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Focusing for the long haul

I have always been the sort of person who focuses on a project for a little while, until it gets done, and then I move on to the next one.

And like everyone, I want instant results.  Or maybe more accurately, I'd like to be able to close this chapter and move on to the next one.

Unfortunately with weight loss, I can't look at this as a short term project that I can wrap up and be done with quickly.

To keep myself motivated and focused, I know I need to create 4-6 week goals and challenges for myself, to help me reach my target by the end of this year.

I am still trying to build my list of mini non-scale goals so I can stay focused.

  • January: food diary -- done
  • January/February: 200 Squats program -- completed week 4
  • February: AM workouts for 3 work days -- 80% success rate
  • March: Use free weights for 2 workouts per week, rowing sprints weekly
  • March/April: 100 Pushups program, incorporate a weekly stair climbing workout
  • April: walk a faster mile, and shorten my time for the Lake Loop
  • May: Pump up the intensity (Insanity? Tabata?), yoga 3x/week
  • June: Try something new weekly, add tennis lessons
I haven't figured out some goals for the rest of the year.  I also need to break out these goals into specific tasks so I can succeed. 
 
How do you keep your focus over a long journey? 

 

Goals for the Week of 2/20

Last week I think I had too many goals.  I just about hit 2/3s of them.  This week I am going to shorten the list, and see if I can get to 100%.

The scale has been steady all week, not sure if it was my sodium levels or calories or TOM.  I'll continue to monitor.  

Goals:

This week I haen't seen any progress on the scale. It could be because I have added exercise.  Or it could be my food choices (I have eaten a little more this week on average).  

For the upcoming week I am going to focus on 2 things: food and exercise.

Food Goals of the week: 

  1. Eat beans at least 3-4 times this week
  2. Eat two servings of veggies dinner each day this week
  3. Eat one serving of leafy greens daily
  4. Raid the freezer for lunch or snacks
  5. Try one new recipe this week
Exercise goals for the week:
  1. Yoga 3 times this week (Tu, Th, Su)
  2. Do one super slow set strength training workout
  3. Complete one rowing workout with 3 X 500M sprints
  4. Complete the standing ab workout 4x this week
  5. Continue with 200 squats
What are your food and fitness goals for the week?  Hopefully if my list is short and sweet, I can retire some of these goals as habits, and move on to the next one.

 

 

 

Recapping the week of 2/13

How did I do last week?

Food Goals of the week: 

  1. Eat beans at least 4 times this week (only made it 3X)
  2. Eat two servings of veggies at lunch and dinner each day this week (done)
  3. Eat one serving of leafy greens daily (done)
  4. Have one lunch of veggies and protein only (done)
  5. Smoothies for breakfast (it seems like it was easier to keep my calories on track with a smoothie breakfast.  And I can drink it all morning (75%)
  6. Budget for dessert (this weeks desserts are fruit + nuts, fruit or fruit + yogurt (mixed)
  7. Raid the freezer for lunch (it is so full in there, I have no room for leftovers) (Failed)
  8. Try one new recipe this week (done)
Exercise goals for the week:
  1. Yoga 3 times this week (Tu, Th, Su) (only 2X)
  2. Saturday -- rowing sprints: 3 x 500m for time (and log the time in my exercise log (failed)
  3. 3x 20 minute intervals: rest to sprint ratio, 1.5:1 on MWF (done)
  4. Up the weights for my upper body workouts (I thought I only needed 12lb dumbells, but some exercises I think am ready for 15-20 lbs) (done)
  5. 1 stairs workout: 4 times on the stairs on the park (failed)
  6. Complete the standing ab workout 4x this week (done)
  7. Continue with 200 squats (done -- the high was 162)

I succeeded on 9/14 (gave myself half credit for partial goals): 64% 

I think I gave myself too many goals. I need to cut down the list to 5 of each!  

How about you?  Did you meet your goals for the week?


 

From Marie Claire: Smart Girls, Bad Habits

Great article in the MArch issue of Marie Claire (Eva Mendes is on the cover) about "bad habits."

