Thursday, October 28, 2010

What do you know about FOLIC ACID?

Folic acid is a type of B-vitamin...Vitamin B9 to be exact. It is especially important because it aids in cell production...most specifically in producing healthy red blood cells which deliver oxygen to all parts of your body. Folic acid is needed particularly in women, women in child-bearing years, and children.

How do you get folic acid? Well some of the best sources these days are in breakfast cereals...but you must check your labels to make sure that it has indeed been added in a significant amount. Asparagus, spinach, liver, and sunflower seeds are all packed with folic acid; other popular foods that have moderate amounts of the vitamin include orange juice, bananas, corn, and romaine lettuce.

How much folic acid should you consume daily? About 400 micrograms daily is sufficient for most people; make sure you are diligent about getting your folic acid if you are pregnant or hoping to get pregnant! (And even if you aren't, it has been shown that folic acid has a role in preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes!)

Now, go get some!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kathy Week 43: Feeling sluggish

I don't even know how much I weigh this morning...I'm on the road, visiting family...but I can be pretty sure it's 131.

Two weeks ago, I weighed 129. Last week I weighed 130. The last couple of days I weighed 131.

Hmmm...I see a disturbing trend...

It is so easy to rationalize (Rational Lies) this away.
After all...131 is still 20 pounds less than what I weighed on January 1.
After all...I've had two VERY stressful weeks at school, with too little time to exercise and prepare healthy meals.
After all...I still fit into my size 10 jeans.

The fact is, I am eating junk again. I am not being accountable to myself with myfitnesspal.com. I am not getting up early three mornings a week to go to the gym. And I AM gaining weight.

I know what I need to do. It's time to do it. I'll check in with you again in just one week, right back here on The Skinny. See you then!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Katie: Week 43 Committing to 13 in 9

Gettin' back in the groove...

Current weight: 133 pounds
Last week's weight: 134 pounds
Total weight loss: 37 pounds

Hey, guess what?  It's Tuesday.  Uhh... I kind of forgot.  Oops!  Sorry.  But I have good news!  I lost a pound!  Yay!  This past weekend we went to Ohio for the last of our school visits to look at optometry schools for Bryan.  So I was naughty and ate junk food while we were there (two words: pumpkin doughnut), but our friends that we stayed with were really nice and fed us all the time so we didn't have to eat out, so I think that helped a lot.  (Thanks guys!)  Also, I was a lot more determined when we got back from our trip to get back into my healthy groove, so the transition from bad to good wasn't so... well, bad.  :)  What've I been doing?
  • Going on a walk every day
  • Running 3 times each week
  • Doing 50 crunches every day (real, focused crunches, not the sissy kind)
  • Drinking 8 glasses of water every day
  • Entering all of my food/exercise into MyFitnessPal every day
  • Getting to bed by 11pm every night
  • Doing something nice for somebody every day
  • Recording my daily weight
Well, in theory at least.  I often fail at drinking all 8 glasses of water, but I'm working at it.  And I think in the past three weeks I've only made it to bed by 11pm one night (last night).  But other than that I really am doing pretty well.  And it is totally helping. 

Right now I'm 13 pounds away from my goal weight.  And it's basically 9 full weeks until Christmas.  So my goal is to keep working at it and give myself something for Christmas I've been wanting for a long time--a healthy, fit body (hopefully with a flat tummy--I'm getting there!).  13 pounds?  9 weeks?  You think I can make it?  I do!  Wish me luck!

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Running Season Finale

     Well, I just finished my race season on Saturday with the Blue Lake Run in Troutdale, OR. My running buddy and I ran the 15K and laughed when we realized the course was actually marked off in miles. Silly race people. Fortunately, it was a sunny, cloudless day for our entourage of supporters. (We were each hosting 2 Japanese high school students for the weekend. Big adventure!) So the big news is that I earned a ribbon! I had a general goal time of about 1:30 and I finished in 1:31:46, which earned me 3rd in my age division. I was pleased, but I always wonder if I could have sprinted sooner than I did. Oh well! Now I get to relax my schedule and just have fun with my running. I'm especially excited to sleep in later and run in the daylight.

