Thursday, June 14, 2012

Adventure on another Ozark Greeways Trail

Photo: This morning we checked out another trail.

South Creek Greenway  - National Recreation Trail

      My husband looked on Craig's list Sunday, and found a bike carrier for our car. Because he was going to be going back to work soon, he decided to put the carrier to the test that we would check out another trail. He decided the place to go was South Creek Greenway which runs east-west through the center of Springfield. We loaded the bikes on the rack and left the house at about eight o' clock Monday morning. After we left the house we checked the weather. We saw a major storm system north of here, but we figured that we might hit the edge of it, and the rain would pass us by.

We started at McDaniel Park Trailhead at National & Sunset. Jeff and Boni got on their bikes, but I knew I would not be able to ride bike just yet. I did want to get some exercise though, so I decided to hit the trail walking.
      When we were on the Galloway Trail Saturday, I left my phone in the car rather than taking it with me on the bike. I wished I had taken it Saturday so Monday, learning from Saturday's mistake, I took my phone with me. We decided that since I was walking, they would call me when they turned around. That way, I figured, we would arrive back at the house at about the same time.However, that's not what happened.
      They took off on their bikes, and I took off walking in the same direction. I saw the sky grow dark to the northeast. It started to rain, but I decided that I didn't want to stop until I reached the mile marker so that I could return and have walked 2 miles. It started to pour, but still I pressed on. I was soaked to the skin. I would later learn that winds were up to 68 mile an hour winds and 8000 electricity customers were without power. The wind blew off a North Springfield church. I turned around at the mile mark. I heard thunder above my head. Rain pelted my head, the wind blew. I arrived back at the car soaked to the skin. I was so wet that I had a hard time getting the phone to work. I made a note to self to keep several towels in the car for that kind of emergency. I talked to Jeff. He told me that he and Boni were safe in a tunnel under S. Campbell Avenue. I put the car into gear and went to get them. I got turned around and it took me longer than it should have to get there. We loaded up the bikes on the car.  when we all were in the car Jeff showed me this picture of these ducks who lived in the tunnel where he and Boni found shelter from the storm. We were cold and wet but fortunately safe. We arrived home. Someday return to this trail and try it again. For now, we are simply glad that we were not harmed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Our New Family Hobby

  Friday evening my husband bought himself and me a bicycle. He had been wanting to get a bike for a long time. When he was a kid he used to ride his bicycle all over town (This specific town where we now live, Springfield, Missouri.) He had bought a bike for our daughter earlier this spring and she loves to ride bike as well. Because my husband and daughter love bike riding, I decided I would also get into bike riding. The problem is, I haven't been bike riding in 30 years!

       Yesterday we went to the Galloway Creek Greenway trails which runs north-south in southeast Springfield, from Pershing Middle School to Nature Center and Old Iron Bridge.It's a six mile trail but only just over 3 miles of it are available to bikes. This section of the trail runs from the Pershing School through Sequiota Park and beyond about a mile. This trail gave us the ability to bike a short distance without having to deal with too much car traffic. We decided this was an excellent trail for us to cut our biking experience baby teeth on.
      Our first major obstacle in our bike riding experience was that we had to figure out a way to get our bicycles from home to the park. We couldn't fit all three bikes into the trunk of the car. Fortunately we don't live far from this park so Jeff, my husband, decided he would ride his bike to the park and meet our daughter and I at the school.
      After I made a stop at the library to drop off some tapes and then again for water for our adventure, we arrived at the school and started on our journey. I have to admit that I was actually afraid of riding my bike. I was new to the bike and I wasn't used to the speed that a bike can have. Plus anytime I came near another rider or a pedestrian I was afraid I would lose control and run into them.

