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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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

QUEENLY QUOTES: How to Lose Weight in Simple Terms

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
--Michael Pollan, author of IN DEFENSE OF FOOD.


Why Do We Give Kids Foods We Know Are Bad for Our Own Struggling Selves?

With the holiday season in full swing, I've been a bit concerned about how entrenched unhealthful foods are part of the gift-giving tradition. Fatty cakes. Butter-laden cookies. Sugary treats in huge portions in pretty cans and jars and boxes.

As people fighting the fight against fat, we know that cookies, candies, and cakes are things that ought to be RARE treats (or, in the cases of those with bad triggers, banned altogether or modified significantly into less-dangerous versions).

But what do I see, including from women and men as big as I am (or bigger)? People with kids...

They stuff them with candy, cookies and cakes. Not just once week or once a month, but regularly. And moreso in this holiday time.

With childhood obesity a major health concern (some call it an epidemic) in the US (and other nations), we really need to take a look at this. A good hard no-excuses sort of look.

Imagine if we had grown up with our parents more disciplined about what cereal we ate in the morning (no KABOOM or Cap'n Crunch, but whole grain and no sugar--fruit instead?). Imagine if a candy bar or pack of animal crackers was a special weekend treat, and not a regular afterschool yumsy, if the daily treat was apples and oranges and carrots with hummus or celery with Laughing Cow light or a whole grain role with peanut butter. Imagine if our parents stocked the pantry with stuff that was clean, nutritious, no to low-sugar, high fiber, and fresh.

Would we be where we are?

Maybe. :)

But I think we train kids to like what they like. I love fruit because my parents loved fruit and had plenty of it around and made smoothies before smoothies were a commonly enjoyed commodity around town. They used olive oil and vinegar, not bottled dressings. They offered us beans almost daily, so we were all bathroom regular.

But I was the one who grew up from age 2 in this country, so I got the junk cereals that were mostly sugar and refined grains. I got candy bars after school. Sno-cones daily in summer. Pocket money for potato chips and other crap.

Of all my siblings, I am the ONLY one who got superobese (or even obese, for that matter). My brothers and sisters, who grew up in another country, much more physically active and eating more natural foods and much less junk--they didn't develop the crazy food relationship I did. They didn't grow up with junk food commercials on television sending them off into cravings for Milky Ways and pizza and burgers and fries and Starburst and cupcakes and whatnot.

So, when I see someone, especially a parent with weight issues, struggling, on diets, struggling to lose, that same parent buy candy and cupcakes and sugary cereals for their kids, I wonder about the dissonance. Why give them the taste habits and food issues we have? Why not hand them pears and grape tomatoes and mango slices and low-fat string cheese and almonds and raspberries? Why not end the crazy food cycle NOW?

I've begged a particular family member not to inflict our curse on her own kids. She and I are both obese. She has two kids who are currently normal weight. When I see the kids fed crap, it hurts. When I see kids catered to (ie, they don't want to eat the wholesome fair, and just pick at, say, white bread and then rush to eat a handful of candy), I want to cry.

In 20 or 30 years, they'll be where we are. Oversized and health-impaired.

It frightens me, and I don't even have kids.

I, both my nieces and both my nephews are overweight to obese. (Three of us obese, one overweight.) Five out of five of us born in the sixties and seventies in the immediate family--all too big. I don't want the next generation to have this curse. I want them to radiate good health and love good, clean food and be active and be happy and live vibrantly.

If it's not good for us to eat, big as we are, then it's not good for kids to eat, especially in their formative years, when they need the BEST nutrition to build bones and spare teeth from decay and develop the strongest neuromuscular system.

Junk ain't for us. But junk ain't for kids, either.

Why do we not see that?

Maybe it's long past time to tax the hell out of junk foods and treats. How many cupcakes will a kid buy if they're 5 bucks each? How many candy bars if one uses up their whole allowance? I'd rather tax crap that does nothing for one's wellbeing and use that money to subsidize fruit and veggies, so they're more affordable for a family's budget.

I am vowing not to buy junk for the kids in my family anymore. (This will be sooo hard. Habits die hard.) And I'm gonna work hard to break the holiday junk-food giving tradition. I'll find alternatives--sugarless, low-fat, or just plain better treats--like dark chocolate (I've tasted excellent sugar-free varieties) or dried fruit or nuts.

I want the people I love to be healthy and live a long, long time. And I want to be healthy and live longer, too, so I can enjoy their company for years and years.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Regain, Recommitment, and Retracing Steps to Better Habits--aka/WHERE IS MY FIRE?

The news is not good. But, hey, I knew it was coming for weigh-in day.

I've never been big on consistency when it comes to things like diet and exercise. I was always one of those, "Oh, let me go on a diet," then last no more usually than two days or two weeks or, at most, two months. Then, blam, back to old habits.

Well, I've managed to exercise regularly for nearly six months now. But the food consistency is eluding me. And for dieters, that is the NUMBER ONE issue. If the food isn't controlled, exercise away, but the loss will be negligible to nil. Eat enough, and exercising can't stop regain. We've seen that even on The Biggest Loser. It's the calories, stupid. :)

Well, I got on the scale after a month plus of just being a slacker. The result: 276.4.

Holy crap. I regained like 5 pounds. In a month. I wasn't even all-out bingeing. Just not vigilant.


Okay, enough of the potty mou--er, keyboard.

I wish I could find the internal button one pushes to get to that BLAM moment that makes on commit intensely. I haven't. So, I've been semi-committed, half-heartedly in the fatfighting game.

And it shows. While I don't LOOK bigger, and in fact, look smaller due to the exercising, I am still firmly stuck in the 270's, which is making me a crazy woman. Really, I'm so sick of being here.

So, why don't I get out of here in the downward trajectory?

Cause I am not on fire. It's all about having this ongoing flame inside that ignites whatever is in a person that makes them consistently do something--be it pursue a career, keep a marriage going, train for a marathon, etc.

This week, I'm gonna be all about rescheduling the activities that got me down from 299 to begin with, cause these activities have gone by the wayside:

1. getting fresh groceries
2. preparing meals at home instead of getting take-out
3. keeping a food journal
4. drinking lots of water
5. praying about my weight journey

Every single one of those has gone kaput one by one over the last couple of months. And the results show it.

What works, works. When you stop working it, it stops working, and regain results.

The same sort of slack happened to Oprah:

In Oprah's case, she admits to stopping her exercise sessions, her meditations and going back to eating higher calorie foods.

Oprah regained 40 pounds.

I'm guessing the same thing happened to Kirstie Alley--stopped the Jenny Craig regimen, started adding her own comfort foods, gave up the working out, vigilance diminishes bit by bit until, what, all gone. She was looking big again this past summer. I have no idea if she's up or down as of this post. But she probably has regained as much more pounds than Oprah.

I had a setback when my organic grocer closed their business (temporarily, I hope, but who knows with this economy). I sort of just started doing delivery and takeout--which means DANGER.

So, that has to stop. Tomorrow, I have to go shopping (which I hate) and get the produce I need to make better food choices.

I have to start making meals again, the way I was when I was losing and holding on. I can control the ingredients at home. I can't in a restaurant.

I've totally slacked on water. I have actually had says when I had NO WATER AT ALL. This is bad. It's too easy to confuse thirst with hunger. Plus, not enough water contributes to bloat and makes number twos uncomfy. Ya know what I mean?

I do notice that when one domino goes, like a food journal (which is a tuchis-painer, but so necessary for me, anyway, to be accountable and aware), the others follow. It's like this cord connecting all the good strategies, and if one part topples, the pull on the others is nearly irresistible. Boom. Boom. Boom. All down.

Weight up.

I have had the BECK FOR LIFE book lying around for weeks. I was supposed to review it for amazon (got it free). So, I want to start into that and apply the system. I don't FEEL like it. I FEEL like napping rather than working out. I FEEL like shoving a pizza in my face instead of an egg white veggie omelette. But we obese folks don't do well following our feelings. They are often self-destructive.

So, here I go again. Five pounds up.

My mood is not dark. It's just a big sigh of frustration that I didn't nip this closer to the bud. So much easier catching 2 pounds than 5, right?

I really need to get my fire mojo back. Where is it? Where did it go? How do I find it again?

Ah, well. The quest starts again this week.

I'm getting to the point of trying the Portion Doctor's plates.
Although, really, how overpriced are those? And kinda homely.

Let me go find my food journal. It's buried under a pile of unfolded laundry, I think?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fushu Daiko performing Fushu

This is the drum group hubby and I had the class with. Our instructor is the third lady of the front trio of drummers (counting from L to R).

If you're in South Florida, and you've wanted to try this, google em up. They're in Broward County.