     Overall, I think it was a good running season for me. This was only my second year with training for races, so it's great to see progress. I have shaved off about 3 minutes from my pace and basically met my goal times. For example, my time on the Best Dam Run 10K (about 3 weeks ago) was right at one hour but this past race I finished 10K in 58 minutes. So my message is that improvement is possible; it just takes some commitment. Saturday morning before the race my scripture reading happened to land on this:

"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." (Mosiah 4:27)

     It made all the difference on race day, but it can have the same effect on every day that I need to accomplish something. I hope we can all remember to pace ourselves with running, walking, exercising, dieting, and really every aspect of life. With diligence we can all win the prize. We are each evidence of that.


     With all that being said, I will not be posting as often anymore unless I have an incredible running story or tip to share. Or if one of you lovely skinny ladies has a running question, of course. So this is my I'm-kind-of-going-away-but-please-don't-think-I'm-gone-post. I am still very interested in each person's progress and I will continue to check in here regularly.

Wishing you all the greatest success you could imagine,

Em

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Counsel to Youth

Thursday, October 14, 2010

One Quick Thought

So my honey took today and tomorrow off of work so we can celebrate our anniversary :) So here is my quick thought for the day: go do something with someone you love.


We started our morning with a brisk walk and it was so lovely...the weather was perfect and all but it was more the fact that he and I were together that made today's walk more pleasant than usual.

We are social beings by nature- that is why you feel so crappy when you are at home all day with no one to have a stimulating conversation with! So grab your darling, best friend, neighbor, daughter, etc. and spend some time doing something not only good for the body, but good for the soul as well :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Katie: Week 42

Just having a little pity party for myself...

Current weight: 134 pounds
Last week's weight: 134 pounds
Total weight loss: 36 pounds

I was so good last week.  At the beginning of the week.  And then toward the end I got lazy.  And had a birthday party for my sister in law with a yummy cake and some yummy ice cream.  And then our weekend got busy.  But I did go for a walk every day and Bryan and I did go running three times.  That in itself was a big accomplishment.  But it's sad to think that I was down to 132 in the middle of last week and then got back up to 134 again.  Especially since yesterday I went on two walks and went on a really good, long (for us) run with Bryan.  I expected/hoped to at least go back down to 133 by this morning.  But instead I went up to 134.4.  What gives?  I'm feeling a little frustrated.

Then when I was checking the calendar a little big ago to see how many weeks we have until Christmas I was caught off guard by another something sad about my progress.  It's the middle of October.  If I had been following my calorie intake and exercise plan that I created on MyFitnessPal some months ago I would be at my goal weight right now.  And I'm not.  Boo hoo hoo.

I'm trying to make all this lead me to a feeling of determination rather than defeat.  But it's hard.  It's hard not to boo hoo over the whole thing.  I could be where I want to be right now!  But I didn't do the work.  Sigh.

Here's to another week of trying. 

I think I can.  I think I can...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Kathy Week 41: Feelin' Groovy

Several weeks ago I read through my daily journal from last year, and I noticed that over and over again I wrote about feeling stressed, overworked, tense, too-much-to-do, tired, etc, etc.

No good! That much stress sends me straight to the refrigerator or the candy aisle.

This fall, when heading back to work/school, I vowed to keep my extra commitments under control. I'm not perfect. This coming week is going to be a bear. It's just one of those "vortex" weeks when everything that only happens once-in-a-while just so happens to all get piled into the same week of the calendar. Most of that was out of my control, and the week will come and go, and then it will be over with. I'm budgeting my time, and I'll get through it!

But for the most part, I'm getting SO much better at saying "no." "No" to outside requests, but more importantly, "no" to the expectations and pressures I so often put on myself. I'm working on sorting out my priorities, and paying the most attention to the things that matter most.

