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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In the Holiday Flow


Greetings, Kittens!

Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas and a Joyous Kwanzaa to all! I’m happy to say, the holidays haven’t added to the scale. Yay! They haven’t taken the number down either, but considering the abundant treats in every direction, I take it as a win.

I’ve spent the last month healing, with only a setback or two. I believe whatever happened, the inflammation is entirely gone and all the joints and muscles are doing well. I’m definitely grateful.

The setbacks have meant no riding, but hooping has worked well. As long as I pay very close attention to my knee, there have been no issues. I’m hoping the increase in my supplements will lubricate the joint further and I’ll be riding for the new year. I still have my 1000 mile goal to reach, I also have a goal of riding 260-300 of the 366 days in 2012. That’s five to six days a week every week, which is very reasonable. It means before I travel, if I think I won’t have access to a bike, I’ll have to ride daily the four to eight weeks before, depending on how long I’ll be gone. But that’s reasonable as well, since it’s right in the other room.

I’ve been hyper aware of my eating this month, which is awesome. My food journal had started collecting dust and now it’s back on duty. I haven’t sweated the numbers, rather simply wanting to get them down and keep them from being outrageous. Check and check. So I’m all ready to wed that awareness to increased cardio and strength training, and see results astound and amaze.

While the scale has remained steady, I’ve lost noticeable inches the last month and that’s another yay. Yay! I think that my measurements in February will be in more impressive after the increase in sustained cardio and the increase in walking for a full month. Speaking of which *Major Fitness Squee* I get my new pedometer this afternoon, I’m so excited!

I’ve missed fitness walking so much more than I could have imagined. There’s such a longing to have it back regularly, that I’ll happily alter my biking goal if my knee only lets me do one or the other. Between them, I’d much rather get in all my steps and get back the way my body and mind felt when 15-20k a day was the norm. Today I can start that. *Second Fitness Squee*

I’m looking forward to the yearly fitness craze to hit us in January. I have a list of things to pick up when the sales start. I need new handweights and resistance bands, some workout shorts and new shoes. I’m also hoping for a few Wii sports games at a reasonable price. Can’t wait!

What will you all be replacing and stocking up on during the January sales?


Happy New Year!

~X                 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Onward and Downward?

Well, as we gear up for the Holidays, I know many of you are staying really focused on your weight loss efforts. I am trying to get refocused as my foot continues to heal. I have another few weeks (about 2.5) until I go back to the doctor and hopefully get told I can walk again. In the mean time I am doing range of motion stuff with the boot off and trying to do some exercises to strengthen my legs without putting weight on my foot. LOL! That gets easier after next week because I start a new job where they have a gym. Yay! I plan on trying to use the machines and getting some muscle tone built up until I can really bust in to some cardio work. We shall see. 

Anyway, I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday and sticking to what ever plan of attack you have devised for surviving. Me, I'm just gonna try and control the impulse to eat EVERYTHING. We'll see how that goes. Merry Christmas all! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's that time of the Year.

No... not the holidays. The time of the year when every begins to obsess about their diet and losing weight. Note this also occurs immediately before the beginning of swimsuit season. And if you are from down under, these times actually coincide.

I saw a post on Facebook the other day that really resonated with me. It said, "It's not what you eat between Thanksgiving and Christmas that counts, it's what you eat between Christmas and Thanksgiving."

I ate all my favorites on Thanksgiving. I plan on eating all of my favorites at Christmas, too. What I'm not doing is the mindless grazing at parties. There were no late-night leftovers from Thanksgiving. (We ate at my mother's and didn't take anything home with us.)

Healthy eating isn't about deprivation, it is about substitution. Make better choices, eat smaller portions of those can't-live-without-them favorites. I'm substituting royal icing for buttercream on my cookies this year. That is about 100 calorie per cookie savings. What are you doing this year to have your cake and eat it too?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving is for eating!

Remember when Adam Sandler was funny?


Greetings, twitloss peeps!  So it's the week for eating.  I'm going to give you some anti-twitloss advice.  EAT THANKGSGIVING DINNER.  No, really.  Look, I get it that we're all trying to be healthier.  #twitloss is about losing weight, sure, but not just about losing weight.  It's about being healthier for ourselves, our families, all of that feel good stuff we love to embrace, especially around holiday time.  Right?

So, I've seen more "swap this for that" and "how to eat without really eating"
 articles than I care to and the holiday season is just starting.  But, if you're spending all of your time worrying about what NOT to eat, and how not to eat it, how much are you enjoying the holiday?  How much are you enjoying the company around you if you're so worried about the calories in two spoonfuls of mashed potatoes vs. two spoonfuls of green bean casserole?  And, the reality is, Thanksgiving is ONE DAY.  (okay, with leftovers it can be two or three days...although if you're shopping appropriately, you're going to burn a lot of Black Friday!)  You're not going to wreck your lifestyle indulging on one day.  You're just not.  This is, of course, provided you're doing what you're supposed to be doing all the other days.  That's the real key, isn't it, though?  What are you doing every other day?

Regardless of that, don't let anxiety ruin your holiday.  If you haven't been as good and/or diligent as you fell you should have been, re-commit the day after Thanksgiving.  And, definitely, re-make some of those holiday favorites so that they are healthier if it makes you feel better.  Sometimes, the changes don't taste any different but can make a real difference in the amount of calories consumed.  I'm all for that. But getting down on yourself because you want to enjoy a holiday meal with family and friends?  That isn't going to make you any skinnier or healthier. If anything, it'll make you eat MORE because you'll feel bad about everything. Cut back on calories throughout the week, work out more after the holiday, there are lots of ways to counteract a big meal on the big day.  Just.....take some time off from #twitloss to ENJOY the holiday.  It only comes around once a year. 

