Saturday, March 30, 2013

How to sneak in more exercise around the house

Having to maintain a regular exercise regimen is boring, redundant and a pain in the neck! But there's no need to despair or resign yourself to becoming a couch potato. If anything, you will find way less boredom and more excitement in more informal movements, while increasing your movements and spending less time on the couch. Here are some of those ways:

. Clean floors every day, beginning with the one that is frequently used and soiled. When possible, wash them the old-fashioned way, on your hands and knees.

. Take care of chores that are easy to put off doing, such as changing dim light bulbs and/or smoke alarms.

. Handwash your car.

. Reposition some or all of the furniture in a living or dining room.

. Wash windows.

. If you have bookcases, remove books from one shelf, clean the shelf and replace the books.

. Clean out a cluttered closet. The motivation for doing this is that you may just discover stray change in pockets and on the floor.

. If possible, walk to the supermarket, buy what you need and lug the packages home.

. Do limited yardwork. For example, clean up leaves one day. Remove clutter the next. Limit yourself to a single yard project at a time.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Some of the worst excuses

Without realizing it, you may sabotage your efforts to lose weight! Here is a list of some of those ways:

. Procrastinating (I'll start tomorrow, next week, etc.)

. I'll never lose. What's the point of trying?

. I look horrible wearing lycra.

. A gym is too expensive and a waste of time and money.

. I hate fish!

. I don't have time during the week.

. My husband/boyfriend says that he likes big women and doesn't mind my being one of them.

. None of the diets I've tried work!

. I get tired just thinking about exercise!

. Exercise is boring.

. I only lost a teensy bit of weight after roughly 6 weeks of effort. What's the point?

. It's too hot/it's too cold/it/s too humid/it's too wet/it's too dry

Friday, March 22, 2013

Moving with music

Jogging, walking, running, cycling and dancing to music become easier to do than without music. Hearing a favorite song or tune motivates movement, such as little dance steps, longer and more intense pedaling and running.

I've managed to lose some weight as I jumped rope and listened to music in the house. Before starting, I was thinking, now how can that be? And is it even possible? So I decided to test my endurance by steadily jumping rope during an entire song. Boy, I nearly wore myself out, becoming winded before the song ended.

Same was true for pedaling my bike on a stationary stand in the garage. I barely got through half the song, actually one of Billy Joel's songs.

To sum up, my favorite songs/music motivated me to exercise longer and more intensely than I would have in complete silence....and I did lose some weight. What I should have also done was maintain a regular routine exercising this way.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

So much for the bathroom scale

I know that many people have bathroom scales and weigh themselves occasionally, maybe hourly or a few times daily. I'm not one of those people.

I don't own a bathroom scale. Never have and never will. I don't see the point of having one in the first place. It takes up space and detracts your focus from your need to use the toilet and/or shower to your wondering how much you weigh. This is especially true if the bathroom scale happens to be facing you as you are using the potty. Where should the emphasis be --- crapping or weighing? And how much emphasis or focus on each? Seriously, who cares? You had to use the facilities for one basic reason, so some time has to be spent on that basic reason, instead of miscellaneous, distracting thoughts about your weight gain or loss.

And what's more, that scale per se doesn't directly help you lose weight. If anything, it helps you to gain weight as you sit from your potty's perspective and stare at it, wondering if you should get on that scale and find out if you;re a few pounds lighter or not. Or just remove the scale and place it elsewhere, like in the kitchen or in the bedroom. Placing the scale in the kitchen may discourage you from enjoying your food too much and encourage you to cut down or for heaven's sake and lose weight once and for all.

So there you have it.  Use your bathroom scale at your own risk. Even better, discard it and buy something that you really want and need.

Friday, March 15, 2013

the joys of nibbling

When I'm working on something online ---- writing a story, post, filling an application, responding to a student's assignment ---- I want to nibble on a cracker, cookie, peanut, jelly bean, potato chip, banana, cake, donut, whatever. I have this need to eat as I work, which lessens the stress and fills in the blanks, sort of. That is, I can think better somehow.

If there's time or I'm really stressed, I'll actually cook something, like pasta, then devour it as I'm working, or make and eat at least one peanut butter sandwich.

Yet I didn't really gain weight from all of that nibbling, just probably satisfied a craving. You would think that my having a cup of coffee or tea or juice would be enough, but beverages don't satisfy me during stressful times as much as food, whatever food I can find and eat quickly in the kitchen, providing I want to eat it in the first place.

Once I feel full, I resume work with no further cravings or other interruptions. Of course, I eat a little food during the day, rather than traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner. I should be as fat as a house, but I'm not. The stress seems to devour whatever is left.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

a few reasons why group activities are good for you!

I've participated in group activities in cycling and enjoyed them very much. After each ride, I felt invigorated and satisfied. And in observing group activities at various gyms, I thought that I'd feel the same way.  The benefits are great as well, and some of them include:

. losing weight  I'm involved in the same activity, knowing that if I put in some honest effort and stay focused, I will begin to notice at least some weight loss.

. competing with others who are "in the same boat"  True, each group member has different goals and needs, although losing weight is the priority. At the same time, each member is competing with himself/herself along with other members. Not everyone will reach his or her goal simultaneously: some will meet their goals sooner than others, but that is fine.

. enjoying the experience and varying an otherwise boring routine  For example, cyclists don't always use the same route, and if they do, it's mainly to achieve a given goal, such as working on speed. In the meantime, all cyclists enjoy the warm weather, nature, and interacting with one another. All of these things make time go faster. For example, a 25-mile cycling tour feels more like 5 or 10 miles.

. savoring the knowledge that you can eat more Cycling burns up a lot of calories, especially if one rides fast, and moreover, requires that cyclists eat before they get too hungry and drink before they get thirsty.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Countering temptation to eat junk food

An important move involves willpower. Faced by that piece of cake or pie practically calling your name, and just saying or thinking no is difficult, especially when you're hungry. For me, it would be next to impossible, lol!

I think that the first thing I would do to counter temptation is mentally turning that cake or pie into something really disgusting --- baked vomit, cat waste, dog waste, peanut butter and fish --- the possibilities are endless. The only downside is associating other goodies in the same fashion, rendering hunger nonfunctional, at least for the time being.

Another difficult solution would be eating a banana or cracker instead. This is tricky because you know in your mind that the cake or pie seems more desirable and filling than a banana or cracker. But substituting another healthy food is worth a go all the same.

And finally, you could satisfy conditions before launching into that cake or pie, such as running two or three miles and back, bicycling, jumping rope or regular exercises at home. Once you've satisfied a given self-imposed condition, and only then, you may eat and enjoy that piece of cake or pie.