The goal of muscle mass percentage instead of a number on the scale

One of the blogs I read each morning is “Less of a Better Me” and this morning she was talking about the BMI goal vs a muscle mass goal.

I can relate so clearly to her description of motivation at goal/below goal and as it relates to fat percentages. I am 5′ 4″ and a half, so I struggle with the same few pounds as she describes, although right now I’m paying at weightwatchers because I’m above goal. I managed to stay at goal (+/- 2 lbs) for two years, but got an injury last March and the weight crept back on. I’m still trying to get it back down almost a year later!

I’ve been focusing on other goals besides WW weigh-ins because I want to get more muscle mass. It seems like the weight is much easier to maintain when I have more muscle to burn the calories and it is almost effortless. But gaining back weight made it that I’m constantly fighting the scale.

I signed up for a relay in the local marathon (not til Sept, but that gives me time to train) and a fundraiser long distance bike ride (not til Aug, so that also gives me time to train.) I’ve been skiing, spinning and doing some hiit classes, with some occasional running when there is no ice, to keep the muscle mass. But I think I need some personal training on the weights.

Something about the wintertime (even though its been a warm winter) but I crave carbs when it is cold outside.

It does seem like the scale number is very related to the muscle mass percentage. And that adding fat mass is way too easy! It is taking constant vigilance to keep the fat mass from growing and keeping the muscle mass at a decent percentage.

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Weightwatcher motivation from Oprah

Oprah call on weightwatchersJust listening to the Oprah call. I was skiing when it was broadcast live, but Weightwatchers members can listen to it here: and since I wanted to listen on my phone, I had to type in the whole URL… no link on the app inside my phone (at least that I could find.)

It definitely bolstered my motivation.

I’ve been struggling with motivation since I got back from Florida. Not sure if it’s the extra work I have now (2 full pages of legal pad to do list!) or the cold weather (about 32 degrees each day) or the overcast grey January days in Ohio or sitting at the computer more trying to churn out the work… etc. but I’ve been struggling with motivation.

It was very motivational for me to get me to start really tracking again. That’s one of my major challenges.

So here are some of the nuggets I want to remember from listening to this call:

* It’s a slow process but quitting doesn’t get you there any faster.

* Oprah – “I counted out 10 chips and then I put the bag away.” Of all of her many achievements and awards she has achieved that fact that she considered this on MAJOR, well I found that this resonated with me.  I can so relate to not bringing chips into the house. But if someone does, I don’t touch them. I am still not to the point of counting out 10 and putting the bag away. Even after being on WW since 2007…

* Put yourself first… analogy with the oxygen mask on the plane. Fill yourself up to allow your self to give to other people. First thing in the morning she gets up with the dogs to let them out/in and then she sits in centered prayerful thought before stepping out into the day and getting on the treadmill.  I can really relate to doing the workout first thing in the morning. Yesterday I didn’t get to my work out until noon. Not the right approach for me. I gotta do it early, before 8:30!

* Trigger foods. Don’t keep in the house. “There goes my weeklies” Yep I can relate. To both trigger foods. And losing my weeklies… If I grab a trigger food right now, it’s plain Greek yogurt. And it’s happened 3 times. because I add honey and walnuts. and I go back again and again. I track the first one. fudge the 2nd one and ignore the 3rd one. bad. sugar buzz. Note to self. Don’t bring in the Greek yogurt anymore.

* “I don’t use my weeklies or fit points”I try not to count mine either. but then I eat something that just tastes good, or more for the 3 pm snack boredom or work stress. 3pm is my nemesis. I gotta figure out a new strategy to deal with it. and weekies/fit points eating isn’t working for 3 pm munchies.

15 by 12 15*”I’m not doing this to lose weight, but so I can feel more vibrant and alive. That’s why it is different than a diet. You get to work it however you want to work it. ”

I’m doing this now to lose weight. The 15 pounds that I gained last spring when I had my injury.  I lost 4 when I was in Florida but gained it back again with my cold weather de motivated self.  I think I gotta keep picturing carrying around that red kettle bell with me all the time. I know if I could put it down, I’d feel much lighter on my feet!

* Running up the steps, instead of stopping on the 13th step. You know what it feels like to be agile and live and free in the movement. The ability to move freely inside your body is one of the great gifts you can give yourself. Being flexible and able to move inside the body. Exercise is important. We have to find ways to move your body. – I totally get all this.

* To not be out of breath walking up the stairs because of lugging around so much extra weight. I had that same experience a few years ago noticing how I just zoomed up the stairs instead of trudging. I think I can get rid of that last 15 pound kettle bell I want to be feeling that light feeling again.

* 5 days a week aerobic a week. Stretch class. Yoga studio app. Think I’m going to try doing a 5 minute stretch routine as part of my get ready for bed routine.

* No longer having food as a priority. The obsession is done. Points take the “Should I cleanse? low carb. Paleo. Compulsive obsession.” out of it. Thinking differently about food. – I’m not here yet. I’m still wishy washy between 28 day, 30 whole, Paleo, vegan, zero point soup day, etc. I want to embrace the feel good thoughts when I’m feeling like munching and looking in the fridge for something yummy.

