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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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Friday, January 30, 2009

Princess Pics: Yeah, I'm Really THIS Fat!

I was on my way to Pilates today, wearing my Danskin bootcut pants instead of my capris or shorts due to changing weather (cold front moving in). I had one of my various formish-fitting Old Navy tops for working out: This one a purple racerback that's very comfy. I was used to wearing baggy stuff before I started Pilates. But they recommended form fitting clothing so they can see the muscle contractions, movements, etc. My hair was not so fresh (hadn't washed it in a week), so I clipped it high and back. I cheered myself up a bit by wearing my fave plum lipstick("Craving" by MAC).

Decided to take a pic.

Why?

I'm one of those people who SEES herself thinner in mirrors. It's freaky, but I do. My brain tries to ease the pain, I guess. As a result, I'm always shocked when I see pics on a camera phone or a snapshot and am unequivocably confronted with just how BIG BIG BIG I am.

So, I asked hubby, who was off today, to snap a pic of me with my fat arms uncovered and big belly pushing its unattractive roundness in a shameless display.

Yeah. It's hard to look at. I always get that little horrified spasm when I see my pics. You know, I need that shock. I need it to stay on top of REALITY and not the soft focus version my brain wants to see. Reality is that I'm a grossly large lady. Plus gros.

Okay, so, here's the pic, The Princess in her workout wear in the yard (and that's our poor battered gardenia bush behind me,the one that was sheared in half, then sheared again in hurricanes past):



And, angled to display that belly bulge even better:



I'm a roly poly gal, aren't I? And that's after six and a half months of working out hard. Try to imagine the even rolier and polier squishiness prior to Pilates. Yes, shudder at the image.

Anyway, here's some of my accountability. What a soon-to-be 49 year-old woman looks like when she lets herself go way up into the 270's (and even higher previously).

Lots of room for improvement.

And I think I'm in a hormonal surge time. I've been weepy, though not depressed. Things get to me, like sad news or a touching story--been bawling. Was exercising hard today, and I just started burbling in the middle of some leg lifts (with a band tied around my thighs to make it extra challenging). I just lost it. I kept lifting/kicking, funnily enough, concentrating on the core and keeping the ribs in and stomach contracted and upper ribs just so and so much weight on the arm, etc. And burbling. Tears hitting the mat. Trainer is a bit alarmed, and assures me I'm doing great, even better and stronger than a skinny gal half my age who worked out earlier. I say, "But I feel like I'm struggling so hard." She says, "Cause I'm pushing you, working you to your limits. I'm not letting you take breaks. You're supposed to find it really hard."

I kept going. I finished, but I felt a little silly for being a bawling baby. Then I came home and heard a touching story on the radio and started bawling again. Hubby hugs me and says, "Yeah, get it out. You're having one of those emotional days, huh?"

I'm fine. I'm chipper. But I guess getting my period after a five month absence is really making my tear ducts go into overdrive. :)

I have no idea what the point of all that was, except perhaps that working out hard as heck is good, even if you cry about it, and seeing tough-to-look-at pics is good, even if you want to cry about it, because we shouldn't lie to ourselves.

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What Successful Maintainers Do..and a Shout-Out To Rosy of Canada

I want to thank Rosy of Canada, author of BREAKIN' FREE for commenting on my previous post. I'm glad you got a chance to clarify things and offer your point of view. I think that your desire to inspire is a beautiful thing. Keep doing it!

And since the subject was about maintaining (or rather, how hard it is to maintain fat loss and how few do), here are some things that successful maintainers of weight loss have in common:

Based on data from more than 7,000 people, Wing says there are few similarities in how people lose weight. But those who succeed in maintenance sing the same song.

Instead of trying to eat less for the rest of their lives to bridge the energy gap, these people exercise more. They typically spend an hour or more each day in aerobic exercise and strictly limit time spent watching television.

Physical activity, in ways that researchers don’t really understand, influences some of the biological systems that promote weight regain, encouraging the body to become more sensitive to leptin and insulin, for example.

“Everyone thinks exercise is about burning calories,” Fujioka says. “But you are actually returning the system to more like what it should be. Things start working again.”

The successful maintainers also change what they eat: The registry found that they keep their calories in careful balance with what they expend – religiously referring to calorie charts and writing down everything they consume. They also tend to eat low-fat foods.
--from "Why It's Hard To Maintain Weight Loss"

One thing that Rosy has in her favor is that she has focused a lot on exercising--on working out, getting fit, not just getting thin. And her ongoing success will depend on that focus on exercise, as it has for those The Biggest Loser winners/contestants who kept it off. They kept exercising along with watching calories.

The whole metabolic/obesity physiology is complex, as the constant stream of studies show. Once you become obese, you set yourself up for a lifetime of struggle, and that's just how it is. But exercise does seem to be key, and I can admit freely that when I got sick and was stuck in bed most of the time and was totally sedentary for years and years, I piled it on bigtime.

Now, I'm moderately active (nowhere near daily). And I have not lost, because I'm still not moderating the intake as much as I need to. I know for me to win this battle, I have to move MORE and build more muscle, and I need to eat less and better. The equation stands. Calories used have to be more than calories eaten. Way more.

As much as I'm proud of doing my 1 hour of strenuous strength-training and flexibility work 3x a week with my trainer, I'm not proud that on the other days, I'm still my mostly sedentary self. And although I've moderated my intake enough not to have regained all plus more (the general pattern of dieters), I am still undisciplined. I ignore the things I know I should do in favor of what is easy.

I'll let the doctors and researchers figure out ways to help us work around the hormones and systems in the body that favor fat, that wants to keep us roly-poly. I can only work on my own systems and processes that keep me fat, and that's enough work for a half dozen folks.

But yeah, I think exercise cannot be emphasized enough, because of its manifold benefits and the fact that it's another discipline, another "do it for your own good," a better habit. Just like eating less. We may not want to do it, but you can't really leave it out and succeed at being healthier and leaner.

So, Rosy, thanks for showing off your muscles to inspire. Those are some mighty arms you've got!
~

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Should Big Losers Wait Before Writing The Diet Memoir or How To Lose Book?

Read an interesting article just now about people who lose weight and are looked at as role models or inspirations, then have a hard time keeping it off. And I'm not just talking about The Biggest Loser contestants. The article includes folks who lost weight and wrote books, WW meeting leaders, etc, who regained after "doing it!"

I can understand how this would be a shame-inducing and stressful thing. Way back when, there was a lady named Neva Coyle who wrote a Christian-message diet book: Free to Be Thin. It was very popular in religious circles. She wrote other books that had to do with this topic, and she started Overeaters Victorious (at least I think that was the name of the diet group she founded). I had three of her books, including FTBT and its workbook, and another that came out years later that she co-authored with a dietitian.

Turns out, Neva regained the weight. Had bariatric surgery, but kept it secret. Had health issues and had to reverse the surgery. Regained. Came clean. And her career as a religious diet leader was kaput. (Heck, even I felt like it was major cheating to have surgery and not own up to it.) I think she went on to write inspirational and fiction type books. I have no idea what she's up to these days. You just don't hear about her.

Regaining is a spotlight problem. We've seen it with Carnie Wilson, Kirstie Alley, Randy Jackson, Oprah, Janet Jackson, even Al Roker is not looking as sleek as his peak loss post-baratric surgery days. Richard Simmons is plumper than his peak slender days. (And this week, Jessica Simpson's being blasted for gaining, what, ten pounds, fifteen, after having gotten Daisy Duke superskinny? Puhlease, people. She's not fat. She's just not a size 2.)

We know about Matt and Suzy regaining chunks of fat post TBL. And the first winner, Ryan, regaining it ALL. The article features one TBL contestant who lost 100 lbs after leaving the show, but wouldn't accept an invitation to the reunion show, cause she was back up to 200 lbs.

Happens. Has to hurt. Has to hurt more if you're a role model.

And this came to mind to me today after reading a blog by a gal named Rosy in Canada who lost an amazing amount of weight in 12 months and totally remade her physique with exercise and dieting. She looks fabulous, and her slideshow of month-to-month changes is astounding. And she now is promoting her book (self-published) about her transformation from a flabby 275 to a muscular 125, called Breakin' Free.

I wish Rosy the best. I really do. But note on her blog that there is an entry when you scroll down where she related gaining back some weight. (She may have lost it since, but I didn't see any mention of it on the blog.)The book may be obsolete in a year or more, unless she can maintain her fabulous achievement. When you sell your weight loss story, it becomes uninspiring if you get fat again, right?

Maintenance is all after you've written the inspiring tale: And that's a whole other journey--that doesn't end.

And we've all seen bloggers who struggle, regain, struggle more, maybe lose, maybe don't. I've lost some, then got stuck, then regained, then lost a bit, gained, got stuck. I'm no inspiration to anyone, I can tell you. I'm just trying to keep my head above water until I can unstick again. I just don't want to go back to the big 300.

It just goes to show that while losing weight is supertough, what happens after reaching goal weight: It's not easy either. It stays crazy hard. It may be harder, cause you don't see the number go down as a sort of ongoing encouragement. You're working to keep it THE SAME. Less of a carrot, more of a "stick"--as in stick that scale on a numeral.

So, what about those books?

Well, I can understand wanting to take advantage of The Moment--the achievement, the offers, the opportunity to share and make some moolah. Who wouldn't want a nice cash advance? And the diet industry is always coming out with the new book and new hook. Yesterday's memoir or how-to is forgotten (unless the authors manage to make a real company out of it that stokes the phenomenon of it with products, like the South Beach or Zone or Suzanne Somers or Atkins or workshops and cruises and spa weekends, etc). A following that keeps the diet machine going makes for very wealthy diet creators and spokespersons. Can we blame them for wanting to keep it going?