The Good, the Bad, and the Thumb-Sore Princess!

Well, we did it. We went to a taiko drumming class.

Images of hunky Prince Nuada got me through Taiko tonight. More on that later:

Hubby and I went together. It was coolish and rainy, which turned out to be a blessing, cause it was in a warehousey place with no a/c (just fans). First, 15 minutes of exercise (tough, she even included the Pilates hundred!) and stretches (not as bad). Then 70 minutes of nearly straight heavy pounding on big drums. I thought I was gonna DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Sweating piglike and what-not, trying to hold the proper leg position, arm position, head and torso straight. OHMIGOSH. Hard! But fun.

(Pilates training for five months got me through it. Before Pilates, I would have pooped out 15 minutes in or sooner, I swear. Having a better core control/strength was essential for holding the stance/posture.)

My left thumb is still numb--must be holding it wrong in that hand--and I couldn't hold my drink at supper. My hands were shaking and weak. My shoulders are burning. My thighs are exhausted. And my ears felt right after the class like on a plane--all sort of clogged up. I'm still a little ear-stuffy. heh.

Toward the end, when I just was totally about to just give up, I called upon that image of Prince Nuada training hard in the sewers of NYC, and heard him tell me to stop being a wuss and get on with it. A psychological tip, yes, but it worked. There was one rhythmic thing I just didn't nail, but for a first class/total beginner, I done good.

I'm gonna think about whether I'll continue. I don't do well in hot places (I get hot flashes and have heat intolerance issues due to medications I take plus the obesity). Hubby wants to. We'll see. It will interfere with my Friday Pilates. (I went sore to drumming from Wednesday's workout.) If I do it, I'll go to 2x a week Pilates, and only drum during the next two or three cooler months.

I am so going to be killer sore tomorrow. But I got exercise and learned a new thing. Pretty cool.

Too bad I had a Whopper right after. We didn't have supper before, and got out at 10pm, so I was like, "First drive-thru, we're going in." I'll have to plan better and nix junky food, or I'll undo all the good work.

So, anyone up for trying some unusual new exercise? :)


Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Kinda Drumming the Princess--and her Prince--Are Thinking of Taking Up

You can see why this would, er, burn calories and build fitness. :)

If you drop by YOUTUBE and search under Taiko or Taiko Drumming, you can see some of the incredible troupes at work--they will blow your mind. I tried to find more of a "class" type one. I love how the people shout out in performance (like the video with the women in red and white outfits and shorts), cause they're clearly having fun.

If you have time, do not miss THIS PERFORMANCE which is just astonishing--a combo of taiko drumming with some hip-hop moves. Such energy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Done Went AWOL Again, Didn't I?

So, nearly a month in absentia. My bad.

I really at first just got busy. Then I got lazy. Then I got scared. I mean, I haven't been on the scale in two weeks.

Today, at my Pilates class, the teacher said I looked great and have I been on the scale lately. I said, "No, cause I think I gained." She says I look slimmer, but that may just be the tightening effect of exercise. I know I have been eating way more than I should, and I have not been weighing, blogging, journaling, or anything other than being slacker-bad.

But, here I am. Before Christmas, hoping to manage the upcoming feasts with some fatfighting panache.

My weigh-in day is supposed to be Sundays, so I'll post a number then. I'm really just not up to weighing tomorrow. I still feel anxiety. :P

On the plus side: I've been--weight anxiety aside--very chipper, happy, up. I mean, one day I actually woke up SINGING. Just so happy, I was singing. I dunno what my hormones are doing, but I hope they keep this up. (And it's doing wonders for my sex drive, too.) It's such a relief from the previous years of depression. Even when the depression lifted in January, I never woke up singing. :)

So, hello, 2009, as you approach. May you be my best year yet!

BTW, on the movement front: I also may take up some Asian drumming. I have always had such a weak upper body, and it shows in Pilates, where shoulder/arm work just kills me, that hubby and I may try to do this together. (He's already a great dummer/percussionist, but he's never done the big Asian drums.) I figure it's a hobby that makes you move, and burn calories. Good.

I also have taken up bowling. We've only gone twice, and I suck beyond suckage at it (think a score of 51 average), but I intend to get better. This is another effort at doing stuff with hubby that makes us GET UP, rather than just sit and snuggle with the television. Movement. I'm after more movement in my life, with the hope that less eating will follow.

Portion control. My nemesis. I will defeat you.

Anyhow, that's my update. I'm moving more. I'm happy. I've added dozens of new lip glosses to my collection (I tend to buy lip gloss when I'm happy. Dunno why? Maybe to accent my persistent grin.) I'm looking forward to making this holiday season a happier and healthier one than last year's.

Over the coming days, I hope to catch up with the blogs of my fatfighting comrades. I have dropped by Lyn's, and I hope everyone goes over to hug her. She's having a major life transition. Let's give her all our support.

I hope the rest of you are doing well. I know that I'm looking forward to January 5, so that I can join Oprah in her quest to lose weight (again). She had gotten down to my own dream goal weight (160), and she looked so great, remember? The abs and all. Now, even at 200, I think she looks very good. But I understand how important it is for her to nip this before she gains it ALL back. Go, Oprah.

And go, US!

(Whoa, sorry for rambling all over the place. I had 4 espressos!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Princess has a new Princely Crush

Dang. That Prince Nuada (from Hellboy II: The Golden Army) is something. :D I love those gothy bad boys. (The link takes you to a youtube.com tribute of the Prince using "Let Go" by Frou Frou, one of my fave songs of the last...when did it come out, two years ago?)

This vid, though, is worth posting: It has a more fantasy-connected tune, as it's "Mordred Lullaby" by Heather Dale, and it's better structured and edited. Fabulous--

Must say. His workout routine is...entertaining.

We would all be buff if hottie elves became personal trainers. :D



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two Cases of Coconut Water for the Price of One--YUM!

I don't know how many coconut water afficionados are out there, but if you've read this blog for a while, you know that I am one. I use the refreshing and subtle beverage as one of my pre-Pilates drinks to minimize my muscle cramps.

But I just like it. :) Plain or with a pack of Splenda. Mmm.

(Though nothing beats fresh and chilled from the coconut itself, like I had a couple weeks ago when we drove to a nursery in South Miami, not to buy plants, but to get some chilled coconuts for the water.)

I also like how it's helpful in keeping blood pressure in the healthy range. (I like some salty convenience foods, like canned soup and mac-n-cheese, and I love cheese, and I try to drink coconut water when I have very salty stuff to ease the bloat effects.)

Well, amazon.com has a special on one of their in-stock brands of coconut water. Even though I got a case today of my usual Zico coconut water, I placed an order for this, cause I figure--two times the water for the price of one? I'm not missing that.

Besides, I am curious to see what tangerine puree does to coconut water. (The free case is of the tangerine flavored one.)

Interested? Visit HERE. Follow the directions exactly to get the $21 dollars off.

Note: I haven't tried this brand--Vita Coco--but like the two I've tried from amazon.com (Zico, ONE), they come from Brazil and (except for flavored versions) state they are 100% coconut water.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Amazing BuffedStuff!

I am stunned by BuffedStuff's remarkable transformation from fat to uberbuff (see her sidebar pics). She looks fabulous.

Visit her blog.

hat tip to Katschi for the link

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Only You that YOU Can Control Is the You of Today--But That Could Save the You of Tomorrow...

Diana, the Scale Junkie, left a comment in a previous post where I mentioned how HARD HARD HARD it was to make the scale budge since I entered the perimenopausal stage:

I'm swimming in the premenopause pool and if I could go back and rip the fork from my 30something hand I would.

Oh, yeah. If only at 20-something and 30-something we could get a visit from out older selves and not only hear what we need to hear but SEE what we become.

The last time I was "normal weight"--ie, a weight inside that medical chart for my height, I was getting married. I would crawl on the floor to beg my younger self, that new bride, to be vigilant, disciplined, and know that health issues would derail her life at age 30, so do something NOW to keep the immune system and health as good as possible. And should it all go kaplooie anyhow, to not gain the 10 pounds a year as a stay-at-home chronic sickie, or I'd do more damage.

I'd crawl on my face to ger her/me to avoid the future of morbid obesity.

But we can only rip the fork out the hand of the self that is the exact age we are today. That's all we have.

And our next-decade-of-years self will thank us if we do it now. We can only change the future for HER, the me-yet to-be, the you-yet-to-be. The me that was, well, she went along obliviously and, here I am. Stuck with her lousy choices.

Here WE are.

If you are still a woman well before "the change," CHANGE NOW. Learn by my mistake, Diana's mistake, the mistake of every woman who only tries her hardest to change when she's facing the big 40 or big 50 or big 60.

