Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What exactly is a 100 day challenge?

Today I am starting another 100 day challenge! Let me explain - it really is quite simple - I challenge myself to develop two new habits relating to 1) nutrition and weight management and 2)exercise/activity and to see results from those new habits over the course of 100 days. Last 100 day challenge I lost 20 lbs and recorded other changes as a result of that. I had to battle a painful bursitis which inhibited my activity goal but I learned how to work through challenges and disappointments. Every situation is an opportunity to learn something new.

early spring garden
Some of the things that I have made a habit may seem strange to some - for instance I drastically reduced my consumption of red meat - as in I don't eat it unless I am out or it is a special occasion. We eat mostly fish, chicken and vegetarian meals. Not because I am opposed to red meat but I decided it was one food that I would rather eat good cuts off. Example: I would rather eat a filet mignon than a hamburger so in order to afford the occasional filet I have cut out the roasts and hamburgers. I also cut out bread - not because bread is bad but because it is a trigger for me that makes me crave carbs - so I just cut it out - except for special occasions and eating out. One thing I learned from these two choices was how much more I appreciate it when I do have it and how little I really need of it to satisfy. On the plus side I have added lots of new fruits and vegetables to my food repertoire. I love the berries that have been in season - I can't seem to get enough. I have found so many new recipes this spring that excite me and my little garden is ready to perform and feed me throughout the summer. We've had our fair share of peas and they are still coming. Fresh spinach out the wazoo and now the beans are starting and the plants are heavy with blossoms. Directly engaging with the food has been my goal and has been so satisfying Now that the farmer's market and the CSA have begun I am ecstatic.

strawberries and feta w fresh mint
My main sources of info as I travel this challenge/journey come from two books/trains of thought. One is the Mediterranean diet and the other is French Girls Don't Get Fat. The second is a very entertaining read with excellent sound principles that I received for my birthday and read over my recent travels. It is adopting a way of life - a mentality for living and moving that is plain common sense. The Med diet fits in with it since it is in that region. Just reads that I have found useful. You are welcome to find your own. I also continue to use Weight Watcher principles to monitor consumption and activity output.

activity is key
Activity - also known as exercise but let's be real. Activity encompasses our everyday lives. I don't consider my self exercising when I work in the garden but it is a fantastic aid to weight loss. You are doing squats and lunges and toe touches and walking and working up a sweat and working those biceps and tanning the pudgy parts all while burning calories. I also love bike riding. My first vacation in April was to St Simons Island with my sisters. While there we biked everyday. We had no idea we were gone for hours at a time as we explored the beach and the marshes and the village on bikes. I ate fantastic meals at restaurants, consumed alcohol daily and lost two pounds while on vacation. It was the activity that made the difference.

garden went crazy while I was gone

So there you have it - the 100 day challenge - I'm excited to get started again, even though I never really stopped following the principles, I did find it harder to follow while traveling. Eating out makes it much more difficult than eating at home. Portion size and unknown ingredients wreak havoc on good choices and healthy intentions. In the end I maintained the weight loss of the first 100 days and now I move on to double it by Sept 6 - just in time for fall. I have two brace souls who are in it with me this time - if you care to join us step up to the plate. It's all about what goals you want to set and challenge yourself.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Been Gone Too Long

I am seriously ready for the travel to end but alas, one more trip this weekend. I have literally been in a different state for the last 6 weekends. GA, FL,  TN/No. GA, IA, MO, and this weekend PA. I feel like I have been around the world but I have only been halfway across the country. I've crossed the following state lines: VA, TN, GA, FL, WVA, MD, PA, OH, IN, IL, MO, IA and this weekend I will add DE, and NJ as well as repeat a few from before. I look forward to HOME - there really is no place like it.

St Simon's Island girls
May 5th grads: '07, '84, '12
I've missed blogging too. I have lots to write about - both experiences to share and memories to keep. I've turned fifty, had an amazing relaxing beautiful fun beach get-away, saw my youngest graduate from my alma mater, spent a week with my son who currently resides in CA, and had all my children  together for a weekend (missed their spouses) spent 50+ hrs in a truck with my husband, spent a week in the Heartland and saw miles of farmland go from brown to green, scored some fun finds at antique and consignment stores, spent time with my inlaws, read a half dozen books, photographed my MIL's 32 quilt tops, saw my niece graduate from high school, spent time with J's extended family and this weekend will witness a friend's wedding and spend time with my extended family. And that my friends is all in the last 6 weeks.

The graduate and family - Lookout Mtn, GA

So I have lots to write about and will do that as soon as I return from this weekend's adventure. On another front, last fall I wrote about starting a search for my biological mother and I am happy to report that after 8 months she has been "found." And she is thrilled to have been found and we are tentatively getting to know each other through phone calls and letters.

from grandma's garden
I've also begun my blogging "job" - so if you want to read about fruits and vegetables see http://stoneylonesomefarm.blogspot.com  This week's feature is the strawberry.

See you soon!