Monday, October 31, 2011

Tricks less treats

Are you ready for the little monsters that will soon pounce on your doorstep? Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays, but it is special for my daughter!

She loves everything Halloween and would love for me to dress up like Abbie from NCIS minus the hair. Unfortunately my daughter is a diabetic and the normal routine of trick or treating has a different meaning. Im lucky. My daughter is past the age of going trick or treating like so many children will do today. Halloween is tough for her and for the many Charlotte children who have diabetes.

Many of you will soon hand out candy to the little witches and globlins that knock on your door. This year, like the past 3 years my daughter and I will make the choice to avoid the sugary carbs. Take care.

Don't Be a Turkey

Quick! Run! Walk! Hide the eating utensils! Thanksgiving and other eating frenzy holidays are fast approaching.
If you've lost weight this year don't let go of it for a few days of gluttony. If you intend to keep on or start a diet don't start even further in the "hole" by gaining ten pounds during the holidays.
Lets brainstorm some about how to enjoy these special meals and yet not over do it. Give me your ideas or gimmicks that help you resist yet enjoy.
Certainly portion control and exercise during this time will be important. But how about enjoying a meal? What are you going to do? Plan it now. Visualize it now.
By the way, the exercise and walking and jogging on Monday was like being super charged with this great outdoor weather.
Get out there and walk vigorously to stay warm.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time for the Sprint

My goal was to lose 36 pounds this year and another 35 next year. OMG, I've been so busy with life that I completely got off track and now I have only 9 weeks to lose the remaining 12 pounds to meet my 36 pound goal by New Year's Eve.

The old me would have given up on my weight loss goal before the first St. Patrick's Day toast. But the new tenacious me remembers all of the other tough goals I've achieved through discipline, sweat and prayers:

  • 1990 - gave up smoking (yes!)
  • 1999 - gave up alcohol and hubby (with divorce I no longer needed the booze)
  • 2009 - gave up my fear of public speaking (with Toastmasters help)
  • 2011 - gave up the green bottle of BVO and with it my adult acne

I have been able to make some very SERIOUS lifestyle changes in the past.  Yes, I've been in a real rut over the past two months. But I can and will get back on track.  So now it is time to make one more huge commitment - I WILL GIVE UP FAT in 2012 so I MUST meet my 36 pound goal by 12/31/2011.  It is time for the tortoise to pick up the pace and make the mad dash.

One of the commentors suggested that I find a way to combine my passion for Toastmasters with my need to lose weight and get healthier. What do you think about these three ideas?

  • Set a 3 pound minimum loss in between speeches. 
  • Ask two of my fellow members who both love to run to nudge me over the next 2 months. Cayce and Ian, I hope that you two marathon runners are up to the challenge!  
  • Take a picture in a bikini and post it on the District 37 Facebook page until I lose the remaining 12 pounds.  What a picture!  There may be some that will tape my mouth shut to make this happen quicker.
All of these ideas are a bit extreme but a tortoise gotta do what a tortoise gotta do.  I can't let Dan beat me across the finish line.  :)  Until next week.

Nancy Johnson

Monday, October 24, 2011

Children of the Corn

Autumn is such a wonderful time of the year. You see more neighbors out on their porches or walking the community streets. Windows are open and football and apples abound.
I do have a warning for you, however. Beware of the corn. Candy corn. Its my favorite waist of calories in the form of orange and yellow condensed sugar. Trick or treat my foot. I say its a grand scheme to just "trick" me.
Instead of candy corn I need to find the world's largest corn maze and get lost in it with nothing but water to survive for about a week. That might kick in more weight loss.
The last few weeks my lack of balancing diet and exercise has resulted in nearly stagnate stats. I've walked fewer miles. I have done fewer push-ups and when I've behaved food wise, I've allowed my feeling of being tired win out and not exercise as much. The end result is one lousy pound lost during this time.
That's 30 pounds so far this year. Its also not even half what I need to lose to reach my ultimate goal. Obviously my willpower has not held up this year.
If you share my lack of "total" success in your 2011 goals, don't give up or give in. There are huge dangers of food consumption lurking on the upcoming calender and we/I need to salvage all we can over the next two months.
This isn't about a quick fix. We have to keep on fighting and trying for life. Next blog lets think about exercise and diet during the "eating" holidays.

Reporting to Work, Are You?

If larger people didn't have enough going against them in the media, a recent Gallup survey says that if you are obese, you are more likely to be reading this post in your bed as opposed to getting ready for work.

I realize that health related issues cause many to miss work; for obese workers and for those who aren't obese. I'm sure there was just enough truth behind this particular study to make it newsworthy. But as one of the many overweight workers who does not have a serious health issue, I can say that we aren't all adding to the $153 billion cost of absenteeism. Many of my overweight brothers and sisters regularly report to work and are some of the hardest working people around.

