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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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Rocky Start to Summer Slimmin' Week 3 --Plus Belly Pic, Food Pics, Pilates Pics

Man, the weekend really threw me off. Not just the overload of cheese at the anime con, but the overload of salty-dippy crap (on tortilla chips) at my brother's house. I have yet to be at my calorie level since Saturday. Yesterday's eating was better, but still not at target.

Today, so far, so good. I'm really hungry right NOW, so I'll be having lunch after posting.

I will add that I am nonetheless not feeling that weird mired, hopelessness I've felt in the past. I'm more feeling analytical and pretty calm. I haven't had an all-out binge and I haven't felt like giving up. In fact, I have this feeling of , "My groove is coming. My groove is just around the corner." I kinda like that.

Anyway, I did start my new medication regimen, so I have fingers crossed that won't be an issue/obstacle. I continue to feel pretty chipper, like some epiphany is on its way. Hope so. :D

So, here's a pic for continuing motivation mojo--my appley body's belly that I wanna reduce to keep diabetes away from my door:

And here's the sparkly "goal dress" that now fits, but I haven't worn out yet (too fricken hot for this fabric):

I bought a goal shirt that will fit when I'm down another 7 pounds or so. I decided to get goal stuff I can wear sooner. Heh. I had that dress in the back of the closet for years.

And some meals I've had, including today's breakfast:
Above is a Spanish Omelette (potatoes, onions, eggs, olive oil), a soy sausage, tomatoes, a whole wheat roll with lowfat pimento cheese spread (I didn't eat the angel food cake and tossed it). Water, lovely Brazilian coffee.

Had the above on Monday for lunch. It's mixed greens (including my fave arugula) with gorgonzola crumbles and onions and a balsamic vinaigrette. Fresh pineapple chunks. Coconut Water. Water.
This is a Diet-To-Go breakfast option--the Egg and Broccoli pie (essentially a lowfat quiche with a whole grain crust). I sauteed mushrooms and had a baby arugula and baby spinach salad (tomatoes and a bit of EVOO). Coffee. Lime water. An orange and a nectarine.

Here are some exercises I did Monday at my Pilates session (ignore the uberdorky hair that I hastily clipped up and off my face), and I left out a bunch, but I wasn't gonna upload the one with a crotch shot. HAH! I got that new active top at Lane Bryant last week. On sale, very comfy:

Man, why is it so much of my weight has to go and just sit in my dang middle. I'm so unbalanced. Ah, well.

Okay, so now back to my regularly scheduled water consumption and lunch-making. It's lowfat eggplant parmesan with steamed veggies today. While the scale is, yes,  glaring at me with an uptick (oh, salt, why do I long so after thee?) after Sunday's indulgences, I am not stressing. Our Lady of Weight Loss has told me, "All is forgiven. Move on."

Happy Wednesday to all you fatfighting folks!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Post Anime Convention Cheese-Freak 2nd Summer Slimmin' Weigh-In

Last Sunday: 265.2

Today: 263.2

Loss this week: 2 lbs

I like the downward trajectory. And I know it's a solid loss, cause I ate semi-poorly yesterday and gave in to salt again in the form of way too much parmesan cheese. I mean, I think I had like a cup of the stuff, shredded. I'm serious. Explanation to follow:

It's been busy. So much so, I didn't log my food yesterday, cause I wasn't HOME yesterday. Gone all day to an anime convention. I consider the hours of walking around as exercise. Hah!

Food choices there were iffy, and I did not behave saintly. But I didn't act the way I would have were I NOT at least trying not to go hog wild. Seriously.

I ended up having half a burger (hubby got other half) and had salad TWICE, with super salty dressing and cheese.  A lot of cheese. At least a cup of shredded parmesan. And yes, I caved to croutons. For dessert, I had a melon cup (it was the only fresh fruit available.) But I no danishes, muffins, cakes, chocolate, or the cheesy nachos that were ubiquitous as the Japanese packaged snacks. The only junk food item I had was 3 1/2  sticks of strawberry Pocky (Z and Midori know what that is, right?), while my hubby polished off the rest of the box.

On the drive home around 11:30pm, I had a raging pizza craving, and hubby and I almost went to a local joint that stays open late and has really popular NY style. But then I said, "No, let's go home," and I assuaged my remaining hunger with a a saute of four veggies and 4 oz of ground beef.  And sugar-free jello.

The lowest I'd gotten to this week was 262.4, which had made me squeal like a schoolgirl. I intend to see that number again this week, and wave goodbye to it.

Water, except for yesterday, was good. Exercised 3 days (last week 2 days). Logged faithfully EVERY BITE, except yesterday. Was okay with encouraging.

So, that's the SS update.

I hope my challenge momentum isn't affected by a medication switch-up.
The doctor is altering my thyroid regimen at my request--I want to add in Cytomel, so she'll be reducing the dosage of Levoyxl--which means I may have some thyroid level wackiness while we get to the best dosage for me. I hope I don't fall out of range (my optimum range is very narrow and I can start feeling crappy and gaining weight pretty easily). I just want to try this and see if it improves my mood issues and memory issues.

Okay, so a pretty decent week, if not perfect.

Friday, June 18, 2010

185 --The Magic Number Where I'd Stop Being Obese

I was fiddling with the NIH's BMI Calculator. I know I'd done this before--trying to figure out where I stopped being obese, etc, but I'd forgotten.

So, I did it again.

The WHO's classification for obesity is this:
BMI Classification
< 18.5 underweight
18.5–24.9 normal weight
25.0–29.9 overweight
30.0–34.9 class I obesity
35.0–39.9 class II obesity
≥ 40.0   class III obesity 

Well, at my highest, my BMI--as approximated using the NIH calculator-- was 48.3. That means that at 299, I was in a subset of Class III obesity called super obese.

When I started this blog at 289 lbs in 2007, my BMI was 46.6. Still super obese.  Today, I was a scosh over 263, which has my BMI at 42.4. No longer in the worst category, but still in Class III. This is morbidly obese.

To leave Class III, I'd have to get down to 246, at which weight my BMI would be 39.9 and Class II Obesity, and I'd be considered severely obese.  At 216, I'd have a BMI of 24.9 and be in Class I--plain old obese. No scary modifiers.

But 186 lbs is THE magic number: No longer obese at all. Merely categorized as overweight. BMI of 29.9.

The SUPER MAGIC NUMBER: 154. This was my weight on my wedding day. My weight at my first gynecological exam. My weight when I was 23. It was all UPscale from then...  This was normal weight for my height, right on the border.

Which is funny, cause in the back of my mind, I've always wanted to be that poundage again. Not cause of the weight charts.  Not cause I looked slim. That was the upper end of my doctor's weight chart numbers for me, for my height. I clearly felt a bit chubby. I couldn't shop at "normal" stores, cause they didn't have my size. I still was not slender. I even had hubby take pics of me in a bathing suit and hated the sight of my pudge. (I wish I was that pudgy now, dangit.)  BUT...I was "normal weight."

