Looking Forward To Exercise?

older woman exercisingReally, such a strange feeling, but I actually look forward to exercising now! I can’t believe it! I have fought the idea of exercise for so long this is so odd to be excited about it.

The Senior Center is closed on Sundays, so Sunday is basically a “rest” day whether you need it or not. That is fine with me as I’m usually busy with church until around noon, and then I like to spend Sundays doing things I normally don’t take time for during the week.

I must confess that I ate like a pig yesterday, cleaning the last of the potato salad and the last of the fettuccine alfredo out of the refrigerator. Don’t even want to think about what that cost me calorie-wise, but now they are gone so I don’t have to worry about reaching for them anymore. I have gotten a lot better about eating more fruit, etc. I love this time of year when watermelon, blueberries, and strawberries are plentiful. They make such a great additive to my yogurt. Cheap grapes and 94% fat-free popcorn are taking over the “snack” spots.

Today I need to take my measurements. I realized over the weekend I hadn’t done that yet, and I know how encouraging it can be if you’ve lost inches, even if you haven’t lost any weight. Wouldn’t you be happy to lose 10 inches off your waist even if you hadn’t lost a pound? LOL. That would work for me!

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Whale Vs. Mermaid

I received this in my inbox this morning. I don’t know who to give credit to, but I thought it was well worth sharing.

Mermaid or a Whale

Recently, in large city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym .. It said:

¨THIS SUMMER DO YOU WANT TO BE A MERMAID OR A WHALE?¨

A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans).. They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Barren Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia . Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don’t exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don’t  have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to mention how could they have sex? Therefore they don’t have kids either. Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me; I want to be a whale.

P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a piece of chocolate with my friends. With time we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, ¨Good gosh, look how smart I am…¨

I personally am trying to trim down the whale factor, but I will probably never be a mermaid. I thought this was very good. LOL

Getting Older,Gaining Weight, Syndrome W

Like we don’t have enough to worry about with our butts and boobs sagging, now some genius doctor has discovered Syndrome W which affects older women. This isn’t my problem as I’m the way I am from lack of exercise, etc. but it is a problem.

I originally read about this over at Between Us Girls  and decided to do a little more research. Evidently the symptoms are:

  1. Gaining weight for no apparent reason while you are still physically active
  2. Gaining weight around your waist instead of gaining all over as would be the normal way people gain
  3. Blood Pressure creeping up
  4. Bad cholesterol creeping up
  5. fatigue (which I just figures comes with weight gain)
  6. Elevated insulin levels even tho blood glucose levels were normal

The study Dr. Harriet Mogul coined as Syndrome W which stands for “waist gain” showed that many women suffer from insulin resistance despite being fit, non-smoking, and basically thin for most their lives.

According to Health Discovery.com when glucose is  locked out of resistant cells, it has nowhere to go and starts building up in the bloodstream. The pancreas releases yet more insulin to try to compensate, and for a while, that works to force glucose through the cell doors.

An insulin resistant person can maintain normal blood glucose levels, although doing so may require insulin levels as much as 40 percent above normal. And as Stanford’s Dr. Reaven has publicized, excess insulin alone can cause significant cardiovascular damage.

What’s more, in at least a portion of the estimated 60 million to 80 million Americans who are currently insulin resistant, the pancreas will eventually lose its battle and glucose levels will begin creeping upward.

Untreated, 10 percent of those who started out as simply insulin resistant are likely to progress to full-blown diabetes, according to Dr. Reaven. But only then will most people realize they have a problem. Insulin resistance has been called a “silent killer,” because it is symptomless, or so it was thought.

One of the most obvious symptoms of this disease is the “apple shape” some of us women take on. Dr. Mogul’s plan is a low-carbohydrate, low glycemic diet and a drug called metformin that counteracts insulin resistance. Evidently they’ve had great success in staving off full blown diabetes in the patients that follow the plan.

