Tag Archives: exercise

2nd Update: weight loss

Wow, it’s been several months since I last posted an update on my weight loss campaign. I am happy to report I am still at it, though life has been busy for me. I reported back in March that I achieved my first milestone (losing three pounds). Well over a month ago I passed my second milestone, losing four additional pounds making it a total of seven.

The lag in my reporting had more to do with my crazy schedule than anything else. I became embroiled in my spring chores (mowing, pruning, planting and weeding) and found less time to monitor my progress.

Here are my self-evaluation grades for the since the first milestone.

Steps on Fitbit A (I strung together 40+ days over 10,000 steps) Additional Exercise A- (6-7 days, of additional exercise per week) Portion Control B- (slipped a bit on this one) Water intake B (should drink more water) Snacking B- (still fighting this one; overall good results) Cheating C (probably why weight loss takes so long to accomplish) Devotion C+ (still room for improvement, Spring season has helped)

Morale is high. I’m looking forward to breaking through the next barrier, which is five additional pounds.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5 NLT

Walk in the light

You have no doubt heard someone say light is associated with that which is good. When something hidden is exposed is said to be “brought to light.” In the same manner, darkness is said to be associated with that which is bad or concealed.

Perhaps this idea comes from the Bible, where light and darkness are compared and contrasted from its opening verses through to the closing chapter. The fourth verse of the very first book reads:

“God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4 NIV

I unknowingly participated in an experiment the other day contrasting the difference between light and darkness. I noticed the direction I am walking matters (whether I’m walking towards the light or away from it) in a darkened room. Walking away from the light in a large room filled with obstacles, pitfalls become increasingly harder to see the further I get from the source of light. The opposite is true when I walk towards the source of light. The closer I get to the light the more defined the obstacles become and the easier they are to avoid. Perhaps the Psalmist said it best:

“Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT

When you’re exercising at night, carry a light and wear reflective clothing to light your path and keep you safe.

Mom’s hot chocolate

Here is a recipe that takes me back to my childhood. Growing up, we had a large Tupperware container of this mixture sitting on the kitchen counter during the cold winter months. I came from a large family (4 siblings), which means my parents had to make a lot of sacrifices. We considered this a luxury item.

Here’s the recipe:

4 cups nonfat dry milk 1.5 cups instant chocolate mix 0.5 cups non-dairy creamer 0.75 cups confectioner’s sugar

Add the dry ingredients together in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Two batches of the above recipe makes enough to fill a two quart container. I substituted Ovaltine chocolate malt for the instant chocolate (a.k.a. Nestle’s Quick) because it’s caffeine free. I prepare my hot chocolate by putting 1/3 of a cup of this mixture into mug and adding 10 ounces of hot water using a Keurig. Stir and enjoy!

During my weight loss campaign, I have a cup of hot chocolate most evenings as my luxury item for the day. If I did the math right, each serving of hot cocoa has 165 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.

March 1: weight loss kickoff

And so it begins! Starting today I’m modifying my eating and exercise regiments. The plan is to lose 22 pounds and average at least 10,000 steps per day as recorded by my Fitbit (70,000 weekly). Included in the 10,000 steps will be at least one 20 minute walk daily to elevate my heart rate.

With great sadness I will give up diet killing snack nibbling that pads calorie intake and frustrates attempts at weight loss. I plan to increase my water intake daily to aid fat burning. I also evoke portion control on evening meals.

I endeavor my fight until this goal is accomplished. Milestone victories will include a reward (tbd). I’ve marked some milestones at -3 lbs., -7 lbs., -12, lbs., -17 lbs. and -22 lbs. As the days get warmer I intend to ramp up my exercise routine, which will increase the number of steps recorded on my Fitbit.

I decided to allow one luxury in this round of weight loss, an evening mug of hot cocoa. I’ll include the recipe for Mom’s hot chocolate mix in a future post. Since it’s a homemade recipe, I can control the amount of each ingredient added.

My spirit will focus on how fortunate I am to be healthy at this stage of my life. Using the Psalms I will meditate on the many blessings I currently enjoy and the value of my life in God’s eyes. If I have a bad day trying to maintain my regiment, I will acknowledge it, pick myself, and keep going.

Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; safe your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. Psalm 86:1-4

Losing weight

One thing I’ve learned about weight loss over the past several decades, it’s not as easy as it used to be. When I was younger, I was much more active and my metabolism was higher, therefore I burned more calories per day. I could “cheat” on a diet and get away with it. Oh my, how times have changed.

For me to lose weight now I need to employ a more holistic approach. Weight loss will have to include mind, body and spirit. Otherwise, I am likely to fail. Now the trick is to figure out how to do that.

The mental aspect: I intend to write down on paper a start date and what I plan to accomplish. For me, seeing something spelled out reinforces it. This includes breaking down my main goal into smaller milestones. The physical aspect: this includes the obvious, diet and exercise. I intend to spell out the regimens I will use. The spiritual aspect: this adds a mystical element to it. It attempts to keep my mind and body from wanting what I am denying it. When I reward a milestone (sub goal), I bolster my spiritual and mental well-being.

So, if I want to lose 20 pounds I should break it down into a few smaller milestones and capture those in writing. I should decide what type of diet I’m going to use, whether it’s low carb, low fat, portion control, if I’m eliminating snacking, etc. My plan needs to include what form of exercise I’m doing, whether its counting steps with a Fitbit or exercising for 15-20 minutes, etc. Spiritual discipline, I’ve discovered over the years, can bolster mental and physical capabilities. Personal devotion can play a part. Also, focusing on having a positive attitude and being thankful for what I already have and not what I lack (or can’t eat) has a bearing on how long I can endure a diet.