Monday, November 11, 2013

Progress Pics

I took the above pics on October 17th. I can't remember exactly how much I weighed, but I'm guessing it was about 229 lbs. I re-entered my journey to weight loss after getting to my highest weight of 232 lbs this Summer, and I consistently stayed near that weight until I joined a gym and started lifting weights and doing cardio five days a week.

The next collage are pics taken this morning before I went to the gym. This morning's weigh in is 219.6. I lost a little over 12 lbs. Let me tell you, I feel fantastic. I'm very happy to see these results. They're subtle, but with all the hard work at strength training and eating, I'm glad to "see" in my mind's eye the results. And I feel good.

My routine is doing five days of cardio. I do 45 min on the treadmill by walking on a random incline. I strength train 4 days a week. Mon and Thursday is Upper Body weight training. And when I say weight training, I am bench pressing, I am using free weights to do bent over rows for my back, and I'm using weight machines. On Tuesday and Friday, I do lower body. That means using barbells to do squats , deadlifts, calf raises, and box step ups. I switch routines up a bit to not get bored. I keep track of my strength training in a notebook so I can go back and see the type of exercise and weight that I did previous sessions. It helps with planning the next time.

I'm feeling a lot more confident and physically strong. I still have a twinge of pain on the hip, but doing a month of Hot Yoga at a local studio helped relieve the pain. I am taking a month off from Yoga to work on strength training. I will do Yoga at home from videos, I just don't have the time to spend at another facility when cardio and lifting takes up most of my available time.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Inspiration for Weight Loss


Most of us will openly say that we are interested in losing weight as a means to improve our health, eliminate disease, for increased longevity, stamina, energy . . . yada, yada, yada. Don't interpret the successive "yadas" to mean that those are not important reasons. Those are very valid reasons. But for many of us, the reason can be as vain simple as looking good in an outfit, or clothes, or a particular dress. And for me, fitting into a dress is my number one reason right now.

You see I bought this dress in November of 2012. I was hoping to wear it for a holiday vacation. I knew that we would have many events to wear dresses on that trip. I bought about five. And only two fit. They fit because they stretched, and a good bicycle short smoothed me out enough to feel confident in those two dresses.

However, this dress didn't fit. It is an XL. I bought it from Target as part of the five. It has a lovely brass zipper in the back. It is not to be form fitting. It is supposed to be a bit loose. Well, on me, it is tight and short, and I can't pull up the zipper. And it hurts to see it in the closet; never worn.

This dress is my style. Pair it with a faux tortoiseshell, open toe, wedge and I can take it from day to evening. Or with a nice faux croc, open toe high heel for evening. I want to fit in this dress. My losing 30 lbs can make it fit as the designer intended. And I have to get real about my eating to get there.

I must admit that I am mostly tired of carrying around the extra weight. It is literally weighing me down. The pain in my hip when I workout or when doing certain poses in Yoga, are major reasons to be proactive at losing the excess weight--at the very least the 30 lbs that can get me into this dress.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hand Holding

I think we all need support along the way. We need someone to lean on during this trial of weight loss. My friend had the best idea. We email each other almost daily and we both want to lose weight. She came up with the idea of doing weigh-ins that we report to each other weekly. I picked Mondays.

Why Monday? We always say that we'll do better on Monday. We'll start a new diet Monday. We'll workout again starting Monday. My life will change on Monday. So the tendency is to go nuts on Saturday and Sunday. Who am I kidding? Our tendency is to go nuts Thursday night, Friday all day, and also Saturday and Sunday; to which we pray for forgiveness and we will do better on Monday.

I chose Monday because I tend to be bad on weekends. If we have Mondays for our scheduled weigh-in and have to report to each other, we want to make sure that we have lost since our last weigh-in. The rules require separate email, not in response to each other. We're supposed to put the weight on the subject line. In the body, we put how we got to that weight loss or what we can do different to achieve weight loss if we got a gain.

Today was our first official weight-in, even though we knew our current weight last week because we commiserated with each other about the present weight. I am proud to say that I had a loss. On a previous post, I put that I was at 229. And I was. I had been teetering on that weight and over 230.

This morning I weighed in at 225.5! Score! I had worked hard to not overeat. I made sure that if I had a big meal in the day, like lunch, I would have a lighter meal for dinner. On Sunday, I went to Olive Garden with the kids and my mom. I fully intended not to eat the bread. FULLY INTENDED. I ate 3. But I ate a grilled salmon and steamed broccoli. It was yummy. I drank water, but I took my mom's refilled soda because the waitress didn't know that my mom is incontinent and rushes to the bathroom constantly--she is diapered for emergencies. Nana was ready to pounce on the drink and I took it and started drinking her refill. She asked, "Oh, is that yours?" I said, "yes", and I kept up the ruse. But I really didn't want it. Those were my blips for the day. I ate a light dinner. Okay, cereal with almond milk. It filled me up and I drank water for the rest of the evening.

