Thursday, January 20, 2011


I just got my sparkpeople page up and running. If you're on there, please come find me. I like friends.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Goal Setting

Goal setting theories are one of those asshole things.

You know, everyone has one.

Yesterday, I posted my #1 goal for the year.

Before I break down how I choose to attack my goals, I want to give you a bit of information about how others recommend we set goals.

Psychologists say that goals should be specific and challenging. Research by Dr. Edwin Locke back in the 1960's resulted in a lovely acronym for effective goal setting. He said that goals should be SMART.

Specific - Be precise in defining your goal. Make it significant! Make it count!
Measurable - Make it meaningful! There has be a way to define success.
Attainable - There has to be a way to make it happen. It must be within your control.
Relevant - Make it rewarding! It has to mean something to you.
Trackable - There should be a time set to it. Give it an end.

I'm a huge fan of goals. They help me feel organized in my life and in charge of my own destiny. Without them, I tend to feel chaotic and disinterested. Years ago, I felt that goals added a level of stress to my life. I did not enjoy defining what I wanted because if I was unable to achieve them, I felt deflated and that my already negative outlook on the world would just be reinforced. What I found was that it's all in my perception. I could choose to look at it that way which could be nothing but the truth or I can choose to look at it how I do now, and that is that goals help me get more out of my days, months, and years. Without them, I feel like time is just passing me by. With them, I feel engaged in my own life.

Goals are a valuable resource for building self confidence.
Thinking about your goals is just the first step in creating the life that you want and becoming the person you want to be. If you haven't been asleep or unconscious for the past year or two, you would have heard about the new agey stuff going around with the laws of attraction. Laws of attraction suggest that like attracts like. So if you are thinking and feeling not so good about you or your surroundings, you'll experience more of those not so good things to generate more of the same thoughts and feelings but if you think and feel happy and proud and content then more things will come into your life to support those feelings and thoughts. Setting goals, in my opinion, is just a tool to manipulate the laws of attraction in your favor.  

So here's how I do it.

I start with a spreadsheet because I'm a numbers nerd and I love spreadsheets. It's my thing, leave it alone. You don't have to use a spreadsheet, you can just write them on a sheet of paper if you want. I start with the weeks of the year across the top and group them by month then by quarter so I can see them at a glance or look at the entire year at once. Down the left side, I list my goals. I start with my ultimate goals for the year, then I break each of the year goals down into quarterly targets, monthly actions, and weekly to-do lists. Then across the page under the week/month/quarter that I intend to take the actions I defined, I will either put an X or a note to myself so I can track everything in one view on a timeline.

For Example:
Annual Goal - Weigh 120 lbs by December 31st, 2011 (I put it in positive terms to tell the universe that I don't intend to misplace the weight but shed it completely)
Quarterly Targets - Q1 Weigh 156 lbs by April 1st, Q2 Weigh 143 lbs by July 1st, Q3 Weigh 130 by October 1st, Q4 Weigh 120 lbs by December 31st.
Monthly Actions - Create new activity calendar with full exercise plan. January ice skating, February ballroom dancing, March push-ups.
Weekly To-Dos - Meal plan, grocery shopping, exercise at least 5x, do monthly activity 2x, track calories

For this particular goal, I have a daily to-do list that I keep as well because I personally need a daily reminder of what habits I need to maintain in order to experience the success I want. I shared that list yesterday if you want to refer to it.

I also make a note to myself on my goal spreadsheet to set a new goal every quarter so I have something new that is keeping me engaged in my goals and I have a reminder to review and evaluate my goals on a monthly basis so if I need to adjust them up or down, I can do that as the year progresses.

Calorie counting is one of those things that I do religiously. I tried to get away from it toward the end of last year but ended up putting a couple pounds back on so I'm back to tracking everything again. I've been using sparkpeople and love love love it. So easy to use. You can track your food, water, vitamins, exercise, and other goals. There are blogs and articles and tips and forums and groups to participate in if you should so desire. If you're a sparkpeep, look me up. Salinalyn.
Well, there you have it. Goals alla Salina.

Oh, and I just found this site too. I haven't signed up to use it yet but thought I'd share it with you.
It's a free site where you can sign up and input a goal for yourself, define your referees or as I like to call them Accountabilibuddies and you can even pledge money to a charity as a financial motivator if you want. If or when you default on your goal tracking progress, the site automatically generates an email to all of your Accountabilibuddies to inform them that you've been slacking and if you have pledged cash, you lose the money or it goes to an anti-charity (something you don't want it to go to).