* “Give yourself credit for being strong.” “Accountable to the points.” “Strength x Strength = Power.” This is a key takeaway for me. Seems like congratulating yourself on the “little” things and not beating yourself up on the fall backs, will make me stronger and more successful. I’m going to try to not look at a fall back as a failure, but instead reframe it that I refuse to give up.

I was very inspired listening to the call. I think I’m going to go on Connect and make that part of my motivational routine. I hasn’t even looked at it.

My goal for this week will be to track. Track. Simply track. That seems so easy, but it is so hard for me.

Not the breakfast and lunch… but from 3 pm on, it’s hard! Maybe I should try starting my day at 3 pm. Someone suggested that at a meeting and it worked for them. 3 pm to 3 pm. That way if I ate a lot of points 3 pm to 9 pm… then I could do zero points 8 am to 3 pm the next day and stay on it. At least for those tough days.

All good things. And I’m going to reread this post at 3 pm to tighten my resolve. Instead of looking for pretzels with peanut butter. Or maybe eat those at 2:30 if I still have points left from my 30!

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Homemade Pasta Recipe

I tried to make homemade Pasta a few times, but lost the recipe.

Here’s one with directions and photos.

Basically 3.5 cups flour, 4 eggs, 1/2 teas olive oil, dash salt with a tiny bit of water (2-3 T water) should be sticky, not dry and clumpy.

Mix by hand 30 seconds. Cut into sections. Make it desired thickness. Let it rest/rise for 20-30 minutes. Either use, or dry on a rack then refridgerate or freeze.

Cook in boiling water just a few minutes

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One Week of Food: What the World Eats

When I think of a week of food, yes there are lots of fruits and veggies in my fridge and in the bowls on the counter, but too much of everything.

Some of these photos are shocking to see the differences. But what struck me the most is the similarities.

What The World Eats in a Week

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January workouts and getting stronger

january workoutsBeen tracking my workouts throughout January and I’ve worked out 16 of 23 days about 70% thru the month of January. I’ve gone running several times and done 3 spin classes, 1 yoga, 2 skiing and a core/cardio/strength class. Feeling pretty good and I’ve lost at least 1 pound since the first of the year.

Keep thinking about what 1) runs 2) bike rides 3)other adventures I want to take on this year.

Everybody (ha ha) is doing the half marathon this year. I say “everybody” because it sounds so high school… of course not everybody… but the people from my relay team last year. Instead of doing 6 miles, it’s 13.1 miles. I’ve not fully embraced that goal yet. I’m not sure I have it in me for doing the training. I’ll be bike riding, or working out and then getting too tired to run.

It’d be cool to say that I’m going to run the half. but not sure that being cool is what I’m going for. I’d much rather lose 5 pounds. Maybe I should learn to cook 3 more healthy dishes that i like to cook and that are super healthy to eat.

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The Six Days of Twix-Mas

Staying strong and sticking with the weight plan. I’m holding my weight, wanted to drop at least one more pound before the new year, but it’s way better than a gain!

Only got one workout in so far during the “Twix-Mas”, but am planning 3 more. Yesterday was really bad.  Drove an hour to visit family. Sat for 2 hours at 2 different houses… then sat thru StarWars movie… and drove another hour home. Didn’t even get 1000 steps in! Yeesh!

christmas day 2015The six days between Christmas and New Years Eve are always a challenge with leftovers and a different schedule. I found I just couldn’t get up for spinning this morning. Was in a deep sleep after getting lots of interrupted sleep last night. My plan is to run a few miles (3.1) this morning before work.

My visit with my new doctor went well. Got a flu shot and some things updated or ready to update (mammogram, colonoscopy, blood work and a new epipen.) When she listened to my heart she said, That’s what I like to hear! I can tell you do a lot of cardio.” (Pulse was 54.)

Didn’t run the Frosty5, but I’m thinking about the 4 pm resolution run on New Years Eve. Gonna see how today’s run goes.

Got lots of good Christmas presents: sliders, under armour hoodie, workout tech shirt, reflective running shirt with thumbholes. I feel good about it. Invited my sister to come workout at my gym on 1/23.

I have about 2 weeks until I’m going to decide if I do the relay again or if I sign up for a 1/2 marathon. Just not sure I can train and not get injured for the 1/2. Maybe I’ll give myself m0re than 2 weeks to decide. Just want to stay injury free but keep on working my 5 days of heavy exercise a week plan in 2016.

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Back for a Month

early Saturday after workoutI’m feeling good about my exercise now. I can “keep up” with the others in my class… at least to the level that I ever keep up that is.

Rejoined Weight Watchers this month to learn about the SmartPoints and get those 15 pounds off. Have had some success. It is difficult during the holidays as there is sugar treats everywhere. Two Christmas parties this week and I was good… but a food gift got the better of me one night.

Not bad, just back at it again today.

Feeling strong. Cardio has improved and strength too. And being not hurt is wonderful! I go to my new doctor on Wednesday for a wellness visit. I hope I like her because I’m looking for a doctor for the next 40 years.  I’m switching from my doctor for the last 25 because he’s my age and will retire before I start to really need him. (Hopefully I won’t really need her either, but it’s good to get things set up before something happens.)