For more information,(I’ve sort of simplified it here) visit Dr. Mogul’s website. She has some great info, a food pyramid, and a FAQ. She’s also written a book you may find helpful.

I’m Ramping Up!

I know they say not to keep saying “I’ll start tomorrow” but I’m saying it. I am still getting set up to get serious for sure this year. I am finishing the last of the holiday food which includes a multi-flavored mini cheesecake, and I need the BF to hook up my son’s old VCR in the kitchen where I have all my gym equipment set up. I got a webcam for XMAS (actually 2 but took one back) that I need to get hooked up and learn how to use, and am taking more before pictures to do a sort of “journey in pics” thing.

I am proud to say I’m not starting this year any heavier than I have been for several months, so I don’t have to deal with added weight. That was the goal I had set prior to Thanksgiving, and I was able to make that one work without too much effort.

What I am not proud of is that I started this blog a year ago last Sept. to force a sort of accountability, but it really didn’t help. There is a certain anonymity in being in cyberspace and while I have told the truth on my blog here, I haven’t really had to face anyone but myself, and obviously I’m not my strictest disciplinarian. I’ve decided that has to change. I need to face myself and you and not with the same old story.

While I get motivated over and over again, I’m not consistently motivated which is for sure part of my downfall. Trying to combat that, I am scheduling in the beginning of my day to go thru the WeightWatchers and Sparkpeople’s message boards, participate in the tracking tools daily, and look more for motivators around me.

I figure I have 2 choices: be where I am a year from now or be where I want to be a year from now.  Right here and now, on this second day of January, 2009 I am choosing the latter!

What are you going to do different this year? Or if what you’re doing is working for you and you’re sticking with it, SHARE. LOL

Time For Soup, Soup, Soup

Ooooh, the cold weather is starting to roll in. I call this the “Time to stay comfy, cozy” weather. For us in Silicon Valley the days are still pretty nice (60-65) but the nights and early mornings are cooling down a lot. We may even have frost this week.

For me it’s  a time when I like to be all wrapped up in soft cuddly clothes and eat nice hot soups and pots of beans, usually with cornbread. I usually make the cornbread from a mix using my eggbeaters and shedd spread so it’s not too fat and calorie laden.

I think I’ll visit “A Year of Crockpotting” and see if she soaks her beans before she puts them in the crockpot, or if you can just put them in there with water. I usually use a big old pot, so I’m not sure how to do it in the crockpot, and I think I would like to do that more often this year. I came across what looks like a really good recipe for a lentil soup, but haven’t made it yet.

Here’s a recipe for a Ministone I got from a supermarket magazine. I just love it. The flavor is so good, it’s vegetarian (for my daughter) and it’s only 2 points for a whole cup, which is pretty filling.

Yummy Minestroni

Hearty Minestrone Soup

INGREDIENTS
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 (32-oz.) cans beef broth
1 (8.75-oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and
drained
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
1 cup Nob Hill Trading Co. Burgundy Marinara
Sauce
2 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
3/4 cup Sunny Select small shell pasta
Prepared basil pesto

DIRECTIONS
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

Nutrition Per Serving: 127 calories, 7 g protein, 3 g fat, 19 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 1 mg cholesterol, 775 mg sodium

Place all ingredients except pasta and pesto in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add pasta and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes longer. Spoon into large bowls and swirl a teaspoon of pesto into each.

Makes 8 servings.

We use regular Classico Spaghetti sauce instead of the Marinara, but I love it. Thank you Railey’s Nob Hill  for your great recipes!

What Do We Know About Acai?

I have to admit I ‘ve been fascinated lately by the Acai berry. It’s supposed to have such super health benefits, plus the benefit of losing weight. The only “real” thing I’ve read is the pure stuff is more healthful and effective than the combinations. Reading up on everything all the ads will tell you how it was touted on Oprah. They don’t tell you it wasn’t their product. According to the good Dr. Oz (I think it was him) it needs to be pure and now they have an unsweetened pulp that is supposed to be the ultimate.  I’m going to check my health food store the next time I go in, or maybe Whole foods and see what they have. There are all kinds of stuff on the web, but if I’m going to do it I want the real thing.

