"Discontent is the first step in progress. No one knows what is in him till he tries, and many would never try if they were not forced to."
– Basil Maturin
Why was the bicycle invented? My guess is because people got tired of walking everywhere. I assume they invented the wheel for the same reason. Furthermore, I assume that people began to tame horses and ride them because they were tired of walking and doing all that labor by hand. They were discontent. Their discontent led to eventual progress.
I am discontent with my weight as many of you are. Because we are discontent, we are doing something about it or thinking about doing something about it. If we are discontent enough, eventually we will do something.
If you have joined me in the Be A Loser With Karin contest, you have already taken that first step in making progress.
Last year I lost nearly 50 pounds. I have since gained some of it back, but I would not have lost any if I had not become discontent enough to try. I didn't know if I could do it, but I knew that I would never know unless I tried. So... I tried.
Now I am at it again, because I am not content with still weighing as much as I do. Not only is it making me unhappy, it is unhealthy as well.
If you joined our contest and want some encouragement in your pursuit, please join me at the Free Methodist Church in Clarissa from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to workout with me and to learn some things.
You can e-mail me at: karin@inhnews
"When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself."
Don't you find that motivation is hard to find? I know I do. Sometimes it is so hard to get myself going that I can find a million different reasons why I can't do something.
I want you to start thinking this week, not about the things you CAN'T do, but about the things you CAN do.
It is easy to NOT exercise because you CAN'T do something right now. Maybe you can't do squats (yet) because your knees hurt. DO something else, then. Maybe you CAN'T do pushups (yet) because you just don't have the strength right now. DO something else instead!
I used to live my life on a lot of CAN'Ts. I hardly ever looked at what I COULD do. Find your CAN and stick with that.
There is a lot of pressure being the “Karin” in the Be A Loser With Karin contest. Fortunately, I did not let myself down at the beginning of this year’s contest. I kept off the weight I had lost during last year’s contest. Unfortunately, I did not keep off the additional 26 pounds I had lost.
I like to blame the weight gain on my hurt knee, but the fact is, I fell off the healthy eating wagon and I fell hard. It took me several months to lose the 49 pounds that I had lost and only two and a half to gain back 26 of it.
In the past I would have beat myself up about this. Don’t get me wrong, I am disappointed in myself about the weight gain, but if I beat myself up about it, I will wallow in self-pity and despair and not move on from that place. Instead, I am choosing to look at the positive: I kept off 23 pounds.
I started this year’s contest at 249.2 pounds. My goal is to lose another 25 pounds over the next 12 weeks. I plan to do this by getting back on the “healthy eating wagon” and by exercising. I may not be able to exercise like I did last year because of the injured knee, but I will do something. I will move and work up a sweat and lose weight in a healthy manner.
Several of you have indicated a desire to workout with me. I hope many of you can make it and commit to working out several times a week. The workouts are Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Clarissa Free Methodist Church (this is the one that is on the north side of town by the Clarissa City Park).
60 Minute Calorie Burn
The question often arises as to how many calories are burned doing certain activities. A friend of mine pointed an article out to me in the February 2013 issue of CHICZ magazine, which is a publication of the Echo Press in Alexandria.
I will list a few of them for you. These are the calories burned in 60 minutes of activity by body weight. The magazine lists several others. You can also find many places online that will give you calories burned.
Activity 120 lbs 160 lbs 200 lbs
Sleeping 50 67 84
Reading 58 77 96
Washing dishes 122 163 204
Shopping 130 173 216
Housework 158 211 264
Bowling 166 221 264
Walking 3 mph 238 317 396
Shoveling snow 331 442 552
Zumba 432 576 720
Be A Loser App
This year I worked on creating an app for the Be A Loser With Karin contest. It is still in its trial stages, but if you would like to help me try it out, you can load it on your Android device (I am working on getting it to work for iPhones) through the Be A Loser With Karin Facebook group or on our website at: www.inhnews.com. Let me know how it works for you.
Be A Loser Group on Facebook
We have a Be A Loser Group on Facebook. If you would like to join, please friend me and I will add you. Several of you who have been involved in the past have already been sent invites. You can check out the pages for bits of inspiration and motivation. We will also have questions for you to think about.
Be A Loser Blog
The Be A Loser blog is on our website at: www.inhnews.com. Click the link in the upper right hand corner (by my photo) to access it. It will also be available on our Be A Loser App as an RSS feed.
I am really looking forward to the contest this year. We start this year’s contest with 43 signed up. That is exciting!
I will tell you all something as a personal reflection.
Every year when we start the contest, I look at the people who come in, including myself, and I see the excitement as our contestants tell themselves that they are going to do it this year.
I also feel a great sense of compassion. I feel deep in my heart a sense of wanting to help, to encourage these women and men in the task before them. I want them to know and realize in their hearts that even if they don’t lose or end up our big winners that they are wonderful people and that who they are is not based on their weight, shape, height or any other tangible item.
