So it’s been a few months now since I decided to kick up my training and get fit and lose weight and honestly there are times when it gets a bit boring. Between running, cycling, day to day riding, weights and keeping a track of food it really is a whole lot of mental and physical energy devoted to keeping with the program.
So every so often it’s good to focus on something silly to keep you motivated.
Like the wiener dog count.
image via browniesforbrunch
What’s a wiener dog count? Well every time you are out on the bike, running, walking whatever if you spot a wiener dog you add it to the count. For example
Sunday – wiener dog count 2 – spotted a caramel and a black wiener dog in park while cycling.
Monday – wiener dog count 0
Tuesday – wiener dog count 0
Wednesday – wiener dog count 0
Thursday – wiener dog count 0, but I did see this amazing cute and teeny tiny white pup that was just adorable.
and so on.
Why? well it helps keep your mind off the task at hand so if you are hitting a hard patch and you spot a wiener dog it makes you smile (even if only internally) and you can add it to the weekly tally. Also if you are going to be outside and exercising you may as well take notice of your surroundings.
It’s completely silly but it makes me smile and if helps me get through even one tough training session then it’s totally worth it, plus it’s fun to say wiener.
So what kind of dogs are you going to count this week?
One of the more terrifying aspects of losing weight is getting on the scales each week. Never quite sure if it will be friend or foe?
Well imagine how bad that gets when your scales have the ability to tweet your weight! or make it your facebook status? That’s exactly what the withings scales can do.
They connect via an iPhone app and while the ability to tweet/facebook your weight can be turned off (thank goodness!) the information that is shown on the app is actually really cool.
You set yourself up an account via the website, download the app and get the scales. Then each time you weigh yourself you get your weight, body fat percentage and your BMI*. Bonus it comes out as a lovely graph which if you are doing everything correctly to lose weight has a downward trend to it which is most satisfying. They can hold data for more than one account and if two of the accounts weigh a similar amount it will ask you which one you are?
This is not my data just an image from their website
Now admittedly when we first got these scales I used to yell at them quite alot. I’d been using a really old set of scales and had worked hard to drop off a few kg and then got new scales and BAM! gained 5kg in one go. It is very sensitive so it does pick up the variations in your weight much more so than any other scales I’ve used before, so in the beginning some days I was up, some days I was down.
Now that my program is working it is quite nice to see the graph going steadily down. Let’s hope that trend continues for a bit longer yet.
So scary ability to tweet my weight aside, it is really nice to have an accurate way to measure my weight and have the hard data there. Weight loss is about being accountable, how much food goes in, how much exercise are you doing, how much you weigh, are you building muscle or losing fat. It’s almost as if the more data you have the more successful you will be as you have more benchmarks to keep you accountable. I like that, it makes me work harder.
Plus how cool is it to have scales that connect to the internet??
*I pretty much ignore the BMI measurement as I’m so short I fall outside the “average” that it is calculated on and even at my very fittest point was still considered obese.
I love cycling, but no matter how much I do it just doesn’t seem to make me lose any weight. Fitter, endurance, cardio, yes it does all that but just not the weight. So my weapon of choice to lose weight are kettlebells.
These crazy ball shaped lumps of iron will not only work you really really hard they are also really fun. Workouts tend to be short and sharp because they work you so hard you don’t need to workout for hours on end. 10 minutes with the bells will have your lungs screaming for oxygen and sweat pouring from you.
As an added bonus you don’t get that “I lift weights” type of body. You get long and lean and have a body that looks fit and healthy but not bulky. I was convinced to try kettlebells after reading an article by Lauren Brooks “The need to train like a man, especially if you are a woman“. It made so much sense. Why were woman limited to aerobics, and more subdued exercises. Before being injured (not from kettlebells) and having to stop training I was fitter and stronger than I had ever been and it was fantastic. I want that feeling again.
In terms of what they do for my cycling, well obviously less weight makes it easier to ride, more core strength means lessened back and shoulder pain on the bike, my legs are stronger, cardio is stronger and flexibility is increased. For me they are like an all round wonder tool.
Give them a try, I think you’ll like them, but always remember it’s a big ball of iron if you don’t have correct technique you can hurt yourself. Here are some links for more information
Power by Pavel – the ultimate kettlebell authority
On the Edge Fitness/Lauren Brooks - great follow along workout dvd’s/videos by a certified kettlebell instructor