Do it while your body is at its peak. Learn new habits of healthy eating and movement when your metabolism is revving along. If you're 20 and obese, do it now. Look at older obese women and BE VERY AFRAID. Do it noww, while you have healthy joints and can exercise harder and longer. Do it while your hormones are on your side. Do it now that so many books and blogs offer wisdom and help. Don't spend the money on frivolous things like cute clothes or shoes or a beach vacation, that will not change your health: pay for that gym membership, that training, that nutritionist.

Do it when you have all those years stretching before you...full of potential for vitality.

It only gets harder. It only gets worse if you wait. Your joints start to wear, and exercise becomes tricky. Habits become ingrained even deeper the longer you have them--lose the overeating, non-exercising habits NOW.

You don't wanna be in our shoes--middle-aged and struggling.

Can't fight the past. Can't bring back our youth.

Can only change the now and hope that makes for a better future.

A healthy week of future-creation to us all!

Eating Mostly Vegetables Does it Again

Just go see what it did for Cranky Fitness.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Finally decided on when to weigh in...

After tossing around Fri and Sat as days to consider, I decided the FIRST day of the week would be appropos metaphorically. So, it's Sunday.

Weighing in, well, I forget sometimes. It's easy to just head for breakfast than wend to the depths of the hinterlands of my home. I had to set up the scale way back in the storage area (no a/c, cluttered), because there's no carpeting in that spot, so the scale can lay flat. It makes it easy to forget, unlike when it was in the bedroom (but it's carpeted and I'd get weird readings.)

So, today being Sunday, weigh-in: 271.8

All right. Less than last weigh-in.

I find that I'm really in some sort of zone where losing is tough. Tougher even than a year ago. Maybe I'm definitely getting very near to full-out menopause and my hormones conspire against me. Dunno. But it's just really hard to get the scale moving, even though, unlike last year or the year before or the year before....I'm exercising rigorously 3x a week. I still want to move that to 5x a week, but so far, my indolence clings.

Yet, menopause and sloth aside, I am undeterred.

I guess I'll be praying fat loss prayers on Saturday nights. :)


Weighty Sayings: Sheldon on Body Mass

I'm a huge fan of THE BIG BANG THEORY television program. I'm wild about super-smart, socially-inept, brutally honest Sheldon. He cracks me up like nobody!

If you watch the show and are overweight, you couldn't miss the brief inclusion of a weight-related conversation in a car where Sheldon is out with Penny (a cute blond living across the hall from the two scientists who are the show's leads). Her reaction to that number--a number we could only DREAM of--and his obliviousness to an ongoing cultural-social weight issue is telling of our dysfunction:

Sheldon: This car weighs, let's say, 4,000 pounds. Now add 140 for me, 120 for you...
Penny: 120?!?
Sheldon: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I insult you? Is your body mass somehow tied into your self-worth?
--from Season 1, Episode 4 (The Luminous Fish Effect)

Out of the mouths of...geniuses?


Friday, November 7, 2008

Will This Become The Magic Anti-Fat Pill?

A drug designed to specifically hit a protein linked to the life-extending benefits of a meager diet can essentially trick the body into believing food is scarce even when it isn't, suggests a new report in the November Cell Metabolism.

The drug called SRT1720, which acts through the protein SIRT1, enhances running endurance in exercised mice and protects the animals against weight gain and insulin resistance even when they eat a high-fat diet, the researchers report. The drug works by shifting the metabolism to a fat-burning mode that normally takes over only when energy levels are low.

...The researchers found that a low dose of SRT1720 partially protected mice from gaining weight on a high-fat diet after 10 weeks of treatment. At higher doses, the drug completely prevented weight gain in the animals. SRT1720 also improved blood sugar tolerance and insulin sensitivity and endowed the animals with greater athletic ability.
--from "Drug Mimics Low-cal Diet To Ward Off Weight Gain, Boost Running Endurance" at Science Daily

I gotta say, I sure hope so. I hope it really doesn't have wacky side effects. I have a certain natural skepticism about "magic pills," but that doesn't mean I can't hope for one.

Still, while I wait to see what happens with this, I plan to be drinking more grape juice and wine this season--and to more faithfully take my resveratrol supplement. Heh. Why not?


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Focus on FIVE: The Power of FIVE--in current and upcoming books for dieters

