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  • ginnytezginnytez Member, Premium Posts: 584 Member Member, Premium Posts: 584 Member
    Can't believe it is February already. Ended January with all holiday spike gone. My major goal I had for myself was to make it to the gym at least three days a week and do what the trainer scheduled for me. Happy to say I did that. I do feel better for it. Don't want to necessarily drop any more weight but would like to continue to tone and strengthen.

    So many different conversations going on the last week of January-can't really comment on all of them. I do relate to so many of them (family issues, disconnected friends). While I don't like hearing the pain of others, it is so helpful knowing that we all go through similar things, so we are not unique. I find comfort in that and it helps keep my life in perspective.

    Have been giving thought to expanding social activities somewhat. Since husband died have not had a lot of connections. The last few years of his life we became a bit isolated and friendships drifted away. While many people showed up at funeral etc., and I heard the condolences and the comments about them continuing to support, haven't seen many of them. I think in part because so many are couples and they don't think of including the newly single. Not sure what next steps will be but am convinced if I am open to things possibilities will present themselves.

    Off to do Saturday routine. Have a 9 am meeting at church for a committee I am on, will stop on store on way home. Plan on taking an easy weekend but have several chores to complete that will keep me busy.

    Happy February all!

    Ginny in Ohio
  • Machka9Machka9 Member Posts: 18,138 Member Member Posts: 18,138 Member
    Tips that have worked for me

    Put your current numbers into MFP
    Select sedentary as your activity level
    Choose how much you'd like to lose (i.e. 1 lb/week)
    MFP will give you the number of calories to eat
    Eat those calories
    ... and weigh (with food scale) and log every bite.

    A few extra things have helped me along the way:

    1) Exploring my grocery stores and markets to find delicious, filling low calorie foods. It's amazing what's out there.

    2) Exercising as much as possible. Exercise gives me extra calories to work with so that I can have things like pizza now and the ... but to keep my sanity and not wear myself out, my exercise quantity varies as does what I do for exercise.

    3) Eating how I want to eat. This is where everyone is different ... some people prefer to employ fasting, others like high protein diets, some like vegetarian diets, some like to eat 2 or 3 meals a day, others like to graze. Go with what works for you.

    Personally, if I had to define what I do, my diet is probably most similar to a Mediterranean diet with a vegetarian lean ... and I'm a grazer. I also have to adjust what I do depending on my cycling events ... they're tricky because I need the fuel without going overboard.

    And stick to it for 5 weeks, then reassess how things are going. :)

    2020 Goals.

    It is difficult to make goals because I'm not sure what's going to happen one day to the next. I plan, God laughs ... or something like that. The last couple years have been a lesson in patience and flexibility and giving up a lot of what I would like to do in the interests of what needs to be done.

    This site has some interesting tips about setting goals:

    How to Set SMART Goals for 2020
    SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

    Interestingly, he talks about 7 significant areas ...

    Financial Goals: Start saving for retirement, get out of debt, or use a monthly zero-based budget.
    Spiritual Goals: Pick up a new devotional, start a daily journal, or plug in to a group at your church.
    Fitness Goals: Hit the gym more often, take the stairs, and remember to eat your veggies.
    Educational Goals: Go back to finish your degree, get your MBA, or read a good book every month.
    Family Goals: Plan one-on-one dates with your kids, have a standing date night with your spouse, or make it a point to call your mom and dad on Sunday nights.
    Career Goals: Work toward a promotion or raise, learn something new about your line of work, or polish up and send out resumés if you’re looking for a new career path.
    Social Goals: Say yes when someone invites you out to lunch or a social gathering—or, for some of us, say no more often.

    I've modified this slightly ...

    Organisation/Financial Goals -- Getting our taxes done and other paperwork in order.

    Spiritual Goals -- I'd like to start attending church a bit more regularly. I'll also include relaxation and recreation in here. Down time. I get very little of that at the moment and need more. For me that might be sleep and photography. :)

    Fitness Goals -- Exercise, Eating, Sleeping -- Working up to running 5 km at least a couple times a month. Working up to cycling 50 km at least once a month. ** I'm hoping to run a 5 km sometime in February!! **

    Educational Goals -- Uni! I would like to finish my Master's degree in 2020. ** This will be interesting, given the coronavirus situation. Right now at least half my classmates are not allowed into Australia. Will the classes go ahead?? **

    Family/Medical Goals -- Husband -- Never-ending stream of medical appointments + projects with 2 or 3 different organisations. And me! A goal is to get me into healthy shape again!

