I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fitness/Foodie Friday: Dressing Up Oatmeal

Yet Another Attractive "Just Awake" Photo
Puffy Eyes and All

Happy Friday to you all! And yes, I admit I made it to the gym ONCE this week, but we were out of town two days, and on those days I worked out hard at climbing stairs at a water park (like 400 in total) and hiking 2 1/2 hours through the African countryside. So, seeing as how I was feminine the last few days, and just plain old exhausted from getting too much sun, I didn't go to the gym until this morning. And I also had pizza TWICE this week (but I'll have to show you the pizza here. Thin crust pieces are SMALL. And I only had two both times.)

We have also added a new drink in the house. Sometimes water just isn't hitting my palate the way I want. I need a little flavor. And since most flavored water is full of FAKE SWEETENERS, (don't even get me started on the damage aspartame causes) we have decided to do something different. We're buying the 1 1/2 litre Lipton Teas in various flavors, and watering them down 50%. It's working! It's the flavor I crave, but not all the sugar. It works for me.

That being said, my body fat is down 2%. I have lost another two inches on my waist, and another two inches on my, ahem, bust. Yipee! And my clothes are fitting better all the time. The scale registered a tiny gain, but like Aunt Bossy last week, I chalk it up to hormonal swelling.

Now, onto today's topic: exercise. I am thankful to say that all the reasons Brenda listed that would prevent us from working out are not an issue for me. The gym we go to is mostly paid for through our health insurance so we pay a little over twenty dollars a month for our WHOLE FAMILY to go. They have a babysitting service that the kids love, and I MAKE the time to go, rather than make excuses why I can't. Or don't want to. So, rather than tell you the dreams I have for wanting to work out, I will tell you what I actually do.

Since starting to go to the gym I have alternated between cardio and weight training. I still don't love the cardio part, but I do it because it's what kick-starts the fat burning process and helps my breathing, heart rate, blood pressure...the list goes on and on.

I start out both cardio and weight training with brisk walking on the treadmill. For me brisk means 3.54 - 3.73 MPH. And let me tell you, the first five minutes is the hardest part of any workout. My legs always start to burn after about three minutes, and I want to stop. But if I keep going, I find that my muscles relax and I am not even feeling the burn anymore. After halfway through I actually increase my speed. Starting fast will only give you nowhere to go, and discourage you from a long workout.

For weight training days I start with ten minutes. On cardio day, I do twenty straight minutes, then hit the stair machine hard for five minutes (ugh!) and then back to the treadmill for ten more minutes.

A little tip would be to start out slow. Ten minutes, when you're talking about it, seems like a short span of time. "I can do that, no problem" you may think in your mind, BUT the doing of it is something else entirely. When I started, I thought ten minutes would be cake. What I found out was that I was hard pressed to do ten minutes at 2.8 MPH. (I also do suffer from exercise-induced asthma, so that had something to do with it, but I've already increased my speed and endurance.) It's doable, but you have to WANT to work out.

For the weight training, smaller weight with more reps is better. Unless you want to bulk up and look like those scary body-building women who have no breasts or neck. (Apologies to those of you reading this who fit this description. I'm sure you're lovely people.) When you do a lower weight with more repetitions, you are training your muscle to be long and lean, but also to burn the fat around it. When you use a larger weight with less reps, you are bulking up, training your muscle to be short and bulky. Not the look I'm going for. I like being able to put my arms down, and not looking like I just got off a horse every time I walk. Ya know?

I have yet to try a class, and my breathing endurance has something to do with it. Also the timing thing. Most classes are offered at 8 or 8:30 in the mornings. This is right when we would be starting school. I have yet to decide that taking a class will win over getting the kids' schooling started. As it is we finish around 3PM every day. Sometimes later. I'm still mulling it over, and I'll let you know what I decide soon. But that's what I do for my workouts.

And sometimes we also do walks around the neighborhood and the girls ride their bikes. That's always fun. Just this past Wednesday I was racing my girls at church (running). And I beat them! I know, I know, my legs are longer, etc. But it was fun. :0) And I wasn't even winded afterward.

Onto the food!!

Dressing Up Oatmeal

I know oatmeal sounds boring. It looks boring. But it doesn't have to be just for nursing homes anymore! Oatmeal is one of the favorite foods in this house, and requested quite often. In the past I have put butter and sugar out the wazoo in it just to make it palatable, but no more! There are plenty of fun things you can mix in to make it fun and yummy, while staying low fat.

Oatmeal- the regular kind you boil.
Brown Sugar

1. Cook the oatmeal according to package instructions.
2. Stir into the WHOLE POT a few healthy shakes of cinnamon, and 2T of brown sugar. (This amount of sugar is divided among five large bowls. Adjust for your family's servings.)
3. Add your fave ingredients. For me it's bananas and granola. For the Prince it's granola and applesauce. For the two little ones it's straight oatmeal (with the cinnamon and brown sugar I added) and milk.
4. Enjoy and be happy you've eaten something filling, high in fiber, and low fat.

Happy weekend everyone!


  • Terry, Ornament of His Grace

    My sister's health insurance pays for her gym membership, too. I'm jealous of you both ;-)

    Congratulations on the 2% body fat reduction. That's wonderful.

    And the oatmeal looks good, too. I think I'll have some this morning.

  • Luanne

    Fabulous!!! You are doing awesome! That was a good idea about your tea/water trick! Flavored waters are So not good for us. They should be outlawed, in my opinion.

    I would also venture to guess that your weight gain could also be from building more muscle...which is great! That's what you want because that is what burns the fat!

    Have another great week!

  • Brenda

    I have to admit, I'm jealous too. Honestly, babysitting and time are NOT issues for me...just the money thing. We live SO close to a Y, but a family membership is not in the budget.

    And you know a lot about working out!

  • TAMI

    Appreciated your cardio tip -- once you're muscles relax, start slow and keep going! Oatmeal is one of my favorites and the feminine thing is going on here this week too. Look - we have a lot in common!

  • Carrie Thompson

    wow you do a lot about the gym! I have never had dressed up oatmeal. I am gonna gry it

  • Aunt Bossy

    Ok, the whole "I want to be able to put my arms down...not look like I just got off a horse" bit CRACKED ME UP! Still giggling...

    I'll post tonight as soon as I can--but BRAVO to you! More inches gone--wahoo! I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the part where you state that you don't make excuses as to why you can't, but make a decision to get up & moving. AMEN. We do what's important to us, period. If it's not important, then we find any and all excuses to not do it. If it is, then we find a way. I should know--I was the Excuse Queen for YEARS(don't have time, too expensive, don't care, I'm fine the way I am, etc). Think I'll trade in that tiara for another one, like Early Morning Gym Geek Queen (or something like that). :-)

  • Mi

    Love the oatmeal. I to am jealous of the gym membership, but you've got me on the just move point. I played tag w/ "W" for about 10min. does that count?

  • Detroit

    Wow - that is great that you get to the gym so often. That is on my action list for this coming week. I am glad you mentioned working through the first 3-5 minutes of burning because I do have the issue and it is so difficult for me as both legs are also injured (achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis) so I honestly do have to take it easy until I get this worked out but boy is it tough to work through...

Blog Widget by LinkWithin