Saturday, September 27, 2008

From spark people

Your Four-Legged Workout Buddy

Just as it would be hard for you to go out and jog for 45 minutes if you haven't worked out in 6 months, it's also hard for your pet. Be sure to get your veterinarian's okay before beginning your pet's exercise routine. After you get the go-ahead, here are some tips to help you get started:
Start slowly, gradually increasing the time and intensity of the activity. This will safely strengthen your pet's muscles, aerobic capacity, and footpads.

Pay attention to how your pet is feeling. Signs that your pet needs to slow down or stop include drooling, stumbling, trouble breathing, and a long, droopy tongue. Take a break and consider making tomorrow's workout shorter. Also remember that in hot weather your pet can't sweat like you do to keep cool.

Concrete and asphalt are tough on your friends' paws--especially on hot days. Try to walk or run on dirt paths (or grass) as much as possible.

The longer you work out, the more water Fido needs. Bring along a collapsible water dish to help your pet stay hydrated.

Be realistic about your pet's limitations. Many smaller breeds love going for a brisk walk, but you'll probably have to carry them on a strenuous hike. Animals with a thin coat will not tolerate cold weather very well, whereas dogs with thick coats don't do well in the summer heat.

You should avoid strenuous exercise with your pet until they are finished growing (after 9-12 months for most dogs).
Time Involved: At least 10 minutes every day

Body Benefit: Healthy heart and lungs for both of you

Friday, September 26, 2008

From my spark blog this morning

First of all we found gas yesterday. DH was calling gas station before 8 AM and found a station near by that had gas. We are both retired so we don't have to be any where at a particular time. However, DH does some handy man things around town and needed gas to get to the house he was working on. He used up the the majority of the gas left in our cars on Wed. So he was planning on staying home on Thursday.

I had to cancel my day at the Hospice Office for my volunteer work on Wed, I had to also cancel at TOPS meeting and my hair cut. I was completely frustrated. I live in a pretty hilly neighborhood. It is hard for me to walk up the hills. anywhere I walk will require me to return up a pretty steep hill, but I was determined to take a walk at least for my daily cardio workout.

I started down the hill and walked to the first stop sign, about 1 mile. I was feeling pretty good and so decided I would turn right and head up another hill. The next road had a little more hill to it, but I knew it was down hill pretty much the rest of the way home (Except for the killer hill back to my road) So off I went determined I would walk around this block. It was sunny, not too warm and a gentle breeze was blowing. I was feeling pretty good; proud of myself for continuing my walk.

I thought the road had a couple of curves to it, but It has a lot of curves to it. I kept walking, talking myself into putting one foot in front of the other. It was getting harder each step I took. I continued on. I was enjoying myself in spite of the nagging ache in my feet and ankles.

I had on my pedometer but didn't want to know how far I had come until I was nearer home. I knew I had been gone awhile, why didn't I take my cell phone with me. I was beginning to notice there weren't many cars passing on this road, in fact there weren't many houses. Just countryside scenery. I was enjoying the view, when I came upon a large field where they were picking up hay bales that had been cut. Now I wish I had my dog with me. I was beginning to feel un easy walking on such a deserted road. And now I was getting thirsty. I forgot to bring any water to drink. Still I continued on.

I got to the end of that road and turn left again. I was getting closer to the next road that would take me back to the road I started on. With new determination I continued on. Despite the thirst , despite the ache in my hip, despite the growing weariness and the much slower pace, I kept walking.
I was getting closer to home with each step.

I made another left turn and looked at the road ahead of me... hey I don't remember that hill. Keep walking I tell myself. as I got to the top of this hill I could see my road. Ok I will make it. It is only a little way more. Sure would like to find a bench to sit on for a little while. But if I stop will I be able to get up and keep going? Better just keep moving so I did. Finally the next stop sign is just ahead. I increase my pace, stand a little taller and keep on moving. I make the stop sign and it is then I remember that once I make the turn here the KILLER HILL is ahead of me. Do I have the strength to make it up that hill?

