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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

If you think you'll never be able to lose weight, read this:

I was talking with a younger friend of mine, and she was talking in terms of "I can never" about changing her eating habits, eating healthier, etc. It inspired me to list some things that it honestly really shocks me that I have succeeded in changing! Even if I haven't lost TONS of weight (hey 12+ pounds!!, but I've got a ways to go), I'm sure I'll see the benefit of all these changes in the long run.

  • When I was in middle school & high school, I would say, "I DON'T run or jog for exercise." Just I "Don't" do that. In college I was convinced to just run for 15 minutes. Then it became 5Ks, 10Ks, and interval training. I haven't been able to run for a while because of a severe knee injury and feet injuries, but I can sincerely say now that I "do!" run for exercise. It's a form of exercise that I'll be most glad about resuming when my foot injuries heal.
  • I used to eat sugar cereal EVERY morning. Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Fruity Pebbles were some of my favorites. Now I can say that for the past couple of years, I eat oatmeal most of the time, but high fiber & protein all of the time. Egg substitute, raisin bran, fruit & other whole grains are frequent recurrences.
  • This is still in transition, but I'm getting a lot better with healthy snacking. I realized that most of my life I thought that a "snack" was a cookie or other sweet. Now I'm eating yogurt, apples with peanut butter, string cheese, whole wheat crackers, almonds, for example. A lot of the credit I have to give to the Body Clutter Menu Mailer from SavingDinner.com. It gives you breakfast ideas, snacks, lunches & dinners & gives the calories & weight watcher points. (I subscribe to that menu for daytime, then the Heart Healthy menu for dinners b/c I like less meat.)
  • I've changed my dinner habit a lot in terms of just cooking at home instead of frequently eating out. Moving to this area 4 years ago helped cure me of that, because nearby there were no restaurants until recently. Only McDonalds & Burger King, which I used to enjoy, but now they both make me gag.
  • Just being extra aware of High Fructose Corn Syrup and Hydrogenated Fats. I never knew those existed, now I avoid them pretty well- especially for my kids. After watching Dr. Oz on TV, it has convinced me that eating them is like eating poison.
  • We hardly ever eat chips. Pretzels once in a while, but I'm realizing that with a sandwich, mostly crunchy fruit or carrots will do the trick.
  • I've cut down juice drinking dramatically. I've always thought juice was something healthy to consume because you're downing some vitamins. Now I just drink water, water, water. Juice once a day for my kids & maybe for me as a treat once in a while on the weekends.
  • No sugar substitutes. I used to be ok with it. But just do a google search on aspartame (Equal), sucralose (Splenda) or saccharine (Sweet N Low), and you'll never touch them again. ESPECIALLY NEVER give them to your kids. It has to do with stunting brain growth. Also they taste pretty gross, most of the time! I now use herbal Stevia once in a while if I need something to be a little sweeter & don't want to just use sugar & count the points.
  • We try to buy glass containers instead of plastic because of chemicals leaching into your foods. (Avoid #7 plastics, especially- I've noticed that apple sauce & single servings of peaches & mixed fruit, etc. come in #7 plastics.) Little by little lessening the chemicals we don't want in our bodies. Hopefully after a while, I'll be able to say I've also switched to organic fruits & vegetables. (It's hard right now, because I can't get my husband to buy them & he's our grocery shopper.)
  • The discovery of "Superfoods". Another thing you can google if you're interested. Here's an article you could check out to start with. Again, not to be a commercial for SavingDinner.com, but thanks to following her meal suggestions, all the super foods are included in every single meal & snack we eat.
  • Whole grain everything. We eat brown rice, whole grain bread, whole wheat bagels, whole wheat english muffins, whole wheat tortillas, everything. I used to be a white bread girl. Now we've successfully made the switch & it's been probably about a year! I'm shocked we made it happen. Yay!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Coping Mechanisms

Well, I have been doing weight watchers for almost a month now, and I have to say it hasn't gotten hugely easier. I've felt pretty starving some of the time, but I've fought through it and stuck to it. I knew my biggest challenge would be emotional eating, and so I thought of some alternate comforting things for myself that have to do with the senses OTHER THAN taste.

Smell: Lighting a Yankee or Salt City candle
Touch: Wearing velour or soft cotton clothing, lay on or hug a soft pillow
Sound: Listening to classical music, 80s alternative, dance music, or Enya type music
Sight: Turn on my light box. I linked to the brand I have, but I think most doctors would recommend a bigger one. 10,000 watts or higher.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Finally An Update & It's Good Progress! :)

First of all, as requested long ago, here is the chili to go with your corn bread:

6 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey (I used canned chicken)
2 cans (15.5 oz.) navy beans, drained
1 cup chicken broth (I put a lot more than this, just eyeballing it until it looked right)
1 large onion
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper (I deleted this and just added a can of diced green chilis)
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Basically, just chuck everything into a slow cooker and leave it there for 6 to 7 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.

I have to say that I followed through with my goal of joining Weight Watchers by the end of October. Last week was my 2nd week and I lost 2.6 lbs. Yay! My plan is to take the weekends off to lift the stress from me a little bit. I'm hoping that I will lose more during the week than I will gain on the weekend, so it will all work out. I have had several friends have success with this. We'll give it a try for a few weeks and see how it goes.

I can tell you that last weekend, when we were allowed to cheat, it was not as alluring, because it wasn't forbidden. And when we did eat sweets, they made us sick. I had some cake at my son's soccer party, and we had to take the extra home, since my husband is the coach. Well, we ended up throwing most of it out because it literally made me sick after I ate it. Our neighbor gave us some Entenmann's cupcakes frosted with thick orange frosting. It was basically gross and after my son had one we threw the whole box out. So I've gotten over some of that thinking: "It can't go to waste! There are starving people in Africa! Throwing food away is immoral!" No one should eat that crap. Not even starving Africans. All the HFCS and hydrogenated fat would just make them sick, sick, sick. It's ok to throw away candy and cake.

See? I told you. Progress!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Good recipe

My family and I had some white bean chicken chili the other night and paired it up with this recipe for corn bread with no oil. The corn bread was AWESOME. We used vanilla yogurt instead of plain, and also egg substitute instead of whole eggs. Thought I'd pass it along. :)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Riddle: What medical condition has its own reality tv shows?

Answer: obesity. It's a medical condition. It's not a question of choosing good over evil, but of choosing health over sickness. I really liked the cheer that the red team on The Biggest Loser used: "1-2-3: LIVE!!!"

Another thing I liked that popped into my mind as I was watching the past couple episodes of TBL was how the trainers reminded the contestants that they can't have the attitude, "I can't." It was pretty obvious that that attitude was hurting the blue team a lot the past 2 shows. Bob would say, "This 'I can't' attitude is what got you so heavy. You can't think that way any more." So I had a little "Aha!" moment when I spotted that in my own thinking: The reason I stopped doing Weight Watchers was that it was too hard, and I didn't want to join and waste my money just to go ahead and fail. Well, if that's not "I can't" thinking, I don't know what is. I can't join Weight Watchers and be successful. I can't stay away from the sweets or stay within the limits of my points. I can't lose weight. I would have never pegged myself as a wimpy person with an "I can't" attitude. Well, surprise, surprise.

A lot of people have been talking to me about "The Secret." And I know one concept from that book is to use the phrase, "I am." It's even stronger than "I can." "I am a successful lifetime member of Weight Watchers." "I am eating in a healthy points range and calorie range." "I am a person within a healthy weight range." "I am a person who has overcome this difficult trial of losing weight." Yahoo! That will feel nice.

I'm going to work on the 'tude this week. How about you?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Very Important Post

[I'm copying this concept from someone else's blog... I don't remember where this was, but someone had the very good motivating tool for themselves to write down & keep adding & adding reasons they wanted to lose weight. Here are all I can think of at the moment, but I will add as they come to mind, and the link for this post will be on my sidebar.]

