Monthly Archives: March 2012

Financial Fitness

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Debt free! It’s ALMOST time to celebrate. One of my goals of 2012 is nearing completion. It’s been a long time coming but I am excited to say the day is finally in my eyesight. Although it seems like I just traded one form of debt for another, I am no longer a prisoner to credit card debt. And maybe publicly announcing exactly how much debt I was in is a bit much for me but I can say it was enough to buy a well equipped new car. I feel like I can breathe a little easier knowing that I’m not paying one or two hundred dollars of interest each month. Man did I learn my lesson about credit the hard way. I now know it’s not ok to furnish your apartment or lifestyle on credit. The way I look at it I just paid off my first bedroom set, and it was a LONG time ago when I first made a swipe for that purchase. Furniture, vacations, and retail therapy are not credit worthy purchases. Especially not at the 15% plus interest rate I was paying on them. Another lesson learned the hard way.

I have gotten my credit cards in order by making sacrifices. I moved back home for awhile and that helped tremendously! But even when I was living alone I was able to put extra money towards my debt. I skimped on my activities, less partying and less drinking. Cooking more and eating out less is a great way to save a few extra bucks. Don’t get me wrong I still like to have a good time, travel, eat and shop but I just don’t do so as recklessly as I used to. I can’t go on a vacation simply because I have the available credit. Instead put my vacation on my card only because it offers perks and protections that my debit card doesn’t, not out of necessity. And I can’t put anything on my card without a plan on how I’m going to pay it off.

I am not totally debt free; I’m still working on that. I have some personal debt and student loan debt that is still a work in progress. And hopefully I can get those down to a manageable amount so I can tackle the only type of debt I’ve been wanting for some years now— a mortgage! Man that would be amazing to be able to buy my first home soon. I thought this was the year that dream would become reality, but a few circumstances have changed and I’m not comfortable with such a huge life commitment. Definitely in my five-year plan, hopefully sooner.

I’m sorry to get off topic a bit today, I know my financial fitness isn’t the topic of my normal posts but it’s also a big part of my life. I have a lot of financial goals and reaching them does make it easier for me to focus on other aspects of my life. And this is a fitness and wellness blog so I’m just going to say it works. Actually, it’s the same concept as losing weight. Identify your goals, make necessary adjustments and then start trimming the fat! I can’t tell you how much I get teased for my Excel spreadsheet budgets. One time I gave $2 to a homeless lady and I entered it into my budget under charity. But I know plans and spreadsheets work for me. So I just have to make sure my physical fitness goals get as much attention and effort as this one did, and then all the fat will start rolling off.

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Me, myself and I

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I vaguely remember doing a post like this before, but if I need to remind myself then I see nothing wrong with repeating myself. It would actually be a lot easier to just find that post and simply repost it, but I won’t do that.

I have to constantly remind myself that this is MY journey. No one benefits as much as I do if I succeed. I have to get my butt up and exercise. I have to watch what I’m eating. I do understand I have help sometimes and that I need help at times, but ultimately weight loss is extremely personal and no one can do it for me.

I do think everyone that reads helps me tremendously. Everyone I’ve ever worked out with or discussed a health or weight related issue has helped as well. But at the end of the day I have to do this for me. My body has to last me until the good Lord decides to take me home. And if I don’t take care of it properly and develop diabetes, high blood pressure or the various other obesity related diseases it’s going to hurt me more than anything else.

I am learning over and over again that I have to rely on myself. It’s no one else’s obligation to make sure I’m doing what I need to be doing or that I’m not sitting in front of the television stuffing my face with junk food. I’m my own responsibility. I have people in my corner rooting for me but they can’t fight this disease for me, I have to. Losing weight isn’t a team sport. It’s an individual one. I can have coaches and people who help me train but success or failure is really up to me.

Thanks for coaching, guiding or just supporting me. But now I’m stepping back up to the plate and believing in myself again. In the famous words of Mrs. Beyonce Knowles, I realized I got me, myself and I. That’s all I got in the end. That’s what I found out. And it ain’t no need to cry, I took a vow that from now on I’m gonna be my own best friend.”