But, generally, a lot of those less-than-ginormous diet books become remainders and end up being out-of-printers sold for a buck on ebay or amazon.com.

Remember Neva Coyle? Bet you don't. Yeah. All those diet books of hers are out of print and irrelevant to the ongoing diet book industry. She could not maintain the weight loss mojo. She could not...maintain.

I do wonder who among the current crop of fatfighting bloggers will get the weight off and will keep it off, maybe even become the Diet Divas of the future. Interesting to consider. Frankly, I'd love it to be ME. :) Not the diva part. Just the lose it all and keep it all off part. Honestly, we could have a breakthrough star in the making, destined to be seen on TV and have their imprimatur on diet products and exercise gear, with a huge site on the internet a la TBL or Dr. Oz. (Let's hope not a neo-Kimkins.)

I hope we all manage to lose and get healthy. Even if we never make it to Divahood or the ideal weight. If we can keep 50 lbs off, or 30, or 70, even if not ALL the weight, we'll do ourselves a favor and be winners.

As the article says, it's a greater achievement to lose 30 and keep it off for ten years, than lose 80 and only keep it off for seven month.

But it's still so exciting to see a transformation like Rosy's. See those pounds go and muscles come in month-to-month installments.

A life has a lot of months (well, if we're fortunate). If you lose 2 pounds this month, and you keep it off, you've won something a lot of folks don't. So, if you get discouraged about only losing 1 or 2 or 4 pounds in a month, concentrate on them not coming back (and Lordy, is that hard). Cause that's the sort of training that you'll need for life. Not losing 10 in a month to get it back in six months. No, just keep those 4 pounds off and you're making huge progress.

It's what I have to learn. I keep my eye on that "by and by" number I long for, and then I lose ground by regaining the five or six or more pounds I worked so hard to lose. That's how we end up failing, all 98% of us regainers. We just think about the far off ideal, and forget that today, it's all about NOT gaining at minimum and losing at maximum. That holding still is a type of victory, and it takes work, doesn't it? Yes, it's not nothing, it's something, even if it doesn't look or feel like it.

Dang, I'm rambling. Sorry.

But do read the article.

~~

TBL's Daniel Gives Thumbs Up to WINNING FRIED CHICKEN Recipe

So, here it is. I intend to try it out:

WINNING FRIED CHICKEN

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Got Three--yes, THREE--Minutes to Exercise Away Diabetes? Of course, you do!


If you are obese, your risk of diabetes is not insignificant. Right now, the epidemic of obesity and the crazy rise of type II diabetes go hand in hand. Has your doc told you you have insulin resistance or Metabolic Syndrome (previously known as Syndrome X)? Then you're at risk for diabetes. Is your BMI through the roof? Yep, you might get diabetes. If it runs in your family (and your family runs large, to boot), watch out.

But you can take one very non-time-consuming step--or steps--to improve the odds you DO NOT get this nasty disease.

Got three minutes?

I gotta say, almost no one has an excuse for not exercising THREE INTENSE MINUTES every or every other day. None. Not one. I don't care how busy we claim to be, we can find 3 minutes a day. If you can't, you're just lazy. If I can't, I'm just a layabout sloth-monkey.

It's the truth. Everyone has there minutes. EVERYONE. If the busiest man in the country (President Obama) can find time to exercise, the rest of us got no excuse not to for at least a few minutes a day.

Come on. Who're you kidding if you say no? Yourself. Only you.

So, why do I keep saying THREE MINUTES?

Here's why:
As little as three minutes of high-intensity exercise every other day may help sedentary people ward off diabetes, results of a small clinical study suggested.

Two weeks of brief episodes of high-intensity training led to significant (P<0.01 to P<0.001) improvement in multiple parameters of blood glucose and insulin action in healthy volunteers, James A. Timmons, of Heriot-Watt University here, and colleagues reported online in BMC Endocrine Disorders.

The six training sessions lasted a total of 15 minutes.

"The efficacy of a high-intensity exercise protocol, involving only about 250 kcal of work each week, to substantially improve insulin action in young sedentary subjects is remarkable," the authors concluded.

"This novel time-efficient training paradigm can be used as a strategy to reduce metabolic risk factors in young and middle-aged sedentary populations who otherwise would not adhere to time-consuming traditional aerobic exercise regimes," they said.
--from the article "Brief But Intense Exercise May Thwart Diabetes" (Do read the whole article for context.)

Here is how the exercise was structured, from a different article, emphases mine:

Timmons and his team showed that just seven minutes of exercise each week helped a group of 16 men in their early twenties control their insulin.

The volunteers, who were relatively out of shape but otherwise healthy, rode an exercise bike four times daily in 30 second spurts two days a week.

After two weeks, the young men had a 23 percent improvement in how effectively their body used insulin to clear glucose, or blood sugar, from the blood stream, Timmons said.

The effect appears to last up to 10 days after the last round of exercise, he added in a telephone interview
.

In the study, the interval training at that intensive level was supervised. But what it proves is that in a very short time, two weeks, people improved their sensitivity to insulin. If they can do that in two weeks with about 15 minutes TOTAL of exercise in those fourteen days, what can you do with 15 minutes of vigorous exercise daily, or thirty, even when broken down into spurts of minutes? Say, five in the morning, five in the afternoon, five at night. Or ten, ten, ten?

Think about it. Wow.

If it seems overwhelming to start being active, then take heart from this study--and start with THREE MINUTES a couple times a week. Try every other day, if daily makes you wary. Start there. Work really hard (if it's intensive, we're probably talking in the upper range of your target heart rate, not just slightly breathing hard. We're talking breathing really hard!) Get your heart rate on an online calculater (read up on it and figure your best range for your age and resting rate). Try this one or this one.

You really need to learn your THR, so you know when you're up in a zone that's "intensive" and aerobic.

Anyway, consider this new study a clarion call to activity if you've been sedentary and are a overweight/obese/superobese. NOTE: Talk to you doctor FIRST, ALWAYS, to make sure you're okay to start an exercise regimen, especially if you already have some condition. That's very important. Get the A-Okay.

But even before you get the A-okay, start learning what you need to ONLINE, so that when the doc says "Go!" you really can GO. :)

Happy (active) Wednesday!

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Cramps Sucks, But One Hopes An Organic Food Co-Op Does Not :)

I hadn't had a period since August of last year. So, I made an appt for my first gyno exam in YEARS--I know, my bad--for next Tuesday.

Guess what?

Yah. My errant period decided it wanted to come...yesterday. With major killer cramps. It was like being 17 all over again, back when each month brought is day or two of weeping and taking painkillers and lying in the dark with a heating pad. With the occasional rush to the bathroom for all the Number Twos that those cramps push out.

Even my husband got spooked from all my moaning, and tried to comfort me, only to have me holler at him, "I NEED ALLEVE! NOW!!!"

He had to go out at 9 PM last night to CVS and buy some. Why? I'm not someone prone to bad enough pains to warrant keeping track of analgesics. The lone bottle of Tylenol had expired in 2006 and the Motrin I got after dental surgery a couple years ago was nowhere to be found.

I am now the owner of a bottle of Motrin, a big one of Alleve, and one of Tylenol. I'm set for next month or whenever Aunt Flo wants to come be a fricken b*&^% again.

So, lovely. I'm about to head to Pilates with a squishy uterus and a sore abdomen (both from Monday's workout, which was a toughie, and from all that cramping). But I am going. I missed too many workouts those weeks I was ill, and if we have to work around my ouchie ladybits, so be it.

Now, to a happier subject: The organic foods delivery service that I was using last year--and that got hit with economic woes and shut down--well, the lady who ran that is starting up an organic food co-op. A box of 35 pounds of fresh, organic produce will be about $45. I decided to sign up. While I prefer choosing what I get (instead of a "surprise"), and while I miss the convenience of having my groceries brought to me, this is an option that at least makes sure I get a certain amount of really good quality organic fruits and veggies. I did much better in my eating when I had the organic groceries delivered. This is one step to getting back to that.

I'm also committed to trying more of the farmer's markets around town. Josh's in Hollywood was great, but they are a Sunday market, and Sundays are tough when there's church and family stuff. Saturdays suit me better. I have a few I can check out.

Anyone have experience with a CSA or an organic food co-op? How about in South Florida?

Let me know how it went or how it goes. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not Impressed by Five Pound Loss of Recent Diet/Exercise vs Relaxation Study

While I totally believe that stress screws your body and mind up, and destressing and learning to do things that involve quietness and meditation are healthful (they prove so to me), I can't get too excited about that study recently reported all over the diet world online. You may have heard about it, the one that says that destressing with meditation and Yoga and such is better for weight loss than diet and exercise.

The destressors kept off the five pound weight loss for two years, while the nutrition info and the diet/exercise groups didn't lose or keep off.

When you're big like me and five pounds barely registers, this is not big news. If the women in the study had lost and kept off 25+ pounds (just with destressing), I might perk up.

But I've struggled to keep off 25 lbs. I had lost 29, then regained, then lost, then regained a bit, then lost. After my last bout with asthma (3.5 weeks of ickiness), I'm up again. For me, 25 pounds is an ongoing battleground. Makes me nuts. So, excuse me if a five pound loss after two years doesn't make me go yippee for Yoga.

Five pounds. This is gonna solve the obesity epidemic? I think not.