I find a tree and take a couple of minutes to rest in the shade. I remember the HILL it is always hard for me, how will I ever manage it when I am tired and sore for this much longer walk than I had intended to take. I plan my strategy. I will walk to the next mailbox, then the next, then the next until I make it to the top.

I pull myself up. I look at the HILL and I say I will conquer you today! First one mailbox, I stop to rest. Then the next, and the next , stopping until I can gather my strength and then on to the last one. The top of the HILL is just ahead. Once I get there I turn to my road, just a couple hundred feet to my driveway. Normally the hill in my driveway doesn't bother me, but today.. it looks pretty high, but relief, water, and rest is on the other end and I continue.

I did I looked at my pedometer and it was 6 miles. It took me one hour and 40 minutes, but I did it! I was so proud of myself. I can tackle anything as long as I take it a little at a time. So maybe not having any gas was a good thing.

What do you do to challenge yourself?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

From Spark People

I grew up with having dessert... I was required to eat my meal before I could have it. Thus Ialways ended my meal with something sweet. I don't do that as an adult, yet I long for that sweet finish to a meal. This is something I will consider:

Healthier Ways to Eat Dessert
Smart Substitution: Dessert
-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer
Sticking with a healthy eating plan is hard work. There is no way around that, but for many it means giving up the foods that they love the most. But, you don’t have to do that! If you are limiting yourself so much that healthy eating becomes more of a hindrance than a help, then your good habits won't last long. So what does this mean? You can still eat dessert-- and enjoy it! Learn some smart substitutions to make your dessert a healthy part of your day.

The key to including dessert is to enjoy that sweet treat without overloading on calories, fat, and sugar. Desserts can often make it hard to maintain a healthy weight. But who wants to give up their favorite foods? Willpower is hard to fight against. As with many things in life, moderation is key, so you’ll need to stop yourself before you overindulge. Try sensible portions; you can eat 1 slice of pie and still be in your calorie range for the day.

Not every chocolate cake or banana nut muffin is created equal. Look for things without a lot of butter, nuts, or creamy frosting. Since feeling guilty can ruin a good meal, why not try some of our ideas instead of your “regular” desserts?


Low fat cookie
Frozen 100% juice bar
Fresh berries with low fat creamer
A few pieces of chocolate
Frozen grapes
Angel food cake
Pudding made with skim milk
Nondairy frozen dessert
Low fat ice cream or sorbet
Pieces of fruit
If you are the one doing the cooking, there are lots of ways to make your favorite recipes healthier.

Egg substitutes or egg whites instead of whole eggs.
Apple sauce or prune puree instead of oil when baking to naturally trap moisture into your cakes and breads.
Less sugar. A lot of recipes call for much more sugar than is needed. You might even like it better!
Fruit-based desserts. Although you still have to be careful, these desserts often have less calories and fat than a chocolate or cream based one.
One of our recipes. The resource center is full of healthy dessert recipes just waiting for you to try.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From my Spark Page

I am so frustrated. We have a gas shortage here in NC. I can't go anywhere as my DH has to use my car... the only one with gas. I can't go to the gym, I can't go to Hospice for my volunteer time today and worst of all I can't get my hair cut! I am leaving for my big trip in 10 days. I wanted to get my hair cut today and do a little shopping. I need some new clothes for the trip. I can solve the gym problem I will take a walk and do some exercises here at home... but everything else has to wait. The lines for the few stations that have gas are more than 6 blocks long in both directions.. people are running out of gas while in line and pushing their cars to the gas station. They say we should be in better shape by monday. Monday???? what do people do in the mean time?

This frustration would normally drive me to the kitchen, but instead I am going to take a walk.

The good news is I lost 1.25 pounds this week

I have also lost several inches
Hope you all have a wonderful day and remember to drink your water


From SB Today

Daily Dish
Get Moving!
Tomorrow is National Women's Health & Fitness Day, the nation's largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages. This health observance is a great reminder for people following the South Beach Diet to complement their healthy eating with some healthy activity.