154. Wedding Day Weight. Normal Weight. Youth weight.

Yeah. It's a very significant number.

I don't expect to get there. I'd love to, but I think the caloric sacrifice would be too much to even KEEP me there, if I got there. Big if. I choose to be realistic these days, and I don't know if I could be happy with that sort of caloric restriction. Shoot, just staying under 2000 is hard.

But 185. I can dream that without an immense twinge of disbelief at impossibilities. I can be "just overweight."

After two decades plus of obesity, merely overweight sounds really, really good. I can aim for that. I can dream of that.

It's not a bad dream.

If you want to fiddle with your numbers, HERE.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fat to Fit Thursday: Assorted Stuff and...Oh, I'm just gonna link you to my Fat Girl Does Pilates post with pics!

On the personal side: The scale has been slowly inching downward. :) Barring some insanity on my part  (sodium-related or caloric) during this holiday weekend, my weigh-in should be happy on Sunday (ie 2 to 3 lbs off).

On the health info front: I'm reading the new Dietary Guidelines For Americans for 2010 (see previous post for links). Earlier I did my Pilates (though it was a particularly hard session due to my rotator cuff acting up and my finding it a hard time to imprint. Happens rarely, but occasionally, usually cause whatever weirdness is going on in my middle-aged body, I just can't seem to properly engage my abs. We worked with what we had. hahaha).

On the fitness front:  If you haven't seen a morbidly obese gal in Pilates action, go here. It's a long post with lots of pics and some explanations (from me, not an expert, but trained by one). Let it help you get over your fear of the Pilates apparti and system. If I can do it, almost surely you can. It took a lot of guts for me to post pics of me in snug workout wear huffing, puffing, sweating, and showing off my huge belly, so be nice if you comment, eh?

Blog Hop!

New Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010

If you want a reader-friendly overview of the main points, especially those of interest to dieters, go here.

Here's an excerpt from the SparkPeople article, including the address for feedback:

In their conclusion, the Committee also outlined the following healthier dietary behaviors.

  • Prepare, serve and consume smaller portions when dining at home and select smaller portion sizes when eating away from home.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast each day and when snacking select nutrient-dense options that are minimally processed.
  • Limit idle time in front of the screen, (television or video) and limit eating while watching television.
  • Monitor your body weight, food intake portions and nutrition content, and physical activity levels to achieve and maintain desired weight goals.
  • Eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods throughout the day to meet daily calorie requirements.
According to the USDA press release on Tuesday, the public is invited to provide public comments after reviewing the report. Written comments will be accepted from June 15, 2010 to July 15, 2010 and may be mailed to Carole Davis, Co-Executive Secretary, Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Room 1034, Alexandrea, VA 22302.

Funky 5 MeMe, Princess Dieter Style

Felipa of I'M GETTING FIT blog tagged me. Normally, I avoid memes like zee big bad plagues. But I like the name Felipa, so here goes:

Where were you 5 years ago?

Ever since my thyroid died, my memory went with it. Lemme see...2005, June...2005... Hmm..okay, I was getting back into writing, as it was a year after my mother died, and I suffered a 3.5 year long depression over it. I was still very depressed, but struggling to overcome by keeping busy..  I had joined some writing associations and I was working hard to learn the art of novel writing. Later that  year, I won a contest--which began a string of some good writing and some nice acknowledgments, contest wins, etc. In fact, I want to get back to writing. That's part of what getting healthy is for. I was also freaking out, I'm sure, as that was a bad summer full of storms.

Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

A published novelist who is at goal weight and has won an outrageous lotto jackpot. :D

5 things on your to do list today

Wild monkey whoopsies with hubby
Pedicure and manicure (preferably before item 2)
Prepping clothes for the weekend events (anime convention, Father's Day)
Shopping and menu list for what I'm gonna do for Father's Day.

5 snacks you enjoy

cheddar cheese with Fiber Gourmet cheese crackers
D'Lites frozen dessert in German Chocolate Cake
Kashi Cocoa Beach granola with milk

(Basically, if it's got cheese, fruit, or chocolate, or a combo thereof, I like it.)

What are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire?

~Have the world's most kick-butt library EVER!
~Have the world's most kick-butt music room EVER!
~Be a patroness of struggling female fantasy artists
~Start a mentorship and scholarship foundation in my parents' names that helps the children of impoverished legal immigrants reach their educational and career goals
~Open a comprehensive, residential, non-profit weight loss and fitness re-educational center that offers a holistic (body, mind, spirit) approach to getting healthy, situated in the most beautiful locale I can find, and offer scholarships for selected needy residents or families to stay as long as needed to get healthy--with the program paying their bills for the months of stay. In turn, they will be expected to pay it forward in their own communities by becoming volunteers in their communities' health outreaches upon return to normal life.

So here's the 5 I'm tagging:

I'm not tagging 5 of you. I'm tagging ANY and ALL  of you reading post who wanna play along. Personally, if you're totally wild and crazy and promise to give wacky and unexpected answers, kindly comment with a link so I can go read it. And yeah, link me up to your MeMe if you saw it here first and are gonna do it. Yes, this means YOU. Link me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

NSV! My first pair of Pilates workout pants....are falling off!

I grabbed a pair of pants from the "mass of black workout wear pants in the clean clothes corner" when I got up today and as I went about doing some light chores, I had to keep yanking them up. They keep sliding right down.

Now, these are 4x Danskin Plus cotton/lycra bootleg pants. They were my best friend during my first year of Pilates, along with my 4x Danskin capri pants, before I moved on to the 3x versions. This spring, I started using the 2x version. :)  While the 3x still fits--and the 3x capri version are on display here---the 4x are now officially too big. These were perfect in 2008 and part of 2009.

By next birthday, I intend to fit into the 1x....or better. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fat Gals CAN Do Pilates! Even MORBIDLY OBESE ones! Here's Photographic Proof...