I still think that it's a holistic thing that's gonna get us there--ie, dealing with sedentary habits and moving into movement; dealing with excess calories and outsized portions and learning to eat less; cutting down or out the junk and non-nutritive foods and snacks and focusing on whole and clean foods; working with internal/emotional issues and learning how to tap into the self-control we all have to some extent; tapping into our spiritual power (if we believe in such); creating support systems in and even beyond our family/friendship circles; committing to a lifestyle change that is lifelong; changing the societal landscape so that it is fashioned and structured to support healthful living; encouraging employers to make room for exercise at work and offer healthful snacks instead of junk on the jobsites; incorporating stress management techniques; eliminating all junk from schools; adding penalty taxes to junk foods and using that money to offset health care costs for obesity; tax deductions for gym memberships and buying at-home health gear (bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, etc); making health a top family and personal priority for life.

Destressing, as you see, imo is part of that holistic approach. But without diet and exercise and support, etc, I'm sorry, the very overweight and obese and superobese can't be satisfied with losing five pounds doing yoga. That's not gonna cut it.

So, I'll take the study for what it's worth. Yes, I'll continue to incorporate mind-body/destressing times and activities into my life. But that will not solve my obesity problem--or the nation's. Or the world's. Life is stressful, no matter what we do. Destressing helps, but when you'r mom is dying or your husband leaves you or your kid gets a major illness, or your car is totalled or your country is at war or your house is foreclosed on or someone robs you at gunpoint or a hurricane is coming--stress is hard to eradicate. I think the researchers who de-emphasize or pooh-pooh (or seem to) the role of diet and exercise ain't helping us as much as they might think.

They probably just make us worry about destressing enough. :)

What Do TBL and Diet Tribe Have In Common Besides Diet and Exercise?

While watching Diet Tribe tonight, it struck me again that Morgan had gastric bypass, though she never got below 255 lbs, and she regained weight. And that reminded me of Ron from The Biggest Loser, who had bariatric surgery...and I guess regained, too? Not sure, as I missed a whole buncha episodes.

I wonder if we're gonna start seeing a lot of WLS regainers on these diet shows now. Hmm.

~~

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Trying to Add More Activity Into My Life:
A State Park Stroll and Swimming is Next

Since I'm still struggling so badly with the caloric containment, I figure I ought to at least work on increasing the movement aspect. I have strength training and flexibility going well with my 3x a week Pilates personal training. I definitely feel stronger and my muscles are firmer.

After nearly 2 decades of being a total couch potato--from bed to chair to sofa to bed, with maybe a few hundred steps taken a day, unless I had errands to run--this is a wonderful difference. I don't want to lose the habit of moving. I know, from all the stats, that I need to move more. Obese folks who are serious about losing fat and keeping weight off tend to have to exercise MORE than normal. That means an hour or more five or more days a week. I'm up to three.

I need more.

The big, fat gaping hole in my exercise plan is not my mouth, it's cardio. I am not working on the sort of movement that gets the heart up to target zone and keeps it there long enough to really get the heart strong. As a person at risk of heart attack and stroke, I need to do that. NEED, not necessarily want.

The main obstacle has been and is my bum left knee, and now my recently-becoming bum right one, and possibly early arthritic left hip (it aches a lot and requires mucho stretching mornings). Being fat is murder on one's lower body joints. Just wears those babies out. Doing anything that requires walking, stepping, etc, in any sort of brisk pace scares me. I do not want to be injured and off my feet.

Fear aside, I did get in about 2 hours of strolling on Saturday. My sis, hubby and I went to Oleta River State Park, which is close to my house. Less than a five-minute drive. I've lived in this neighborhood 11 years and never have visited. That's cause I never was trying to be active, and this is a park frequented by "mountain" bikers, hikers, nature enthusiasts, kayakers and the such. But we went, walked around to see if it would be a good place for my birthday party next month. In all, I was on my feet and moving for a little over two hours, but not at a cardio pace. Still, I was quite happy to get some fresh air, sun, dip my hands into a creek, walk along the small beach, smell the barbecue from assorted family parties, and catch sight of vultures, hawks, seagulls, pelicans (including one curious one with "blonde" feathers on his head), other birds I don't know by name, and, best of all, no snakes or gators. :D When one is obese, any activity is a plus. Saturday was an activity plus for me.

It's also my first outing in shorts (other than for a quick to/fro to my Pilates) in a long, long time. Behold a morbidly obese, middle-aged woman with a gargantuan messenger bag:



My junior high nickname was "Red." My love of red has not abated, as you can see.

As I normally avoid cameras, it must have seemed odd to my hubby that I was like, "Take a pic for the blog!" I said, "Do I look stupid?" He said, "No, you look very happy." I said, "I AM HAPPY!"

I was, too. Which must mean that the funk that was brewing was more related to the stress of having been ill for weeks, rather than a real depression. It has been lifting, off and way. Hurrah! (I am still sleeping 12 hours, so it's not completely gone, or I'm not completely over the physical draining of the illness. Either way, it's a good sign that I can feel happy.)

Back to "being active":

I did a brave, brave thing. Yes, I ordered two bathing suits. Whoa. And goggles. And a swim cap, which will guarantee I'll be the dorkiest swimmer in the city.

There's a pool one block away I've never used. I figure I might try to just paddle around for 20 to 30 mins a couple times a week (when the chill passes) and get my heart rate up without taxing my knees and hip. I haven't been in a pool in more than 20 years. I'm a little anxious about it, especially being in a suit in public. Ick.

I remember when I wouldn't go out without sleeves. Last year, I got over that and have worn a lot of sleeveless camisoles and empire tops out. I did it at first just cause I was exercising and it was my workout wear for Pilates. Later, it was my way of staying cool during hot flashes. Now, while I am still not fully comfortable with my fat flappy arms being exposed, I got over the terror of doing it. One step...

Some of my goals for overcoming fears for the year are water-related: 1. learn to swim properly, rather than just barely/poorly 2. to get over my fear of doing activities on the water, like canoeing or kayaking and 3. to lose enough weight to fit into a kayak so I can get over that fear and 4 to lose enough weight that I can fearlessly wear a skirtless bathing suit.

I've lived in the Sunshine State for 35 years come June, and I really should get to the point where I can take advantage of all this sun and water.

Dontcha think?

What brave thing will you do this year that your fat has kept you from doing?

Let's work toward it!
~~

Bummer. Supreme Protein Bars on Recall List

Yeah. My yummy peanut butter crunch low-carb bars are recalled. I checked their list of lot numbers and mine was there. Check for your lot number.

On the plus side, I can get get a refund or replacement. I filled out the form, cut out the little lot number/sell-by date part of the wrapper, and I requested a replacement of the uneatern 7 bars ( of the dozen I bought).

Please stay up on what products should not be eaten. It's not worth risking disease to eat a candy or protein bar.

~~

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Changes that Become Habits that Add Up

I very much like Lyn's post today. She clearly shows by her own life's examples how she made changes that added up to weight loss. It's a post I needed to read because I have been so down on myself for losing focus and will.

I stopped to consider that I HAVE made changes and I DO feel better and I am wearing a smaller size and my sugar is in control and I'm exercising regularly and vigorously 3x a week for months and months (after years of total inactivity).

I have made some changes and those have kept me from regaining all the poundage I lost. I need to make more changes to lose MORE, yes. But if I made some changes, I can make others. I can gain groud.

Anyway, I recommend Lyn's practical and inspiring post, which includes this short list of tips:


Instead of seconds at dinner, you just take seconds of vegetables.
Instead of wasting ten minutes circling the parking lot for the closest space, you park far from the store and just WALK there.
Instead of asking your kids/husband/friend to bring the laundry upstairs for you, YOU do it.
Instead of putting whole milk on your cereal, you use skim.
Instead of watching TV all evening, you do some exercise and go to bed early.


~

Bloggy Recommendation: Heat Eat Review

I was browsing diet blogs for inspiration --so that I can stay on plan today, when, quite frankly, I want to eat a whole fricken pizza by myself. I ended up by circuitous route at a site that reviews convenience foods: frozen, canned, packaged.

Heat Eat Review

The reason I like it so much is that you can search by particular labels: by number of stars rated, by the brand name, by special type of diet (like Vegan or Kosher or corn-free), by Weight Watcher points (they start at 2 points and go up to 8 points), or by ingredients. Very cool. User friendly.

I really recommend you check them out if you're someone who incorporates convenience foods into your diet.

~~

Crazy Mad At Myself

I'm still fighting off the blues, but on top of that, I'm ticked off at myself for not being fully, utterly committed. I still am stuck in that cycle of eating relatively well for two meals and then going nuts during a third.

Usually, the nuts meal is dinner. Yesterday, it was lunch.

I had gotten myself a perfectly adequate turkey and swiss on multigrain sandwich for lunch after my Pilates class--which went well, as I was breathing so much better and could fully exert myself. Here I was, driving home, sandwich in tow, and--boom!-- I get this raging craving for something madly, Chinesely salty. I'm like this possessed person. So, I take a right when I spot a local Chinese eatery and got a takeaway: the pepper steak combo--that diet-destroying thing that comes with fried rice and an egg roll and soup.

Oh, man. I ate it all.

The poor sandwich was relegated to the fridge.

I felt really not great after. I had a hard time waking up, and ended up sleeping 13 hours.

And I woke up bloated and with dark circles under my eyes. I don't normally suffer from dark circles unless I have sinusitis or other nasal allergy flare-up. But I notice that eating a lot of Chinese food (sodium, MSG?) makes me get dark circles. Hmm.

So, I look like crap, feel like crap and am very pissed off at my total lack of self-control.

I don't know what switch in me has to be pushed, but clearly, I am not committed in my will as much as I am in my mind. My mind wakes up deciding to go, my will decides to be a promiscuous food whore.

I am not giving up, but I am wishing there was an easier way to flip that switch and get going on this.

