Thursday, March 31, 2011

Getting Fit - The Last 5-10 Pounds

I've been working to get fit for 6+ months now, having started with exercise last fall and adding a healthy diet as a New Year's resolution. To date, I've lost between 15-20 pounds, so I know it's working. But it's working as slow as slow gets. And in everything I've read, they say the last 5-10 pounds are the hardest.

Some people say it's self-sabotage. Or that because you are close to your goal you ease up and become less disciplined. Others simply say the weight loss becomes so slow that you give up.

I'm determined to make it and to keep it off, and wanted to share some of what's worked for me so far and ask for your advice for continued success.

Here's what's worked for me so far.
  • Setting the clock weekdays for 1 hour earlier and using the time for a morning workout. I mix up the workouts too, some mornings doing yoga and ab exercises, other mornings cardio or workouts with weights.
  • Establishing my daily caloric output. There are a lot of online tools to do this, but my favorite is This site lets you plug in your body type and activity level, and calculates approximately how many calories you expend in a day. Then it gives you the opportunity to add specific activities, like yoga, bicycling, or cleaning for example. I'm sedentary, having a job where I sit most of the day, but I add in my daily workout and any additional physical activities (like when I spend 4 hours doing intense cleaning).
  • Once I know how many calories are being burned in a day, all I have to do is keep my caloric intake less than that number. And calorie count helps you track that as well (along with your nutrient intake).
Sounds simple enough. But it is hard. Hard to get up early in the morning when everyone else is sleeping. Hard to limit my caloric intake when I really would LOVE to have one of those girl scout cookies (actually I would prefer the delicious, best I've ever had in my life, coconut cupcakes that my neighbor baked and brought over recently).

So I guess the main thing is to keep plugging away at it, even after a day of blowing the caloric deficit or omitting the daily workout. The main thing is to get it right on a routine basis, and not sweat the mess ups.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your Story - A Poem

Recently, my daughter was given an assignment to write a poem following the format of the Mother to Son poem by Langston Hughes. The theme was "life" and metaphor was required. What she wrote is so beautiful, that I had to share it here.

Your Story
by Katherine Tuttle

Well, Grace, I'll tell you:
Life is your story written in ink.
It has misspelled words,
And pages missing.
There will be times when you don't know what to write,
And there will be times when your pen runs out of ink -
But don't quit writing.
I've been correcting my mistakes,
And I've been turning and filling up my pages.
Keep writing because if you do,
You will be able to cross out your mistakes, or tear out the page,
And start the chapter over again.
Grace, don't stop writing.
Don't let the jumbled sentences get in your way.
Keep going.
Don't let your story be unfinished.
Don't put your pen down yet
Because your story is still ahead of you.
That is life, your story written in ink.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What's Your Spiritual Gift?

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind — just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you — so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:4-9

At church, several weeks ago now, our pastor preached a sermon that talked about spiritual gifts. It was a good and moving service, and I was quite taken aback when the pastor went around the room and individually named spiritual gifts that each person in our congregation was blessed with. Wow.

She really nailed my daughters. She named faith as a spiritual gift of my oldest, and joy, a gift of my youngest. What really surprised me was the gift she named for me. Teaching. Teaching? Really?

Funny, but when I was a younger working adult and went back to college, I wanted to get a degree so that I could become a teacher, but the counselors discouraged that choice, and so I focused on marketing instead. And my jobs since then have all been in sales-related fields. My passion has always been writing. So where does teaching fit into all of this?

But it does. Sales and marketing is a matter of educating a prospect on the benefits they will receive with your product or service. So I am teaching in my job. And as far as writing, it would be swell to think that something I wrote had an impact on someone in a manner that they felt they learned something.

So teaching as a spiritual gift is cool. And I hope to learn other meaningful ways in which to teach.