JUST NOT THAT EASY

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Get fit without going broke

(created for http://www.mnmspecial.com/ and published on January 7, 2011)

Everything costs money and that includes loosing weight - health club, workout clothes, every day clothes, DVDs, etc... I remember complaining to a store associate that I have to buy new clothes, because I lost weight. It might be a good problem to have, but it is still a problem that requires financial support. But I hate to spend money. I really do! I don't spend much, but at the end of the month it all adds up, so I try to be creative in any way I can to save a buck or two.

If you really want to loose weight and don't want to spend too much money doing it, here it comes - KEEP YOUR CREDIT CARD OFF THE TABLE!

There are so many cute things you can wear while working out, but all of these things are optional. However, you probably already know that and hopefully only buying sportswear on sale.

Can GYM be replaced?
I canceled my Gym membership after not attending it for a year (I meant to do it, but it became distanation impossible for me). $30 a month come out to $360 a year, so my ultimate decision was to purchase WII + Fit + games. Here is a math: Console and board will cost you just around $300 (unless you can find them on sale). I also bought over the course of year WII Active, WII Active More workouts and few games I wished I didn't buy. I did get a good deal on all games, so even counting in the games I didn't like, I spent just around $100. So my total spending was around $400 and I have my WII for just over a year. Did it pay for itself? I think so.

DVD I get bored with DVD workouts relatively fast and I don't want to piling discs that will contribute to the ultimate dust collection, so I found few ways to save money and shelf space.

Library My library doesn't charge for DVD rent and workout DVDs can be checked out for 21 days.

Amazon on demand
The cost of videos on demand is significantly less than the actual DVDs.
Where great Amazon's deal on DVD is $9, video on demand will be $2

Netflix Here is another use of WII console - there are a lot of workout videos available on Netflix. So many are on instant play and ready to be played. Others can be rented. I upgraded my plan and now I can borrow a DVD and hold it until I am done with it.

Free preview Search for free preview - there might be something available on the World Wide... And if it is, try it before you buy it.

Weights. Creativity just might save you from converting your living room into weight room of the health club (if living space is tight). You might want to look for adjustable weights - they can help you go from 1 to 20 lbs. I also made my own dumbbells from two existing ones I had around the house - I wrapped 2 lb wrist weights over 2 lb dumbbells. You can also use water bottles and fill them to get the right weight (look for the ones that will give you a good grip

Clothes
Second hand stores and friends closets might be good options. Since you are actively trying to loose weight, do you really care to spend hundreds of dollars every couples months? There are upscale resale shops that will give you really good deals on designer labels. I also never say "no" to friends that offer to share the clothes they don't need (especially if they have a good taste)

Food Cut down on trips to the restaurants and buying prepared food. There are lots of ways to make fast and healthy food for the family. I've done $10 meals that would provide 4 lunches for the family of 4 (2 adults and 2 small kids). My best kitchen friends are my slowcooker and a ricecooker. Have few backup meals in the freezer - that will stop you from going to the food chain, because you have nothing to eat in the house

There are so many more ways to save a buck while loosing weight. I don't know all of them, but really would like to learn more. Do you have any ideas?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Last week of the year - Mamavation Week 11

A christmas tree.Image via WikipediOh, well - the time is running out and I still have so much to do...

And don't we all?

Holidays are crazy and we have to step away from Twitter-Facebook life into the shop-a-lot land. My holiday is still ahead of me. For us, Russians, gift giving and feast consuming doesn't happen till New Year. Some take the Christmas Tree down by the 31st - we sometime don't put ours on til the 30st. And we call it a New Year Tree. The biggest meal of the year happens between 11 pm and 1-2 am (Talking about late dinner) and I doubt I will be able to workout after that.

So what's the girl to do? I probably will enjoy the table (Hey, I am just telling you these things honestly) and with any kind of luck I will have just a little bit of everything.

But what is coming next? A very special week called "Detox" I think, I will give myself and my hubby few days to regroup and after that "Veggie monster, I am coming for you!"

7 days all you can eat veggie buffet. The idea is not to loose weight, but to cleanse body from crap.
If you want to know more about 7 day detox I do, I wrote about it few days ago here


Keep track of goals
1. shed 10 lbs by the end of January. 7.4 (197.4 on 12/25/10) to go from 200 lb on 11/8/10 (start 04/01/10 - 209 lb). It looks like I lost 2.4 lb since last check at the end of November.

2. 2-3 gallons of water a day. Trying, but it's hard now. Restroom is too far away. I think I do about 1 litter a day.

3. Stop night snacking. I am doing ok.

The holiday is taking its toll though - some cookies organize, attack me in various places and make me eat them

For this week
I am kicking butt with Jillian Michael's DVD and hope to be finished with it very soon (on Januaty 2nd or so)

Sista of the week
Lots of hugs to ???? on becoming a sista of the week. ???, keep it real!
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Mamavation
You might know, that I applied for Mamavation Mom Campaign. See my application here and don't forget to tweet Leah

Hey @! I want @ to be the next Mom! She has my support!

