SpiritDragon

2019 Weight Loss Group

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Hey everyone, this thread will be dedicated to support and accountability in weight loss in 2019 and possibly beyond. I'm not around the most frequently and can't make an individual program for everyone here, but I can use my experience as a fitness professional to offer some insights and help where I can. Everyone is welcome.

I do request that all comments be kept to supporting others, reporting on successes and failures, asking for help and so on - I guess I'm trying to say let's keep it a safe place where people aren't judged should they succumb to that double chocolate cake.  

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Some things that would be helpful for me to know to possibly help those of you that would like some help:

How much time are you willing and able to commit to exercise on a weekly basis?

Do you have any medical exercise restrictions?

Are you willing to keep and share a food log?

* disclaimer * All help given here is given with the understanding that we don't actually know each other and I am giving freely of the knowledge and experience I have gained. You are responsible to seek out any medical clearance before embarking on this or any other exercise and nutrition program. Although I do have a good idea what I'm talking about, please realize you are agreeing to take advice from an anonymous internet personality who cannot prove credentials without losing anonymity, you do so at your own risk.

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Some basic tips to start with:

Focus on behaviours and outcomes will follow.

Evaluate yourself. You know yourself better than almost anyone. You likely know the answers to what you need to do to solve your own challenges. You will likely be more responsive to answers you come to on your own than something you are told to do, especially if you don't like the response you are given. 

Consider whether or not you have had more success in the past making small incremental changes or doing a massive overhaul. As an example, would you be better at weening yourself off chocolate slowly or quitting cold turkey? I'm not saying you must give up chocolate :) but answering this question may help you determine how better to approach your goals this year. Do you make a small change every couple weeks, or do you plan out a program and go all in. Some people find the all in approach is great, while others will quit soon because they slip up. It helps to know what type you are.

How many vegetable dishes to you know how to make? How many do you like? Try to learn at least 3 good vegetable-based dishes that you enjoy. In fact, learning new recipes is a great way to improve eating in general. 

Labour saving devices such as a high-power blender/food processor, microwave, instant pot/pressure cooker are all useful for the time-crunched (average) person if you have space and funding available for such. These are not required, just helpful. 

Consider what types of physical activity you enjoy. Do you like socializing with exercise? Perhaps you would do best with a running or walking group or group exercise classes at your local health club. Do you have gym membership? Home-based exercises can be very effective as well with minimal equipment, especially for general health and fat loss. If you do have a gym membership and love to do weight training - great. That's helpful too. 

I'll be happy to get more specific with individual situations.

Edited by SpiritDragon

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1 hour ago, SpiritDragon said:

Some things that would be helpful for me to know to possibly help those of you that would like some help:

How much time are you willing and able to commit to exercise on a weekly basis?

Do you have any medical exercise restrictions?

Are you willing to keep and share a food log?

* disclaimer * All help given here is given with the understanding that we don't actually know each other and I am giving freely of the knowledge and experience I have gained. You are responsible to seek out any medical clearance before embarking on this or any other exercise and nutrition program. Although I do have a good idea what I'm talking about, please realize you are agreeing to take advice from an anonymous internet personality who cannot prove credentials without losing anonymity, you do so at your own risk.

1. Hard to say but I can flex my schedule

2. No

3. Yes

Additional info.... Last week I found that I'd reached 370, and that's just not acceptable.  I decided to cold turkey quit Pepsi for one week (at least) and see what happens.  I'll weigh in again on Wednesday evening and see the result.

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3 hours ago, unixknight said:

1. Hard to say but I can flex my schedule

Which would you find more likely that you could be consistent with - 15-30 minutes 5-6x per week or 45-60 minutes around 3x/week?

3 hours ago, unixknight said:

3. Yes

Tracking everything you eat for at least 3 days is really helpful to get a picture of what changes can make the biggest difference in the least amount of change. Once you have completed your first week Pepsi free seems like a great time to start a food log. For best results, eat like you would anyway, don't try to do better for the sake of the log. That way it will show what's really going on, holding back only cheats you out of a useful tool for detecting key area of improvement. Would that work for you? That would have us ready to hear your report Saturday or Sunday.

3 hours ago, unixknight said:

Additional info.... Last week I found that I'd reached 370, and that's just not acceptable.  I decided to cold turkey quit Pepsi for one week (at least) and see what happens.  I'll weigh in again on Wednesday evening and see the result.

Stopping Pepsi is a perfect example of already knowing what to do and making an incremental change. Do you drink other soft drinks besides Pepsi? For best results it really helps to eliminate caloric beverages 90+% of the time. I don't like to tell people to eliminate foods/treats altogether, but some things really do need to be greatly limited. Somehow the idea of never being able to have a Pepsi again would likely be stressful to you, but knowing that you can have one, but are saving it for your birthday is often less stressful and helps avoid the forbidden fruit appeal increasing the power the particular culprit comestible has over you. The caveat here is that if you do have one and it leads to binging or withdrawals, then you really may need to stay away entirely and find some form of substitute for when you would have infrequently indulged.

Edited by SpiritDragon
period to question mark - my nemesis :)

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Thank you, @SpiritDragon, I need this.  Bad.

17 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

Some things that would be helpful for me to know to possibly help those of you that would like some help:

How much time are you willing and able to commit to exercise on a weekly basis?

3-6 hours, I'd say.  My problem is... I just don't like exercise.  I don't like that achy sweaty feeling.  So I have to mentally overcome the, "Why am I putting myself through this?"

 

Quote

Do you have any medical exercise restrictions?

Besides not being able to breathe after a few yards of brisk walking... none.

Quote

Are you willing to keep and share a food log?

Yes.  I developed a habit of eating Lucky Charms for breakfast every morning.  And being Filipino, it's very difficult to eliminate white rice.  If a zombie apocalypse happens and all that is left to eat is white rice and canned tuna, or canned corned beef, or canned Spam, or Li'l Smokies I'd die a happy woman.

Quote

* disclaimer * All help given here is given with the understanding that we don't actually know each other and I am giving freely of the knowledge and experience I have gained. You are responsible to seek out any medical clearance before embarking on this or any other exercise and nutrition program. Although I do have a good idea what I'm talking about, please realize you are agreeing to take advice from an anonymous internet personality who cannot prove credentials without losing anonymity, you do so at your own risk.

No worries. 

Edited by anatess2

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11 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

 

Thank you, @SpiritDragon, I need this.  Bad.

3-6 hours, I'd say.  My problem is... I just don't like exercise.  I don't like that achy sweaty feeling.  So I have to mentally overcome the, "Why am I putting myself through this?"

 

 

 

Have you tried interval training?  Like on a treadmill?   They make apps for that.  I exercise 5-6 days a week for obvious reasons.  I use the Gold's AMP app,    Interval training shortens your actual training time and increases your benefits and results.

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24 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

 

Thank you, @SpiritDragon, I need this.  Bad.

3-6 hours, I'd say.  My problem is... I just don't like exercise.  I don't like that achy sweaty feeling.  So I have to mentally overcome the, "Why am I putting myself through this?"