So frustrated. But not surrendering.

~

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Are these safe: Supreme Protein Crunchy Peanut Butter Carb Conscious Bars

Anyone know if these have had a hint of being recalled? I've looked at assorted lists and articles online listing Keebler and Austin p.b. crackers, Clif Bars, Zone bars, King Nut, Lara Bars, etc, but I haven't seen Supreme Protein listed or mentioned. Still...I worry a bit.

This is the only peanut butter protein bar or snack I have at home, although I do have a fresh peanut butter product (apparently not an issue).

If ya hear, let me know, would you? These are not cheap bars, and they are so delicious, that I'd be loathe to toss them. I've eaten 4 bars without illness. Hm.

If you have peanut butter products in your house-- peanut butter crackers, bars, etc--please make sure to check the news and lists online and keep an ear open.

Hungry Girl's Alternative to Taco Bell's Crunchwrap Supreme

If you're a Crunchwrap enthusiast--I tried one last year, and thought it needed more filling for all that wrap, personally--here's a way to make a more diet-friendly one at home.

Mexican and Italian are my fave cuisines (and that with a sensitivity/allery to tomato, so I'm nuts, yeah).

Tips for Curtailing Take-Out Temptations

I'm a take-out/delivery fiend. It's one of my bad habits. If I prepare food myself, I do so much better than take-out or delivery. Menus have such tempting stuff.

But Chantel Hobbs has this tip for those with a stack of restaurant menus at home:

When ordering take-out, have your favorite menus handy and highlighted with the only selections that fit your nutrition program. When the food arrives, open the containers and take a separate plate and portion out your small meal, put the rest away for later.


I am going to have to take a more radical approach. I'm planning on taking that stack of our fave take-out places and just cutting out or sharpie-ing out all the stuff I MUST NOT HAVE. Leaving only the more healthful options.

If I think that's gonna use up too much of my Sharpie ink-- heh--I may type up a restaurant document in WORD and print it out. It will list the restaurant, address, phone number, and the stuff we SHOULD order (plus my hubby's faves, he of the limited food repertoire, so it's easy). That helps two of my excess problems--eating and clutter.

If you have take-out temptation issues, maybe one of these three options--highlighting the good, blacking out the bad, retyping the take-out info in a document that only gives you sound options--will help.

Happy Tuesday! (She says, still emotional from the inauguration ceremony...)

Catching Diet Tribe on On Demand

I caught Diet Tribe on Comcast On Demand. I'm enjoying it, especially the part with the therapist. It's cool that she was obese once, so she knows it's tough.

I have to say that Shawna is getting on my last nerve. I really want to well-up with empathy, but I'm watching her and have known gals like her--manipulative. The little girl voice saying the cutting thing so it doesn't seem like the cutting thing. The turning stuff so she's the center of attention. The girl may not even realize how manipulative and controlling and whiny and attention-seeking she is, but there it is. On my nerves.

On the other hand, I really like Megan. Her meeting with the therapist was really tough to hear, but she's eloquent and honest about her issues.

I do think the trainer had them doing stuff than no 280 pound woman should do--like the tire run and some other maneuvers that can only strain knees and ankles when said knees and ankles are carrying the weight of two people. I got so ticked at him when Morgan hurt herself. Good tv drama is not always good health-building--like with the drastic caloric curtailment and water pills some have used to make the TBL final weigh in lower.

On the happier side:

I got a serious yum-craving for those stuffed mushrooms Morgan made for their indoor picnic. Mushrooms and cheese--two of my favest things. I'm gonna get the fixings for them next time I shop. If you want the recipe--and it's 35 calories per stuffed mushroom--here it is: Four-Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms.

~

Monday, January 19, 2009

Getting Proactive and "Fruitful"

Although every bit of me wanted to nap, I got my car keys and went to CVS and treated myself to a lipstick and a lip gloss--both a super-cheery pinkish color-- and a woman's magazine and some sugarless Orbit gum.

Because of my slump, I ate crappy for lunch. I know, no excuse, but there you have it. I went for the full fat comfort food at KFC--original recipe two-piece white meat with mashies and cole slaw and corn and a biscuit. Yikes.

So, after CVS, I headed to Julio's Natural Foods and bought enough for three to four meals. I got lentil soup, a baked sweet potato, a mixed greens salad with olives and mozzarella with a balsamic vinaigrette on the side, brown rice, grilled veggie assortment, and a cucumber/yogurt salad with dill. I also got a quart of carrot juice, a quart of papaya and soymilk (which is nice for breakfast), and a quart of Green Goddess smoothie, which has celery/spinach/romaine/cucumber/cilantro/parsley/lime juice/fresh greeen apple juice all mixed together. I also got a 16 oz one with tropical fruits called Cancun. This way, I don't have to think about cooking. I don't have to vex about going to the grocery store. It's there when I'm hungry or thirsty.

Hubby is out of town, so it's me rattling around in the house, telling myself to buck up.

I'm gonna have some Cancun now.

Thanks for the encouraging comments. :*

Facing Down Another Funk

Sorry, y'all. I am trying hard here to face up to and battle another slide into the blue. Ironically, it was one year ago this month that I came out of a roughly 5 year long depression. I couldn't believe how good it felt to feel normal. It made it possible for me to start Pilates with some vim and hope.

This month, I'm feeling that flatness come again. Damn.

My head feels like it's full of fog, my joy has taken a dive, and I find it hard to do simple grooming. (I didn't wash my hair for 8 days just cause the prospect of blow-drying it was daunting.) Perhaps the weeks of allergies and asthma are the cause, and it's not really so much a clinical depression looming, but just my body stressed by illness. Could be. I hope. That means I'll return to normal soon.

I have no desire to do anything, not even blog, to be honest. I just want to go sleep--which is not good.

So, I went by the pool that's a block away to find out about water aerobics, hoping that adding more exercise (though I don't wanna) will help with the mood thing. Of course, it was closed. Holiday. Stupid me. :-/

Maybe I'll drop by tomorrow. I don't want to just sink into another dark epoch. Had enough of that.

But really, just typing this is making me feel tired.

Sucks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh, Man. I'm Hungry and Used Up All My Points

I'm about to hit another glass of water, cause I am feeling mighty peckish.

I had a sizable breakfast (egg white with spinach, mushroom, and red pepper frittata with cheese and apple juice),and a too large late lunch after Pilates--which was grueling, cause I'm still congested--and used up all my points. I just seemed to be this aching hole and instead of being satisfied with sandwich and veggies and soup, added on yogurt with fruit and granola and a latte.

I'm gonna try to ride it out a bit, but if it gets worse, I'll cave and have something light (ie, 200 to 300 cals) just so I don't have a total binge. Maybe some Cheerios and berries, so I don't have to fiddle with heating stuff up and smelling food smells.

Grrr. I hate when I don't spread the points out better.

I hope y'all were smarter than I was today.

I'm glad I exercised. :)
~

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

5 Diets, 5 Dieters: Diet Face Off

If you're curious about some of the most popular diets around, five dieters are trying them out at LiveStron.com's DIET FACE OFF. Here are the diets/eating plans being used:

Weight Waters
South Beach Supercharged
Flat Belly diet
Mediterranean Diet
Jillian Michaels' Making the Cut

The dieters have posted their starting stats and have been blogging about their experience using these plans. If your eating plan is not working for you, here's your chance to see what results other plans provide for fellow fatfighters.
~

Monday, January 12, 2009

On the Needfulness of Starting With Love and THE BIG SKINNY by Carol Lay

I've had a tough few days, breathing-wise, and as a consequence, eating wise. I've been wanting salt, and I have slacked off mywater, so I'm bloated as a result. (Time to guzzle water and coconut water.) Bleh.

But I decided not to get into that negative mindset that goes into attack mode: Why didn't you eat more potassium-rich foods, dummy? Why did you have to have that salty soup, idiot?

No, none of that.

Here's why:

Yes, I weighed myself this morning, and got bummed over the bloat-weight. BUT...

I was listening to the radio while getting ready to go to Pilates (my first class since over three weeks ago, when I stopped going due to my breathing issues.) I am still not completely well. I'm still congested. But instead of feeling like someone was sitting on my chest and strangling me, it feels like they got off my chest and just have their hands around my throat and pressing a bit. It's improvement, though hardly wonderful. But I figured if all I could do was stretch, then that's what we'd do. I felt all stiff from sitting/lying around for 3.5 weeks. So, I needed, NEEDED, to get some exercise/stretching.

So, back to my morning moment: I was listening to the radio show in the bathroom, one on a local Christian station, and a lady who got up to 350 pounds was talking about her personal journey. And she said that the thing that clicked, that got her to begin to shed the weight was realizing and accepting how very much she was loved. That even at 350 pounds, her husband loved her, and God loved her. Being fat or skinny has no effect on true love. It shouldn't.

Hearing that reminded me that even I don't have a right to hate myself. It's counterproductive.

I turned my thoughts toward the loving and positive. I asked God to help me through the day, and I prayed for a few other folks,too. I decided NOT to berate myself, but love myself TODAY. I refused to get on the self-insulting bandwagon.

Pilates went better than I expected. It was very hard--some positions didn't let me breathe, so we couldn't do some stuff. But my wonderful trainer is a pro at finding how to make stuff work, no matter the obstacle. I didn't get as tough as workout as when I'm well, and yet I got to the point of some muscles burning and trembling. And I got props for keeping my abdominals engaged. Tough when oxygen is at a premium and I had to use mouth-inbreathing (which is normally a no-no in Pilates).