I encourage you to come to the workout groups because there, I hope that you will feel encouraged and motivated to start and keep living a healthier life.
One of the tools that I use to help me with weight loss is My Fitness Pal found at myfitnesspal.com.
My Fitness Pal or MFP as I will refer to it, has been a vital link in my weight loss journey. I find that when I am consistent and use the free website to track my calories and exercise, I consistently see results. I have also seen the exact opposite happen when I didn't use it consistently.
When I look at the number above, I see I have a long way to go to reach my goal, but unlike the past, I haven't been letting it stress me out too much. The times I get stressed out the most are when I find that my pants don't fit right. It is an ongoing battle to keep the bulges at bay!
I encourage you to check out myfitnesspal.com and see what things you can learn from this tool.
"We cannot do everything at once but we can do something at once." – Calvin Coolidge
It may often seem like we have no power to make "big" changes in our lives. Perhaps that is because we look at what we ultimately want and when we can't do it all at once, we get discouraged and give up. I know I do.
Part of weight loss and healthier living is taking it one thing at a time. I will use myself as an example.
Six years ago I wanted to lose weight (100 pounds), quit smoking, start exercising, write a book... you name it... I wanted to do it and I wanted it all RIGHT NOW!
I can tell you RIGHT NOW did not work. I did quit smoking, but I lost seven pounds, gave up on exercise and gained the seven (plus) pounds back. Oh, and I didn't get the book finished either.
I tried to do too many things at one time and had no plan of attack on how I was going to accomplish any of them, except quitting smoking (the one I actually accomplished, surprise...not!).
Years went by and each year I always said, "I want to lose weight." No specific goals, just that I wanted to lose 100 pounds, exercise and write a book.
Last year, it finally sunk it that I needed to set smaller, "bite-sized" tasks—mini goals— so that I could accomplish the bigger goals.
I actually lost and kept weight off last year during our Be A Loser With Karin contest. I actually stuck with an exercise regime for nine months that I was dedicated to. (I still didn't get the book done!)
This year I plan to continue tackling my smaller goals to help me reach the big goals. I realized that even though I can't do everything at once, I can do something at once. I can take those smaller steps toward reaching my larger goals!
Maybe this year I will even get a start on that book!
Our annual Be A Loser With Karin Contest will be starting February 7 with our initial sign-up and weigh-in taking place at the Shepherd of the Valley Church in Clarissa.
I am excited about this year's contest. We have a lot in store along with the prospect of winning cash and other prizes.
I took this photo last week to show that real results can happen if you dedicate yourself to making a change in your life. I am not sure exactly what my end result weight loss is right now, but I know what the measurements are: I was wearing a size 26 pair of jeans and now I can wear a size 16!
I am hoping that you will join me this year and make a commitment to losing weight, making better choices and living a healthier life.
You can send me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the news office at 218-756-2131 for more information.
Click here for contest rules, application and more!
"Many things which cannot be overcome when they are together yield themselves up when taken little by little."
When I was younger I was told the story of a man who was going to give his farm to his sons. All the sons did was bicker and fight so the father thought of a way to teach them a lesson about strength and unity.
He gave each son a stick and asked them if they could break the stick in half.
Of course each one could easily break the sticks.
Then the father tied a group of sticks together and asked each son to break the sticks together. Not one of the sons could do it.
He said to them that individually they were all easy to "break", but that together they were strong and nearly invincible.
This is from my memory so forgive me if I told it a little different than the story actually went, but the fact remains the same: when things are taken one at a time, they are much easier to "break."
When we are losing weight, it is very easy to look at the BIG picture and say, "I have 100 pounds to lose (or 20 or 30 or whatever the amount is). This is impossible."
However, when we break it down and look at it in smaller pieces, it is much easier to handle. "I want to lose 5 pounds this month," is a lot easier to take than to say "I want to lose 100 pounds this year." Even though the desire to lose the 100 pounds is still there, breaking it up into manageable pieces is a lot easier.
My first goal on my way to losing 125 pounds was to lose 25. I did that a few months ago.
My current goal is to lose a total of 50 pounds which I am at 49.5 pounds lost. So that goal is in sight!
I couldn't set my goal at losing 50 pounds initially, however. I had to take it in smaller chunks—25 pounds each goal.
Unfortunately I have been stuck at 45-49.5 pounds lost for about two months now so I am a little frustrated, but I just keep working on it, because I know eventually I will lose it all.
The important thing to remember is to take it a little at a time. Once I lose the 50 pounds, I plan to look at my next ten pound loss. I think it will be easier to look at smaller "sticks" that are easier to "break" than to go for the 25 pound marks.
Remember, I still am working out at 4 p.m. most nights. If you want to join me, please email me at: email@example.com for more details.
"What we hope ever to do with ease we may learn first to do with diligence."