If You are on Facebook, go here http://www.facebook.com/mamavation and post the following

Bookieboo, Lena (@elenka29) has my support in becoming the next the Mamavation Mom. She is committed. (Feel free to add something nice)

Oh, and tell you friends to help out too.
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Challenge yourself

P90x in the New Year Discussion

Biggest Looser challenge with Shelley's group

WII Active Challenge

Consider Applying for Campaign 7 Mamavation Mom (15 December to 5 January) if you want to transform you life and ready to commit

Friday, December 24, 2010

Body cleansing

L├ęgumesImage via Wikipedia
Detox. It is something that I don't like doing, but do understand that it has to be done. From my prospective any kind of diet where you restricting your body from getting nutrients puts stress on your body. That is why I don't do diets. However, I started detoxing just about 5 years ago.

Before I go any further, I am not a doctor and not pretending to be one. I do, however, share my experiences based on the information I received from different sources.

I do it twice a year (it shouldn't be done more than 4 times a year) for seven days and the first happens right after New Years to cleanse from all the crap I ate. During detox consider taking it easy on workouts. It is not an excuse, but because your body doesn't get all needed nutrients, you shouldn't be training excessively

It is a vegetables feast and if you don't like the vegetables, than you should not be doing this detox. You will eat any vegetables (except potato) and as many as you want. Because vegetables digest fast you will be hungry much sooner than usual. Drink a lot of water - it will keep your stomach full

Yes to these things all kinds of vegetables
2-3 servings of fruit
some lean protein (if you need to)
lemon juice freshly squeezed
lots of liquids including herbal teas

NO to these things caffeine
fat
carbs

Additional supplementation is totally optional

You can use something similar to this

NutriClean® 7-Day Cleansing System, which has

  • HepatoCleanse — capsules cleanse the liver
  • Release tablets — cleanse the gastrointestinal tract and enhance peristalsis
  • Fiber Powder — provides much needed fiber and beneficial bacteria to the colon
I have done it both ways. And yes, you can have a quality cleansing without it.

I plan to eat just about 7 times a day and run to the bathroom a lot.
My day begins with a half a lemon squeezed into hot water. That helps your body to have a bowel movement.
I eat at 7 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 5 pm , 7 pm, 9 pm and trust me, if you are not in bed by 9, you will be hungry.

Don't make it more difficult than it is. Don't make crazy dishes - it is just 7 days and Girls, I can help you get through it if you need my help.

I buy a big bag of salad,
make a big pot of vegetable soup,
buy a good variety of fruits that will make me somewhat happy
whatever veggies look good and can be used as good enjoyable snacks
If you like fruit teas - knock yourself out - you can drink them all day long (or just get plain decaf tea)
I also get veggie burgers by Morning Star or can of Tuna in water.

It does require planning to make sure you have enough green stuff to carry you through the week. And here is my week plan, just to give you an idea of how to make it through the week of detox

I don't detox to lose weight, but to cleanse. However, you will lose pounds over this week (for me it is 3-5)

Let me know if you want to do it with me or to spot you whenever you are ready to do it.

XOXO
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And just when I thought I tried everything in my house

And just when I thought I tried everything in my house, home from work came tiramisu my husband LOL

Saturday, December 18, 2010

#Shred ON!



Ok, Girls, we are in a final stretch - there are literally few days are left out of the year, and you probably already have your new year resolutions in place. But how about starting THE LOOSE WEIGHT RESOLUTION now instead of waiting for two more weeks?

I purpose The 30 days shred

I know it is the worst time to start the Shred right now, because it is the busiest time of the year - shopping-cooking-wrapping, but listen me out:

I hate to be in a "New Year Resolution" crowd, mostly because the biggest percent will quit before reaching the goal. I know I can do it, but just to make a point I would prefer to form my own crowd of 1, that would not say "New Year Resolution" on it.

Tomorrow starts today, and I want to walk into the new year tall with a good plan and well on the way of making myself a better person.

I know the time is tight, but it is only 20 minutes a day - I spend more than that on talking myself to get off the couch. This 20 minutes that can get things rolling for you.

I know I will eat the stuff I am not supposed to eat over the next few weeks, but if I workout, the delicious sweetness will not become the extension of my butt. Maybe be I will maintain the same weight, but I will not wake up on January 1 to find myself 5 pounds heavier
(I keep balancing just under 200 lb, and I fear of getting on the scale and find myself crossing 200 again.)

Let's kick each others behinds in this challenge!

How to get started:

You need weights and a DVD

Recommended weights are 3 to 5 pounds, but if you already spent all your money on gifts, use juice bottles or anything else for that matter that is easy to hold

DVD
"Jillian Michael 30 day shred"
Here are the options:

Buy the DVD $8.99 (Amazon)
Buy Amazon on Demand $4.99 or $1.99 per episode (there are 3)
Rent it from Netflix. Plans start at $7 or so
Rent it from the Library
Watch it for free here http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/UgpuDex8Iuo/

If you thought of doing it or started shreding, but got sidetracked, today is the day.
Who is on boards?

Please comment below, so I know you are IN

Mamavation - Week #10



If you ever see this kind of a tweet coming from me, here what it means

"I stuck to the couch and I can't get up. I know I have to workout, but I feel so comfortable, I really do not want to get up".

