Thursday, October 28, 2010

Im not dead... just a slacker.

Calorie CounterI know... you are like.. who is this KindleVixen chick? I don't remember her.


I have been a very very bad blogger. Very bad.
School this semester has been incredibly time consuming, only 4 classes but 3 of which are writing intensive. Thankfully I am down to just 3 classes and can stop using that as a crutch for my twitloss slackitude.

In spite of my slackness I have managed to lost a pound or so, I consider that a success all things considered.

Now - I stop being a puss and get back to the gym. Zumba Wednesdays, Body Pump Tuesday and Fridays, cardio the rest. I am also doing a combination of calorie watching using the Daily Burn app and the Eat Clean diet. It is a pretty simple theory, eat whole foods and make them count. 

Let's hope that I'm back next week with a good update! If not, someone kick me in the ass!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Marie Claire and Roller Coasters

Well, I wasn't going to say anything about the Marie Claire webisode but I was struck that I find it sad we are all so judgmental of each other. Who is anyone to say someone is too fat for TV or too skinny, even? I find the her apology to be a further insult as she uses anorexia as her excuse for her harsh words.

Full stop. Nope, just take responsibility and say you did it. There are plenty of women out there recovering from eating disorders that do not share your attitude. Case in point go read Katiebabs response to the post. She is eloquent and moving and most importantly honest. I am also sad that Ms Kelly is still qualifying her apology. Because I am here to tell you that even without "medical and psychological reasons" it is still damn hard to loose weight. There is no magic fat pill. No silver bullet.

Working toward weight loss is like riding a roller coaster. You get on the ride and everyone is nervous, excited maybe, and some are afraid. As the car climbs the first hill it is with great trepidation and angst the you move forward.

This first part of the ride is like the process of deciding it is time to loose some weight and your preparation. You decide, you do some research on how to eat or what diet plan to use. Then you look at what exercise plan to follow, how often, when you will fit it in to your already pack schedule. There is much angst, nervousness, and maybe even some excitement in all this.

Now we are cresting the first hill. Whew! That feels good! Maybe we are a week in, a month, who knows...but we start to slip down the other side. Eventually we barrel down into the valley. Our first hiccup. Maybe it's a party, lunch with the girls, a bad day at work...whatever it is it leads to a break with the plan. We overeat, skip a workout, or just have a candy bar. But it's okay, we recover. We get back into the swing of things and start climbing the next hill. This is important!

Again. Something happens we hit another valley, more ups and downs. Maybe a plateau. (Ack!) A loop, a twist. This is the weight loss journey. It is not an easy path straight down. Everyone's path is different, just like roller coasters are all different. One person's journey might be like riding the Great American Scream Machine, a wooden coaster with no loops. Or, their journey might be more like mine...The Incredible Hulk. At least, that's how it feels.

So I want to know, how did you feel about the article if you read it, and what roller coaster is your journey to weight loss?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Twitloss is on Twitter!

Twitter logo initialImage via WikipediaOkay so I know that sounds strange...but we never had an actual Twitter account. LOL! But we do now so be sure to follow the blog's account (@twitlossblog) for news and post updates as well as each of us for personal updates. As always we will be living at #twitloss on Twitter! See you there!
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Friday, October 22, 2010

walking on sunshine

Good morning and happy Friday, fellow Twitlossers!

I didn't really have anything to talk about today, because the evil that is Girl Time hasn't gone away yet. This is the 2nd week, and while the cramps and general "OhmyGodkillmenow" feeling has gone away, Aunt Flo has refused to leave the building... The bitch. And yes, I know you can work out during Girl Time, but I don't. After getting my IUD (and later having it removed), I can't do tampons anymore, and working out while wearing a pad makes me feel disgusting.

I know, excuses.

This isn't actually what I was going to talk about today. I wanted to talk about depression and how it affects your weight. For me, I'm an emotional eater. If I'm sad, I eat. If I'm angry, I eat (after I throw things & curse a lot). If I'm happy, I eat. It's a horrible, vicious cycle that has added entirely too many pounds & inches to my ass.

I'm bipolar, so I have manic highs and manic lows. Not a pretty sight to be around when I'm in a downphase. I cry a lot, I eat a lot, and I don't get out of bed much. So, how I do deal with the depression? How do I pull myself out of the funk?

