I HAVE MOVED! My main blog as of Sept of 2010 is TWO YEARS TO HAPPY WEIGHT AFTER. Visit me there. My post links in the updates below will link up to the new blog. THANKS for reading!

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Quickie Weight Update

Oooh. It budged a bit more:


I really, really wanna crack 280 by Sunday.

Ya'll doing okay?


Sparkly Factoid: Low Calorie Density Sates

Eating a diet that is low in calorie density allows people to eat satisfying portions of food, and this may decrease feelings of hunger and deprivation while reducing calories," study author Dr. Julia A. Ello-Martin said in a prepared statement.
She and her colleagues compared 71 obese women, ages 22 to 60, who ate either a reduced-fat diet or a reduced-fat diet that also included water-rich foods.

After one year, both groups showed significant weight loss and a decrease in the calorie density of their diets. But the women on the fat-reduced/water-rich diet lost more weight during the first six months of the study -- 19.6 lbs. vs. 14.7 lbs.

The researchers found that the women on the reduced-fat/water-rich diet ate 25 percent more food by weight and felt less hungry than the women on the reduced-fat diet.

--Water-Rich, Low-Fat Foods Encourage Weight Loss

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday Weigh-In: In the Slow Lane

And today, the number is:


The quickie (watery) loss of the first week is past. Now, down to the nitty-gritty, or the fatty-watty. Whatever. I ate on plan all week. I exercised yesterday. And I plan to exercise today and eat on plan today.

Onward and...downward!

His Most Important Self-Portrait

An artist creates with sight and sound his own unique bit of art that focuses on his realization of life-affecting, health-destroying morbid obesity. He charts his progress in a "round"-about way.

He did a great job, I think.

Makes me wish I had artistic skills (I can barely draw a stick figure.)

Princess Training (aka Exercise)
Whoa! My Muscles Are in Shock!

Part of that Fall Freedom Challenge is, yes, exercise. Because I've been sedentary for so long, I get to start slow and easy. Target Heart Rate for minimum of 10 minutes and increase at a reasonable rate.

Those 10 + 2 minutes had me huffing like mad.

But, hey, I got through it with the help of Santa Esmeralda's "Please, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" --to which I danced like a madwoman when I was seventeen, complete with Flamenco moves--and some other lovely classic Disco music. (What can I say? I am a gal who went through the teen years in the '70's. I used to be able to dance for hours at a time--IN HEELS! Now, I can't even walk in heels, much less dance.

This does put a lovely goal ahead of me--a bit of a motivator, let's say? To be able to dance with abandon for AN HOUR. Minimum.

It comes in handy at a Latino party to be able to salsa and merengue and rumba and cha-cha-cha and cumbia for extended periods. :)

I kept to my calorie goal Tuesday (This is still kinda my Tuesday, although it's really Wednesday morning, cause I am a nite owl. I woke up at 3 pm yesterday, so I'll be heading for bed soon.)

So far, so good. The first week of my New Start is almost done. I began last Thursday. Tomorrow, the second week starts. That means I've lost my water weight this week (ergo the consecutive days of loss), and now we get to the meat of it.

I've got Celia Cruz's riotous "Quimbara" and Gloria Estefan's "Mi Tierra" and "Rhythm is Gonna Get You," among other great dance tunes for tomorrow's session.

To all on the journey, God bless you today and help you and me out big time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I decided that since I've done okay for four whole days now--heh--that I'd take advantage of my current state of solid motivation and add more energy into that motivation battery by participating in a structured challenge.

So, I signed up for the eight-week Fall Freedom Challenge over at eDiets.com.

Watch out, dragons! The Princess has got a new sword.

I'm in a team called FallN2Fitness. A cute name. (I didn't come up with it.)

There are guidelines about how many challenge points you can earn by eating on your plan (eDiets has various plans, such as for Diabetes, Heart Smart, South Beach, etc.), by exercising according to their suggestions for cardio and toning (how many times, how long, at what target heart rate), by doing the challenges (journaling, sorting through your closet, etc), even for posting so many times per week in threads with your teammates. If every member of the team meets their points level, the whole team gains bonus points.

I'm not a hugely competitive sort. Minimally competitive, actually. But I lost fifteen pounds the last time (years ago) that I did an eDiets challenge, and it got me exercising after mucho sendentariness. If I can do the same this time, well, I'll take it! Only, my goal is to continue to use the tools and not go off backsliding again. (Hope, hope, hope...my word!)

I see it as a behavioral modification tool. That's all. Some camaraderie. Some support. A system for developing habits.

