Jan 012015
 

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I saw a statistic recently that 36% of the people that make new year’s resolutions give up after one month. There is a 127% increase in MyFitnessPal app registrations in January compared to other months. There is an increase of +256 new class participants in Portland Crossfit in January but by February, -190 less people participate in those classes.

There is something magical about the start of a new year. A clean slate. It’s really only one day different from the previous day, but somehow in our minds we have a collective sigh in society — “a new year!” It’s got to be better than last year, right? But why? Why do we place so much emphasis on the changing year when things really don’t change all that different, than one number at the end of the year. Still at that same job. Still doing the same routine. Still dealing with the same struggles. But somehow we get enlightened and motivated.

I am definitely one of those collective sigh people — happy for a new year to start. Even though my life doesn’t change all that much. Ever since I decided to get healthy I’ve lived the “new year’s resolution” every single day trying to lose 100 pounds and then trying to keep it off. My new healthy lifestyle was no longer a resolution, it was who I am. So when the start of the year came around and everyone around me was signing up for the gym and going on a diet, posting on Facebook about their goals and progress and then eventually…February the quitting of said changes starts. Except for me, I was still plugging along doing the same damn thing every day that I’ve done for nearly 10 years now.

Why do people quit? I’ve wondered this for years and the conclusion I’ve come to is that it’s hard. It’s hard work. We want the easy fix (all of us, me included) and when the work is hard and we TRY but don’t see immediate results it’s easy to give up. Why bother? We tried, right? And it didn’t work. The other reason I think people quit is that they make lofty goals that are too damn big to achieve.

I saw another article: Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s How They Do It. The conclusion: Keep it simple (maybe make 1 or 2 goals instead of 10). Make it tangible (becoming a millionaire movie star might be unrealistic). Make it obvious (convoluted goals that aren’t clear aren’t going to be easy to achieve). Keeping believing you can do it (DON’T GIVE UP).

bestnew-year-resolutions

Another article I read said this:

“No-Choice” Category: Most people have some positive behaviors that they might not consistently want to do but they decide to always do anyway. Dr. Beck calls this the “no-choice category,” and places putting on a seat belt or getting dressed for work in this column. “We do them without struggle because we don’t give ourselves a choice,” she says. “It’s the choice that makes sticking to a resolution so difficult.” She suggests putting positive behaviors on a mental “no-choice” list and reaffirm them daily. “If you never give yourself the option to eat dessert, you’ll never have the struggle,” she says. (source)

YES YES YES. When making goals, be CLEAR. BE CONCISE. Make it a “deal breaker.” For me, losing 100 pounds was a deal-breaker. There was no failing. Failure meant diabetes and insulin injections. Failure meant blood pressure medications to keep me from having a stroke by age 30. Failure was not an option. I DIDN’T GIVE MYSELF AN OUT. I was losing the weight. Period. And that seemed to work for me.

New Year’s Resolutions 2015

I don’t really make resolutions anymore because after changing my lifestyle and losing the weight I didn’t feel like I needed that title to motivate me. I had personal goals. I had monthly goals. I achieved some of them. I definitely achieved the big one: keep the weight off.

Now? 2014 brought a lot of life changes and stressors that I hadn’t expected but it also brought a lot of wonderful things! Marrying the love of my life was the big one. I definitely let things slide after that. I gained some weight on my honeymoon and then struggled throughout the holidays to get back on track. Truth. Trying to lose weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas is an exercise in futility. I just tried not to GAIN anything more!

Now I have that fresh start like everyone else. 2015 is going to be a great year. I feel focused on some of my goals.

Finish losing the 2014 weight!

Travel

Read more books

Walk Bella more and work on her training

Run another 5K

Spend quality time with friends, family and my husband

Finish the kitchen remodel!!!

Those are basically my goals for the new year. I’m excited about some of the things we already have planned and some of the things we’re still discussing. Stay tuned!

Do you have a new year’s resolution for 2015?

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Jul 232014
 

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W is for Walking

Can you lose weight with just walking? Hell yes you can! Don’t disregard walking. If you’re just starting out with fitness or trying to lose some weight but don’t know where to start, you don’t have to start training for a marathon. It’s okay to start small.

“In studies, Weltman has found that women who do three short (about 30-minute) high-intensity walks plus two moderately paced recovery walks a week lose up to six times more abdominal fat than participants who simply stroll five days a week. (source)”

Walkers are athletes too. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you’re moving your body and trying, it’s a good thing. Walking is good because you can do it almost everywhere and it’s not something you need to plan ahead. It’s easier on the joints than running and you can still burn a decent amount of calories:

“If you walk at a pace of 4 miles per hour (a common pace) you can burn the following amount of calories per minute: 120 lb. person = 4.7 calories; 140 lb. person = 5.5 calories; 160 lb. person = 6.3 calories; 180 lb. person = 7.1 calories; 200 lb. person = 7.8 calories; and 220 lb. person  = 8.6 calories. (source)” 

So if you weigh 160 pounds and walking for 20 minutes, you could burn 126 calories. In only 20 minutes!