    Career Goals -- One of the main things my area is planning to work on is streamlining the processes a bit. Meanwhile I need to learn a lot more SQL and as much about what 2 different people I work/worked with did. I'm also on the board of two organisations now. Both interest me a lot, but I'm also hoping that taking on leadership roles might help advance my career a little. ** I spent January updating our Knowledge Base ... I'll probably keep working on that for the first couple weeks of Feb at least. It's part of the streamlining processes thing. **

    Social Goals -- Cycling Club. I've made a detailed list of what I need to do, which helps.
    -- My Personal Website -- I have started working on this. I'd post it here, but not sure if I can: machka . net This has a social aspect in that we go to Wordpress meetings now and then.

    Challenges -- I've joined 3 challenges in the Challenges forum. :)
    If challenges appeal to you, don't forget about MFP's Challenges subforum:

    Machka in Oz
    edited February 2020
  • pipcd34pipcd34 Member Posts: 11,849 Member Member Posts: 11,849 Member
  • SuziQ113SuziQ113 Member Posts: 1,520 Member Member Posts: 1,520 Member
    Hello everyone.
    Wow, it has only been a few days and I have missed a lot of discussions. I wish I could say I am caught up with the end of January but will slowly get there. This is one fast-moving group.

    Barbie - Thank you so much for keeping us together and creating February's thread. You are truly dedicated to the group and I appreciate you!

    Hugs to all and prayers to those in need.
    SuziQ - SFL
  • SophieRosieMomSophieRosieMom Member, Premium Posts: 2,165 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,165 Member
    It's February, ladies! <3

    We are off to a new start - thank you Barbie!

    One more comment on girlfriends - Karen in VA, Ginny - I thought a lot about girlfriends I've lost touch with and vice versa because of getting married and the "couple" thing, general business and neglect, or the fact that we are now separated by miles. In a sense, since my DH rarely leaves the house and socially I'm on my own, I've had to develop my own friendships. It's working.

    OK, review of last month. My goal was to find an eating plan that was simple and sustainable. Here's my journey into clean intermittent fasting (time restricted eating) thus far. The upshot is I've taken off around 6 lbs since mid December, my favorite jeans now not only fit but are too big, and inflammation is down. Details here (apologies for all of the bullets, I cannot get rid of them):
    • I restrict food anywhere from 12 to 20 hours, depending on degree of hunger and my schedule. Eating window generally closes at 4 or 4:30 pm.
    • I “clean fast” = plain coffee, black tea or water. No flavors or additives of any kind. That’s the magic.
    • I am back down to my pre-surgery weight of last August. Around 6 lbs lost in 7 weeks. All of my jeans now fit comfortably and my faves are too baggy to wear. And the microfiber undies I couldn’t wear last summer because they cut into the tops of my thighs… not a problem, don’t even know I have them on.
    • Much less inflammation in my feet. Can actually go barefoot (on carpeting) without feeling like I’m stepping on gravel.
    • Blood pressure back down. Daily Qigong and Wu Chi standing postures likely helping as well.
    • No more nightly sugar cravings/before bed binges on candy, cookies and chips. I've had a few forays into the cookie jar during the past few weeks, but nothing major.
    • I need to mention … I went through some pretty nasty bloating and painful gas about 3 weeks in from what I suspect was my gut biome changing. It’s happy now thanks to pre and pro biotics. From what I’ve read, this is common and some IF’ers who are really restrictive (19 hrs and above) become constipated or have loose stools constantly after breaking their fasts each day. And others sail right through.
    • The jury is still out on the length of a fast for us older folks (nearing 70 and above). Valter Longo says no more than 12 hours. He says gall bladder problems possible… well not for me since mine is gone. Dale Bredesen, author of “The End of Alzheimers” recommends 12 hr fast, no food 3 hrs before bed but says OK to have extended fast up to 16 hours. My idea is to try for a 16 hour fast and if I'm not hungry, go ahead and push on. But don't get weak and jittery. By the way, I'm eating around 1600 to 1800 calories (or maybe much more or much less per day) but this is not about counting calories - it's eating dependent on hunger
    • I’ve heard this type of IF is known as a “health plan with the side effect of weight loss”. I pretty much eat what I want, plenty of complex carbs, fiber, healthy fats, protein. Sweet treats are OK – like a cookie or a candy bar for dessert, which is satisfying. The idea is to keep insulin low and let the glucose drop so the body starts drawing from fat stores which can be at the 12-hour fasting mark. Folks with a lot of weight to lose might do better with Keto or low-carb. But there are plenty who lose doing a 16/8. Takes time and often the scale doesn’t reflect a loss, but there are significant decreases in measurements, clothing sizes, etc. from “body recomposition”. This might be anecdotal but worth noting.
    • Lots of great resources – Beth’s favorite “AC-The Power of Appetite Correction” by Bert Herring, MD. “The Obesity Code” by Dr. Jason Fung. “Delay, Don’t Deny” by Gin Stephens and the associated Facebook group.