Next, I come home and I put on Oprah. The show (just finished) was a follow-up to the Best Life week of shows. And Oprah, talking about her own weight loss journey of today, says, "It begins with love."

So that's two women with weight issues who both say this: START WITH LOVE.

Accept love--from God, from others, FROM YOURSELF. Give love, especially when you are hating yourself for whatever slip or bad choice. Don't ever hate on yourself (much less others). That doesn't help.

And love the body you have now, as Oprah said, because it's the body that God is blessing you in..now..today.

So, with that said, on to a book review:

Yesterday, I got myself a new "weight loss" book as a bit of motivation. I actually do find it motivating. It preempted a possible binge this pm (I was still insufficiently hydrated, and that thirst sensation was about to spur on some bad eating mojo.) But THE BIG SKINNY put a brake on it. (thank you, Carol Lay) It's a charming, amusing, practical, inspiring, friendly, useful book. It's done in comics strip/book style--all illustrated with writing in the panels--and it's just too cool. The author is honest about what worked for her, about the pitfalls, the saboteurs, exercise, whole foods, calorie counting, etc. She has a list of common foods and their calories, easy ways to eyeball measurements, shows the exercises she does, and displays in visual form how she fights off temptation.

I did a review for it for amazon just now.

If you like comic strips or comic books, I would really recommend this. Such fun. And so smartly done.

You know what, I recommend it even if you never have read a comic book in your life. Honestly.

Now, please be kind to yourself today. Be grateful for your body, yes that one. No matter how imperfect. It's the one in and through which you are blessed in so many ways. That's the body that lets you hug loved ones, the one that carried your kids (if you have 'em), the one that lets you swim or dance or make love or see the sky or smell the ocean or sing a song or savor a delicious cup of coffee. Your body is amazing, even if it's fat and mushy. Even if, like mine, it's medically defective. Yes, I can still do so much. And it can become BETTER, every day.

Love yourself, and go do something happy and healthful or that miracle-body of yours.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Honestly, Too Pooped To Blog Coherently

I only slept about 4 hours total last night--broken into 2 hours and 1.75 hours, with a restless break in-between when I read and stretched.

And I had to go to the doc. I am waiting for EIGHT prescriptions to be filled--and that's not all the prescriptions she gave me, just the ones I need now. One of my meds got switched for another.

I don't even know if I'm making sense. Heh.

:::slaps face to wake up:::

The cold front moved in (rain yesterday, glorious day today), so driving was nice in the lovely sunshine and cool air. My hair looks great with the low humidity--shiny and no frizz. Better yet, the change eased my breathing a bit. I'll take it. I did have to wear a mask from the house to the car, as The Door Guy is here fixing our broken front door. The paint smell, I don't need. I'm staying away from the yard and front areas.

My Pilates instructor has been so encouraging, despite me missing 3 weeks already. She said once I'm breathing okay and back at it, I'll regain strength fast. I choose to believe this. :) It keeps me hopeful.

Oh, and I ate too much Chinese at lunch. This is what comes of eating a too tiny breakfast (200 cals/4 points) out of fear of busting the scale at the doc's office. (I knew I'd weigh in heavier due to not sleeping enough--always happens.) I usually don't eat before I go to see my doc, but I was hungry. That'll teach me to go too long on too little fuel. Temptation is harder to fight.

But I'm gonna have my protein shake and fruit for a light supper and go to BED!!!!!!!!!! SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!! SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

Sleep is such a gorgeous, gorgeous thing.

