Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fitness Tuesday Update - On the Move Again

Here's today's Facebook status:

Fitness Project Tuesday Update: Still wanting to be more regular with cardio, but my diet is tuned up, only doing the meticulous calorie-counting here and there - I now just KNOW what and how much to eat. At the end of Week 14, I've lost another 1.2 lbs for a grand total of 24.8 lbs lost (15.2 more and I'm at my goal!!)

Not much more to say. I'm very happy to lose a pound a week.

Some of my favorite clothes are now too big for me and I'm in Transitional Wear now - some things I'd grown out of, and some cheap new things, as I'm not spending money on clothes that, hopefully, won't fit me well by the winter holidays.
In Caroline Demoise's book, Tai Chi as Spiritual Practice, she advises to choose one aspect to focus upon when doing a form - breathing, flow, knees, the way the foot comes down -- to choose just one aspect out of all the things that make a satisfying Tai Chi practice. To try to get it all together all the time is difficult and frustrating, but if you choose one thing to put your concentration on, that aspect will deepen and improve, become less effortful to maintain.

I've been thinking about that a lot lately and how it can apply to other things in my life. And for my Fitness Project, it means that I choose one aspect of my plan to focus on each week.

This week I want to focus on building muscle. I want to add some new strength training exercises to the basic ones in Strong Women Stay Slim. So I'm checking through some other books (Body for Life for Women, for one) and various articles I've clipped for reference.


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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Clutter Catalogue

I've written about this before - the 600+ boxes of Stuff that Andy Warhol left as "time capsules." Boxes and boxes in which he just threw...well, everything imaginable, then sealed it up and sent it to storage. And it fascinates me, that because all this Stuff is associated with Warhol and other celebrities, it is worthy of archivists' attention and is being meticulously sorted through and catalogued.

Andy Warhol's Junk

Years ago, as an experimental literary piece, I meticulously retrieved and listed the stunning amount of Stuff found under and in my sofa. I have no idea where that piece is, but I remember counting a lot of Cheerios.

There's some notions of 'decluttering as art projects" flying around my head right now.
Think about it!


P.S. I'm editing this post to include a great link my friend Deborah posted in the comments:

You will be able to see and read about each item in Box#21.

P.P.S. 07.21.2015 More editing from the future. Here's a link to Artsy's Warhol page.
While you're there, take a look around the site, too. Artsy's mission is to "... to make all of the world’s art accessible to anyone online.."  Excellent mission!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fitness Tuesday Update - Plateau Indeed

Facebook status this a.m.:

Tuesday Fitness Project Update: Feeling better, working on stress issues. Definitely need to move more. My Tai Chi kicks (if you can call something that slow a kick!) seem higher, feel stronger. Weight loss has slowed to a crawl, but hey, at least that's still movement. Lost 1 pound this week, for a grand total at the end of Week 13: 23.6 lbs.

Notes from my Fitness Journal this morning:

A.M. Notes: Am ecstatic that the scale this morning showed one pound lost over the last week. I wasn't sure if I'd lose at all, the scale sure wasn't showing progress through the week!

Something definitely shifted for me around Week 12 when I got the stomach virus.
My weight loss has slowed to a crawl (Turtle has long been one of my totems, I’ll need to keep him in the forefront right now!) and my mood and optimism are pretty low. I’m terrifically stressed on several fronts, too. Combine all that with the simple fact that less calories are burned when one weighs 23 lbs less, and I think that may be a good explanation for the shift.

I don’t feel I can reduce calories any further and still have a balanced and healthy diet. Obviously I need to move more. That’s hard for me, except for Tai Chi, but I’m trying!

The good things from this last week:

I didn't food journal a lot, but I know I ate within my calorie budget. I feel as though I have a very good sense of what and how much I can eat now.

I did walk twice last week, had good Tai Chi practices all week.

So, I start Week 14 with renewed determination: my goals are to move more and to revitalize that optimism that characterized the first weeks of Fitness Project.

When I thought of Turtle, I remembered this image I created for an Illustration Friday back in 2006:

Seems like a good image to hold for this time!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fitness Tuesday Update - Plateau?

Today's Facebook status:

Tuesday Fitness Update: "Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing." Abraham Lincoln That's what my teabag said this morning and it seems fitting,for I weigh in a mere .6 less than last week, and I felt a tad discouraged, thinking I might be at The Dreaded Plateau. Shall go forth with resolve to succeed more important than any one pound!

Actually, I am not thinking plateau. I am thinking stomach virus - the one I got a week ago. It laid me very low for 3 days and I am still not 100%. I did not record food intake as meticulously as I have been (though I feel I ate perfectly reasonably) and I certainly did little exercise. Even my daily Tai Chi was less.

I suppose the good...great... part is that I did not gain any weight. And, as I am at the half-way point in my journey, this seemed like a good time to stop, take stock, reassess and renew my commitment to my goals. Oh, and be very happy I've lost 21 pounds!