29 Reasons (and counting) to say "no" to unhealthy food and "yes" to healthy exercise

  1. To get rid of the spare tire and stop the embarrassing questions about whether I'm pregnant.
  2. To be able to do Child's pose and Forward Bend Yoga poses without my stomach literally getting in the way!!
  3. To be able to not be horrified when I see photos of myself.
  4. To lower my cholesterol and triglycerides.
  5. To lower my risk for diabetes, heart problems, arthritis and cancer.
  6. To get rid of heart burn.
  7. To stop the stress of all the weight on my feet. (I have plantar faciitis because of the weight.)
  8. To be able to sit in a chair with crossed legs.
  9. To be able to safely get pregnant without so many dangerous health risks. (We think we might want more kids down the road...?)
  10. Just to extend my probable life expectancy.
  11. Just to prove wrong these snobby Europeans who say all Americans are fat. (I lived there for several years.)
  12. To be a good example to my kids.
  13. To have more energy.
  14. To be able to shop at H & M and fit in their sizes!
  15. To prove to myself that I can overcome the hardest trial I've ever had in my life.
  16. To stop the cycle of self-loathing & depression.
  17. To sleep better. (Because of the weight, the doctor says I may have sleep apnea.)
  18. The stereotype out there is that if you're overweight, you're ghetto/low income. I don't want that label!
  19. Maybe my husband & my intimate relationship will improve because I just have a really hard time feeling "sexy" at this weight.
  20. So I can run, dance, and play tennis and not hurt my knees (the weight puts too much stress on my knees- last year I tore my ACL and meniscus partly because of this weight.)
  21. I've also heard that overweight people are more likely to get ovarian cysts (which I have). Maybe that problem would go away, too!
  22. To hear all the comments & praise from people about how good I look.
  23. So I can sit "criss cross apple sauce" when I volunteer at the preschool & have an easier time getting up off the floor.
  24. To be able to walk like a 35 year old woman (or a younger woman) rather than like I currently do now-- about like an 85 year old woman.
  25. To stop obsessing that my face is fat.
  26. To be able to put on socks & shoes without struggling.
  27. So my stomach can get bathed. Right now it sticks out of the water when I lay down in the bathtub like I'm pregnant. It's embarrassing, even though no one knew until now, and now you all know!
  28. When I take exercise classes at the gym, I'm sick of being disgusted by my big gut that I see from all sides in those mirrors.
  29. Horizontal lines in the front of my ankles where my shin meets my foot and on the top of my wrist where my hand bends upwards. The same lines chubby babies have! It's cute on them, but not so cute on me!
  30. Sick of the shelf in the front (no, stomach! not boobs!). Also, for the first time in my life, I have a shelf in the back, too. My shirt gets bunched up above my butt & doesn't lay nicely. Down with butt shelves!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I can't believe I'm posting this photo but...


Oh the shame of looking at both of those numbers. The first one is the weight: 211.2. At least I lost 1 pound of the vacation gain. Not to discount that I can be happy for a loss, but I think it never would have happened if I hadn't been trying as hard as I could to get my 8 glasses of water in. The second number is body fat. 45%???? I don't know how accurate that is. This was taken first thing in the morning, and the manual that came with the scale said in the morning, it's not as accurate as in the evening, but if some of the kids on "Shaq's Big Challenge" had 50+% body fat, perhaps it could be accurate. How depressing.

So I feel I just have to dwell on the positive and the goals I currently have without slipping into any sort of denial. I have been eating extremely healthy, lo-cal, lo-fat, hi-fiber meals, but just too many desserts, afterwards. And I am like bi-polar with the exercise thing. I will do really fabulous for a while, then nothing. Last week I journaled all my breakfasts, as was my goal, and I did several spin classes and a yoga class that was kick-butt. This week I've been so busy and my goal was to walk for an hour a day on the treadmill, but since it wasn't a class at a certain time, it was harder to force myself to allow it into the schedule. And I've been tired. Blah blah. blah blobbity blah. I'll do better. My September goals are on the sidebar.

Good luck to you all! We can do this!

P.S. Vacation photos: you can either click on my Flickr badge on the lower end of the sidebar (but my browser hasn't been able to open the Organizer, so they're not organized or labeled). You can also check my other blogs for the photos I've posted on there so far: Something Beautiful or Humorous and Let Me Talk.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Being out west with family. Whew! There were good times & bad times. (There's always family drama.) But I'm glad to be back. But I'm not glad that some extra pounds are back, too. :( I even went past my all-time record high. (ARRRRGGGHHH!!!) But the good part is, I was gone for 10 days, I exercised for 5 of them (and if I didn't come down with a cold while I was there, I may have done even better.) I was able to take nice hour long walks along the beach. The bad part was I pretty much had no choice what food was put in front of me. Yes, I did have a choice if I wanted to be rude & anti-social (yes, I know not everyone views it that way... I know, I know!! But I felt that way.) and find a way to eat my "own special food". But I didn't do that. And I did have a choice to cut down on quantity a little and not go to town on the fattening stuff. So hindsight is 20/20. Maybe I'll have better will-power next time.

Worth It:

  • Mom's French Toast
  • Bakery Items from yummy Utah stores (I wish so bad they shipped things out! If you're ever in Utah, stop by Kneaders. A close substitute is to order online from Lehi Roller Mills.)
  • Chocolate from BYU Bookstore (I swear, those Mormons are the best bakers & candy makers!)

Not Worth It:
  • Frozen French Toast Sticks served at my sister's house
  • Burnt Pillsbury cookies
  • Pizza 3 times
  • Bacon 2 times
  • The quantity I chose on the pancakes, waffles, fattening chicken sauce & spaghetti
  • Garlic cheese bread
  • Hamburgers
  • Hotdogs
Two more things:
  1. I am NOT quitting the challenges I'm in & I'm NOT leaving the "fit blog" community just because I'm not having a lot of success losing weight right now. I'm NOT giving up. I need that support from all of you, and I know I'll succeed with enough time & perseverance.
  2. I haven't forgotten the request for photos from the trip. I took a TON of pictures. Give me a few days... I'm probably going to open a Flikr account. :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm Going To Bear Lake!


We will be at a couple of family reunions for the next few weeks! See you when we get back!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Book Plug!

I just read something to my kids that helped me answer a question that I have seen on several weight loss blogs. A great little book by Karen Beaumont & illustrated by David Catrow called I Like Myself.

The great mystery was how do I accept myself for who I am at this moment, while the number on the scale is so abhorrent, unacceptable and unhealthy. I am so good at not liking myself, but that doesn't help me get any further on this weight loss journey.

The secret lies somewhere hidden in a preschool or kindergarten class. You have to like yourself. And obviously think about it in a deeper way, and have gratitude for the body you do have, and what it can do, and like it despite its imperfections. Like yourself inside and out, and to be true to yourself, you have to like what you do- which is the tricky part. I'm hoping that I gave enough credit to the book, and that I can transcribe the words in this blog, because they were so beautiful and profound (and remember it's MUCH better with the illustrations!!):

I like myself!
I'm glad I'm me.
There's no one else I'd rather be.
I like my eyes, my ears, my nose.
I like my fingers and my toes.
I like me wild.
I like me tame.
I like me different and the same.
I like me fast. I like me slow.
I like me everywhere I go.
I like me on the inside, too,
For all I think and say and do.
Inside, outside, upside down,
From head to toe and all around.
I like it all! It all is me!
And me is all I want to be.
And I don't care in any way
What someone else may think or say.
I may be called a silly nut
Or crazy cuckoo bird-- so what?
I'm having too much fun, you see,
For anything to bother me!
Even when I look a mess,
I still don't like me any less,
'Cause nothing in this world, you know,
Can change what's deep inside, and so...
No matter if they stop and stare,
No person
Ever
Anywhere
Can make me feel that what they see is all there really is to me.
I'd still like me with fleas or warts,
Or with a silly snout that snorts,
Or knobby knees or hippo hips
Or purple polka-dotted lips,
Or beaver breath or stinky toes
Or horns protruding from my nose,
Or--yikes!-- with spikes all down my spine,
Or hair that's like a porcupine.
I still would be the same, you see...
I like myself because I'm ME!

What do you get out of these words?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Here's the low-down about how I'm doing. From the scale's perspective: TERRIBLE. I've been doing ok on my goals. I've exercised. 5 days/week for 2 weeks. I've done cardio, I've done weights, I even did yoga last Wednesday. Saturday I did a Fitrow class at the gym. I felt really good when I was done. All that great arm & back sculpting. But I've gained weight. :(

My second goal for August is to journal my food in SparkPeople, at a minimum breakfast. I have done this all of August so far. It's been good for me because I realize that lately, I am usually pretty far away from the calorie range I should be in. So at least I realize where things could improve a little bit.

