Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting healthy

By starting this blog and making my efforts to live a healthier life public, I'm hoping that having to put my ups and downs out here for the whole world to see will keep me on track. And, in the process, I hope that I can help fellow writers (or others with sedentary desk jobs) to take steps to become healthier too.

Why do I think I need to make the extra effort? Several reasons:

1. I weigh a bit more each year from all the hours in the chair and not enough going for walks or doing aerobics.

2. Both of my parents have had heart attacks; my dad's also had a stroke; diabetes and anxiety run in my family; and living a healthier life will hopefully keep these things at bay.

3. I turn 40 next year. I hear it becomes much more difficult to lose weight and get fit after 40.

4. I worked a long time to become a published author. Kicking the bucket now just as I'm getting started as a published author would really bite. I still want to be writing and publishing books when I'm in my 90s! :)

5. I don't want to be depressed when I go clothes shopping.

6. Exercising and making smart eating choices makes me feel better, and I want to feel good physically and mentally.

So I'll be sharing my progress over the days and weeks and months to come as well as some tips and useful Web sites, books, etc. Basically anything I think will serve as inspiration. I hope you'll share your own ups and downs, your own tips and inspirational stories. And while my focus will be on fellow writers and others who have desk jobs, you don't have to fall into those categories to take part -- just anyone who wants to live a healthier life.

So, goals:

1. Lose 35-40 pounds. I have a healthy target weight in mind. I'd love to lose this by next July, when the Romance Writers of America National Conference will be here in Nashville. I plan to weigh each morning and post about how far I am from my target weight.

2. Wear my pedometer every day, and make sure I get in 10,000 steps. According to The Walking Site, an average sedentary person may only get in 1,000-3,000 steps a day. I've been wearing the pedometer lately, and I notice that on an average day with no exercise, I get in about 3,000 steps. So getting in those extra 7,000 steps requires me to get off my tookus and move. The Walking Site says that walking 10,000 steps equals about 5 miles.

3. Don't drink Coke. I like Coca-Cola -- the real stuff. Not diet (bleh!), not caffeine-free. So it's best that I just cut it out altogether. After a few days, it's actually not that hard. I pretty much just drink water all the time.

4. Much harder for me is giving up sweets. I have an enormous sweet tooth. But I'm limiting the intake and looking at options with fewer calories.

5. Figure out what my max caloric intake needs to be each day in order to lose weight.

6. Portion control. No seconds.

Today's progress:

Calorie intake: 1,584 (Just did some research and figured that I can take in 1,994 calories a day and maintain my current weight. But I want to shed pounds, so I'll go for less than that.)

Exercise: 1 hour of mowing the lawn (Calories burned = 437.4)

Steps: 10,051 (Calories burned = 198.8; estimate since all this walking isn't done at one time and therefore I can't judge the mph rate at which I was walking)


Anonymous said...

Good for you, Trish!

One thing that really worked for me was joining a local gym with a gym buddy. My friend and I make appointments with one another-- I find it's (sadly) easy to cancel on healthy commitments to myself, but it's a lot harder to stand up a friend. We've been going for over a year now, which is a record for both of us!

Best of luck with your goals!!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 28, 2009 at 8:19 AM said...

Good idea, Laura. That's the purpose I'm hoping this blog will serve -- to keep me accountable. And I'll be checking in with our mutual friend.

Marie-Nicole Ryan on July 28, 2009 at 8:35 AM said...

Man, Trish, you are brave. I applaud your initiative and goals.

I've done Weight Watcher's for the last eighteen months and lost fifty-seven pounds. My weight loss has been slow for two reasons: I'm in my early sixties--amazing I made it this far--and I don't exercise. Please don't anyone tell my WW leader. Please don't. I feel like a new person entirely and as a former nurse I realize I at least need to walk more, but without a walking buddy, it's not happening. I have twenty-two pounds to go to my lifetime goal, but it's going to take another year if I don't get off my butt.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 28, 2009 at 8:42 AM said...

Mary, you're such an inspiration! Huge congrats on your success so far, and good luck on reaching your lifetime goal.

jo robertson on July 28, 2009 at 9:30 AM said...

What a great idea, Trish! As you know I was a school teacher, which isn't as sedentary a job as you'd think. But when I started writing seriously three years ago, my weight ballooned. I never realized how deleterious writing can be to your health LOL.

I'd like to lose 30 pounds before Nashville's conference too, so I'll go on the journey with you. My biggest hurtle will be Pepsis. Down with Coke LOL! The truth is that drinking soda stimulates my desire for other unhealthy foods, so controlling that might help.

Marilyn Brant on July 28, 2009 at 10:23 AM said...

Oh, the sweet I can relate! I think I'd probably drop 5 lbs. in a week if I just stopped eating so much sugar :). This is a fabulous idea for a blog, Trish! I'll check back often.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 28, 2009 at 10:26 AM said...