I am planning to make a few meals for the week, so I can keep up the healthy eating without much effort per meal.

How are you doing? Do you have a partner in weight loss? How does your partner encourage or frustrate your weight loss?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Soups On!


One of the things that I enjoy most, when I am trying to eat healthy, is to make soup. I make a big batch of soup in my crock pot. I then blend the soup in my blender until it is liquid. I jar the soup in manageable amounts and freeze.

I don't like chunky soups. I find it unappealing to eat chunks of bean and veggies. I just want to slurp a flavorful soup and call it a day.  I do like chowders and stews, though, when I go out to eat.

I pull out the soup the day of, defrost/thaw, and reheat. Often I will use leftover meats and roasted veggies to add when I've heated the soup. I love putting some chopped scallions. Yum!

All my soups are made with the same foundation. And you can always make it vegetarian by eliminating the stock or bouillion cubes.

5 c. water (2 chicken bouillion cubes when using water or 5 c. chicken stock)
1 can of coconut milk
2 carrots
1 celery stalk
1 medium onion
2 large cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning (it is a mix of really flavorful herbs)

Once I have the base of the soup in the pot, I add whatever other veggie and bean available in my pantry. The soup above is a butternut squash and chickpea soup that was cooked for 4 hours, left to warm overnight, and blended this morning. I've made the same with beets and pink beans, cauliflower with white beans, carrots with red lentils, etc. It is whatever your heart desires.

Do not blend hot. Make sure it is warm to cool before liquefying. Make sure you have enough space in your jar for the soup to expand when you freeze.

If you are prepared with pre-made frozen meals, you are most likely to stay on your weight loss plan. This is a great way to stick to your plan.

Do you like soup? Do you make your own? What is your favorite soup?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Trying to get back.

It has been over a year since I last blogged. Almost two years. There are many excuses. Many. Many. Excuses.

Recap of my time away.

I put my mother in a nursing home. She had too many "elopements", which is a fancy word for walking out and away from home while I worked. Police were called to find her many times. She would wake up in the middle of the night, like an infant around the clock, to eat, to leave, to go to "work", to visit her brother. She would set off the home alarm and disturb all of us: my husband and I having to go to work and the kids to school. The hardest thing is to talk to your parent as if they were a child. It hasn't been any easier now that she is in the nursing home. I still get calls: [Nana] has soiled herself and refuses to change"; "Nana is trying to leave and we have to call the police"; "Nana hit an aide". I also have to take her and attend all medical appointments because I am her PoA--Power of Attorney. It is overwhelming still. But it is my job, and one I do to the fullest of my ability.

I quit my job. I decided in Oct of 2012 that I could no longer work. I was emotionally and physically done. Something had to give. I couldn't quit my marriage, kids, or my mother. But, I could quit my job. And I did. My last day was in May of 2013. I've been home ever since. I spent the Summer with all three kids. I hadn't done that in a while. So while I can' say that I've had a break (I still get calls on my cell from old clients--they don't get it), I am a lot more mentally rested than before.

I went on and off anxiety medication. I didn't go off because I was opposed or better. I shouldn't have gone off cold turkey. My excuse is crazy--I couldn't keep myself on schedule and attend visits with the Psych Dr. I stopped my therapy too. It was helpful, but a long break in her finding time to schedule me around the time that I have available didn't work out.

I only have three free hours in my day on four days a week. And do you know what I do? I go to the gym. I joined a local gym three weeks ago. I have been going 5 days a week; one day taking my youngest to childcare while the older two are in school full day. I've been working on strength training. I need to work on a lot of things, but building muscle is the most important part of my plan. I also joined a hot yoga studio that is in the same plaza as the gym. Yesterday, I went to the gym and did a 45 min walk on the treadmill. Once done, I hopped in the car and drove a football field's length to the yoga studio. I did an hour flow class.  I am the largest in the class. No, I don't have body-dismorphia and think I was the largest. I was the largest. I can hold my own, but my body is so large and heavy that I felt every ounce of myself. It is also restrictive to certain moves. The large belly gets in the way. The clothes fold over and under places. I find myself readjusting my clothes over the fat because it has rolled under the fat. I have to pull down the body hugging tank top because it rises over the belly. It is very self conscious practice. I am super aware of my body. Then, like labor and delivery of a baby, I forget how aware I am that I must do something with my body and lose the weight, that I'll eat things that I shouldn't.