It's like I strategically picked goals that would make it look like I was working hard, but that would be sure not to make me lose any weight. It's like being at work and looking really busy, but not being productive. My therapist says the cure or at least a baby step for me for the "all or nothing" attitude is to set goals that are achievable, so I can be perfect in THEM, but not give up on the whole sha-bang if I'm not perfect in EVERYTHING. So I can't blame myself too much for having wimpy achievable goals. It's the only way to not feel like I'm giving up, if you know what I mean.

I also know I need to concentrate harder on my motivation. It has to be stronger, I think, for me to succeed. Yes, I hate the way I look. But I can't dwell on it. It just makes me want to crawl under a rock to think that way, not work hard. Yes, it scares the patootie out of me that I have high cholesterol at age 35. But why is it such a stretch to make a correlation in my mind between putting a chocolate chip cookie in my mouth and having a heart attack? I'm educated & intelligent, but I still want to be in somewhat of denial. Eating a cookie has always seemed like something innocent to me, but now I have to see it as EVIL!!!

Probably the thing that's the most real motivation for me right now is wanting to move my body easier. I was this weight when I delivered my 2 kids, and I remember having some of the same problems: having a hard time getting up from a sitting position, having a hard time reaching my shoelaces, wanting to run, play tennis, dance, run up and down the stairs, do kickboxing, etc., without injuring anything!

Well, I have to admit, I've gotten myself pretty depressed writing about all this. I think I'll just take a little trip down to Krispy Kreme. Just kidding!

Friday, July 27, 2007

I have to share how I felt yesterday after I came out of my Taeboboxing class. I FELT AWESOME! It has not been such a successful weight loss week. I got on the scale yesterday & today and it said 206.2. So utterly sad. MUCH higher than it was a month ago. So I felt kind of mortified about it.

Last night I went to this class, as I mentioned, and I did get a good work out. But I was protecting my knee like crazy. Those classes really do involve a heck of a lot of side shuffling & turning jumping. We started boxing, upper cut, hook, jab, jab, jab, jab and we didn't have one single break from it for 55 minutes. I thought my back was going to die, but actually today it's not that bad! Yay!

At the end of the class, a sweet woman came up to me. She was probably around 60 years old (? hard to tell), but she had one of those super muscular bodies & younger looking hairstyles. But she was the sweetest lady in the world because she said, "You know, I could see you out of the corner of my eye, and you were really working hard. I wanted to say 'keep it up! way to go,' but you never know how people will take things." She wasn't gushy or anything. She was just mentioning it in the quietest way, but it affected me because I knew what she said was true. I felt like a million bucks when she said this to me. I was like beaming walking out to my car.

I was proud of myself for 1) going to the class at all! 2) that I was true to myself and didn't do the high impact that would have hurt my knee. 3) She's right! I did work hard. I didn't slop through the sit ups, but I paid attention to form and I did them all, even though I was tired.

Yay me. I do have to pay attention to what the scale is saying (pull back on the sweets), but yesterday I celebrated that non-scale victory. I allowed myself to be proud and joyful about that little accomplishment without holding back. And yay for people who encourage others & voice their admiration. Thank you to that sweetest woman for pointing out to me something about myself to applaud. ALSO-- after I go to the gym tonight, it will be the 2nd week in a row of accomplishing 1 hour of cardio per day for 5 days each week! Even though the scale really doesn't show it, that has to be good for me, right?!?!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

This is a photo of my sweet little 4 year old at the pool a couple of weeks ago. He's been taking swimming lessons, and although I'm sure he'll eventually get the hang of it, swimming doesn't come naturally to him. It took all the courage he had last session to put his mouth in the water & blow bubbles. He also learned to kick his legs while holding on to the side of the pool. But then they asked him to do both at the same time!! Well, he'd stop kicking, then blow bubbles, then stop blowing bubbles and kick a little bit. For some reason, the two activities were just too hard or newly learned to do at the same time.

This is exactly like me and eating wisely at the same time as exercising well! Last week I got back on track and exercised again 5 times (just boring old elliptical, but making it more fun by listening to tons of podcasts-- btw, does anyone know any good ones about fitness or weight loss?). Yay, me! But my choices for eating were not at all smart. So I've just stayed about the same weight & not made any progress.

But I can't tell you how happy I am to be exercising again. It helped my depression a lot last week. I felt like a normal person! Hallellujah! I had a tough month during June, just being sick the whole month. Then I had about a week and a half break, long enough to celebrate the 4th of July, then I got Strep throat! So I'm hoping I can stay healthy for a long stretch now so I can get used to exercising as part of my every day routine... enough that it feels like 2nd nature & I will be able to also do healthier eating at the same time!

I have decided to participate in some team challenges (see sidebar) so I think that will help get everything in place. I'm a little behind on some of the challenge info. So forgive me if you're on my challenge team (The Skinny Minnies). I'm getting up to speed this week! I'm having this positive visualization of myself succeeding next week:
Stranger at the sample table at the grocery store: "Would you like some chocolate cake?"
Me: "No, I'm on Team Skinny Minnie & I can't let them down."

Funny. Have a good week!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Shaq's Big Challenge & What I'm Ticked About

Did any of you watch it the past couple weeks? This past episode had some things that just bugged me. So I think it's really great that Shaq has a reality show about taking a stab at the huge problem of childhood obesity. It's great. I love the idea (although, the show really touts it as his own idea & project... yeah right... not the idea of some ABC reality show producer... but whatever.)

He has 6 kids that basically come from the projects of Miami, that have agreed to participate in his program and try to lose a bunch of weight. These kids are in their preteens & teens & each weigh well over 200 lbs. So he visits them all, gets them checked out by a doctor, then sends them a nutritionist, then rents them a gym and asks them to exercise 5 days a week on their own. So that totally fails. (Duh! But why did they structure it that way? Why make the point that people can't do it on their own? How depressing & unoptimistic.) So in Tuesday's episode, he finally gets them a trainer. And it is the stereotypical military type drill sergeant guy who yells and yells. Well, one of the "girls" (pictured above), "Kit," starts hyperventilating and clutching at her heart and quits after 2 minutes of exercising with this guy. They wheel her off in an ambulance. Later they diagnose her as having an anxiety attack. Her parents pull her out of the program for good.

So this is what I have a problem with. The show at first made me feel kind of impatient with Kit & her parents. "What is wrong with you? Why can't you just exercise? Get up off your butt and try!" And to her parents: "How could anyone be so ignorant? You coddled her all the way up to 263 pounds, and she's only 14! When are you going to wake up?" But when I started thinking about it, I really don't think they (meaning the trainers, producers, etc. on the show) had Kit's best interest at heart. If they really cared about helping her, as an individual, why wouldn't they provide more individualized training, rather than making all 6 kids, no matter what their gender or exercise preference do these military-like drills, such as crawling up and down the gym, jumping jacks, who even knows what they were doing. They were just being yelled at. I think the approach was a HUGE MISTAKE on the part of the producers & planners of the show.

Flash back to my own preteen and teenage days... That was the whole reason I stayed out of sports: I was scared to death of drill-sergeant-like coaches yelling at me. Luckily, I had the option of dance because my parents could afford it. That's probably the only reason I didn't become obese in my teens. But what option do these kids have? Especially with the other problem the show points out: non-mandatory P.E. in public schools. But I digress.

My main point is this: where is the psychological help??????? Celebrity Fit Club (possibly the worst reality show I've ever seen) had one good thing about it. The perfect trio of experts: a trainer, a nutritionist, and a psychologist. I think the psychological element is more than KEY in changing your lifestyle for good. Nutritionists & trainers are almost useless without overcoming the distorted thinking and mental blocks. The field of psychology could really help out here! More than having a beef with Shaq's show, I have a beef with the whole psychiatric field. I feel totally abandoned by them in my struggles to lose weight. Our nation is going through a huge epidemic health crisis, and I'm so glad for all the awareness and research and discussion in the medical community. But the psychiatric community has just been shamefully absent in this whole discussion. Where is the PSYCHOLOGICAL research on how to help people lose weight? Where is the awareness campaign on getting psychological help? Where are these people??? Where were they on Shaq's show when someone was carted off in an ambulance because of psychological trauma?