UPDATE: A pic of me from this blog post originally published on ONCE UPON A DIET blog showed up with an article over at Suite 101. The article is titled "Fat People Can Do Pilates Equipment Workout."  And yes, I'm proof fat people CAN.

~~~As promised, the pics of me during one of my Pilates training sessions. The pics were taken 6-10-10 and I was 265 at the time (for reference, for the fat gals out there who wonder if THEY can do it at X pounds. I have done it at 278 lbs, too.). I am an apple shape, meaning I carry my fat mostly in the middle, principally in that forward danger zone: the abdomen. My belly is huge. It actually IS an impediment to movement. So, we work around it.

If you aren't familiar with Pilates or are and have been intimidated by the equipment or think your size is a barrier, then I'm here to say: try it.

Yes. Fat folks can do it.   Here are pics of a plus-sized gal doing it. She's the only one I've been able to find online shown doing various poses.

The exercise community seems to be lagging behind the reality of what's going on in the US. They have only recently begun discussing how to deal with overweight/obese clients. And I've seen some advise the client to lose weight first. (Excuse me?!) But little by little, I see that conversation widening. (Not fast enough, not wide enough, but some). When I began doing Pilates in 2008, those pics I linked to were NOT online. I couldn't find pics of big gals like me doing Pilates, never mind BIG MIDDLE-AGED gals. :D

But we're the ones who need to exercise THE most, and many of us have back pain issues, joint pain, and could benefit from the increased core strength (to carry that heavy load) and flexibility.

I have bad knee joints and one slightly wrecked ankle, and I purposefully chose Pilates because it's easy on the joints and low-impact. I did fear I wouldn't be able to use the strange apparati (not strange now, but strange to me prior to doing it). I will confess that getting on and off the Reformer is TOUGH for us heavyweights. But you'll only look like an overturned, drunk turtle for a few weeks to a month, then you'll look like a sober overturned turtle, then you'll start getting up and off with more ease as you get stronger.

The Cadillac, though, is great for us. For big gals and guys, getting down to the floor and back up can be tough (especially if, like me, you have to be super-cautious about what you do with your knees). But the Cadillac is higher off the ground and it's a breeze getting on and off. I strongly recommend that if you're a big person, you tell your instructor to let you use the Cadillac to start, along with Reformer work, and avoid the mat as long as you can.

So, here it is. A morbidly obese, middle-aged gal does Pilates:

Okay, first pic is me on the Reformer (the apparatus that most folks will associate with Pilates, invented by Mr. Pilates himself.) It's got a sliding part you sit or stand on, springs, attachments, a foot bar, etc, so diverse and numerous exercises can be performed on it--for warming up and for strengthening, for arms and legs and core and back, etc. Here, I'm working upper body. I am sitting on a short bench in order to modify it to accomodate my belly (lets my legs extend without straining my lower back. I am doing the Airplane, which is part of the "essential" Pilates Reformer repertoire called BACK ROWING PREPS.). Like many Pilates moves, this LOOKS easy in the pic, but you are constantly focusing your attention on proper form and breathing, so I tend to be deeply in my brain coordinating the postural and breath stuff. I do less well on the breath being asthmatic, but when it's good, it does help a lot. Depending on the way the machine is configured (for tension), this can be REALLY CRAZY HARD.

Hah. Speaking of breath, you can see my cheeks puffed up here as I blow out air on exertion (ie, I'm pulling up on the rope). Again, this is the Reformer, I'm on that little bench for modification , and I'm in a half roll-down position doing biceps curls. (I do have hard lil biceps, too, now!) It's WAY harder than it looks when you've got a gazillion fat cells in the way of tucking butt under and holding stomach muscles curled so as to support weight with the core. This exercise is also part of the Essential Reformer Repertoire, back rowing preps category.

It took me a good, long while to be able to do this, and it's STILL really hard for me. I went into Pilates with the upper body strength of a newborn, I swear. My trainer has been merciless (thank you) with the upper body work to get me to a better, stronger place. (Man, can I carry a lot of groceries now.) But it's still not my forte, and anything where weight is supported by my upper body and is on my puny, carpal-tunnely wrists, it's tough.

In this one, it's your CORE that is pulling you in (ie, sliding in the carriage), not your arms. Your arms stay still and firm and long, and, here's the kicker, your pelvis has to come forward (the shifting of weight is killer),  and then your abdomen has to do the work. So hard. That first pic is the out position (the carriage is slid out some). Here's the in position: my core pulled in the carriage.

I will add that it's very hard for me to do some straigtening moves (of arms, of legs) in particular positions, as my fat IS an obstacle. But that doesn't mean you can't modify or do what your body allows, safely.

Aha! At upper left--the Push Through with Modified Teaser on the Cadillac. This exercise starts with you laying down and then you lift your head and roll up your torso as you lift the bar.

To accomodate my level (I am NOT advanced yet) and my belly, we've done the legs in a diamond position. Here, my knees are bent with feet together.
We decided to see if I could get my legs straighter: a push through with teaser. And here's that move at left.

It's really tough for me to straighten my arms here due to the obstruction of fat in the upper arms/upper back/neck. But I do try. :)

We move over to the ladder barrel usually for the last minutes of the session. (The pics above are not in the order I did the exercises, as we began on the Cadillac, then moved to Reformer.)  Side bends (hate em, get cramps in my hips if I'm not perfect on form) are tough. You are lifting your upper body weight with your core, especially focusing on your obliques. Down and up. Down and up. I've done it with feet in this position and higher on the rungs. With arm out and with both arms bent with hands on forehead.

Again, I'm blowing out that air. Hah. Glad I did my pedicure before my trainer surprised me with the picture-taking.

After this, we tend to do stretches, getting me cooled down safely.

And we usually end a session with a roll down, which means standing, feet parallel, hip distance apart, then rolling down from the neck and down vertebrae by vertebrae until you just hand loose, then you tuck your pelvis and scoop your abs and roll up vertebrae by vertebrae to a slow count of 4, exhaling.

I didn't have pics for every exercise and stretch we did in 55 mins time, but these are to show what might be included in a workout on various apparati.

I hope if you're a fat gal or guy--obese or morbidly obese--you won't be afraid to try Pilates. I always feel so much better afterwards and, yes, it helps your activities of daily living and SEX. :D  As you can see, snuggish fitting clothing is good . This--in the pics-- is one of my baggier tops for Pilates, and I have camisoles, tank tops, and racerback tops, all sleeveless and all more snug,  that I wear as well. I also have Danskin shorts and bootcut pants that I've worn to a session, but capris are my fave, as they do offer my knees a layer of cloth to absorb sweat for the "on my knees" moves.

There it is. As promised: Fat Princess Does Pilates.

Now there's pics of TWO of us supersized, Pilates-loving ladies on the internet.