     At the same time I could feel the muscles in the front of my thighs burning. I didn't realize those muscles were that far out of shape. Between my burning muscles and my fear of speed or fear of losing control, I ended up doing a lot of walking in certain places. I couldn't build up enough speed to go up hills so I had to walk. At road crossings I had to walk. I walked through the tunnel the first time through. We went beyond the park and just past the three mile mark where the bike trail ended. (In October, a tunnel under the major highway there will be opened so that the trail bike trail will go even further. I hope that by that time we will be able extend our trip down that trail.)
     I told Jeff and Boni to go on ahead of me. I didn't want them to have to wait for this slowpoke. I rode at my leisurely pace and then went on ahead together. They would stop sometimes to make sure that I was okay. We stopped at Sequiota Park for a while to enjoy the caves.
     Sequiota Park is extremely unique in that is one of the few places where you can find public caves on the premises. At Sequiota Park there are three different caves. Two are smaller and there is one larger one were you can see into the cave to see the cave formations. Because of fear of visitors transmitting diseases to the bats, at present visitors can no longer go into the caves without protective gear.  This thirteen acre paradise is open year round, in addition to the caves the park also features a duck pond, grills, picnic tables, restrooms, play areas, and of course acres of natural undisturbed land.
      We appreciated the coolness of the air emitted from the mouth of the caves as we sat took in the beauty of the scenery around us.  After about an hour at the park, we continued our biking adventure back toward the car.
Photo: Donna's grabbing a quick nap while Boni looks for crawdads...
      Again I allowed Jeff and Boni to go on ahead. This time they didn't stop to check up on me but continued down the trail leaving me to my own leisurely pace. I was feeling more confident and was actually enjoying the ride except for the fact that my bottom was getting sore from the bicycle seat.
      At about 9/10ths of a mile from the car my legs suddenly refused to move. I tried to put my foot down to catch my weight, but I had no strength left in my legs. I fell there in the middle of the bicycle path. I couldn't get my legs to support my weight at all. I had totally used up all the energy reserves in my legs.
       A jogger came by and helped me. He picked up the bike and I finally was able to get back on my feet. I decided to walk that last 9/10ths of a mile. I arrived back at the car and we went home to nurse our sore muscles.
      Despite my mishap, I intend to continue bike riding. Not only is the riding a good activity to promote family togetherness, it also is great exercise for the whole family. Here in Springfield, there are a lot of trails for us to enjoy together as well. I can see this activity becoming an integral part of my simply living experience.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

No Gimmicks Weight Loss

     Today I weighed in and found that I have lost a total of twenty pounds since I began my most recent weight loss experience. Today I also saw where a friend of mine had a video on Facebook about a weight loss product she is trying to sell. No offense intended for my friend, but I won't be buying her product. I would much rather continue doing what I am doing.
      First of all, I'm cheap. I don't like spending money on gimmicks. I don't buy weight loss products because I don't want to spend my hard earned money on things that I have to buy over and over again. The minute I stop buying the product, the weight comes back on. I'd rather spend my money on foods I know I should be eating anyway,  healthy foods that God created, healthy foods that once I get used to eating them, are filling and satisfying.
         I do not believe the idea that healthy foods are more expensive than unhealthy foods either. Contrary to what the media tells us, I find healthy foods more filling and keep me satisfied longer than unhealthy foods. I don't spend any more money now, buying healthy foods than I did buying junk food. Actually, I am spending less. (More on this subject on a later post) Because I'm cheap, I spend what money I spend on real foods, not gimmicks.
       Second, no matter what the hype, I don't believe that weight gimmicks really work. Most of the time I think we psych ourselves into thinking that they do work when they really don't. I have discovered a few things through my own weight loss experience are true.
      1) I learned that drinking water is important. Water provides me hydration. Water doesn't contain calories or caffeine. It is my body's most important nutrient. For a healthy human being like me, drinking eight glasses of water every day is insurance that I am getting enough water. I make sure that I stop drinking it when I eat my evening meal. I don't want the water interfering with my sleep.
     2) I know how many calories my body needs to maintain my ideal weight. If I eat that number of calories every day and no more, my weight will be at my ideal weight. If I create healthy habits that sustain that weight, I can begin today to live as though I have already reached that goal weight. I practice today what it takes to maintain my ideal weight and I will eventually reach that ideal weight. No guilt, no stress is ever needed. I know I am doing today what I need to reach that ideal weight.
     3) I need to take in at least 25 grams of fiber every day. This fact is important not only because fiber helps me feel full, but it also is necessary to help keep my digestive tract cleaned out. I know that I need both kinds of fiber in my diet as well. I need soluble and unsoluble fiber. If my digestive tract is not kept cleaned out by eating plenty of fiber, I will put on unhealthy weight because I am storing toxins in my colon.
     4) I need to be sure that I am eating enough protein every day to insure that I am getting enough protein to maintain muscles. If I don't eat enough protein, my body cannot maintain it and I will lose muscle mass. My body will start feeding on itself. Muscle will be converted into energy and my BMI will increase. (higher fat percentage). To find out how many grams of protein I should be eating every day, I divide my weight in pounds by two. The number I come up with is the number of grams of protein I need to eat every day in order to maintain my body's muscle mass.
    5) I use the LoseIt app on my phone and on my lap top as well. By using the LoseIt app I am able to keep track of my caloric intake, my fiber gram intake, and my protein gram intake. The best part about the app is that it is free. And as you know, I am cheap so I am into free.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Duped into the Weight Loss Conspiracy

