Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Posts tagged ‘goals’

So That’s Your Plan?

Do you have a plan?
Do you have a plan?

Do you have a fitness goal?

What is it? Do you want to lose weight? Get stronger? Stay in shape? What are you doing to get there? While any effort will often get you somewhere, if you are having trouble reaching your goal, you may have to spend more time thinking about what your goal is, and what you need to do to get there.

How specific are you?

So, What is your goal? “I want to lose weight”. How much? Can you break that down into manageable proportions? You want to lose a pound a week? Two? To do that, you need to consume approximately 3,500 fewer calories than you burn a week, per pound. The people who lose “5 lbs in the first week!” are losing mostly water from reducing their carb intake, and will gain it back the minute they start eating normally.

The point being, you have to be specific and have a plan. How will you get to that 3,500 calorie deficit? Eat x amount less and exercise x amount more- but fill in that number. How do you know how much you are eating? You HAVE to measure and log it. Not for the rest of your life, but until you get the feel for it.

How consistent are you?

I would rather see someone doing a little bit every day than a sporadic all out effort. Consistency gets better results than any other method. Make a plan you can stick with. Running for 2 hours on Monday and then doing nothing the rest of the week is not going to get you as far as the guy doing a 1/2 hour a day.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Whatever your goal is, make it a S.M.A.R.T. one. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. Don’t say “I want to get stronger”, say, “I want to bench press my body weight”. That’s specific. Make it measurable. It is very similar to specific, but it applies to how you will get there as well. “I will bench press 3 sets of 10, starting with x number of lbs., 3 times a week”. Attainable, realistic and time bound- set your goals to something you can reach in a step like fashion. Maybe your overall goal is to bench press 200 lbs. Depending on your size, gender, age and frame, that may not be attainable, or take so long as to be discouraging. So figure out what you can bench press today, and set about increasing that by 5 lbs a month. Or set about achieving the goal of losing 1 lb a week, and see where that gets you. Your goals have to be tied to how you are going to get there. Bench pressing 3 times a week is a goal in itself. Sticking to an eating plan is a goal. achieving those goals brings you to the others like losing dress sizes and bench pressing x number of lbs.

You also need to  get specific about treats too,of not eating pizza and dessert more than very occasionally. What is occasionally? Once a week? Once a month? I often hear “I haven’t had this in a long time”.  Ok, but did you have something similar? If you only have pizza once a week, and  a sub once a week, and ice cream once a week,…Keep a treat log and be HONEST. Pick a treat day or time, or log your calories enough to know what treats will fit where. You can eat pizza and lose weight, but only if you keep to a true minimum and track it.

It’s fun to have big goals, bucket list goals. But most of those are made up of the little goals. I want everyone out there to have big dreams and goals. I work out so much because I want my body to be ready when I get the opportunity to climb a tree, go snowshoeing, kayak down a river, or climb a mountain. My next goal is rock climbing, since tree climbing was so fun. I also am dying to go toSkydome, the trampoline place. Next summer I want to be out camping every weekend. I want to hit every trail in Ellicottville, since I’ve never gone on those. The number of trails to hike/ bike on, the number of waterways to kayak on, mean that I could go to a different place every weekend just here in Western New York.



The end

If any of you had absolutely no interest in my weight loss experiment, your in luck. I hit my target so I’m done. I am going to use the “maintain my weight” feature of myfitnesspal.com, to see how well that works, and maintain this weight for a week or two before letting get back up.

One of my interests was to see if it would change my measurements, and I was surprised it did. I lost half an inch on my waist and an inch off my hips. For only five pounds that surprised me.

The one down side to this was that it was harder to workout as I am used to at the gym. I can tell I have been in a deficit. Also, they talk about the ketone bodies being broken down when you are using fat as fuel, and that causes an odor to your breath that I dislike. No amount of brushing your teeth will get rid of it, as it is a byproduct of metabolism. Overall losing weight was not easy, but it wasn’t mount Everest either.  There were days I was hungry all day, and others where I didn’t even want to eat the next meal. I didn’t totally deprive myself. I had pizza, carrot cake and chocolate, all in moderation and other than my birthday, I still met the target for the the day.