If you are in the Miami area and want to try a private session to see what you think of Pilates, do call Liza at The Pilates Room in North Miami Beach.  I strongly recommend a couple or more private sessions BEFORE undertaking classes, as you need to learn about proper Pilates posture (imprinting is hard for some to "get") and what will be the needed modifications for your larger body type. The link takes you to their site with contact info, class schedule, and bios of the instructors.

Later, and a happy, healthful Tuesday to all!

WARNING: These photos are the property of this blog's owner and cannot be used without permission and should not under any circumstance be hotlinked. But feel free to use a regular link to use this as a reference as needed to help other folks who have weight problems and wanna do this great form of exercise and rehab.


Resisting the Bagel; Perking Up the Water

I had to get a thyroid ultrasound today, so I didn't have breakfast (appt was 11:30am, got done 12:30pm, humph) in order to not risk some reflux. Was mighty peckish when I got out, so I headed to a local bagel place.

There, I ordered an all-the-veggies-you-got scramble with ham and cheese. (veggies = mushrooms, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli.) I had 2/3 of that. Had tomato slices instead of potatoes/grits/oatmeal as a side. Had coffee and water. Totally did not touch the lovely Everything bagel that kept winking seductively at me. Brought it home for hubby and me  to share tomorrow AM--or just for him. Haven't decided. Will see what I want after I get up.

Breakfast today racked up 652 calories, says my nutrition tracker. Good thing I didn't eat it all!

Will admit hat the cheese and ham made me thirsty and, being someone who really hates to drink plain water unless I've sweated up a storm and am dying for it, I was glad to have my package of TRUE Lemon products delivered (the lemon, lime, and orange kit). I'm sipping a tall and cool one with the lemon as I type.

Have any of you tried the fruit trick with water? You know, adding whatever fruit(s) you have handy--berries, tropical, kiwi, crushed apple, whatever--in order to make water more interesting? I'm gonna macerate some pear and try that next time I get some pears.

What have you tried?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Reasons I Want To Lose Weight: To Take Aikido Classes

Watch this video: Stephanie Yap Sensei
And this: Saito Morihiro Sensei in a demonstration

I always thought aikido was pretty cool (Steven Seagal notwithstanding), and I am a bit of a Japanophile (or Nipponphile or whatever), but I either was too fat or, back when I wasn't too fat, too poor.

Now I am TOO FAT and with CRAP KNEES and ANKLES from, yes, carrying the TOO FAT part of me around for decades.

But a very high quality aikido dojo is about 20 minutes from me (in good traffic) and I've got the yen. I saw their summer kids program and thought I'd love to see a similar one for adults. I mean, aikido, calligraphy, Japanese language classes--how ubercool is that? Or would that be uber kakkoii?
The video link above is to a brief clip on YouTube with the female sensei from that local dojo. (I so dig women who can take down a big guy!) The second video shows Saito Sensei, under whom the local sensei trained as a live-in apprentice (which is heavy-duty committed training). You can see other videos of the pretty darn impressive Morihiro Saito Sensei if you do a youtube search.

I did try some daiko/taiko (Japanese drumming) as some regular readers may remember as I mentioned it in a blog post from fall 2007. We did it again this past February.
I have heat intolerance issues, so we couldn't do the daiko class as regulars (though, man, that was some workout AND FUN!) The dojo was open-air-garagey and had old carpeting. My whack immune system impedes here. The day they have an a/c non-carpeted dojo for daiko (like wooden, non-allergenic floors), we'll sign up for it! Both times we went, such loud, happy, energetic fun. And the first time, I was sore for a week and thought my arms were gonna fall off. (They didn't). The second time--no problem other than some forearm and thumb soreness and one wee blister. But it was a shorter class than the marathon that was the first.

So, there it is. I wanna be slim enough to get weight off my lower extremities' joints and maybe heal enough to be able to do aikido side by side with hubby, who also would enjoy it. (He's done jiu jitsu).

What is one uber kakkoi reason you wanna lose weight? (No ordinary stuff like look good in clothes or fit into restaurant booths, something REALLY cool.)

Calorie Blooper and Scale Neener

My scale has a sense of humor.

Yesterday, I went 315 calories over my 1800 self-imposed limit level, but I weighed in back in the 264's (264.8). It's like it knew yesterday was weigh-in day and it played a trick on me, and today was done with the joke. ; )

Anyway, here's my food update for today:

Breakfast: egg whites with 1 slice 2% Kraft American cheese; two and 1/3 Diet-To-Go Apple Pancakes with Smucker's Sugar Free syrup; coffee, water.  It's under 500 cals, so it's fine, and got me the energy for my Pilates workout. ( Last week I had veggies with my pre-Pilates breakfast, and got some bowel rumblies as a result, so no broccoli/spinach/asparagus pre-exercise!)

Post exercise snack: sugar-free vanilla grande iced latte from Starbucks. (I gotta look it up, but it's like 150 or less).

Lunch: I had a yen for comfort food, so I got Cuban style black bean soup, boiled yuca (cassava, a starchy root vegetable near-and-dear to the Cubans), grilled chicken breast (not comfort food, but wanted protein), and romaine lettuce with salsa for dressing. Roughly 500, but I need to Spark it.

So maybe I'm up around 1000 or 1100+, which would leave me 600-700 for supper or supper/snack. I'm having a yen for apple and peanut butter, so I need to factor that in and still get my fruits veggies.

Since I exercised hard, I should have burned enough to make up for yesterday's overage.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Decluttering Trip down Weigh-In Memory Lane

As part of my summer makeover , I want to slim down NOT just body-wise, but also neuroses-wise, spendthrift-wise, and clutter-wise. This afternoon, with my newfound energy, I continued some of the living room decluttering that began Friday. It's really, really bad at my place. We live a huge space, yes, but we fill it. Both hubby and I are packrats, though mine is definitely a more pathological thing. :P  So, at the bottom of one pile, I found calendars from 2007. Yeah. They'd been dumped there January 1 of 2008. Two and a half-years ago.

But it was a nice discovery. The Jan 1 weigh-in for 2007 was 289 lbs. That's 24 more pounds than I am now.

The ending weight for 2007 wasn't logged on 12/31. My last weigh-in logged for that year  was on December 22nd, and it was 274.8. So, in 2007, the year I started this blog in May at a weight of 289.0 (the very same weight in which I began the year), I ended 14+  pounds lighter than I started that year. Blogging helped.

I will add that blogging (no matter how inconsistently or how often I took extended weeks-long breaks) has kept me accountable to some degree. I have not gotten to 289 again. This never happened in my pre-blogging days. I always regained what I lost and then some. I'd lost up to 30+ pounds in the past and started regaining sometimes the very same year.

Blogging has given me some strength to hang on (last year during a more maintenance type of phase), and to lose, so that I'm a tick away from having lost 35 pounds from my highest weight in 2004, and am 25 pounds down from my starting-blog weight. Three years and one month after starting this blog, I have not gotten back up or beyond my high weight.