Let's not paint everyone with the same brush. Look around you at work today. I'm sure there's someone working around you with a little extra girth in their trunk.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stress, Exercise and Diet

The clinical portion of my Phlebotomist training began yesterday. Naturally, I was awake hours before I needed to be. I'll be going to new places working with unknown people each week for the next five weeks. Hours and days will vary. My thoughts are to make part of the work day extend soon as I get home to do my exercise. Typically I eat too much when stressed. Or eat too much when not stressed. My old saying used to be feed a cold and feed a fever. No more. I'll be too busy fortunately, to eat often and too tired to eat too much.
The adventure continues and having to find new ways to be flexible with time and energy is something we all struggle with in one fashion or another. Keep at it folks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My non-deductible contribution

Happy Tax Day #2! I consider myself a very charitable person, especially with my time. I love giving to charities involving children. But I never quite thought of the fees I have paid Weight Watchers as one of the charities I was supporting UNTIL I heard Rosalyn's speech two weeks ago. In her speech about procrastination, Rosalyn had a line about being a Weight Watcher donor because she paid the fees but wasn't fully following the program. I thought I was the only one, no seriously! I know I'm not the only one.

If intention was all it took to lose weight, I would be trim and singing like Jennifer Hudson. But it takes much more than joining a club or even joining a gym. Losing weight can be hard and sometimes I feel like throwing my white flag up and giving up BUT I won't. Until next time, remember to take baby steps one day at a time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Feeding Frenzy Holidays

In the immortal words of Charlie Brown, good grief. Have you seen the calendar? Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are all rushing toward us fat folks with aroma, taste and a whole bunch of calories. Oh my. Hey you, is that your belly or a bowl full of jelly?
There will be so many snacks, treats and huge meals lurking around every kitchen so as to pop our shirt buttons. Don't give in to it!!!
My challenge is to actually lose weight during these holidays. The typical among us gain weight this time of year.
If you shy away from cold weather you may also eat more comfort food and avoid outdoor activity.
I actually love a walk/hike/jog in blustery cold air. We overweight folks tend to sweat during hot weather so its about to be great for us to go outside and move without leaving a trail of body fluids trailing along behind us. Actually, I sweat even when I'm slender. Maybe being an X Floridian I'm trained to cool off asap via a waterfall of gushing sweat pouring down my face. (Hope you are not having breakfast).
To help me focus, I'm already looking to sign up for my second 5k race event. Last weekend was so much fun to get out there and participate again.
There must be plenty of Turkey Trot, Jingle Bell runs and New Years gut busters out there to chose one nearby.
Now get out there and enjoy this gorgeous time of the year with a good outdoor walk.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Two months ago, I gave up one of my last vices -- Diet Mt. Dew. With this change, I have increased my intake of water. However, as I was speaking a week ago, something happened that was both embarrassing and enlightening. I was answering a question after a 20 minute presentation and as I tried to close my mouth, my lips had a joker-like experience. My mouth was so dry that my lips were stuck over my two front teeth. It was funny, but is was not pretty to have to rush to my drink and pry my lips down.

At that moment I fully realized my mouth was trying to tell me something my body couldn't say - drink more water. Until this happened I never thought about the importance of staying properly hydrated for speaking and for weight loss.

Experts say that most of the time we eat, our bodies do not crave food; it really wants want water.  So, before you eat, drink!

Until next time.

Nancy Johnson

Monday, October 10, 2011

If only public speaking were an exercise

Some of you have probably wondered, where have I been for the past two weeks?  Had I given up and moved on?  Was I on vacation?  No, to both of those questions.  Nope, I am not a quitter; not even when the task is not easy or totally successful. Nope, I have definitely not been on vacation.  For the past few weeks I've been out of touch because of my Toastmasters responsibilities. Over the past two weeks, I have given 3 speeches and have participated in 7 speech contests where I've listened to over 20 speeches.  As the Area Governor of 5 (soon to be 6) Toastmaster clubs I get to encourage the wonderful and talented 150+ members of these clubs while also persevering towards my own goal -- Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) by August 1, 2012.

Now, I know there are a few of you who have just dropped your cereal spoon!  You are shouting at your computer screen, "What in the world does public speaking or Toastmasters have to do with weight loss?"  These two areas have one thing in common, ME.  For over 25 years I allowed my fear of public speaking to dictate my career choices, my participation in extracurricular activities and my overall confidence.  For almost that same amount of time, I have allowed my weight to control the same.  Four years ago, I rediscovered Toastmasters International, trusted and actively participated in the program and now I don't allow fear to prevent me from speaking.  Too bad, public speaking doesn't exert a lot of energy or melt fat.