So if you are around, please take a second and kick my butt.

I have been doing good with shred and would like to invite everybody to join me. See this post for details and the reasons why YOU need shred

I hate spending money. When I realized that the weights I was using were too light (2lb), I got immediately unhappy about a trip for heavier weights. However, before I made it to the store, my hubs and I found a creative solution to our problem - I wrapped my 2 lb wrist weights around my previously used 2 lb free weights and now I have new and improved 4 pounders.




Flashlight moments of the week

1. Even lazy steps can get you there
I do not like pushing myself and some of you can probably relate to that. That means, if I am riding a bicycle and going up the hill, I start getting tired. Instead of closing my eyes and continue pedaling, I look ahead at the 3/4 of incline and stop "There is no way I can make it there" (That's where the "Mind over matter" is supposed to kick in, but my mind's kicking abilities are too weak). I will walk up the same hill every time, because I know I can't make it there.

Since I started doing the shred with my good friend Jillian (and some of you, girls), even with my "I can only do so much" attitude I go further and stronger every time. But the only way to notice that, if you doing it every day. It might not look like much of a progress from day to day, but I feel the difference after doing it half way


2. I only hate my life before I workout
Don't know about you, but for me the longest part of my workout is getting off the chair. During the warm up I still hate my life, and my brain continues to tell me - relax it. "Watcha movie, hava tea. U had a hard week. You deserve it..." And I am very tempted, but if I can get off the couch, I can finish the workout. With sweat comes the desire to make it though the workout. And after that, I feel like a "bad ass"!

3. Don't be sore
You know, when you start working out, you are sore beyond believe and You feel You can't workout, because even the idea of lifting your arm is making you mad and sad at the same time? Guess what - one way to avoid that is to continue working out day after day (unless, of course, you enjoy being in pain)

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Keep track of goals
1. shed 10 lbs by the end of January. 9.8 (on 11/28/10) to go from 200 lb on 11/8/10 (start 04/01/10 - 209 lb). I will check my weight next weekend

2. 2-3 gallons of water a day. Trying, but it's hard now. Restroom is too far away. I think I do about 1 litter a day.

3. Stop night snacking. I am doing ok.

However, I have been picking some treats in the lunchroom. Weak, weak me!

For this week
I will continue working through Jillian Michael's DVD every day and will do my best with water intake.

Sista of the week
Lots of hugs to Christi (@ChristiDarty) on becoming a sista of the week. Christi, you rock!
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Mamavation
You might know, that I applied for Mamavation Mom Campaign. See my application here and don't forget to tweet Leah

Hey @! I want @ to be the next Mom! She has my support!

If You are on Facebook, go here http://www.facebook.com/mamavation and post the following

Bookieboo, Lena (@elenka29) has my support in becoming the next the Mamavation Mom. She is committed. (Feel free to add something nice)

Oh, and tell you friends to help out too.
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Join us for Mamavation TV this Monday. We will be talking about Mind, Body, and Soul with the guest Special Guest: Suzanne Forbes-Vierling, PhD (@tribalenergy4u). Please visit Tribal Energy Cardio to learn how to move your body and mind.


Consider Applying for Campaign 7 Mamavation Mom (15 December to 5 January)

if you want to transform you life and ready to commit

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Challenge yourself

P90x in the New Year Discussion

Earth Footwear: "All's Well That Ends Well" Blogging Program

30 day Shred

Biggest Looser challenge with Shelley's group
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Your Average Minivan Mom

(created for www.slightly-off-kilter.com and published Wednesday, January 5th, 2011)

There are 3 kinds of moms - SAHM, WAHM, and WOHM. I belong to the category of moms that spends 50-60 hours a week working for somebody else and worried that she doesn't spend enough time with her kids. I am your average minivan Mom. I am always running late taking kids to babysitter or classes. I am in grocery stores, doctor offices, and playgrounds. I am like so many and I want to be Your next Mamavation Mom.

I have two kids, two very active monkeys - 3 year old girl and 18 months old boy. They are the best when they first wake up in the morning (don't they all). They are so adorable - I would film their every move and would watch it after they go to sleep


My husband and I met at the dealership and didn't like each other. It's been 11 years and I can't imagine my life without him. So, I guess I don't believe in a love from the first sight, ah?


I have a pretty picture of me, where I am 125 lb and a lots of pictures where I hide behind my kids. My weight just might have something to do with it. I want to have pictures I like. I know it's a long way, but with the support of my family and the sistahood I just might get there.

Thank You for being here for me and for support I get every day. I will continue doing what I can to give you back the same.

XOXO,
Lena
(@elenka29)
Video application

Don't forget to tweet

Hey @! I want @ to be the next Mom.
She has my support!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Mamavation Application

Just in case, if You missed my tweet or just want to see my video again, it is here.

video


Make sure to send a tweet to @Bookieboo

Hey @! I want @ to be the next Mom! She has my support!

If You are on Facebook, go here http://www.facebook.com/mamavation and post the following

Bookieboo, Lena (@elenka29) has my support in becoming the next the Mamavation Mom. She is committed.

(Feel free to add something nice)

Oh, and tell you friends to help out too.