Wish me well, would ya?

Downside of 8+ Glasses of Water Daily...

I'm going through toilet paper like an insane woman. Is this ecologically sound?

You know, I must be burning up extra calories with all these trips to the bathroom. No, really. :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Quickie Weight Update

This morning: 282.0

A new low!

Why Wait For Motivation? aka Just Do It

The Pasta Queen--that amazing transforming woman (see the pics)--had a good piece about motivation in her archives. Here's a taste of "Motivation Schmotivation":

Maybe the reason so many people wait so long to eat better or exercise is because they are waiting to get motivated. When you hear about people's weight loss stories you expect to hear about the time they had a huge revelation that kicked them in the fat pants. You want to hear about the time they couldn't fit in the roller coaster or the time their uncle died from heart disease. But why wait until you've wasted $40 bucks on an amusement park ticket or you're buying huge black pants for a funeral? You know what you need to do, so do it. We often wait for motivation to find us, but we need to go out and find motivation. It's doubtful that you will get to the bottom of that pint of ice cream and find the message "You need to lose weight" written on the bottom.

I offer this snippet, because I'm one of those people who sits around waiting for motivation, inspiration, etc. No wonder I sit so much. Instead, I need to get up and run the sucker down until I grab him by the neck!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

No-Noshing Knight Tactic: Keeping Hands Busy

So, here's our intreped knight, standing before the castle door, making sure no unwanted calories sneak in, barge in, push in, or otherwise gain entrance into the Princess Dieter's mouth.

Today's tactic: Decluttering my magazine collection while watching tv.

Yes. TV watching is one of the main trouble areas for dieters. So much so, that some weight loss specialists advice cutting back to no more than one to two hours a day and never, ever eating in front of it.

Well, we use trays. Our dining room table is our pantry, sort of. We have a teeny, tiny kitchen, so my fruits and non-refrigerated stuff goes on the table. Right now, it's overflowing with produce from a grocery run. Crackers and sweeteners and condiments and some mail is there, too. We haven't eaten on this table in years. (And I know, I know, I need to declutter THAT soon.)

So, we have a pair of very nice, shiny, wood tray tables and we eat in the living room together, he on his table, me at mine, watching something on the telly.

Today, anytime I was there other than eating, I was ripping through my enormous collection of magazines--some I found were from 1990, and the last time I purged my collection was about then, so it makes sense.

I got file folders in different colors, and I tore out any article that had to do with:

1. healthful recipes
2. weight loss makeovers
3. health and dieting reports
4. art and literature
5. getting organized
6. exercise and fitness

I ended up filling three big paper shopping bags from the grocery store of discarded magazine bits. I ended up filling the folders, most of them, so now I have a handy set of files to go to when I need a recipe, some motivational tips, a look at before and afters, some decluttering advice and systems, and some work-out routines.

Plus, tearing magazines has gotta burn a few more calories than sitting like a lump, huh?

That was my tactic for today. And, given how many magazines I still have left to go through, may keep my hands busy for a few more days or the rest of the week when I'm watching one of our fave shows on the boob tube.

What's your tactic for not snacking/noshing/bingeing in front of the TV?


Quickie Weight Update

This morning: 283.5

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Make Your Own "Diet" Pizza

I adore, adore, adore, crave, love, need, want, adore PIZZA! I even go a little demented when there's some cooking program in Italy and they make the authentic stuff with olive oil and basil and fresh mozzarella. OMIGOSH!

I think this took root in the Bronx, where one of the very few foods we ate out of the house--remember, way back then, folks ate the vast majority of their meals at home, especially poor folk like us, immigrants to boot--was pizza. Yummy, authentic, gooey, crispy, saucey, hot as can be, by the slice NEW YORK PIZZA. It's almost worth dying of a heart attack for those babies.

Yes, pizza is a big weakness.

And ordering it in is usually big trouble, capital B for BINGE.

There's an alternative.

The Grumpy Chair Dieter does it, and so do I, when I'm not lazy to the max and when I'm eating right, instead of picking up the phone and calling the local family-owned pizza place. She makes her own tasty, healthier pizza.

Here's how she does it.

I follow a very similar process, only I like to use Dei Fratelli pizza sauce, smear some on the pre-toasted bread. I use whole wheat pita (Daily Bread brand locally) or whole wheat flatbread. Even Ezekiel Bread does it in a pinch. I use part-skim mozzarella (fat free sucks). And I also like fresh tomatoes on top, plus green peppers and mushrooms and black olives, when I have them in the fridge. I also add garlic powder and basil (fresh or dried) and oregano. I like it HERBALLY!

