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    “The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.”
    Stephen Nachmanovitch

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    Location: Colorado, United States

    I'm a wife, a mom, a dog lover, a complete lefty, a true scorpio, and I'm on a creative journey. I welcome you to join me.

    Sewing Southpaw...

    Is the place where I share my creativity, my hobbies, and other stuff!

    22 July 2010

    Life Changes

    Yes, that's what we are doing around here. As I'm quickly approaching 50 I've become painfully aware of how over weight and out of shape I am. If I have any chance at all of being around in another 20 (or so) years, I need to make life changes NOW!

    Luckily, (or sadly) both my DH and I have some weight to loose, muscle to tone, and stress to reduce, so we can work on it together. We do however, have a slightly different approach in our methods. DH prefers to go to the gym, lift weights, use machines, and work up a man sized sweat. I, on the other hand prefer to get my exercise by daily walks with Fritz (30-45 minutes) and by doing chores around the house. And don't for a minute think that housework won't burn calories or tone muscle. It's just that I have to 'work out' a little longer but the results are essentially the same. The bonus is that I don't have to hang out in a sweaty, crowded gym.

    And while I can hardly bring myself to say, "DIET" (because diets don't work), we all know that healthy life changes begin with diet and exercise. Simply being more aware of what we eat, and making an effort to eat a wide variety of fruits, veggies, meats, grains, dairy, etc., and drinking plenty of water each day along with controlling portions is pretty much the entire battle! Well...that is easier said than done, isn't it?!?!?!?

    I started by finding a couple of really great websites with 'sensible' eating suggestions and sample diets. I determined my 'ideal weight' range for my size and the recommended daily calories (and exercise) to achieve my goals. With that, I need to keep my calorie count at around 1,600 per day (or less) with moderate exercise if I expected to loose 30 pounds in 3-4 months. I am 5'3" tall and currently weigh 149 pounds. Given the fact that it's taken me 4 years to gain the weight, if I can take it off (and keep it off) within six months to a year, I would be a happy camper.

    Getting started is the hard part. I've never really looked at a label in my life. I buy what I like to eat, and I eat it. Plus I'm a die-hard meat eater and meat, while it's a great source of protein, can also be loaded with calories. When I went shopping last week I was a little put out because it took me three times as long to shop. Looking at labels takes time. I found that I had to pass on a number of my favorite items but in the end I felt really good about the healthy choices I made. Even with my meats, choosing only skinless chicken breasts and other lean meats and fish. So far, so good.

    The most difficult part for me so far has been sticking to an eating schedule. I've been a once a day eater since I was a teenager. Now I'm eating breakfast around 8AM, snacks around 11AM and 4PM, lunch around 1PM, and dinner around 7PM. I have also allowed myself one day per week to eat pretty much whatever I want. I know I won't stick it out if there are no rewards and no fun! The funny thing is that I still find myself making the more healthy choice even on my day off. LOL.

    I believe that keeping a daily journal is an absolute must! Once you begin tracking what you eat it's amazing how quickly those calories add up. Maybe SHOCKING is a better word for it! But more than that you're able to keep track of what food groups you're eating from. It's important to spread the wealth, so to speak.

    Here is an example of what I will eat in a day:

    3/4 C - Honeynut Cheerios; 100 calories (1 grain)
    1/4 C - Fresh blueberries; 20 calories (1/2 fruit)
    1/2 C - 1% Milk; 65 calories (1 dairy)
    1 slice - Whole Wheat toast; 90 calories (1 grain)
    1/2 Tbsp - Land O Lakes light butter w/Canola Oil; 25 calories (1/2 oil)
    TOTAL: 300 calories

    6 oz. - WalMart brand nonfat raspberry yogurt; 80 calories (1 dairy)
    12 oz - Ice tea with 1/2 pkg. Sweet 'n' Low; 0 calories
    TOTAL: 80 calories


    1 ea - Orowheat Sandwich Thins; 100 calories (1 grain)
    5 pc - Lean Deli Smoked Ham; 70 calories (1 1/2 protein)
    1 oz - Monterrey Jack Cheese; 100 calories (1 dairy)
    1 tsp - Spicy Mustard; 5 calories (1/2 oil)
    1/2 C - Red leaf lettuce; 5 calories (1/2 veggies)
    1/2 C - Red seedless grapes; 40 calories (1/2 fruit)
    8 ea - Lays brand potato chips; 75 calories (discretionary calories - splurge!)
    12 oz - Ice tea with 1/2 pkg. Sweet 'n' Low; 0 calories
    TOTAL: 395 calories

    12 oz - Strawberry smoothie (which contains)
    1/2 C - 1% Milk; 65 calories (1 dairy)
    1 C - Fresh strawberries; 45 calories (1 fruit)
    1/2 C - Dreyer's Fat Free Yogurt Blends (vanilla); 90 calories (1 dairy)
    TOTAL: 200 Calories

    1/2 Can - Albacore tuna (in water, drained); 50 calories (1 protein)
    1/2 C - Kidney beans (canned, rinsed, drained); 105 calories (1 protein)
    2 C - Raw spinach; 20 calories (2 veggies)
    1/8 C - Dried cranberries; 65 calories (part fruit)
    1/2 C - Tomato (diced); 10 calories (1/2 veggie)
    1/4 C - Carrots (diced); 10 calories (part veggie)
    1/4 C - Cucumber (diced); 5 calories (part veggie)
    1/4 C - Green pepper (diced); 10 calories (part veggie)
    1/4 C - Celery (diced); 5 calories (part veggie)
    3 Tbsp. - Marie's Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing; 75 calories (1 oil)
    12 oz - Water; 0 calories
    TOTAL: 355 calories

    (Another option is to swap the tuna, beans, and dried cranberries for 3oz of lean pork or beef, or 4 oz of chicken or turkey for just a few more calories)

    1 C - Red seedless grapes; 80 calories
    8 oz - Water; o calories
    TOTAL: 80 calories

    TOTAL FOR THIS DAY - 1410 calories

    The big question it working? Well, I think so. I have more energy, I'm sleeping better, I'm drinking more water, I don't feel hungry all of the time, I'm eating healthier (and so is my DH), I'm getting more exercise, and in only a week I've lost 4 pounds!