I currently go to a therapist because of depression. Once in a while I bring up the fact that I have a lot of anxiety about getting out there & exercising. Also, why can't I stop the emotional eating? I intellectually know that it will kill me, but I can't stop. And in a nutshell, what I'm told is, "Oh, just get over it. Exercise & healthy eating are good for you." Ok! Thank you! That's just brilliant. They would never think of telling me that type of thing when I complain of depression: "Why don't you just stop feeling that way? Can't you just buck up, lil' camper?" Someone who said that to you in therapy would get their license taken away!

There is a lot of awareness about the reverse problems, anorexia and bulemia, but binge eating and the related exercise-anxiety that SO MANY OF US HAVE are ignored like the unloved stepchild. I guess that's the way it's been for a long time. The skinny kids get all the breaks.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Loving Movement vs. Comfort Food: Loving Yourself In Healthy Ways

Body Clutter is the first book I've read that mostly deals with the psychology behind the weight loss struggle, or as they term it, "stinking thinking." The only other one I read a while ago was Make The Connection by Bob Greene & Oprah. And I plan to read more books along the line of solving the problem of distorted thinking, etc. because I feel I just can't make progress without changing my thinking. The authors of Body Clutter ask you to journal your feelings on certain topics to excavate some of your long-held beliefs that have gotten you in trouble and caused you to pack on the pounds. For the next several posts, I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to write on some of the topics they ask you to think about.

Loving (?) Movement

One big epiphany for me was that although I've always exercised, I haven't used it as an opportunity to give my body something it needs or enjoys. For example, in the book, they use a euphemism for the word, "exercise" for those who are exercise-phobic. Instead, they call it "loving movement." My view of exercise has been more like, "if I'm not beating the crap out of my body, it's not doing me any good." So I would push myself too far and just continue to crack the whip on myself when I was in pain and should have maybe stopped or been more gentle. Results: torn ACL last year from pushing myself too hard in a kick boxing class. When I was recovering from my ACL surgery, I tried to go on small walks for exercise. I would try to plow ahead and my knee would scream out in pain. I had just read a few of the chapters from Body Clutter, and so I would repeat in my head over and over again, "loving movement... loving movement...loving movement" just to slow down, be more gentle, and stop myself from beating my knee to death and re-injuring it. I'm still struggling with being ok if I don't have a huge hour of cardio where I'm sucking some serious air. And where I lose out is that I have this terrible "all or nothing" philosophy. Now I have a sprained ankle & I can't do walking outside or on the treadmill & elliptical like I had been doing. So I just do nothing.

Loving (!) Movement

This is the lesson I think I need to learn: make sure my body gets plenty of movement every day. Shoot for 60 minutes of cardio when I'm healthy. Plus, I should probably purposely schedule some more gentle regular exercise like yoga & pilates. Because I actually really want to start doing it regularly, but with time constraints & also fitting in weight training, it's hard to make time for it all. And when I'm not healthy, I need to find ways to move my body that nourish it and are loving and gentle.

Food That Bites

Maybe if I felt love from myself from movement or exercise, I wouldn't feel such a huge need to derive comfort from food. I noticed that I put a lot of energy into pig-out sessions when I'm stressed. We're talking speed, ardor, drive and force. I pack those girl scout cookies down like I'm in a competition. No one is going to argue that the chocolate cookies don't give you seratonin. It actually does relieve stress for me. But so do cigarettes for other people. Body Clutter's first chapter is called, "Food: The Ultimate Weapon of Self-Destruction." I full-well know that I'm sending myself into the heart attack risk zone by not losing weight, but I still insist on using the cookies the wrong way. I haven't delved deep enough into the "why's" of it. But I know that I'm probably trying to bury fear, self-doubt, frustration, guilt, etc. The truth is, I have NO IDEA how to deal with these emotions. I honestly don't have a substitute right now that could replace emotional eating. And that's why it's a bit scary to take a step into the dark and commit the rest of my life to 100% healthy eating with no cheating and never fall back on the old tried and true methods of getting temporary solace through binging.

More of What You Don't Need Can Never Satisfy You

So what I have learned from this is that when I eat cookies when I'm stressed, I'm trying to soothe & comfort myself like putting a pacifier in a crying baby's mouth. But if the pacifier was laced with E-coli, of course I would never give that to a child. Also, I would never substitute food or drink for actual love and attention. Thinking about my own kids- they need so many hugs and kisses every day. They need to be listened to, talked to lovingly & gently. They need to be played with and praised. I'm sure there are equivalents of those things that I need to be giving myself, as well.

I Repent Too Damned Fast

So just to report on my June goals- I've been doing ok on the SparkPeople diet. But I've had some stressful moments where I've eaten tons of sweets and just sabotaged my progress. I'm going to think about it this way: there was a leader of my church named J. Golden Kimball in the early 1900's who was deeply spiritual, but would sometimes swear & use coarse language. When asked how he could get away with doing that, he replied, "Hell, they can't excommunicate me. I repent too damned fast." That's going to be my new motto for cheating on the diet. There's no reason I have to abandon the program after a few small slip-ups. I am inspired by that humorous but true concept. When we're wrong we need to change quickly. Yes, a few hours ago I had chocolate pie. But see? I'm already back on track. Back on track for reals, armed with a few new strategies for loving myself in a more healthy, nourishing way that will be beneficial in the long run.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Help! I'm getting a little too close to the edge of the wagon

No, I haven't fallen off the wagon. (I just fell in my living room. I'll explain later.) But I've been pushing the upper edge of that calorie range (SparkPeople gives me between 1410 and 1760 per day), and yes, there were a couple of days I was up into 1900+ calories this week.

Here's the problem I'm having: I AM SICK OF BROWN RICE! And I don't see too much I can do about it because for the heart healthy menu, I have to eat a ton of whole grains & there just isn't that much variety. Or is there? Do you have suggestions? Ok- I take that back, I am eating almost every whole grain in the known free world. They rotate me through a lot of whole grain menu items: whole grain bagels, whole grain waffles, whole wheat bread, cream of wheat, oatmeal, whole wheat english muffins, potatoes, corn bread, couscous, popcorn, whole wheat pasta, pretzels, tortilla chips, whole grain pitas, whole wheat crackers... That should be enough variety, shouldn't it? But with the recommended 7 servings per day (nope, not kidding. 2 for breakfast, 1 for snack, 2 for lunch, 2 for dinner), that brown rice still comes around a little too often. What else is there? Bulgar, barley...?? I would welcome any recipes or suggestions to change up the palate. I used to not mind rice, but I would eat white rice with flavorful creamy sauces on them (and not plain with tofu, green beans & BBQ sauce on them. Blech!! Don't try it at home!). That's why today when I tasted a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup for my small "treat," my taste buds said, "More! More! You've been depriving us!" ... and they got more relief than they really needed. Sigh.

In other (bad) news, I SPRAINED MY ANKLE!!! Ok. With that photo, I don't know what's worse: the swelling or the need for a good pedicure. It actually just looks like I am posting a picture of my chubby ankles & feet. But actually, on the outside of my ankle, the swelling was the size of a big egg. It looked like a cancerous growth or something. And that was the morning after the injury after ice, elevation, Celebrex, etc. I am soooooooo mad. I stepped on one of my kids' toys, struggled to get my footing, then just came down & crunched the ankle. I didn't go to the doctor because I know they would just say ice it, take anti-inflammatories, stay off it, etc. I was almost at the point with my knee that I could start slowly venturing into high impact activity again, and now hello! No weight bearing activity for 4-6 weeks, according to webmd.com. Maybe that's how long this cold/flu virus I have will last. It is taking FOREVER for my husband & I to feel better. We are still pretty sick & basically only function with the help of tons of tylenol & decongestant.

So in all reality, I just needed a chance to vent a little to people who know how it feels. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself until I read this article. Very charming Time Magazine photos of families around the world & how much they spend on food per week. It was such an eye opener.

P.S. To the 2007 Challenge people- how do I post on the 2007 Challenge Blog?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Good Eating Week/Bad Exercising Week

I feel like I've been on a seesaw with my weight loss attempts in so many ways. First of all, for a while, I've been getting myself to the gym and getting about 5 hours of cardio/week plus weights very faithfully. But I've been eating like crap. Well, I finally committed myself to eating better, and this week I got sick & only exercised once. And it won't happen tomorrow because I will be at a Women's Conference most of the day.

But at least it hasn't been a week's break from exercising with eating binges as well. Ever since we went to the grocery store & stocked up, so I could stick to the SparkPeople menu plans, I've been doing great. So for my June goal this week, "thumbs up". Good high fiber, high protein breakfasts for the last several days.