So, until tomorrow, I wish you all a lovely "what's left of Thursday"... :)

~~~

PS: I keep getting this box asking for user and password as requested by Twitter.com. Anyone else getting that on Blogger. It's annoying. I removed my twitter widget.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

WW eTools Points Tracker is Kinda Fun!

My first day using my eTools Points Tracker. There's an activity tracker, but my activities today have pretty much been drinking water, doing nebulizer treatments of albuterol, making healthful meals, and watching tv/reading/peeing from all that water. And blogging. Lots of that.

It's sorta fun. Maybe in a week, it will seem like a drag. But for now...a toy!

I put in all my food, and I've had 19 points so far (which is like 950 cals). I had two moments today when I almost gave in to bad food--a wild 7 minutes of pizza craving, where I finally said NO enough times to mean it; and another wild moment when I almost called to have Chinese food delivered, and I don't mean steamed chicken and veggies, neigther. That "no" stuck, too.

So, I have a grilled balsamic chicken on an endive and watercress salad as the plan for dinner. I have 12 points left according to my tracker; though I will allow myself more, as 31 points can leave me hungry a lot of days, nuts hungry. 31 pts = about 1550 cals. I have no guilt issue with going up to 1800 or 1900. I just don't wanna go over 2000, really. If I can keep it to 1800 (36 pts), I'd be pleased as many fruit punches.

If you don't like doing WW in real life, try the online one. The tools are cool.

Anyway, my meals thus far:

Bkfst: I made my fave Easy Cheesy Eggie Veggies that I mentioned in a post earlier this week, but I put them in sprouted corn tortillas (organic) and added a bit of fire-roasted salsa on top. YUM! And only 7.5 points total, including a half cup of cranberry juice cocktail (those mini containers like in hospitals) that I had leftover from some Diet-To-Go meal from a few months back. Lots of water. Coffee. (I drink it not just for taste, but for the asthma benefits.) I saved part of the eggie veggies for a proteinish snack, but I never got hungry enough for one. Might just heat it up for tomorrow's brekky.

Lunch: A double-Gardenburger on Ezekiel bread sandwich with 2 slices of 2% cheddar. I had half of one of those glorious organic grapefruits I got Sunday at the farmer's market. Man, never had such yummy grapefruit. or at least, it feels that way in my mouth. :D Lots of water. Coffee. An ounce of tart cherry concentrate mixed with water (mmmm, nice and anti-inflammatory).

So far, not feeling ravenous. I am peckish now. It's clearly dinnertime. But I'm waiting on hubby.

Tomorrow, I see my doc (need more meds and an Rx for a mammo, for which I'm a tad overdue). And after my appointment, I plan to zip by the Fresh Market or, if I don't mind driving a bit farther (depending how the breathing goes and I feel) Whole Foods to replenish some of the veggies/fruits I ate up (zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, papaya, berries) and buy some chicken breasts and sliced cheese. Also need some egg whites.

Hope your Wednesday was healthful and happy. Toodles.
~~

Dr. Oz's Ultimate Health Checklist

A gazillion bloggers will probably put this up, but I want to also, in order to have it here, handy for me to read as needed. Or print as needed (no pics or funky code, just the list). If it helps you, too, then I am doubly happy:

DR. OZ'S ULTIMATE HEALTH CHECKLIST


1. Schedule a Check-Up. Dr. Oz told Oprah’s audience that people who have a family doctor are healthier, and pointed out that while many do not have health insurance, you can find free and government-funded access to quality health care providers.

2. Know the Five Ingredients to Avoid. Check food labels for this simple list of ingredients, and pass on foods that include them in the first five ingredients listed (meaning they are highest in concentration).

* High Fructose Corn Syrup
* Sugar
* “Enriched“
* Trans-fat (may be indicated by the word “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”)
* Saturated Fat

3. Add Healthy Foods to your Diet. Make an effort to meet these nutritional goals each day and week.

* 3 grams Omega-3 daily. Sources for this healthy fat are fish, soybeans, nuts, flaxseed and others.
* 5-7 servings of Antioxidants daily. Sources for this cancer-fighting agent are blueberries, red beans, pomegranates and pecans.
* 25 grams Fiber daily. You’ll want to chose whole-grain options, like brown rice and whole grain cereals and pastas.
* 1 Tbs. Olive Oil daily. Extra-virgin or regular olive oil both work. Dr. Oz suggests this is why the Mediterranean Diet is praised for working so well.

4. Take a Multi-Vitamin. This should be part of your daily routine. Here are Dr. Oz’s vitamin tips.

5. Know Your Numbers. At your check-up, learn these numbers, and make it a goal to optimize them.

* Waist size - measure at belly button, total inches should be less than half your height.
* Blood pressure - optimal is 115/75
* Cholesterol - LDL (bad) should be <100; HDL (good) should be >40
* Resting heart rate - <83 beats per minute (athletes average about 40)
* Blood sugar
* Vitamin D - find out if you have a deficiency. Darker skinned people are more susceptible.
* C-reactive protein
* Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)

6. Find a Health Advocate. Always bring a relative or a friend with you to the doctor to better understand your treatment.

7. Get Organized with Your Health Information. Keep updated copies of insurance, medical records, allergies, etc. so that you can play a more active role in your care and treatment.

8. Know the Medical Tests You Should Have. These will vary for men, women and by age, but talk with your doctor to learn if you need:

* Mammogram
* Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam
* Dental check-up (2x/year)
* Vision check-up (1x/2 years)
* Bone Density
* Hearing

9. Exercise. Dr. Oz wants us to keep our bodies actively moving, and recommends the following:

* Start walking. Aim for 10,000 steps per day, start with 30 minutes/day (about 3k steps)
* Elevate your heart rate for 60 minutes every week
* Flexibility 5 minutes/day
* Strength training 30 minutes/week

10. Sleep! Your body requires the rest that comes from a good night’s sleep. Practice these tips to catch your Zs:

* Get 7-8 hours sleep each night
* Keep the room dark and cool
* Create a routine
* Make the bedroom for sleep and sex only
* No caffeine four hours prior to bed
* Do not keep a TV in your bedroom
* Take a calcium and magnesium supplement


~~
hat tip to Diets in Review

The Human Body is Weird

Yeah, so I eat canned chili (salty) and cheese (salty) and 1000 calories too many yesterday, but I'm down a pound today to 275.2.

Hm. Maybe the coconut water I had with the onion soup helped balance the salt? Or all those fruits and veggies? (I had 8 servings yesterday).

Okay, so one week into the New Year, and I'm down 2.6 lbs. I'll take it.

And I'm logging on for the first time this year to my Weight Watchers etools account to find out about Momentum, their new system, that incorporates the best of both Core and Flex, keeps the points system, and adds a list of filling foods. Off I go...

~~

Still Not Able To Exercise..Grrr!

If you had told me a year ago that at some point I'd really miss exercising and I'd be totally antsy to get back to working out, I'd have laughed spittle upon your face in my uproar of incredulous glee.

Well, blow me down. I'm really, truly antsy to get back to my Pilates sessions.

But my respiratory system is not cooperating. :(

I'm taking forever to get over this episode of inflammation, despite lots of fluids, juices, and eating clean.

I think I can feel my muscles losing firmness! Nooooo!!!

I still covet prayers and good vibes.

~~

A Lot of Regain Among TBL Vets

I've stated it before, and it's worth reminding ourselves, that this is a lifelong battle. It does not end. Oprah is understanding this. And a lot of the veterans of THE BIGGEST LOSER are facing that, too.

MSNBC has a couple of interesting articles. If you're a fan of TBL, you may want to check these out, including the pics:


Did they keep it off? See TBL Contestants now...


Life After "Loser": "Every day is a struggle"

~

Drat--gooey setback

My breathing got worse Tuesday pm, and I got bummed, and I missed my afternoon snack (which helped so much on Monday), and went ballistic on supper.

How's that for a recap?

Anyway, at first, when I got hungry around 7pm, I was gonna just make a protein shake and be good, cause I was tired and wanted to go to bed early. So, I added a banana to my strawberry protein powder (for potassium, since I had a canned Amy's Vegetarian Chili over half a baked potato with guacamole and shredded cheese for lunch, lots of salt in canned foods and cheese) mixed with half milk, half water in blender.

As I was putting the milk back in the fridge, saw the leftover onion soup takeaway that had been there since Saturday. (When I have congestion issues, onion soup works way better for me than chicken.)

There it was--with gobs of cheese, with croutons.

Ah, damn. I heated it up and ate it.

Blew my points to hell.

Fell asleep on the couch from 10 pm to 1 am. Read a graphic novel (100 Bullets, vol 2). Am trying to get sleepy again. Am not eating. Not noshing. Not allowing self to even go in the kitchen.

I'm really disappointed about messing up what had been a sorta decent day.

Today is another day. I'll get a few hours shut-eye and then make a humongous note to EAT MY SNACKS and plan what I'll eat at suppertime and remember to accept being a little hungry (or a lot) if necessary.

Try and try again.

No wallowing in the dust.

I'm gonna have a bit of water now.

Nitey.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Quickie Notes on Oprah's Show 1/5/09

Some quotes and notes I scribbled down (probably imperfectly) while watching Oprah's show yesterday about her regain and her plan to get fit again:

"This is a problem in your life that will remain a problem in your life for the duration of your life."
-- Bob Greene

"Bottom line: you have to plan your meals."
--Oprah


"There's absolutely no way that I'm ever,ever going to maintain my weight without some regular cardio exercise...at least 30 minutes a day"
--Oprah


Oprah's exercise plan:
cardio for 30 mins a day
resistance training 5 days a week

Oprah's tools:
Best Life Diet Book
Posted meal plan in her kitchen
~~sample meals
~~~~Bkfst: egg whites, steel-cut oatmeal, green tea
~~~~Dinner: salmon, sweet potato, green vegetable(s)

She also has set aside time for her health and personal needs in her daily schedule.

Segment with Carnie Wilson: she now weighs 168, down 50 pounds in the last 6 months, and is expecting her second baby. And I must say, she looks absolutely, glowingly beautiful. Carnie said she had to get at the bottom of her own soul, asking "What do I really want?"

Bob also emphasized taking time and effort to get to the true answer to some some questions.

Fundamental Questions asked by Bob Greene in his Best Life Diet:

* Why are you overweight?
* Why do you want to lose weight?
* Why have you been unable to lose weight in the past?

~~

UPDATE: I love these questions--as a response to Bob's questions-- asked by Janice of Our Lady of Weight Loss!

Bible Bite: A Be-Attitude for Dieters and Giving Yourself a Gift on Three King's Day


Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied."
~~Luke 6:21


Yeah, I know that I'm taking this famous Beatitude out of context by making it about dieting, instead of the spiritual context of the Sermon on the Mount. But I think the Lord will understand. :) After all, gluttony is a sin, and the Word is there to teach us, to help us correct ourselves, to assist us as we work to overcome our weaknesses, right?

So...back to my appropriation of the Be-Attitude:

This was part of my devotion for yesterday. And I had to stop and consider it in MY current context--which is the one where I work to beat down my gorging inner beast.

Dieters are generally hungry. Most honest diet books admit it. Anytime you go from, say, 4000 or 6000 or 3000 or 8000 calories down to 2000 or 1600 or 1200, you will be hungry. (Yeah, I know the very low carb diets have an elimination of hunger through ketosis aspect, but most of us don't or won't or can't do that sort of eating.) Some, like Dr. Beck, make it clear that being a grown-up means putting up with hunger pangs until it's time to eat according to one's meal plan. Most diets offer tricks and strategies to get us to feel full on fewer calories, on better foods, because hunger sets us up for gorging.

We dieters will face hunger. It's just how it is.

We don't like to hear this, do we? We don't like to feel deprived, hungry, peckish. And it's not just about the body (though that wars against us). We want the emotional comfort and satisfaction of eating what we want, when we want, or a reasonable facsimile.

But dieting means some acceptance of being hungry.

If we--and that means mostly ME, right now--can accept that there really is a blessing in tolerating a current and ongoing suffering of periodic levels of hunger in order to achieve ongoing and later levels of better health and mobility (the grown-up reasons) and a more attractive physique (the shallower motivation), then I--and we-- can see that the latter blessing (health, beauty) are greater than the current pseudo-blessing of eating what we want, when we want.