That's understandable. I don't think too many people like to feel achy and sweaty. Do you find this happens with all kinds of physical activity or just certain kinds? @Grunt does make a good point talking about interval training. It's not for everyone, but when the work intervals are done with high intensity the fitness gains and body composition changes are impressive compared to steady state aerobics or long slow endurance activities. Most studies I've seen show that high intensity intervals lead to similar improvements in cardiovascular fitness in addition to increased anaerobic power (think in terms of how much work you can do in less than two minutes), the biggest excitement is that it can be done in a fraction of the time. Unfortunately, the time commitment is often exaggeratedly small to make high intensity interval training sound even more effective. What they'll do is have a group of exercisers work hard (as an example) for 30 seconds at 90% effort followed by one minute of active recovery (basically resting, but still moving) and repeat this 8 times. Eight 30 second intervals makes only four minutes of exercise, but the rest between is also necessary so the real time commitment still would have been 12 minutes in addition to warm up and cool down. So realistically this workout that might be touted as four minutes of exercise is still going to be a 20 minute time commitment. Still a lot less than an hour jogging for sure and almost surely with comparable results, often skewing in favour of the shorter intense workouts.

It makes sense because the main goal of exercise (from a training effect perspective) is to elicit a training response or to make your body do something it is not accustomed to and stimulate adaptation. 

Another thing to consider is that fat loss is more desirable than across the board weight loss. This means you want to preserve muscle mass which can be done with resistance training. resistance training circuits can get a best of both worlds training effect where you can also stimulate energy system adaptation (aerobic and anearobic power and endurance) while ensuring that muscles are being called on to adapt as well so that you maintain and even gain muscle if needed. It is important to realize that over 90% of metabolic slowing with age has to do with muscle loss over the years. When the muscle is preserved, so is the metabolism. 

What's more, if you really hate exercise you can still get into a healthier body with dietary modifications alone. In fact, what you eat (and how much of it) is going to determine your weight far more than exercise can. Exercise helps to be sure, but eating patterns trump exercise unequivocally.

That's getting a touch long, I hope I'm not oversharing - I don't want to get too technical, but at the same time I like to understand things so I tend to explain things for others to give them some of the understanding that I would want to know to make a similar decision.

Might I suggest that you look into activities you enjoy to start with. the best exercise program at the end of the day is the one you will consistently do.

I'll respond to more later, but for now I have some pulchritudinous little girls that need to go sledding with daddy on New Year's Day😃

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Thanks for starting the thread and offering the help SpiritDragon!  I'm not a beginner here, let's see how I do.  Feel free to critique and suggest.

Focus on behaviours and outcomes will follow.
Heh.  I was literally eating a piece of chocolate cake when I came across this thread.  This day marks the end of my holiday splurging, time to get back into behaving. 

Routine helps, disruptions hurt.  Ideal food routine: Go to work and eat a yogurt while the computer boots up.  Then eat my special Purina DaddyChow brand homemade chili for lunch.  Snacking = BAPOC (Big awesome pile of carrots) or an apple.  Home for dinner, no augmenting, no more snacking, be done.  Disruptions are weekends, running errands, shopping when it's time to eat.  I find myself in the fast food lane, or buying crap to eat I shouldn't.  

Exercise routine: Do work's wellness center 3d/wk.  Behaviors are getting my gym bag ready the night before.  Setting reminder alarms to go do it.  Actually doing it when the alarm goes off.  Realistically I'm good for 1x/wk, and sometimes I do 2x/wk.

Morning routine: Fall out of bed cursing my life and do 30 cheater pushups.  

Daily food logging and weight tracking with the LoseIt app.

For every "new low" weight I hit, I have earned a cheat day and can eat whatever I want for an entire day.  I can lose 1-3 lbs a week following all those behaviors and not binging.

 

Evaluate yourself. 
- I am a sucker for opportunity food, and people bring crap into the office all the time.  Home is full of bad food.  Motivation is hard.
- I enjoy the wellness center.  Weight training is cool.  22 minutes of elliptical gives me a chance to watch an episode of a fun show.  30 real pushups 2x/wk meant that for the first time in my entire 4+ decades of life, my chest sticks out more than my belly. (When I've been following my behaviors for a while that is.)  I am at lifetime highs in various exercises.  The 50 lb kettlebell rocks.  I enjoy the post-workout recovery pain, because even though it lasts 2 days, it's a satisfying sign that I'm accomplishing things.  I hear about resting calorie consumption or whatever you call it, and that's the biggest reward of having muscles - I consume calories by just sitting there with a dumb look on my face. 
- I have to spend extra energy to not overeat.  There's an obvious psychological component here, one I must always guard against.
- I'm 3 days away from getting back into the swing of a good habit.  After that 3 day painful period, it gets easier.  What often happens is I hit 2 days and suddenly notice that I just had fast food twice in one day, and am in the lane at McDs for a pre-dinner drive-home snack.  Didn't even realize I was doing it.  But once I've hit that 3 day hump, that sort of thing stops.
- I have lucky genetics (for the time being).  The cholesterol that demands a healthy diet has always been in the perfect range, no matter what I eat.  The cholesterol that responds to exercise is moderately worrying, but responds well when I am doing the wellness center regularly.
 

Consider whether or not you have had more success in the past making small incremental changes or doing a massive overhaul.
My success revolves around hitting that 3 day new habit barrier, and then sticking with it for 6 months.  I've lost 30 lbs that way.  So what I've got is working, I just have to do it.

How many vegetable dishes to you know how to make? How many do you like? 
-  Purina DaddyChow recipe: 1 can chili (or 2 cans pork/chicken chunks from food storage).  1 can corn.  1 can tomatoes & green chili.  2-3 cans of different beans.  I'll freeze 4-5 lunch tupperwares and keep them in my desk freezer.   Beans rock.
-  BAPOC: For whatever reason, a big pile of raw baby carrots never gets old for me.  Knock on wood.  Ride with it, baby.
-  I keep cans of pineapple at home.  Home life doesn't really lend itself to food preparation. 

Thoughts?

 

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41 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Have you tried interval training?  Like on a treadmill?   They make apps for that.  I exercise 5-6 days a week for obvious reasons.  I use the Gold's AMP app,    Interval training shortens your actual training time and increases your benefits and results.

I used to run one 5K route every Saturday and a 30-minute daily routine of either 1 minute sprint and 4 minute walk cycles or rollerblading Monday through Friday.  I have to shut off my brain for 30 minutes everyday so it won't successfully talk me out of it.  I have a treadmill at home but it's a lot harder to fight my brain when the couch is close by rather than having to walk home if my brain wants to quit.  My husband tells me when you're running (or exercising), you get into that "runners zone" where your brain stops fighting and starts cooperating.  I've never experienced that zone.

What I do love to do is going to the dance class.  It's a group of ex-cheerleaders who get together 2 days a week for 2 hours each day and make a cheerleading dance routine - one routine per week.  But, it's not really exercise - it's more of a "follow the leader and memorize the moves" thing.  At least it gets me moving and my heart pumping. 