Exercise is a fundamental part of the South Beach Diet lifestyle, so why not take this opportunity to participate in one of the hundreds of women's health and fitness events sponsored by local organizations at hospitals, health clubs, park and recreational districts, and other community locations?

If you can't make it to one of these events, resolve to begin a fitness routine, or try a new form of exercise if you're already active. Remember, Dr. Agatston recommends selecting an activity that you enjoy so you're more likely to continue doing it. He also advises easing into a routine rather than overdoing it and then abandoning the program because it was too hard. Here are a few activities you may want to try:

Take a coworker for a "talk walk." Instead of a coffee break at your desk, grab a coworker and take a walk outside. The conversation will make the time fly by, while the exercise will raise your energy level (so you'll be less likely to get sluggish by midafternoon).

Play tag with your kids. When was the last time you participated in a simple game of tag? Rediscover your inner child while spending quality time with your kids. They'll get a kick out of having you join their game, and it's a great way to reconnect with your little ones while enjoying some exercise.

Take a loved one to a salsa club or social dance. It's always more fun to exercise with a partner than doing it alone. Find a dance club that offers swing, salsa, or line country dancing and you'll learn some new moves with this enjoyable form of exercise. And for those who have two left feet, try a less-crowded, early evening lesson to help get you up to speed.

Consider martial arts. This is another activity that you can participate in with your child. Find a class that offers instruction for both of you, or go to separate classes and practice your moves together at home.

Go for a ride. September's beautiful weather is perfect for an afternoon bike ride. Bring your bike in for a tune-up and then take it for a spin around your neighborhood. Don't have a bike? Try an indoor spinning class instead.

Take a dip in the pool. Many community centers offer great pool-based fitness classes, so check your local listings for a class that suits you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Personal thoughts

I have spent the last two weeks really focused on recording what I eat and getting the exercise in. Thanks to Spark People, I have finally started to lose some weight. Like many of you I wanted it to be faster, but I know for this to be permanent I need to do it slowly while establishing good habits. My doctor is helping me get the appetite under control, my commitment of writing down everything I am eating and getting the exercise I need, is helping me drop some weight. I know it is early in this journey, but I feel more confident then I have felt in some time. I look forward to the challenges that I have joined on . I really want to encourage you to take charge of your weight loss. Make the difficult changes, and stop back here and tell me how you are doing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

From Spark People Today

Snacking Healthy
Add Snacks to Subtract Pounds
-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer

While some dieters happily accept when someone suggests a snack, others feel pangs of guilt when a nibble is merely suggested. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with a bite between meals. In fact, snacking might be the missing ingredient that will help you reach your weight loss goals.

But how can this make sense, since snacking theoretically adds calories?

Snacking doesn’t serve to replace a meal. In fact, you should spread meals and snacks out by an hour or two, and snacks should total a couple hundred calories or less.

Munching between meals can actually reduce your overall caloric intake by curbing overeating at your next meal. By controlling later binging, snacking can help you stay on track. You can actually use this to your advantage. If you know you are going out to a big dinner with friends later, for example, make sure you have a healthy snack before you head out so you’re less likely to order (and finish) a large entrĂ©e.

How You Snack Can Make or Break Your Diet
There is definitely a wrong way and a right way to snack. You should avoid sugary items like candy and soda, and shouldn’t be consuming enough calories to constitute a meal. Instead, steer towards foods that will satisfy you and keep you feeling fuller longer. Fruits and vegetables are always a safe bet because they are low in fat and calories. (Just be sure to avoid high-calorie dips.) Yogurt, fruit smoothies, even a slice of whole-wheat toast all make great snacks during the day. Combining lean protein, some healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates will help you feel fuller longer.