Do you have any special goal tracking methods that you just love and would like to share?

Monday, January 17, 2011

#1 Goal for 2011

Melt the fat like an ice cube on a sizzling griddle.

I officially started the weight loss journey in February 2009. "Officially" meaning when I began the consistent effort and not giving up even when I slip a little. I'm like every other person on the planet who has tried to lose weight and given up a number of times but I can honestly say that although I haven't gotten far in my journey, I have not given up, not even for a second. I trip and fall but dust myself off and get back to business every time.

February 2009, I weighed in at 178.6 lbs. For a 5 foot tall little thing like me, that's a lot of weight. I was consistently eating about 2,000 calories a day and although I was exercising, I was only burning an average of 70 calories above and beyond my basal metabolic rate (due to my inconsistent exercise habits). That just so happened to also be the month that I had my metabolic rate tested too. According to the calculations you get from the many standard charts out there in Internet land, I should have been burning around 1,850 calories per day at rest. When I got tested, I was burning 1,296 at rest. Then, they added another 387 calories to that to take my daily lifestyle into consideration. When all is said and done, I actually burn 1,683 calories a day just being me.

2,000   Avg. Calories intake (food I ate)
1,683   Avg. Calories I burned in a day just being me
-70       Avg. Calories I burned in a day on average from exercise
247      Avg. Calories I was in the hole on a daily basis

With those excess calories in my diet, I could expect to gain 1 lb of fat every two weeks.
Something had to change!

Here's what I did/DO:
  • I altered my diet to eat whole foods and limit the processed crap.
    • Reduced my calorie intake to 1,400-1,500 calories per day.
    • 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat intake which for 1,400 calories per day equals 175g carb, 105g protein, 31g fat.
  • Drink 60 oz water every day (at least)
  • Take Vitamin D - My doctor and the nutritionist I hired at the time informed me that vitamin d helps in weight loss. It also does wonders for mood and skin as well.
  • Exercise 6 days per week burning 400 calories each session.
    • Target heart rate - 140 beats per minute (75% of maximum HR = Maximize fat burning zone)
    • Alternate days with interval training - target heart rate 125 bpm for 1 minute then reach 166 bpm within 30 seconds and hold it there for another 1.5 mins before letting it drop to 125 again, rinse and repeat for 35 mins minimum. This is GOLD for repairing a broken metabolism!
    • Incorporate strength training to tone muscle (muscle is a fat burning machine) 2-3 days per week.
    • Because I get bored easily, I started incorporating a different/new physical activity into my plan every month to stay interested and engaged in being active...thus was born Living Active.
  • Sleep - Getting a full night's sleep is absolutely necessary to set me up for success. When I'm tired, I'm more likely to get moody and emotionally eat and less likely to plan or prepare healthful meals.
Here's the math: Calories Summary

1683 Maintenance Calories
1400 Daily calorie intake (16.8%/283 calorie deficit)
400   Calories burned w/exercise
683   Total calorie deficit per day
4098 Total calorie deficit per week (1400 intake, 400 burn 6days/week, 1683 calories on Sunday)
1.17  Lbs fat lost each week
1500 Max calorie intake 6days/week to still lose 1lb/week

From February 2009 to October 2010, I managed to lose 20lbs. That's 20lbs in 85 weeks. Yikes! An average loss of 0.23 lbs per week. That's definitely not the 1lb per week I was planning for.

Since October 2010 when I weighed in at 159lbs, I managed to gain a few back. Sunday, January 16th, I weighed in at 167.2. That's a gain of 8.2 lbs in 16 weeks. Um...ya...that's an average gain of 0.5 lbs per week.

So obviously I'm not perfect. What happened? Oh life. Life happens. Holidays, birthdays, fun with friends, laziness, illness, injuries, etc. Life! The point isn't how much or how little I accomplished, the point is that I'm still here. I'm still active, I'm still living the journey, and I'm still not giving up.

In the spirit of not giving up and redefining my goals for the year, I put this one on the top of the list. This year, I want more than anything to reach a healthy weight/size/shape for me. I don't want anything outrageous. Don't care if I'm a size 2 or if I've got a six pack. Don't care if I'm supermodel material. I just want to be healthy and happy in my skin. Because I believe in setting hard and fast goals that can be measured as well as attainable, I feel the need to assign a number to this here plan of mine.