2016 and 2017 were bad years for me.  My husband - who is my exercise partner - injured himself and so he started struggling with keeping the rest of his health.  He ended up giving up on it which made me give up on it too.  My husband got back on the healthy lifestyle in 2018 but I got left behind because I went to the Philippines for a few months.  And when I was there, my unhealthy lifestyle led me to not care about what I eat - I ate like crazy, not caring about balanced nutrition.  I came back to the US and battled some mental health issues.  So within a few years I ended up weighing the same exact weight as the day I walked into the hospital to deliver my 2nd son.  But that's not what concerns me.  What concerns me is that my heart is very weak and I'm now feeling a lot of pain in my back and my knees.  I need to shed this weight and get my heart pumping properly again.  My husband has gone back to his regular routine and I haven't quite kept up as I am too weak to get on his pace.  I have to take it slow to build up energy again.

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3 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

I used to run one 5K route every Saturday and a 30-minute daily routine of either 1 minute sprint and 4 minute walk cycles or rollerblading Monday through Friday.  I have to shut off my brain for 30 minutes everyday so it won't successfully talk me out of it.  I have a treadmill at home but it's a lot harder to fight my brain when the couch is close by rather than having to walk home if my brain wants to quit.  My husband tells me when you're running (or exercising), you get into that "runners zone" where your brain stops fighting and starts cooperating.  I've never experienced that zone.

What I do love to do is going to the dance class.  It's a group of ex-cheerleaders who get together 2 days a week for 2 hours each day and make a cheerleading dance routine - one routine per week.  But, it's not really exercise - it's more of a "follow the leader and memorize the moves" thing.  At least it gets me moving and my heart pumping. 

2016 and 2017 were bad years for me.  My husband - who is my exercise partner - injured himself and so he started struggling with keeping the rest of his health.  He ended up giving up on it which made me give up on it too.  My husband got back on the healthy lifestyle in 2018 but I got left behind because I went to the Philippines for a few months.  And when I was there, my unhealthy lifestyle led me to not care about what I eat - I ate like crazy, not caring about balanced nutrition.  I came back to the US and battled some mental health issues.  So within a few years I ended up weighing the same exact weight as the day I walked into the hospital to deliver my 2nd son.  But that's not what concerns me.  What concerns me is that my heart is very weak and I'm now feeling a lot of pain in my back and my knees.  I need to shed this weight and get my heart pumping properly again.  My husband has gone back to his regular routine and I haven't quite kept up as I am too weak to get on his pace.  I have to take it slow to build up energy again.

Then I would certainly start with a doctor visit to get your left and right limits.

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50 minutes ago, SpiritDragon said:

That's understandable. I don't think too many people like to feel achy and sweaty. Do you find this happens with all kinds of physical activity or just certain kinds? @Grunt does make a good point talking about interval training. It's not for everyone, but when the work intervals are done with high intensity the fitness gains and body composition changes are impressive compared to steady state aerobics or long slow endurance activities. Most studies I've seen show that high intensity intervals lead to similar improvements in cardiovascular fitness in addition to increased anaerobic power (think in terms of how much work you can do in less than two minutes), the biggest excitement is that it can be done in a fraction of the time. Unfortunately, the time commitment is often exaggeratedly small to make high intensity interval training sound even more effective. What they'll do is have a group of exercisers work hard (as an example) for 30 seconds at 90% effort followed by one minute of active recovery (basically resting, but still moving) and repeat this 8 times. Eight 30 second intervals makes only four minutes of exercise, but the rest between is also necessary so the real time commitment still would have been 12 minutes in addition to warm up and cool down. So realistically this workout that might be touted as four minutes of exercise is still going to be a 20 minute time commitment. Still a lot less than an hour jogging for sure and almost surely with comparable results, often skewing in favour of the shorter intense workouts.

It makes sense because the main goal of exercise (from a training effect perspective) is to elicit a training response or to make your body do something it is not accustomed to and stimulate adaptation. 

Another thing to consider is that fat loss is more desirable than across the board weight loss. This means you want to preserve muscle mass which can be done with resistance training. resistance training circuits can get a best of both worlds training effect where you can also stimulate energy system adaptation (aerobic and anearobic power and endurance) while ensuring that muscles are being called on to adapt as well so that you maintain and even gain muscle if needed. It is important to realize that over 90% of metabolic slowing with age has to do with muscle loss over the years. When the muscle is preserved, so is the metabolism. 

What's more, if you really hate exercise you can still get into a healthier body with dietary modifications alone. In fact, what you eat (and how much of it) is going to determine your weight far more than exercise can. Exercise helps to be sure, but eating patterns trump exercise unequivocally.

That's getting a touch long, I hope I'm not oversharing - I don't want to get too technical, but at the same time I like to understand things so I tend to explain things for others to give them some of the understanding that I would want to know to make a similar decision.

Might I suggest that you look into activities you enjoy to start with. the best exercise program at the end of the day is the one you will consistently do.

I'll respond to more later, but for now I have some pulchritudinous little girls that need to go sledding with daddy on New Year's Day😃

You can overshare as much as you need to.  I want oversharing.  And I want to read as much as you want to write.  If you write an entire book on it, I'll read it!

I don't like achy sweaty anything.  But there are fun stuff I like which makes me forget I'm achy and sweaty - like dancing and partying.  My brain is stubborn - so it resists like a mule, but part of it also pushes through in equal stubborness.   It's like having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other shoulder fighting like mad over domination.  

Okay, I have all kinds of free weights at home.  I have a bench and an entire set of dumbells and that metal bar that you hang weights on either end which I can't use because the metal bar itself without the weights is already heavy.  I have a pull-up bar that goes on the threshold and workout balls - the giant one that's half my size and the small heavy one the size of a volleyball.  I also have band weights (you pull these giant rubber band kind of things) that is attached to the door that you pull with either your hands or your legs.  And I have the Insanity video set and the Hip Hop Abs video which I've had for years but remained untouched.  Well, actually that's not quite accurate.  I love watching those videos.  That guy, Shaun T, is super duper fun to watch.  So, I watched the entire video from beginning to end.  But... I haven't quite brought myself to follow along.  I watch it like a TV show.  

As far as food... I don't eat vegetables unless it's uncooked - like veggie tray or fresh salad.  Or made into a shake with banana.  I actually hate vegetables but I've taught myself to eat fresh ones because I know I need it.  I love fruit and can eat fruit like potato chips (oh yeah, I also love potato chips).

So, if you have the time to make me a recipe... like Do this on Mondays, Do this on Tuesdays, etc. and Eat This for lunch, Eat this for dinner, Eat lunch 4 hours after breakfast... that would go good for me because what I am really good at is Following Instructions to a T.  Then I'll tell you what happened on my end - like, you told me to do it for 5 minutes but I couldn't last past 30 seconds.  I tried to eat this but I couldn't find it in Walmart. Etc. etc.  Cool?

And for your Bisaya vocabulary... next time you exercise, you count like this:

Usa, Duha, Tulo, Upat, Lima, Unom, Pito, Walo, Siyam, Napu^.