It's very easy, but it's a matter of having the stuff on hand and taking the 10 minutes to chop and toast and smear and pile on and finish toasting. But it is worth it. I'll admit it. Especially since the delivery man bringing a gooey pie is just bringing a bunch of fat-on-ye-belly-and-hips.

Which means I need to put the stuff on my shopping list: pita, part skim mozzarella, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, herbs, and sauce.

I love healthful, calcium-rich, lycopene-loaded, fiberful, flavor-bursting pizza!

Quickie Weight Update

On scale this AM: 285.5

Intensive Behavioral Modification Can Lead To Huge Weight Loss In A Year

The latest study result making the bloggy rounds amongst fatfighting types:

Dr. James Anderson, a weight loss researcher, led a nine-year study of patients who have lost 100 or more pounds. Such weight loss can be achieved by following an intensive behavioral program. This method is significantly safer than undergoing bariatric surgery to achieve similar weight loss results.

...63 men and 55 women were part of a nine-year study led by Dr. James Anderson, head of the UK College of Medicine Metabolic Research Group. The average beginning weight of study participants was 353 pounds. The average weight loss was 134 pounds in 44 weeks.

"Many severely obese persons, needing to lose more than 100 pounds, become frustrated and turn to surgery," Anderson said. "This study shows that one in four persons who participate in an intensive weight loss program for 12 weeks can go on to lose over 100 pounds. This program has much lower risks than surgery and can lead to similar long-term weight loss."

--from 100 Pound Weight Loss Possible With Behavioral Changes

I would note this, however, about the above snippets from the article: While only 1 in 4 in this study went on to lose that huge number, it's easier for gastric-bypass and even lap banders to lose 100 pounds in a year. The surgery gives you the satiety that dieting and exercise cannot. And it, obviously also carries the health benefits--even life extension--that losing a lot of weight of offers.

The difference: There is a risk of complications (infections, emboli, etc) and mortality (1 in 200 patients) with bariatric surgery. The risk would be eliminated by using simply diet and exercise and behavioral modification.

So, while the study gives hope to some willing and able to afford 12 weeks of intensive behavioral modification--which I'm guessing doesn't come cheaply--and with strict calorie restriction--which is tough any way you cut it-- that's hardly the most hurrah of results. Hey, if only 25% succeeded at the top weight loss, that means 75% didn't achieve these morbidly obese folks didn't get great results within a year. (And we don't know specifically what results they did get and what percentages got what results. How many went most of the way? Part of the way? Total bust?)

But for now, let's focus on the POSITIVE: Some succeeded at this stunning achievement.

And some hope is better than NO hope for those not willing to or unable to undergo surgery. Right?

Since I don't have all the stats, I'm assuming all the participants lost some weight. Maybe they all lost significant amounts. Certainly, the 12-week treatment benefitted most of the participants, as this excerpt from the above article shows:

The positive results went beyond lower digits on the scale. The weight loss was accompanied by improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, sleep apnea and other ails. Sixty-six percent of the participants on medications for high blood lipids, high blood pressure, diabetes or degenerative joint disease were able to discontinue those medications, saving an average of $100 a month and netting a priceless return in health.

Hard to argue with 66% getting off their meds. That's a great outcome.

The study should continue to follow these folks, just to see if the behavioral modification holds up. That is, will these people gain back some, most, all, or more than the weight they lost in the years to come. It's not just losing that's success. In fact, that's only part of the journey. Real success is KEEPING IT OFF, which people tend to do quite well when they've had bariatric surgery.

Main point: It's not just about the calories, it's about the calories and CHANGING HABITS and WAYS OF THINKING about food and eating, and it's about gaining the habit of exercise. Which, clearly, means I have much work to do. And it's also on the focusing on that study fact: One-quarter of 118 people--ie. almost 30 people--lost a huge, huge, huge amount of weight in LESS than a year. In 44 weeks. Roughly 10 months.

In ten months, it will be June 25th. It's possible you could be at your goal weight or 130+ pounds lighter by JUNE 25th.

That's the possibility that this study opens up for all the morbidly obese out there. And even more hope for the plain, old, ordinary overweight.

By this time next year, you could be where you want to be. Or near to it. And you could be off medications for many of the obesity-related ailments. And you could look really hot in that new outfit. And you could go up and down stairs without huffing and puffing.

It's possible. There's hope. (My word for the year.)