~~The 5 Factor Diet

~~The Body Fat Solution: Five Principles for Burning Fat, Building Lean Muscle, Ending Emotional Eating, and Maintaining Your Perfect Weight

~~~The Complete Beck Diet for Life: The Five-Stage Program for Permanent Weight Loss

~~Never Say Diet: Make Five Decisions and Break the Fat Habit for Good

~~The Raw Food Detox Diet: The Five-Step Plan for Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss


Monday, November 3, 2008

Once Upon A Diet A-Store

I've set up a Once Upon A Diet A-Store, for those who like shopping at amazon.com.

Enjoy browsing and, maybe, buying.


Messy Monday and Pilates Wunda Chair and Listing of To-Year's-End Goals

My gosh. My place is a dump. I've neglected basic chores too long in my sleeping-too-much weird-hours phase.

Gotta get to it. Ugh.

Well, I haven't weighed myself in more than a week, and it looks like I'm gonna assign either Friday or Saturday as a regular weigh-in day. I need to get back to the weigh-in thing. Been slacking. If I have a goal of 255 by year's end, then I really need to know if I'm making progress or not!

Okay, went to Pilates today. I felt myself having a near out-of-body experience trying to focus on so many thing at once and trying NOT to feel the agony of effort. Tough, tough, tough. But I got to do new things--that's always a mixture of teeny bit scary and good bit interesting and a wee exciting. We worked the legs on the Wunda Chair (instead of Reformer), with the same sort of positions (high heels, flex, etc), but sitting and pushing down and up, arms like a genie sorta.

Then ...side bends on the Wunda Chair (OMIGOSH, I felt like a whale trying to be graceful out of the water, balancing on a stone. We finally accomplished it. I was proud of myself.) The stretches on the chair were WONDERFUL. I loved how they felt. After some rollbacks on the chair, we moved into cat/rounding down/arching up/rounding down stuff.

Then the big silver ball came out for some rollbacks with twists and then some standing side bends (oh, my shoulders tire so fast!)

I was relieved when we did something really familiar after that: the roll down-roll back up on the Cadillac. Then we did something on my stomach where I'm face down, lifting my upper torso, while keeping the lower flat. Then we did leg extension/lifts on all fours (or all threes, given one leg had to go up).

I felt very floaty and loose after all that and some ladder barrel stretches.

So, goals for the coming next months:

1. Get house tidied up so it doesn't look like the Apocalypse hit
2. Eat 1600 to 1800 calories per day, but no more.
3. Keep doing exercise 3x a week (and maybe add some non-Pilates cardio work 2x a week).
4. Weigh weekly (on Saturday, prolly)
5. Begin writing again--1,000 words per day goal.
6. Work to get on a daytime schedule, with regular sleeping hours (instead of the insanity of no schedule I have now)

As I figure it, if I get to 255--when I get, when I get, WHEN I get--I'll have earned $640 in my reward per pound kitty. I'll use that for nice new clothes!!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Take Advantage of Weight Loss & Exercise Assistance Your Health Plan Offers

We're switching health plans (AGAIN) come January. This time it's Cigna.

We got a brochure that interested me: Member discounts from Healthy Rewards.

Here are a few of the areas where discounts (up to 62%) may apply:

Weight Management and Nutrition

* Healthyroads Weight Management Program
* Registered Dietitian Network
* Jenny Craig
* Weight Watchers®
* Weight management scales


* Fitness Club and Equipment Discounts
* Just Walk 10,000 Steps-a-DayTM

Alternative Medicine

* Acupuncture
* Chiropractor
* Massage


* Healthyroads Mind/Body Program
* Yoga Journal (subscriptions, DVDs, yoga conference discounts)
* SpaFinderTM

Vitamins, Health and Wellness Products

* Drugstore.comTM
* ChooseHealthyTM (discounts on natural supplements)

Healthy Lifestyle Products

* Mayo Clinic Books
* Magazine Subscriptions

Make sure to check your policy. Find out if you qualify for any discounts or services that will help you in your fatfighting and fitness quest.

Wish I'd checked into this with my old plan before buying all that stuff I got last year--scale, blood pressure monitor, body mass analyzer, exercise dvds and equipment, etc.

Hope you find out good stuff and save loads.

Happy Halloween--Boo!--and Happy Weekend, y'all.


WooHoo! I Won Oatmeal Stuff!!!
& Now You Can Win Workout Wear

The great and lovely Lyn had a giveway of oatmeal stuff. I'm getting the giveaway stuff cause I entered with reasons I like (love!) oatmeal. I posted about it, too.

If ya wanna see who won (besides me), visit Escape from Obesity.

If you want a shot at winning a gift certificate for $100 from Junonia (that you can use toward plus size workout clothing), visit Cranky Fitness.

I already entered. :)

You can also check out Junonia's Halloween sale--31% off black clothes. I LOVE BLACK. I wore black a lot even when I was 100 lbs lighter. :)


Oprah's "Biggest Loser" Show: Kinda Dull, But a Definite Reality Check

I watched most of it, cause I wanted to see what they'd have to offer (and maybe get me kicked in the butt a bit).

It was nice to see some former contestants, and Oprah was very up and encouraging and all, but Jillian looked like she was gonna fall asleep and Bob looked disoriented. What up with that?

Anyway, I liked that they had a segment with contestants having a hard time keeping weight off (or just plain not succeeding). For instance, in a VERY VERY brief update, they showed Ryan Benson (not in person), the first ever winner of TBL, who has a 100 pound regain. I'm sure he feels really bad about it. I wish they had been able to interview him.

The segment with Matt and Suzy Hoover (who still make an adorable couple, don't they?) was a needed reality check. When you stop doing what you did to lose (ie, keep food intake in check, exercise a lot), you regain. Matt was up about 50 pounds from his winning weight. And though they tactfully didn't get a fixed number from Susy, she was wearing a black turtleneck and was only shown shoulders up. We know "fat camouflage," don't we, ladies? We understand it.

Granted, Suzy's had two babies in less than two years--which she kept repeating, I'll add--and that's a definite factor. But she admitted to not being with it in terms of exercising and with also using the pregnancies as an excuse to eat for two--and eat a lot.

We understand that, too. (Hey, I have a reason to eat? Let's at it!)

This weight loss thing is hard. Maintenance is hard. It's all hard.

You know, THE BIGGEST LOSER should keep tab on previous guests, and all the ones who regained a lot should have a shot again--a sort of TBL Regainers show--maybe a shorter show to see if second time's the charm? Whaddya think?

Reality check two: What the successful maintainers do.

They exercise--frequently. They control what foods they buy and eat--consistently. Exercise. Calorie control. No big news there.

There's Ali, the woman winner of TBL, small and sleek and toned. They showed her in the kitchen, showing us what kinds of stuff she eats. From my calculations, her breakfast and lunches run about 200 calories each. And she excercises 2 hours a day (at least five days a week). TWO HOURS. If breakfast and lunch run (with whatever beverages and fruit she may add) about 500, then she's eating very little. What? Fewer than 1200 calories a day? TO MAINTAIN.

But SEEING it. Ouch. Reality slap, that one.

I forgot which contestant was the guy who showed his daily meal intake--the food arrayed on a counter. About 2000-2100 calories (for a tall fella). Very lean 3 meals and two snacks. Oatmeal with yogurt for breakfast. A few ounces of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli for lunch. Ezekiel bread with peanut butter for a snack. You get the drift.


Real life can't sustain 6 hours of killer daily exercise like the ranch. The 1200 to 1400 calories the women ate daily was paired with about 4000 calories BURNED OFF. Yes, that's a caloric deficit that ensures big losses. A pound a day plus is not surprising with that equation.

Overall, the show was worth watching for those of us on this particular journey or in this particular fight (choose thy metaphor!) for a look at how it really works. The difficulty to reach goals and keep to them, and the glow that comes from succeeding. Notice how much "shinier" the maintainers looked, that sense of satisfaction from making such a change.

No magic pill. Just grueling attention and effort.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

What's That On My Arm?

Yesterday, I was reclining on the couch in the evening, just reading a magazine, and I reached up absent-mindedly to scratch my arm.

I felt something odd.

I hitched up my sleeve, looked down, felt around, wondering, "What the heck was that I just felt?"

I mean, I'm middle-aged. Visions of cancer are always in the periphery.

False alarm.

It was... a muscle.

Stop laughing.

Okay, go ahead. Chuckle. I did.

I'm not used to having muscles. Nearly four months of Pilates, and I have fricken BICEPS MUSCLES. I have muscles--all hard under the too generous flesh--in my thighs. My abdomen has hard bits under the flab.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What The Princess Likes About Oatmeal

I used to make old-fashioned oatmeal on the stove with milk, which I found a bit annoying in terms of sticking to the pot, but which I loved in terms of the aroma. However, since I got my slow cooker, it's just so easy making a water-based one in there that it's my preferred method. Just put it on and, voila, in an hour (for firm) or two (for mushy), a warm, comforty, filling snack or breakfast.

(I skip the quick cooking, and either take the time for old-fashioned slow-cooking or do instant. The in-between one, eh.)

Lyn, over at Escape from Obesity, is gonna go on a visit to the Quaker Oats HQ, and she's got a giveaway of yumsy QO products. (Go enter at her site.)

I decided to enter the giveaway and answer one of the questions--in this case, what do I like about oatmeal?

My response:

What do I like about Oatmeal? Let me count the ways:

1. Easy to make.
2. Can be made with milk or water, and is fine both ways.
3. Reminds me of chilly mornings when mom made me oatmeal--it's comfort food!
4. It's great with fruit and spices.
5. Leftover oatmeal makes a quick and easy cobbler.
6. You can make "oatmeal cookies" with oatmeal, and I love oatmeal cookies.
7. You can make fake oatmeal "cookies" with protein powder in a pinch.
8. It's very filling. And I have a monster appetite that is not easily quelled.
9. It tastes good, really, so maybe that should be number one.
10. It comes in INSTANT, for when I get lazy, which is kinda often.