There is only one way to pronounce all the letters in the Bisaya alphabet.  So here's the pronounciation:

A - like ahhh.
E - like Set
I - like Sit
O - like the first O in Octopus 
U - like Impromptu

the ^ symbol for Napu is an accent.  It has that gulping sound you make when you say, huh.  So you pronounce Napu (Ten) as Nah-puh.

P.S.  I'm teaching you "street Bisaya" not formal Bisaya which nobody uses except for high-faluting politicians giving speeches and such.

Edited by anatess2

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Oh, lookie here.  I found a girl who sounds like me saying the numbers in Bisaya.  But, she's using Pulo for Ten instead of Napu which is not the common usage but rather a regional usage.  The formal word for Ten is Napulo^.  So in the majority of Bisaya regions, we contract it to Napu^.  Some regions contract it to Pulo^ but it's not as common.  By the way, Bisaya people talk like machine-guns (rat-tat-tat fast) so they are fond of shortcuts.

P.S.  I should make this a different thread so as not to clutter this awesome Health and Fitness thread.

Here it is: 

 

 

 

Edited by anatess2

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Thanks for starting the thread and offering the help SpiritDragon!  I'm not a beginner here, let's see how I do.  Feel free to critique and suggest.

I'll aim to stay more in the suggest and less in the critique zone. I recently heard a quote that I really liked, I'm paraphrasing, but it basically talked about the importance of being great in practice, not just belief, great in results and not just practice. I really like this because it speaks to a true principle. So many people I know come to me saying they are doing all the right things but nothing is working. At the end of the day it doesn't matter if you run marathons or do short intense HIIT workouts, if you hit the weight room or the Yoga studio, eat paleo, vegan or just follow national guidelines and use moderation as long as you are getting the results you're after. If not then you need to ask the hard questions and make some changes.

Quote

Focus on behaviours and outcomes will follow.
Heh.  I was literally eating a piece of chocolate cake when I came across this thread.  This day marks the end of my holiday splurging, time to get back into behaving. 

This takes me to Og Mandino's scroll #1 from the Greatest Salesmen in the World, "Today I begin a new life. Today I shed my old skin, which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity." If you haven't ever exposed yourself to Og Mandino's scrolls I believe you're missing out, but I digress.

Quote

Routine helps, disruptions hurt.  Ideal food routine: Go to work and eat a yogurt while the computer boots up.  Then eat my special Purina DaddyChow brand homemade chili for lunch.  Snacking = BAPOC (Big awesome pile of carrots) or an apple.  Home for dinner, no augmenting, no more snacking, be done.  Disruptions are weekends, running errands, shopping when it's time to eat.  I find myself in the fast food lane, or buying crap to eat I shouldn't.  

You nailed it here. Routine is critical. We tend to follow specific patterns in our daily activities and when we disrupt the flow of those activities we miss out on other things as well. Consider your night time routine - you possibly brush your teeth and slip into pajamas and then say your prayers and so on. Now consider you skip a step, does the following step still also get done? Often times it won't. BJ Fogg of tinyhabits.com calls this the power of the after. If we string desired changes into sequence following activities we do anyway we are much more likely to achieve consistency. Your morning fall out of bed push-ups is a perfect example.

Quote

Exercise routine: Do work's wellness center 3d/wk.  Behaviors are getting my gym bag ready the night before.  Setting reminder alarms to go do it.  Actually doing it when the alarm goes off.  Realistically I'm good for 1x/wk, and sometimes I do 2x/wk.

Morning routine: Fall out of bed cursing my life and do 30 cheater pushups.  

Daily food logging and weight tracking with the LoseIt app.

For every "new low" weight I hit, I have earned a cheat day and can eat whatever I want for an entire day.  I can lose 1-3 lbs a week following all those behaviors and not binging.

It sounds like the evidence is in favour of what you're doing getting you results. The trick is the disruptions to what you are doing. I believe it was in the book Change Anything by Vital Smarts (highly recommended reading) that I learned about the idea of identifying critical behaviours and crucial moments. Essentially, you want to evaluate what activities are creating success for you, or would be if you were doing them, and then identify the crucial moments that determine whether you do them or not. This allows you to make strategies to deal with distractions. 

Quote

 

Evaluate yourself. 
- I am a sucker for opportunity food, and people bring crap into the office all the time.  Home is full of bad food.  Motivation is hard.
- I enjoy the wellness center.  Weight training is cool.  22 minutes of elliptical gives me a chance to watch an episode of a fun show.  30 real pushups 2x/wk meant that for the first time in my entire 4+ decades of life, my chest sticks out more than my belly. (When I've been following my behaviors for a while that is.)  I am at lifetime highs in various exercises.  The 50 lb kettlebell rocks.  I enjoy the post-workout recovery pain, because even though it lasts 2 days, it's a satisfying sign that I'm accomplishing things.  I hear about resting calorie consumption or whatever you call it, and that's the biggest reward of having muscles - I consume calories by just sitting there with a dumb look on my face. 
- I have to spend extra energy to not overeat.  There's an obvious psychological component here, one I must always guard against.
- I'm 3 days away from getting back into the swing of a good habit.  After that 3 day painful period, it gets easier.  What often happens is I hit 2 days and suddenly notice that I just had fast food twice in one day, and am in the lane at McDs for a pre-dinner drive-home snack.  Didn't even realize I was doing it.  But once I've hit that 3 day hump, that sort of thing stops.
- I have lucky genetics (for the time being).  The cholesterol that demands a healthy diet has always been in the perfect range, no matter what I eat.  The cholesterol that responds to exercise is moderately worrying, but responds well when I am doing the wellness center regularly.
 

This portion starts off with a perfect example of a crucial moment. The office goody share. What strategies might help you to resist the treats available at the office. Only you can answer what will work for you, but some possibilities might include making sure to have your own lunch packed to help resist temptation or finding a strong enough reason to avoid indulging that you can tell yourself in a meaningful catch phrase quickly. You might even share this study https://www.nature.com/articles/0803217 from 2006 with key policy and decision makers and see if you can't get a designated place for goodies to go which is out of sight and not too close to the main work stations so that those who would like to indulge can seek it out, but those who only indulge because they see it won't do so very much any more. It's amazing the difference proximity and visibility make on food choices. Changing the environment really helps when you have the power to do so.

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Consider whether or not you have had more success in the past making small incremental changes or doing a massive overhaul.
My success revolves around hitting that 3 day new habit barrier, and then sticking with it for 6 months.  I've lost 30 lbs that way.  So what I've got is working, I just have to do it.

Again, your results speak for themselves, so nothing I have to say one way or the other really matters over that. My key tip remains to look for ways to stay consistent and isolate and neutralize things that derail you. 

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How many vegetable dishes to you know how to make? How many do you like? 
-  Purina DaddyChow recipe: 1 can chili (or 2 cans pork/chicken chunks from food storage).  1 can corn.  1 can tomatoes & green chili.  2-3 cans of different beans.  I'll freeze 4-5 lunch tupperwares and keep them in my desk freezer.   Beans rock.
-  BAPOC: For whatever reason, a big pile of raw baby carrots never gets old for me.  Knock on wood.  Ride with it, baby.
-  I keep cans of pineapple at home.  Home life doesn't really lend itself to food preparation. 