But I've noticed something about my menu plan that surprised me- all the carbs! I don't have an "after" picture of my fridge, but the most significant change is 2 bags of bagels, a loaf of bread, potatoes, and a bag of english muffins. I never would have bought that on my own. I'm going, "Are you serious?! I can eat bagels??!" The reason is that SparkPeople generated my menus, knowing I had high cholesterol, and I need to eat a lot of whole grains. So my calorie level is around 1700, with very little fat (they allow me up to 60 grams, but I have been getting around 40), around 100 grams of protein, and around 200 grams of carbs.

So this is a big pendulum swing for me. Or... if you will... more of this seesawing. When I was pregnant with both of my kids, I had gestational diabetes & I was counting carbs & avoiding them like the plague. Now it's a different challenge & I have to stay away from a lot of types of protein that I could load up on when I had diabetes. I dread the day when I have to avoid BOTH carbs AND fatty protein. And at that stage of life they usually take away your salt, too, for high blood pressure! Argh! Getting old is no fun. But I'm sold on the idea that it's a little funner when obesity doesn't add to all the problems you already face. I have got to lick that problem, and I will.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Grocery Store Is Your Friend

First, an update on our crazy filtering software- it took out the word "innocent" from my last post! Why would it censor that word???????? Argh!!

Second, I am a new participant in the Make Yourself A Priority in 2007 Challenge for June. I am really excited, especially since it seems like so many of us are on the same page (digging deep and re-locating the motivation/commitment... ups & downs). My partners that I get to cheerlead are Jeannie, Amethyst, and Maria. Go "girls"!

Michelle, the guru of the challenge gave us an invitation to photograph a "before and "after" and do a little fridge makeover. So, ever willing to be candid, here is how my fridge looked last night:

Let me take you on a little tour. I'm proud to say, it's mostly good news with a little room for improvement. (In other words, this is not my splurge refuge. It is usually found elsewhere.) But actually, I will let it sink in that it's one thing that I'm doing well & not try to discount it or feel guilty for giving myself a pat on the back!!

The Good:

  • 1% milk- actually, honestly, I usually drink skim. It's not milk that puts on the pounds for me.
  • Salmon from Trader Joe's
  • Blue pitcher is what I fill with 8 cups of water every day, and I try to empty it by the end of the day.
  • Salsa- SparkPeople.com's favorite ingredient
  • SparkPeople lunch leftovers which I ate today (beans, brown rice & low fat sour cream along with crackers & spicy eggplant dip)
  • Sugar-free jello
  • Whip cream (no weight watcher's points for 1 serving- believe it or not, it's very low cal & low fat because it's mostly air)
  • Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread- Omega 3- need I say more?
  • Whole wheat bread
  • I promise I'm not hiding any treats in the door. Just condiments, kids!
The Bad:
  • Chocolate and mint frosting leftover from the mint brownie episode.
  • Hardly any yummy fresh produce. A kiwi- that is really it. The rest is yucky & was thrown out after this picture.
  • Whipped cream cheese. Could be dangerous, but I promise I'm not abusing it.
Today as per my official June Goal (see sidebar) my breakfast wasn't good (I took my kids to McDonalds & didn't pick the low cal stuff for myself). BUT my lunch & dinner were good. Snacks... do you really want to hear this? Ok. We were desperate, we pulled out some chocolate from the freezer. But I ended up throwing it away since it was old & freezer burned. Also, I think I did the right thing today by making it a rest day from exercise. I'd like to be burning calories, but my body was truly exhausted from yesterday, not getting enough sleep & getting over a cold. Like I said, I can't let myself be a perfectionist on this, or I'll burn out.

So to solve some of the food challenges I was having today, I sent my husband to the grocery store this evening to get food for my SparkPeople meal plans for the rest of the week. Not going to the store often enough triggers set backs for me. Back when I was successful on Weight Watchers (before my son was born way back in 2002), I did really well on the program when I was practically a Trader Joe's rat.

If it's dramatically different & exciting, I'll post the fridge "after" photo tomorrow. Good luck to you all. Get those grocery lists going!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Bleeeeeeep!!!

How frustrating! We have this filtering software on our computer, and it takes out words in the emails & blogs I post so that they sometimes make no sense!! In the previous post, it took out the word "adult" or (in case it filters it again, the definition is, "mature, developed, fully grown, grown, grown-up, of age, ripe, ripened." If you were totally confused, you can read it again, and I have edited the post and replaced it with the word, "adult" in quotes. It seems to be allowing it if it's in quotes. But if it doesn't, I guess I'm going to be doing a lot of random replacement keys * and $ and % and # and what have you. Sheesh!!! All this because we are trying to keep the trashy stuff that is out there out of our home!!!!! It did it to me with the word, "girl" (as in young female) and the word "dead" (as in has bitten the dust). All "innocent" contexts, of course. I don't know how to solve it.

All I can say is SORRY! And I SWEAR I'M NOT CRAZY!

And great news the bad cycle has been broken- I ate 3 great healthy meals & healthy snacks, kept exactly on my SparkPeople meal plan, and topped it off with a spin class at the gym, and weights afterwards! Whew!! Usually this good of a day is a red flag to watch out for burning out. That's what I tend to do. Be really perfect, then if I mess up, then I'm horrible for a little while until I can get myself back on track. But at least the horrible phase was only 4 days instead of 4 months or 4 years, right? :)

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Is There An "Adult" In The House?

I think this will be another post where I psycho-analyze myself to a degree to try to find out why I keep failing at sticking to a weight loss plan. Sigh. So you might want to go to your next blog and skip this one if you are searching for some success stories to motivate you.

The psychoanalysis part:
I was told by a psychologist that everyone has 3 aspects to their personality or decision-making mechanism. A child, a parent, and an "adult". And that sometimes when people are depressed or have other psychological problems, one of the 3 is missing, and the most healthy person is the one where the 3 are most balanced. However, each one has their pro's and cons. So for me: I definitely have the parent. I can be nurturing, but I can also yell & chastise (myself more than anyone). The child is there sometimes allowing me to have some fun, but the bad part is what I'm doing now: saying "Screw it all!!! I'm eating 2 helpings of this ice cream & I don't care!!" But the "adult," which is the voice of reason is kinda missing in my equation.

The weight loss/gain discussion part:
I was doing SO WELL for about 3 days on SparkPeople, then on a really stressful day, I decided to eat the unhealthy kid food that my kids were begging for in the grocery store. We ate hotdogs & soft white buns for lunch. I had 3! Argh. And I just let it kinda go downhill from there. Italian food, ice cream, cookies, trail mix, skipping a few days of exercise. My head is hanging very low. I have been a bad indeed. Do you see why I need some "adult" voices in my head instead of just the condemning parent and the rebellious child?

What would a logical, reasonable do in this situation? I can only borrow strategies from other people, since my brain doesn't generate them on its own. Dr. Oz says, if you get lost & you're using GPS, it doesn't berate you for making a mistake, it just says, "Please do a U-turn at the next possible opportunity." It's true. The , mature, reasonable thing to do would be to go on a walk tomorrow and stick to reasonable portions & healthy alternatives to desserts & snacks. Ok, if only it were that easy.

(I have one more rant to go on in the psychology topic & then I'll be done for today, I promise. Someone said depression was like laying on the couch & being unable to get up. And 3 feet away from you was a magic wand that could solve all your problems and help you be able to get off the couch. However, as hard as you might try, you just can't reach the magic wand, even though the dang thing is only 3 feet away! Sometimes I feel that way about losing weight. I'm a highly educated woman and I know that eating less and moving more would solve my weight problem. Well, duh! It's just right beyond my reach, like the magic wand, and try as I might I just can't grasp it. It's a really "easy" solution, but it's so "hard" that it feels impossible at times.)

Since I feel like I can't send this off to the universe ending on a negative note, I want to say that I'm not giving up. I'm looking forward to printing out the grocery list for the SparkPeople meal plans and doing much better next week. Self-forgiveness is the only way to break negative cycles. SELF, I FORGIVE YOU!!! YOU'RE STILL A GOOD PERSON! YOU'LL SEE SUCCESS YET!

