Move It and Lose It: Tricks to Sneak in Exercise Throughout the Day

I always thought I needed to allocate a huge block of time to exercise in order to lose weight—a couple of hours each day. Who the heck has that time, especially after punching the clock, doing Mom duties, et al.?

As much as it would be nice to have the luxury of a huge block of time to exercise, it can be accomplished in bits throughout the day—as I learned from my trainer. It’s just a matter of changing your perspective and challenging yourself to sneak what you can throughout the day.

Here are some tips: Continue reading

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Battling the Bulge Over the Holidays

I surprised myself when I stepped on the scale the other day to find that I didn’t gain any weight—a miracle, especially with Thanksgiving and not going to the gym last week.

In the past I would have eaten seconds and possibly thirds, but this year, I was barely able to finish my first—not because the food wasn’t good (on the contrary, it was very good—according to the hard-to-please Korean mamas), but because I had been noshing pretty much the whole day—tasting a bit of this and that and eating quite a bit of raw veggies, which was unusual for me. I’d also been drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee, which I’m sure had a hand in appetite suppression. (I needed to keep awake as I prepared a meal for 24.) I was doing a lot of moving as I shopped, cooked, cleaned, and set the stage for the big feast. By the end of Thanksgiving evening, I could barely budge because I was so tired and sore.

We also had had an impressive array of dessert provided by my younger sister, Julia. She brought a cranberry cream cheese pie from Hoosier Mama and a strawberries and cream cake and lemon squares from Swedish Bakery. My weakness is sweets and comfort carbs like stuffing and sweet potatoes. Although I ate well enough of leftovers to hibernate for the rest of the winter, the damage wasn’t bad at all.

I learned from my Zumba instructor that the average person gains between 10 to 15 pounds over the holidays. She recommended that we walk on the treadmill for at least thirty minutes after the class to make sure we avoid being among the gainers. It made me think about other strategies as well.

Here are some tips to battle the holiday bulge: Continue reading

May Discoveries

Can’t believe May is practically over. Although there’s still a week and a half left of school, I think everyone’s already checked out and ready for summer. There are no more math homework sheets or spelling tests to prepare for. Just the RAH-RAH (“Read At Home” daily reading of student’s choice), and even that seems optional.

Oddly enough, the Princess seems to want to play “school” when she’s at home—she prompts me to ask her math and spelling questions. I can’t help but laugh inside when I think, wait and see what Meanie Mommy has in store for you this summer…bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

So what did Mama Sophia learn this month? Continue reading

Tips to Maximize Your Workout

Over the years I’ve noticed a few things while going to the gym to use the exercise machines and to attend classes. Unfortunately just going to the gym will not ensure weight loss/physical fitness. It’s how you spend the time—whether you’re engaged/pushing yourself to work hard or just going through the motions/doing the time—that makes the difference.

Exercise Machines Continue reading

Eating Attitude Adjustment

Now that we’re back home, it’s time for some tough love and serious effort to lose weight. Looking at the some of the vacation pictures, I was surprised to see the plump, tired-looking mama staring back at me. When did I get so old? In my mind’s eye, I see myself as when I was in my mid-to-late 20s, but I need to accept that I’m a stone’s throw away from 40—not necessarily the end of the world, but humbling nevertheless.

Need to remind myself the following: Continue reading

No More Excuses—Let’s Try the 30 Day Shred

I am making slow progress in the battle against the bulge. The numbers on the scale barely budge downwards, and sometimes they even creep upwards, but I do feel stronger and more energetic. The other day I noticed some muscle definition on my upper arms. Or maybe, as HB would say, it’s only wishful thinking.

I ought to give myself some credit for even having at least 3 hours of exercise each week. (Last year, I was only doing yoga about three times a month.) But I am getting restless. I don’t want to do the next logical thing, which is to change my eating habits—avoid processed foods, eat small, controlled portions, while focusing on whole grains, protein, vegetables, and a bit of fruit (though some might argue that fruit should be eaten only with protein/good fat). Instead, I’ve decided I’ll just add on another cardio activity or so to boost the ol’ metabolism.

Today in the mail I got the Jillian Michaels’s 30 Day Shred, which a classmate from Zumba recommended. (I also got Michaels’ other DVDs—No More Trouble Zones and Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism—since it was offered as part of a special bundle through Amazon.)

This classmate has the quintessential dancer’s body and looks as though she’s never had to worry about gaining weight her whole life. Needless to say, when she said she worked on her “trouble spots” with Michaels’s DVD, she got my attention. “I get bored easily,” she said. “This DVD keeps my attention, and boy, do I feel it. It goes by really fast.” Continue reading

No More Sit-ups? Hooray!

Instead of working on trimming down my 4,500 word deficit for NaNoWriMo yesterday, I decided to stick to my usual program and go through the Sunday paper, as well as clip coupons. (Believe it or not, I actually do save money—as long as I remember to bring them with me. Last week, I saved an additional $7 with a 10% off grocery purchases coupon—woohoo!)

All it takes is one good article for me to justify going through the paper. I tend to skim through the news, only reading those articles with intriguing headlines or pictures. But when I get towards the features or pop culture section, that’s when I concentrate. (It’s a backlash from all the literary and scientific readings that I had to do in college.)

This week I saw an article in the Chicago Tribune that made it worth my while—”The Good News: No More Sit-Ups” by Julie Deardorff. (I love her!) The article highlights top 5 exercises that women should avoid especially as they do more harm than good. Women have looser joints than men, so “poor form and too much weight can lead to stiff joints or even damage.” Not to mention, we have different fat distribution, so certain exercises end up building bulk in areas we don’t want. Highlights from the article…

Continue reading