Here are some tips on how to stick with it from the article:

  1. Be specific about the goal:  make the goal actionabale. Not just get healthier but exercise x minutes a week, eat x servinings veggies, eat x home cooked meals a week)
  2. Start small, slowly:break your goal into baby steps like spend 10 minutes 3 days a week on strength training or walk a mile daily.
  3. Practice daily: it takes repition to make it habait, and the best way to have a habit is to do it often.  
  4. Be accountable: this could mean telling everyone you are doing it, setting up a challenge or working with a friend.
  5. Expect slipups:create a plan of attack to fight the slipups, and even if you mess up, continue on with your habits right away.  The same day, even if it is only one small thing.
  6. Reward yourself: don't forget little and big rewards, and the feeling you get when you do the "right thing."

There was a great anecdote about a woman who wanted to go to yoga class daily. She thought it was annoying to have to bring her workout gear, change clothing, etc.  She was able to go to yoga daily by wearing her sports bra under her work clothes to cut down on the changing time.  And instead of focusing on how annoying it was to get there, she focused on regaining the relaxed feeling she gets after class to keep her motivated to keep going.

So when you are at the store, definitely read this article.  Great tips on how to keep up with the good habits you are developing!

Standing Ab Workouts -- skip crunches!

I love standing ab workouts.  They feel so much more true to life than crunches.  Here are a few to try.

  1. Minka Kelly Standing ab workout: I felt this the next day!  Even though it seems easy.  It is also practical for my small apartment.  Not too noisy.
  2. Womens Health Workout: this one looks a little easier.  No weights.
  3. Self.com Standing Workout: This looks hard, plan to try it next

Do you have any standing ab workouts to share?  What are your fave ab workouts?

I am trying to build my core up so I can do side planks again!

 

Goals for the Week of 2/13

This week I haen't seen any progress on the scale. It could be because I have added exercise.  Or it could be my food choices (I have eaten a little more this week on average).  

For the upcoming week I am going to focus on 2 things: food and exercise.

Food Goals of the week: 

  1. Eat beans at least 4 times this week
  2. Eat two servings of veggies at lunch and dinner each day this week
  3. Eat one serving of leafy greens daily
  4. Have one lunch of veggies and protein only
  5. Smoothies for breakfast (it seems like it was easier to keep my calories on track with a smoothie breakfast.  And I can drink it all morning
  6. Budget for dessert (this weeks desserts are fruit + nuts, fruit or fruit + yogurt
  7. Raid the freezer for lunch (it is so full in there, I have no room for leftovers)
  8. Try one new recipe this week
Exercise goals for the week:
  1. Yoga 3 times this week (Tu, Th, Su)
  2. Saturday -- rowing sprints: 3 x 500m for time (and log the time in my exercise log 
  3. 3x 20 minute intervals: rest to sprint ratio, 1.5:1 on MWF
  4. Up the weights for my upper body workouts (I thought I only needed 12lb dumbells, but some exercises I think I am ready for 15-20 lbs)
  5. 1 stairs workout: 4 times on the stairs on the park
  6. Complete the standing ab workout 4x this week
  7. Continue with 200 squats
What are your foood and fitness goals for the week?

 

Online workouts I liked this week

Well there were a lot of wrenches thrown into my workout plan this week. 

I may have mentioned here that I made a pact/schedule for myself in order to make progess on my weight loss journey:

  • January: logging and staying on track with calories
  • February: Fitting in my workouts 3-4X a week
  • March: Challenges: pushups and squats
  • April: Try new workouts, boot camp perhaps?
  • May: Up the intensity (Insanity maybe)

So I planned to hit the gym MWF and maybe Saturday this week.

I was successful on Monday, and then on Tuesday I found out I had a required meeting during the time I planned to go to the gym on Wednesday.  I like to do intervals and upper strength training at the gym -- and that was Wednesday's schedule.  Since I am in the middle of the 200 squat challenge now, I am not using weights for the lower body or doing anything else.  

Long story short, I ended up working out at home Wednesday AM. I don't have heavy weights at the moment, and don't have a lot of space to store them, so I have been trying not to really buy much.  I also can't really jump around with workout videos.  Squeaky floors and my downstairs neighbor also works from home. 

I found 2 great links for some workouts:

1.  Standing ab workout: I felt this the next day!  Even though it seems easy.  It is also practical for my small apartment.  Not too noisy.

2.  Workout builder on Shape.com.  This site seems a little flaky, but you can grab 8 videos to string together a workout.  I haven't had it successfully load when trying a focus area, but I just browsed all the workouts to find what I wanted.  I built a good upperbody workout yesterday and I am feeling it today.

And as for those intervals?  I did some at the gym on Tuesday and walked to the park to hit the stairs (there is a run with about 80 stairs) a few times.

Happy exercising!

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