If you ever thought about starting a blog to help you lose weight, I recommend it. I'm not at goal, not after three years, but I am doing better than I have before, because there's always this little presence in my head: the community of fatfighters whom I follow and who follow me. We are a  support group. And when I drop out of sight cause life gets weird or I get depressed, I still want to come on and lurk and see how you guys are doing, even if I'm not doing so well. And eventually, wanting to hang with you again BRINGS ME BACK.

It's worth it. It is.

Do it.

And the more accountable you are--probably the better it will be for you. Put your numbers out there. Tell us when you fall. Tell us what helped you get back up. Help someone else back up. Put up a body shot. Be honest. Be angry. Be yourself.

So that even when you have a hard time losing, you can just HANG ON until you can lose (and win) again.

Glad I found those calendars. I feel better about today just seeing a bit of yesterday...

Happy Sunday (again)....

A Salty Weigh-in for SUMMER SLIMMIN' & How the First Week Went...

My kick-off challenge weight was 267.6.

My first challenge weigh-in: 265.2

Loss= 2.4 lbs

It should have been more. I knew the damage that would occur eating at a Chinese place for supper yesterday. I didn't overdo. I even measured everything out and asked for the rest for take-out. I had no ice cream at my brother's house, even though we'd taken cones for the kids and my brother made one of my faves summer treats: homemade coconut ice cream. I did have one palmful of popcorn and, later, a salad with some shredded cheese and a fat-free salad dressing that, I suspect, had more salt than I needed. Again.

I'm guessing the weigh-in, sans the sodium, would have been a pound less. Normally, Chinese food makes me bloat 3 lbs, minimum. But I had loads of tea. Then, I did drink some extra water. That helped lots. But I was 264.4 and 264.2 on other previous days, so I had hoped for a 3 lb loss. 

I hadn't hoped for a big, big water loss first week scale loss cause I had been eating semi-okay (if maintenance caloric level of roughly 2300) and I had been drinking coconut water and eating lots of fruit (ie Potassium, Sodium's antithesis). If I had eaten junk food or not been eating tons of fruit, then I could have shown a bigger first week water loss on the scale. But I slipped down from a pretty decent eating place, not a "eating like crap" place.

Ya know, though,  we do obsess over the number itself, too much, rather than what it means. Water bloat is water. It's JUST water. It's not fat. What I need to lose is fat, and that will show up as a loss as I am consistent and strict with my intake of calories and consistent with my exercise and consistent with my water. It will balance out in the end. I will always have salty days. Always. I love salty foods too much to avoid them all the time. I just need to realize that a big water loss is meaningless. A small fat loss is meaningful.

We dieters tend to get so exhilarated over that first week's big loss of water. It's kinda silly when we do that, really. I get into that mindset, too, and even as I do, I realize how dumb I'm being. hahaha. I guess cause you know you were self-disciplined about eating and what proof in the feedback from Mr. Scale. 

I know I did fine. I see the loss. I know I lost fat. Period. And I probably built muscle, given the soreness post exercise. Period.

Water is water. I really need to chill out about that. :)

Also on the plus side: I'm happy with my eating. I ate under 1900 calories EVERY DAY this week. It's been so long that I did that, well, I can't even remember. Probably before I started this blog on one of my Weight Watchers phases. I stayed at my goal of 1800 (give or take 50 or so calories), even with eating out, even with the temptations of pizza commercials. This pleased me a lot.

I also met my journaling and (on 6 days) my water goals. I did pretty good with support posting. I did fine with blogging on the challenge and my meals, etc. 
I did not cook much (which I hadn't planned to do the first 3 weeks, so no biggie, as I have most of my meals delivery or eat-out). I did not meet my exercise goals. I only exercised 2 out of the 7 days. 

So, this week, my focus will be on making every day a perfect water day and getting exercise in 5 days of the 7. I plan to continue on 1800 calories, as I didn't feel unduly hungry. I want to see what another weigh-in at that level will be like. If I feel good about it, I might inch down to 1700 the week after. 

I'm taking it week by week here. :D

My trainer sent me the pics of me doing Pilates. I need to upload and reduce them so I can post. Maybe later today or tomorrow. Stay tuned. hah.

Happy and health-filled Sunday to all you fatfighters!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Good Dose of Energy, A Nice Bit of Calm--No Food Freaking Yet!

This will be my sixth day of restarting my healthy eating. The scale is pretty static, which is fine. I think I dropped a bit of water weight at first, and now the slower fat-burning should begin. As it should.

I am not eating low-cal, so I don't expect to see pounds MELT away. I am keeping to 1800 cals (more or less, I don't stress if it's 50 or so over or 50 or so under). This has been MAJOR for me, as I have not been able to do these many days of on-plan eating in a long, long time. Mentally, I just got to a place where I could begin again, and here I am.

Hydration is good, but I do think given it's summer-hot here, it could be upped. On training days, I work HARd. On non-training days...meh. But I did burn some cals yesterday after class doing a lot of lifting, bending, pushing, etc, with some housework. I had AMAZING energy despite too little sleep for too many days.

I think if I can just get to bed earlier and get some rest, I'll see the scale move swifter. I've noticed in the past there IS a relation between sleeping long and well and losing faster.

My Pilates trainer took pics of me yesterday. She often compliments my form and another trainer also comments on how I have good form. And they don't add "for a fat person". :)  (I do try hard, given the obstacles of my belly/other-fat.) My main problem is a shoulder hitch (my brother does the same, and I think it's from years of asthma--and asthmatics will understand what I mean about the "trying to breathe posture".)

She wanted to document me yesterday, and I let her take pics to show my hubby.  It was a new and strange thing to see myself in the poses. Of course, like many  obese women, I think of myself as NOT AS BIG as I am when I can't see myself. But the camera doesn't give room for self-delusion. This is part of the reason I take (and post) more pics of myself now. I need to be REAL and SEE what the damage of overeating is.

If you haven't taken "before pics", I encourage you to do so. They won't let you fool yourself if you're so inclined (like so many of us).

When she emails the shots to me, I'll maybe post some. It's tough. I mean, I'm wearing skin-tight capri-leggings and a paper-thin t-shirt. But, if it helps another fatty fatfighter get into the gym or Pilates studio, it'll be worth it. How often do you see a morbidly obese woman doing a teaser move on the Cadillac? Hmm?

Today is my 27th wedding anniversary, so it's unlikely I'll post again (unless hubby takes a nap between activities, and he's so gung-ho over World Cup, I'm lucky to pry him away from the flat screren hahahahah). The World Cup was on in 1982 when we were first dating (the first month of our mad, mad love), so it is notalgic for me to have an anniversary with it.

My appetite feels calmer in the last couple days. I don't feel the raging mad desire to stuff. I hope it continues (but I know that's a wild wish). It's nice to eat 1/3rd of my usual breakfast calories and feel okay. I want to stay low for B and L, cause dinner will be our festive event.