11. You can make a huge batch and eat it for days and days....which is good, yet again, for the lazy thing.
12. It lowers cholesterol, and I need all the help I can get in that department.
13. It's got fiber, and fiber is good for my colon's health.
14. It smells good. I love the smell of oats and oatmeal. I stick my head in those tubes of Quaker Oats and breathe it in. I linger over the pot while it cooks. I love opening the slow cooker lid and smelling it. LOVE THAT SMELL!
15. Okay, this isn't about oatmeal per se, but it's worth mentioning: It makes for great cleansing and moisturizing products for sensitive skin. (ie Aveeno)
16. Oats (before cooking) make a good exfoliant for sensitive skin.

What do you like about Oatmeal? What would you tell the Quaker Oats people to do to improve their products or what new products would you like to see? What question would you like Lyn to ask their dietitian? Answer one of these at Lyn's site and you might win some stuff.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What NOT To Do When You Blow It and
Reassessing That "Cheat Days" Thing

Both JC and Lyn have some advice for those days when we simply blow it--scarf down the three or four slices of pizza, attack the brownies, go for the supersized burger meal, go mad with the chips and nacho cheese, etc.

Do not say, "Oh, well, I blew it. Might as well have X, Y, and Z, too."

JC wants you to get rid of the negative language. Don't even think, "I blew it!"

Lyn wants you to remember that every bite counts, even the ones AFTER the occasion of "blowing it." A slip is not a license to keep slipping. And a cheat day may sabotage you by giving you that very sense of "Well, I might as well as..."

I think both make good points. We always have to analyze our verbiage/mental script. If saying "I blew it" becomes a magic chant that lets us go binge worse or keeps us from stopping a bad choice, then it must be removed.

And if a cheat day becomes an excuse to blow all the week's progress, then a cheat day is NOT an aid to weight loss. I have seen a blogger here and there use a cheat day as an excuse to just go hog wild and eat everything in sight. That's not the purpose of cheat days, as I understand them. It's a day to enjoy a particular meal or treat that we'd normally eschew. Let's say, instead of a plain roasted sweet potato, we go for the sweet potato casserole. Or instead of the grilled chicken, we go for the chicken cordon bleu. And yet, always with an eye to keeping the rest in check.

But cheat days do tend to become the ultra feast--the fried foods, the shake, the chocolate cake, the gravy, the extra cheese, the garlic rolls with extra oil. In other words, instead of being a way to hold off on a daily donut by allowing oneself a donut once a week or once a month, it becomes a day to give into every indulgence.

That can't possibly help. It just feeds the binge monster.

If you have a cheat day, and it's not working for you (ie, it's sabotaging you), try a cheat meal or a cheat ITEM in a meal. So, you have the healthful meals on a Saturday, but you allow yourself one indulgence (fries with your grilled chicken, or full fat dressing on your salad, or cookies instead of sugar free jello.) That can work. :)

Hey, we all gotta find what will ultimately work for us. But keep an eye on if these two things--language and cheat days--are actually an obstacle you need to knock down.

I can't do cheat days. I am someone who will go hog wild. Whenever I managed to lose a big chunk of weight in the past, it was by incorporating some kind of treat I looked forward to DAILY, but always a smaller portion or a less-fat/no-sugar option. I can't go a week without a treat; I can't say "CHEAT DAY!" either. It's a middle ground for me.

On the other hand, saying "I blew it" is not a trigger for me the way it's for some. Saying, "I blew it" is usually followed by, "What can I eat for my next meal that takes me back on a better path?"

Neither changing our verbiage nor stopping a slip is easy. But they are alway part of a lifelong weight correction plan.

Why It's Worth Taking the Risk to Exercise

I know I'm not alone in the "I'll feel so embarrassed to put on workout wear and look foolish in the gym" phobia.

I had to get over mine (and trust me, it still lurks) to step inside a Pilates studio full of the fit and the young and the beautiful sleek ones.

But good things can come of taking the chance and saying to the fear, "Yes, someone might make fun of me, but that's their problem, not mine. My problem is obesity and lack of fitness. That's what I need to address. Not someone else's immaturity."

I came across this in a post today at Thinking Thin Too blog:

My motivation is increasing. This is not a normal thing for me. I am not used to it, but I like it. I think I know what is causing this oddity. Want to know what it is? No, it's not A (well maybe a small part of it). It's the classes that I am going to. I never would have imagined that mustering up the courage to go to these classes would lead me to crave them. Yes, I said crave them. Yesterday, I was dog tired and I went home and didn't want to go. Just like the other week, at 5:30 I got up, changed my clothes, went to the gym and did the class. I have not missed a class since I started going. For those of you that haven't tried the classes, have you not tried them out of fear?

Let me tell you. I haven't done many things throughout my life because of fear. I don't want people watching the fat chic. You hear people whispering, and you assume it's about you...

Anyway, so that fear of being the center of attention has always kept me from trying those classes until that one day about 6 weeks ago. I haven't missed a class since. If you can muster up the courage, go to one. Trust me, you will find that exercise goes quickly. You will no longer dread going.

I would not have believed it possible if you had told me last year that I would feel disappointment at the idea of missing a Pilates session. But that's where I'm at. I've missed ONE session (that I had to cancel due to stomach woes after eating a hard, unripe pear). And I felt awful calling to cancel.

It's really hard. I'm not gonna say that exercising is a breeze or a snap. I have to find that place inside me that keeps going and doesn't quit during a tough session. (They're all tough, but some are tougher and make me wonder how I'll survive.) But I feel so good when I'm done. Like I did a virtous thing, like I'm not a weenie, like I'm on track on something...:)

If I could afford it, I'd go more often. But I am grateful to be able to take what I can.

And that's amazing. That just doing it and seeing how, "Wow, I am stronger this week than last, and I'll be stronger next week than this"--that is motivational.

If I could find that sort of groove with my portions, I'd be a big losing fool.

I want to be that kind of fool. :)

So, if you think that exercise sucks and you're too big to go to a gym or a studio or the park fitness trail or whatever, think about this blogger and Thinking Thin, and remember that it's possibly you can amaze yourself. Just find the exercise that works for you--be it hiking, weight lifting, Pilates, a spinning class, yoga, walking, belly dancing, boxing, Tae Kwon Do, swimming...whatever. Somewhere out there is an activity that will grab you and astound you by making you WANT TO DO IT and HATE TO MISS IT. No matter your budget, there's something for you.

Just tell your fears to take a hike. Tell your worries about fatphobics to chill. Hike up your big girl panties (preferably breathable ones) and go work out.

I hope you find YOUR activity this week. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Near-Year's-End Goal Assessment

There are 65 days left to 2008, and that's 9.28 weeks left in the year. That's all. Then...a whole new year.

I have not been happy with how I've handled goals this year. I've not met as many as I wished. A look at the good and the not so good:

I have made progress in a couple areas this year. One: I'm exercising regularly, strenuously, and am getting stronger and more flexible. Two: I am consciously eating more whole, unprocessed foods and organic foods. Three: I'm eating out less. Four: I'm maintaining a sound mood, with fewer dips into the dark cloud. Five: My thyroid has not gotten worse (ie, requiring an increase in dosage).

On the bad side are some key things. One: I am still not mastering portion control. Two: I still am not being consistent about water intake. Three: I've slipped back into giving into more than the occasional/rare sweets temptation. Four: I am still keeping a wacky and unhealthy sleeping schedule.

I feel better. I walk with more spring. Good.

I sleep erratically. I let myself get dehydrated. I buy cookies. Bad.

As it stands, I need to assiduously attack the weaknesses in order to end the year with a loss, and not a maintain (or, Heaven forbid, a gain).

65 days. 9 1/4 weeks. If I were to be a very good Princess starting TODAY, I could end the year with an 18 to 20 pound loss.

That's my goal. As of today. End 2008 at or under 255.

Cause time is always, always, always running out on this body. And your body.

What are your goals for the rest of this year. The end cometh...of 2008.

Onward and DOWNWARD!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Anyone have the Gillian McKeith's Legume Loaf with Onion Gravy recipe?

I'm here sorting through laundry and watching Gillian McKeith's YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT on the telly, and they show this loafy thing from chick peas and butter beans made with an onion gravy.

Anyone have that recipe? I'm really interested in the onion gravy, wondering how she makes, since she's not a meat or butter or white flour gal(but the gravy is still brown, like beef-based one. Soy sauce?). It looked yummy, anyway.


VeggieMunn Meal #4--yummy kale and tasty lentils

This time I'm reporting on these:

o Lentil salad - mixed baby greens, sprouted lentils, onion, parsnip, bell pepper, orange, tahini, lemon, Nama shoyu, parsley, thyme
o Mediterranean Kale Salad - kale, red bell pepper, black olives, lemon, cold pressed olive oil, sea salt, black pepper

Both very good. I enjoyed them. The raw lentils had a nice chewy texture and the spicing reminded me of tabboule, which I love. The kale was very fresh and delicious, the olives were super, and the red pepper still crisp four days. I have to admit that though it was fine as dressed, I wanted a stronger flavor, so I used some of Annie's Organic Goddess dressing (a vegan, though not raw, dressing). My fave bottled dressing.

I didn't feel like soup or dessert.

Now, I'm craving more kale salad. :)


DragonFire Factoid: Accomplia And Psych Problems