Over the years, I've developed a few different methods.
  • Music - I love music, so I have a playlist that's designed specifically to get me back into my "happy" place. I also use it as my "WAKE UP!" mix in the mornings when I crawl into the shower. I have songs like "(I feel good) I got you" by James Brown, "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves... Up beat, happy music.
  • Journaling - Keeping a journal helps too. I write out every thought & feeling I'm having at the time and when I'm done, I put it away. I don't read the entries again. You know that "out of sight, out of mind" trick? That's kind of what I'm trying to accomplish with the journaling. I get it out & set it aside.
  • Going outdoors - Even though I'm not really much of an outdoors type of girl, I found that getting outside and soaking up some sunshine does me a lot of good. Last semester, when I wasn't working, I found myself getting more and more down, the more I stayed home. When I took Monkey to daycare/pre-school, I noticed a dramatic change in my energy level and overall level of happiness... getting outside and being in the sun actually boosted my spirits.
  • Playing with my kid/spending time with my family - If you're on my Twitter, you know that I adore my kid (how can I not? She's precious & sweet & funny). So, hanging out with her when I'm down also serves to lift me up. She makes me laugh & if I feel like crying, she crawls into my lap and gives me hugs & kisses until I'm better. If that's not enough, I crawl into PK's lap and he holds me until I'm happy again. And if all else fails, I go see my mom. I can't crawl in her lap anymore, but I can lay down next to her, and she'll play with my hair and tell me funny stories about my aunts & uncles until I'm laughing so hard I think I might actually pee on myself (my mom's hilarious).
  • Baking - I know, it's not very Twitloss friendly, but I love to bake. Love it. The act of putting a recipe together, measuring out the ingredients exactly (I only measure when I bake - when I cook, all bets are off), mixing it, & seeing how it comes out of the oven... it's soothing to me. You can usually tell when I've had a rotten day, because I tend to bake a lot when I'm upset. My neighbors actually kind of love it when I have a bad day because they get a ton of sweets (I can't keep them in the house -- emotional eater, remember?)
  • Reading - Of course I love to read when I'm down. I usually pick something that's not too angsty (ex: HQ romances - the sekrit baby kind, lol) so it doesn't drag me down even further.
  • Cleaning - I know I'm weird, but I actually like to clean. I put on my "Clean the house" playlist that's got a bunch of Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, etc. type music and get moving. You can really tell when I'm in a funk because the house smells like bleach and looks all sparkly & shiny.
They're not all guaranteed to work. Sometimes I just need to ride out the funk until it goes away. I once spent an entire month in bed, only getting up when I absolutely had to. Luckily, that hasn't happened in almost a year, and I'm getting better at pulling myself out of the funk.

This week's question: Do you battle with depression? How do you pull yourself out of a funk?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shimmy Shimmy Shake!

I have been trying to spice up my workouts...give Billy Blanks a little twist. I have been adding in a belly dancing workout from FitTV called Shimmy. OMG! This is so much fun.

"For thousands of years women from the cradle of civilization have maintained their beauty and explored their sensuality with the ancient practice of belly dance."

I mean it just sounds exotic. :) I have enjoyed the change up to my normal routine, and DH got a big surprise when we went to a hookah lounge and I jumped up with the belly dancer and shook it. That was awesome! Check it out...

So, curious about this? Well, here are the top ten Shimmy moves:

Cut Turn:

The Cut Turn is the signature move of belly dance. It's a traveling step that allows the dancer to move confidently through the audience. The hip powers the body in a teasing flit around a central pivot in time to the music. Arms add accents and grace to this powerful movement. Episodes 101, 108, 114

Snake Arms:
This slithering arm movement represents the power, mysticism, and symbolism of belly dancing. It is a reverse sequential movement similar to "the wave" in break-dancing that strengthens and tones the arms and shoulder muscles. Episodes 103, 109, 125

Shoulder Shimmy
A classic move in belly dance, this simple, flirty, shoulder gesture is also common in many other forms of dance. Shoulders move back and forth in opposition, shaking all the special upper body parts. Episodes 101, 108, 114

Cabaret Shimmy:
The shimmy is a standard expression of all belly dance forms. In this Egyptian cabaret variation, the knees move back and forth quickly in opposition giving a side to side shake of the hip—this move is particularly stunning when performed in full costume. Episodes 105, 115, 124

This is a sharp, ballistic style of movement that gives a burst of energy to the typically smooth, sensual nature of belly dance. The precise isolation of the hip joint will be sure grab the attention of the audience. Episodes 103, 109, 120, 125

3/4 Shimmy:
Definitely one of the more difficult moves, but a must learn for all belly dancers. Hips take turns moving up and down - motioning to the side in a traveling step or in place to catch the rhythm and emotion of the music. Episodes 103, 119