I care

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Today is a day of rest and relaxation for me. But that didn’t stop me from hopping on the scale this morning. It read a disheartening 243. After last week’s triumphant 241.6 this is a bit disappointing but it’s not too bad. Due to how my week went I guessed that I would be about a pound heavier than last week. But the good thing is I’m not hiding it anymore. Good or bad it’ll be up here EVERY Monday. (Unless some extenuating circumstance prevents me from posting)

I can think about my public weight every time I stay in bed instead of getting up and going to the gym or every time I have bacon and pancakes or doughnuts for breakfast. That’s not a meal for someone who’s trying to change their body for the better. That’s a meal for someone who is either perfectly happy with their body or someone who doesn’t really give a damn about what it’s doing to their body and honestly I’m in neither category.

I’m SUPPOSED to care about my body. And each and every thing I put into it. I see my family members taking tons of medications because they didn’t take care of their bodies in their youth. I don’t want to grow up to a life full of prescription drugs and doctor visits. I want to be healthy as long as I can. I’m in my twenties. I want to look back and say man I was in the best shape of my life. I want to live without the fear of obesity. I think obesity is as much of a mental disease as it is physical and I don’t want to have it anymore.

Each particle of food that goes into my mouth is either making my body function better or worse and it’s time for me to start eating more of the good stuff than the bad. And every workout is sculpting my body into the silhouette I’ve always dreamed of seeing in the mirror. I’m ready to start getting closer to that dream instead of farther and farther away. Let’s hope that the scale tips the other way next week. It’ll be hard but I’ll try my best. Everyday each of us are faced with a million decisions. Let’s take a small step and just try to take more good ones than bad.

H2O

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I used to love drinking water. I normally would want nothing but water at least 75% of the time I reached for a beverage. But since I put the no flavored beverage restriction upon myself every flavored drink has been calling out to me. I’ve craved ice tea, lemonade, ginger ale and every other non-soda drink. The funny thing about that is I love lemonade and ginger ale but I seldom drink tea. But I had some last weekend. Clearly my Lenten sacrifice is really getting the best of me.

But in order to motivate myself to finish out strong I’m going to highlight the benefits of drinking water. While looking up benefits of water I found some interesting facts:

  • Blood is 83% water
  • Muscles are 75% water
  • The brain is 95% water
  • Lungs are 90% water

No wonder why it’s so important to drink plenty of water, because your whole body is made up of it.

  • Get healthy skin- water is said to leave your skin more moisturized and leaves a natural glow. And that’s definitely cheaper than buying a high priced cream.
  • Flush Toxins- water cleanses the toxins of your body. Who needs to buy a cleanse when you can have nature’s cleanse for free?
  • Cushion And Lube Your Joints And Muscles
  • Get Energized and Be Alert- water keeps the body well hydrated which restores energy so that our body can do more work.
  • Reduce Your Risk Of Disease And Infection
  • Regulate Your Body Temperature
  • Aid in weight loss- it can help you feel full if you drink a glass or two before each meal, therefore you will eat less. I’ve also read that water increases your metabolism. It sounds good to me, but I just can’t remember where I got that from.

 Most of these facts came from a blog that I stumbled upon last year, but sadly it looks like they haven’t had an article since December. I’m hoping for a new one soon.

I’m sure there are many more reasons to have an extra glass of water, so lets all get a glass and raise it up to our health! And hey if you ever see me somewhere I’ll treat you to a glass of water because I do care about your health! Have a great weekend. Drink plenty of water, move a lot and eat well.

Quick weight update

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Hello my dear friends. I don’t have time for a long post today, my weeks out-of-town have led to a mountain of work at my desk. 😦 But I wanted to drop in and let you guys know that I weighed in at 241.6 this morning.