An anti-obesity drug that has been prescribed to 97,000 people in the UK doubled the risk of psychiatric disorders in those who took it, the European Medicines Agency has found.

The EMA has decided that the benefits of the drug Acomplia - which has been licensed in Europe since June 2006 - no longer outweigh the risks, and have advised doctors to no longer prescribe the drug.

In a trial of 36,000 this summer, five of those taking the drug committed suicide, compared to only one of those taking the placebo.
--from "Users of slimming drug at risk of psychiatric disorders" in the TIMES ONLINE.

(And the above is just one reason why this Princess stays away from diet drugs, period. Remember Fen-Phen?)


Thursday, October 23, 2008

One of my fave artists does nifty things with vegetables and fruits

Since I've been emphasizing vegan/vegetarian foods in recent posts, I thought I'd share a couple of paintings from one of my very most favoritest artists, the surrealist Remedios Varo. Her stuff is amazing. AMAZING! And loaded with dream, mythic, Jungian, Freudian, metaphysical, etc meanings.

Here's a couple with fruits and veggies as the focus (though, of course, there is humor and greater significance):

Vegetarian Vampires (Vampiros Vegetarianos)--

Still Life, Reviving (Naturaleza Muerta, Resucitando)--

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

VEGGIEMUNN Meal #3 Review

Not much to report on the food today. I had my second serving of Pasta Primavera, as this was the entree on which I doubled up. It's the one I enjoyed so much the first day and, yes, enjoyed similarly today). I'd happily have this every week. It remained nice and fresh though it's been in the fridge since Monday.

I had another citrus salad with it (like day one). Again, nothing special.

The new thing I tried was the fruit soup. This one was composed of juice and pulp from honeydew melon, apples, bananas, nectarines, and valencia oranges.

Verdict: Refreshing and nice, a good thing to have after a tough workout, as it's hydrating, sweet, and relaxing. Basically, a runny smoothie in a bowl. :) Makes eating it slower and slurping through a straw, which I guess is not a bad thing, right? A slowing down at day's ending.

Did you have your fruits and veggies today? At least five servings, but better to have 7 and more. Did ya?


Pilates--Ramping Up

Whoa. Hard session today. My trainer specifically said she wanted to have fewer rests, more controlled breaths, and make it all harder.

This was the first time I actually had to stop and drink water in the middle of a session--and I drank more water each time we switched equipment. I was breathing a lot, mouth drying, even got a tad woozy. Worked tough!

Interesting how I always have trouble with side bends on the barrel when I'm leaning right, exerting left. That hip just wants to cramp. But on the other side, I can complete the set. We talked about that imbalance a bit, and I'm to be more conscious of how I lean, what I'm doing, that might be affecting the left side.

My inner thighs were so pooped, driving home required some concentration.

But I felt good getting through it without dying. :)

Had a nonfat vanilla plus protein latte as a treat. I wanted to feed those muscles pronto.

Did you move today? Did you work up a sweat, breathe hard, wake-up all your muscles, get the red river of blood rushing? Is your heart a little stronger from your pushing it to work harder?

If not, move now! Don't wait until you're too pooped. Go for a walk. Put on a video. Get on the floor and crunch or leg lift in a steady rhythm.

Here, try About.com's Pilates move of the week: The Swan.

Yes, that's it. Love your bod!

And...have a healthy, happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Review Of Second VEGGIEMUNN Meal

This combo that I had for lunch today included:

o Orange/Fennel Soup - orange, fennel, walnuts, garlic, sea salt, pepper
o Thai Green papaya salad - green papaya, carrots, fresh basil, fresh mint, fresh parsley, lemon, chili pepper, cashews, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sea salt
o Choco piña colada on a stick - pineapple, agave nectar, coconut butter, cacao powder

This was like a sandwich with great bread and disappointing main filler. By that I mean great ends and a bummer middle.

The soup was deliciously refreshing--the brightness of citrus with the savoriness of the garlic and the fennel notes blended to make a chilled soup reminiscent of the freshness of gazpacho, but with a lighter touch. Gazpacho's girlier little sister, let's say. I liked it. (And I adore gazpacho, so it makes sense that anything that reminds me of gazpacho gets a pass.)

The salad, not so successful. I really expected a burst of flavor. In the past, I'd only had green papaya salad twice. It's a strong-flavored dish that really fills your mouth with citrus and some heat and some sweet and some salty and that amazing element of green papaya. This lacked the green papaya power, because it was mostly carrot. And the dressing was too tame to fill the bill. So, what it felt like to my taste buds was a pleasant, if bland, carrot salad. I tried to brush aside the carrot shreds and pick up just dressing, papaya strips and basil--and those couple of forkfuls were more promising. But the salad is just not successful. Green Papaya salad should have green papaya. I felt like I paid $5 for carrot shreds with some underseasoned dressing. Disappointing.

I didn't finish it. And when I went to put the rest away in the fridge, I dropped the container and the contents spilled on the kitchen floor. I didn't mind too much having to toss it, frankly.

Dessert was a nice improvement on the salad. The chocolate coating is very chocolatey and pleasing to this choco-lover. Not too sweet. The pineapple was good (could have been a bit sweeter/riper. I enjoyed this. I would mention that I am not a huge pineapple-with-choco fan. I prefer berries and banana for chocolate dipping. A frozen banana with this chocolate coating and some shredded coconut---mmm. I wish I'd had that. But after the sad salad, this definitely picked up my mood. And the serving was generous--two long cuts of pineapple. It could be divided into dessert for two meals.

Hope you guys had lovely, healthful eatings today!

Now, I can't wait for my avocado sushi, pad thai, and salad with ginger dressing for supper. Hubby's picking it up. After that very light lunch, I need something substantial, and the noodles called to me. If you've never had avocado sushi--I recommend it heartily. So good, that avocado creaminess with pickled ginger, wasabi, and a dip of soy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Review of First VEGGIEMUNN Raw Vegan Meal

Okay, got my delivery of 15 meal items plus two breads--all organic, vegan, and raw. John Munn, the partner of Mariela (the cook for VeggieMunn) came by. We chatted. Very personable guy.

I had this tonight:

o Savory Parsnip Soup - parsnip, cauliflower, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion, red bell pepper, pine nuts

o Pasta Primavera - zuchinni and or yellow squash, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, dehydrated vegetable blend, Italian seasoning, garlic, parsley

o Citrusy Fruit Salad - Valencia Oranges, grapefruit, grapes, apples, shredded coconut

o Onion Loaf - onions, buckwheat, nama shoyu, EVOO, flax seeds

The soup: Lovely color, spicy from the cayenne (maybe a scosh too spicy, I'd dial it back just a tiny, wee bit), but lacking something in "roundness." I think it may need a bit more acid--grapefruit or lime or more lemon juice. It has a nice sweet tone and the red pepper in it is pleasant (as well as adding to that pink color). So, a bit more acidity, a bit less cayenne, and some more herbs/savoriness would make this excellent. As is, decent, but forgettable.

The entree: Terrific! I love the fresh taste of the raw squash strings and the vegetable-herb sauce is really tasty. My suggestions: Add more of the flavorful sauce. The "noodles" are generous, so they need more sauce for a nicer balance. Also, the sundried tomatoes were hard. I'd maybe puree them or chop them more finely so they blend with the sauce. This one I'd have again, no question. Nice.

The onion bread: MMMmmmMMMmmmmMMMmmmm. I wish I'd ordered three or four of these. MMmmmmMMMmmm. So oniony!

Fruit salad: Pleasant, but not outstanding. Might benefit from some sort of nice accent sauce. The valencia oranges, the grapes, and the shredded coconut worked. The grapefruit was a bit too tart and the apple didn't seem to blend. I think a different fruit to apple would work better--just not sure which. Strawberries, perhaps? Papaya? Mango? Banana would work, but they turn brown fast.

So, two of tonight's offerings were quite, quite tasty and I'd have again. The other two were okay, but need ramping up to make them really zing.

Can't wait til tomorrow's lunch.

If you've tried VeggieMunn in South Florida, leave a comment with a link to your review. I'd like to see which entrees and desserts and such you would rate highly (as a reference for my future orders.)

Oh, and if you wanna see some pics of her food, visit her MySpace page where the main page has a slideshow instead of a member pic (upper left) or the pics page.

Hope you all had a lovely day. Let's sleep well and have a great Tuesday!

One Weight Loss Mental Block

Sometimes, you just have to face up to what's in the way.

One of the things that's a big obstacle for me and actually is trying to keep me this big is my horrid fear of the loose, drooping skin that comes with major weight loss.

I already have some just from losing about 25 lbs. The thought of the horror I will become if I lose 100+ terrifies me. TERRIFIES ME! I mean this in the most honest way. It gives me the rigor.

I am trying to talk myself into realizing, as Kate tells herself confronting this same issue, that it will be something temporary, something that can be handled later, helped later, surgically.

My neuroses kick in big time. What if I can't have surgery later--can't afford it, or have medical issues that weigh against the surgery, etc.

This is something I need to deal with emotionally and mentally. I have accepted that this is one of my self-sabotaging issues. I am afraid to lose and look like those pictures. It's bad enough being this fat, a state which has its own aesthetic awfulness; but the loose skin--now that scares the bejeezus outta me.

I accept that I have this fear and this block and this saboteur in my brain.

Now, I have to get over it.


New Week, New Day--same old crappy sleep schedule

I'm trying (unsuccessfully so far) to switch back into daytime mode. I need to see the sun! I'm up early today, but that means I slept about 4 hours. Yoiks.