It was reported on the news recently that we Americans spent forty billion dollars last year weight loss products, but the average American GAINED one to two pounds last year. In other words, we each actually paid an average of $133 on products that were supposed to help us lose weight, but actually helped us gain weight.
      I'm not going to insult your intelligence and tell you that obesity is an epidemic in our country. I'm not going to tell you how bad it is. I'm not going to tell you how fat and lazy you are and tell you that you are a terrible person because the scales tell you that you are one of the 33% of Americans who are obese. I'm not even going to tell you that you're not alone although I too am currently considered obese.
     What I am going to tell you, is that we've been set up. Our economic culture has been set up to separate us from our money. One of the most effective ways that can be accomplished is through the food industry. The food industry knows that people like foods that have sugar, salt and fat. Everywhere we look, the food industry bombards us with advertisements that cater to these tastes. On every street corner there is a fast food place that offers to satisfy those desires. The food is even designed so that we will crave it. Nutrients are removed so that we do not stay satisfied. We drink a sugary soda, our blood sugar peaks temporarily, then comes crashing down and we end up looking for another sugar high and then another and then another, and we are sugar junkies looking for our next fix.
       Then there are those advertisements that promote name brand, so called top of the line brand name clothing that are designed to frame undernourished, anorexic bodies of models whose flaws are air-brushed away. The advertisements are there to make you think that's the way you are supposed to look, but it's not and never has been real. No one can live to those standards and stay healthy.
      There's those weight loss companies that offer us get thin quick solutions.They offer reduced fat or reduced calories or reduced carbohydrates or reduced net carbohydrates. They offer those pills and elixirs containing some form of  caffeine they claim create energy bursts but actually create an anxiety buzz masquerading as energy. They offer us artificial sweeteners that trick the brain into thinking that it ate something sweet, but the body knows the difference and rebels and craves the very thing it was denied.
      The idea of losing the weight fast draws us in and tempts us with its promise of effortless results. We see it on television programs. Stars lose weight seemingly like overnight. An extremely fat person loses a hundred pounds right before our eyes in a matter of weeks.We see the before and after photos of unhappy fat people becoming happy thin people. We see the results of surgical procedures that staple stomachs and suck out fat. What we are not shown is the fact that these are almost never lasting results. It may take months, it may take years, but these results never seem to last.
      So what do we do about it? We have to begin thinking differently about our bodies. To do that, we have to recognize that the weight loss industry is part of a system designed to separate us from our money. It was designed at our expense. We have been duped  into thinking otherwise. We have to change our paradigm from thinking about losing weight to thinking about ways of creating a healthy lifestyle that we can maintain indefinitely, without gimmicks, without any of those so called get thin quick schemes that are out there. We can begin today by raising our awareness of the conspiracy to keep us in the vicious cycle of indulgence and denial that lines the pockets of others at our expense.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moving Right Along

This morning I received this accolade for continuing with Lose It! for four weeks straight. The program is so easy to use and I have been showing it to everyone I know. I really feel like I have not only helping myself lose the weight, but I am helping others do the same. Everything I said about this program is true. I am losing weight using this program. It is definitely keeping me on track.