Getting back to the software. Now that I have used it for a few weeks, I do like it. Like a video game, it is rather addictive to play with the numbers. It is easy to use, more an more so over time. I only used it as a guideline, as it is not perfect in it’s calculations, but I wasn’t perfect in my measurements either. It was really fun to see the nutrition breakdown too. Remember the fiber commercial that tells you it’s almost impossible to get enough? Nope, I hit it almost every day. I got more protein than I “needed”, but that is because the weight lifting community and nutritionists disagree on how much you “need”. I never did add my calcium supplement, and I should’ve since it said I wasn’t hitting that one. I did put my multivitamin in, and that put me over in most of the nutrients. Without it, most are only 30-60 %. That makes me disagree with those who say you don’t need a multi vitamin. If you are a big person, eating clean, no, you probably don’t. But everyone else probably does.

Summation? If you are having trouble losing weight, get serious with some kind of tracking. Losing weight is not too hard, there is some hardship, but not extreme. Accept that it isn’t a picnic and get on with it. Make it a lifestyle and it gets even easier. Eat your veggies and skip the bread. Treat yourself once in awhile, but then cut a bit other places.


The whole idea of a hobby is a relatively new one. People need leisure time and expendable income for such things. For most of human history what we would call hobbies, they would have called work. Wood working, metal working, needle work, all of it was work. Now, we only do them as we please, but there certainly is a drive to do them. There seems to be a divide today, between those that have hobbies and those that don’t. I have seen among my husband’s acquaintance, that those who don’t have hobbies, can’t retire, as boredom drives them back to the workforce. Humans were not made for idle leisure. Hobbies are simply work that you enjoy doing.

We idealize leisure as the relief from work we don’t want to do, but as with many things we long for, a little is better than a lot. Humans are so goal orientated that even goals like more leisure time get overdone. I see parallels between that and our food obsessions. Both leisure and food can be longed for when they are in short supply, but in abundance they can kill us, or at least make us miserable. This leads me to think that longing for things is a good thing, as is having scant amounts of the objects of our desires. Buddhist thought would have us get rid of our longings all together, but what greater happiness is there than anticipating something, enjoying it, and reliving that enjoyment. The trick is to realize that all three are the happiness, not just the actual event.

Goals and accomplishments

I’m so excited by what I’ve accomplished in the past two days that I have to share it. I’m currently taking a class in web design to add to my skills. I’ve been a digital photo retoucher, using photoshop for the last decade. I used to be on the cutting edge of technology, but as we all know, no matter how much you learn, it keeps changing and you have to keep up. I haven’t been keeping up, so there is a lot I don’t know how to do. So, I started with this class, but it is basically just teaching dreamweaver. Not that that is a bad thing, but websites encompass  a lot more, including being hosted. Today, I purchased my first host site.  I haven’t actually put the site up, but I did take the first step. Yesterday, I bit the bullet and purchased my own copy of creative suite (ouch!). Up till now I’ve been using the school’s and a friends.  If you are a young person reading this, you are probably laughing, new stuff is no big deal. As we get older, we get into ruts, and new things seem bigger and scarier than they are. ( I know I’m generalizing.)

In any case, I feel like I’m taking big, positive, steps into a brave new world. (want to count how many cliches I can put in one post?) I know I have a lot more to learn, but I have been surprised at the amount of support I’ve gotten. I thought I’d get a lot more people sneering at amateur dabbling, but so far I’ve gotten nothing but positive, encouraging feedback.

Changing the subject, I am canning apples and working on wesites. Talk about worlds colliding. Will we even be able to use the word anachronism in the future?

If anyone has a comment, I would love to hear other peoples stories of “stepping out”. Also, is there a visual icon of the web? I wanted to put one on this post, but I can’ think of a visual representation of it.visual representation of the web This is all I got in a google search.

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