Thoughts?

 

Beans do rock! They are not only super great at filling you up with fibre and resistant starch, but they actually exert a second meal hunger suppression effect, meaning that even after leaving your stomach beans are still exerting a satiating effect which helps you eat less at the next meal by helping regulate blood sugar control better - cool stuff. They also happen to be associated with the longest lived peoples and protect against heart disease, cancer and diabetes among other things... I'll stop now. Beans Rock! You betcha.

Your pre-made meals are a great idea to simplify life once the week is underway and life gets hectic. This is a great strategy for overcoming the, "I'm just too busy to eat well" objection.

I think you would do really well to learn more about the six sources of influence in Change Anything and how you can modify them to work in your favour instead of against you. Otherwise, keep doing what you're doing that's working and try to limit events that have you fall off the wagon.

Edited by SpiritDragon

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I'd love to keep going with help for everyone, please be patient with me. My three-year-old has finished her lunch and needs daddy to play DinoTrux. I hope you can understand putting my own daughter before virtual strangers, especially on a Holiday. I can get back at it when she's napping later this afternoon. 

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10 hours ago, anatess2 said:

 

Thank you, @SpiritDragon, I need this.  Bad.

3-6 hours, I'd say.  My problem is... I just don't like exercise.  I don't like that achy sweaty feeling.  So I have to mentally overcome the, "Why am I putting myself through this?"

I just wanted to touch on this part as well. I think it really helps to have a compelling answer to this question. Not just, I want to be healthy, or to look hot, but something like I want to still be around to play with my grandkids and be able to run and have fun, I want to be at my daughter's/Grandson's (insert important person) wedding and not have to be chair bound etc. sometimes it helps to look at the default future of where you will end up if you stay on your current trajectory. Are you most likely headed to a stroke that if it isn't fatal will change your life forever and make you a burden to your family? Is your heart going to start failing and make you a shut-in. Are you going to be a grumpy person who family only visits out of a sense of responsibility but not because they want to see you? It can help to look at your parents and grandparents for what your family traditions bring. It can also help to visit a long term care facility or old folks home to see what living with your default future is really like. Make it as vivid and real as possible so you have a clear picture of what you don't want. Then find someone who has aged gracefully and is inspiring, get a clear picture of what you do want. The more vivid the better. The more powerful it will be to help you turn down that extra helping of tuna on rice and go that extra five minutes in your workout.

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Besides not being able to breathe after a few yards of brisk walking... none.

9 hours ago, anatess2 said:

But that's not what concerns me.  What concerns me is that my heart is very weak and I'm now feeling a lot of pain in my back and my knees.  I need to shed this weight and get my heart pumping properly again.  My husband has gone back to his regular routine and I haven't quite kept up as I am too weak to get on his pace.  I have to take it slow to build up energy again.

I would suggest doing a screening questionnaire such as this one http://uwfitness.uwaterloo.ca/PDF/par-q.pdf to get a sense for where you're at. If you answer yes to any of the questions be sure to see your health care provider for guidance on contraindications to exercise. However, if you have a doctor that says not to exercise, I would urge you to get a second opinion. There is almost always some form of exercise that is safe and it is one of the best things you can do to improve your situation.

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Yes.  I developed a habit of eating Lucky Charms for breakfast every morning.  And being Filipino, it's very difficult to eliminate white rice.  If a zombie apocalypse happens and all that is left to eat is white rice and canned tuna, or canned corned beef, or canned Spam, or Li'l Smokies I'd die a happy woman.

No worries. 

If you can detail amounts eaten and time of day and place eaten for three days that will be extremely useful.

For instance:

Monday January X

Breakfast 7:30 am

2 medium red delicious apples diced into cubes over 1 1/2 cup oatmeal with 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tbsp honey and 1/4 cup raisins with a small handful of slivered almonds (probably 1/4 cup)

eaten at the dining room table while reading the paper

Snack 10 am

driving past XYZ fast food joint I needed to stop for a pastry because I was ravenous and I love them.

I ate in traffic and it wasn't satisfying

Lunch 12:40 pm

Chicken and lettuce wrap - chicken portion about the size of a deck of cards cut into strips on a whole grain wrap with 3 leafs of romaine lettuce and a smattering of diced onions and peppers.

Ate at my desk while working on other projects..

Oops I also downed a bag of peanut M&Ms because ti was there and I wasn't focusing on eating...

You get the idea.

9 hours ago, anatess2 said:

I used to run one 5K route every Saturday and a 30-minute daily routine of either 1 minute sprint and 4 minute walk cycles or rollerblading Monday through Friday.  I have to shut off my brain for 30 minutes everyday so it won't successfully talk me out of it.  I have a treadmill at home but it's a lot harder to fight my brain when the couch is close by rather than having to walk home if my brain wants to quit.  My husband tells me when you're running (or exercising), you get into that "runners zone" where your brain stops fighting and starts cooperating.  I've never experienced that zone.

Different strokes for different folks. Some people enter into a state of flow while exercising, some while watching a movie and some while working with wood and so on. Exercise does release feel-good chemicals (endorphins) but a euphoric state or runner's high is far more elusive than it's been made out to be. you are most likely to enter a state of flow, where you're so engaged that you loose all track of time and simply enjoy the moment, when you're doing something that you find fascinating. If running doesn't do it for you that's more than okay and you're far from alone.

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What I do love to do is going to the dance class.  It's a group of ex-cheerleaders who get together 2 days a week for 2 hours each day and make a cheerleading dance routine - one routine per week.  But, it's not really exercise - it's more of a "follow the leader and memorize the moves" thing.  At least it gets me moving and my heart pumping. 

This sounds like an excellent place to start (after medical screening because of your weak heart). Are you currently going? Is there anything preventing you from going if you're not? Get consistent first and then when a successful pattern is established we can look into the minutiae of fine-tuning things.

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2016 and 2017 were bad years for me.  My husband - who is my exercise partner - injured himself and so he started struggling with keeping the rest of his health.  He ended up giving up on it which made me give up on it too.  My husband got back on the healthy lifestyle in 2018 but I got left behind because I went to the Philippines for a few months.  And when I was there, my unhealthy lifestyle led me to not care about what I eat - I ate like crazy, not caring about balanced nutrition.  I came back to the US and battled some mental health issues.  So within a few years I ended up weighing the same exact weight as the day I walked into the hospital to deliver my 2nd son.  But that's not what concerns me.  What concerns me is that my heart is very weak and I'm now feeling a lot of pain in my back and my knees.  I need to shed this weight and get my heart pumping properly again.  My husband has gone back to his regular routine and I haven't quite kept up as I am too weak to get on his pace.  I have to take it slow to build up energy again.