Thank You!
You are the greatest!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Non-workout

Canadian Santa Claus drawing from 1875Image via WikipediaSo, You have been doing OK kicking and jumping and suddenly one day of the week you just don't have what it takes to get off the couch.

It might be that time of the month...
It might be excessive reading of "Why aren't you sleeping yet?" book to a toddler
or all the stress of the day (week, month) suddenly attacked you and made you weak and tired

So, what do you do?

Do you hide in a Snuggle?
Somebody might off called it a useless invention, but for You now it is the ultimate Nirvana

Do you snick into the kitchen for a cookie and milk,
because Santa might work hard once a year, but You have to do it every day of the year?

What is that one excuse when you give yourself a break and relax a little? How do you treat yourself? Do You feel guilty afterwords for being weak?

I feel the need to spend an evening on the couch on the special day of the month (could do more than one, but I don't). I don't want anything. Just let me be...

How about you?
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mamavation - Week #9



Finally found a minute to sit down - kids are down for a nap, but the little one keeps trying to wake up.

First and foremost, Thank You Janice for kicking off the 30 day Shred. I managed to stay consistent for most of the time and hope to continue doing it. I did miss Saturday this week. Came back from parents so tired, I swear, I put kids to sleep and fell asleep before even laying down. I am definitely doing it tonight. And that will be my number 11 out 30.

It was challenging to workout while on vacation, just because there is so much going on. Kids were very active and I ran around a lot with them.

I have too tell you, "Here come Santa Clause" never sounded sweeter, but when you are in the swimsuit fighting fake waves of the wave pool of the waterdome.

OK, back to the coldness now. I forgot my weights, so I had to improvise. I had to make sure that I would get my workout done fast before my left dumbbell spoils.

I did workout every day I was there. YAY me!

I also decided to make an ultimate commitment and apply for Mamavation Mom Campaign. Working on the video now, where you get to hear my adorable Russian accent. Chosen or not it will be an incredible experience.


Keep track of goals
1. shed 10 lbs by the end of January. 9.8 (on 11/28/10) to go from 200 lb on 11/8/10 (start 04/01/10 - 209 lb). I haven't checked my weight and will wait a just a bit longer. However, jeans fit loose loose loose
2. 2-3 gallons of water a day Totally failed. Will do better this week
3. Stop night snacking Could of done a little bit better - blaming vacation

For this week
I will continue working through Jillian Michael's DVD every day and will do so much better with water intake and night snacking

Congrats to this week’s Sista of the Week: @jessicafiumara from the blog “Hundredth Time’s a Charm“.

All my friends,
I need your support in becoming a next Mamavation Mom. I will post my video application December 15th. If you think I deserve it, please tweet Leah the following

“Hey @bookieboo! I want @elenka29 to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! http://bit.ly/zqUxa”
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Shredthirty, December Shedheads, My Shredding Buddies

Jumping JacksImage via WikipediaThank You Janice () for Starting 30 day shred. It is December and we are going through a major storm of holiday treats, bad weather outside, and just a good desire to cuddle under the blanket and watch TV. January is on the way to give us "I want to change my life for the better" charge, but we are not there just yet.

Trust me, I love my comfort and the last thing I want to do is Jumping Jacks and Butt Kicks, but the butt of mine is not getting any smaller. However, Julian Michael with her "pain is a fear leaving your body" is a damn good motivator.

"You might think you're going to die..." I have to say, I felt quite suicidal the first few days of working with this DVD, but it does get better. Now I can make it through the whole workout without saying "You gotta be kidding me" a single time

So, Thank You all for jumping on the wagon. It has been 12 days since day 1, but I don't think any of us are that far yet.

So, let's make sure we have a list of who is on board. Correct me, if I am wrong and let me know how you're doing.

1. @fitcheerldr

2. @WickedQueenOne

3. @debs412

4. @CrazyHmSchlMama

5. @paperfairies

6. @wildlifebio

7. @MiddleAgedJock

8. @rachelsteffen

9. @notimemom

10. @FriedChk2Tofu

11. @PaulyBeariver

12. @FitTwitEmily

13.@VirgoMommy

14. @elenka29


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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mamavation - Week #8


Once again thank You everybody for the support . It is greatly appreciated - You are getting me going!

This week was about overcoming ongoing or let's just call it Stomach Flu week. Monday night my daughter throw up, but I didn't really know what to make out of it. It didn't hit me until other members of the family started getting sick. My mother-in-law (aka babysitter) on Wednesday, my 1 yo son on Thursday, my husband on Friday. Clearly I saw it coming my way, so drank insane amount of water, had some aloe and probiotic. I got away with very minor symptoms (few unplanned trips to the washroom). The moral - water heals. Call it whatever you want, but I truly believe in water intake (I probably took close to 5 liters over Friday and Saturday)

30 Day shred.
Girls, thank You very much for giving me a butt kick I needed to get up and move. It is not easy to do butt kicks when your butt is 200 lb. I never realized how much I like my couch like I did when I was kicking my butt (sorry for the redundancy, but this is my #1 unliked exercise). I refuse the weight myself for now, because I do not want to disappoint myself with muscle growth (weight gain). I got a late start, but I did complete 4 workouts this week. 26 to go

We going on vacation for few days, so I will be working out in the hotel room.