Take a walk afterwards......it does more than sooth a guilty conscience. Look:



Sure, I want to look like this 
(in a lovely shade of brown, please, and without seeing my ribs!) 

but it isn't going to happen overnight.  And it isn't going to NOT happen because of Thanksgiving.  It's the work I do all the OTHER days of the year (and genetics) that will determine the outcome. So, have a guilt free Thanksgiving, and burn a ton of calories shopping (or avoiding shopping) over the weekend.  

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Life is Hard....Food is Easy

You may or may not know that I have been dealing with a lot lately. For those of you who do not, here it is. On 10/31/11 My baby brother (he was 30) was killed in a car accident. We all have been getting through this the best we can, but for me it was a little harder. I wrote on my personal blog about it a couple of days ago. Since this is what I am dealing with right now, I am just going to put the same post here.

Emotional eating is something that a lot of people on a weight loss journey go through. Whether you are dealing with a loss of a loved one, stress at home or on the job, there is always a choice on how you deal with it. No matter how long you have been in an emotional eating cycle, you can always pull yourself out.


As hard as a weight loss journey is, sometimes you don't prepare yourself for the harder things. For me I expected things to get in the way, to have bumps along the road, to go off course from time to time. What I didn't expect is how I would handle something big, something that I didn't have control over. My brother's sudden death knocked me out, put me flat on my face, and into a almost 3 week secret eating binge.

Life is hard. Sometimes it's so full of B.S. , I can hardly think, let alone stop the things that I do to myself. And let me tell you, me & my family losing my brother is over the top B.S. ! This is where food is easy.

I call it grief eating.

In order to deal with this horrible pain, I've been eating it away. Shoving it so far down inside with all kinds of unhealthy things; I really haven't had time to feel.

When people ask me how I am doing. I say, I'm ok. You see, I can't really "break" down. Well that's not true, I did have one, the day I got the call (thank you Shannan for being there). Since then, there have been none. I have always felt that since I am the oldest, I am the one who has to be strong for everyone else. There has to be at least one person who has it all together and be on their toes for what ever some one may need. Again this is an example of how food is easy. Eating gives you comfort. It never fails, it's there anytime I need it. I don't need anyone to be there for me, I have food.

On Sunday, I recognized what I was doing. I was just sitting on my bed, thinking about my brother, and I had 4 cookies in my hand. Cookies that I had baked, "for the kids". Then I began to feel ill, because I remembered the night before I ate an entire large cheese steak and order of fries.

At that moment, I knew I had to make a choice. I knew I had to reach out to someone. Someone who could relate, another weight loss journey friend. Hoping that they would have some advice on how to get back to where I needed to be.

Tara & Meegan, where right there with a response in a couple of minutes. What they had to say gave me hope and some peace. I was given permission (not that I need it, but I did) to grieve without food. I need to go back to the basics. Start from the beginning. Start logging my food, so I would conscientiously have to decide what to eat. And more importantly, permission to be kind to myself and to my heart.

I have to cope with my feelings and not eat them.

I am mad, and so profoundly sad that I will have to go through the rest of my life with out seeing this beautiful smile in person.

Yesterday, was a new day.
I let myself feel.
I didn't eat excessively.
I logged my food.
I cried a lot.
Today I stepped on the scale.

Life goes on, whether we are actively participating in it or not.
I choose to participate.

"We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey." ~Kenji Miyazawa

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Back in the Mix



Greetings, Kittens!

I'm on the mend and almost normal again. It was nowhere near as quick as I'd hoped two weeks ago. There are still twinges in my lower back, but I've walked unassisted for the last ten days. There have been knee issues, but I can also twist and turn as necessary. I'm calling it full movement restored and going for a short hooping sesssion this evening. 

I still don't know what caused it, but for the next couple months, I'm going to lay off of the strength training and mat pilates. I'll use my hoops to tone, and some basic yoga poses to stretch, but I won't do anything that causes stress on my back.

Even for cardio, I think I might stick with the hoops for at least a week and then jump back into riding the bike. I'm wary, but I'm eager, so here's to getting back in the saddle!

100 miles and counting!

~X

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Procrastination - I haz it!

Hello Girls! I have absolutely no progress to post today. Sadly I can't seem to get myself back on track. Seems life just keeps getting in the way. Such is life for a single mom with three active kids I guess.

I have a question for you. What helps you stay focused? I started off this year really strong. I went to the gym 5 days a week and worked out with a trainer 2 to 3 of those days. Since then I quit going to the gym because it was to hard trying to juggle everything. 

Anyway this time next month I hope to post good  news. I just gotta crawl my way back on track and stay focused. Have a great rest of the week. Talk to you next month!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I am writing this the night before heading to Vegas. You will be reading it the day after I get back. All bets are off...or on as the case may be. :D But the diet is off and the eating is on! Later this week I go see the doctor and find out how much longer I will be wearing the "Boot of All Evil" (a.k.a. an AirCast).