I wish you all a happy Friday and a great weekend. Please treat yourself kindly. Eat beautiful produce. Drink lots of clean water. Hug and kiss your loved ones. And remember that no matter how much space you take up in this world, you are unique and valuable and worthy of love and appreciation.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fat to Fit Blog Hop Thursday: Journaling In Better Nutrition...can get tricky!

As my regular readers know, I got back to Sparking, which include using the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker (a lovely online tool for food journaling). I have found it really useful, not just to track food, but to track holes in my nutrition, since it tells you as you enter your meals how you are stacking up not just in carbs/proteins/fats, but in assorted nutrients (and you can customize).

As a middle-aged, post-menopausal woman, I wanna know that I'm getting  enough calcium and vitamin D. And I wouldn't have realized I'm chronically deficient in zinc, folate, B-12, and potassium had I not sparked. (I can't eat shellfish/seafood, and I won't eat organ meats, and I limit my nuts/seeds for caloric reasons,  so I tend to have issues with areas where those are the major suppliers of particular nutrients.)

Thanks to Sparking that journal, I have been able to target my supplement intake to what I need, not just shove some in my mouth "just in case." I love doing the report after supper and seeing where I need to boost nutrients--and am most happy when I meet goals in most categories. But knowing where the holes are lets me know if I need a B-complex or just a B-12 dot, if I need to have more romaine or spinach, if I should add a beef dish, if I need to pop a Citrical-D max.  I do find that I have to take zinc. Period. I have almost never ever made my zinc nutrient RDA, so, yeah, I take liquid ionic zinc. It tastes truly hideous, but I do it, cause I suspect at the bottom of my chronic skin and thinning hair issues may be this chronic zinc deficiency.

Because I was low on potassium yesterday (I usually am, and most Americans usually are), I had some banana with dinner and coconut water with lunch on Wednesday. This morning, I added a banana-skim-milk-raw-cocoa-powder smoothie to breakfast to get magnesium/calcium/D/potassium (all nutrients that a lot of people fall short of, including me if I'm not careful with meal planning).

So, what is the tricky part in the subject header?

Well, no nutrition tracker that I've ever used is comprehensive for all users. If you buy stuff ready-made, you better have the ability to deconstruct that chicken salad or beef stew or whatever it is you bought to get the components (unless someone posts a generic you just go with).

Today, breakfast is a delivery meal from Diet-To-Go that I'm using to get me through the first few weeks of the Summer Slimmin' Challenge. (See badge on top of my sidebar for info).  While the Diet-To-Go site has some nutritional info, it doesn't give it for the major nutrients (just the "top label" ones, fat, sodium, carbs, protein, calories). It doesn't give me the nutrients in my Eggs Florentine with soy sausage and asparagus, which, given there's spinach, milk, and eggs in there, should be nice. I know it's high protein (44 grams) and low-carb (6, and hence me having the banana, heh, cause I didn't have toast), but not how much of vitamins, minerals, etc.

That diminishes the usefulness of my journaling (in terms of health), although I still will know the calories and major categories that most dieters care about.

Still, I want to know that I had enough folate or B-12 or magnesium. It matters to me.

So, the convenience of diet delivery meals makes for inconvenient food tracking. Hey, Diet-to-Go! Make it easy for Sparkers who use your food. Give us the lowdown. BETTER YET: Contact SparkPeople, you Diet-To-Go administrators,  and give them your meal titles/info and side dishes and the comprehensive nutrient breakdown, so that these can be added to the food database there. Who knows? You might get a lot more subscribers through that huge online community (of millions of fatfighters!)

Anyway, visit other blogging fatfighters/health-seekers in the Fat to Fit Blog Hop:

Go ye and hydrate, move, laugh, and lose!
Happy fatfighting this Thursday!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Muscle Difference: I can wear at 265 lbs what I used to wear at 250 lbs

I am not kidding.

As I sit here, I'm wearing a shirt that's like 9 years old. I remember wearing it to OUTBACK with hubby (I hate that restaurant, but he likes it). I remember cause I felt pretty in my blue, floral print, fluttery, chiffony top that I finally fit into (with just a bit of snugness at the belly) after going to Weight Watchers and losing a bunch of pounds. There is no longer snugness at the belly. It just plain FITS.

Funny how I can remember weights attached to certain clothing pieces. The fat-gal memory files relating to poundage is undimmed by age, whereas I can barely remember the ending of a novel I read last month.

This particular blouse was at the back of the closet. Hadn't fit me in a long time. Since before my mom was dying in 2003. It was back there in the dim recesses of my walk-in along with my "sparkly goal dress", size 20 that I bought in the late 90's, but it didn't fit back then. (I got up to size 30/32 in 2004, btw. And clearly, size 20 has crept up tons, cause there's no way I'm a size 20, period. This dress is a stretchy mutant. But I took a pic to try to show how it's SHORT and SPARKLY and has a classic cut--so it would be fashionable for years and years and years...heh. I'll upload it later and add it to this post. I gotta get back to closest-clearing before I exercise pre-meal.)

I had been going through the closet looking to see what might fit me now. I hadn't done it since more then 10 pounds ago, so I figured why shop in the stores if stuff I hadn't worn ever or in a while might fit me.

Well, shoot, there really is some weird thing going on, cause my "sparkly goal dress", size 20, which didn't fit me at 254 (when I bought it), fits me at 265. My fluttery top that I wore at 250 (yes, I remember the weigh-in and my joy at getting the top to celebrate), fits me at 265.

The Pilates difference. The muscle versus fat difference.

I weigh more, but after two years of regular hard workouts, a lot more of this weight is muscle than it was last time. That means that while I'm morbidly obese, I'm definitely less fat than last time I was 255 (and sedentary). Prolly less fat than when I last was 250 (cause the belly is not snug on the shirt).

So, a fifteen pound fit difference...shoot. I'm pretty amazed.

Makes one wanna keep working out. :)

Anyway, my "sparkly goal dress", size 20, fits now, and hubby says I look "great" in it. (He is blinded by love, but it makes me happy to hear that all the same.) My 27th wedding anniversary is Friday. Two days away.

I think I may need to figure out how to wear that sparkly dress out for dinner, yes? :)

Summer Slimmin' Challenge: My Meals in Pics and a New Low Weigh-In Milestone! Party like it's 2002!

I was VERY VERY happy with my visit to the scale today, my fourth day into the Summer Slimmin' Challenge. Very. I'll tell you why ....later.

I did fine with water and calories yesterday, but I didn't exercise (felt a bit unwell). Got my bloodwork done for my endocrinologist, so will be half-anxious/half-eager to see what THAT looks like. (I have hypothyroidism form Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Metabolic Syndrome.) Shopped for some meals at a local gourmet market. (Expect my vegetarian diet meals to be delivered tomorrow afternoon.) I posted on most of the challenge blogs. ( I will only post on blogs that update and will start to see which support me and only support those that support me. Hey, it's gotta be reciprocal.)

So, what did I eat that I haven't posted pics of? This:

LUNCH After Pilates on Monday: I was feeling mighty hungry, so I headed to a local Mexican eatery (with really good, authentic tasting food that has a nice fresh taste and is one of my faves). Instead of my usual bingeyness, I chose shredded chicken breast tostadas. You get two. I ate one of the tostadas and all of the beans, white meat chicken shreds, lettuce, cheese, and drizzled sour cream (they make it and it's very liquidy). I had 1/2 cup salsa (there's 1/4 cup in the pic, but I had more. I cup romaine lettuce, plain. A Starbucks sugar-free vanilla latte, grande size. Cantaloupe water. Arizona Blueberry no-carb green tea . Man, was that good. And about half of what I usually have at that restaurant. Total: 741 calories.
Dinner on Monday was a frozen meal: HEALTHY CHOICE chicken parmigiana with broccoli and apple crisp (basically an apple cinnamon compote with some oatsy granola-ey stuff sprinkled on top). It was surprisingly tasty. I added some parmesan to the chicken and broccoli. I had a cup of cherries (organic, numsy) and a cup of Blueberry No Carb green tea over ice. Had cantaloupe kiwi water. Total: 613 calories.  Monday's Caloric total: 1809.

Because I had bloodwork at 1:15 pm, I couldn't eat breakfast. So, I had brunch at around 3pm. Curried Chicken Salad (fruity and so good) on a bed of 4 cups of mixed lettuces. One cup lentil soup with 1/2 tsp EVOO. Blueberry No Carb green tea. Pineapple water. Calories: 616

I was really tired in the PM after not sleeping a lot for two days. So, before dinner (after a nice nap) I had a cup of hot tea splashed with organic half n half. (Even though we are having a hot spell with some record breaking heat, I craved a hot cuppa). It felt so luxurious and comforting. I had a cup of lentil soup with 1/2 tsp EVOO and some raspberry pineapple water. Calories: 187

About an hour later, when I felt less groggy-icky,  I had my meal. was gonna make some eggs, since I missed breakfast, but my hubby hadn't eaten his Starbucks sandwich. I took the " guts" and nuked them to get them hot and the cheese melty. (It's black forest ham with a bit of frittata with cheddar on top.) Nice. And gave me protein, as the rest of my meal was vegetarian. And fabulous. On the green rectangular plate: spinach and portabello mushroom orzo and ratatouille. SO GOOD.  Raspberry pineapple water and more tea to drink.

I didn't take a pic, but I had a half-cup of Tasti D-Lites chocolate frozen dairy treat as dessert. It's sugar-free, lowish-carb and low-calorie. And felt like such a splurge. Yum.

Dinner calories:  950   Tuesday Total Calories: 1753.

I still didn't sleep as much as I needed, but got more than  yesterday, so hurray. I got on the scale to see if the salty "guts" I had with dinner made me bloat. The scale was down: 264.2

That is my lowest weigh-in since starting this blog in May of 2007, which you can confirm by scrolling way down my sidebar to see the stats I've kept for three years. That's  lower than what I weighed in January of 2003, when I got weighed and measured for fat, etc, at a local gym. I'm happy. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Slimmin' Challenge Update: Hey, eating is good! Sleeping is not :(

I didn't sleep enough two days' running, so I crashed and took a nap from 5 to 7:30 this PM. I still feel out of it, but at least I'm not feeling that zombie-sleepy sort of thing.

I need to upload my last few meals (ie, lunch and supper yesterday and lunch today.) I'm doing fine. Had to miss breakfast (which I hardly ever do) cause I had some fasting labwork done at 1:15pm. There's a market a few steps from the lab, so I popped in and got some nice pre-cooked foods: ratatouille, balsamic tomatoes with basil, spinach with orzo, spaghetti squash, cucumber salad, vegetable barley soup, vegetarian lentil soup, curried chicken salad, and a couple of pork chops for hubby with mashies.

I came home famished and had 4 cups of mixed lettuces with a cup of the curried chicken salad. I also had a cup of lentil soup--very diet-friendly with no oil/fat, just a very translucent broth and nice firm lentils with a sprinkling of carrots and celery and onion. It's bland, but oddly comforting. I logged everything on  Sparkpeople: 636 calories.

I still haven't had "lunch", but might combine dinner and lunch since it's already almost 8.

No exercise--I admit, I still feel lethargic. Missing sleep is a bad idea all around, knocked me off my game. I felt great and energetic yesterday despite the record heat. Today, I feel mucky.

I commented on the challenge blogs that had updates as of 7:50pm.

I'm gonna have some (lots of) water and tea before deciding what to eat, and I'll check in later. Mebbe. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Are You Saying "I'll Go When I Lose Some Weight" Before Going to the Gym, Pilates or Yoga Studio, or the Pool? THEN Stop Being Afraid & Stop Making Excuses

Woman glances into a gym as she walks by. Woman peeks through the Pilates studio's window as she heads for Subway. Woman studies Yoga studio's ad and thinks, "My belly and thighs are too big. I can't do that. When I lose weight, I'll try it."

Yeah, that was me.

To some extent that is me. I still won't go to LA Fitness, cause it's so huge and packed it feels overwhelming. But I do go regularly, and have gone for two years, to a Pilates studio, a wee airy and sunny place where my big fat body is welcomed.

Today, I was reminded of that years-ago me that was so afraid to walk into the studio. My trainer mentioned a heavy gal (she said the woman was somewhat larger than me, but hippy as opposed to appley) who came to the studio recently, but said she'd come back when she'd lost weight. What had happened was that she'd gotten gastric bypass, had lost a lot, but then had regained it all back.

I told the trainer that maybe she could invite the woman to watch me or join me during one of my sessions, so she could see that, yes, a VERY fat woman could do Pilates. I have no problem being observed if it makes it easier for a fellow big gal do something good for her health. She should NOT wait "until I lose some weight."

I used to think that very same phrase. And it kept me from doing a damn speck of exercise for 5 years cause, you know, I never really lost all that much weight while I waited for that hypothetical slimmer day.

So, is that you?

Have you been wishing you could try yoga, Pilates, spinning, an aquatic aerobics class, but you are afraid you'll be the biggest gal in the group? Are you intimidated by the equipment? Are you worried your baggy workout wear will make you stand out amidst the tight-spandex-n-cotton wearing slim folks?

Quit that. Exercise has multiple benefits (and especially so for the overweight and obese and, yes, MORBIDLY obese like moi).

My tale, the quickie version: I had wanted to try Pilates for a couple decades. But I'd see those poses and machines and thing, "Fat me will never be able to do that." A studio opened up a few years ago nearby. I'd drive by and see the sign and think, "Gee...I wish...gee..." But I never stopped in.

Then, about a year after I started this blog and had lost a handful of pounds and realized I needed to get my mushy, muscle-less, couch potato bod into some movement, I research Pilates. It seemed joint-friendly and not taxing to my weak lungs (ie, I get exercise induced asthma and aerobics is tough on my breathing AND my knees/ankles, as I have a torn ACL ligament and just plain old OLD and BAD knees from carrying the weight of 2, 2.5 people for way too long.)

It took me another couple months to get up the nerve to call and ask if they could handle a morbidly obese client. Then it took even more nerve to put on workout wear (a semi-baggy long tee with leggings) go in the door. I was TERRIFIED. I was thinking they'd say, "Oh, we were wrong. Our equipment can't handle 275 pounds."  I was afraid I'd totally fail.

Well, figures my first several sessions there were, two, count em two, beautiful, impossibly long and slim, leggy models who had sessions at the same time as me. (I felt like the muddy giant toad next to the pearl-and-sunlight festooned princesses. I am not kidding. These women were so lovely they had to be DNA-enhanced mutants.) But you know what, nobody laughed. Nobody made me feel bad except ME.