Whoa, that was a keyboard-full.

Result of all this pondering? I went to bed Monday a little hungry. I was at 1700 calories, and if I had a meal, even a mini-meal, I'd bust the 1800 I was shooting for. So, I sucked it up and went to bed with that little pang in me.

I've awoken with an appetite, I can tell you. And the scale showed a downward move from yesterday by -.6 lbs. So, that puts me at 276.2 today.

This is Tuesday. This is my mindset right now: Let yourself be a little hungry.

It's probably a good mental adjustment for all of us with weight issues--but how can we hold on to it, how can we live with it? I dunno. I'm just putting this out there: When the pangs start hitting, and what we plan to eat is X --which is low-cal and healthful and as filling as reasonably possible--and what we want to eat is Y--which is excessive and non-healthful and gorgeful--let's call ourselves blessed if we choose the healthful way, even if it leaves us not totally satisfied NOW. There's a greater satisfaction coming. A greater blessing.

Today is the second Christmas for us in the Latin culture. It's Three Kings Day. We celebrate the arrival of the Magi to offer gifts to the one born in Bethlehem and born to be king. (None of the gifts were cakes, cookies or sweets, I might add. All valuable and useful and symbolically significant, but not fattening. Heh.) I used to wake up to gifts under my bed on this morning when I was little. The Christmas season ends today, the Twelfth Day of Christmas. The Feast of the Epiphany.

Hunger as a blessing is my epiphany this week. I hope I can hold onto this blessing.

And this is my gift: I am giving myself today is the gift of a day of healthful eating and of accepting the occasional twinges of hunger and unsatisfied cravings, so that I, the Roly-Poly Princess may one day find satisfaction in being the Slender Queen of my empire.

Be a Magi to yourself today. Give yourself something that enriches your moment or your week or your life. Maybe an inspirational book or a calming cd or just go outside and sing a song in the sunlight. Maybe just ten minutes of positive thoughs: be grateful for the gift of life. Write a love letter to someone you haven't appreciated enough with words. Donate to a food bank in your name, and eat less so someone can eat more.

Seek an epiphany of your own. Be quiet and consider yourself and your life and your habits. Is there something you can come to realize that will be of help to you in any way, small or great?

And let me know what gift you gave yourself and what epiphany you may have had...

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Queenly Quotes: Food Addiction--Just A Label

"A name is just a box we put ideas in. What matters is that I understand my relationship with food. Then I can start figuring out the consequences my environment, my thoughts, and my actions have on that relationship and make plans to manipulate these things to my best advantage. I don't know what the official definition of addiction is, though I could look it up on dictionary.com or the DMV-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). I don't know if what happens in my brain when there is leftover cake in the break room is the same thing that happens when an alcoholic is inside a liquor store or a smoker is inhaling second-hand smoke at a bar. It would be interesting to know, but I doubt it matters unless you're working on a cure for addiction. Right now I'm just trying to cope with the way I am. Giving my problems a name seems less relevant than managing them."
--by the Pasta Queen

~

New Bariatric Device Undergoing Human Trial

The following snippet is from "New Bariatric Device Doesn't Require Surgery, Can Be Removed"
Dr. Randal Baker, a local bariatric surgeon, said he and his partners are negotiating with three well-known companies who are bidding to buy the rights to the device he invented, the patented Full Sense Bariatric Device.

The two-section implement, made of silicone and nitinol, sits at the end of the esophagus and just inside the stomach. It is inserted through the mouth by a flexible tube called an endoscope and kept in place by three sutures. Baker said the pressure of the lightweight device is enough to convince the brain that the stomach is full.

The device induced significant weight loss in animal trials in dogs, Baker said. Last month, he and two other doctors inserted the device into three people in Mexico. He said they reported losing 18 percent of excess body weight in less than three weeks, without overwhelming hunger.


Okay, just for perspective, that would be like me losing 22 pounds in 3 weeks, more than a pound a day. Yoiks! (And I calculated that only using my "excess body weight", not my total weight.)

I'm gonna keep an eye on this one. I'm curious to see how the trials end up in terms of results. I think a lot of folks who don't want to be cut into or cut up (intestinally) may see this as a viable alternative, especially if it has far, far fewer complications than bypass or gastric-banding.

~~

The Princess on "Blog To Lose"...with a Pic

For those wondering what I look like these days (at least from the bust up), I opened a Blog To Lose account, and posted a profile pic there.

I tried to post my Princess Dieter avatar, but it kept coming up freaky-fuzzy-looking. Ah, well.

~

Totally Switched Sleep Schedule and
Easy Cheesy Eggie-Veggie Scramble


Well, I flipped.

No. I didn't go nuts. (I think.) I am on a different sleep schedule.

I'm now up mornings. (Normally, I sleep days, am up at night.) Staying awake for over 24 hours in order to go to Josh's Organic Garden and Whole Foods, and then eating with hubby, that kept me up long enough that I zonked out in the late afternoon and got up at 4:30 am. If I can stay on daytime hours, that would be VERY convenient, as I have a medical appointment on Thursday. (Wednesday will be, I hope, my return to exercise day, back to Pilates after two weeks of wheeziness. I'm still feeling some congestion and breathing is off, but I'm definitely mending. fingers crossed...)

As an aside, got on the scale today (though I shouldn't have) and it was a bit encouraging. It was 276.8. So, down a pound since January 1, though it was only yesterday that I started eating right.

Breakfast today, first day when I have all sorts of happy, produce-type goodies in da house:

Easy Cheesy Eggie-Veggie Scramble
--This is one of my fave "diet" breakfasts, though I make em with any sort of egg whites, fresh or carton. I have organic eggs and organic egg whites in the fridge, but I had this, too, and wanted more color this morning, hence the yellow fakeyness. I know, not "clean", but clean enough.

How I make it:

~I spray the pan with PAM Olive Oil organic spray. I heat up chopped fresh zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and red pepper until they're hot, but still with some crispness. (I hate soggy-mushy veggies.)

Note: I usually add tomatoes, too, and on occasion some spinach, but today, I decided to save the tomatoes for lunch or supper, as I have a beautiful organic, raw, fresh spinach-pesto I can use on them.
Use all and any the veggies you like, just sop up the moisture after cooking, or your eggs will be watery and nasty.

~I dump them into a bowl and blot the veggies and the pan to keep from watering down the scramble.

~I respray the pan with PAM or use a little Smart Balance to oil the pan, and then I add the veggies back in and enough egg beaters/egg whites to cover most of the veggies. (Obviously, the more veggies, the more egg whites.)

~I cook them partway as if I were making an omelette (ie, raising edges to let runny egg bit get cooked under). When it's 3/4 done, I then scramble it until it's cooked to my satisfaction. I either sprinkled grated cheddar (low fat or regular, depending on what's on hand, but yeah, low-fat is better) or break up a slice of American cheese (low fat) and mix it in. The American melts better and makes a cheesy sort of sauce around the scramble. Nice.

Depending on how much egg whites and cheese (type) you use, it can run from 2 points to 6 points (for a bountiful serving). And you can get one to three servings of veggies.

I added about a cup's worth of chopped veggies this AM, so I got two servings. With my cup of fresh apple juice, I got 3 servings of fruits and veggies with my breakfast for 6 points. And it was yummy.

I decided to save the toast I would normally have had, cause I wanna have my Ezekiel Bread/Gardenburger/Cheese sandwich for lunch with fruit.

Tip for today: Get your veggies in. Aim for 7-9 servings or more to keep full and get those nutrients taht come in colorful produce. Whatever sandwich you have, load it with cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, and tomato. Avocado, while having more calories, has healthful fats and tastes wonderful with chicken and turkey or on veggie-cheese sandwiches. Maybe sprouts and slices of onion, if you like that. Take carrots and celery sticks for your snack, with something heartier, like hummus or a light yogurt dip for flavor. Have fruit for dessert or snack. Make a lite veggie soup for an appetizer (and batch the extra to take for lunch to work or have as a snack the rest of the week). Don't let any meal or snack be produce-deprived.

Happy Monday!

Tainted Weight Loss Pills--If you take some, check the list at Diet Blog

This article has the list of the tainted brands.

In general, just stay away from pills. I figure it's more harm than any weight-loss good.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Princess's Bad Eating Pattern and Beeeyoootiful Produce Bonanza!

Good, good...all to hell.

That's my pattern of eating. I do a virtuous breakfast. I do a decent lunch. Then at dinnertime, I go nuts.

This is not a new pattern. It's old and ingrained and very, very, very hard to break.

But I gotta.

So, yesterday I was having my egg white omelette for bkfst, coffee (black, Splenda), a carrot juice. Lunch was a nice salad with fabulous herb chicken (grilled) and mixed greens with artichoke hearts in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Then comes dinnertime. I feel like this crazed monster in the kitchen. I go and heat up some onion broth and add, not a discreet amount of cheese. No, I add a huge wad of cheese--it would choke a rhinoceros-- and croutons. Then, as if that wasn't enough to clog every artery in my body, I have a dessert hubby bought unthinkingly, cause he knows I adore Napoleons--when they are fresh. Only when fresh. This one was fresh.

So, I told him, flat out--do not buy me desserts, sweets, candies, etc. Just don't. I know you love me and just want to please me, but I cannot resist a fresh, flaky, cream-filled Napoleon that's sitting in the fridge calling my name. I can't have that in the house. It's like the Siren Song to me. Tie me to the mast!

I did give myself a head-start on a more healthful week of meals:



Today, after meaning to for weeks, I skipped sleeping (am just about to nod off as I type here) in order to go to a farmer's on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk in South Florida called Josh's Organic Garden.

Unbelievable.

It was a wonderland of gorgeous, fresh, fragrant, vividly colorful stuff. Anyone who likes greens would have had an instant veggiegasm. It was piles of fresh--and I mean picked YESTERDAY locally--greens and assorted garden veggies and fruits. I took four canvas shopping bags and filled them all to the brim with arugula, spinach, lettuces, peppers, strawberries, bananas, tomatoes, carrots, celery, pears, apples, tangerines, grapefruit, broccoli, cauliflower (so beautiful white ones, like an alien bridal bouquet), potatoes, onions, cucumber, zucchini, mushrooms, and assorted herbs. ALL ORGANIC. ALL FRESH.

If any of you live near enough Hollywood, Fl so that you can get to it, it's on the broadwalk, you can see the beach right there, the ocean, the air smells wonderful. You'll find it almost right behind the Ramada resort, just on the corner of Harrison and the beach promenade. You won't be sorry. The produce is lovely. The fresh juices and smoothies are superyum.

Yay, I now have a lot of good, healthful stuff in the house. FINALLY!

To add to and round out my bounty:

On the drive home, I stopped at Whole Foods to get eggs, cheese, Ezekiel bread, whole wheat nan, organic tortillas (wheat for quesadillas and corn for breakfast and dinner tacos), those raw fruit pies I like (mango and mamey), and, happily, I stocked up on my beloved Gardenburgers. I hadn't had one in months, so I'm looking forward to my Gardenburger with a slice of cheese on Ezekiel bread lunch sandwich. One of my fave homemade sandwiches. Hubby got beef stew from the deli, and I got a vegetarian dish (the Indian lentils).

So, what did I eat today?

For breakfast, I had a freshly made smoothie of fresh berries, bananas and apple at Josh's Farmer's Market. Hubby had fresh-pressed apple juice. For lunch I had whole wheat nan, a cup and a half of the lentil stew, and a cup of papaya slices. Mmmmm.

It's so nice to have fruits and veggies once again in the house.