I imagine next month will be full of stories about how I drunkenly scootered my way around Vegas, but for now I will suffice to catch you all up on my progress. *cough* Okay, so I attempted to do crunches, leg lifts, and push-ups. Then life and schedule intervened and it all fell by the way side. :P When I get back from Vegas I will try to get on the ball and get up in the mornings to take care of business and get my health back on track. Anyway, I still have not gotten on a scale since I can't bear weight on the foot, but my clothes seem to fit. Heh. Okay, I'll stop here so as not to depress everyone, or myself. Talk to you all later!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween... Ha. I Laugh at Your Candy Deliciousness

Every year the candy comes out earlier and earlier. And every year I buy candy, eat it before Halloween, and have to buy more, but not this year. I didn't buy any candy until Friday. I worked Saturday and Sunday nights, so I was either away from the house or sleeping all weekend. Monday evening I ripped open those bags, selected one fun sized piece for myself, and happily gave it most of it away. I sent my husband and our three kiddos out Trick or Treating. They were back about an hour later. By then, we were starting to run low on candy. It is our first Halloween in a new neighborhood, and I had no idea how many kids we were going to get. Well, I underestimated, way under estimated. There was a mad scramble looking for more candy. We ended up "recycling" 75% of the candy our kids had brought home. I know, I know, I'm a mean Mommy. I was going to take most of it to the dentist's office Tuesday, anyway. This saved me a trip downtown. Most of the candy left, thank God, are things that I don't even like, so temptation avoided.

That leads us on to the next series of temptations...Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving is covered. We are eating at my Mom's, and I'm NOT taking home any leftovers. We don't have the logistics of Christmas worked out yet.

Food is such a big part of our holiday traditions. Baking sugar cookies using some cookie cutters that are 75 years old. Recipes written on the same cards for 50 years. I love the traditions, but the memories are what I want us to have, not the calories.

On to the good stuff. I made myself get on the scales this week. Down 10 pounds from last month. Yes. I'm happy with this. For me this isn't about a crash diet, dropping 10% in a month. It is a lifelong journey that I'm undertaking.

So, what about you all? Did you survive the Halloween Candy Trap? Do you have plans to avoid the Turkey Coma on Thanksgiving?

Lia

Thursday, November 3, 2011

And I'm back, from outerspace...

Wow, it's been a while since I've blogged here. I can only blame my insane school schedule (15 hours this semester!) and the fact that I'm... well, absent-minded. And a little lazy. Sorry, like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie.

(History geek moment - that was actually never said by Washington. It's credited to Parson Weems in a biography of Washington, which has long been considered a complete fabrication).

Excuse my nerdness.

Anyway. It's been a while. I've been crazy busy with school. I wish I could say that I've been really good about working out, but since I've been so busy with going to class and spending a zillion hours in clinicals and at lab, I've lad less than no time to work out. Which is a good thing, because it means I haven't had any time to shovel food into my mouth, either.

So, the good news is that I haven't gained any weight. The bad news is I haven't really lost any either. I'm holding steady at 183. And I hate it! I hurt my shoulder, my knees and ankle are killing me, so even if I did have time to exercise, I can't. And to top it off, the allergens are wayyyyy up, so I'm coughing up both of my lungs and I sound like James Earl Jones.

Sorry I'm so whiny. I just don't feel well right now and I'm pissed that I can't do anything to shed this weight. I saw an orthopedic doctor yesterday who's going to send me to physical therapy. It's only going to be for my shoulder, initially, but I'm going to force them to help me with my knees and ankle as well. I can be very persuasive when I want to be. :) And I refuse to continue living like this.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Um, Ow!

Greetings, Kittens!


I hope you’re all doing better than you were yesterday, and will be even better tomorrow! After wrenching my back on Friday, (or late Thursday, I honestly don’t remember in the haze), I’ve been primarily immobile until yesterday. Today I’m even more mobile, with the majority of the pain from my sciatica issues, rather than the dagger-in-the-back issue that had me getting around with a walking stick these last five days.


The whole thing completely sucked, but I made 97 of the 100 miles I wanted for October and I know the moment I can ride again, I’ll easily make 100 miles for November. As much as it sucks and as bad as the pain was, I can look at the bright side of the injury and acknowledge how much I missed daily riding while out of commission. I almost tried to ride while at the height of the pain in hopes that the increase in blood flow to the muscles would help. I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to ride a bike with back pain, but those who have know that I was momentarily delirious.


I snapped back to reality and paid attention to my body and rested so that I could heal. I’ve been downing the apples and 100% juices, and wishing I could stand long enough to make smoothies, to nourish my body and help heal. I don’t know where my weight is since I couldn’t stand on the scale, but I’m confident that I should be stable, if not down a bit. Hopefully, I’ll be able to check tomorrow or Thursday.


At my current rate of healing, I’m aiming to ride again on Friday. Of course, that will be determined by whether or not I still need the walking stick to get around on Friday. I’ve made the general rule that if I can’t walk on my own, pedaling isn’t the best bet—unless the walking is a knee issue. In that case, it helps.


Can I just say that I’m over this whole thing? Being sick, having no energy, being injured, I’m just over all of it. It’s old. Whatever cosmic lesson I’m supposed to be learning, the Universe can just send a memo at this point. I’ll read it, I’ll grok it, we can all move on. *Smile*


A Happy Wednesday to all!


97 Miles & Counting,


~X

Monday, October 24, 2011

Checking In From The Injured Reserves List

Sorry...DH has had football on all day. :D If you follow me on Twitter then you know I broke my foot late last month. As a result I am not allowed to walk. At. All. That also means no exercise of any real value. At. All. Go me. Needless to say that leaves me on the couch and gaining weight. I do not know how much I weigh right now as I have been unable to actually stand on a damn scale to weigh in. Sigh. I am going to attempt to do some crunches and leg lifts on the floor this week...we shall see how this goes. Otherwise I am out of action.