Note: Another study released showed the benefits of bariatric surgery, which, like this study, would correlate to losing lots and lots of weight. The main thing--losing weight extends life and improves health and quality of life.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Three Weeks and a Day: I'm Back!

I am clearly still having those balance issues. I can't seem to focus on ONE thing, yet, and still do another.

So, wow, 22 days since my last post. Dang.

This quote from Diet Blog is fitting right now:

We are generally very adept at starting exercise and programs and dietary regimes... and we pretty much suck at sticking to it.

--from the entry "How to Stay on the Wagon: For Good"

Anyway, a recap--and it seems like 10 is the number of the day:

1. Not losing weight. In fact, whether it's fat or water retention--not sure in this perimenopausal stage of my life when my period shows up when it feels like--I was at 287.5 yesterday. Today, 286.5. So, clearly, backsliding there.

2. Attacking the lack of motivation. I hauled out my diet books and that's what allowed me to stay at about 2100 calories yesterday (rather than eating my usual 3500 when I'm not vigilant). That may account for the loss since yesterday. Or maybe I just peed a lot. Hard to know. This meant that I got bupkiss written on the novel yesterday and only mild editing done on my editing gigs. See what I mean about not balancing?

I've got the diet books laid out on the couch, so that if I sit for tea or coffee or a snack, I can reach out and read something that will keep me from bingeing.

3. The food journal. Yep. I started doing it again. That's how I know what I ate yesterday points (41.5) and calorie wise (2100). I ordered up some actual food diaries from amazon.com, but meanwhile, I'm just using a little notebook.

3. The spiritual side of things. I actually had not been praying about the fat and fitness issues. Hey, when you got war and people losing jobs and famines and floods and hurricanes, not to mention sick friends or friends undergoing surgery or family members with issues, or a house that needs repairs, it's easy to put diet on the backburner. But as of yesterday, I decided that got moved up in the line. Yes, other things get priority (like world peace and cures for diseases and my family), but it's moved up a lot. I need to find my copy of THE PRAYER DIET (One of those books I bought a while ago and never really read. Maybe it's a good time now to read it.)

4. spreadsheets, anyone. Okay, it sounds totally geeky-dorky, but I'm using it as an excuse to LEARN to use a spreadsheet, which I'm totally ignorant about. Yes, I feel so stupid not knowing how to use a spreadsheet in this era of Excel and Google charting. I found one system over at THE DIET SPREADSHEET. I have no clue how to do it properly, but I like the idea and I figure the chart--as long as it's moving generally downwards--would be a motivational tool. And a nice reminder of achievement (Yes, let us be POSITIVE, shall we?)

If anyone is a spreadsheet whiz and has posted on this, do let me know and give me a url so I can see how you did it. Thanks.

5. The dietitian. I'm thinking of revisiting a dietitian I had several appointments with three years ago. If nothing else, it allows me to vent to someone weekly who has expertise on this losing weight stuff.

6. May rejoin WW. I'm not terribly good with WW. I've done it several times since 1998. I always lost some (once, 30 pounds), but it was hard for me to keep up since I have a "rolling" schedule. That is, one week I'll be up in the mornings. One in the afternoons. Another in the evenings. I never sleep and get up at the same time. So, committing to, say, a Tuesday 9 am class is tough if I may be sound asleep when the next 9 am on a Tuesday rolls around. Then again, I'd love to have a normal schedule. My body's whack rhythms war with my desires. As usual.

7. Motivational cds. I ordered up 100 bucks worth of diet and motivational audiobooks. I figure I've got 30 minutes in the bathroom I can get someone telling me encouraging and informational stuff. Why not? I can alternate with my current theological and writing craft audiotapes.

8. I've looked into some residential weight loss programs. The big obstacles are my chemical sensitivities (traveling is always risky, cause where I stay may cause me to explode internally, ie, immune system) and the cost. Yowza. Most are more than 3K a week. One local one--safer in terms of my being able to come home if sleeping there gets my system in an uproar--is more than 4K a week. And to glean the best results, you really need to stay 2 weeks to a month at these places. We're talking round $20,000 for a month. (Excuse me while I pass out.) For that, I could pay for surgery!

9. Speaking of bariatric surgery: I don't want surgery yet. I'm still thinking LAST RESORT. I want no more holes poked in me and parts cut out of me. I'm not ready...yet. I don't discount it, but it's not on the forefront, even if it is a highly successful--the only truly effective obesity treatment out there right now. So, the lap band is down the list, but not out of it. (Feel free to comment on that if you wish.) Basically, I wanna give myself one more year. If I'm still struggling and struggling and struggling, then I'll start the process to try and get approval on that. One year. It sounds like a long time, but really, how fast it goes. I can barely believe 2007 is more tha half over.