Now to the weight. For years, I was at a maintained weight of 207 lbs. I ran my first 5K at 212 lbs. I never felt so heavy as I do now. I weighed in this morning at 228.7 lbs. I reached the height of 232 lbs about two months ago. This was a shock because the last time I entered labor and deliver at 232 lbs with my youngest; four years ago.

My goal is to get to my happy weight of 175 lbs. I am focusing on 10 lbs at a time. Right now I am focusing on 8.7 lbs. I feel every ounce. Usually, I am annoyed with myself for working so hard at the gym and not losing weight. I have to really focus on the food. I have to focus on my feelings that lead to eating more than enough of the food. The trainer (complimentary 2 sessions) said that I should go back to the Paleo. I had reached my low in over a decade by reaching 193 on Paleo. I quit Paleo in April of 2012, and in July of 2012, I had a gall bladder attack that caused me to have emergency surgery. I will write more about that in another post.

One more recently obtained excuse that has me teetering with my weight is that we are moving to another State in the new year. My husband has already moved and we both (me with kids) are commuting back and forth. I have to get this house ready to sell or rent, and there is a lot to do because I spent so much time focused on caring for my mother, three children, husband, and job.

Stay tuned for more status updates, recipes, and goals.

How have you been during my time away? Have you achieved your goals? How did you achieve them? How do you plan to continue maintaining goals? What is your advice to me and others about working on weight loss again?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Statins & Alzheimer's?

I have my own opinions as to why my mother has early onset dementia and now Alzheimer's at the age of 76.  This week, the FDA has some new recommendations for the prescription of statins for high cholesterol.  My mother has been on statins since the mid 1980s.  Probably a little too long to be on such a drug.  The FDA states that discontinued use can eliminate the memory loss issues, but if you've been taking them for 30+ years, will she get better?

Also the use of statins is supposed to affect blood sugar, which is problematic for diabetics and could create pre-diabetic conditions.  With Alzheimer's being considered a Type III diabetes, I can't help but connect all the dots and point to statins as being a major factor in her medical problems.  

One thing is for sure, I will do everything possible to not to be on a statin regimen because cholesterol is the body's bandaid.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chocolate is my love . . .

I haven't been diligent with writing because I've been bingeing on sugar.  Sugar is my enemy. Chocolate, specifically, is my drug.  Due to the insane holiday seasons that introduce candy every month, I've been consuming copious amounts of dark chocolate; but am not immune to milk chocolate (albeit allergic to milk).

I'm still grain free, but I managed to bake some gluten free chocolate cookies that are essentially a big pile of sugar.  They were yummy.  And now I have a sugar coma.  I feel this pressure release when I consume chocolate.  It is like the anxiety and pent up energy and emotions are slowly released in a deep, meditative exhale.  It is weird to even feel calm as I write about chocolate and sugar.

I've not exercised, which caused me to have an anxiety attack last week.  I ended up in urgent care thinking I was having a heart attack.  I've not had one land me in the hospital in a long time, so I was due.  The pressures of parenting, care taking, career, financial issues, all boiled in my pressure cooker, and I thought I would flip my lid.  

I am not 100% better.  I am still working through my issues.  I'm human.  I feel physically better about the changes I've made with going grain free, but now want to focus on giving up sugar again.  Oh, yeah!  I failed to mention that I had an Almond Milk Latte kick.  However, I've been making them at home and saving money.  I haven't had one since Monday.  It was only 3 days of Latte bliss, but I am back on the wagon of going sugary latte free.

I want to finally make the combination of eating and exercise work toward weight loss.  My goal is to do Jillian Michael's DVDs again.  She is due to have another DVD released, which is kickboxing.  You do not know the love I have for kickboxing.  I want to rotate her DVD series to get the best out of her workouts.  Did you see she has now gone the informercial route?  I was a bit peeved, but the gal does have an incredible sense fitness and structure.  

I've been wanting to go the crossfit route, but the gyms locally are very cost prohibitive.  Hubby and I watched a Crossfit competition on ESPN.  We were so awed and impressed.  However, for weights, medicine balls, and cardio, I am not interested in spending $150/mo for fitness.  And hubby did that when he was in college--he says he was tortured while playing football, so he has no interest in co-crossfitting with me.  I am not feeling motivated to workout in my dungeon, despite having all the equipment at my disposal.  But time, money and support are limited and I have to do what is easiest and available.  5 a.m. workouts, here I come!

We all need motivators to work out, what's yours?