If you have followed this blog this year then you are aware of the various setbacks I have faced all year. So please excuse me while I go have a freaking hissy-fit.

Okay...that's better. I mean honestly, I can't see 2011 end fast enough. Hopefully my health problems will go with it. Anyhoo. I will let you all know how the exercise attempts go while I wear the "Boot of all Evil" also known as the walking cast that I cannot walk in. Enough whining, I have editing to do. Have a great week!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Hello everyone! I am Trish and thrilled to be part of the Twitloss community! I have been on my weight loss journey forever for 2 years. During that time I have lost 70lbs. This is me, before and after.

 
I still have about 35 more pounds to go before I reach my 1st big goal. This last year has been the hardest. I have been working on loosing the same 5-7lbs. Up & Down. It seems the longer your on this journey the harder it becomes. Or maybe....it's because your tired, or you slip into a little bit of laziness. For me, the excitement of it has dwindled down, our schedule has gotten a little crazier and I suffered a hip injury in July during a run. I love running. I am not that good at it, but I love it. I can't run and some of the higher impact exercises make my hip scream. Instead of doing other things, I have been in maintenance mode. Which is ridiculous, because really why would I want to maintain a weight of 213lbs? So many excuses, blah, blah, blah!

A couple of weeks ago I was reading Dr Seuss to my 6 year old son. As I was reading, I had an AH HA moment. The book brought me back to the beginning of my journey. I know you are thinking, Dr Seuss and weight loss? Dr Seuss is brilliant I tell you. Let me just point out what I mean.


This is the 1st little paragraph from Oh, the Places You'll Go!

"Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

I smiled, Today is MY day (to start again)!

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose."

I can steer myself back in the right direction.

"I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you."

Oh I am hung up alright!

"And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun,
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done."

Oh preach it Dr. Seuss, I'm listening!


"NO!
That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying. 
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing."

This is where I am getting all excited. Boom Bands for me, is that feeling you get inside yourself. That, oh I can do this!

"I'm afraid that sometimes
you'll play lonely games too
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you."

I am my own worst enemy. I sabotage myself.

"And will you succeed?
YES! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting. 
SO..get on your way!"


At the end of the book, my son jumped up and went on his way. Me? I sat there, clinging to the book, a little teary eyed and full of hope. I got up and went to the mirror and said out loud "my weight loss journey is my mountain. I can do this, I have done this, I can continue. I am on my way." 

Dr. Seuss, Freakin' Genius! 


It doesn't matter whether you are like me or just starting, you can do it. You can move mountains, you can have success, just believe in yourself. One small change, day by day and one pound at a time.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" ~Lao-Tzu

I have a plan, I went back to the beginning! I've started journaling what I eat, getting my 64oz of water in each day, and exercising M-F. YES!

I took my first step. What will be yours?



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spinning Wheel, Gotta Go Round

 
Greetings, Kittens!


I’m Xakara, it’s great to meet you! I’m happy to have joined all the lovely ladies here and all of you, on this current leg of my health journey.


I’ve been struggling with repetitive injuries, as well as a downward cycle in my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There’s more about my CFS and such on my page, so I’ll spare you the repetition. Needless to say, it’s in a bad place right now, but I’m happily in a much better one.


We all obsess on the numbers, usually the ones on the scale or printed on our clothing labels. I don’t know about all of you, but those particular obsessions have yet to actually help me along. No, I do my best when I get to obsess over different numbers, steps, sets, reps, minutes, miles and miles-per-hour are my golden zone. Since this is an energy game, I have to spend what little I may have on a given day, to reach for numbers that remain real and steady in a way the scale never can. This is what gets me going and keeping me doing so. And this is why, at my lowest point of motivation, and one of my highest points of depression, that I set a goal of riding 1000 miles.


 I’ve been riding a stationary bike off and on since June, but chronic knee issues and sudden drops in energy would stall me about three or four days into a new routine. In part, it’s because I’d push too far and too fast, focused only on how soon I could get the weight off and feel more like myself. The other part is that once I find a legitimate reason to skip a day, that day becomes a week, becomes a month, becomes three months with only a handful of workouts. Having to constantly start over and rebuild my endurance meant never really making progress.


It took a moment in September, of looking hard and deep while journaling, to realize that I was in a negative push-crash cycle on two levels. I’d push beyond my current energy levels with the CFS, and beyond what my knees can take with the injuries, which halted my efforts. Every time my efforts were thwarted, I’d get depressed and those days off would grow. It’s hard to struggle over simple things, when I was walking 20-30,000 steps a day as recently as February of this year. That’s just before my knee gave out and the CFS bottomed out as well. No energy, and no ability when the energy was there, well, it wasn’t a pretty sight.
 

I had to confront the push part of the cycle and why it so easily self-perpetuated. Flipping through journal entries, it became clear that somewhere along the line, I had come to equate getting my energy back and feeling good, with getting the excess fat off as soon as possible. Of course, that’s not at all how it works. As with anyone, fitness and health comes long before any kind of goal weight/size is reached. Building the fitness builds the energy, and everything stems from that. Going back to the tried and true fitness goals and decoupling it from weight altogether was the only way to build at a pace that wouldn’t cause me to crash later on.


To ensure that, I put a few rules in place for achieving my 1000 Miles in a year or less:

1.) Ride every single day. No exceptions!