During other trials in my life, I've found that when it seems like I'm reaching for that magic wand or solution that seems unobtainable, what my soul is really reaching for is God. May he grab my hand and your hand as we try to do the right thing this week & take care of the bodies he has given us.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The SparkPeople Epiphany


I have to say THANK YOU so much to the many fit blogs that I have read that clued me in to SparkPeople.com!! It's been a couple months since I signed up, but just 3 days ago, I really actually learned how to track your food & exercise, so I've actually for the first time since January, (when I signed up for Weight Watchers for the 4th time, then quit after a week,) TRACKED MY FOOD/calories, fat, etc.! Go me! Woo hoo! I think that's some good progress. I was amazed that it will generate meal plans, grocery lists and weight workouts for you all for free!! I love being told what to do, sometimes. You know?

Now, admitedly, I only kept within the calorie range 1 out of 3 days, but it was a good education for me on where I can do better & where my stumbling blocks are. I didn't actually realize that I was eating as much fat as I am. So there is definitely a red flag. But the good thing about SparkPeople, was that it was not as much pressure as WW. ("Oh no, I didn't follow the plan this week! I'm wasting my money!") Everything on the site was extremely positive and I loved how it gave you reward "points" for doing all those little things like reading articles, tracking your food, drinking your water. So if the scale isn't budging, you still get a small pat on the back for the things that you ARE doing.

The only thing I wasn't able to figure out is if it links the calories burned during exercise to your food calories. That's one thing I liked about WW ("I had an hour of cardio today, so I get to eat 4 extra points of food!"). And the other question I had for any of you SparkPeople experts- I understood that the points were just for fun, right? No actual real reward for the points, right? That was actually ok with me- I found myself still really happy for getting the points for drinking my water, etc. & trying to do more healthy stuff just to get those useless points. So any way you look at it, it's a good thing.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mint Brownies: You Can't Take Them With You When You Die

I wish I could explain to you how much I love mint brownies. There is an elite list of comfort foods that I have, and yes, I know everyone has them. Mint brownies are on that list, cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, the list is longer & includes mostly breads & sweets. My husband knows that mint brownies are on that list. For Mother's Day, he gave me some homemade mint brownies. Yes, brownies. Not jewelry, perfume or something for the house. My mother's day gift was mint brownies!

So, the other day I started to worry about the psychological (and spiritual?) health of someone who loves these foods THAT much. The brownies were almost gone, but not quite, and my husband threw away the remainder. When I found out, I was really peeved. And it hit me that I didn't like how greedy I was being about these stupid treats. I reminded myself a bit of the story of the miser that spends his life amassing money thinking that it gives him power and then he dies & guess what- you can't take it with you.

I wish I could better understand the psychological reasons why I can't just stop at one or why eating the treats brings me so much happiness that I'm willing to trade it for a healthy body weight.

One psychologist I talked to suggested fasting. Does it have to do with the fear of being hungry or the lack of appreciation for food in general since I usually don't have to go hungry? In the religion I practice, we fast once a month (=go without food & water) for 2 meals, then give the money we would have spent on food toward a fund for the poor of our area. We are supposed to use it as a time to let the spirit overcome the demands of the physical body and get closer to God. I do practice this, and although I'm not the best at having a good attitude about it, I know that's not what would fix the problem for me.

Another psychologist asked if I was nourishing my body in other ways. In other words, was I stuffing my face at times, not because I was physically starving, but emotionally starving, or not getting other nourishment that I needed in terms of enough sleep, etc.? I think that's closer to the mark, especially since I eat so much junk and comfort food when I'm stressed. Honestly, though, I still don't know what to do about it. And I guess I better find out before I find myself at the end of my life not having valued the right things ENOUGH. Oh, of course I love my family more than treats, and I love God more than I love treats. But why do I spend so much time thinking about treats, making them, and worrying about eating enough of them? I don't want to be a brownie miser.

I'd love to hear your ideas about changing my outlook and my psychological need for the treats. If I don't change, I'm afraid that I will end up to be the woman in the casket, a lifeless hand beautifully arranged, clutching a mint brownie near my heart.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

When you didn't lose fat, you lost water

I have found it helpful/motivating to weigh myself every day. I know there are 2 schools of thought on this, but for my particular personality/situation, I am in the weigh-yourself-every-day school of thought.

For me, it gives me imediate feedback on what is going on with my body at the moment. If I have gained a few pounds, I know that I am bloated, constipated, whatever, and that I weighed 3 pounds less yesterday, so I don't freak out thinking that "exercise is useless & I will now give up." When I used to weigh weekly, it would go all wrong. I'd work really hard all week just to see a gain, or I'd be horrible & cheat all week, just to see a loss. And this every day system has given me the reality check that I can't take the credit for losing weight on a day that I'm sick or dehydrated. I can only take the credit when I've burned some serious calories and eaten less. The only happy weight loss is the fat. Not muscle. Not water. Here is what I learned from Fitness Magazine that I thought I'd share with you below.

Things that make your weight artificially low:

  • Sweating a lot
  • Just having worked out
  • Drinking alcohol (dehydrates you)
  • Eating a lot of protein (generates extra waste products, you pee a lot, you lose water)
  • Being sick (again, dehydration)
  • Coffee, any caffeine (or other diuretics)

Things that make your weight artificially high:
  • The clothes you have on
  • You just barely drank a lot of water
  • You just ate a bunch of vegetables (they are fibrous & full of water & will add weight until they digest)
  • You ate a lot of salty foods
  • You're constipated
How 'm I doin?
Eating: Terrible. I have been snorting down desserts until I'm stuffed. Just writing this blog is helping me re-commit to thinking about it more in terms of MODERATION & just coming back to my senses.
Exercising: Awesome! Up until last week I never missed even one day of my work-out routine. But last week I missed a few days, including yesterday, being sick. But the truth is, I'm getting a bit bored. I think I need to shell out the huge amount of cash & meet with the personal trainer again. The main motivator for me is that it is like black & white how much it helps with my depression. So I can't quit now (or even slow down! I was doing so awesome!).

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Something on which you can finally blame all the evils of this world


I recently read this fantastic article answering so many of my questions about why the grocery stores in the US are full of so much fattening food, how in the world did they come up with hydrogenated fat and high fructose corn syrup (& why they don't have things like that in Europe where they so arrogantly blast Americans for being fat-- I listened to it non-stop while I lived there for 5 years. And I weighed a lot less then, than I do now!)

I would highly recommend reading this New York Times article. But if you're not going to read it, you should know that the reason why we're fat is we've been choked to death with fattening food all our lives in the school lunch room and basically, the affordable food is fattening because it's indirectly HEAVILY subsidized by the U.S. government. (Corn & soybeans.) (Here's a great example from the article: A twinkie versus carrots:

[A Twinkie is] a highly complicated, high-tech piece of manufacture, involving no fewer than 39 ingredients, many themselves elaborately manufactured, as well as the packaging and a hefty marketing budget. So how can the supermarket possibly sell a pair of these synthetic cream-filled pseudocakes for less than a bunch of roots?
I was so incensed after I read this article, that I immediately wrote emails to my Congressmen, Senators, and even the governor for good measure, in case there was anything he could do on the state level. I just feel that yes, we can fight the problem by only shopping at Whole Foods, where they don't even let food in the door if its ingredients give you heart attacks. But it's expensive. And it's a tough problem to fight when you're fighting a 2 year old and a 4 year old who go to the grocery store with you and see all the fruit snacks and cereals on their eye level. The Farm Bill makes environmentalists mad, it makes our foreign trading partners mad, and it makes health conscious people mad. Another accurate, bulls-eye concept from the article is that the Farm Bill is not about farms, it's about food, and it's about time that the every day eaters of the food get a say. The Farm Bill only gets reauthorized every 5 years, so this is the year that counts. They fix it this year, or we and our kids get extra padding on our butts thanks to the US Government until 2012.

Read the article.

Contact your Congressmen.