You have lots going on here. Is your mental health in a good place now? Is home life more conducive to balanced eating than visiting the Philippines? Make sure to be treating all of you and not just parts of you. Get the help and support you need for your mind and heart in addition to make changes to lifestyle behaviours. Often times mental health can be helped with a combination of prayer, meditation, nutrition (extra b vitamins, essential fatty acids, magnesium) and sometime require counseling and/or medication or a combination of all of this. Just like an diet exercise program is best ultimately judged by results is a plan for mental health judged by results. If you've tried prayer and meditation, but it didn't cut it for you, look into other options. Just keep in mind that fixing your body can help fix your mind, but also fixing your mind can help fix your body.

 

Edited by SpiritDragon

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20 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

Which would you find more likely that you could be consistent with - 15-30 minutes 5-6x per week or 45-60 minutes around 3x/week?

The former should be pretty easy to do.

20 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

Tracking everything you eat for at least 3 days is really helpful to get a picture of what changes can make the biggest difference in the least amount of change. Once you have completed your first week Pepsi free seems like a great time to start a food log. For best results, eat like you would anyway, don't try to do better for the sake of the log. That way it will show what's really going on, holding back only cheats you out of a useful tool for detecting key area of improvement. Would that work for you? That would have us ready to hear your report Saturday or Sunday.

Understood.  And yeah I used to do Weight Watchers (and was pretty successful) and one  thing it definitely does is make you pay attention to what you eat, so it's a habit I sort of maintain.  I say sort of because I haven't written down anything on paper.  I can certainly start.

20 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

Stopping Pepsi is a perfect example of already knowing what to do and making an incremental change. Do you drink other soft drinks besides Pepsi? For best results it really helps to eliminate caloric beverages 90+% of the time. I don't like to tell people to eliminate foods/treats altogether, but some things really do need to be greatly limited. Somehow the idea of never being able to have a Pepsi again would likely be stressful to you, but knowing that you can have one, but are saving it for your birthday is often less stressful and helps avoid the forbidden fruit appeal increasing the power the particular culprit comestible has over you. The caveat here is that if you do have one and it leads to binging or withdrawals, then you really may need to stay away entirely and find some form of substitute for when you would have infrequently indulged.

No Pepsi is my one and only.  I drink Coke when Pepsi isn't available and of course that stopped as well.  I do have that proverbial "last cigarette" Pepsi in the form of a cold 20oz bottle, and I've resisted it so far.  I did have withdrawal which peaked on Saturday but I seem to be past that hump.

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4 hours ago, anatess2 said:

You can overshare as much as you need to.  I want oversharing.  And I want to read as much as you want to write.  If you write an entire book on it, I'll read it!

I would like to write a book someday. Perhaps that also plays into my desire to improve my mastery of the english language.

4 hours ago, anatess2 said:

I don't like achy sweaty anything.  But there are fun stuff I like which makes me forget I'm achy and sweaty - like dancing and partying.  My brain is stubborn - so it resists like a mule, but part of it also pushes through in equal stubborness.   It's like having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other shoulder fighting like mad over domination.  

Okay, I have all kinds of free weights at home.  I have a bench and an entire set of dumbells and that metal bar that you hang weights on either end which I can't use because the metal bar itself without the weights is already heavy.  I have a pull-up bar that goes on the threshold and workout balls - the giant one that's half my size and the small heavy one the size of a volleyball.  I also have band weights (you pull these giant rubber band kind of things) that is attached to the door that you pull with either your hands or your legs.  And I have the Insanity video set and the Hip Hop Abs video which I've had for years but remained untouched.  Well, actually that's not quite accurate.  I love watching those videos.  That guy, Shaun T, is super duper fun to watch.  So, I watched the entire video from beginning to end.  But... I haven't quite brought myself to follow along.  I watch it like a TV show.  

As far as food... I don't eat vegetables unless it's uncooked - like veggie tray or fresh salad.  Or made into a shake with banana.  I actually hate vegetables but I've taught myself to eat fresh ones because I know I need it.  I love fruit and can eat fruit like potato chips (oh yeah, I also love potato chips).

So, if you have the time to make me a recipe... like Do this on Mondays, Do this on Tuesdays, etc. and Eat This for lunch, Eat this for dinner, Eat lunch 4 hours after breakfast... that would go good for me because what I am really good at is Following Instructions to a T.  Then I'll tell you what happened on my end - like, you told me to do it for 5 minutes but I couldn't last past 30 seconds.  I tried to eat this but I couldn't find it in Walmart. Etc. etc.  Cool?

I might indeed try to give you some strict guidelines at some point if you think it will help. My personal experience with clients over the last ten years has lead me to believe otherwise though. Most people (and you could very well be an exception) buy in a whole lot better when they play a role in designing their own routine. This is especially true when it comes to eating. People tend to be a lot more willing to try different exercise programs, but as soon as they are told what to eat (and perhaps more importantly what not to eat) they get defensive and rebellious even if only at a subconscious level and it doesn't work out. So while it may require more effort on your part to get started if you don't mind I'd like you to start by trying to find yourself in this article and using it as a rough framework to build your own menu from. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/fix-a-broken-diet

You might find using https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate useful as well for looking at what foods would fall into what categories. For instance, meats and legumes are going to be considered proteins (although practically all whole food has protein, these are particularly rich sources), nuts and seeds are going to be healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables are going to be fruits and vegetables. Dairy as a food group is over-rated.

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14 minutes ago, unixknight said:

The former should be pretty easy to do.

Excellent. Have you been fairly active in the last few months? If not I'd suggest starting with something as simple as walking interspersed with some calisthenics to start with. Is the weather nice where you are? This would be similar to what boxers might call roadwork. Simply walk or jog for a couple of minutes and then drop and do as many push-ups as you can, then get back up and carry on walking/jogging... stop at the end of the next block and shadow box for 30 seconds (or if that's not your thing do some burpees, squats, mountain climbers etc.)

This is also convenient indoors and you don't need any fancy equipment, just march in place or jog in place and stop every so often to do some calisthenics. If you have some good stairs in your house or in the neighbourhood (hopefully safe and not just the 'hood) then you can alternate days of roadwork with days of stair climbs. It's not a bad idea at all to start stair climbing with just walking. It is surprising how much you can feel it the next day or three after walking stairs for ten to fifteen minutes straight. As you get in better condition you can start running up the stairs every third or forth ascent.

If you've already been quite active you could start right in with some metabolic resistance circuits or HIIT. I'd rather you err on the side of starting too slow though because it's easy to get injured overdoing things at first. I worked with a physiotherapist once who maintained that February is the busiest month for rehab because of all the injured New Year's resolution fitness kicks ending in overuse injury.

14 minutes ago, unixknight said:

Understood.  And yeah I used to do Weight Watchers (and was pretty successful) and one  thing it definitely does is make you pay attention to what you eat, so it's a habit I sort of maintain.  I say sort of because I haven't written down anything on paper.  I can certainly start.

Cool. I'll look forward to getting your report when you're ready.

14 minutes ago, unixknight said:

No Pepsi is my one and only.  I drink Coke when Pepsi isn't available and of course that stopped as well.  I do have that proverbial "last cigarette" Pepsi in the form of a cold 20oz bottle, and I've resisted it so far.  I did have withdrawal which peaked on Saturday but I seem to be past that hump.