A week ago I was talking with a Weight Watchers counselor about my inability to get out of my current weight loss rut.  I told her that I was probably going to quit Weight Watchers because I was extremely swamped by work, my child, and my Toastmaster responsibilities.  As she listened to me, she waited patiently when I explained that after I became immersed in the Toastmaster program I eventually overcame my fear of public speaking.  She then said, "Give me 5 weeks and you will get out of your rut."  Well, today is the 1st day of those five weeks.  I'm off to a good start, because on Saturday she told me that I lost three pounds this past week.  Its amazing what you can do, when you surround yourself with positive people and are really focused on your goal.  It doesn't matter what type of positive support you use --Toastmasters International, Weight Watchers, your friends, your church, your family, a gym, or even this blog :)!  Find someone or something who can provide positive support and get started today.  You'll be glad that you did.

If you would like to hear five very funny speeches, you are personally invited to the Area 31 Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest on Thursday at 6pm.

Take care and stay around positive people.  Small changes can and will make a difference.

Nancy Johnson

Sunday, October 9, 2011

5k Was Fun

The 5k in the Lung Run Saturday was fun. Perfect weather. Lots of fit runners in the 15k and an "assortment" of participants in the 5k.
I came in second in my age group. I also finished last in my age group. Yep, only two old geezer guys in the 5k. I also finished 223 out of 320 finishers. I think most of the folks behind me were little kids participating with their parents and walkers. Also perhaps a few people in my shape who went out too fast and paid the price later in the event.
I accomplished my goals of finishing and not walking any of the distance. I also had secondary goals of running "silent" . Just for fun and to not go out too fast, I started in the very back and shuffled along at a pace that you could never hear my breathing nor my foot strike. Purely a conversational pace.
It was fun to not have any specific time or performance goals that would make the event painful. I'm already looking for the "next" one in approx six weeks.
Sunday I went for a nice two hour stroll with no jogging. I also mowed my half acre lawn for some additional walking behind the mower.
I love this time of year. If you have been considering walking or jogging or hiking in the woods, there is no better time of the year in my opinion.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Inches and pounds

Last week I walked or jogged 18.5 miles. This included a six mile and a six and half mile walk/jog. What do I mean by a walk jog? For example, during the six plus mile episodes I jogged 25 minutes during the total time it took to move that distance. 15 minutes of the jogging was uphill and the other 10 minutes were more or less level ground. Yes, I time such things and use a hand held GPS system to be accurate on the route.
The last two weeks pretty much a situation of holding even on my weight. I actually gained two pounds last week but have already lost that this week.
My waist line is shrinking however and having to shift to older smaller cloths.
Slowly but surely I'm increasing the amount of my distance from walking to jogging. Very slow to be sure but making headway.
I'm really looking forward to just being a participate in the 5k run this weekend. Its been a long while since I've been a "runner" and now that I'm old and not in very good running shape its an all new adventure with a clean slate to start all over again.
My hopes are that running goals will assist me in focusing on the essential aspect of weight loss to obtain those running goals.
Be it fitting into a certain size dress for the ladies or being able to walk one mile or run a marathon, I wish for all of my overweight buddies to find the emphasis you need to reach your goals and live a healthy life.
Its a journey. Its an adventure. Its worthwhile. Go for it!

Monday, October 3, 2011

5k This Saturday

First of all, thanks for the encouragement to "go for it" on getting back into running. As you may recall I was looking for the focus or spark to get me back to being serious about overall weight loss and fitness. My adult years have often included running as a integral part of my fitness routines.
I've been competitive as a 30 something person. I haven't run an event, however, since I was 49 years old and just turned 60 this past weekend. So......... I'm old and fat and not in running shape even for my age. Doing a bunch of push ups etc and walking doesn't really get you ready to run.
There is something about turning 60, however, that frees up my mind to forget about past life times and PR's. Its like the slate is clean to begin anew. Sure, I've got a lot of training knowledge and experience from the past to help along the way. I know, however, that I'm truly a back of the pack kinda guy now. I mean WAAAAYYYY back of the pack. 5 year old and 80 year old will kick sand in my face Saturday. I signed up for the Lung Strong 11 race in Cornelius. There is a 15k for the serious runners and then a non points event for the 5k.
I also subscribed to Runners World magazine to spur on my interest. I read the old Runners World religiously for probably 20 years in the old days. Attitudes have changed about training and racing since those days. The essence of getting out there and exposing yourself as fit or not fit is pretty much the same. I will be trying to use this sport/hobby as a stimulus to help me focus on losing weight.
Now you should look for your own interest or focus to help you reach your goals. Good luck to you all.