I'm aware that the less I weigh, the fewer calories I burn - takes less energy to haul my body up the stairs, etc. So I know that I need to adjust things a bit as my weight goes down. I can't eat less than 1200 calories and still get proper nutrition, so it means I need to move more.

As I look over the last 12 weeks, I see that my focus during the first phase has been holistic, but primarily on food. I've made amazing changes in what I eat and how much, changes that I can certainly live with for always. I love the way I'm eating now.

So Phase Two logically should be exercise. If I can make changes in that area that will stick with me for always, I will be delighted. I think I've made a good start with Tai Chi and the stretching I do. My Tai Chi practice is a daily, sometimes twice daily, routine. And I love it.

But I have to have more cardio-type moving in my life. So my goal is to have another 30 minutes a day of some kind of brisk movement - walking, pedal exerciser, improvisational dance. I think having a variety of choices is a key for me. I am also coming across things here and there that indicate the variety is good for the body and metabolism as well.

And the third component - strength training. I need to do that 3X a week.

So The Plan for the first part of Phase Two is to focus on the cardio, with a little bit of strength training. In about six weeks, I'll focus on the strength training more.

I started out this week by getting myself to the mall for a 2-mile walk yesterday. It felt great! In a few minutes I'm gonna put on those shoes and go do that again.
yes, yes....

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Fitness Tuesday Update - Mini-Goal Reached!

My facebook status today:

Tuesday Fitness Project Update: not feeling so fit as I got a Horrible Stomach Virus Thing yesterday - am on the upside I think --this week's weigh-in shows another 2.4 lbs lost for a grand total of 22 lbs. at the end of Week 11. (My diligence gets credit for 1.5 lbs, Horrible Virus the rest...)

I'm still recuperating so I'm not feeling like writing much, but I'm very excited about the 22 pounds because it puts me over my half-way mark in the weight-loss part of my fitness quest.

I had originally hoped to lose a pound a week and reach 20 lbs by my birthday at the end of September. I have actually averaged about 2 lbs a week.

I'm still looking to get more exercise. Sunday night I did 30 minutes of improvisational dance/movement to Gabrielle Roth's Tribe CD - well, 27 minutes, lots of drumming, you just can't help but move.

About a year ago, Sounds True had a fabulous sale on a set of her Wave DVDs - a collection of ecstatic dance workouts, also described as moving meditations. They still have a great price on the set of three (19.95 each if bought singly, $34.95 for the set) here.

So as I am searching around for a cardio exercise that I can incorporate into my life that doesn't seem like a chore, I'm going to get out those DVD's and Roth's book Sweat Your Prayers and work with them awhile.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

oops Tuesday Fitness Project Update (on Sunday)

My husband pointed out to me that I hadn't updated here last Tuesday. He's not on Facebook, so he didn't see the status I posted that day...so here it is:

Tuesday Fitness Project Update: At the end of Week 10, all is going well. I'm tired of counting calories, though not tired of the way I'm eating, just writing it all down. But I shall continue that. Once again not enough cardio & strength training, so I'm renewing my focus there. Weight loss this past week: 1.2 lbs for a grand total of 19.6 lbs released to wherever freed-up pounds go.

This week has been difficult. I still haven't gotten back into doing the strength training & cardio. I am under a great deal of stress with a lot of projects and commitments and I'm not handling the stress so well. I suspect that the exercise will probably help a lot with that, so I'm determined to get it back.

I'm still doing 40 minutes or so a day of my Tai Chi, though. It's such a gentle, relaxing sort of movement I tend to forget it is exercise. And on Thursdays, I do my personal practice in the morning and have an hour class in the evening. So, it's not like I'm not exercising!

132 calories

That's dessert sometimes, sometimes a snack.
It is:
1c berries (60) 1/3 c nonfat plain greek yogurt* (44) 1 tsp honey (20) 1T Special K cinnamon pecan cereal (8) (132 calories total)

*I've gone back to draining my own yogurt again. This used to be called 'yogurt cheese', but now it's generally referred to as yochee. Yochee has a smooth, thick, creamy texture that feels rich, even made with non-fat yogurt. It can be sweetened for dessert, or herbed for savory dips.

Either way, if you can have dairy, yochee is a great addition to the diet of the calorie and health conscious.

And I'll say a word about that Special K Cinnamon Pecan Cereal - in addition to sprinkling a tablespoon on my yogurt snacks, I carry around a little snack container, with that cereal, 1T dried mixed berries and 4 almonds. About 140 calories, and it has saved my calorie budget more than once, by providing me with healthy crunchy munchies when I'm out.

Other favorite carry-arounds: sliced apples, carrot sticks and red pepper strips. (Sometimes I even plop a tablespoon of hummus into the container.)

That's about it. Hopefully, I'll remember to post my Tuesday update here. On time.

Thanks for the support!