That's good news. You're already winning that battle - you might want to get rid of the tempting 20 oz bottle though. A rule of thumb that holds true is that if something is in the house it is going to be eaten, especially those things we are trying not to eat/drink. Similar to the office candy jar study I linked for @NeuroTypical if you have to leave your house to get a sanck or treat it's less likely to happen then if it only requires opening the cupboard.

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I thought I'd input some basic resources that might be useful as starting points.

Exercise:

Since I can trust that everyone here has some form of internet access, fitnessblender.com has a variety of free workout videos with a range of equipment options designed for the home exerciser. If you don't want to put much thought into it and just follow along then fitness blender delivers a reasonable workout to fill the bill. I could nit pick about form and such, but overall they put out sound routines and it's free aside from the cost of internet access.

Also a great resource for understanding a little more about the importance of strength training for weight loss - It's a little lengthy, I have a copy converted to mp3 that I can listen to while doing dishes and such. 

Realize that when he says dieting doesn't work, he is only partially correct. Diets that you go on and come back off don't work. Changing your eating patterns for good is a must for long-term weight management success.

Nutrition

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/fix-a-broken-diet

This is a great article on some basic strategies to fix some big culprits. Sure there can be fine tuning like nutrient timing and so on, but really it is far more important to just nail down the basics. No fancy shakes, or pills needed, just quality food and decent quantities.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.nutritionfacts.dailydozen&hl=en_CA

This can also be very useful for setting a goal to get in some really nutrient dense foods. This particular Dr.(behind this app) is a strong proponent of plant-based eating, but even alongside flesh these foods will be helpful for health and weight loss. Anyone on the fence about going plant based can find watching Dr. Gregers nutritionfacts.org videos or listening to his podcasts extremely enlightening. I do believe that this is most in line with the word of wisdom (let's skip the debate on that in here) and what the preponderance of evidence suggests to be the most healthy way to eat, but just like the best exercise plan is the one you'll stick to I also firmly believe that you need to find an eating system that you're good with. If plant based doesn't do it for you, find something that does. The fact of the matter is that any diet seems to create improvements over ad libitum eating of standard western food in the 21st century. if you prefer to go keto, paleo, vegan, nutritarian, lowfat, I don't really care as long as it is an improvement over what you're currently doing. You may miss out on the health benefits of eating a whole food plant based diet, but you can still improve your health a great deal with these other options compared to the see food diet. 

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On 12/31/2018 at 5:01 PM, SpiritDragon said:

Some things that would be helpful for me to know to possibly help those of you that would like some help:

How much time are you willing and able to commit to exercise on a weekly basis?

Do you have any medical exercise restrictions?

Are you willing to keep and share a food log?

* disclaimer * All help given here is given with the understanding that we don't actually know each other and I am giving freely of the knowledge and experience I have gained. You are responsible to seek out any medical clearance before embarking on this or any other exercise and nutrition program. Although I do have a good idea what I'm talking about, please realize you are agreeing to take advice from an anonymous internet personality who cannot prove credentials without losing anonymity, you do so at your own risk.

Thanks for your willingness to help out!  I have a cousin and a couple old YSA friends I follow on IG that share tips I pretend to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle.  One thing I've learned from them is that if a plan/routine doesn't work with you, it's not going to work for you.  My cousin is really big into tracking, accountability, and maintaining a positive outlook on the long term end goal.  The YSA friend/spouse do Cross Fit and have a YouTube channel devoted to counting macros.  I watched like three before I felt like I was clued in.  Anyway, one of them shared something I've actually been able to incorporate, and that is to not allow yourself to have two "bad" meals in a row.  Like, if you give in to McD's for lunch, make sure supper is healthy.  Not because the nutrition balances out, but because it keeps the good habits on top.

I can stick to a complete overhaul for about the space of a pay period, definitely not long enough to make any sort of difference. I know this about myself, which is why I focus on small and simple things to change.  I'm really good at staying hydrated, though.  Have been drinking at least 32 oz of water most days since high school/the last 15 years.

1. On a minimum weekly basis, I could commit to a total of three fifteen minute workouts.  Two out of three weeks, I can do more, but I work late shifts every third week so my schedule is thrown off.

2.  Between lethargic depression, a big bust, and psoriasis flare ups under skin folds that make movement painful (it's the same sensation as chapped lips) I avoid high impact exercises.

3. Yes

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24 minutes ago, seashmore said:

Thanks for your willingness to help out!  I have a cousin and a couple old YSA friends I follow on IG that share tips I pretend to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle.  One thing I've learned from them is that if a plan/routine doesn't work with you, it's not going to work for you.  My cousin is really big into tracking, accountability, and maintaining a positive outlook on the long term end goal.  The YSA friend/spouse do Cross Fit and have a YouTube channel devoted to counting macros.  I watched like three before I felt like I was clued in.  Anyway, one of them shared something I've actually been able to incorporate, and that is to not allow yourself to have two "bad" meals in a row.  Like, if you give in to McD's for lunch, make sure supper is healthy.  Not because the nutrition balances out, but because it keeps the good habits on top.

Those sound like great tips. If they work for you - Awesome!

24 minutes ago, seashmore said:

I can stick to a complete overhaul for about the space of a pay period, definitely not long enough to make any sort of difference. I know this about myself, which is why I focus on small and simple things to change.  I'm really good at staying hydrated, though.  Have been drinking at least 32 oz of water most days since high school/the last 15 years.

Sounds wise. If you were to pick one thing to improve this week what would it be? 

24 minutes ago, seashmore said:

1. On a minimum weekly basis, I could commit to a total of three fifteen minute workouts.  Two out of three weeks, I can do more, but I work late shifts every third week so my schedule is thrown off.

When starting out a new habit like consistent exercise one of the biggest obstacles is setting aside the time. Sometimes it helps to do something as basic as simply walking, or even thinking about walking for 5 minutes on the days you set out to go. Once the time is set aside then making more detailed plans to get more results comes in handy. I'm wondering if this might be a fit for you since you wish to avoid high impact activities.

24 minutes ago, seashmore said:

2.  Between lethargic depression, a big bust, and psoriasis flare ups under skin folds that make movement painful (it's the same sensation as chapped lips) I avoid high impact exercises.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman has had lots of success with a variety of conditions including depression and psoriasis using his nutrient dense approach to eating.

 https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/health-concerns/10/psoriasis

https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/health-concerns/23/depression

You might find that it's worth a try to see if you don't have to be dealing with a life sentence. He has plenty of great books to choose from which cover his basic eating plan, although he does tailor it a little to various issues like diabetes and heart disease in his books specifically for those conditions. His website also has a membership option where you can consult with him and get support. Just something you might find worth looking into. No pressure.

Aside from nutritional support that may be a game changer for you - it was for my wife who had terrible eczema, similar to psoriasis with how bad it was all over her face and arms, now people have forgotten she ever had it - what types of exercise do you enjoy? 

24 minutes ago, seashmore said:

3. Yes

If you follow the directions for keeping a food journal that I have given to others, specifically @unixknight and @anatess2 that will be a great place to start. Then we can look at what changes should give the biggest return on investment.