Two years later, I still go to the same sunny, airy room and get my muscley mojo going. I am still too fat (but about 10 lbs lighter from the highest weight as which I did Pilates ). I still need to adapt some of the moves to my apple-shape (my belly is an actual obstacle to some classic positions, so we work around it). I'm not afraid of the equipment. I actually LOOK FORWARD to the Cadillac and the Reformer (my two fave pieces of equipment). I kinda like the Wunda Chair (and got the Malibu Chair to do stuff at home). I use the barrel, the fitness balls, the magic circle, the bands, the straps, the toning balls.

I'm not intimidated to say, "Oh, this position is bad for my lousy knee. Can we do this another way?" Yes, you CAN do it another way. If your teacher is well-trained and certified, she or he can FIND a way to accomodate your body type.

I even wear shorts and sleeveless snug tanks and camisoles now so the trainer can better see my muscle-engagement. Does that look good? Heck no. I'm 267 lbs in a teeny weenie top and tight bicycle length Danskin shorts and capris. This is not something I want to photograph any time soon. But when I go there, it's about EXERCISE, not looks. I wanna be comfy and I wanna facilitate the trainer's observations and coaching.

To be honest, I used to look like an overturned turtle trying to get on and off the Reformer. While I am not a ballerina of grace now, I can more easily do that. Muscle helps. :D

I'm hoping with this callenge to drop some belly weight and be able to improve even more. I want to do Pilates without special accomodations for a morbidly obese apple-shaped body. I want to do it with the freedom that comes without massively excess adiposity.

This is part of my ultimate health goals: To lose enough weight to feel really free in any position in Pilates (adjusting for weight and joint sensitivity issues).

Note: The two images are of the actual Pilates studio where I work out. :) Yep, my big fat body uses all that stuff.

So, if you have put off some form of exercise--a class, training, a gym, Pilates, etc--please remember that you need it MORE than the young and skinny chicks. You NEED to grow muscle and burn fat. You need to get flexible and feel stronger for you own life.

Don't let fat-shame or fat-phobia stop you. Try it. Even if you're the only big gal in a  place--and I am the only morbidly obese person at this studio, and I rarely see even overweight folks there-- you just might inspire another overweight gal to give it a shot. You'd be the trailblazer or example for someone who needs it.

Summer Slimmin's Update: Did 55 minutes of intense Pilates. Drinking water just fine. Eating is good and within calories. I tracked all my foods by "writin' it" at Sparkpeople. Had 5 fruits and veggies as of mid-afternoon. I posted comments on all the challenge blogs that had Monday posts as of 6:20pm EST. Weigh-in was half a pound down. Yay.

My First Four Summer Slimmin' Challenge Meals: And I went for Convenience BIG TIME!

Yeah, I am not in the running to be America's Next Top Chef. In fact, I blissfully swanned through my formative years without learning to cook. In fact, I shamefully confess that I skated right up to age 22 without learning culinary skills, and I only bothered when I met hubby and started experimenting with some light meals for him after our engagement.  I still recall trying to make a custard with my best pal (who also wasn't much of a cook) and calling my elder sister to ask her what the heck a "water bath" was, and I still am not sure what a braising is.)

This is especially ironic since I love watching cooking shows--Giada, Mario, Gordon, The Contessa, Iron Chef, etc--where I have learned SOME stuff...

Yeah, sure, over the years I'd make some boxed stuff--remember those weird pizzas from Chef Boy-R-Dee you prepped at home back in the 70's?--and would do breakfast for my nieces and nephews (eggs and pancakes are easy, right). And I could prep sandwiches and heat up cans of soup.

But all those wonderful down-home Cuban recipes my mom made, I feel a lot of regret at not asking her to teach me. I really do. And I feel a little bummed that my ill health in childhood meant my mom would scoot me out of the kitchen with "don't get your hands wet"--another reason she never let me do laundry, a skill I learned from hubby after we got back from the honeymoon--as she believed it would make my asthma worse. (Old wives' tales.)

Pretty much, I still avoid cooking anything fancy or elaborate. I remember too vividly getting up from our dinner table when we were newlyweds and throwing out the food that came out inedible. I make great veggie lasagna. I'll make simple sauteed chicken or pork. I tend ot eat veggies with minimal heating (steaming, sauteeing, nuking). I have a tiny, inefficient kitchen with nearly zip counter space, which is only a hindrance since I'm just not a nifty, efficient cook. I manage the simplest of meals, that's all.

I've talked to hubby about maybe taking some cooking lessons--I'd have to take vegetarian, cause all the ones I checked on locally that are regular cooking classes, feature a lot of seafood--which I am terribly allergic to and hubby detests--and a lot of meat cuts I refuse to touch . (I have this raw meat icky-phobia.)  So, I've done minimal research into finding a vegetarian cooking class for beginners, but the only ones I saw so far that looked promising were for raw cooking and I don't wanna go that route. My husband just wouldn't eat it. It would be a waste of time and produce.

Anyway, I've kept my meals so far very simple and convenience-based, meaning I am going to take a look at my stock of canned food accumulated over the last couple of hurricane seasons that have gone ignored. (I have to do a look-see every couple years for what canned goods have expired, and it's now early hurricane season and I have to do that.)

So, don't expect any Mario Batalli or Gordon Ramsay or Bobby Flay or Nigella Lawson beauties in my meal plans. Expect "ready in fifteen minutes" type of meals, until I can get those lessons. :D

Here we go:

Breakfast yesterday was437 cals (including supplements)--1 orange, 2 cups coffee with sucralose, 2 slices ww toast, 2 eggs scrambled, 1 slice 2% American cheese, Strawberry-water (I chop fruit into water to give it the fruit essence flavor.)

Lunch:  2 cups organic arugula with 1/8 cup of shaved parmesan, a can's worth of Amy's Chunky Tomato Bisque soup with 1/4 cup skim milk and 1 serving of FiberGourmet Rotini added; 1 cup Rainier cherries, strawberry essence water. Not shown: 1/2 scoop Any Whey unflavored mixed with 1 scoop BSN Dessert Lean cinnamon roll flavor protein (as this meal was not high enough in protein). Total count for this (including protein and supplements)--741 calories.

Supper: Healthy Choice Classic Meatloaf frozen dinner (my SparkPeople stats had me low on iron and folate, so I decided to have something with beef and have romaine), 1/2 cup spinach, 2 cups romaine with garden veggies (peppers, cukes, tomato) with 2 tbsp Annie's organic Sesame Goddess dressing, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1 cup watermelon (dang, it was so sweet), and cantaloupe-essence water. This supper was 622 cals.

Breakfast today: 3 egg white scrambled with chopped tricolor peppers and onions, tomato with EVOO (1 tsp), 1/2 cup mango, 1/2 cup papaya, 2 slices ww toast with 2 slices 2% American cheese, kiwi-cantaloupe essence water. I used Herbamare to salt my eggs (adds a bit of celery/herb flavor, which is nice).  This breakfast was 455 cals, including the 9 calories for my supplements.

So, how was your first day and second morning in Summer Slimmin'? Are  you cooking beautiful, produce-filled meals? (You must be better in the kitchen than I am!)

Happy day to you!