5 Happy Things
  1. Even though it was hard, I really enjoyed going to the gym in the morning today instead of the evening.
  2. It helped that both kids were in preschool this morning! Yay!
  3. I made this yummy salad for my family last night.
  4. The beautiful warm weather.
  5. Going to card club tonight and seeing Stephanie off before she moves to CA. I especially enjoyed her 2 sweet daughters. One was a happy cute baby that just gave you endorphins when you smiled at her. The other was an adorable toddler who made her entrance at one point naked and soaking wet. :) Such cute kids. We'll miss you, Stephanie!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Some Food Journaling

... not to publish this as a good example, but more of an opportunity for those WW veterans, those fiber & veggie addicts, those able to succeed in avoiding sugar... to actually mock what a job I'm doing feeding myself. Go ahead. I deserve it. Here are the last 3 days give or take a Hershey's kiss:

Today:
B: Cheerios, skim milk, sugar
L: Stouffer's tuna & noodles
D: Portabella mushrooms, onions, sundried tomatoes, frescata type roll, spinach salad with raspberries & balasamic vinegar
S: Cinnamon scone, skim milk

Yesterday:
B: Cheerios, skim milk, sugar
L: 2 McDonald's chicken snack wraps, small fries, 3 chocolate chip cookies
D: Artichoke soup, 1 slice whole wheat bread with Smart Balance buttery spread, lite Ceasar salad from a bag
S: graham cracker

The Day Before:
B: Cheerios, skim milk, sugar
S: 1/2 banana
L: Brown rice, broccoli, Purdue Shortcuts chicken, chocolate cupcake
D: Grilled ginger marinated chicken, tortilla salad from a bag
S: frozen mixed berries & vanilla yogurt

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Mother nature has been procrastinating like crazy before giving this DC area any warm weather. Some weeks ago, we had a couple 70 degree days & even an 80 degree day. So I was forced to break out the capris, burmuda shorts, etc. that I wore last year. Some still fit but horrifically, some were er... um.... had shrunk in the dryer?? Yeah, yeah. That's it. I recently heard that several different weight loss mentors veto the practice of keeping "skinny clothes." No more "skinny jeans," etc.

"Oh, but it's my motivation to lose weight," you say. Really? I'm on the mentors' side on this one, actually. It's NEVER worked for me before, and what it does to me is make me feel bad about myself every time I look at it. Totally depressing! Guilt & self-flagellation are not a good motivators for me. And let's be real. By the time I do lose the weight, that item of clothing will be pathetically out of style & you could find much cuter stuff in the stores. Plus, saving clothes in 4 different sizes made my closet a big cluttery disaster. Who has room for that?

So I have to tell you, it felt quite liberating to banish clothing that didn't fit me. We always keep a bag handy that we're filling up with stuff we don't use anymore & it was easy to just make the decision, throw it in the bag & in a week, it was gone forever- thrown into the Good Will trailer. And the question is- did I give up on the weight loss & decide that since I threw away the too-small-clothes I could just sit on the couch & eat chips? Actually I didn't, amazingly enough. I still have the same goal to get more fit and healthy. This week will be the 5th week in a row that I've exercised 5 days a week/1 hour sessions. I'm going strong on the exercise & the mini-goals* are hit or miss, but they would be that way anyway. But I have a neater closet & less guilt floating around.

Losing weight is a little bit like de-tox, isn't it? Too much sugar or bad fats poison your body & make you more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc., etc. Exercise clears your head, helps you sweat out the toxins, burns excess fat. Why not unload other things that are bad for you or make YOU feel bad about YOURSELF? Start by getting rid of the toxic clothing.

Mini-goals for this week:
Wed. (today): write in this blog
Thurs.: Read a chapter from Body Clutter
Fri.: Listen for negative thoughts and replace with positive thoughts
Sat.: Journal all my food for the day.
Sun.: Watch portions- shoot for palm size servings.
Mon.: Eat one more serving of fruit/vegetables than I would normally eat.
Tues.: Watch my posture all day. Suck in that gut.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Body By Barb

Sorry for my recent lack of posting. Things that have been keeping me busy include cleaning up throw-up for 45 minutes (my son's), learning how to make a video on Windows Movie Maker (see all my hard work at eliandmia.blogspot.com (my "kids' blog"), and last but not least, exercising my butt off! Yay for me!

Barb is a personal trainer at the gym I go to. She gave me this plan to follow:
Monday: 60 minutes of cardio
Tuesday: 15-30 min. of weights, then 30-60 min. cardio
Wed. rest
Thurs.: 15-30 min. of weights, then 30-60 min. cardio
Fri.: 60 min. cardio
Sat.: 60 min. cardio
Sun.: rest

The weight routine is:

  • Horizontal Quad press
  • Cross Cable system, Lat pull while standing on wobble board
  • Cross Cable system, chest (straight arms, pull from stretched out to side at shoulder level to stretched out in front of you) while doing lunges
  • Step onto step alternating legs while doing bicep curls and overhead presses with dumbbells
  • Two arm bent-over row with dumbbells
  • Crunches and cross over sit ups using the exercise ball
  • Lean your body sideways over the exercise ball and feet against the wall, outside arm behind head and reach upwards challenging your obliques.

I have been getting in the 1 hour/day 5 days/week for the past 3 weeks!!!!! I know it's a very slow way to lose weight (just exercise & not much change in diet), but I have seen some results. I'm down to about 205 (-3 lbs since the last time I posted my weight).

On the food topic- what I've been managing to do is set micro-goals. Smaller than mini-goals. For example, today my goal was just not to eat dessert. Other examples of my 1-day-only goals have been to avoid hydrogenated & saturated fat, to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, to drink 8 glasses of water. One day I eliminated white flour. (That was quite a good healthy day. I was allowed chocolate, though. See why I can make it through a goal like that?) For me it's next to impossible to eliminate all of it, all at once. I would crash and burn and quit. So these are my baby steps.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Positive Thinking

I am a size 8.

I am a size 8.

I am a size 8.

I am a size 8.

I am a size 8.

I am a size 8.

I am a size 8.

I am a size 8.

I am a size 8 (TEEN).

No!

I am a size 8!

Alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m.

I am a morning person!

I am an early riser.

I have energy.

I love going to spin class!

I can do this.

The rest of the day...

I'm done exercising for the day.

I am so proud of myself!

I can do it again tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

You Can't Photoshop Fat

I heard someone say, "Inside every old person is a young person that is really surprised." Well, I think inside every fat person is a really surprised thin person!! I was shocked yesterday when we got back our recent family photos. "Who is that chubby girl in my family photos that remotely looks like me?" Ouch. It really hurt to see the truth.

I sort of knew I had been avoiding being in the majority of our family's home videos & photos. It's terrible! I am cutting myself out of my family's pictorial history. Do you do the same thing? And when you look in the mirror, quick as a flash look at the not-so-flattering profile-- ouch! Don't dwell on it. Let's just concentrate instead on the more flattering angle.

And the most depressing part is that seeing these pictures revealing how chubby I am led to a string of bad choices. I played with the photos for a while on some Photoshop-equivalent software, and the fat just wouldn't go away. So I went in the kitchen, devastated, and ate 6 cookies. I was depressed all night, ate 6 more pieces of chocolate and went to bed late, causing me to get up late this morning, yell at my kids, be late for preschool, have no time for breakfast, but I grabbed 2 cookies instead.

I realized where this chain had started, and I decided to break the chain by going on a walk today. Book club was at my house tonight, so I did have dessert with the girls. But I feel like my motivation to make better choices is slowly getting stronger. Taking walks the past 3 days has been really therapeutic that way, also.

The report:

Exercise: Haven't been back to spin class, like I had intended, but I did go on 3 45-minute walks because the weather has been so nice. Also, I made the decision to meet with a personal trainer this week (I meet with her every several months to get a plan I can work with on my own). My biggest problem that I hope she helps me with is that I'd like to work in weights, pilates & yoga, but I feel guilty anytime I'm not doing hard core cardio. Because I'm so panicked about losing weight, I feel like every opportunity that I have for exercise, I should always be doing cardio.

Food: Monday & Tuesday I didn't splurge on the desserts like I usually have been doing every single day. I only had 2 York Peppermint Patties each day. Wednesday was the downward-spiraling day. Don't worry. I am doing a U-turn. Plus I have been drinking 8 glasses of water for the past 3 days as well. It's progress. (It's my goal to start counting things- whether calories or points or whatever after a while, but I need to start slow & going easy on the sweet things is a good start. Right?)

Weight: yesterday I weighed 00.0 lbs (my daughter had been jumping & stamping on the digital scale & it wasn't working). But today I weighed 208.

Here is the offending photo: (and it exacerbates things a bit that it is the "floating head" style of photo, so it's just this floating chubby face without the body attached.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Calling All Helpful Books

Going on the theory that being educated on a subject helps you convert to that specific way of life, I am doing some homework. Here are a few weight loss books I have on my shelf. I'd love your suggestions for others to add. And I'm shooting for ones that deal with eating psychology, *GOOD* recipes/menu plans, and the medical science of weight loss (like the Dr. Oz books).

