Tag Archives: exercise

Simple changes promote healthy living

(Slipping a dollar bill into my exercise jar each time I work up a sweat provides impetus to regular workouts. When the jar is full, I decide on and purchase something new for my healthy lifestyle journey!) 

Making changes is often hard, but sometimes some simple changes we implement can have a profound effect on our well-being. In our First Place 4 Health meeting recently, I encouraged participants to think of three such changes they’d make during this twelve-week session. As they shared, I jotted them down on the board and later compiled the list. Here’s what we came up with:

·         Keep a food journal/diary

·         Eat on time

·         Remove junk food

·         Consume more fruits and veggies

·         Get plenty of rest

·         Prepare food ahead

·         Eat less processed food

·         Engage in regular exercise

·         Drink more water

·         Eat out less

·         Spend more time in prayer and Bible study

·         Remove (or lessen) stressors

·         Make a menu

·         Avoid buffets/fried foods

·         No late-night eating

·         Stay in touch with a friend/accountability partner

 

Weight loss is never a matter of the stomach only; in First Place, we realize we’re made up of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components, and each has a bearing on our wellness journey. Seeking balance under the lordship of Jesus Christ can provide real and lasting victory! 

As I looked over this list, I noticed these four life entities are addressed. I think I’ll print these reminders out and place them on my refrigerator!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Bible study, calorie reduction, Christian weight loss programs, decision-making, decisions, empowerment, fellowship with God, First Place 4 Health, freedom, God's purposes, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, making changes, physical fitness, prayer, right perspective, struggles, victory, Wisdom

Cravings…we can CHANGE them!

I wonder how many calories I've burned off with these! (Photo by Ann Maniscalco

I’ve been working on a fixer-upper house. Patching walls and shopping for new fixtures isn’t exactly aerobic exercise (now, wielding a paint roller… maybe). But as my days and hours were spent on such tasks, my exercise routine went down the drain (wait, is that sink leaking?!?). As a few pounds crept back on, I realized that, although I was eating carefully most of the time, I wasn’t balancing the nutrition with the perspiration.

About two weeks ago, I determined to go back to baby steps and learn to “walk” again. After being up to an average of about 45 mins of aerobic exercise five days a week and smokin’ that, I found myself struggling to do 20 to 30 minutes three times a week. Strength training had disappeared totally, and what had been firming up was flabbing out:(  My body had begun to CRAVE inactivity!

But just this week, I’ve been able to get some 30 minute, and a couple of 45-minute workouts in, and after just getting going, I’ve noticed my craves have changed again…my body now WANTS to move, and it feels SO good to be back!

So I encourage you, if you are enduring your exercise instead of enjoying it, perhaps your crave-change hasn’t kicked in yet. Assuming that you are sweating to some calorie-burning routine that YOU chose above other less-desirable options, just keep at it. Before long, I’ll bet you’ll crave breaking a sweat!

And I’ve found this works for food as well… by making good choices over less-healthy ones, and keeping it up for a couple of weeks, what we are consuming will begin to become what we desire to take in, and those junk-bars will lose their hold!

(This is my 99th blog…trying to decide what #100 will be!)

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Filed under balance, exercise, making changes, physical fitness, priorities, victory, walking

Workouts pay off!

Pay yourself when you have a good workout…a simple and fun incentive!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

A fellow WordPress blogger (Spagate) shared this neat idea to help motivate her to exercise. She created an exercise jar, and paid herself when she engaged in a good workout. Although she had seen the idea elsewhere suggesting putting $1.00 in the jar for each exercise session, she puts in a quarter for each 15 minutes, stating that “not  every workout is worth the same!”

I decided to get a bit creative with mine, making a colorful design on my computer. I’ve thought about subtracting $1.00 for days I don’t exercise when I should, but decided not to go there! Spagate made the suggestion to “save up for something special”, and I like that idea. Now, what will I buy when my jar is full? A new piece of exercise equipment, perhaps?

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Filed under calorie reduction, creativity, exercise, making changes, physical fitness, priorities

Visuals help!

Are you a visual learner? Sometimes, what we see has more of an impact that what we read. Case in point: After almost two months of not eating as well as I should and not exercising as much as I had been, my weight has incrementally crept up a few pounds above my goal. After working so hard to reach my goal, I’m back on track…the walking track, among other calorie-burning workouts! Another track I plan to implement again is the food-tracker. Knowing if it goes in my mouth, it goes on my chart makes me better able to say “no” to less-than-the-best choices.

Now, back to the visuals: For Christmas, I bought myself a pair of five-pound weights. They are pretty diminutive to look at, but when I pick them up, I have to brace my arms and shoulders for the extra stress. And just that ten pounds puts extra pressure on my legs as well. But another visual today really hit home. Our local store had ground chuck on sale, and as I looked at the “family packs”, most of which were three pounds or more, I saw a lumpy glop of meat about the size of what I’ve regained. Visualizing that on my backside has helped steel my resolve.

If you’re carrying excess weight, it may help to get some visuals in your mind; not only what you need or want to lose, but of smaller weights as well. Next time you’re shopping, pick up a five-pound roast or a ten-pound sack of sugar. Feel the weight in your hands. Then set a short-term goal to lose that five or ten pounds. Later, as you handle the comparable object again, you will be excited and encouraged that,  just as you can put down that bag of sugar, you’ve put off that much weight!

I hope you’ll join me in looking  forward to (and planning for)  a new year of becoming healthier, not only physically, but mentally, spiritually and emotionally. More to come on these thoughts in upcoming days!

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Filed under calorie reduction, commitment, counting calories, exercise, food, making changes, physical fitness, right perspective

The crawling swimmer – what an inspiration!