Keep track of goals

1. shed 10 lbs by the end of January. 9.8 (on 11/28/10) to go from 200 lb on 11/8/10 (start 04/01/10 - 209 lb). NOT CHECKING WEIGHT NOW
2. 2-3 gallons of water a day 5 out 7 days
3. Stop night snacking I slipped on Saturday - didn't eat because of the stomach, but couldn't handle it by the end of the day

This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by Earth Footwear. Walk it and work it!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fiber Blog

Recently I learned that fiber can be found not only in whole grains, but in fruit and vegetables too. Thank You my friends for getting through to me with this brilliant idea.

So to create a fiber holiday, I would love to use more fruits and vegetables in my holiday cooking

My family is loves bread, and I was unhappy with the bread at the store. All would divide in two categories - good but too expensive (up to $4-5 a loaf) or waste of money bread with no nutritional value. So I decided to bake, but didn't want to invest into the bread maker before I know that I will actually do it on regular basis. An hour research online gave me with a great idea of making oatmeal bread. It wasn't perfect, since I had no experience and almost no tools, but it was big and heavy and it was mine. Oh yeah, I also knew exactly what was in there.

When it comes to the holiday cooking, Russian culture has a lot of salads, and with some thoughts those can be done better and simpler with no crazy ingredients that would make you sorry afterward. My favorite is a salad with cucumber, tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil (not too much of though). Very healthy and very yummy. Oh yeah, swap salad dressing for oil vinegar

Overall using more vegetables and less mayo will greatly benefit the table and will help to not giving to temptation. Having a variety of vegetable sides will add color to the table and will keep it interesting for you. If you insist on having a mash potato, have a lot of vegetables to go with it.

When it comes to drinks I know for sure Pepsi or Coke don't have fiber in it, and don't benefit anything at all. Mix cut apples with other fruits you like and boil them in water until fruits are soft. Apple add sweetness to any drink, but make sure you have it in a right proportion. (If it is too sweet, you can always add some water)

Having different fruits on the table will might be a great cake substitution and you can still dance after eating

I also make sure I have enough fiber bars in the house and in the car, so when I run out of the house trying not to be late for kids gymnastics just to realize that I forgot to feed me, I have a healthy alternative in the car.


Enjoy the Holiday and do not overeat.
XOXO

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and Coach's Oats Fiber blogging program, making me eligible to win a $50 American Express gift card and free product. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mamavation - Week #7

Thank you girls for the support you are giving me and for the strength You are giving me! I am not great a Twitting and the best way I can pay you back is by reading as many posts as I can and give some support back.

My employer started renovation and we all had to move. Now the washroom is so far away and that might effect my water consumption, but I will try to do my best

I might be just a little bit in luck, because I wasn't born and raised here, so Thanksgiving is not the Huge Holiday for me as it is for You. It is a Holiday, but I got away with a chicken, few appetizers and some sweets. Oh yeah, the sweets - I could of done better. My family (my husband, daughter, and myself) made cookies for the first time and I ate some, and then some more.

Oh well, I am putting finishing touches my post on surviving the holidays and feeling good about yourself, so it should provide a healthy plan for myself

And I have been bouncing on my medicine (or whatever) ball for the whole week (Thank You Beth for your help). Just bouncing, but it helps me not to fall asleep before I want to. Added benefit - HA!

Lost 0 pounds - what a surprise!
Keeping track of goals:
1. shed 10 lbs by the end of January. 9.8 to go from 200 lb on 11/8/10 (start 04/01/10 - 209 lb)
2. 2-3 gallons of water a day 2 out 7 days
3. Stop night snacking I did good in general
4. 6 bike trips to work and back Still have 4 more to go. I will suspend this goal for now. Unfortunately it is too cold and it gets too dark before I finish working and I have no lights on my bike. Well, I need a better bike with few things (like luggage and lights), so that will become my ultimate reward for the great that I started doing - Yes, I am talking about my weight loss

Thank You Dr Lynn for sponsoring this week Mamavation. Learn how diet, exercise, herbs, scents, sounds, sights and the natural sciences can enhance your health and your sexuality. Because Sex Matters! Follow Dr Lynn (@drlynnanderson) on Twitter, find her book on Amazon.com and learn more at www.doctorlynn.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Surviving the Holiday and feeling good about it

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...Image via WikipediaWith the holiday coming up, there are more sweets on the table in the lunchroom, more cookies at grandma's house, and more friends coming over with the yummiest things. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas it is a feast non-stop and than we wake up on January 3rd (after finishing the leftovers) 10 pound heavier and a plan for New Year resolution.

Well, I decided to make the plan a little bit earlier this year, and the plan is how to make it through the holidays season with pride and honor.

So let's do it today rather than tomorrow

1. Do not go on hungry. If you a hungry, you will eat more than you need to eat. Do not skip the breakfast, even if your breakfast is just a piece of toast, breakfast bar or a cup of tea. Have plenty of snacks with you and make sure you have your breakfast, lunch, a dinner as planned. Why? So You are not starving when you do get to the feast table and you don't waste your affords on vending machine quality food.