10. Still haven't set up an appointment with a psych regarding the depression. I realized it yesterday, cause I was starting to get the strange sort of "flat" feeling that I tend to get right before I fall ito the pit. I don't want to take drugs for it, which is why I know I'm lollygagging. Sigh.


One thing that THIN FOR LIE (the diet book that assesses how the master losers--those who lost weight and KEPT it off) says is that most failed at dieting many times before finally succeeding. That's the sort of thing that gives me hope. Well, that and the fact that I'm still not at my highest weight and I'm not up to my original blogging start weight. Better to get on the wagon again before all the damage is redone.

So, here I go again. Maybe not on my own, like the Whitesnake song says, but it always comes down to, first and foremost, me.

But that whole multi-tasking thing, I really need to find the balance. I'm guessing the most productive folks find that balance.

I need to structure my days to fit in:

1. hygiene stuff (showering, shaving, blow-drying, etc)
2. meals and meal planning and cooking
3. exercise
4. house cleaning and maintenance
5. writing
6. editing
7. reading (a necessary thing for writers/editors)
8. family stuff (including, yes, nookie)
9. taking care of mail/bills
10.errands outside of the house, like groceries and car repairs and banking and what-not.

Can we get the physicists to give us 36 hours days? I mean, how hard could it be moving the Earth just scosh away from the sun? And then we'd have global cooling instead of global warming. Yes, works for me. Definitely.

Here's to hope and new starts! (and planetary repositioning.)
Some of the Books on My Couch and CDs I ordered:

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Visited Endo & Got Prayer Winging UP

Big downpours yesterday when I met with the endocrinologist. (I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Metabolic Syndrome, ugh). My liver enzymes were off (fatty liver) and my triglycerides and LDH were high. (Thankfully the total cholesterol had gone down a bit and the HDL was in good range, and the ratio was fine. And my pressure was 110/70. I'll take the good news from wherever it comes!)

Since I can't be put on statins again (they made me suffer pain for years and started affecting my liver, so I was taken off more than a year ago. I noticed an immediate clearing of my brain when they did that. The "brain fog" lifted. Those things may control cholesterol and inflammation great, but they do a number on your ability to think clearly and they hate your liver.)

I asked some pals to pray for me to get back on a sound eating plan and get some of the poundage off. I'm one of those folks who believes in the power of intercessory prayer, so I immediately got on the prayer alert. (Plus, it does give me the warm fuzzies to know some folks care enough to do that for me, ya know?)

Tomorrow I see my G.P., and we'll discuss the ongoing monitoring.

The endo did suggest I see a shrink about my recurring bouts of depression. I've had depression issues since childhood. (The first time I remember wanting to kill myself during one was when I was NINE.) Fortunately, after a really bad time the year I was 20 (when even my pulmonary specialist--I've been severely asthmatic since infancy--suggested I get the depression checked out), I was on a good, steady course with only mild blue funks for about a decade. But in my thirties, with my immune system gone really whack (and my having to quit my job as a virtual "respiratory cripple"), the really dark pockets of "the black" starting back. They only lasted a few weeks, maybe a month, then they'd pass and I'd feel okay. (Never manic. I don't swing up, just get level.) When the breathing got better in my late thirties, the mood thing got better.

And when one is one strong medications, it's easy to think, "Maybe it was the drugs."

But now, with perimenopause, I've had at least a couple of serious dips a year, and the doc thinks it's impeding my weight loss and I need to consider anti-depressants.

She may be right. I hate to start taking another drug with more side effects (I'm on a pack of prescriptions now as is), but it's worth talking to a professional and see what we can do to keep me from dipping into a low again and sabotaging my progress.

So, yeah, prayer. Me needs it. :)

Today, though, thank God, my mood is great (despite the bad lab result news) and as soon as I have a healthy breakfast (fresh organic juice, power blueberry protein waffles with fresh blueberries and cottage cheese), it's back to work.

I hope you all who've dropped by have a fabulous day full of health and joy. And you lose a bit of weight, too.

Wednesday Weigh-In: Remotivated (by Fear!)

Okay, so from Saturday's posting of my regaining 3.5 lbs, I've made progress recapturing lost ground.

Today's poundage:


Two down from the 3.5 regained.

Yes, fear works some, huh?