Went with my husband to the YMCA this evening; he hit the pool while I was doing my thing in the gym. When I came to the pool area, showered off my sweat and donned my bathing suit, he was in the whirlpool, but got out to swim again with me.

While catching my breath between laps, I noticed a very overweight middle-aged guy on hands and knees, crawling across the concrete surrounding the pool. Determined not to stare, I swam another lap. As I got back, I noticed he was reaching up and opening a certain door, through which he disappeared.

“Wonder what that was all about?” I asked my husband. He said the man didn’t have good use of his legs. He had seen him crawl out of the room (obviously a specially-equipped dressing area) and laboriously make his way to the end of the pool, where the life guard helped him with a special seat that lowered the man into the water. Once in the pool, he was able to do a form of swimming unassisted.

Chlorinated water was dripping from my wet head, but that wasn’t what burned hot in my eyes at that moment. I realized I was getting a great visual of someone who was going all out – doing whatever it took (no matter how little that may seem to others) – to get as fit as possible. The next time I want to whine (externally or internally) about what’s involved in my fitness routine, I hope this man’s “just do it” determination will quickly come to mind, giving me the needed impetus to follow his powerful example.

Just some thoughts from Slimvictory:)

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Filed under abilities, contentment, decisions, example, mindset, perspective, victory

When does 100 equal 10? (small changes matter)

You never know when you’re going to hear a brief tidbit of info that can be of significant importance. Recently, our local YMCA offered a program on healthy lifestyles with a focus on weight loss. As the dietician shared, I wrote down her info, much of which I already knew. One thing, however, stood out.

If we are overweight, most of us want to lose it quickly without much being required in the way of change, right? But if we’re honest, we could probably look back and see that our weight gain didn’t happen over a three-month period, or even a year’s time. You might notice that you added ten pounds every year or two, which didn’t make a noticeable change because it was so gradual (“Hmmm, these old pants are out of style anyway, I’ll go find some new ones that fit better”). Years ago, I came across a couple of my maternity outfits, and decided to try them on. To my chagrin, I couldn’t even zip up the back of the dress, and the pants wouldn’t fit over my thighs!

Ten pounds annually over a four to  five-year period…the simple math shows that to be a noticeable weight gain. But the truth is (as the dietician pointed out), we can easily lose ten pounds a year without any significant lifestyle change. How is that possible? Two ways: Cut 100 calories a day out of your food consumption or burn 100 extra calories daily through exercise (depending on your current weight that could be as little as a 15-minute walk at a decent pace).

100 calories is just about nothing! Serving sizes and calorie counts vary by brand, but here’s a rough estimate of items that are about 100 calories each: a piece of toast with spread, eight ounces of regular soft drink, ¾ ounce of a chocolate candy bar, two hot wings, ¼ cup ice cream, or (gasp!) ⅓ of a slice of pepperoni pizza.

So, since 3,500 calories equals a pound, if we do the math, subtracting this amount from our daily calorie intake will allow us to lose around 10 pounds in a year, or…adding these extra calories daily will make the scale show a 10 pound increase this time next year (and the next…). Just a little bit of time learning about calorie counts of your favorite foods can help you make wise decisions that’ll whittle the waistline; an easy-to-navigate site I often use is www.calorieking.com.  What choices will you choose to implement this week?

Note from Slimvictory: if you’d like to receive new articles as they post, you can subscribe on my homepage. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, decisions, exercise, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, label-reading, making changes, menu planning, nutrition data, physical fitness, snacks

Weighing in on the new A&E show, “Heavy”

Eating healthy can be simple and tasty! (photo by Ann Maniscalco)

I’m thinking a lot of folks tuned in to watch “Heavy” last Monday night. This new program presented by A&E introduced us to two morbidly-obese patients from the Houston, Texas area: Tom and Jodi (the show can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/5smjqgc). Six months of their lives and their struggle to lose weight and address issues that helped fuel their obesity were played out for us.

The show began with a bit of background detailing their weight-loss struggles. Their desperation was evident. After having their current health assessed by a physician, they were ushered away for a month in a controlled environment where they worked with personal trainers who pushed, prodded, and praised them. Both participants lost weight, but after they went back home, Tom, succumbing to the enablers he lived with, gained a considerable amount of weight back, and was brought back to the facility before returning home again. Jodi worked through some emotional issues, made some tough decisions, and continued her weight loss. At the end of six months, Tom and Jodi had lost an astonishing amount of poundage, trading bad habits and actions for a greatly-improved quality of life.

Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about the show:

LIKED:

  • The dangers of obesity were discussed
  • The necessity of permanent lifestyle change was shown
  • The value of support was made evident
  • The change in the participants, both physically and mentally, was well-portrayed
  • It wasn’t a competition

 DIDN’T LIKE:

  • There was a lack of focus/explanation on the nutritional side
  • Not many of us have the option or desire to go to a controlled facility for a month or to pay for such an array of professionals
  • I would have liked to have seen more of their lifestyle changes after they arrived home

All in all, I think the show deserves a thumbs-up, as it offered hope and encouragement to those who need to lose weight (or lose weight again) without portraying the journey as an easy-to-fix scenario. As one who has struggled to lose weight before arriving at my goal weight (and is having to mindfully and regularly focus on maintenance), I plan to be a regular viewer of “Heavy”. Each week, two new participants will be featured. It’ll be interesting to compare the various journeys.

(A note from Slimvictory – if you’d like to receive an e-mail of my articles as they post, please sign up on my home page. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.)

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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, decisions, food, healthy eating, making changes