Chest Camel:
This is a chest circle that scoops the chest forward then back. It engages and strengthens the chest and upper back muscles. Episodes 104, 115, 118, 122 (with a variation—120, 123)

Hip Circle:
One of the most sultry moves in belly dance; this hip isolation exudes sensuality while toning abs, hips and glutes. Episodes 102, 107, 111, 117 (with a variation—108)

A standard in many Eastern dances, the head slides from one side to the other; the critical part is keeping the chin parallel to the ground. This will add exoticism to any dance routine. Episodes 102, 107, 111, 117 (with a variation—116)

In this movement, hips come up, out, and down creating an outward circle with the hips. A very challenging move that will leave your audience wondering "how does she move like that?" Episodes 110, 124

What do you do to change up your routine? To keep things interesting? Anyone gonna try Shimmy now?

Friday, October 15, 2010

1 step forward, 2 steps back

This week started on a fairly good note. I started my meds, and my eating feels like it's finally under control. I know it's not a magic fix, and I will have to figure out a way to resist the temptation to eat everything in the house, but it's a start. I'm eating more sensibly, and eating the right way (small meals & snacks throughout the day). I don't eat nearly as much as I did before... when I was able to eat more than PK in a sitting... And I'm feeling great!

When I got home Monday afternoon, I found the most beautiful gigantic box I'dever seen in the entire world. My Body Champ Cardio Dual Trainer had arrived! I found it on while searching for an elliptical that wasn'ttoo expensive and wouldn't take up my entire living room. And when I ran across this one? It was PERFECT! See, I can only do the elliptical - the low impact is perfect for my hips and knees. PK only likes the bike - which I can't do. So... combine them in one machine & you don't need an entire room take up by exercise equipment! WIN!

Unfortunately, I have no idea how to put the bastard together, so I waited for PK to get home. And waited. And waited. He ended up having to work until 7:00, and even then he only came home because the computer kicked him off so that it could do it's nightly system backup. So, it was too late for him to start putting it together. I was sadface, but I can understand his need for food and sleep after such an incredibly long day.

Tuesday, I woke up feeling gross. Not like "Oh God, I'm going to be sick" gross, but "Oh God, I think my ovaries are trying to crawl out of my body" gross. Thing is, I'm on birth control pills and that girl crap wasn't due for another week! Unfortunately, I'm just now getting on these stupid pills, and my hormones are trying to adjust. (I apologize if any of this is TMI - I tried to keep it as vague as possible)

As much as I want my elliptical to be put together, I can't really do much in the way of exercising. Or moving. Nope, I have to have a heating pad on my belly, a big ol' bottle of Aleve, and the biggest bottle of water you have seen in your life (I'd say vodka, but alcohol & Phentermine don't mix well) all while cuddled either on the bed or on the couch. On the plus side, I haven't gone diving for the chocolate in the pantry. Or the ice cream in the fridge. Instead, I grab an apple or some yogurt.

I know I sound like a big baby, but it hurts. And me and pain? We're not friends.

So, while my diet is WAY better this week (and I almost feel like I'm not bloated at all), my exercise sucks. All I can say is that I pray this crap is over soon and my hormones level out with a quickness. I don't want any more surprise visits from that bitch Aunt Flo.

Today's bathroom scale reading: 193!

I go back to the doctor in a few weeks, and I'm going to make them let me go in the back to check my weight to see what their scale says. I want to see how much it differs from mine.

Question of the week: How do you deal with That Time Of The Month? Do you run for the chocolate, or do you exercise it out?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guest Blogger - @shilohwalker and Finding Your Limit

FYI…total disclaimer here…this post isn’t meant to be ANY sort of medical advice, suggestions, etc…nobody should start a workout program without first checking with their doctor, yadda yadda yadda…

A little less than a year ago, I had to go shopping for clothes and I was disgusted with myself to realize I’d crept up in size again. From a 22 to a 24. I’d been a size 20 for years and I was okay with that…not dancing on the moon happy, but okay. Less okay with a 22. Then I hit the size 24. And um…well, lets just say I wasn’t okay. At all.

In November of 2009, I decided I’d had enough. I didn’t like who I saw in the mirror and it had nothing to do with what society says I should like. I wasn’t happy with what I saw. I didn’t feel healthy, even though I didn’t generally eat that much, and even though I was fairly active—I hit the YMCA often, I worked out, I wasn’t a couch potato.

But I was a size 24…and I was fed up.

So I did something about it. It wasn’t a diet, because guys…one thing I finally figured out…diets do not work.