A healthy person of my size and stature should be between 106 and 123 lbs. I've been 106 lbs before and I think I was probably too damn skinny because I didn't have any muscle at all. That's too small for me. I'll shoot for 120. If I stick with the plan to lose 1 lb per week, which is doable if I exercise regularly and eat between 1,400 and 1,500 calories per day, I could reach that goal by the first week of December. Is it challenging? YES. Can I do it? YES. Am I going to try? Absolutely! Will I be crushed if I don't make it? No. As long as I don't give up on myself, I'm happy being content with progress. Progress means I'll get there eventually and eventually is better than never so I'll take it. And in the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy this active lifestyle that is now the norm for me.

So there you have it.
My #1 goal for the year.
My justification behind it.
My plan for how it will be done.

Because I'm totally and completely analytical about this kind of stuff, I also have it broken down into daily habits.

  1. Eat 1,400 calories (50% carb, 30% protein, 20% fat)
  2. Exercise burning 400 calories
  3. Track all food and exercise on sparkpeople
  4. Drink at least 60oz of water
  5. Take Vitamin D
  6. Sleep 8 hours
  7. Journal (feeding my soul is critical too)
What is your #1 goal for 2011? And how do you intend to accomplish it?

The pains of racquetball

Have you ever cracked a rib playing racquetball? I think I managed to do just that. How? I have no freakin' idea. I played racquetball with Accountabilibuddy on Friday. We had 3 vicious games, all of which I barely managed to win. She's a tough competitor! I felt perfectly wonderful during and after the games until later in the evening when my right side started to hurt a little. Then on Friday evening, I lay down in bed and it was hurting a little more. Apparently, I woke hubby up in the middle of the night crying in pain as I was attempting to roll over. Saturday, I woke up and could barely move. I labored to breathe, sneezing was torture, I wasn't able to sit down or stand up, bending over was totally out of the question, even laying down to rest was painful.

What's the first thing anyone does when they think they may have injured themselves? They poke the painful spot of course. I did that! I poked it to see what and where exactly it hurt. Maybe it was just a strained muscle or something. Definitely not muscle pain. I had to appease hubby too who was worried about an internal organ spasming inside me or something. He's always the first one to say "go to the doctor". That is something I do not like. I'll go to the damn doctor if I think something is wrong with me beyond my understanding or if I know it's something that can and should be treated by a doctor but if something hurts a thanks. They typically just tell me to take it easy and take some Tylenol or something. I can figure that out on my own, don't need to pay $150 and wait in an uncomfortable emergency room for someone to tell me to go home and lay down or a pill for it. The pain wasn't deep, it was close to the surface. I moved my rib cage a little and POW, like a shot, the pain blasted me. Yup. It was my ribs. Ouch! It hurts when I do this!

I took it easy on Saturday, went to bed, and when I woke up Sunday, it felt significantly better. There was still a dull pain present but nothing like it was the first two days. I decided to try to go swimming to see if I could manage that form of activity. No problemo! There was a slight twinge of pain every once in a while but for the most part, I was totally fine.

This morning, I woke up and feel perfectly normal again. Hmmmmm...that doesn't sound like a broken rib now does it? I read a few forums and doctor's websites and crap like that and most people with broken/cracked ribs complain of pain for months. My pain lasted 2 full days. Either I'm a super quick healer or there were no fractures in the first place. Bruised rib maybe? I hate being fragile.

Ever cracked a rib?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Exciting News

Fitness Blog

Today, my friends, I get to be featured on FitBlogger. Yay for me! I'm pretty sure the post is a masterpiece but you can be the judge of that. Go on over there and take a look for yourself. Don't forget to leave comments. You know how I love those.

In other news, I had an idea. A master plan if you will. But aren't all my ideas brilliant? No. Anyway...

New Years Resolutions
I've noticed over the past couple years that my gym fills up in January and February then in March it starts dying down again. Three words - New Years Resolutioners. Every year, we begrudgingly put a list of goals together because we typically feel like crap if we don't and every year we fight with ourselves about whether or not we should actually do what it takes to get a move on any of the things on the list. Do we really WANT to do what it takes to change our lives? Sometimes. But if we could have exactly what we wanted without having to do any work for it, would we gladly sign right up for that option? Absofreakinlutely!

I've read articles over the years that say we're actually better off not making an new years resolutions. Why? Because the chance of us actually following through with our goals or promises to ourselves is slim to none. The majority of us will make a list, contemplate what we need to do to realize those goals, maybe we'll try for a little while (a month or two), then decide it's just too much work and we give up. I don't know about you but when a friend of mine tells me that they are going to be there for me or do something with me and then they don't show up or give up on me after minimal effort, I feel dumped and unimportant. I'll typically give them a couple chances because lets face it, people are fallible and we all make mistakes. After a few times of being let down and disappointed though, I'll eventually stop trusting them. What do you think happens when we give up on ourselves? Same damn thing.