2. Eat less - talk more
When you are at the Holiday Table, enjoy your food, but sample a lot rather than eating a lot. Put various food on your plate all at the same time - all you want to eat not by quantity but by variety. This way you can sample all the food working your way around the plate rather than eating more of the same and still wanting to try new things on the table. Also remember, this is the time we want want to spend with friends and relatives - it is not all about the food. Socialize more! Enjoy the conversation while you are enjoying the food (You will eat less too).

3. Drink more and choose your drink wisely
If you drink sugary drinks, you will eat more than you need. Try to stick with water or drinks that are not as sweet (seltzer water, unsweetened tea, water with lemon, etc.). Added benefit - you will taste the food better and you didn't really come to the party to drink Pepsi or Coke, did you?

When it come to the alcoholic beverages, stretch one drink for the entire evening and try to stick with simple drinks. Alcohol is full of carbohydrates, and simple drinks (like cranberry n vodka) would have less of it than more complex beverages. I probably will have couple drinks over the entire holiday season, but that's just me

4. Walk it OFF
You know you are going to eat more than usual - move more. At the parties do not be shy - dance. Workout when you can. Do the simple things that matter - park your car at the end of the parking lot and walk instead of driving around for 10 minutes looking for the closest spot, take the stairs whenever it's possible, walk when You can. This probably will be the best time to put your pedometer on and walk 2000 steps daily (or whatever number you are comfortable with)

5. Finish your plate early
Make as big of a gap as possible between your dinner and night sleep. Go for a walk or spend time with kids - anything is better than nothing. If you do find yourself thinking about what is in the fridge - have a cup of tea or a fruit. Proper hydration will keep your stomach full and a piece of apple or few bites of banana will chase the hunger away

6. What about the candies and cookies?
If You tell yourself that YOU WILL NOT have any cookies/candies/etc. over the holiday season, You are setting yourself for failure, and that is not the best strategy. How about limiting yourself to the amount or number of sweets You can live with? In doing so, You will be more likely to skip a candy cane in the lunchroom, if You can have homemade chocolate chip cookie at home. I will set my number to 3 (but pick what is workable for you).

Well, we will have an overwhelming amount of sweets in the house, and here is what I am planning to do with them to make sure we do not eat them all.

1. Take them to the lunchroom at work
2. Bring them to the doctors appointments or any other appointments for that matter
3. Visit local nursing home or shelter

Spread the Joy, Enjoy the Holiday and Do not overeat!

XOXO

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and Earth Footwear "All's Well That Ends Well" blogging program, making me eligible to win a pair of Earth Footwear boots. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mamavation - Week #6

I am horrible with time zones - and as much as I wanted to attend the Fiber party, I got there just for the final Thank Yous! Too bad, because I really never figured Fiber out. I thought it was the more the better kind of a deal, but maybe not...
A Chuck E. Cheese costume characterImage via Wikipedia
I guess, I need a fiber tutor. Anyone is willing to help?

I did my best on not eating at night - I had late unsweetened tea (decaf) with just a bit of dark chocolate - great thing about real bitter chocolate - you cannot have more than a little at a time.

On Friday I went to the Mighty Chuck E Cheese Birthday Party for 1 year old at 7 PM. Funny thing - 2-3 slices of pizza and a cake and I left the party hungry. There is no nutrition there. Isn't it? I ended up getting home and having scrambled eggs at 9 pm. Oh, well...

I on purpose didn't workout this week, because wanted to see clear impact of not eating at night on weight. I did do balance ball bouncing for at least two hours once. Loved it!

Weight - Gained 2 pounds. Blah! I do notice that my clothes is hanging looser - especially pants.

Keeping track of goals:
1. shed 10 lbs by the end of January. 9.8 to go from 200 lb on 11/8/10 (start 04/01/10 - 209 lb)
2. 2-3 gallons of water a day 3 out 7 days
3. Stop night snacking only did it once
4. 6 bike trips to work and back Still have 4 more to go

Applauds to Subway for the support of this great programs and Good Luck to everyone in the weight loss journey!

Also I would like to congratulate Heather on becoming a sista of the week. Cheers!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mamavation - Week #5

Since I have two small kids, I heavily rely on my slow cooker and my rice cooker a lot. I cook twice a week but a lot and anybody who wants to complain can do it him/herself. This week meal was Whole grain noodles with flax, fried salmon, frozen cheese broccoli. Cooked and combined it all in the big container. BTW - this is about 10 dollars spent for 3-4 days of lunches or dinners for a family of 4 (but 2 are little kids, so lets say family of 3).

I do not love to cook - I cook, because I have to and because I need to save money. Oh, yeah, also it is because it is healthy and good for you.

So, my two favorite kitchen tools are slow cooker and rice cooker. Rice cooker also serves as buckwheat cooker. Most of cooking is happening when we are asleep and kids can't flip/pull/kick/etc hot pans

Since I decided on my goals last week, I tried to stop eating at night. I actually figured, if I do not eat after 8 (I know it should be 6 or 7, but it is unrealistic) for 14 days, that will proof the point somehow. The start date for this experiment kept moving, since I kept finding excuses to snack.