This is vital. Daily is necessary for me to see these kinds of goals through, rather than put them off to write or because I'm too tired. I have CFS and I'm in a vicious insomnia cycle, I'm always tired. It can't be a reason to do nothing at all.


2.) Ride only as far and as fast as I can that day.

Some days will be 1 mile, some days will be 5 miles, my most current ride was a surprising 8 miles. Whatever I can do in a given day is a good day because it gets done.


3.) Do Not talk about Fight Club.


3.) Every day is a new day.

A string of 1 mile days has no bearing on how far or fast I ride the next time. It’s all open with the potential to be everything I can put into on a given day.


 The above mindset has been working beautifully and I haven’t crashed since I started October 3rd. Following the rules, after months of nothing consistent, I’m now fifteen days in with daily rides, and I’m 60 miles into my 1000.


I don’t want to give the impression that the scale is unimportant. I weigh daily and chart the ups and downs to see which foods and activities impact it for good or ill. The scale is a very valuable tool, but it’s not my North Star in any of this. By getting caught up in the miles and my speed and how good I feel from the ride, the excess adipose tissue will come off as a by-product. This happened with walking. I got so focused on my daily steps and dancing in 2007, I actually forgot the goal of shedding weight and looked up to be 60 lbs lighter and then 100 lbs lighter.


Always go with what works, right? :)


Thanks for reading and good luck to us all!
 

60 Miles & Counting...


~X

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dear Diary

Good morning, twitlosers.  Twitloss followers?  You know what I mean!   It's been awhile since my last confession, right?  But, this blog is NEW and IMPROVED with more bloggers, and more fun.
But, like most of my school career, I haven't prepared for class. So this post is mostly going to be things I've been thinking about.  Ready?  Here we go.....

I actually like working out.  Shhhh, don't tell my friend Beth.  She told me this would happen, and I didn't believe her.  So we can NEVER tell her we had this conversation, okay?  I really did think she was full of the crazy when she said it.  After all, I've "worked out" before and never came to the realization that I liked it.  I certainly wasn't any good at it.  I absolutely NEVER looked forward to it.  Now, as I'm typing this, I am thinking about how I can't wait until my afternoon meeting is over, I can go home, put on my new shoes, and hit the gym. This is progress, people. Serious, serious progress.

I'm not gonna lie, seeing results helps. I am wearing a pair of pants that had been slated for goodwill because I couldn't get them buttoned, and a sweater that had been hiding out in the back of my closet because it was too tight.  The pants now are belted, and are still loose in the waist.  The sweater is on the baggy side of fitting. This is definitely motivation. I still have clothes in my closet that I can't wear yet. Those are my next goals.

Did I happen to mention that they've opened a freaking donut shop across the parking lot from me? Um....yeah, I am there almost everyday. The OLD me would be there eating a bunch of stuff without regard to calories. But you know what? It really isn't that hard to keep track of the calories eaten, even when it is donuts. Most of the online calorie trackers have Dunkin Donuts in there, and even though the store isn't a DD, the calorie counts are probably similar for things like glazed, cake, frosted, etc. Once you see how many calories you're eating, that is often good enough to make you turn away from the 2nd or 3rd donut.  I never would have believe that either, but it's true.

I guess all of this is a long winded way of saying.....hang in there. Whatever you're doing, it may not seem like it is working, but it is. It seems like it is taking FREAKING FOREVER, I know. Slow and Steady have never been two words I embraced, especially not in this situation.  But keep at it.  Before you know it, you'll be anxious to get to the gym.

Laugh all you want, it'll happen to you too.....

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What happened?

Hi everyone. It's been a while. I've got news to share and it's not good news either. :(

For personal as well as financial reasons I had to cancel my gym membership so I'm getting little to no exercise. This is not a good thing. Also I've not been sticking to my healthy eating and my doctor decided it was a good time to adjust my meds so long story short...I've gained all of the weight I have lost this year back except for four pounds.Go Me! Not.

Here's a current pic of me and my oldest son. He attended his first high school homecoming dance on Saturday and we had pictures taken at our local library. He and his date were so cute together.


His father decided to take this pic of my son and me. I didn't realize how much weight I'd gained back until I saw this picture.   Needless to say I'm very disappointed with myself.

Anyhow I've decided to give it another try. That's basically all I can do at this point. Keep trying! I know it's not going to be easy but I've got to do something.

I'm tired of being overweight and having a lower opinion of myself. I want to be able to wear a swimsuit comfortably next year without being embarrassed. So I'm back on the wagon.

How is your weight loss journey going for you?

Until next time.....


PS: As of today I have been smoke free for over 10 months now. I am thankful each and everyday that I know longer smoke. At least that is a major accomplishment in and of itself that I've been able to stick with this year.  :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Welcome to fall! How are you going to keep from *falling* off the wagon?

I know, I know, the subject is cheesy. That is what happens when I don't post in forever! I'm out of practice. I really have no excuse other than I've been busy, and overwhelmed with so many things if I listed them all out you would get bored and close the page.

Instead I'll skip to the good stuff.... a personal update. It has been 13 weeks since my last update, I've lost 17 lbs and about 5 inches. Even more important is that I've tried new things and challenged myself to new ways of eating.

As September started, I knew it was going to be a rough month. I needed to find some way to balance full time, in person classes, with my kids' schedule as well as deal with some personal relationship problems. It was hectic to say the least. I figured, it is already nuts, why not add one more thing? hah. I joined in with some friends to take part in a "Whole 30" Challenge.