In my opinion, setting news years resolutions is a golden opportunity to build some valuable self efficacy. If you struggle with believing in yourself, it's time to put yourself to a challenge. Not a list of challenges. One! Choose one thing that you want more than anything else in the world and focus your attention on it. If and when you do that, you end up feeling like you can conquer the world which is contagious. All we need is one little flame lit inside us and with every small success, the fire grows and before we know it, we have flames shooting out our asses.

So how do we do it? How do we get that tiny little flame to start burning? Well, it's a 12-step process. Naaaaa, just joking. One more word for you: SUPPORT. Ignore the nay sayers, they've just given up on themselves and want to feel less shitty about it by making the rest of us believe we can't succeed either. That's bullshit! Let the nay sayers learn from our example instead, that's what I say.

Over the past couple years, I've struggled and experienced a few successes as well. I sometimes get down on myself and judge myself too harshly but I have figured one thing out for sure, no matter what...I NEVER GIVE UP on ME. I can't take much of the credit though. The one thing I've done right in my estimation is I got myself a support network. I kinda sorta feel like it's payback time. I'm still chugging along with my own goals and stuff but I really really really want to be there for others too.

So my brilliant idea is this: I'm offering to be your Accountabilibuddy if you want one. I'll share my goals for the year and my plans for successfully accomplishing them if you will do the same? If you're struggling with what to do or how to do it, tell me and I'll do what I can to be a resource or just a cheerleader in your corner. If you have advice or suggestions for me or for others to get that flame a'burnin', email me or leave comments. I want to give more than I want to take this year. We can do this new years resolution thing together and show the nay sayers where they can shove it.

So what do you think?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Great 2011 Adventure

My last post was about all the things I'm most proud of from last year. Well, I do have to admit that what I displayed there did not reflect ALL that I did and am proud of which makes it even more rewarding to me. This year, I have a new adventure planned and yesterday was the first step on the journey that will likely last all year long and quite possibly longer. But before I get to that, I suddenly decided that I want to give some of the other things I did in 2010 the attention and curtsy they deserve.

Hiking in the Redwoods


Swimming bliss

Belly Dancing classes and bought my very own finger cymbals

I was taking lessons in the beginning of the year then put my guitar down for a few months and recently picked it back up again. That's my happy place. I tried to name her Lucille but hubby said that name is already taken by BB King. :(

Down 2 notches.

Japanese cooking day was a blast and oh so good

Totally and completely landscaped my yard (front, back, and sides)

I invented the Tortizza. Yummmmm!

I managed to read a few books last year too.


And now, for the pièce de résistance......drum roll please....

Hubby and I are taking French classes together. First class was last night. And if you're interested, our teacher puts her lessons for newbies on her French blog. I took one year of French in high school after taking 2 1/2 years of Spanish before that. I just remember it being so frustrating because I would get the two languages mixed up and speak Frenish which no one understood but me.

Last night we went through tons of stuff.
  • Pronunciation
  • Body parts by way of singing head and shoulders, knees and toes
  • Weather
  • Gender
  • Greetings
I have a list of homework and a text book that I can't understand. I thought it would all come back to me but so such luck.

A bit of the story is still missing though. I left out the reason for my lessons.

That's riiiiiight! If all goes right this year, I will find myself taking my next international vacation sometime during the year. It's about time too. It's been about 5 years since my last hop across the pond.
What great adventures do you have planned for the year? Losing weight, exercising, running marathons, going back to school, getting a new job, starting a business, facing your fears, something else?

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm most proud of....

Working with Chica to make her a better, happier, healthier dog

Hubby and I reaching out to be Uncle and Auntie to our niece
My wonderful Accountabilibuddy and all the fun we've had on the racquetball court
Facing my estranged family so I can be there for this little guy who is my nephew
Facing my silly fears and overcoming them one by one
Roller skating and attempting derby even though I hurt myself and had to postpone it

Jenny the wonder bike and all the adventures we had this past year
Trying new things even if I do look silly doing them
Completing my first ever organized bike ride allllll by myself (in the pooring down rain I might add)
The work I did on myself going through The Artist's Way
Finally doing Punk Rope classes in Seattle
Steve and all the participants for the Hot 100 Challenge
My favorite Big Girl Bombshell for all the progress she's made overcoming her own fitness fears this past year

What are you most proud of?