Friday, July 22, 2011

tai chi....

I am still really enjoying Gary's class.  He's an excellent teacher.  He knows how to leave a good bread crumb trail leading you at your own pace down the path.    If you want to push yourself more physically, he has multiple levels of classes.  If you're a word nerd, he'll sell you books.   If you're into weapons, he has a weapons class and makes really pretty broadswords.  Tomorrow, he's doing a workshop.  I'm thinking about going.    Push Hands.  Tai Chi w/ partners, broken down for beginners.  This is something I'd like to see.  Anyone else in kc curious about tai chi, here's the link to Gary's site

Further on and Further in y'all.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

getting my *spark* back

The last couple of days, I've restarted tracking what I eat on .  Like many things it's a tool.  I like the daily water tracker.  They have greatly improved their food tracker.  It's much easier to use than my last go round.
The only thing that bums me out on this site, is it's "exercise tracker."  Sometimes I don't know what "category" my exercise should go in.  I'd rather have a tool where I enter what I do for how long, and the program tells me if it's "cardio" or "strength training" or whatever other categories are in at the moment.
I understand the point of having variety in our exercise.  Different types of exercise have different benefits. Yet a lot of what I use the site for is "getting a pulse" on what I'm doing, if it's enough, and is it balanced.  The idea of these trackers is to have something quick and convenient.  Spending twenty minutes figuring out which box is the right one to enter tai chi in is neither.
Overall it's a great site, with a wealth of information and articles, support boards, and more.  It sends out weekly e-mails based on my interests, since I want them.  It's a way of keeping "self" accountable and that's a good thing.   It allows you to have "friends" and form your own groups and that's a good thing too.  It's got a lot going for it.  I suspect I'll be more consistent with it once we have a data plan for our phone.  So thank you Spark, for being one of the resources that keeps me trying, whether I feel like it or not.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Something that's been gnawing on me

 I'm a member of a facebook group to help keep my motivation for exercise.  A lot of this groups members are doing the high protein/low carb thing.  Some of them have decided all grains are evil, and try to get all those carbs from fruit veggie sources.  So to be fair, and make sure I haven't missed the boat,  I've been doing a lot of reading, (and rereading) about nutrition lately.

In my opinion the truth is, they're partially right.   BUT, so are my already thin and extremely healthy friends who avoid animal products like the devil.
Through the pages, and pages, of contradictory slanted, "research" I've been reading there is one truth.

Overly processed food is crap.

This means avoiding white flour and processed sugars like the plague, something both extreme camps agree on.
It means eating more dark green leafy stuff, again something both camps agree on.
It means avoid eating "fake" food, like artificial sweeteners and trans-fats...Both camps agree again.

I'm not ready to jump in the low/carb high protein boat.  I know what ketosis is, and have already had a broken bone.  I remember my dad's kidney stones courtesy of Atkins.   I have enough memory issues...mostly from having too much to keep track of already. 

I'm not ready to ditch animal products either.  Meat tastes good.  It has *ready to absorb * iron, B vitamins,etc.  Look at our teeth.  We're meant to be omnivores.

So what do I do?  Well, *when I'm paying attention,* this is what has always worked for me. (Insert I'm not a nutritionist, doctor,etc. disclaimer here.)

1) Drinking more water.  I have a diet soda habit, a fierce one.  Every time I cut back on soda, I lose weight.  I've never had any success quitting cold turkey, but I have had a lot of success alternating water with my flavored beverage of choice, preferably with a lot of ice in it so I get even more water.  Interesting side note, the more I exercise, the less I want to drink soda too.

2) I aim for the 25g of fiber thing, through FOOD.  One way I do this is if/when I eat grains, they should follow the 4g fiber per serving rule.  That pretty effectively douses the enriched food thing.  I also look at the sugars.  The lower the better.   

3)  Making sure I eat some decent protein from an animal source.  The vegetable sourced stuff has been associated w/ longer life spans & all that, but I am sluggish and cranky without meat.  Not just any meat will do.  Bacon, sausage, and really high fat beef will still leave me sluggish and cranky, so it has to be protein w/ some fat, not fat with some protein.  Research has backed me on this one too.  A moderate protein diet has been declared the winner on sustained weight loss.
4)Eat a green veggie every day.  Other veggies can be whatever color I want, but dark green leafy (or cruciferous) kinds are something special. 