For a while, I've been getting up around 6 to 7pm (unless forced to cut back on sleep to get up earlier for some reason.) Which sucks. I see little of the daytime and am missing the cooler change in weather we've had (marginally cooler, but a noticeable change in season). Lack of sunlight is very bad for dieters and those prone to depression. We lose out on vitamin D, sure, but we also lose out on the energizing effect of that direct light, and the (so I hear) slight appetite suppressing effect, too.

I really need to stop being a vampiress!

So, new day. New hope.

Breakfast was my egg white greek omelette with tomato and fresh oregano, papaya chunks with lime juice, coconut water (unsweetened), coffee, water, and some crackers.

Pilates at 4pm. Starbucks for my post-exercise "skinny" latte at 5. And around 6pm, I should get my raw vegan cuisine items. I'll let you know if/what I like on the menu.

I hope you have a great day that brings you weight loss and improved health and a lot of smiles.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pilates Progress, Super Sleep, Super Sore!

Owsie. I just slept 14 hours. Always happen when I have a day I skip sleep. My body goes into major downtime to make up for it. The night before, I slept 3 1/2 hours, cause Pilates was early (as opposed to 4pm), and while I was fine the day, when I finally crashed, I crashed hard.

So, how sore am I! Lots of abdominal work Friday, and I feel every bit of it. I think every abdominal fiber in my body is screeching at me. Those rollback with side twists and hinges kill me. Owsie. And we did pushups on the wonder barrel, so my shoulders and upper arms are yelping a bit, too.

But these are good ouchies. Means I really put effort in and I'm getting stronger in the core.

I could see during my session that I made progress. Remember when I couldn't do the Elephant. Then I managed ONE rep. Well, I did five reps roundback and five reps straight back Friday. PROGRESS!

Hubby mentioned today that my waist looks even MORE nipped in. Yay. The scale may say 273.4 (.2 less than Thursday), but my waist is already in the 260's. Heh.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Very Veggie Food Deliveries A-Coming!

Since I'm still not 100% in the swing, I decided to have food delivered to me for a couple weeks.

Next week, for a few days, I'm going Raw Vegan with a delivery from VeggieMunn in South Florida (they deliver to Miami and Broward areas). Here's what I'll be getting (soup, entree, dessert, crackers for five meals--I doubled up on some items to make five servings)--

Organic Raw Vegan Soups:
o Corn Chowder - corn, avocado, cilantro, celery, almonds, sea salt, fresh black pepper
o Fruit Soup - (every week is a different version)
o Orange/Fennel Soup - orange, fennel, walnuts, garlic, sea salt, pepper
o Savory Parsnip Soup - parsnip, cauliflower, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion, red bell pepper, pine nuts

Organic Raw Vegan Entrées
o Lentil salad - mixed baby greens, sprouted lentils, onion, parsnip, bell pepper, orange, tahini, lemon, Nama shoyu, parsley, thyme
o Mediterranean Kale Salad - kale, red bell pepper, black olives, lemon, cold pressed olive oil, sea salt, black pepper
o Pasta Primavera - zuchinni and or yellow squash, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, dehydrated vegetable blend, Italian seasoning, garlic, parsley
o Thai Green papaya salad - green papaya, carrots, fresh basil, fresh mint, fresh parsley, lemon, chili pepper, cashews, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sea salt

Organic Raw Vegan Desserts:
o Banana Cream Pie - bananas, coconut oil, agave nectar, almonds, walnuts, dates, raisins
o Choco piña colada on a stick - pineapple, agave nectar, coconut butter, cacao powder
o Citrusy Fruit Salad - Valencia Oranges, grapefruit, grapes, apples, shredded coconut
o Peach cobbler - peaches, agave nectar, cinnamon, coconut butter, walnuts, almonds, dates, Brazil nuts

Organic Raw Vegan Dehydrated Extras :
o Onion Loaf - onions, buckwheat, nama shoyu, EVOO, flax seeds
o Spicy Flax Crackers - flax seeds, flax meal, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cayenne, sea salt

I'll receive those on Monday.

On Thursday, I will receive my five day's worth of Diet-To-Go meals, vegetarian menu. They have amazing good apple pancakes and soy sausage breakfasts, and I look forward to those like mad. I do a lot of substituting in breakfast and dinners (a bit of an extra charge for each change), cause I don't like their soy-based dinners and lunches (though I love a good bit of cold tofu with asian dip or grilled tofu teriyaki, but DTG's soy is gross). I'll be getting stuffed shells, bean burrito, tomato spinach melt, curried cous cous with creamed spinach, tomato veggie pie, black bean soup with soft pretzel and mandarin pudding, and...well, go see the Week 4 menu (vegetarian).

So, it's an expensive food delivery time the next couple weeks, but it'll let me know there's something healthful, produce-laden, and diet-friendly waiting for me in the fridge or freezer.

My mouth is a-watering!


What I've Been Craving, Eating, Cooking...

I've been making my egg white Greek omelets for breakfast. Lotsa protein, can have up to three veggies (depending on mood and size), and is amazing with fresh oregano and fresh cracked pepper.

Easy as can be, too: I use liquid egg whites (organic) and I use a pan depending on how much veggie I'm in the mood for. If I want to make it normal, with just feta, tomato, and oregano on top, I use a 7 inch skillet. I spray it with Olive Oil organic PAM, pour the egg white, let it cook on one side, flip the circle to cook on the other (I don't fold it), and then immediately put the feta I want on top (to get melty from the hot cooked side of eggs).

Next, I heat the tomato I chop up in the nuker for about 50 seconds. I like the tomato hot, not mushy. While it nukes, I pull the leaves off the fresh oregano. (If there is none fresh, I use dried, and just sprinkle it on the feta after I put it over the eggs.)

Once the egg whites are cooked the way I like (some like it crispier and cook longer), I put it on a plate, put the tomato pieces on top, and grind some pepper on top. If I'm in a splurgy mood, I drizzle EVOO on top (mmmmm).

One of my fave breakfasts.

Other veggies I like to add--spinach, red and green pepper, onions, olives.

I've been craving papaya. Fresh, cut into chunks, some lime squeezed on top. It's just so fresh and satisfying and it's great for aiding digestion.

I've also been craving and cooking a bunch of sauteed spinach with garlic and EVOO. I dunno why I'm having this particular craving, but it's easy enough to saute this up in minutes and have a lovely snack or side dish.

Clementines! Oh, I'm mad for them right now.

Fage 2% yogurt with cherry topping on the side. This just hits my yogurt spot like mad.

Homemade apple compote with frozen lowfat yogurt~~~This is a nice dessert that's easy and my husband enjoys, too. You get calcium, not a lot of fat, and the compote can be made sugar-free or with brown sugar, your choice. I slice up a good cooking apple, like Granny Smith, put it in a sauce pot (small one) with a touch of water (depends on how much "juice" you like)and lots of ground cinnamon. I also add some sort of sweetener (Splenda, usually, or brown sugar or honey), and, after it's come to a boil, I just let it cook on low heat until it's a texture I like. (Not very long, for me, about 10 mins).

Spoon over frozen yogurt (vanilla is our choice). Voila, simple dessert that's not bad for you and is bursting with fresh apple flavor. We had this last night. MMMmmmm.

I also like to get those low-calorie crepes they sell already cooked at the supermarket (less than 50 calories each), and fill them with a mixture of low or non-fat cottage cheese (or low-fat ricotta) and a berry compote (or the apple one). That makes for a high calcium, low-fat dessert that gives a serving of fruit, some fiber, and not a lot of damage in the calories dept. (about 200 calories, more or less, depending on how much the crepe is and how much cottage cheese or ricotta you use and which fat % is the dairy product selected).


Depression and Weight and Blogging and Prayer and Clementines and Joy...

Shoot. I've been gone over two weeks. Sorry...again.

I started falling into another spell under the dark cloud, which doubly bummed me out, because I had come out of a very extended clinical depression this past January. It had been nice feeling normal all these months, pretty happy, often joyful, just normal.

So, for a couple weeks, I've been sleeping and feeling flat and ignoring chores like grocery and house cleaning. I had a few clusters of no-showering days, too, which is gross to go 3 or 4 days sans shower. But that is always one of the signs I'm in the blues--lack of energy to do squat, even wash my hair. And the sleeping too much. And the not blogging. And even not reading my Bible or praying, which is the worst thing to do for a religious person--stray from essential spiritual disciplines.

I started feeling that self-loathing, too.

Getting on the scale and seeing 277.6 didn't help. I wanted to cry, just cry, at gaining those pounds when I was close to getting into the 260s.

Two days ago, I felt so distressed about falling into another deep pit and regaining what cost me so much to lose, that the first thing I did when I woke up, lethargic and blue, was drop naked on my knees by my bed and pretty much beg for help out of the shadowland. I just didn't want to go there again, not this soon. I'd lost 4 years to depression this millenium, and I refused to just let it take another 4.

So, I prayed, I showered, and I read a Psalm, some I Corinthians, and recited the Apostle's Creed. And I said no to the daily dessert splurge I'd been using as medication. I called hubby at work and asked him to stop by the market and get me some papaya, clementines, plums, mushrooms, melon, and salad fixings.

The next day, I prayed again, and then I hauled my butt to Pilates. I hadn't been doing well with my exercises (to my estimation), cause I felt so low in the energy. It was excruciating to do anything. But though I wanted to cancel, I got dressed with my stinky unwashed-for-four-days hair and got through it. I did much better than the sessions the week before. After my session, I went to the farmer's market and filled a basket with fruits and fresh veggies to help me resume my healthful eating plan.

That was yesterday.

Today, I started to feel like the cloud was lifting. I did't feel dark blue, more like turquoise (lighter, prettier). I felt more energy. I COOKED! The first time I made dinner in over two weeks.

Today, the scale said 273.6. Four pounds off in a couple days.

I know that eating fruits and veggies and eating home-cooked meant less sodium, so I'm debloating. It helps. I feel less uncomfy in my skin.