Here are some things that get me through the day:

1. Fun, light-hearted oldies that help me relax. I'm breathing easier and smiling after I sing along with this one:



2. Listening to wise counsel. President Uchtdorf's counsel at last week's General Conference spoke right to my heart. I've gone back and listened to his talk a couple of times already, and I may have it memorized by the next time we have General Conference, in April 2011.

You can read it here. I like to read his counsel and absorb the ideas slowly, but I also love to listen to him and enjoy his warm spirit and kindly humor. It's like he's come to visit with me right in my own living room!


3. A little humor never hurts. Here's Anita Renfro with her spoof on Carrie Underwood's song, "Before He Cheats." This time it's "Before I Eat..."  Hahaha! Check out Anita's other videos on YouTube. Her humor will de-stress you every time.


4. And here we go with some pure relaxation - a wonderful spine stretch I learned in Yoga class. It's so easy! You should try it right now. (No, really, you should do this. You won't believe how good it will feel.)

First, lie on your right side. Legs are in the position of sitting in a chair. Right arm is straight out to the side, palm up; left arm is in the same position, palm down.

Then, slide your left arm in a half-circle, up and over your head. Bring your arm around to the left side. Your spine is beginning the stretch. Keep your hips still.

Finally, adjust your right shoulder a little to the right, so that your shoulders are both flat on the floor. You should be looking up at the ceiling now. Keep both palms up, and breathe evenly. Hold the position for a minute or so.

After a minute or so, bring your knees to center, and roll over to your left side. Repeat the stretch from the left side.

Now your spine, shoulder, and chest will feel more relaxed and aligned. You will breathe more easily and feel LESS STRESS!!!

That's all for today, except for a quick update on my weight maintenance. After the brief excitement of hitting my goal weight 127 a few weeks ago (haha--that lasted all of one day), I have been hanging out at 128-129. I'm still 129 this morning. I'm not counting every calorie, but I am watching my portions and eating (mostly) sensibly.  (All right, I confess, there were those two Rice Crispie treats last night...)

Anyway, I'm thinking that 129 may be my "happy weight" for now, and I'm feeling good about that!

Feelin' groovy!

Have a great week everyone! I hope you'll try some of these suggestions to be happy and stress free.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Take a Walk!

So my belly continues to get bigger and this week my running buddy, i.e. mom, was out of town. Basically that means I had no motivation to get up and jog my regular 5 miles. However, the weather has been particularly lovely in Houston and I just couldn't bare to let it go to waste. Thus, I have been taking morning walks...and boy are they lovely!

How nice it is just to get out and enjoy some fresh air! It makes my whole day go better if I start with a little outdoor exercise. So I walked. At first I didn't have a plan- just headed out without a thought. As I started walking though I began to make little plans...I am going to walk fast until I get to that tree/the end of this song/etc. and then I am going to take bigger steps until (fill in the blank). Some spurts I would focus on my posture, others on speed or size of steps or breathing or making sure I rolled through my whole foot and really pushed off from my toes to take the next step (an excellent calf-worker!).

Then I got ambitious; every so often I would do a set of lunges and squats. It was really quite wonderful and when I got home I realized that I had covered many miles and almost two whole hours. The next day my rear was even a bit sore which, as weird as it is to say, felt wonderful!

I have continued my morning walks this week as my mom has been gone and have even added in some jogging, just to mix it up and keep it interesting. :) So my challenge for everyone this week is this: take a walk! Go outside and enjoy the fresh air- I can guarantee you will feel good afterwards. And as you are walking around, have fun with it. Mix it up; pick different things to do or focus on while you are walking.

One thing I highly recommend focusing on is your posture:

-keep your hips tucked under (not pushed back causing your back to arch)
-point your knees and toes straight forward (not turned out or in)
-pull your shoulder blades down (not together as if they are meeting at your spine but down as if they would meet your rear end)
-elongate your neck by trying to increase the distance between your ears and shoulders (not by sticking your nose in the air!)

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Katie: Week 41

Speaking of continuing in patience...