I decided to eat one of the sample bars I got "Night Food" - nutrition to get you through the night plus melatonin to help you sleep. Yeah, I forgot about melatonin. It knocked me out before I knew it.

Thursday was officially my first "do not eat after 8" evening

Workout:
Biked to work and back on Tuesday and Thursday for a total of 72 minutes



I lost again (in the good kind of way). I lost 2.2 lb since last week.

Yay me !!!

I wasn't perfect, but I tried to do multiple things and it worked. I lost two weeks on a row! That is very exiting.

Keeping track of goals:
1. shed 10 lbs by the end of January. 7.8 to go
2. 2-3 gallons of water a day Most of days
3. Stop night snacking 3 days out of the week I did it right
4. 6 bike trips to work and back Have 4 more to go

Thank You to all the sistas for support and huge thank you to the sponsors - Belly Beautiful Workout. Please take a minute and visit Belly Beautiful Workout

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mamavation - Week #4

For this week just call me a sorry looser.

I know, so many of you that do what ever it takes to get out and do at least something even if sick and I applaud you for that.

Not me. I got sick on Tuesday, and since than I am feeling a little off. Well, bad enough to not wanting to do anything and spend a week feeling sorry for myself.

Here is what makes me really frustrated some times - I eat generally good

I have caffeine on occasion
I only drink water or 50/50 water juice
I do not add sugar (or sugar alternatives) to anything

I am trying to stick Mediterranean diet. Some say my food is very plain, but that food is fuel and nothing more than that. Chicken, meat, fish, buckwheat, rice, wholegrain pasta, salads with limited amount of dressing, whole grain bread, fruits. Do not take me wrong - I enjoy my food and not complaining about my menu.

I try to drink 3 liters of water a day (norm is 2, but there is a formula, that says so much per pound of weight)

January through June I didn't eat at night and worked 5x a week

So, what the f...? (sorry for letter naming, but since some of us run and fart - I think can swear a little)

It just feels like the worst punishment and main reason for quitting.

Ooh, got it out of my system, so now it is time to get constructive.

Oh, no, stop - got another thing to complain about - do not like politic! Was riding my bike from work and, since I ride on the path walk rather than the road, I have to deal with the cement blocks not being leveled. I suddenly so a really big, and knew I wouldn't be able to jump on it, so I got on the grass and there was "Vote for XYZ" sign right on my way. With no ways around, I tried to go back on cement and fell. I decided not to vote!

Sorry for complaining, and I am so hoping to be better next week

It looks like I lost 2.4

Monday:
17 minute ride to work
30 min ride back (+ plus 5 minute to put the chain on after the fall and Thank someone up there for making me wear a helmet)

And that's all for the week

Now it's a time to set some goals

1. I want to shed 10 lbs by the end of January. If I do that I promise to replace my profile picture with the one where I am not hiding behind my kids and honestly show my face
2. I will continue drinking 2-3 gallons of water a day
3. Stop night snacking
4. My previous goal included completing 11 bike trips to work before the end of the year. I still have 6 to go, but it is getting colder and being sick didn't help. I just need 6 warm days and no sniffles.

Earthfootwear is this week's sponsor. Please support them supporting us and visit their website

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week #3 Mamavation


Wow. It has been so great talking to everybody - listening and talking. This is so freaking cool!!!

So, I am around 200 lbs, but I do not feel huge. Is that weird? When I look at my clothes, it looks huge and I know I am not that big. Every time I look in the mirror, I see someone who is somewhat not skinny. But common, 200 pounds?!?

The pounds do not shed easy for me - each one is a battle and maybe that is why it is so easy to give up. Hypothyroidism only makes worse. Every time when the meds go up, I hope that it would help with weight loss.

Monday
I was right about the get on the bike in the morning when I realized I had a lunch appointment. So disappointing and the weather is perfect. I talked my husband into covering for me after work (he spends most of his time fixing his car) and had a nice 35 minute ride. I finished the cake - now let's get serious.
Step back - nice hubby brought late night snacks.

Tuesday
Drank 3 gallons of water. Yes, I did
Super windy outside, so Bike was out of the question. So I got on WII (haven't done it in months) and Active II serously kicked my butt (I was hoping to be in better shape). But I did my best - got 30 minutes done. Dripping sweat... Made me feel go though

Wednesday
Skipped workout. Trying to get loads of laundry done

Thursday
Forgot my water bottle at home. Got a tiny bottle at work and refilled it few times
Wii active workout went extremely well. It was done in 25 minutes. Wow! And I wasn't exhausted. I wounder why? ... Apparently I accidentally switched the level to medium from hard. Aah, that would explain it

Friday
Feeling very unproductive. I was working through the laundry loads - skipped the workout again. No bicycle either.

Saturday
Walked for 40 minutes with the stroller. I can't consider it a real workout, but, I guess, it is better than nothing.

According to the scales, I gain a couple pounds. I think I will pretend I didn't see that.

Greatest Thanks to Subway for support of the program - You rock!!!