I know there is a connection between depression and obesity--as my endocrinologist mentioned more than once trying to get me to take antidepressants. Here's an article about it:

People who are depressed may be more likely to become obese because of physiological changes in their hormone and immune systems that occur in depression. Also, they have more difficulty taking good care of themselves because of symptoms and consequences of depression, such as difficulty adhering to fitness regiments, overeating, and having negative thoughts.

Tell me about the difficulties. If I haven't got the initiative to take a 10 minute shower, it's damn for sure I'm not inclined to spend 30-to-45 minutes cooking a healthy meal or spend twenty minutes walking round the block!

I'm sure we've all heard how exercise is shown to help depression. The fact that I kept up the Pilates (only cancelled one class when my stomach rebelled and I got the runs) I think helped, too, to keep me from falling all the way over the cliff:

Treatments such as exercise and stress reduction can help to manage both obesity and depression at the same time. Potentially, dieting, which can worsen mood, and antidepressants, which can cause weight gain, should be minimized.

I certainly minimized dieting. But that was effect, rather than proactive.

My Pilates instructor really stressed how she wanted me to get into some regular aerobic activity. She is very gung-ho that this will help regulate my mood. I'm sure it will help. I went for a very short walk, ran into neighbors, got into two conversations. Not much aerobic stuff, but I felt lighter in spirit just from chatting. I got to share another pack of my South Beach Living whole grain, high fiber tortillas with one neighbor, who loved them when I gave her a pack a few months ago. (I ordered by the case.)

I've spent time in the last couple days researching local therapists. We're gonna switch insurance (again, dang)in January due to employer decision. I'd like to see if they cover treatment for depression and eating disorders of the therapy sort, rather than the drug sort. I'd like to take advantage. If they don't, we'll have to find a way to pay out of pocket for at least one sesson a week. If it means one less Pilates session a week, then so be it. But like dear Lyn, I know I need to get that kind of help. I do think my mood issues are at root a huge part of my eating issues, and as the article states, we who have these problems need treatment that's coordinated, addressing both:

"The treatment of depression and obesity should be integrated," the authors conclude. "This way, healthcare providers are working together to treat both conditions, rather than each in isolation."

If you also suffer from depression issues that impact your obesity situation, see if your insurer (if you have one) can pay for you to visit a therapist that has experience with BOTH depression and obesity, or who will integrate with a nutritionist or other specialist to get a holistic approach. It's all related.

So, I'm struggling, but the moment when I got on my knees and asked my Creator for help made some change. Some would say it's not God, but rather simply my own internal voice or will determining change. Each will analyze it as they choose. Me...I believe it was God. For whatever reason, my cry got heard this time.

I know, intellectually, that I'd do well to get on my knees about this issue first thing every day. Consistency ain't my strong suit, sadly, but I saw a big change in my mood from THAT moment, so I'll honor God by believing He brought freshness and light into the stifling and dark threshold of a depressive episode.

I've dealt with depression for 40 years. You'd think I'd have a better system of coping mechanisms, know what to do right off to minimize the damage. But depression is a sneaky mother, and you wake up and all vim is gone, all vision is bleak, and strategy seems beyond you. Just goes to show how debilitating some things can be.

On, the happy side: Clementines have been lovely. I wouldn't be surprised if those sweet babies have been therapeutic. Not just the vitamin C and all, but that bright, bursting sweetness. Man, go and have some clenmentines today. Don't miss this gift nature offers. Yum.

And for all those who left comments asking about me, thanks. I apologize for disappearing this month, but I am so grateful to be remembered.

Be happy today! Eat well. Move. Pray. Laugh. Sing. Dance. Give a gift to someone. Call a pal. BE HAPPY!

A few verses on joy to close out:

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24 NIV

…let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
I Chronicles 16:10-11 NIV

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
John 15:11 KJV


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rocco's BIGGEST LOSER Recipes

If you want to try the recipes Rocco (Gosh, he's cute!) offered TBL contestants, here ya go:

Rocco's Recipes

The "Chicken Alfredo" is calling my name.

Dragonfire Factoid: Fat? Your Heart Will Attack Earlier and Your Pancreas Give Out Sooner!

A study of more than 111,000 people has shown that overweight people have heart attacks on average 12 years earlier than "normal weight" individuals. This makes obesity worse for the heart than smoking, according to this study...

Dr. Peter McCullough, lead author of the study published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, analyzed data from a nationwide U.S. registry of people hospitalized for heart attack and unstable angina, or chest pain, from 2001 to 2007. They were grouped according to their BMI (Body Mass Index). Here's how the numbers break down:

* The heaviest people were an average of 59 years old when they had their heart attacks (average weight 280 pounds).
* That compares to an average age of 75 for the lightest group (average weight 103 pounds). Those in the "normal weight" category averaged 71 years (average weight 142 pounds)
* The rate of diabetes was 17 per cent in the leanest group, and 49 per cent in the most obese.
--from Diet Blog's "Obese Have Heart Attacks 12 Years Earlier?"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Reality Check for Fatfighters: It Never Will Be Easy; The THINKING has to change the BEING to allow a NEW BECOMING.

You probably already know how marvelous a blogger Lyn of Escape from Obesity is. She lost 60 lbs with sensible diet and exercise methods: the healthy way. And she's one I tend to check in with frequently--and always when I'm especially struggling or need motivation or a recipe or hope. Even when some of her weight crept back and old habits popped up to bedevil her, she's refusing to give up. I like this.

Today, she gave us a reality check we all need. It doesn't get easy. It stays hard--whether losing or maintaining. This from today's post from Lyn about how we must learn to adapt, change, and THINK about exercise and food:

It is essential that I not only lift weights, but that I *become* a Person Who Lifts Weights. It has to be who I am. Not that I am going into professional body-building, but that it has to be part of who I am, just as much as I am a Mom Who Loves Her Kids and a Lady Who Cooks. We all have many facets, but there is a huge difference between having a task you do for a time, and hate it... and being a person who does something because it is part of who you are. If I hate my bike and always think, "ugh, I have to exercise, this SUCKS but I have to get the weight off," I am going to QUIT biking when I get the weight off, and I am going to gain it back. Period. So I have to either a) embrace the biking and be a Woman Who Bikes, or b) give it up and find a difference form of exercise that I can truly embrace.

Similarly, I have to be a Woman Who Eats Vegetables, and not just a fat woman who is eating a salad to lose weight but really wants to binge on candy bars. Some people say it's "thinking like a thin person" which may be true. If I *am* a thin person someday, I cannot keep thinking like a fat person or I will gain back the weight.

Yeah. It's true. Vigilance can't be slackened, and that's especially true with thought patterns and ways of perceiving oneself and one's life and one's mission. I know it.

I was .2 lbs from losing all that I had regained after the August challenge. I was at 270.4 a few days back, and my challenge weigh-in on September 1st was 270.2. So close to cracking into the 260's.

Well, the last four days have had me binge twice at night (and I have a lot of zits the last week, so I'm thinking this is a hormonal bit of craziness). Today, I was awakened by a BOOM! 2 hours after going to bed. Turns out it was a police team blowing up the door of a neighbor behind us (across the alley on a street that's one block away from City Hall and the police station, for pete's sake). C4 on the door. He was dealing drugs.

The BOOM! woke up hubby and me and our neighbors. I peeked out and saw a flak-dressed cop with helmet and I went right back inside and took cover. Later on, I asked the policemen watching the alley if hubby could get the car out and go to work. They said sure, all's safe.


The neighborhood used to be so peaceful, safe, and full of really nice people. You could walk at night.

No more.

So, I ended up not getting rest (who could sleep with all the adrenaline) and I didn't eat (tried to nap before Pilates). As a result, my workout suffered. No food and no rest= rather sucky muscular effort.

I was tempted to stress binge, but I went and bought a skim milk latte and a chicken and brown rice with salsa bowl for ..er..brunch? I visited the market for fruits and veggies. I just need to get my mental mojo going for dinner.

Point being, I'm trying to think like Lyn suggests---I'm a woman who doesn't emotionally binge. I'm a woman who eats lots of fruits and veggies. I'm a woman who chooses better take-out meals. I'm a woman who loves to exercise. I'm a woman who learns to cope with surprises and stressors.

It's thinking comes first, and that leads to action.

We all have to become something new if we want to change and keep changing and hold on to the changes.

It's never gonna be simple. It's never gonna be easy.

And if you doubt that, go see how easy it is for champion fatfighters to regain. Visit some recent posts by Lyn and this week's posts by Jennette, who lost half her weight. We've seen the lovely and sweet Chubby Chick lose a chunk of adiposity and regain. It's hard. Hard. Hard.

But I also take heart when fatfighters don't give up, when they get back on the program and work harder to recapture lost ground.

Hooray! It's nice to have role models who are open, honest, and show that no one has to stay down. Or would that be stay UP, numbers-wise?

Happy Wednesday. Onward and DOWNWARD!