Keeping Up the Steps

So far I’ve been doing well with steps this month. I’m averaging 7939 steps per day so far which is above my goal for this month:

Weekly steps

And, yet, it has been a struggle. Take Monday. The day ended up fine. I walked 8851 steps, which was good.

5-5 steps

And, yet, it was just this close that I might not have gotten over 3000 steps. A big issue for me is the weather. It is starting get to a point where the combination of heat and humidity makes it unpleasant for me to talk. I don’t tolerate heat or cold very well.

Last year, soon after I got my Fitbit in March we started walking outside a lot. Our neighborhood is great for walking as it is quite hilly so even walking at relatively low speeds is challenging:

Hilly roads

We were doing great last April. I was eating well, losing weight, and walking. Then, in late April the heat and humidity hit. By early May we were done with walking. This is also the time of year that tends to be dangerous for weight loss. My birthday is in late April, my son’s birthday is 8 days later and then Mother’s Day follows quickly. I usually start out navigating these fairly well, but by the end of the gauntlet, it is easy to be off track.

Last year, I did…OK….with the eating, mostly OK. But, the sudden lack of activity with us stopping walking didn’t help. And, with stopping the walking, I seemed to use that as an excuse to stop eating carefully. And, while I couldn’t walk outside, I could have been using my Concept2 rower at home. I also started eating out more, buying more junky snacks. Well. By August I had gained 10 pounds.

I did realize then that I needed to do better. And, we went and bought a treadmill so we could walk indoors when the weather wasn’t good. For most of the fall I used it sporadically. I kept intending to use it more but I wasn’t consistent. Then, when the weather got cooler we walked again. And, since the beginning of this year I was able to mostly walk outside (except when my allergies or knee didn’t cooperate). And, I would fill in with the treadmill.

I built a treadmill desk and was ready to start using it to supplement fitness walks so I could get in more steps and burn a few more calories. But, then the knee was bothering me so I took off from the treadmill. And then it was spring and we could walk outside. When I saw the doctor a couple of weeks ago for the knee, he said it was fine to walk so we’ve been doing a lot of walking.

But, now, it is getting to the point where I think there will be few opportunities to walk outside. It was a bit cool last week so we walked a lot. Sunday, though, it was over 90 so I knew I needed to walk on the treadmill. I have no excuse not to do it. For fitness walking where I’m walking at higher speed, I can keep from being bored by watching TV. My DVR is 96% full with lots of Chopped episodes to watch. And, I can also do some slower walking using my treadmill desk where I have my notebook computer set up on it. I did manage to get in an hour’s walk on Sunday. I did it in 2 sessions. I did 30 minutes at a moderate intensity, then I rested for about 15 minutes. I then continued on for another half hour.

Then, Monday got here. It was sort of a lazy day. I was at home all day and was doing a lot of reading and watching Love It or List It on HGTV (I don’t watch much TV but was fascinated by this show). Now, this was in the same room as the treadmill so it would have been really easy to hop on the treadmill. But, I didn’t. I kept thinking I should, but didn’t. I kept wondering if I could justify taking a day off. But, I like to do at least 3 days before I take a day off. I had taken Friday off, so I really didn’t think I should take the day off. Yet, I couldn’t seem to get motivated to get on the treadmill that was 2 feet away.

Then, about 6:30 my husband came in and asked me if I wanted to walk outside. It was on 83 degrees with 41% humidity so I decided it was just tolerable, particularly since there was a little bit of a breeze out. Also, the sun was lower so it wasn’t too bad. So, we went for a walk that was just over an hour long and according to my heart rate monitor burned 368 calories. And, it added about 6900 steps to the days step count. Yes, without that walk I would have walked under 2000 steps for the day!

What was interesting to me was that the walk was nice and I enjoyed it and it wasn’t tedious at all. But, I know I would have struggled to get through the time on the treadmill all in one go. I find that on the treadmill I do much better walking for 30 minutes or so and then taking a break of at least 15 minutes and then doing some more walking. I know that a big part of it is just that the time passes so much more quickly when I’m walking with my husband and we can chat. We’ve sometimes had one of us on the treadmill while the other rows (both are in our bedroom). But, our schedules don’t always mesh to do that. Or, if we both want to use the treadmill, then that doesn’t work either.

In the end, I was glad that I went ahead and did the walk. And, it reminds me that this is a time of year where I need to really be vigilant to stay focused.

Checking In

Just checking in since I haven’t posted since last Sunday.  I just had a great turkey chili for dinner.  I made it from this recipe at Finding Radiance.  I used 99% fat free ground turkey and kidney beans.  It was super good.  For my serving it was 5 points plus(247 calories).  If it was considered to be 4 servings, it would be 292 calories and 6 points plus.  I’ve been trying to find some make ahead recipes that I can freeze for easy later use.  I think this would work.  Next time I’ll double it and then freeze half of it.

This week has been pretty good, but not really typical.  I’ve done really well on food.  Also, my average daily calorie deficit has been much better.  Despite all that, I haven’t done that well on activity.  I did do a lot of walking last Friday and Saturday but I’ve held off since then.  I’ve had a nagging knee problem for weeks.  Almost 20 years ago, I had a tibial transfer which is a kind of knee surgery.  I was told after that not to run.  I’ve been careful with my knees since then.   If I do certain things it hurts under my knee cap.  Strength training the lower body is something where I have to be careful or I feel a twinge.  I don’t have a lot of cartilage in my knee so I want to be careful. [Read more…]

February Goals Update

I meant to post an update on my February goals on Saturday, but got diverted with our new cat that we brought home that day:

photo(2)

We had a lot of fun this weekend getting to know Kat (short for Katerina) and introducing her to our other cats.  So, I got bit behind on posting my goals update.

Last month, I gave myself letter grades on my goals.  I was commenting to my husband that for February I would be getting an F on a goal.  He objected on the ground that the reason for the F was because I had been able to be as active due to allergies.  My response was that I saw the grades as simply a measure of whether I had met a goal or not and that it wasn’t relevant what the reason was.  Still, he felt I was being harsh to give myself an F when there was a health reason I couldn’t meet a goal.  On thinking about it, I decided that he was really right so I’ll simply be posting each month whether I met or didn’t meet a goal or partially met it, and I won’t characterize that with a grade.

February’s goal results [Read more…]

This Week is a Struggle

This week has been such a struggle.  In some ways, it hasn’t gone all that badly.  My Weight Watchers week ends tonight, with me usually weighing in on Friday.  I’ve eaten within my points, and have 1 daily point left to eat.  I also have 9 Activity points left.  I’ve been above 5000 steps on 4 days of this week, with the top day being 8938 steps.  To help with having more daily movement, apart from exercise, we (well, my husband really) built me a treadmill desk that I can use while walking at low speed on the treadmill.  I did it for 2 days this week for an hour or so and it worked great.  Also, tomorrow is my 22nd wedding anniversary so I’m looking forward to that.

OK, that is pretty much everything that is good about this week.  The first thing that happened was that my allergies that had gotten much better, came back with a vengeance after we took a long walk outside last Friday.  I woke up Saturday morning with red, running, itchy eyes and that has continued all week.  I also started sneezing and feeling congested due to allergies.  Tree pollen is apparently very high right now, unusually so for February, perhaps because the weather was in the 70s most of the week. [Read more…]