Monthly Archives: February 2012

Random Observations

Here is a collection (in no specific order) containing random observations I have made recently:

1. I cannot jump rope to save my life.  Something so simple.  Something every child can do with ease.  It is hilariously wrong to see me even attempt it.  You may (or may not) have noticed I added “Jump Rope (successfully)” to my list of goals.  I will practice.  I will jump rope (successfully).  I will.  Can you jump rope (successfully)?  If so, do you jump with both feet together or do you “skip” with one foot at a time (like a little girl skipping down the street while jumping rope…to help with the visual)?

2. I must see my doctor about my left shoulder.  I have mentioned it here a couple times.  The stupid thing is still bothering me (it has been about five or six weeks, I believe).  Yeah me.  Not.

3. My ankle seems to be improving rapidly.  I have actually taken my brace off, which is major.  Physical therapy is twice a week, so that is a bonus.  Additionally, I do think my new athletic shoes have helped tremendously.

4. I can feel hip bones, folks!  This was an incredible (and quite comical) day for me.  I cannot recall ever being able to feel hip bones in my life (I am sure I could as a child, but who remembers that?!).  In fact, I was so surprised when I felt “something hard” in my side I did not even realize that is what it was.  (That is the comical part)  I had to have my ex- feel “that mysterious hard thing” in my side to find out…it was my pelvic bone!  You should have seen the look on his face *that* day.

5. More injury…my left knee.  The grinding, popping, and clicking seems to be getting worse (not better as I hoped it would).  So, apparently, when I go see my doctor about my shoulder, we will be having a conversation about my knee, too.  Boo!

6. I have poor posture.  I have been overweight/obese/morbidly obese my entire adult life.  In that time frame I have learned/adapted to sitting with my back curled and shoulders slumped forward.  This did a couple things for me (at the time).  A) Hid my *huge* breasts and helped me feel like they were “less big.” B) Released pressure from my lower spine.  I have a herniated and slipped disc in my lumbosacral area.  So, curling my spine forward prevented those discs from being compressed from all the weight I was carrying.  The problem is now I have trouble keeping my back straight and shoulders back (especially when I am doing certain moves in the gym…like stiff leg barbell lifts…or rows…or many other things).  I must work on my posture, and on my upper back strength.

7. I find I am still pretty consumed by the thought of summer…and bathing suits.  Just thinking about it now I felt my heart kick it up a notch.  Anxiety, folks.  Really.  I would love to just “get it over with” and buy something now.  However, I know that would not be in my best interest because I *will* be losing more weight/inches before summer.  How in the world am I going to get through the rest of winter and spring without going crazy?!  Do you have bathing suit anxiety?

8. Emotional eating is something I still battle with…but I am winning.  To me this is a sure sign of food addiction.  Eating when you are not hungry.  Eating instead when you are _____ (fill in some sort of emotion).  I still find that when I get upset my mind instantly wanders to food.  The really exciting part (for me) is that I do *not* get the food.  Sure, my mind still goes there, but my body and mouth do not.  I find something else to do instead…some high knees (plyo), a hot bath with a book, play a game with my chicklets, etc.  Pretty much anything else to keep my hands (and my mind) busy without food.  It is a daily struggle.  Really.  Are you an emotional eater?  If so, what kinds of food do/did you find yourself reaching for?

9. I need more cardio in my life…and soon.  I have been really kicking it up on the weight-lifting front, but my cardio has waned.  The scale numbers have also slowed to a crawl, which tells me I need to change it up…more cardio!  I am still losing, but ever so slowly these days.  I truly believe that is related to the decline in amount of time I spend doing strictly cardio exercises.  What is your favorite way to get cardio in?

10. An update on my disconnect… I think this is improving.  Not as much as I would like, but I cannot complain about improvement of any kind.  When I look at myself in the full-length mirrors at the gym (obviously fully clothed), I am starting to notice changes in my body.  Thanks, Denise (she made me start working out in front of the mirrors in the first place)!  The only time I really still feel that “disconnect” is when I am naked.  I still have a hard time seeing those changes when nothing is between my eyes and my body (IE. clothes, mirror, etc.).  That will take some more time, I suppose.

11. A goal has been marked off…”Take a group class at the gym.”  Last night was, in fact, the second class I have taken at Fitworks.  They are offering free self defense classes every other Wednesday.  I know these are not “traditional” fitness classes, but at least I am there doing things with other people.  Hopefully this will build my confidence and encourage me to attend other classes (like Zumba or a power class).  Small steps.  Really small.  Do you take classes at your gym?  If so, what is your favorite class…and why?

