Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

On August 26th, 2011, The Daily Post Photo Challenge theme is: Up. 

Click on any of the images to see them full size.

To the top of the stairs.

Looking up the stairs to where my cat is hanging out.

 

Caught by a strand of web.

Hundreds of plant seeds were in the air the day I took this picture, continuing a delicate late-summer journey up into the cloudless sky. This one remained, caught by a thin strand of cobweb.

 

Here’s to hoping summer lasts forever.

25 °C/77 °F, outside today. Not a cloud in the sky. I laid down on the front lawn using the grass as a cushion for this shot. The single tree in our front yard makes for an OK sunshade.

Summer: 50% complete.

I’m starting to feel the usual melancholy of the end of the holidays setting in already, even if there’s still a month left.

Currently, I’m combing eBay, trying to find a good deal on a Porsche Boxster, or Pontiac Solstice. Hoping that I’ll find a cheap one for sale near where I live before the month has ended.

On to more exciting news: Since July 13th, I’ve lost a little more than 6 lbs! What’s my secret? Eat lots of healthy food, and exercise lots.

This wiki article by James Quirk outlines 17 great ways to start loosing weight, and becoming fit.

My favorites are:

Have confidence in yourself (you should know the exact reason that stimulates you to lose weight)

set an achievable goal for your weight reduction (if the aim is not practical then you will easily get disheartened and stop following your regimen)

find out your daily caloric intake (The MyNetDiary app for the iPod did wonders for me, keeping track of my calorie intake and amount of calories burned conveniently. It also sums up what you need to change about your diet, and outlines a plan for you to follow, and how long it’ll take you to meet your goals. And the best part, it’s free!)

decide which foods to cut out & seek alternatives to unhealthy foods (for example, instead of buying your usual cut of steak, try for a smaller, leaner cut. Or buy a low-fat meat such as fish)

plan your meals (make sure your meal plan reduces your total calorie intake)

watch your portion sizes (eat s l o w l y to avoid overeating; you will get satisfied with fewer calories)

graze on healthy snacks (eating small meals and snacks throughout the day, or grazing, helps aid weight loss, compared to eating three large meals a day, by keeping metabolism steadier)

get more fibre (all the benefits of fibre are in the full article linked above)

drink plenty of water (again, all the benefits are in the article.), exercise (By making time for exercise and other healthy, productive activities, you can also avoid temptation to overeat. The Wii Fit is a great way to do a variety of exercises. If you have an Xbox, here is a detailed list of Kinect games that focus on fitness)

sleep properly (find out how many hours you need for a good sleep. Sleep deficiency impairs your ability to lose fat.)

and finally, be realistic. Don’t expect a miracle, you have to work for your results.

This morning I had Original Alpen Cereal by Weetabix, it’s loaded with fibre, which helps you meet your weight control goals more effectively. The recommended amount is 5 grams of fibre for a healthy breakfast. Half a cup of that cereal brought my calorie total to about 170. A full breakfast is at least 200 calories, so I added 4 tablespoons of Homo Milk by Island Farms. If you prefer more milk in your cereal, then try Skim or 1% milk, but I personally dislike the taste. That brought my calorie total to about 210.

For lunch I had 3/4 cup of watermelon. Watermelon helps to balance your blood sugar, and is low in calories. Plus, it tastes great. I polished that off with a medium-sized stalk of celery (7-1/2″-8″)  and a tablespoon of Smooth Peanut Butter by Kraft for dip. Celery is very low in calories, and peanut butter has a bit of protein, which helps you stay full for longer.

I finished off the day with 3 and a half oz. of lean strip loin grilling steak by Western Family, about 2 oz. of red baby potatoes, and 2 tablespoons of cream corn. To help measure how much steak you’re eating, remember that a deck of cards equals about 3 oz of meat.

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Image from Pinterest.

A really helpful site on estimating the amount of food that’s on the menu, and great alternatives to unhealthy foods is found here as well: http://almostgastricbypass.blogspot.com/2010/08/day-107-monday-august-30-2010-part-3.html

Throughout the day I’ve been using the WiiFit Plus, focusing mainly on strength and yoga exercises. I burned about 100 calories altogether.

After dinner, I went for a hike around the park behind my house for 45 min., burning about 166+ calories.

Another important tip that helps lessen your hunger is drinking lots of water, which has countless other benefits as well. The recommended amount is 5-6 glasses a day.

And that concludes a typical, healthy day. Tomorrow morning for breakfast, non-fat frozen yogurt!

Ciao,                                                                                                                                                   Shavonne