What is the Whole 30 Challenge? You can read more about it here, but basically it means not eating grain, soy, sugar, dairy, or legume. It was really hard, but also really eye opening. I found new ways to eat things, and enjoyed it. I liked cooking for once! Of course by the end of the challenge I hated food and was tired of it, but.... I learned a lot.

And then I stepped off the wagon. I somehow convinced myself that eating that way was too hard and I was too tired. So I gave up and went back to eating the way I was used to. Here I am two weeks later and I feel absolutely horrible. I had no idea how much unclean food affected my mood and motivation, until now. My skin is horrible, I'm exhausted, I'm bloated, I gained 6 lbs back after losing 13 during the month of September. On top of that I'm moody, emotional, and entirely unmotivated.

So here I am, trying to climb back up on the wagon and not give up. I crossed a pretty big milestone, got a tattoo to celebrate it, and then proceeded to self sabotage and slide back down hill. Why? That is the question I have to step up and answer for myself. Weight loss isn't linear and I can accept that and learn from my mistakes.

So, the question is.... what keeps you from falling off the wagon? Or if you fall, how do you pick yourself back up? The key for me is a plan. I'm going back to eating paleo (similar to the challenge I did, but a little less strict) and I'm upping my weight training, while sneaking in some 5K training in when I can.




It was a bit more but I've had a bit of a

Friday, October 7, 2011

One Step at A Time.

Hi all. I'm Lia. I've been over weight since, well since, forever. If it was only one thing that brought me here, it would be easier to fix. Instead, it comes from a lifetime of decisions and habits, and it will take a lifetime to correct. I could list them...or maybe not. Some things I can change. Some things I just have to accept.

The question is always about motivation. How bad do I want it?

My husband and I adopted three children a couple of years ago. They are a huge motivator for me wanting to lose weight and get fit. I want to be around to see my grandchildren.

Small things can add up to a lifetime of change.

In the last month, these are some of the changes I have made.

I walk down the stairs at work. Elevator to the 5th floor and walk down. I try to walk up sometimes, but my knees don't like that very much. I hope, as the weight comes off, my knees won't protest quite so much.

I make myself drink water. Mountain Dew, not diet, not caffeine free, is my drink of choice. I'm still drinking some Mountain Dew, but not nearly as much as I was a month ago. Every glass of water is basically a -110 calories.

I started walking. For now, just 1.5 miles 3x per week. Now that I can do that without getting winded, I plan to start a Couch to 5k next week.

Some things are easy, and the changes barely noticeable. Sandwich Thins instead of regular bread for sandwiches.

So what are some changes you have made? And how is it working out for you?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Things They Are A Changing....

Okay so we've been MIA for a few weeks. Sorry! We need to fall back, regroup, and well I have more health woes. (I'll save that for another day and another post.) What I want to do right now is welcome two three new bloggers to Twitloss! *throws confetti*

Please welcome Lia, Xakara, and Trish to the site. Like us, they are romance writers or readers (among other things). I will let each of them introduce themselves in their own posts over the next few weeks and on their bio pages, but we are excited to have them join us!

In addition, we want to give everyone a chance to participate in the community more. So if you have the itch to post, please feel free to contact us via our gmail account (see footer for email) or on Twitter and we will set up a date and time. Grab anyone of us you can see, we can all schedule guests.

Thanks for sticking with us through the bumpy ride lately, and we hope things will get back into a nice steady rhythm  You should see posts on M/W/F most weeks with guest posts sandwiched in between or on the 4th week of the month. We look forward to talking health and fitness with you all as we keep on keepin' on!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Twitloss Needs You!

That's right. We do. See, we started out this blog as a way to share our journey's with you. The reality is, blogging once a week has gotten to be too much for all of us. We love Twitloss, the community we have built, and having the ability to share our struggles and our successes with you all. But, (come on it was hanging there you could all hear it!) we also feel like we are cheating you all by not providing enough content. So, with that said we are interested in bringing on board some additional bloggers. I think some place in the 4-5 range would give us enough content through the month to only have each of us blogging once a month.

If you are interested you can contact us at twitloss (at) gmail (dot) com. Tell us a little about yourself and if you have a sample blog you can paste into the email that would be great. If you have a friend who might be interested please pass this along! Thanks!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thwarted, Again.

Sigh.

Left ankle is still nagging me. I've been pushing through, but yesterday it called it quits. No more working out for a few days and no more high heels. *sniff* Now I'm hoping with a few days rest I won't completely undo everything I accomplished...except I had a day full of fail yesterday. I gave blood (that's a win) then proceded to sample EVERYTHING in the freaking cantina (post donation snack bar)--at least once, some things twice. Then went home and had a couple beers...did I mention how badly I fell off the wagon? Then I went to Jack In The Box--wait for it--at 10:30pm. Sigh. Today, despite no exercise, I am aiming to keep my food intake healthy. Hopefully I can rein in my stomach. :-/  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Woo! Hoo! 7 Pounds!

Darn tootin! I have tasted success and now I am hungry for more! I lost 7lbs since August 9th! I have REALLY stepped up my exercise and am using MyFitnessPal app to track my daily calories. If I can keep this up I will be down a full ten pounds next week sometime. *fingers crossed* I am so motivated by my actual weight loss that I easily breezed by donuts and full on bagels in the break room today. It just feels to good to have my pants a bit looser and my step a little lighter to mess it up with food. 
In fact, this week I have already worked out 4 times for a total of 140 minutes. :D I plan on hitting it again tomorrow morning for another 40 minutes and then taking Saturday and Sunday off as rest days. Eventually I will work in a weekend workout, but I think I will save that for when I eventually hit a plateau. In the mean time I will be happy dancing all the way home to a healthy dinner!  Oh and be sure to check out my weight loss monitor on my about me page...it automatically updates as I weigh in each time. 