-Erica

Consider This…

Food is expensive.  Really expensive.  Most people have a preconceived notion that healthy food is even more expensive than “regular” food.  I watched a video/documentary for school sometime last year that entailed interviewing people from “the projects” of Detroit, Michigan.  The people (regular, every day citizens of this community) regularly stated they do not buy produce of any kind…simply because of price.  Further into the documentary, the narrator reveals (along with several of the citizens) no local grocery store even sold produce.  The narrator went into a grocery store and asked the manager why there was no produce.  His response?  “There simply is not a demand for it.  People will not spend their budgeted dollars on expensive produce when they can purchase bulk processed foods cheaper.”  (That may not be *exactly* what he said, but you get the idea)

Is that true?  Is eating healthy food exponentially more expensive than eating processed food?  Take a look:

The first “meal” is intended to feed four people.  How many  people do you think you could feed with the second amount of food, though?  (Note: the second group of food is actually cheaper than the four “meals” from Burger King).

Here’s another:

Again, the second food grouping is cheaper than the pizza with breadsticks.  I am willing to bet it would feed more people than the single pizza as well.  What do you think?

Another:

Second grouping of food is steadily cheaper (so far) than the first grouping.  Can you imagine if they calculated calories and fat grams to go along with these comparisons?  How many more calories and fat grams do you think are in that bucket of chicken than in all the food below it?

Another:

I am not a drinker, but I do know people who would pass up eating a meal for a few drinks.  Alcohol provides no nutrition, but often an abundance of empty calories.  I would much rather have those tilapia filets and some greek yogurt personally.

Another:

Here we find the first healthy grouping more expensive than “that other stuff.”  However, how many people will those two bags of “appetizers” feed?  How many people will the second grouping of food feed?  I am willing to bet the second grouping will feed *at least* double the amount of people…maybe even triple.

Another:

Again we find the second grouping to be more expensive than the first…only by 10 cents.  I, personally, have never purchased Steak-Ummm sliced steaks, but I am willing to wager that meat is probably not the first ingredient on the list.  I am also willing to wager the sodium content in that package is through the roof.

Another:

I am willing to admit that taquitos used to be a favorite of mine…the southwestern chicken taquitos.  Dip those suckers into a whole mound of full-fat sour cream and I was good to go.  Good to go all the way to 315 pounds, that is.  I do not miss them (in case you were wondering now) even a little bit.  So, now my trips to the grocery would certainly include the food grouping on the bottom of that picture…no taquitos for me, please and thank you.

Another:

Ice cream used to be another regular staple in my life.  At one point I remember having so much ice cream in my freezer I actually had to send some to my mother’s house.  That is madness, folks.  Madness.  I love yogurt (though, I have never tried Activia…any comments on that stuff?) and I love Silk.  I usually pick up the vanilla flavored Silk, though, because my chicklets prefer it.

Another:

This comparison really gets me.  Purchase *one* bag of french fries or mixed veggies, bananas, potatoes, and pasta…and still save 14 cents!  Craziness.  With those fresh potatoes in tow, you could make probably four or five times the amount of fries in that Ore-Ida bag anyway (if you simply must have fries, that is).

Another:

Again we get to choose from empty calories or nutrition.  Many people, of course, choose those empty calories.  I am not one of them, though.  I have never been a pop (soda) drinker…ever.  I do not even drink tea or coffee or even flavored water.  My drink of choice is plain old tap water.  Boring (to some), I know.  Think of all the money I save, though.  🙂

Last one:

This is an even trade (monetarily, anyway).  What do you think the nutrient difference is, though?  I am not even sure what (exactly) those Twizzler things are made of…  If I had to guess, though, I would say high fructose corn syrup is somewhere really high on the list…if not first…followed by several artificial “somethings” to boot.

I do realize that convenience food is just that…convenient.  However, the above comparisons help to break down that preconceived notion that eating healthier means spending more money.  It does not necessarily have to be more expensive to eat healthy.  It will; however, require more of your time (planning, preparing, etc.), but I think my health and the health of my family is certainly worth that time.

How many of your weekly meals are comprised of convenience foods?  How much money do you think you would/could save if you switched to preparing all your meals?  What would you do with that extra money?

-Erica