I am trying to make every effort to update my weight every Monday so I won’t slack off. I’m pretty happy with that loss. Don’t be alarmed for those who think that was too much  or unhealthy. Last week was probably my heaviest week of the month. I’m usually up a pound or two that week. So we’ll hope that the loss continues this week, even if it isn’t as dramatic.

Have a good Monday. I hope you all aren’t drowning in work like myself! Let’s have a healthy week make plans to be active and eat healthy!

Seven laws of leanness

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I read this article on yahoo awhile back and found it quite interesting. The article shares 7 habits of lean people. The seven laws are:

  1. Lean people don’t diet
  2. Lean people don’t do fat-free
  3. Lean people sit down to eat
  4. Lean people know what they’re going to eat next
  5. Lean people eat protein
  6. Lean people move around
  7. Lean people watch less tv

You can read the article “The Seven Laws of Leanness” by David Zinczenko of Men’s Health and Matt Goulding.

My take on the article is move more, eat better and plan meals. Numbers one and two are probably the only ones that I do on the regular. I don’t believe in fat-free and diets. I think I should eat well and I hate the taste of artificial sweeteners. I typically stay away from diet sodas and anything artificially sweetened. I mean if I want something sweet why not eat a moderate amount of real sugar instead of some engineered version that they claim is better?

I have to definitely work on sitting down to eat. I am known to grab a meal and chow down in the car. But that should be an easy habit for me to break.

And watching less tv? I’m not sure about that one. I look forward to my tv time in the evenings and on the weekend. But I could combine two laws and not watch less tv, but I can move around while I watch tv. I think that’s a good compromise. Do some sit ups or Pilates moves or maybe even some yoga stuff every commercial or every other commercial. During my fittest time last year I used to do one activity every commercial break. It can be as simple as jumping jacks, planks, or push ups. The important thing wasn’t the activity it was just moving my body. So I can commit to that on the weekends.

What laws do you already love by and which ones can you try to live by? If you want to be leaner then this is a good list to look at and consider. I almost forgot— Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Punishment

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Monday I shared that I’ve gained 18 pounds in a few months. So 18 is the magic number of the day. You know when you do something bad and the teacher makes you write lines to realize what you’ve done? Well here’s my attempt at self-discipline and I’m writing 18 reasons why I need to lose these 18 pounds (and more).

18 reasons why I need to lose weight/ exercise more/ eat better

  • Minimize my chances of getting obesity related diseases. (Diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family)
  • I miss the way I looked in my LBD (little black dress) when I bought it. It doesn’t even look like the same dress
  • I think once I’m lighter and fitter I can become a better runner
  • Regain that confidence that I found last year
  • Becoming healthier now can add years to my life
  • I’ll have a good excuse to buy new clothes
  • Prove to myself that I can do it
  • So I can wear THIS!

  •  So the doctors can stop telling to lose weight
  • To go into a store and buy the clothes I want instead of whatever fits
  • So my pants won’t wear out between my legs while the rest of them looks fine
  • So no one will ever call me big girl or fat mama ever again
  •  So I can say my weight out loud with pride
  • To set a good example for my niece and nephew
  • So my future children will never know me as fat
  • So I can comfortably give myself a pedicure
  • Less body pains, foot and knee to be exact
  • Because 2012 I will reach my goals

And just to let you know I’m making an effort and not just all talk this time, I walked 4 miles yesterday and stopped by the gym today and got a little cardio in. I have every intention of going back to the track today and getting at least two miles done. After yesterday and today I realized how much I miss this beautiful fatigue feeling. The tingling of my muscles is my body’s way of thanking me for making it better. This feeling is so addictive and I hope that it’s got me hooked again( remember my post When it hurts so bad)! And guess what’s on the menu for lunch? Broccoli and fruit! I know it sounds strange but I really do love broccoli and berries and I crave both often. And I can’t wait until it finishes cooking so I can devour it! Yum!

Lots of activity + Healthy eating= Goal accomplished

And it’s really that simple. No rocket science or complicated arithmetics. Just a simple one plus one equals two. And I can do it one step at a time. One meal at a time and one workout at a time. I’m one day closer to my goal.