5) Exercise.  Do it.  Preferably daily. 

I'm not saying I'm great about all these things.  I'm just saying they have worked for me in the past, and in the present are working me back down to where I should be.  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The week in review.

This week my class schedule looked like this.
Monday-Tai Chi
Tuesday-Aqua Aerobics
Wednesday-Zumba Lite
Thursday-Aqua Aerobics
Friday-cardio dance lite + Tai Chi + shopping

Sure, why not.  We park in the back of the lots because of my van.  After tai chi I went to Penzeys and Whole Foods.  That afternoon we went to ALDI,  Sam's Club & Trader Joes.  I probably got close to a mile of extra walking in, (especially if you include Trader Joes.  Not so smart move going there on opening day.)
Want weights?  A case of 32 24 oz bottles of water comes in at around 50lbs.  Now throw a whole brisket, a pork loin, about 5lbs of cheese, + the bonus sized cleaning supplies in the cart.  My cart at Sams can push 200lbs, especially in sports season w/ the bottled water & gatorade & drinks for kids lunches in there. Juice/milk boxes alone can weigh over 20lbs!
If you want lifting instead of pushing, just forget to have a quarter for ALDI.

The difference is now, I'm not totaled for the entire weekend because of gauntlet.  I made the lighter runs to Kohls, Hy-vee and Price Chopper today, and my first thought is not Ow!  That alone has made gymfest worth it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Zumba!! (Lite)

Dance classes used to be my favorite.  This go round I felt like the hippo amongst the alligators, very old alligators at that.   But the hippo is still part of the dance, so I fit in okay.  Some things I learned today.
All those lunges from Tai Chi are handy for Zumba.
There are just some things my hips won't do.
Fast music makes the class go faster.
Given time, I can learn new dance routines.

I still am on opposite time.  1-2, 123, is more like 1-2-3,12, oh crud.  Using hand motions too makes it worse.  Still, no one made me feel stupid.  And I was even invited back for "next time."  I need a Wed aerobic thing.  This was way more my speed than cycling, so come next Wednesday I'll try again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

back on track

I've been to Tai Chi Friday & Monday.    The class sizes have shifted.   Friday morning Tai Chi has shrunk down to the core group, and even lost a couple of those to Wednesday afternoon.   I've mentioned before how tai chi is my physical "center" the rest of my exercise ripples out from.  It's also my support group.  One lady in my class mentioned she might start on long form in January. 
"What?  You won't be leaving us, will you?"
"Oh no dear.  This group has become a family."
That describes how I feel too.

 This morning I went to aqua, and it's  gotten big!  (Especially given it's at oh-heck-thirty a.m.)    Today, I'm a bit sore, but I was able to keep up for the most part.  Noodle balancing in deep water is not my strength.  I'm still fat enough my midsection wants to float anyway, so holding it down and a noodle under each foot, walking?  Um...maybe in another twenty five pounds or three months, whichever comes later.  Other than that, the other big shocker wasn't I wasn't the youngest person in the class.  We have added a beautiful, bikini wearing and worthy, member of the under twenty set.     She was sweet, graceful, and someone new to talk to.  It made the class fly by.  Now, my quads and shoulders are informing me the rest of the day will be at a little slower pace, but that's okay.  It's good to be back.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

still not at the gym

but had another successful month.  I've been clocking a fairly consistent 8lbs a month down since I started my "serious efforts".  I suspect July may plateau if I don't get back into a formal setting soon. 
Right now it's still waiting for the washer to fill?  Do some tai-chi warm ups.
Waiting in line at the grocery store?  Tree pose, or pick a warrior.
Wanting to lay in bed a few more minutes in the morning?  Do a couple spinal twists.
Don't sit on the floor to pick up.  Do lunges. 
Take that basket of clean laundry up to the boys room myself.
Never sit when I can do a job standing.
The little things count, even it's not walking miles a day at camp.