If you’re at work, keep an extra pair of walking shoes at your desk so you can go for walks during the day. I definitely recommend that all runners get fitted at a professional running store for the right kind of shoes. The same goes for walkers. It’s usually free and they will help you pick the shoes that are right for your body. It makes a huge difference! Check out these old posts about the topic: Tip for New Runners: Shoe Fitting and Is it Time for New Shoes?.

Here are some more tips on getting started and sticking with a walking program:

Find a walking buddy. Most things are more fun with a friend! Find a coworker, neighbor, friend to go for walks with you. Maybe your significant other wants to join you for a brisk walk after dinner–this will give you both a good chance to talk and bond. Another tip — get a dog! :D

Track your mileage. There are a TON of apps out there that can track how far you walk. There’s MapMyWalk, RunKeeper or my personal favorite–CycleMeter. I love Cyclemeter because it’s accurate and reliable. I used to use RunKeeper and MapMyRun but that was a few years ago and the GPS used to drop out a lot so I never REALLY knew what mileage I did. With CycleMeter you can change it to almost any activity you can think of. It tracks your distance, speed, elevation, so many things! It’s a great tool.

cyclemeter

Track your progress. Use MyFitnessPal or DailyMile to log your  mileage. Not only will it help you keep track of your progress, it can be very motivating! I don’t know about you but seeing it in black and white makes me feel good and makes me want to try hard. It can also help me set goals.

Technology is your friend. There are tons of gadgets out there to help you. If you have a smart phone the above apps I described are great and many are free. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can try a few different things. I’ve never tried it but I have several friends that rave about their FitBit. Pedometers are good, but I don’t know how accurate they are (I always had cheap ones). Finally, there are tons of watches/heart rate monitors out there that track that stuff. Garmin is a great one (and on my wishlist!). If you can’t get a smart phone or a fancy gadget, there are cheaper versions out there–or there is the SUPER cheap option of driving the route in your car and seeing what the mileage is. :)

Set goals. Start small. Walk around the block on your break at work, walk for 15 minutes after dinner. The more walking you get in, start making goals that you can work towards. Having specific goals helps in so many ways. It’s tangible and not just an abstract thought like “I want to walk more.” Instead, say “I will walk 1 mile today and 2 miles tomorrow.” Or while you are out walking, set a goal like “I will walk to the corner park and then back.” I do this when I’m running. When I’m feeling like quitting I think, “I’ll just run to that next lamp post and then turn around.” And often times when I get to that lamp post I can keep going.

Add hills. Don’t start doing hills in the beginning, work up your stamina and then start adding the hills. Your heart will start pounding harder and you’ll burn more calories.

Add weights. Back in the day I remember when speed walking was the thing and everyone was doing it and they had hand weights and then there were the ankle weights and I’ve also seen weight vests. Weighing more definitely burns more calories. I don’t know that I would add weights in the beginning, but later once you’ve lost some weight I can see where hand weights would be helpful.

Hydrate! I got a hand held water bottle for running and I love it. I can’t tell you how many times I used to be out on a run, far from home or the office, dying of thirst. There were a few times in the summer when I used to run the waterfront at lunch where I got dizzy and almost passed out because I was dehydrated and overheated. In the summer I mix 1/2 Gatorade and 1/2 water in my running water bottle. It was the best $20 I could spend. So take your water with you when you walk!

You can also Prancercise. ;) You’re welcome!

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Speed Up. Not in the beginning. Listen to your body and wait until your stamina builds and walking is easier. Once you’re doing it on a regular basis and maybe it’s getting a little boring, spice it up by walking faster. You never know, speed walking may turn into running!

speedwalking

Recently I went walking with a coworker during lunch. She’s trying to lose weight and got a FitBit to track her steps. She loves it that thing! It’s encouraged her to walk more and that’s great. Anyways, it was a nice sunny, warm day and we walked for 30 minutes. It reminded me how much I like walking. I used to walk the Hawthorne Bridge every morning into work (nearly 2 miles) and I also walked during my lunch breaks. I got pretty fast at it and could walk from the office all the way to PGE Park and back during my lunch break. I did so much walking and then my knees starting acting up and I quit walking. I realized just how much I miss doing it and I vowed to get back at it! It’s relaxing and exhilarating at the same time. AND IT’S FREE!

Are you a walker? Any tips? 

A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight * M-Measuring Mistakes *N-Nemesis * O-Open * P-Plateaus Q -Quitting * R-Runner’s Knee * S-Support * U – Unattainable * V – Victory *

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