How was your week? Anyone got anything good to share? Come talk to me!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This Week in Twitloss History...

LOL! I got nothing. But hey you're here and reading. ;) This week has been a pretty good week, I have moved away from the diet shakes and integrated actual food into my day to day diet! Yay! This also has led to a reduction in the acid reflux for me. I have had two really good days with no need for Tums. :)  In addition, I have worked out three days so far and intend to work out tomorrow morning again plus one weekend day for a total of five days of exercise totaling about 4hrs this week. That's right people! And am I motivated to do this? Hell yes! I got on the scale today and am down almost 5lbs from the high number I refused to actually record on SparkPeople. (Shame--I had it.) So I am stoked that I am now under 205! Woot! Woot! I am just hoping this isn't one of those wild fluctuations I get. So, I am eating healthy and working out consistently. I feel better when I am working out, I am starting to realize. Duh. And the DH has even commented that he can see a difference. More than that he's been handsy lately...in the good way. ;)  

So come on tell me about one of your successes of late? I love celebrating with others!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Slow and Steady is a mofo

Good Morning, twitloss followers. Happy Tuesday. I don't really have anything important or beneficial or even helpful to say. But I can almost always do funny. And whiny. Congrats, today you're gonna get a little of both!

Last year when we started this, I swear it seemed like the weight came off SO much faster. I lost 27lbs last year. Now, I gained 20 of them back, so......maybe there is a lesson in that.

This time around, I've lost 13. Since May. Yes, there is a 100% increase in weight lifting this time around, and I can see REAL differences. My clothes don't fit......in a good way. There is muscle definition. I didn't look this good last summer. But the scale was definitely friendlier.



Last week, I lost 1.2lbs. If that isn't enough to make you hurl curses at the scale, you have so much more patience than I do. I prefer 3's and 5's and, hey, I wouldn't even mind a 7 every now and again. 1.2? I'm surprised that was even enough to register. Definitely slow motion. I do wish I could embed that video.....

Anyway, so what's a girl to do, right? I mean, sure you could go crazy, cut your calories down to 300/day, send your body into starvation, wreck your metabolism and move the scale quicker. I mean, yeah, it's an option. Or, I could sprinkle fairy dust Sensa over my food and magically lose weight. Or, I could just do what I've been doing. I actually like working out (never thought I'd say that!) I don't mind counting calories, mostly because I don't see any other way of eating the right amount of whatever the hell I want. Sure, I could cut everything out, eat just stuff that is "good for me" and never worry about it. I've been down that road before, though, and it's a dead end. A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch and a "healthy" dinner? Yeah, not so much.

Slow and steady is a mofo, but it works. Just.....don't be surprised to hear occasional bitching. This video will help. You're welcome.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

An Update and A #Twitloss #Challenge Question

I am walking around in a daze today. Soon I will be passed out on my keyboard (not unlike my little furry friend - no it is not my cat). I am exhausted! I got up this morning and did 43minutes of TaeBo Sculpt with a 5lb weight. That's right I may not be able to lift my arms over my head to undress tonight, but I got down to business this morning. It seems I will be giving up the diet shakes again since they are giving me acid reflux, but I am doing okay. I was down to 205 on Monday when I weighed in and I hope to see that number continue to drop. I have worked out three days this week for a total of 83 minutes and 1294kcals burned. I try to track my calories eaten, but I am not going to lie...it's hard. Breakfast and lunch are easy, it's dinner that is so freaking painful. Well, here's hoping I can keep the forward momentum and see the lbs continue to drop off...at least for a bit before I plateau.

As soon as MamaKitty is back we will be starting a new Twitloss Challenge...how many of you would be interested in joining in the fun? Leave a comment so we can see how much interest there might be.

Friday, July 22, 2011

losing weight on vacation



I'm leaving for Italy with PK today, and we'll be running around the country for two weeks. Primarily, we'll be staying in Tuscany in a villa my mother-in-law rented for us with a real live Italian chef that I'm dying to meet and praying will give me a few dozen recipes to bring home... hopefully in English, since my Italian is limited to things like "I'm lost" "Please translate this for me" "My name is MamaKitty, I am 28 years old, I am from the United States, where is the bathroom, and how is that restaurant?" I can say a few more things than that, but not bad for only having 2 months and an audio thing to learn, huh? :)

We'll be making our way to Rome, Venice, and Florence as well to sample the local flavors and, of course, so that I can go shopping. SO EXCITED!!

I know what you're thinking. I'm thinking it too.

"But MamaKitty. You're doing so well! Eating all those carbs is going to KILL your progress!" Well, you're probably right. So, what's my plan? I'm going to eat, of course. But I'm going to eat smart portions... or as smart as I can. And we're going to be doing a LOT of walking while we're there because we're not going to be renting a car and the hotels we're going to be staying in are so close to the attractions that we want to see (namely: the Colosseum) that we're jut going to walk everywhere.

Weight as of this morning: 186.6 LBS. Woot!