      I am concerned with some aspects of my weight loss journey. I mentioned before that I am struggling to keep my daily protein grams above 75. Experts recommend an intake of at least 75 grams of protein but believe that having an intake of more than 115 grams is better. Personally i think that if I don't have adequate protein intake, I will burn muscle instead of fat. I definitely don't want to do that, so believe that keeping above 75 grams of protein is very important.

       Proteins help the body repair itself after an injury. The body will break down proteins (along with carbohydrates and fats) to provide the body with energy to prevent us from becoming fatigued.  Proteins also help the body resist disease by helping the immune system function adequately. Protein makes up a significant share of the muscles in our bodies, and adequate protein is important for  healthy muscle maintenance.  Protein is also a key ingredient to healthy skin, hair, nails and cartilage. The body does not store spare protein, so healthy protein must be eaten on a daily basis.
        Our body breaks protein down into amino acids, which are necessary for building muscle and blood. Our bodies have 22 amino acids divided into the categories--essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids  Our bodies can make some of their own essential acids, but some most come from protein containing foods.

         Proteins come from complete proteins. Complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids. Good sources of complete proteins come from animals. For instance, fish, beef, chicken and milk all contain complete proteins. Proteins, however, can also be incomplete proteins which do not contain all the amino acids. Healthy food choices for incomplete proteins include, nuts, such as walnuts, beans and brown rice. By combining incomplete proteins with complimentary amino acids, (such as beans and rice) complete proteins can be created.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My first Badge on "Lose it!

Today I learned what else is available on this app "Lose It!" This is my first badge congratulating me on having made it to my third day. I like the fact that the app encourages me to continue on. Apps like this on my smart phone are really helpful. I've been telling everyone I meet about how much I enjoy this app.
      Looking over my protein intake yesterday, it indicates that I am not eating enough protein. I was talking to a friend of mine last night about this lack of protein intake and she says she has the same problem in that she doesn't like to eat a lot of protein either. I really need to find out the amount of protein I need to take in every day. I think it is good for everyone to know what their protein intake every day is, so I have found a formula to determine how much protein a person needs to take in every day based on their own personal needs. Here's the formula:

How to Calculate Your Protein Needs:
1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm.
Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary (i.e., 0.8). Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.

To use me as an example, I currently weigh 197 pounds.
197 lbs/2.2 = 89.5 kg
 89.5x0.08 = 71.6 gm protein/day
89.5x1.8=  161.8
According my calculations from Lose It!, I took in 82.1 grams of protein. Because I am not overly fit, and am fairly sedentary, I realize that I am eating enough protein, but I really need to make sure than in my attempts to lose weight, I don't cut my protein intake because it will cause me to burn muscle instead of fat because my protein intake will not sustain my current muscle mass.

      In Made to Crave today, I am to find ways of replacing my cravings. What can I do instead of opening the refrigerator when I feel the cravings for food coming on? First I must recognize that my cravings were put there from God to Crave him, therefore, I need to focus my cravings on my relationship with God. How do I make that happen? When I think of worshiping and loving God I think about music and dancing before him. I love the fact that most of my adult life has been spent in charismatic churches where active worship of God has been encouraged. Therefore, I will make actively participating in the music I am listening to and using to enhance my worship. Second I can meditate on scripture. I need to write out a number of scriptures and discover which ones will help me in developing my relationship with God. Third, I can pray to God and write down that prayer in a journal. I can write out how I feel. I can work through my desires and my cravings and place them in God's hands and do as it says in I Peter 5:7 "casting all my cares upon him because he cares for me."
     I look forward to knowing about your experience using Lose it! or Made to Crave. Tell me how you are doing on your weight loss journey!
     If you are not currently using Lose it, follow this link and join now. If you are interested in using Made to Crave to help with changing your want to, follow this link


Thursday, April 19, 2012