The MonaVie juice is really popular, but it’s about $45 a botttle an it is not the pure stuff. It’s mixed with other juices etc. There’s bottles and bottles of this stuff on the internet, everyone offering a free sample, but I can’t find what’s in them. I’ll let you know what I find etc., when I find it. LOL.

Don’t forget to check out the free ebooks link on the right handd side. There are some unique Christmas books in there that would be great for children or grandchildren.

Holiday Cookies Are Not Diet Friendly!

homemade xmas cookies

homemade xmas cookies

I went to a cookie swap this morning. My first ever! It was a combination cookie swap and charity drive run by our “Neighborhood Association”. They use the Multi Use room at our elementary school here in the neighborhood and there were 4 charities they were collecting for. ‘Tis the season’ you know. They had one charity that collected jackets and coats, one shoes, one clothes of any use etc., and blankets and towels for the local animal shelter. I usually donate most my stuff to “Hope” but kept forgetting to call them for a pick up so this was perfect.

As far as the cookie swap, while I love to bake it seems since I’ve gotten older I don’t have a lot of patience for cookies. If I want to bake cookies I spread all the batter in the bottom of a pan, cook them all at once, and cut them into bars when they’re done. This making 15 trips back and forth to the oven to bake them a dozen at a time, while it may be a way of getting some more steps in, isn’t for me. I bought mine at the grocery store. I’m doing my share to boost the economy. The only problem is they definitely were not low calorie, low carb, or low fat. I’m sure none of the ones I traded for were either. Thank goodness my mother will eat a good portion of them even tho she doesn’t need them any more than I do. This is how it starts.

I’ve made up for the couple of pounds from Thanksgiving, but it’s all the little parties, cookie swaps, etc. that cause the extra pounds between now and New Year’s. I feel sorry for all you people who work in offices as the treats, potlucks, etc. are never ending. I feel sorry for me because working at home I’m not a part of it. LOL.

So I am offering these tips for holiday eating. I broke two of the rules at Thanksgiving already. I love eggnog, tho I do buy lowfat. It has to have some sort of alcohol. See how many of these you can follow. These are not tips we haven’t all heard before, so consider this a gentle reminder.

Tips For Healthy Holiday Eating
When the holidays arrive, many people forget all about their diets and healthy eating. Weight gains of 7 – 10 pounds are common between
Halloween and Christmas. To make the holidays easier, these tips will help you with healthy eating through the season and not gaining weight.
1). Most traditional foods can be made low fat.
Turkey is very lean without the skin, and gravy can be made without any fat. Potatoes that are served without butter can be very healthy. The beloved pumpkin pie is nutritious, although it can be made into a fatty dessert with the adding of whipped cream.

2). Even though the holidays are in, don’t forget
about the exercise.
Keeping weight off during the holiday season is burning off the extra calories. You should plan a walk after meals,
park farther from stores when you shop, and take a few walks around the mall before you begin shopping.

3.)During holiday parties and at family dinners, feel free to sample foods although you shouldn’t splurge. Decide on what you plan to eat in advance, then stick to your plan. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, low fat dressings, and slices of lean meats. Before you go to a party, eat a small snack to help curb your appetite.

4). If at all possible, avoid alcohol. Having too many drinks can cripple your will power, and also add excess calories to your diet. In the
place of alcohol, drink water with lemon. Water can help to limit your appetite and keep you from binging. Also make sure to avoid eggnog,
as each glass can have up to 300 calories.

5). Be flexible with your healthy eating, as one bad
meal won’t ruin your diet.
Try to balance your
calories over a few days and don’t just look at
one meal or day.