    Rebecca - so glad to see IF is working for you! It's not as hard as I thought it would be. DH doesn't know I'm doing it, no one does except you gals, lol. Someone posted about not talking about it with people in general, like the fight club... "The first rule of the Fast Club is don't talk about the Fast Club" (to keep people from commenting it's not healthy, you'll starve, why not try WW or something else, etc. etc. - to avoid too much "helpful" unneeded advice!)

    Beth - so sorry to hear about your hearing aid challenges. I popped mine in for a while last month, building up wearing time. My ear despises it-allergy to earpiece plastic? I took it out tho it helped a little - my problem is roaring tinnitus in the left ear. When the hearing in my right ear starts to fade I'll get serious again. Hugs to you.

    I see I need to go back and review posts from the past several days, it's been super busy around here. Make it a super day, ladies and I'll catch you later.

    ((( <3 Gigantic group hug to all of us who have lost trusted friends in our lives for various reasons <3 )))

    Rainy SW WA State
    edited February 2020
  • Machka9Machka9 Member Posts: 18,138 Member Member Posts: 18,138 Member
    auntiebk wrote: »
    Machka from 104F to snow in 3 days? And I thought Idaho weather was variable. :noway:
    Barbara, the Southern Oregon Coastie

    I think they call it snow-driven heat or heat-driven snow or something. Wind blows up from Antarctica, over mainland Australia where it heats up and down onto Tasmania ... but then the pressure system changes and the wind blows up from Antarctica and right over Tasmania without going as high as mainland Australia ... then the pressure system changes again ... over and over and over.

    I've never lived in a place with such changeable weather. I know a lot of places claim, "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes" ... here, it's "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and you'll get something at completely the opposite end of the spectrum".

    Drives me crazy!! You can't plan for anything. I organise these cycling events, but I have absolutely no way of knowing what the weather will be like ... not even the slightest hint. So riders wait till the last possible second to sign up. We'll have no riders signed up for an event until about 2 hours before the deadline ... and all of a sudden we might have 1 or 5 or 16 or something.

    If you go to Windy and watch the wind patterns over Tassie, you'll see ...

    Right now the wind is coming straight up from Antarctica and they're predicting snow down to 800 metres on Sunday night. I might have to find my boots for Monday morning.

    Machka in Oz
  • 1948Peachy1948Peachy Member Posts: 1,511 Member Member Posts: 1,511 Member
    (((Barbie)) ~ Thanks for getting us into February!

    Karen in VA ~ So sorry for the loss of your longtime friendship.

    Beth ~ You are a very insightful person and give such good advice. I am so sorry your hearing aids are not helping but hurting.

    Machka ~ Love the photo of your roses!

    Sue ~ Happy, Happy Birthday! i2mbar5r6wyq.png

    Rebecca ~ Your salad looks Yummy!

    Lisa ~ Congrats on your weight loss.

    I think we have all gone through life losing friendships that were very important to us. Sometimes it is so very hard to let it go and move on! And, then there are those friendships that have held steady through the years and will always give us joy. All we can do is be thankful for the good memories that all have brought.

    Carol in GA

    edited February 2020
  • margaretturkmargaretturk Member Posts: 4,068 Member Member Posts: 4,068 Member
    Macha good article about stuff!
  • TerriRichardson112TerriRichardson112 Member Posts: 11,151 Member Member Posts: 11,151 Member
    Barbie: Thanks for setting up the new thread.
    edited February 2020
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