Also, an author I'm very intrigued with is Geneen Roth. But she's written a lot of books on the subject. Have you read any? Which one should I start with?

A little report for you:

Exercise since I last wrote: Just one 45 minute walk yesterday. Better than nothing.

Food: I can't even talk about it. But the past few days I've been doing really well with WATER drinking.

Weight: 207.5

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Ch ch ch changes

So the final & last excuse I'd like to vent & then painfully wad it up and throw into the bonfire is this one: I have handled every major change in my life by adding 5 pounds to my body.

  • Moved in 5th grade- gained 5 pounds
  • Hit puberty- gained 5 pounds
  • Moved in 9th grade- gained 5 pounds
  • Moved in 11th grade- gained 5 pounds
  • Moved in 12th grade- gained 5 pounds
  • Went to college- gained 5 pounds
  • Served an LDS mission- gained 5 pounds
  • Done with college moved- gained 5 pounds
  • Got married- gained 5 pounds
  • My dad died- gained 5 pounds
  • Had my kids- well... of course I gained a lot but I never quite lost it all (let's say I kept around 20 extra pounds because of the whole experience)
  • Moved within the state here in VA- gained 5 pounds

Voila! I weigh what I weigh now, which this morning was about 209. Luckily, I don't foresee any immediate big changes, but maybe I can make a giant NOTE TO SELF, and the next time I'm facing a huge change, double up on the exercise or try to lay off on the comfort eating.

But in the meantime a big part of my life RIGHT NOW is all about getting rid of this very physical baggage.

Here's my mini-report to you all: I've got another spin class under my belt. Yay! (Did I say I had a good time in the spin class in my last post? I must have lied. It really isn't fun. But I did feel good afterwards, and I feel like I'm getting more bang for my buck with this type of cardio.) With my eating, I haven't been the poster child for weight watchers or any other diet, but here's the positive part- all my breakfasts have been stellar. I've only eaten instant oatmeal every day (either Weight Control type or Women's Nutrition.) It's a good start in more ways than one.

Friday, March 2, 2007



Meet Excuse #3 and Excuse #4 for my being at least 50 pounds overweight. So here's the story that I'm sticking with (or actually maybe I'm not sticking with it any more. I'm abandoning it as something that repeats in my mind over and over again and probably impedes my progress. See my last post.)

Anyway, back to the story. Before I had Eli, I went on weight watchers weighing somewhere around 179. I got down to somewhere around 165-169 depending on the day. Well, I gained 50 pounds while pregnant with Eli. Then post partum, I only lost 30 of that 50. Yes I went to weight watchers, but I never got down too much past 170-175. Then I had Mia & only gained 30. I lost 20 of that 30, but have since then gained an additional unimaginable amount so I am now right around delivery weight, and contrary to what some rude people assume (and even ask!!! yes! how devastating. But I'm not the first one that's been asked if I was pregnant when I'm not, and I won't be the last,) I'M NOT EXPECTING A BABY!

A little tangent for the good of society: here's a rule you can stick to if you are one of those people that is tempted to ask someone if they're pregnant when you don't know for sure if they are: NEVER ASK SOMEONE IF THEY ARE PREGNANT UNLESS YOU SEE AN ACTUAL BABY EMERGING FROM THEM.

So mentally, I need to learn not to complain about leftover baby weight. Wad it up and cast it into the fire. Just look forward to what good things can happen with my weight in the future.

Since I want to end on a good note, I will tell you something unfortunate first: Girl Scout Cookies have entered our house. I was powerless against them. (I've heard a lot that will power is overrated & you mostly just need to make sure things like that stay far away from you.) Oh well. We will just pick up ourselves up where we fell off the wagon and continue onwards...!

A great thing to report: today I went to my first spin class. And I didn't die! I think my resistance/tension level on the bike was possibly lower than it should have been, but I actually had a good time. A great thing about it is that I won't be scared of the unknown anymore. It'll be easy to go again & I hope it will be a frequent habit.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Metabolism Mess


My husband & I went to Brigham Young University for our undergraduate degrees. And through thick & thin, we are also BYU football fans. The past several years have been a bit rough for the football team. They fired a coach year before last & hired a man named Bronco Mendenhall. He had a great season this past fall & due in part to his unconventional approaches.

We read an article in BYU Today that said when the coach first started out, he invited all the players to a bonfire gathering up in the mountains. He gave the players piles of sheets of papers on which they were to write everything they thought was wrong with the past football program. The players wrote & wrote and the sheets filled up fast. Then they started to read them aloud one by one. When they were done with each one, the coach took the paper & threw it in the fire. When he was done with that, he took a helmet from the past season and threw IT into the fire along with a uniform from the past season. They changed the uniforms, the logo on the helmets and symbollically burned up any excuses for past bad behavior.

I'd like to submit to you my "Excuse #2" for wadding up and throwing into the bonfire. I just need to get it out and complain about it and be purged of it.

Well, anyone my age has the old boring excuse of "my metabolism isn't what it used to be." I always say that at midnight on the night of your 26th birthday, 1 twinkie turns into 12 twinkies. But in addition to that bleak truth, I've been taking medications for depression & insomnia that have helped a little with the depression, but have turned around and depressed my metabolism. In 2 months after starting these meds, I gained 20 pounds. Then after a year and half, I gained 10 more. Tragically, these pounds didn't go away when I stopped taking the medicine that makes you gain weight. It's up to me on my own to work them off.

So anyway, I feel like my deck's been stacked a little unfairly. But that's it. No more moaning about this excuse. But I still have a couple more excuses to write down on this blog & then I'll be done. Bear with me.

Just to let you know, though, speaking of bearing burdens, I had 30 minutes of weight lifting today and over an hour of stationery bike at the gym. Go me!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Excuse #1

I am searching, searching for my motivation to make changes and stick with them, and for some reason, I want to talk about what got me into this mess. Then when I'm done explaining to you all my many excuses, then maybe I can forget about the past and move on to progress in the future.

Excuse #1 for weighing as much as I do:

I had knee surgery last year. Last Feb. I was in a KICKBOXING class and landed badly not once but twice and ruined my meniscus and ACL. It was one of those things where I should have slowed down & not done those jumps... the spirit was so willing but the flesh was weak. I had surgery in March, and a second one in August. All my cardio exercises came SCREECHING to a halt. I had really loved jogging and those types of aerobics classes with the (evil) high impact. But forget about it until May/June of this year ONLY (says my doctor) if I train properly & even then- sort of a bad idea. Sob! Sob!

I had been sailing along at a plateau of about 180 or so after my 2 kids were born (stay tuned for excuse #2) and keeping from gaining tons by all the cardio (because it's so not fun to restrict your diet...) So now I have to sort of change paradigms and it's hard. I know I can try spin classes or power walking, but I haven't acquired the taste for them yet & I'm just in a slump with the whole cardio thing.

Check out this weird week of weighing myself (same time of day every day- 1st thing in the morning):
2/17: 209 lbs
2/18: 207 lbs
2/19: 210 lbs
2/20: 201.5 lbs (Hello! Welcome to the twilight zone! I weighed myself twice & sure enough! And my jeans were even loose that day. But it didn't last)
2/21: 207 lbs

Exercise: pretty pathetic. Only one day I did a Yoga for Weight Loss video.

Eating bad stuff: yep. But I'm not going to dwell on it. Someone needs to throw that peanut butter fudge away!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What is a triglyceride anyway????

I decided to create this blog as a confessional and sort of as some quasi-accountability for some of my goals.

So what do I want to share? I guess just the situation I'm in for starters... Intellectually, I believe it when I see that the scale says 210 (and I'm 5'3"). Psychologically, I am in complete denial. There is no possible way that I could be at this weight when that's the weight that I was when I delivered both of my children!!

I am also in denial that the lab tests could possibly be correct when they said that my cholesterol was 288 (over 200 is too high). And my triglycerides were 1175 (over 150 is too high. Yes, that's right, I said ONE THOUSAND SEVENTY FIVE was my triglyceride level.) Over and over again I kept saying, What? Are you kidding me? What? Are you kidding me?

So I have to look at this as a beginning point. Starting this blog can be some sort of symbol for me. It will be long and hard as I somehow reclaim my health and body. But I have to start the journey. I just have to. I'd love to hear from those of you that are also on this road. What was it like when you started out?