, but eesh! I'm not going out in public in this outfit! I'll have to do a little shopping before the weather gets too cold. Anybody know of any good sales going on??? :-)
And now, time for a little confession. (I can see you all leaning forward in your chairs while wondering what in the world I'll say next...) Well, sorry. I'm not going to shock and amaze you. But, here's the simply truth - I did NOT want to get out of bed this morning to exercise. (Now I can hear you all thinking, "That's it? Some confession.") But really, we stayed up a little late last night watching a movie, and when the alarm went off this morning, I tried to come up with a change in my schedule or a simple excuse of why I shouldn't get up. I was tired! I didn't want to get up and get all sweaty. It was cold! My bed was so warm. Waa! Waa! Waa! I was having a little fit and was generally a grumpy, torn Bekah. My little pity party lasted for about 10 minutes before I finally made the choice to roll out of bed. When I had dressed and hopped on the treadmill, I still wasn't feeling much better, but I decided I was going to make the best of it - all the while bemoaning my situation. And to make matters worse, it was cold and rainy outside. No sunshine to brighten my mood. Just gloomy clouds.
I started the worship music and began walking. I've listened to this particular CD for the past few mornings, so I wasn't really paying attention to it. I was too busy trying to perk up and "get with the program". But right at the end of my warmup, the 2nd song caught my attention. It has a catchy tune and I began humming along (since it's impossible to sing well while doing cardio!). And that's when the words to the song hit me. What was I humming? Well, it goes something like this -
I'm reaching for the prize...I'm giving everything,
I give my life for's what I live for
Nothing will keep me from...all that you have for me,
You hold my head up high...I live for you
Greater is He that's living in me,
than he that is in the world
Faith... I can move the mountain... I can do all things through Christ... I know! ...Faith... Standing and believing... I can do all things through Christ... who strengthens me. Faith.".
Hmm. Let's just say that right there on the treadmill I had a little attitude check. I mean, why was I complaining? It was my choice to stay up late, and I knew that I needed to exercise before family devotions this morning. I had no one to blame about my lack of sleep but myself. It was time to grow up - take responsibility for a stupid decision and get on with my workout! And, that's exactly what I did. I was humming most enthusiastically (my lips were tickling something fierce!) and doing my best not to focus on myself while I completed my exercise time. The time didn't fly by, and I didn't fell like I was walking on air, but my heart was peaceful as I kept pushing on.
The sun still hasn't come out. No birds are singing today. It's still gloomy and wet. And I'm still tired. But God's Word is living and active - in me and in you. Speak it, believe it. Let it change you. And all the friction from it slicing and cutting while "dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow" outta warm you right up! It did for me. Better than any cup of hot cocoa ever could! (Besides, I really shouldn't have hot cocoa anyway...)
Warmed within ~ Bekah

Friday, September 5, 2008

Downsizing again...

Woohoo! I'm actually posting on a Friday. I was happy to see 2 pounds come off the scale this morning. Yippee! Down to 171......again. :-) But this time, I'm not planning to balloon up again. Too much work trying to get back to where I've already been!

I think it really helped to change around my exercise schedule - if nothing else, it kept me from getting bored. My exercise equipment downstairs was a little dusty and squeaky, but it still works just fine. I was actually happy to work up a sweat this week as it's been so cold the past few days! I had to fight against the "I don't really feel like doing this!" attitude a few mornings this week. Days when I was really tired, really cold, really hungry...(I exercise before eating breakfast. Some days I'll eat a few bites of fruit to curb my hunger and keep me from feeling really cranky while exercising.)

I'll hopefully be able to post more tomorrow, but tonight I'm so ready for bed. Sweet dreams! ~Bekah

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day

As I mentioned earlier, I've decided to really switch up my exercise schedule in an effort to keep the weight coming off, so on Saturday I quickly moved from one "station" to the next without spending more than 10 minutes at each "station".

After lifting weights and walking on the treadmill, I thought it would be kinda fun to have a family member time me as I ran (in a slalom fashion) around our 5 fruit trees in our front yard. So, Hannah grabbed a clock and walked outside with me. Thinking that I wanted to really challenge myself, I told her that I was going to run around the trees for 3 minutes. On your mark, get set, GO!

Off I ran, trying to pace myself, but knowing that I have no problem jogging on the treadmill for 3 minutes so the thought never occured to me that I might be exhausted before then. Our 2 frisky puppies decided that they wanted to join in the fun, which created a problem for me, because they kept running right in front of my feet. (How can dogs be so smart and so stupid at the same time?)I was hopping and dodging, darting around these furry moving obstacles in my path, and yelling at them to go away. It wasn't in a tone that commanded much respect, though. It was rather breathless and choppy as I was huffing and puffing toward the next tree. For whatever reason, they didn't get the picture. I was rounding one of the trees when I heard a shrill yelp from one of the puppies, and the next thing I knew I was headed straight for the grass. (I'm sure it would be hysterical to watch in slow motion, however at the time I was not happy with how this new exercise routine was turning out.) I fell right onto my elbow and smacked my head on the ground, but thankfully it didn't hurt too bad. Grass is amazing. I was quite upset at the puppies though and ordered Hannah to shut them up in their kennel, but Leah (the merciful animal lover) came to their rescue. Do what you want with them, but keep them OUT of my running lane!

I brushed myself off and decided to start over, but I asked Hannah if I was close to the 3 minute mark. I was quite exhausted when I fell, which was after running the loop almost 2 times and I quickly figured out that running on grass in the yard is a little different than jogging on the treadmill. She smiled and said, Uh....not quite. It was only about 45 seconds.". Okay, so I came up with a new plan. :-) I told her I'd run the loop 3 times and see how long it took me. And again, I was off and running - this time with no puppies underfoot. I did it in 1 min. 20 seconds, and I thought my heart was going to pop out of my chest! That, my friends, is a good cardio workout.

I'd had enough of the trees and moved down into the basement to use the Norditrack and the Gazelle for about 10 minutes each, and then did a cooldown on the treadmill. If that wasn't a change in routine - I don't know what is! I'm hoping this works to my advantage come Friday.

If you haven't done any exercise today, go outside. Walk, play with your kids, go for a bike ride. Yes, I know it's hot. Do it anyway! Sweat won't kill you. If it did, we'd all live in Alaska. :-) Get moving! Turn up the radio and dance with your kids, make an obstacle course and do it with them. ( I don't suggest using puppies...) Just do something! I know you'll be glad you did.

Happy LABOR Day ~Bekah