– Samuel Johnson
There are very few things in life that I have done "with ease" when I first endeavored to do them.
When I was a baby and I first learned to walk, I assume that I didn't get up and start strolling around the room on my first try. I assume it was the same with talking.
So often we look at accomplished people whether it be athletes, writers, doctors or whomever and think how great they must have it, how talented they are and masters of their skills.
All those things are true, however, I can almost certainly guarantee that that none of them started out as masters. I can tell you with near certainty that they had to learn their crafts through diligence and hard work. I can pretty much assure you that they have to continue to work their skills/hone their talents in order to make whatever it is they do appear to be done with ease.
I believe, just as Samuel Johnson states, we have to do things with diligence if we ever hope to not only do them with ease, but to make them appear that they are effortless.
"Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road."
– Dag Hammarskjöld
I like to keep my eyes on the ground when I walk.
Well, let me rephrase that, I don't "like" to keep my eyes on the ground. I find it necessary because there can be a lot of hazards on the ground when one is walking.
I never have had a lot of experience keeping my eyes on the far horizon, but I am getting better at it. The more I go into my fitness and better health journey, the more I learn about myself and the more I look to the future instead of the immediate.
If I only looked at the immediate with working out I would have quit doing it a long time ago. The results are not immediate. In fact, sometimes they take a long time to show up.
One thing I have learned through this process of working out almost daily since the beginning of March 2012 is that I have to keep "WHY" in my mind. As Jillian Michaels says (I am paraphrasing here), "You have to keep the WHY to make the HOW bearable."
The HOW is not easy. You have to change. Change is hard. But trust me, it is completely doable and it is worth it. I can do things now at the age of nearly 47 that I couldn't even do when I was 20. Granted, there are things I can't do as well because my body is slightly older and some things don't work as well as they used to, but for the most part, I feel I am ahead of things.
The HOW also is not easy because you have to commit to change. Being committed is key. Without commitment, you won't make it through the first workout. Without commitment, you won't make it past the first test of your willpower when that succulent slice of chocolate frosted cake comes by. Without commitment, you won't make it. That is a plain and simple FACT.
The WHY makes the HOW bearable because you remember all the reasons WHY you are making the changes. You think of the better health, you think of the "skinny" jeans you will get to wear! You think of being able to play with your children or grandchildren. You think of saving money on food. You think of saving money on gas (because you will choose to walk places instead of hoping into the car).
The biggest WHY for me has been to get my Type II Diabetes and slightly high blood pressure under control. It has been working very well so far. My blood sugar numbers have lowered to nearly normal levels with a reduction in my medication. My blood pressure has lowered significantly without any medication (last reading was 104/74!)!
Even though I have in the past, tested the ground first, now that I have a WHY, I am able to look further than the ground in front of me. I am looking out a good 50 feet now, figuratively speaking.
Until next time,
"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success."
– Henry David Thoreau
When it comes to weight loss and gain, believe me, I know a lot about it.
For example, I know that on days that it is a weigh-in, I "feel" fatter than ever. I know that I have lost and gained the same 20 pounds over and over so many times that they are like old friends. I also know that this year has been different since the beginning of the Be A Loser With Karin contest.
This year I started out with an attitude that I was going to succeed. And so far, I have. By the end of the contest on May 17, I had lost 29 pounds. As of today, I have lost 42. That is more than double the amount I have lost over the past few years of gaining and losing and gaining it back again.
This year I dedicated and committed myself to a consistent workout routine. I didn't start it at the very beginning of the contest on March 1, but by the middle of the second week, I was working out every day of the week without fail. Monday through Sunday for at least one hour and often for two hours.
Almost 60 days ago, I began using P90X and that has changed everything. I now want to work out. I now miss it when I don't work out. I have done things in the last 60 days that I said I could NEVER do. The phrase "I can't" was my most used. Now, I have replaced "I can't" with... I CAN!
Still, I have days when I want to be lazy and not go to workout. Some days I get so bored while working out that I just want to quit for the day. But for the most part, I have become self-motivating. I have had to because a lot of the time, I workout by myself. I continue to workout six days a week and still leave it open for anyone to join me.
This year I decided to jump completely into weight loss. I jumped in with both feet and have not stopped.
I have, in addition to the 42 pound loss, noticed an improvement in my blood glucose levels. They are much more consistent and are approaching normal levels. Having Type 2 diabetes, this is so important to me. I hope to one day soon be able to control my blood sugar by diet alone.
Another important thing I have noticed is that I feel better. I don't feel as tired all of the time and I seem to be breathing better, as well. My clothes fit better and I have gone down a couple of sizes.
It isn't just about weight loss, it is about the whole wellness that I am experiencing.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I want others to feel as good as I do. It is not too late and it is so important. You will thank yourself for it! If you want more information, e-mail me and I will give you details on where, when and how to join me!