Stepping Stones Week 21 and Week 20 In Review


      I’m excited to be beginning week 21 but a little nervous too. I’m going to change things up a bit in order to increase my progress. I’ve met all my goals for this week and have decided I can take on a little more. I will be reworking a few pieces of the Stepping Stones but am trying to make reasonable, very practical changes and not too many at a time.

     First, I am cutting my calorie intake. Instead of 1600 calories per day my goal my will now be 1400. I don’t look forward to fewer calories and I refuse to go hungry, but with 5 months of 1600 calories per day behind me, I have learned how to plan meals in a way that make the most of the calories and feel that I can make this work. Cutting the extra 200 calories per day saves me 1400 calories in a week. That’s almost 1/2 way to the 3500 calories it takes to lose a pound. This further restriction should help me reach my goal more quickly, and/or with a little extra “cushion” when things don’t go as planned.

    I am also making some changes in my exercise goals. I am happy with the transformations I am seeing and wish to continue the progress. In playing with different fitness activities I have come to truly realize the joy and benefit of varied physical activity. My cardio goals have previously been listed at 10 miles pe week (primarily speed walking, occasionally jogging a bit, and some “step” exercises). Since I typically do a 4 mile per hour pace of speed walking this ends up being 2 1/2 hours of cardio. I would like the freedom to encorporate other types of cardio easily. I will change my written goal to 2 1/2 hours of cardio. This will give me the fredom to play with some HIT routines, circuit training, Zumba, aerobics, and more.  I will leave my toning at 2 sessions per week. I have upped the weights again and am getting greater benefits from that change. I will also add 2 sessions of flexibility exercises such as Pilates, stretching, or Christian yoga.

     I have made some undocumented changes in the last couple of weeks that I am very happy about from an energy and appetite perspective and those are being added to the daily log so I can have a reminder to consistently keep up these new healthy habbits.

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     I am now eating oatmeal with dried fruit and cinnamon covered almonds as my mid-morning snack. It is so satisfying and yummy. Oatmeal, cinnamon, and almonds are considered to be both healthy and beneficial for weight loss and this is a great place to work them into my daily routine.  My breakfast every morning is Carb-Master yogurt with chia and 1/2 grapefruit. These two meals that are consistently the same are not boring to me.  In fact I very much look forward to them. This consistency also makes menu planning and grocery shopping easier.

     I’ve also added a multivitamin to my daily supplements. I was really unsure of what to choose. There are lots of vitamins out there. Some are for specific age groups, some for energy, others to address specific health concerns or targeted toward weight loss. I knew I wanted something that delivered high values of the B vitamins. Those have previously proven to be very helpful from an energy persepective. I was already taking Vitamin D but finding a supplement that also supplied my daily dose of this would be a plus. After a little looking I settled on the One A Day Women’s Active Metabolism and I am so glad that I did. I I have felt consistent energy throughout my day with no “revved up” or anxious feeling.  I’m sure the B vitamins are part of that. This supplement also contains guarana seed which is touted for it’s health benefits including increased energy and mental alertness as well as appetite suppression.

     I had some fun food-finds again this week. I tried Amy’s Breakfast Scramble Wrap from the 99 Foods Dr Oz Wants In Your Shopping Cart List.   This was one yummy little wrap and, as is true with all of Amy’s products, it is made with healthy organic ingredients. There is no egg in this scramble, instead it’s made with tofu. With the addition of cheese and veggies though, I really didn’t miss the egg.  This breakfast choice is yummy and filling. Though it’s on Dr Oz’s list for dieter’s it’s not from Amy’s Light and Lean line and is a little large on calories at 380 per serving. If you live by the “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” adage, which certainly has some wisdom to it, this might be the breakfast for you. I personally would be more likely to split it with my hubby and serve along side a low cal soup or 1/2 grapefruit at lunch. It’s definitely a healthy and tasty option.

     Speaking of Lunch, at 90 calories per serving and 0.5 grams of fat Bear Creek Tortilla Soup is a yummy choice. It’s very pleasantly seasoned without being overly spiced, and is thick and hearty.  It’s quick and easy as well. You just add water and simmer for about 15 minutes. This is great with a simple salad like those made from the Dole Southwest Salad Kit (140 calories).

     Perhaps my favorite food find of the week was Dole Shakers. These nifty little canisters contain frozen fruit and yogurt all ready to become your favorite smoothy when you add your favorite juice and shake vigorously for a few seconds. I was skeptical, I tell you. How could it be that simple and still come out with the taste and texture of a blended smoothie? I love smoothies but hate the mess and time that goes into making them.

     The other day I had a sweet tooth and a coupon and the shakers were on sales so I decided to give it a shot. I chose the Strawberry Banana Dole Shaker and I added my own Ocean Spray Diet Grape Cranberry Juice. All together the smoothie was 95 calories of deliciousness. It’s a great little dessert option I will keep in mind and it does deliver some nutritional benefits as well. With fiber, calcium, Vitamin C, and pre and pro biotics this all natural fruit and yogurt drink is a winner in my book. Want to try for yourself? Visit the Dole website and get your money saving coupon.

     Below I have included my revised Stepping Stones. I hope the new changes will help me reap even greater rewards in my weight loss efforts while still being very workable with my “real life” world. My primary goal is to be healthy and balanced, my secondary goal is to lose the remaining weight in a timely manner. Wish me well!

Stepping Stones for Success – Week 21

set goals and stick to it


Goal:  “To weigh 135 lbs by 12/31/2012. (That is a loss of approximately 40 lb in 1 year).

Action Steps: I will begin limiting my calorie intake to 1400 calories a day, contnuing to focus on good nutrition in my choices. I will perform at least 2 1/2 hours of cardio exercise.  I will also do two circuit training sessions with weights for toning and 2 flexability/stretching sessions, each at least 20 minuites in length.  I will officially weigh in once this week, marking my progress on the Weight Tracker tool.”

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To-Do List:

1. Plan Weekly Menu (See Plan To Eat Fabulous Foods.)

2. Grocery Shop (See Stocking The “New Me” Pantry.)

3. Refill Snack Basket (See The Real Food Fight .)

4. Weigh In (See Weigh In Wednesday.)

5. Organize Outfits and Gear (See Get Your Rear In Gear.)

6. 2 1/2 Hours or more of Cardio Exercise

7.  2 or more Circuit Training Sessions  (10 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism)

8. 2 or more Flexibility/Stretching Sessions.

9. Give myself 3 “Get Out Of Diet Guilt Free Cards”.

10. Enjoy a Rest Day. (See Balance.)

11. Grade Last Weeks Efforts (See A for Effort.)

12. Assess Past Week’s Efforts (See Assess for Success.)

13. Create next Stepping Stones Sheet

14. Hoola- Hooping For Fun And Fitness (See Hoola-Hooping Workout)

challenge yourself


Date: ________

Daily Log

Morning Weight: ______           Evening Weight: ______

Omega 3? ___   Chia? ___  Raspberry Ketone? ___   Multi-Vitamin? ___ Vitamin D? ___ Oatmeal? ____

Servings Of Dairy:   ——–    Servings Of Grapefruit: ____   Servings Of Green Tea: _____   Servings of Water: ____

Affirmations? Yes / No            Aromatherapy? Yes / No

Bedtime:  ——————               Wake Up Time:  ———————

Did You Eat Frequently (Approximately Every Two Hours Until After Dinner)? __________


Cardio?  Miles:  ____ Minutes: _____    Flexibility?  _________  Toning? _______


Foods Eaten








Total Calories Consumed:_________


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