Current weight: 134 pounds
Last week's weight: 133 pounds
Total weight loss: 36 pounds


Things have changed for me.  Again.  I'm not really sure where to start, so I guess I'll just start wherever and cover all the things I'd like to say.  Bear with me.

So I've been a bit... umm... undermotivated... shall we say?  One of the devil's oldest tricks is to keep someone from fixing a problem in their life by telling them that there isn't any problem at all!  From the outside this sounds bizarre.  But it's happened to all of us, I think, at one time or another and I definitely fell for it this time.  Shame on me.  How human of me.  How mortal.  Bleh.  See, the more stressed and sick and lazy and busy I got, the more Satan kept telling me, "You don't even need to worry about eating healthy and exercising!  Your body is fine just the way it is!"  At first I laughed him out of the room.  (This, by the way, is what I should have kept on doing.)  But after days and weeks of hearing this I gave up and agreed.  "After all," I thought, "I can always pick things up again later when I have the time energy money motivation."  And so, despite all of your wise advice, I took a break. 

Now I don't think it's bad to take a break every once in a while.  But my reasons for taking a break were sad; I just didn't feel like doing what it took to be healthy.  And we were traveling and in between trips and I had a cold and whatnot.  But our most recent trip included eating out for every single meal of the day except for breakfast.  By the time we got home I felt like my tummy was bigger.  And it probably was.  By the time we got back, I was ready to get back on track again. 

I'm ready now.  Again.

I know I've gone through this whole cycle multiple times since I made my goals at the beginning of the year and I'm sure you're tired of hearing "I love this!"  "I'm sick of this!" round and round in this little cycle.  But I know I'm not the only one who goes through this with weight loss and health and fitness goals, so I hope it's comforting to hear from a regular person what it's like to keep on going.  It's hard.  It really is sometimes.  But it is doable.

We got back from our trip on Sunday.  That evening when Bryan and I were out on a walk I told him I wanted to get back into the swing of things, that I wanted to eat well and exercise and do more cardio and ab work to work toward the flat tummy I've been dreaming of all along.  After talking about some different options, we decided (Bryan's idea) to go running together three times a week.  I also decided on a few personal goals.  They're really nothing new.  But here they are in all their old school goal chart glory:





Oldies, but goodies.  These are the things that work.  For me, at least. 

And I've also returned to my other go-to success item:

The wrap.

For me, these are a super nutrient-rich, low-calorie food that tastes wonderfully fresh and fills me up.

Here's how I layer mine (calorie info from MyFitnessPal.com):

-1 Flat Out wrap (Spinach and Italian are both good)--90 calories
-1/2 Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss Cheese wedge--18 calories
-2 slices Tillamook medium cheddar cheese--110 calories*
-2 slices Jenny-O Sun Dried Tomato Turkey Breast--50 calories
-3/4 cup Earthbound Farm Spring Mix Salad Greens--6 calories
-4 cherry tomatoes--16 calories
-1 slice Western Family Kosher Dill Sandwich Slices--0 calories






I make sure and spread the 1/2 spreadable cheese wedge all over one entire side of the wrap and then I do everything else in two rows(ish) on just one half of the wrap.  This arrangement helps everything hold together better.










*I think my numbers may be off on how many calories two slices of cheese is since cheese is measured by ounces and not slices.  So your guess is probably better than mine.  It might actually be double this amount.  I honestly have no idea.










(Sorry about the weird spacing here.  Blogger is being kind of dumb.  The new picture uploader and I are still in a fight.)










Today I teamed this wrap up with one sliced banana and a cup of carrot juice.  It was really yummy.  And filling.  And all together (with the carrot juice and banana and my probably wrong amount of cheese) it came out to 450 calories.  Not bad, I say.  Not bad.

So, anyway, I know that today I weigh more than I did last week, but I don't feel stressed about it now that I'm doing what I can to really work toward my goals.  Hopefully this time I won't lose steam before I get there!

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We'd love to hear from you!

Want to write a guest post for The Skinny? E-mail Katie at kathleenann08 (at) gmail (dot) com.