Jo, I grew up drinking Pepsi because that's what Mom drank. I can still drink it, but I just prefer Coke. But I just have to steer clear. A few years back, I didn't drink any for a year. But just indulging in one got me back to drinking them regularly. So it's cold turkey for me, folks.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 28, 2009 at 10:27 AM said...

I wish I didn't have a sweet tooth, but I do. So I just have to look at lower-calorie ways to satisfy it.

Okay, just mowed part of the back lawn before it started raining. Now on to the other big part of my day -- revisions!

MaryC on July 28, 2009 at 11:41 AM said...

Great idea, Trish. Bravo! I've made a similar commitment this summer for a variety of reasons - avoiding mirrors being the most telling!

I was just reading in Prevention magazine the other day that giving up sweet liquids - soda, iced tea - is much more important than solid calories because we tend to consume so many more of the liquid ones without realizing it plus they're not as filling so we eat more.

I started exercising last night and I awoke much more energized this morning.

Good luck to us all!

MaryC on July 28, 2009 at 12:03 PM said...

oh - one other tip I read in that mag. If you're really having chocolate cravings, try eating an apple followed by one (or two;) chocolate kisses. The kisses are only @20 calories each. I find if I freeze them and then let them slowly dissolve, I can satisfy the craving -more or less.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 28, 2009 at 12:28 PM said...

Hi, MaryC. That's really interesting about the liquid versus solid sweets. I have an occasional glass of juice, particularly if I'm feeling rundown and want some Vitamin C.

I've found lots of interesting things on Prevention's Web site. I'll probably blog about that at some point.

Good tip about the chocolate kisses too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Trish. Good wishes for great health! This blog is a brave (and smart!) way to hold yourself accountable.

I'm a huge fan of drinking water. Perhaps it's because I live in the desert, but there's nothing more refreshing than an icy glass of H20. Often times I'll pop in three or four wedges of lemon. Yum!

As for sweets being your downfall, I hear you, my dear. A few years ago I adopted the "One-Ten Rule" in regards to my beloved desserts. I allow myself to take ONE bite of any sweet, but if it's not a perfect "TEN", I don't finish it. It really makes you think twice about those pre-processed snack thingies or day-old birthday cake. :) Good luck!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 28, 2009 at 2:18 PM said...

Shelley, I like your 1-10 rule. And I imagine living in such a dry, hot climate does make drinking water not only enjoyable but a necessity to keep from becoming dehydrated. I know that I sure suck down the water after mowing.

Marie-Nicole Ryan on July 28, 2009 at 2:22 PM said...

One of the things my WW leader stresses, is that sometimes we think we're hungry when we're really thirsty. I get 48 oz water daily, in addition to Diet Coke, which while it may stimulate the appetite, it also stimulates my brain.

If you like ice cream type things, WW makes a giant fudge and latte bars which are only 1 WW point, 90 calories and 4 gms dietary fiber.

Portion control is one of the most important aspects of weight management. Lots of fresh veggies (personally hate 'em) and fruit. Plus fruit is more filling than the corresponding juice.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 28, 2009 at 2:29 PM said...

Marie-Nicole, as it happens I have some of those WW fudge bars in my freezer right now. :) I've had one so far and it was pretty good. I also like the truffle bars that Skinny Cow makes. I don't have any of those now, so I'm not sure of the calorie count on those. But I know it's got to be better than my favorite -- chocolate Haagen-Daz.

Lara on July 28, 2009 at 3:18 PM said...

Good luck Trish. I'm trying to get back on track after Conference. So far - no go. Gigi's Cupcakes was the downfall yesterday. Pasta today. eeekkk!! I thought I would share my favorite low calorie sugar fix....sugar free jell-o with a dollup of fat free Cool Whip. I whip up jell-o in small gladware containers so I have my own jell-o cup and keep them in the fridge. Perfect snack when the sugar cravin' attacks. 1 point if you are WW-ing. Turning 40 sucks! Good luck!!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 28, 2009 at 3:27 PM said...

Good idea, Lara. Will have to try those.

Merrillee on July 28, 2009 at 8:01 PM said...

Good luck. I plan to follow your progress. I've been trying to lose the same 5 pounds for at least 3 years. Only now I think its up to eight pounds. It is definitely harder to lose after 40, and each decade makes it a little harder. I've always been good about walking, but I hate to do weight training. My goal is to add two days of weight training each week and stick with it. I've done it sporadically, but I always let it slide because I don't enjoy it.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 28, 2009 at 8:15 PM said...

Good luck, Merrillee!

Authorness on August 10, 2009 at 3:00 AM said...

LOL to reason # 4! I stepped back on the treadmill yesterday for the first time in the month and I actually like it! Best of luck with your goals--I'm sure you'll meet and exceed them.

~ Vanessa

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