Mini Meals
Many experts are recommending several smaller meals throughout the day instead of the usual three. By eating at regular intervals, your blood sugar levels (and therefore your energy levels) remain stable. So, instead of that mid-afternoon crash, you’ll be full of vigor through dinnertime! Eating every few hours (especially if you chew on fruits and veggies) can also help add extra nutrition that might be missing from other meals.

Snacking Isn’t Grazing
Mindless eating is often the downfall of many snackers. You may start with only a handful of your favorite crackers, only to finish the entire box, without even thinking about it. Obviously, this example isn’t the healthy snacking that can help you reach your weight loss goals.

To avoid grazing:
Fill a small plate with your snack, and leave the kitchen. Just walk away. When your plate is empty, snack time is over.
Never bring the entire container with you in front of the television or computer. Enjoy your snack without distraction and you won’t be tempted to reach for more.
If you stand around the snack table chatting at a party, you may find yourself reaching for food when the conversation lulls. This can often lead to an unintentional binge because you simply aren’t paying attention to what you are eating.
Limit yourself to a single serving.
Plan out your snacks just like you would a meal. Is one cookie worth the calorie cost, when you could eat a plate of fresh fruit instead?
Practice Moderation
As with the rest of your diet, moderation is crucial when snacking. Make sure that you are adding every snack to your Nutrition Tracker, along with the larger meals you eat during the day. If you don’t keep track, you might add excess calories and fat to your diet without realizing it.

Don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy nibbles throughout the day; stick to nourishing foods whenever possible. If you know you have a weakness for junk food, do yourself a favor and don’t purchase these items next time you are at the grocery store. Then you won’t have to fight the temptation of ice cream or potato chips when hunger pangs hit.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Denise Austin Says:

Diet Saboteurs?
Is someone in your life — your spouse, your mother, or a friend — secretly sabotaging your efforts to lose weight and get fit? There are many reasons it happens, from fearing you'll change if your appearance changes, to wanting to avoid facing their own weight issues, to feelings of jealousy.

If you learn to recognize it when it's happening, you'll be much less likely to derail from your goal! When a coworker who knows you're dieting brings in home-baked cookies, politely (but firmly) say no. When your spouse tries to talk you out of exercising to go get a burger and fries instead, offer to spend time with him or her after your workout — doing something besides eating. When someone makes a derogatory remark about how they think you've changed since losing weight, just chalk it up to envy rather than letting negative comments get you down! Bottom line — even if the changes you're making don't make everyone happy, give yourself permission to make them anyway! You're worth it!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spark People

Have you herad of this site? I just want to tell you that it is a great site to get support for your weight loss journey. They have teams to join, challenges, nutrition trackers, fitness trackers, weight trackers and goal trackers. Honestly it takes a while to learn everything that is avaialble to you. You can do a little or a lot of tracking on this site. They have diet help, exercise help and just about any support you could need. I think you need to check them out... and guess what it is all FREE.. that's right no charge from them at all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ten Walking mistakes to avoid.

Here is an articcle from good reading.:

Weigh in report

I weighed in last night. Only 1/2 pound loss. I was hoping for more. I had such a great loss last week. 4 1/2 pounds. I guess I shouldn't look for those bigger numbers every week. Have you ever made a graph of your weight loss progress? I have been doing that for my TOPS group. There is something to be said about seeing it in black and white over a period of time. I have not been happy with my own progress, but hopefully I am back on track with portion control and journaling. I need to get back to the gym. I missed all last week because of the little guy visiting., but I can't use that as an excuse this week. Fri is my gym day, so my goal is to get back there tomorrow. I have a big Stamp Class to get ready for on Sat, but I am going to make sure I take the time to go to the gym. Have great day everyone, and keep smiling. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Should you be drinking all that soda??

I just read an article about soda. I think I will not be drinking any soda anymore. I don't drink it very often but after reading this article I have decided not to drink any. You decide for yourself. :

My grandson has been visiting for the past week. No gym for me :( I will get back to that on Monday. I have really been working on portion sizes and not eating later in the evening. I do better when I keep track, so I will continue with that.

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