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59 minutes ago, SpiritDragon said:

When starting out a new habit like consistent exercise one of the biggest obstacles is setting aside the time. Sometimes it helps to do something as basic as simply walking, or even thinking about walking for 5 minutes on the days you set out to go. Once the time is set aside then making more detailed plans to get more results comes in handy. I'm wondering if this might be a fit for you since you wish to avoid high impact activities.

Due to weather restrictions (it was 8 degrees F at noon today), I'm thinking something indoors will benefit me best.  My roommate reminded me some YSAish folks get together Thursday nights for volleyball at a stake center and I start a curling league this Friday.  (Hopefully, I haven't heard anything one way or the other, but I did pay my dues and will be perfectly content if they let me throw stones by myself if there's no team for me.)  In the meantime, I'll search for a good short yoga routine that I can do in a small space.  Once I get into a regular exercise routine, I'll set more specific goals for my nutrition.  Right now, it's just: eat more veggies and consume less sugar.

My psoriasis seems to be triggered more by stress than nutrition, and I do plan on seeing a dermatologist/doctor about it this quarter to help me manage it.  The depression is seasonal (usually; this year came with mitigating circumstances).  If you're familiar at all with the spoon theory, I get fewer spoons a day in January than I do in August. 

I'll start the food journal in the morning.  Mostly because I don't eat before bed!

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3 minutes ago, seashmore said:

Due to weather restrictions (it was 8 degrees F at noon today), I'm thinking something indoors will benefit me best.  My roommate reminded me some YSAish folks get together Thursday nights for volleyball at a stake center and I start a curling league this Friday.  (Hopefully, I haven't heard anything one way or the other, but I did pay my dues and will be perfectly content if they let me throw stones by myself if there's no team for me.)  In the meantime, I'll search for a good short yoga routine that I can do in a small space.  Once I get into a regular exercise routine, I'll set more specific goals for my nutrition.  Right now, it's just: eat more veggies and consume less sugar.

Those all sound like great ideas. You'll have to keep us all in the loop with the yoga and volleyball. As for yoga there are plenty of videos out there, I took the libertay of grabbing two at random from youtube to share in the event they are helpful to you. 

 

In keeping with the fact that you have already expressed that incremental changes are likely better for you I like the idea of of keeping nutrition as simple as the vague idea of more veggies and less sugar while you are adding exercise into your routine.  A good rule of thumb I learned from Precision Nutrition is to ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely you are to succeed at implementing a new behaviour. If the answer is less than nine, then the behaviour needs to be simplified. Once you make changes so small that it is hard not to succeed you start to build momentum by having small successes instead of the set backs from multiple failures. Even if the success is small it is still success. So this is to say that if your primary objective for now is to go curling and volleyball, daily Yoga, and eating veggies are all secondary then you get success points for the primary change of taking on curling and bonus points for any of the other stuff, but no guilt over not making it all happen now. 

3 minutes ago, seashmore said:

My psoriasis seems to be triggered more by stress than nutrition, and I do plan on seeing a dermatologist/doctor about it this quarter to help me manage it.  The depression is seasonal (usually; this year came with mitigating circumstances).  If you're familiar at all with the spoon theory, I get fewer spoons a day in January than I do in August. 

I have a sister-in-law who has used the spoon analogy to try and explain her life with an autoimmune condition, so I'm familiar with the idea of fewer spoon days. I hope your healthcare team can make a big difference for you.

3 minutes ago, seashmore said:

I'll start the food journal in the morning.  Mostly because I don't eat before bed!

Sounds great. It's only for three days to get a sense of your eating habits. Remember not to change how you eat for the purpose of journaling, you'll only short change yourself of uncovering what modifications are needed most.

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16 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

Excellent. Have you been fairly active in the last few months? If not I'd suggest starting with something as simple as walking interspersed with some calisthenics to start with. Is the weather nice where you are? This would be similar to what boxers might call roadwork. Simply walk or jog for a couple of minutes and then drop and do as many push-ups as you can, then get back up and carry on walking/jogging... stop at the end of the next block and shadow box for 30 seconds (or if that's not your thing do some burpees, squats, mountain climbers etc.)

I haven't really been very active.  I do try to get out and walk at lunchtime during work (especially because I have a sedentary job so any excuse to get out of my chair is a good one), but I'm not very consistent because...

...the weather is not nice here this time of year.  It's been unusually rainy lately too.  I have a nice bike in my shed that I was riding regularly a couple years ago and would like to resume.  My house is near a bike trail I'd like to try.  I do also have a heavy bag in my basement but I stopped using it much about a year and a half ago because the noise that propagates through the house when I use it messes with the baby's naps.

16 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

This is also convenient indoors and you don't need any fancy equipment, just march in place or jog in place and stop every so often to do some calisthenics. If you have some good stairs in your house or in the neighbourhood (hopefully safe and not just the 'hood) then you can alternate days of roadwork with days of stair climbs. It's not a bad idea at all to start stair climbing with just walking. It is surprising how much you can feel it the next day or three after walking stairs for ten to fifteen minutes straight. As you get in better condition you can start running up the stairs every third or forth ascent.

 That should be easily doable.  My man cave is in the basement so I'm up and down the stairs anyway.  The only concern I have is that my knees have been protesting when I go down recently, though I think that's because of the additional weight I've been adding lately.

16 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

If you've already been quite active you could start right in with some metabolic resistance circuits or HIIT. I'd rather you err on the side of starting too slow though because it's easy to get injured overdoing things at first. I worked with a physiotherapist once who maintained that February is the busiest month for rehab because of all the injured New Year's resolution fitness kicks ending in overuse injury.

Yeah slow is good.  I will say though that since I quit the soda I feel my energy level improving. 

16 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

Cool. I'll look forward to getting your report when you're ready.

Today is day 7 of the week long soda purge.  I had given myself permission to have a Pepsi after 1 week with the idea of continuing to abstain for as long as I can bear it.  So I should start tomorrow with the log?

I have been supplementing water with lemonade, though I try to get sugar fee lemonade or water it down.  My wife plans to make me homemade lemonade with a juicer to become my staple drink. 

16 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

That's good news. You're already winning that battle - you might want to get rid of the tempting 20 oz bottle though. A rule of thumb that holds true is that if something is in the house it is going to be eaten, especially those things we are trying not to eat/drink. Similar to the office candy jar study I linked for @NeuroTypical if you have to leave your house to get a sanck or treat it's less likely to happen then if it only requires opening the cupboard.

As for that last 20oz... that's a psychological accommodation to one of my character flaws...  I'm like a cat.  I can be in a room all day long but the instant I feel like I can't leave, that's all I want to do.   I find it easier to abstain when I have the choice not to.  If I get rid of that soda the cravings will spike and I'll go get more Pepsi just to get back into the feeling of being in control, only I'll binge.  (Because the reality is, at that point, I most certainly do NOT have control.)

Anyone who says soda is not addictive is someone who hasn't been there.  (And I envy them for it)

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