    So, I'll keep plugging along and who knows, I just might find my old (thinner) self somewhere along the way.

    Until Next time...Happy Needling!!!




    Blogger Judy S. said...

    Good job! Hey, I'd much rather be pushing your decade than mine...wanna trade?

    July 22, 2010 at 8:08 PM  
    Blogger Momma Bear said...

    I am right there with you dear!
    I eat way more salads and green things now than I did a year ago, now to add more fruit.
    I completely cut out soda and junk food from my diet and now I'm trying to banish the dreaded corn syrup and anything made with it. which is more difficult than you might think, it seems to be in everything! even yoplait yogurt!
    getting out there on my bike or going for a long walk 2-3 times a week has also helped and given the hills around this part of washington it can be quite a workout!)
    oh yeah, my daughters inform me that I am not fat, I am plushy. thank god for little girls!)

    July 24, 2010 at 12:19 PM  
    Blogger Cat said...

    Good job Gerry! I'm trying to make healthy choices and to eliminate anything with white sugar & flour.

    The Farmers Market looked like a lot of fun!

    Wish we were there with you!!


    July 25, 2010 at 6:52 PM  
    Blogger Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

    Good for you on what you are eating! You can do it!

    July 26, 2010 at 4:35 PM  
    Blogger FredaB said...

    If you do eat only healthy foods it is amazing the amount of food you can eat when I read your one day food plan.

    I have tried to cut some of the sugar out of my daily diet and eat more fruit, beans, greens, etc. We will see how long I can go without my afternoon shortbread cookies with my tea. Hopefully it gets easier with time.



    July 28, 2010 at 6:44 PM  
    Blogger Cathy K said...

    Way to go, Gerry! Like you, I realized I needed to get back on track health-wise. I joined Weight Watchers in November and have lost 30 pounds so far, with about that many left to go. But since it’s a lifestyle change and not a diet or a race, slow but steady is just fine. If you do need to snack on junk food, try some of the Weight Watchers things; the ice “cream” is yummy and has fiber added. And the oatmeal raisin cookies are yummy if you take one and crumble it over baked apples or applesauce (a standby for me all winter!). Those sandwich thins also make great hamburger buns, and here’s a great pizza idea:. Find the light flatbread (if you have Smith’s out there, check near the deli area). I get light Italian flatbread, spread on some Classico marinara (their marinara isn’t sugary), and then some Hormel turkey pepperoni. Add sliced mushrooms, peppers, or whatever veggies you prefer, then top with 1/4 c. low-fat shredded mozzarella. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. SOOOOOO good and healthy and filling. And light in points/calories and fat. Drink lots of water! And keep us posted on how you’re doing!!!


    July 28, 2010 at 10:13 PM  
    Blogger mandapanda said...

    Good on you Gerry! Keep it up, and I'm sure you'll get there in the end! Remember that you didn't gain the weight over night, so don't expect to lose it over night. (For days when it all seems impossible!)
    Walking the dog is seriously the best way to lose weight! I find that when I'm walking mine daily, the weight seems to fall off but as soon as I stop it comes back again. It's healthier for the puppy too! I'm all behind you my friend!! Keep us up to date with your progress!

    July 30, 2010 at 4:03 PM  
    Blogger Pat Winter said...

    First of all, no matter what you have heard, 50 is a wonderful year to celebrate. I have enjoyed every minute of being 50 and in a few months I step into 51 and am looking forward to it.
    As for the diet and such, yes, our bodies need more care after about 45 to keep remotely resembling what we used to look like in our 30's and it looks like you are well on the right track. Walking is like magic, even when you cheat on the diet (I'm not saying to cheat of course). Hang in there and I wish you the best birthday ever!!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:55 AM  
    Blogger Gerry said...

    You're too funny, Judy. Thanks anyway, I think I'll keep my own decade! LOL.

    Hello Momma Bear. Thanks for visiting and for your support. But the longer I go, the more difficult it is to get excited about a salad. LOL. I love the plushy comment. My DS used to tell his grandma that she was fluffy.

    Hey there, Mindy. Thanks for the support. Now excuse me while I go find some chocolate! LOL.

    Hi Cat, good job back at ya! I'm still trying to figure out exactly what a 'white carb' is. Maybe I don't want to know. LOL.

    The Farmers' Market was a hoot. Mostly, it was just nice to get out of the house :-)

    August 3, 2010 at 2:14 PM  
    Blogger Gerry said...

    I know what you mean about the shortbread cookies, Freda. My weakness is sweets in general. I find that I eat/drink more smoothies now. The fresh friut seems to help!

    Cathy, GOOD FOR YOU!!! My gosh, 30 pounds - how wonderful. Not all of us have that much WON'T power. LOL. You go girl!

    Pat, I am shocked that you're 50(+). Not only do you look amazing, you have more energy that anyone I know! Thanks for the support.

    Mandapanda - I love that! Great name. And you are so right about the walking. That's something I have to make myself keep doing. Besides, my furbaby loves it.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:32 PM  

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