Subway designed a new series of reusable lunch bags around each one of their Famous Fans and their specific athletic talent. My biggest inspiration is Lance Armstrong. He makes me feel like anything is possible when it comes to overcoming obstacles.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Week 2 #Mamavation



So guess, I got a late start on this thing, but better late than ever. Thank You Mamavation Sistas for taking time to read and talk to me

I spent months blogging to myself and trying to talk myself into not giving up (glance through some of it if You have time) and here I found a support group. I need support!!!

I am trying to drink more water. My usual goal is 3 gallon bottle, but it is a bit of a challenge right now, since I can't fit a huge bottle in my backpack (since I pedal myself to work). So I am sticking right now to 1 gallon and refill from the faucet if needed (Yak!)

I still cannot workout at home. My workout of choice is WII (has been since January), since I can't go anywhere. Due to the tide living arrangements, I have to be quite till my daughter falls asleep. But if I drop my butt down on the chair, You better believe it "the butt" ain't moving until it is time to go sleep.

While I am trying to figure out how to make it work, I will do the best I can cycling to work - two 20 minute rides.

My low - my daughter's birthday cake. Not willing to give it away, I am finishing it. Not proud of it.

Tuesday
2 twenty minute bicycle rides = 40 min

Wednesday
2 twenty minute bicycle rides = 40 min

Thursday
1st ride - 26 minutes
2nd was 22 minutes, but I fell off the bike half way there (wasn't paying attention where the bike was going) and now my knee sooo hurts

Friday
I am doing much better (Thanks to the ice pack and cream gel my husband suggested I use). I wanted to to ride, but got up late and it takes me 40 minutes to get a family of four out of the house (and a minute less)

Bottom Line -
Challenges - Cake is almost gone (I did give away few pieces), so I will be better in doing it the right way
Late night snacking and eating - still have to figure it out. All the time after work is running around with kids. By the time they are in bed, it is too late to eat
Plan when to work out indoors (at home)

Wins - Idea with biking worked out great. Workout, saving money on gas, charging myself in the morning. It is all in one! Result - 128 minutes of power cycling

I started enforcing balanced meals in my family. We normally eat well , home made good food, but didn't do great on vegetables. Well, now I am prep salads for next day while making dinner for kids.

Goals: Drinking more water
Complete 11 bike runs before it gets really cold (for each week til the end of the year). Have 3, still have to do 8
Stop eating late

My measurements - HOW OFTEN DO YOU TAKE MEASUREMENTS?
October vs June (last measurement)
weight 199.3 (200.2)
BMI 36.67 (36.84)
measure breast 40-1/4 (39)
measure waste 39-1/2 (38.5)
measure hips 50-1/2 (50.5)
bicep L 14-1/2
bicep R 14-3/4


Total loss 6 inches, 8 pounds and 1.51 BMI

Between May 3rd and October 20

MAMAVATION TV: Join us Monday night at 7pm PST/10pm EST on Mingle Media TV.

SISTA OF THE WEEK: And a BIG congratulations to April of @GAFlygirl for being the Sista of the Week!

BLOGGING CARNIVAL: This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by SUBWAY. SUBWAY is giving away a $50 gift card to Lulu Lemon, a green Gaiam gym bag and yoga mat. All you have to do is mention the Commit to Fit Campaign and Jared on their Mamavation Monday post.




Monday, October 18, 2010

And More

This time decided that I need help - some serious help!
Well, I did very well on my own for like 3 months before, but when it is just You, it is hard. That is why I decided to pledge to Mamavation to become a supporter for others and get support for myself. Thank You for being here and let's do it together!

Back for More!

Farm road in Champaign County, IllinoisImage via WikipediaIt has been a really long time time since I wrote anything and yes, that means, that I am back to late night snacks and off my exercise routine. I know it's bad. However, if I was on the market for excuses, I would pick these two: I was very active with kids over the summer going to the pool and that is a good activity. I also got on the bike. That was my very last step I was working on. Even so I stopped doing everything else, I was on the bike for 2 hours a week. So great and therapeutic! 2 hours of the week my kids were in the trailer chained to my husband's bike and I could do with what ever speed I wanted.

However, I hope I am back. I will try to be committed and it feels more like I will try to kick my butt into doing things again.

Last week the road that I need to take to work was closed for railroad repairs, which made me sit in traffic for an hour instead of 15 minutes and gave me an idea to take a bike to work. So I did on Friday, got to work in 20 minutes, felt really good and enjoyed it. Would really like to do more of it. Also I am trying to cut back on eating after 9. I think two days out of 7 I didn't eat after putting kids to sleep.

However, my daughter's birthday left us with a big portion of cake, so I am not sure how this will work.

I have another idea. Ever heard about "bike to work once a week to help environment and your wallet?" I like the idea, but here on Midwest we can't do it for 6 months or so (November through March). But If you think that year has 52 weeks, and set a goal to bike 52 times a year, that would technically give me once a week. Since I can't bike all the way from home - it is far and I have to two kids, here is what I can do - take my van and go were I have to go, leave the van at some point, take a bike (have my clothes in the backpack) and cycle the last 3-6 miles. Not too bad. With a good weather I might be able to do 52 days in 2 months, but since I only have few good weather days left for riding, I can have a goal of riding a bike at least 11 days (for 11 weeks til the end of the year) starting it tomorrow. I hope we will have 11 days of good weather left.
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