Saturday, September 16, 2006

That'll teach me ...

I brag yesterday about having 10,000 visits to the blog, and Blogger goes down. Major crash. No one can blog or visit blogs. For hours.The most recent status report says the "maintenance has been completed successfully."

That attitude is typical of the type of alcoholic thinking that thinks everything that goes wrong is all their fault. Which is, I suppose, better than blaming everything except oneself, but in this case, it's just coincidental.

Greta, you're one of my best cheerleaders, and I thank you. Rethinking my goals instead of abandoning them is of course what I should be doing. All-or-nothing thinking also is typical among some alcoholics. For the record, I don't run every day. My knees just can't take it. Maybe two or three times a week I'll go for a long, slow, steady jog; the other days I'm doing the brisk-walking thing.

Thanks, too, to Teresa for her thoughts on yoga. I fall into the all-or-nothing trap there, as well. To me, practicing yoga means pulling out the mat, changing to comfortable clothes, choosing which DVD I want to use and devoting 40 to 60 minutes to a Session. I've been known to do a downward-facing dog pose while brushing my teeth [not a photo I'll be posting here] – does that count? To me, it doesn't, because it doesn't involve the mindfulness I associate with the practice. So a little yoga rethinking may be in order.

Mehitabel commented that she counts her active job as her exercise. If you're just starting a health/fitness plan, that's probably okay. But from what I've read, your body will get used to doing the normal stuff – even five hours of climbing and shelving heavy books will one day be normal. And then you'll have to step it up. I've added weight training to walking – well, most weeks, anyway – and have found I need to raise the bar with both activities to continue to lose.

Right now I think I know how to maintain. I'll be taking these long walks six days a week in order to not gain weight; I've seen the same number three Monday mornings in a row now. That sounds like maintaining to me. I've not been as consistent with food, however, especially since I switched to eDiets' Atkins approach.

I'm going to end my little flirtation with Dr. Atkins. In fact, essentially I already have. The low-glycemic plan I've been using this entire year works when I work it. I'm sure all of eDiets' plans work if you follow them to the letter, but as I'm sensitive to sodium, I think the Atkins approach, with low-fat lunch meat on the menu – y'all know how I can't resist that – isn't a good choice for me. Yes, I abuse Healthy Choice Turkey Breast.

The thing is, I knew that when I switched. I thought it would be helpful, since I was going to be away from my kitchen and could concentrate on meat and salads eating at restaurants. I'll tell you what, though, after eight months of eating fruit, whole grains and yogurt, one grilled chicken salad looks and tastes just like the last one. I was only kidding myself; thank goodness I've learned from this and can move on, instead of whining about how this-or-that doesn't work and clinging to it, hoping it will.

I guess I can't be bored. Back when I was drinking, my motto was "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space." At the age of 55, I'm not the risk-taker I was in my 20s and 30s, but I guess I still want and need some variety in at least one part of my life.


Marilyn B. said...

Sounds like you might have hit that proverbial plateau. If so, just hang in there and this too shall pass. It sometimes takes a few weeks to work past it but you will, I know. I still think changing up your diet might help you past. OR go back to the foods you ate the first week or two. Do you have a record? Are you pretty much eating the same thing every week? Boredom can make us go off food plans so a shake up can be a good thing. I'd stick with the Lo-glycemic but maybe e-diets can give you some suggestions on how to get past a plateau.

You can do it! I KNOW you can.

jen said...

Congratulations on the 10,000th visitor. I know how easy it is to get obsessed by the site meter. :)

I think any diet plan you can do, works, but you might as well be comfortable on the way. I love the book Thin For Life for its great info on maintenance and also the sensible stuff on how to get past the obstacles on your way to goal.

You'll get there. I have no doubt.

Greta said...

I was worried that I would upset you with my comments to "just change your goals" if they are not working for you. Glad you are OK with that concept because it's actually what makes sense to do.

I am 55 and I cannot run AT ALL because of my knees so I admire that you do. I did too much running in my 30's and my knees are shot. So I walk and use the elliptical for a running-speed workout. I still have dreams of running but think I would need to get down to about 140 pounds FIRST before I can run again. I still have hopes of continuing on down to a lower weight so maybe someday I will run again.

You WILL continue to lose weight. Just hang in there.

I just bought 2 books by Rick Gallop from His books are about dieting using the glycemic index. I wonder if it would inspire you to look at one of his books and try a few new recipes? "Living the G.I.Diet" has the best recipes of the two books.

He has wonderfully easy to use charts of red light, yellow light, green light foods.

I am glad you are getting back on the GI diet. Atkins really is not healthy, and though I know it won't damage your body too much in the short term, I find it disturbing to hear that folks I like are on it.

denise said...

IMO, you're on the right track adding the weight training to your exercise routine. I used to do it regularly and it made a big difference. Following the analogy someone made on the AFG site a few days ago, I guess you could say I'm just getting back on the E-way (Exercise Highway) after spending a year on the "blue highways." I hope to be motoring full speed soon.

Meanwhile, I found the following article in a booklet I received from on of our local hospitals. I think it gives a really good explanation of why weight training is important, so I thought I'd share several sections of it. It's a little on the simplistic side, but it made sense to me (being a simple person myself ;-)

For you, Debbi, the questions about walking only 20 minutes a day 3 times a week will probably seem silly since you do so much more, but I like the way the comparison is drawn between walking and weight training.
(It's a little long for the comments section, but I couldn't figure out if it was possible to send an email and it's not available on the hospital web site.)
What’s the Best Way to Lose Body Fat? Weight Training.
By Rami F. Odeh, M.S.
Exercise Physiologist, Northside Hospital

"Weight training is the most effective and efficient way to decrease stored body fat, in conjunction with a well-balanced nutritional program and proper cardiovascular exercise...

What does weight training do?
Muscle tissue (lean body mass) is the only place your body burns stored body fat. One major benefit of weight, or resistance, training is its ability to help maintain and increase lean tissue mass, which will increase your metabolism.

Why can’t I just walk 20 minutes a day, three days a week?
Let’s compare weight training to walking: Over the course of a year, if you add and maintain 5 pounds of muscle by weight training, you will burn an estimated 175 calories a day; 1,225 calories a week; 4,900 calories a month; or 58,800 calories a year! (Depending on the person, this could be up to 90,000 calories a year!)

One pound of fat requires approximately 3,500 calories of energy to burn off. Keeping everything else equal (such as diet), 5 pounds of muscle will burn about 16.8 pounds of fat in one year.

By comparison, if you wanted to walk to burn off the same amount of fat, you could have to walk approximately 600 miles! This would take the average person four hours a week, every week, for a year. A larger-framed person would have to walk about 900 miles or six hours a week!

Put another way, if you walked 20 minutes a day, three days a week, it would take you four to six years to burn off the same amount of fat. You would also be losing muscle along the way, so it would take even longer.

How much weight training do I need to add muscle tissue?
Most people could add 5 pounds in less than a year training for 30-45 minutes, three times a week. Obviously, the best possible scenario is to weight train and walk. But as you can see, weight training is much more efficient in terms of weight loss. This is especially true for women because they genetically have less lean tissue to begin with, and weight-bearing exercises will help add bone tissue just like muscle."
So, Debbi, it appears you have set yourself up for what is referred to here as "the best possible scenario."

Thanks for setting such a fine example!

(P.S. If this is inappropriate to post due to length or whatever, feel free to delete.)