I do need to get some organic chicken breasts and pork tenderloin for some suppers, and maybe some lean ground beef for homemade tacos (I got some locally produced guacamole made by Glaser Organics, who specialize in raw vegan foods made on a farm way south of me). I was in a hurry at Whole Foods (and so tired), that I rushed and just got a few essentials. Not meat this time.

Now, if I could just tame that night gorging monster. It really is my major time-of-day weakness for overeating.

So, how are y'all doing? Did you get to the grocery store for good food? Did you go anywhere pleasant this weekend? Are you resting enough? Any other night overeaters out there?

Happy Sunday. Let's make this a healthful week.

Oh, and remember that this week Oprah focuses on helpful stuff on her show, including weight loss (as we all know, by now, due to her regaining 40 pounds) and finances. Might be worth a look.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Another Rant on Kids and Junk Food... Just for Atara :)

A blogger named Atara--who has a lovely new baby, too, and a blog I've enjoyed perusing this AM--asked the following in a previous post of mine about junk food and kids:
OK, I'm just curious because I have a 3 month old. If I never bring the junk in the house, will he still want it? In other words, do they just get used to eating it? Is that it?
Well, I'm not a mom and never have been. I posted--er, vented may be a better word--because I keep reading about the obesity increase in kids, the increase in diabetes, earlier-in-life atherosclerosis, etc, and I've observed how very many kids are allowed to just snack and feast on all sorts of crap from morning till night--sugary sodas with meals, candy between meals, allowed to skip veggies but have white bread, etc.

Lyn made a great point in the comments section of that post: Kids, when they are older and are mobile and have friends who share, will get junk. Unavoidable. Kids like sweet. Kids like fast food. Humans like salty, sweet, fatty. We just do.

The thing is that just like parents try to instill all sorts of "against natural desires" behaviors in kids (ie, don't just jump in and have sex when you get those first stirrings, don't cheat on a test just cause you can and everyone else does, don't be a bully just cause you're bigger and stronger and faster and power is fun, don't blow off school when you're bored, don't shoplift if you can't afford that pretty necklace cause stealing is wrong, etc), what cuisine/foods/tastes a kid has is partially (if not fundamentally) set in the home. I love bean soup, avocado, olive oil on bread, and fresh fruit cause we ate those a lot (almost daily, except for avocados, those in season) as a kid. We ate beans about every day, and I can still eat beans about every day now, cause my taste buds adapted. But I also had candy and pizza and potato chips and Cheetos a lot, and that was NOT a good thing for my teeth or my weight. Daily crap is not good for anyone.

But especially not kids who are learning how to eat for life. What should be "sparingly" eaten is now routinely eaten. A factotum from Junk Food Wars:

Even though the Food Guide Pyramid suggests eating fats and sweets sparingly, the survey found that children consume more than three servings of these foods daily. Fatty goods such as French fries, desserts, potato chips and soft drinks have become staples rather than occasional treats.
And kids don't have to eat tons to gain weight, says the article. Two hundred extra daily calories than what is needed by a child's bodymeans a half-pound gain a week. 26 a year. That kid can be 100 pounds overweight in 4 years. Scary, huh? And how easy is it to eat 200 calories? A small pack of 4 Oreos will do it. A bag of chips goes over that (unless it's a very small bag). Half a slice extra of a meaty pizza. A candy bar will do that and more. An extra cup of sugary cereal. Eight Hershey's kisses. A 16 ounce glass of Coke (non-diet). Easy peasy to eat 200 calories too many.

I simply think that parents who don't want kids burdened with junk food habits and weight woes need to do what they can at home to develop from the earliest age a taste for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other "clean" and nutritious fare and show kids what normal portions are like. Two cups of rice is not a normal portion. A big fat heaping bowl of spaghetti is not a normal portion, and neither is 20 ounces of fruit juice (much less fruit drinks that are full of sugar and very little fruit).

Keeping the junk mostly out of the home and putting the emphasis on treating a sweet tooth with natural sweets created by God in their perfect form--an apple, grapes, an orange, strawberries, pineapple, lychees, plums, peaches, pears, kiwi, blueberries, etc. And to make sure they start eating a wide variety of veggies as soon as possible, so they can develop a taste for produce and not just go yuck at greens (or any other color veggie). It's simply part of teaching good habits, along with brushing and flossing and getting exercise in play (cause video games all afternoon long is hardly healthful, either).

What they do with what they learn at home when they're older and have access to Burger King and the Kwik Mart, what they do as adults out of your home...you cannot control. No parent can. (Though Madonna sure is giving it the best and most obssessive shot she can!)

Parents can control IN the home (except for creative sneaking of candy). What's in the fridge, in the pantry, on the table, and in the lunchbox. That is controllable. Mom or dad buy it and store it and cook it. They can control it.

Our society is too riddled with junk to have utter faith that kids won't sneak it, buy it with an allowance, get it from friends, have it at school. But if the foundation is laid not to indulge in it freely at home and to think of cookies and candies and cakes and sugary drinks as special-occasion treats that are NOT good for us, but that we can use for a limited purpose, that's a step in the right direction. Of course, if a kid develops a taste at home for healthier versions of junk, "redeemed" junk, as it were, cause mom and dad are willing to find alternatives to the high-fat, sugary crap, that's also good. Oatmeal cookies made less sweet and with whole grains, nuts with dark chocolate in modest portions, etc.

I was one of those kids whose eating was not at all monitored,except by the limitation of "this is what's there". Once the platters of food ran out on the table, well, that was the limitation. Or if the box of cookies finished. Or the bag of bread lay empty. But... if I wanted to fill a bowl with five cups of sugar-rich, artificially colored cereal (which I did) and dump in 3 cups of full fat milk (which I did), as a between meal snack, I did. If I wanted to dump 5 tablespoons of sugar in my oatmeal, I could. If I wanted to drink the whole jug of orange juice, I could. And nobody said anything to indicate that I was out of control or doing something that was unhealthful. Not till I got older and did get fat. But it takes all those steps to get there. It's not overnight.

I could eat whatever, whenever. And this is not a good system. For anyone at any time. I learned that I could eat until stuffed and I could eat sugar at will. How nuts is that? And especially not kids in the formative and "training" stages of life--from pureed foods to table manners training to first grade. And no kid should have total access to a pantry or fridge full of crap. How is that good nutritional sense?

To quote Obama's former pastor: The chickens have come home to roost...and they are breaded, fried, salted like the Dead Sea, and (until recently) utterly riddled with trans fats and come with an fatty, white-flour, salty biscuit on the side.

Fast food, easy "convenience foods", processed foods, junk foods, oversized portions, sugary supersized drinks, big candy bars....they have resulted in many kids considering the fattiest items at McDonalds and KFC and Pizza Hut what lunch and dinner are supposed to be. That a 32 ounce soda is a serving. That a giant muffin or humongo cookie is for one person at one sitting. That Doritos is a normal after school snack. Something's wrong with that.

I mean, come on--watermelon, fresh and chilled, really is so much better than cupcakes as a treat. Just not cheaper or easier to have on hand. A ripe mango has it all over artificially flavored jelly beans, even mango-flavored ones. The thing is that real food will cost more than processed crap, oftentimes. And fruit goes bad quickly, while convenience foods are...convenient, with long shelf lives. It's easy to eat bad. It takes a bit more effort--and maybe cash--to eat cleanly.

So, that rant--and this one--is out of my fear of the next generation being even fatter and and more riddled with diabetes and cursed with shorter life expectancies than today's because WE ALLOW and WE OFFER them junk instead of real, honest, fresh, wholesome food that they can develop a taste for. And they CAN develop a taste for all sorts. Just look at kids in cultures without fast food or candy shops. They eat what the parents eat--be it nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, meats, etc.

Oh, and this study goes counter to idea that kids hate fruits and veggies. That article says this, emphasis mine:


Fewer than half of California’s children ages 2 to 11 eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetable servings daily (5 or more servings), according to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Further, almost 25 percent of them eat two or more servings of cookies, candy, donuts or popsicles every day.

Lack of proper nutrition contributes to certain health problems, such as the rising trend in childhood obesity. In California, one in three children is overweight or at risk of becoming overweight – far worse than the national average.

“While there has been a lot of research on barriers to childhood nutrition, this study dispels the myth that kids are predisposed to dislike healthy foods,” Perry said. “Now our challenge is to help parents find simple, affordable ways to prepare nutritious meals and snacks for their kids.”


Will they want junk anyway? Probably. But they can be trained to love good, healthful food, too, and that means they will crave that as well.

Sorry. It's a sore subject, I guess.

Y'all should just go look at Atara's cute baby, now. :)

~

Friday, January 2, 2009

Still Not There, Not With Breathing, Not With Eating...but improving

Yes, there's progress. :)

Here's how Friday went--and I know it's still technically Friday, but I conked out at 6pm and slept until 10:15 pm. Not sure if I'll go back to bed or stay up. We'll see. (Yes, I need to normalize my sleep schedule. Being sick throws me a serious curve ball in that department. So, yes, Friday:

BREATHING: I had moments when I actually breathed without thinking. A good sign. I still have inflammation and still had my breathing "conscious" through the day--asthmatics know what I mean, that you have to think and focus and make effort, that I avoid triggers as much as possible, that it's not "automatic" to get air in and out. BUT...those moments when it got better and I didn't think about it means I may be well over the hump.

EATING: I had some of Heidi's Cottage Classics Grainy Day Pancake Mix handy,and it was the first time I was up early enough to make breakfast for hubby, so I made some and had two with sugar free syrup by Smuckers and half a cup of apple juice. Not so great, but I had no fruit to have for breakfast. I also had a handful of soy and wasabi almonds (I'm addicted to these. The salt is bad for me, but dang if they don't taste amazing.)

I still didn't feel up to driving and shopping and risking exposure to something that will send me straight to the ER, so I ordered stuff from the one "healthful" restaurant in my area that delivers. I had some good stuff and some not so good: 5 falafels, about 1/4 cup hummus with olive oil, brown rice with chick peas/chopped tomatoes/peppers/cucumbers/avocado, two pieces of grilled tofu, green vegetable juice smoothie, a fruit blend smoothie.

I have leftovers of the rice/salad/tofu for another meal and some fresh carrot juice, too.

I went over my calories for sure. So, I'm not there. But it wasn't a Whopper or Pizza or cake or some of the other icky stuff I'd been indulging in during some heedless, mindless, comfort-and-holiday-eating. I got fruits and veggies and legumes and fiber.

The goals for Saturday:
~Get those healthful groceries, including a ton of produce.
~Begin journaling what I eat and keeping calories to 1900 max (38 points). Same target for all week. Use my nifty new Levenger's Circa Fitness Journal to keep track of intake (and exercise). The journal was a present I gave myself for Christmas. :)
~Try to get some movement in, as far as breathing allows. I hope I improve so I can do Pilates Monday.
~Start reading and applying The Complete Beck Diet for Life: The Five-Stage Program for Permanent Weight Loss

Since it's a new year, I scheduled a GYN appt (hate hate hate hate those) and will schedule my mammo. I see my PCP on Thursday (will run out of one of my meds Wed, new insurance info to give her, need a ton of prescriptions for my asthma/allergy/thyroid/BP).


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