My gym just came out with the new list of classes. The one I take at 5:30 am is described as “WARNING this advanced class will push you to your limits. Not for the faint of heart” and is called Full Throttle. I’m looking forward to it, but hoping it’s not much more than the one I’m taking now.  I’m already at my limits or feel like I am. We’ll see. Maybe I will have to step it down.

I’m glad to see if I do step it down, there’s something at 7 am that I know is challenging but I can still do it. Plus on alternate dates there is a weightlifting class for women. I’ve got to at least try that.

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August to November 52% workouts

November was really good at 60% and I am going to go for a 65% in December. I lightened up a bit in August following Buckeye Breakaway… and also in October following the Marathon Relay.

But back at it in November and feeling good in December.

60 percent workouts during November but 52 percent for August thru Nov 2015

I’m going to make my December goal a 65% workout month. I am not on track with my Kettlebell challenge, but down 5 pounds. Still have time to get the other 10 pounds off this month!!

I’m tempted to up the workouts to 75%, but what I need to focus on is the food intake.  Type and portions.

  1. drink water
  2. eat a high protein breakfast
  3. don’t snack on carbs in the afternoon
  4. plan lunches and dinners… don’t wait until I’m hungry to make decisions about the choices of type or how much
  5. grocery shop for good choices
  6. DO NOT emotionally eat this month. (Dec is one of the big 3 emotional months…Sept/May/Dec, Although with the kids grown, Sept/May are much easier!!)
  7. Get enough sleep
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On Track during Thanksgiving

Wow, made it thru the biggest eating holiday of the year… even with stressful family situations that totally get me to emotionally eat.

Here’s the strategies that worked:
1) Tiny portions of protein, veggies and only my very most favorite carbs.
2) tiny seconds of protein and veggies
3) Half a portion of dessert
4) two bottles of flavored water

Non Food:
5) HIIT workout in morning – (155 rate up to 170 ish for an hour, dropping to 130 during the 3 water breaks)
6) Chew gum
7) Made it about the people – talked to each of my sisters individually
8) Took a walk when things got tense
9) Didn’t eat during clean up or prep.

Results for the weigh-in on Friday morning: same as the weigh-in on Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  One month, down six pounds.

Feel really good about how things went. Because I was using all my strategies, I don’t have the anxious, “gotta gotta eat” feeling.

Now on to the next 7 pounds before the end of the year! 35 days! You can do it!




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Slower but still on Track

I had a good run on Saturday at the Turkey Trot. My friend even won second place in our age group. (cool trophy!!) I turkey trotted along, pushing myself over the hills up and down to finish the 5 miles with a 12:12 pace just over one hour. I’d love to set one of my 2016 goals to do 5 miles in a sub one hour!! I think it is doable, but weather, course elevation, footing and my weight need to all be more optimal.

I ran most of the race with a guy in front of me wearing a weight jacket and I bet he had about 15 extra pounds. I kept thinking, hey, I have about 10 extra pounds… even 15, myself. I bet my time would rock if I can take off my jacket. (although my weight is more like weight pants since I’m carrying around my hips and thighs.)

Two women in front of me and one behind me were part of the same family (mother, daughter and grandmother… 38, 16 and 62.) There sister was there too. I would run and catch the 38 year old and 16 year old. Then they would run and get ahead of me. This went on for miles!  They finished about a minute ahead of me. During that last big hill as I saw them really pull away from me, the thought crossed my mind, I’m looking up their ages. They’ve got to be at least 10 years younger than me. So true.  20 years and 42 years! The one that was my age (4 years older than me came in at a 14:53 mile,) so I was 2:41 per mile faster. Of course she was probably walking as I was running, so I guess I shouldn’t be smug about it.  I’ll get faster as a I lose the weight.

I’m promising myself that!!

Eating was more of a challenge over the weekend with 4 other events (pizza meeting, out to dinner at a burger joint… then a fundraiser and bonfire) during the weekend.

How I coped:
1 – pizza meeting. One slice of cheese veggie only. (got a stomach ache anyway from the fat when I’ve been so good at eating cleaner.) Wished I had skipped it due to stomach ache. Not worth the calories and it was papa johns (My old favorite) Now is a definite skip.
2- burger place. ordered a broiled chicken salad with dressing on the side. Did indulge in 1/2 an order of sweet potato fries. Not too bad because fell within my food calories.
3- fundraiser. chewed gum during most of the fund raiser – but did indulge in a stromboli like pepperoni roll and 2 chocolate dipped pretzel rods. Most indulgent. Sitting during a 3 hour auction. Tough to resist for 3 hours.
4- Bonfire. Chewed gum at the buffet until almost everyone had eaten or started seconds. Took a bowl of chili but only 1/2. Then filled it with salad-y things after I ate the chili. Never got a plate. Also drank flavored water with a splash of red wine. Most successful strategy.

Still working on the kettlebell  challenge. Down 5 of the 15.  Saturday dinner party will be my next hurdle.  Same as 2 years ago on a Feb and was the beginning of a long tall climb.  Gotta work hard on the strategies for Saturday.

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