It’s all about changing how you eat, how you live, those ‘lifestyle changes’ that you hear? Well, that’s how you lose weight, and the first step is finding your limit. Whatever sets you off, because it has to be for you. Doing it because somebody wants you to, because somebody else thinks it’s a good idea or even because you think maybe it’s a good idea…that’s not going to do it. You have to find your limit—that point where you are just fed up and you’re not going to keep going on the way you have been.

For me…it was a size 24.

I changed how I eat. While there’s no ‘set’ diet plan that I follow, the ‘white food’ diet where you cut out the ‘bad’ carbs like potatoes, white bread, etc is close to what I do. I eat lean meats, lots of veggies, yogurt, that sort of thing.

I’d been ‘trying’ to run off and on for a while, but once I hit my limit, it wasn’t ‘trying’ to run. I made myself to do it. And um… please, don’t say… Oh, hell, I can’t run. I’m asthmatic, I’ve got a knee I messed up in a car wreck when I was twenty and back issues I deal with off and on. If a doctor had told me I couldn’t run? Then yeah, I wouldn’t have tried. But that’s medical advice. Me thinking I can’t run? Different story. Because two years ago? I thought, Oh, hell, I can’t run…I’ve got asthma, my knee is screwed up…etc, etc, etc.

The word can’t is one colossal word—because if somebody believes they can’t…well, there ya go. Deciding you can is what shrinks that word down to size.

I decided I could run. And I did.

First I started at about an 1/8 of a mile, then I’d walk an 1/8, then I’d run an 1/8, then I’d walk…until I’d gone an entire mile. Four or five days a week.

Then I was able to slowly work it up to running ¼ of a mile, then walking ¼ , then running, then walking…then ½, and so on, and so on. I’m now up to where I can run three miles several times a week. Once, I even managed four. And sometime in the next year or so, I’m going to running in one of those 5k/3mile mini marathons. Just to prove to myself I can.

Two years ago, I was one of those people who would have said, Oh, I can’t run.

I’ve had a few people tell me that with my knee bothering me or my back bothering me, I should try a different exercise, but actually, running has helped. I still hate it. But since I changed how I eat, since I started running, my asthma has improved, the weight loss has taken strain of my knee so my knee is actually better—walking upstairs no longer hurts my knee the way it used to, and running doesn’t hurt my knee the way it used to. My back doesn’t hurt the way it used to.

And I still hate running.

I love French fries. I miss McDonald’s sweet tea.

Making these changes hasn’t been fun. It’s hard work.

But…I’m down more than 55 pounds and I’ve gone from a size 24 in womens to a size 14/16 in missy’s. I’m out of the plus department. Bra size? From a 42C to 38D. (Yeah, I don’t get that either).

I look better than I have in years, and I feel better than I have in years. So while I’m running (and hating every step), I’m loving the way I feel now, and I love going shopping for new clothes.

Is it easy? No. But it’s easier now than it was before I hit that size 24. Because that size 24 was my limit. I was done with it. That’s how you decide to make changes, I guess. You find your limit…and start making changes.

Shiloh Walker, twitloss lurker, griper, reluctant runner

Friday, October 8, 2010

Confessions part 2

After my trip to New York, I expected to have gained a pound or two. I didn't exactly eat as good as I have been, but I thought that I'd balanced it out nicely with all the walking. Seriously, we walked a good 14-15 miles over a span of (basically) 3 days. I was wrong.

I went to the doctor last weekend to get back on Phentermine. And found that I'd gained 10 pounds back.... TEN. I cried on the spot. I knew that I'd gained some back because my jeans weren't fitting as great as they used to, but I kind of figured that it was part of me PMS'ing or water weight or whatever. I figured it'd go away. But it hasn't. My jeans are still tight, and the scale is still showing 203.

I went back to the doctor on Tuesday and sat down with the doctor. He did bloodwork and an EKG to make sure I was able to be on the meds, and they all came out normal. We talked about my diet and exercise. He wants me to cut down the calories I take in from 1650 a day to 1300 a day. He also wants me to either walk or do the elliptical every day. Weight training is ok, but I can't push myself to the point where I'm exhausted and hurting all the time. He mostly wants me to focus on my cardio and the way that I eat... which, honestly, has become a problem again.

I can't help it. I'm addicted to food. I love it. The tastes, the smells, the colors, the textures... I love food. Period. So, while I really enjoy the healthy foods, I really enjoy the fatty, greasy, salty, unhealthy foods.

I started the meds on Wednesday and go back to the doctor in a month. I will be buying the elliptical machine sometime in the next few weeks, but until then I'll be going to the school's gym on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (when I get off early) to use theirs.

I refuse to gain back the weight that I literally worked off of my ass.

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