Health update - You might have seen on Twitter yesterday that I had a bit of an issue and had to go to the Emergency Room. Yes, it's true. I did. I was wrangling the animals to put in their travel cages and the asshole bird attacked me. She bit into the inside of my thumb several times and caused some nerve damage. I don't know how significant that damage is yet - I have to see a hand surgeon when I get back from my trip. That should be super. I can't feel the tip of my thumb, but from about the middle, down is throbbing ALL THE TIME, and in so much pain I sort of want to puke constantly. PK said we're gonna sell the bird when we get back. If we don't, I'm sticking her in the oven and setting it on broil.

The picture below is obviously not my hand. That'd be gross (no really, it would be - when I say it's shredded, I'm not kidding). The arrow is pointing to where she grabbed me and wouldn't let go.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

I dunno...

Well, I'm here and blogging today because I feel like I should even though I don't feel like I wanna. Mostly because I don't want to veer down the pity path I feel myself heading toward. Mostly cause that means I will just get depressed and well, ya know. Eat something I shouldn't.

Anyhoo, I have worked out twice this week and plan to again tomorrow morning. I have been doing okay in the food department, with a slip on Tuesday cause DH wanted hot wings before his procedure on Friday. (Nothing dramatic, just a colonoscopy, heh.) That said I am still tipping in at 210, yeppers. So, I'll keep at it, but I don't see it helping. Sigh. DH was really sweet last night, he claimed he could see a difference already from the workouts. Yeah, thanks for lying sweetness, but I'm not that stupid. The blond hair, it is dyed.

So, I suppose I will stop here before I cause anyone to feel the need to hurl themselves into a fridge full of cupcakes to try and feel better. (Mostly myself.) Hope everyone is doing well, and if you have a success to share please do. Might as well enjoy someone else's if I can't enjoy my own.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The #Twitloss #Challenge is Over...


and it was a dismal failure for me. Sigh. I gained weight and lost a whole 1/2" on my thigh...which Iam pretty sure happened because I fail at anything math related. So...who do I send my $5 GC to? :D I am still plugging away at this effort having worked out for 23min Tues, Wed, and Today. Think I'll sleep in tomorrow and try for a 43min workout on Saturday or Sunday. Hope everyone is doing well.

Around the web:

There is a fun reader/writer weight loss challenge going on right now. It's too late to join...but you can play along or just watch it all go down. Check out the Romance Biggest Winner competition.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Challenge Update...

Today's post is about failing. I, apparently, am an expert in this particular area when it comes to losing weight. In the last (almost) 30 days I have lost a whopping 2 pounds. No people, that was NOT a typo. 2. Whole. Pounds.

Big sigh.

It seems like even when I exercise regularly I don't drop any LBs. So for all my years of dancing, for all the nutrition classes I have sat through, it's not working. I have moments of epic fail...yes beer and dessert are my biggest weaknesses...oh, and blue cheese. But really, it seems like I should have lost a bit more than 2 measly pounds. I dunno. It feels like all I do is expand and honestly I don't know what to do anymore. I try eating healthy, but I always fall off the wagon. I have tried allowing myself what I want in small drips and drabs to stem the tide of WANT!, but no dice. I have tried getting up every day at 4:30am to work out for 43 minutes...and honestly that just leads to exhaustion. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. So, I will concede my loss, my Epic Failure, in the Twitloss Challenge and keep plugging away at whatever in the hell this is that I am doing. And well, if you all keep reading then awesome. If not, I can't say I blame you much. It's not like I am offering any useful advice.

On a totally different and way awesome note. If you missed it this week on Twitter, I have sold my first book! Pop on over to my personal blog (I promise it is a weight loss-whine free zone) and check out the details.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Around the Web in Weight Loss: Saturday June 25th. The "Tiffany kicks ass" version.

Happy Saturday twitloss buddies! Today is usually reserved for me cussing and crying about doing back to back gym classes (Body Jam followed by Body Pump) but there are some fancy pants instructor classes today so my usual classes are canceled. I'm still going to get some cardio in today, I promise. Actually, I'm writing this on Thursday in an attempt to actually post this week so that entire spiel was a fib. 

I am really horrible at blogging lately, mostly because I have no idea what to say. I overanalyze myself and the last thing I needed was to self blog it all out to obsess over! So instead, I decided I'd do a little "around the web in weight loss" type of post. So without further rambling, let's talk about some of the the things that have crossed my greader this week. 

Firstly, it is summer, finally. Las Vegas has had a fairly relaxed summer so far (it was only 105 today!) but that still makes cooking almost unbearable. In the past I would just lay about and not eat out of protest, entirely healthy I assure you. /sarcasm. One of the ways I've been avoiding that pitfall is smoothies, and you get bonus points if you can convince your kids they are better than ice cream! I typically do a blueberry/banana combo but I ran across a cherry blend that I am dying to try! 

Cherry Chocolate Protein Shake
1.5 C almond milk (I'm going to sub milk and/or greek yogurt)
1 C frozen organic cherries
1 T protein powder (I use hemp vanille protein from Trader Joes, higher fiber and omega counts!)
1 T raw cacao powder 
a little honey, cinnamon, ice and one banana
(makes 2 mugs full)

In enlightening and otherwise obvious news: increased consumption of potato chips, sugar sweetened drinks, and meat will make you gain weight over time. However that does not mean you should avoid all things fatty, instead stick to the healthy fats. Weight Watchers has long said that we all need 2 servings of healthy oil a day and I've always nodded my head along with them. Fat is not inherently bad! I dislike their limitation of it being "healthy oil" such as olive, canola, sunflower, safflower, or flax but appreciate their acknowledgement that we can't life a "fat free" life and be healthy. I recently picked up some flaxseed oil to add to my salads, but mostly so I can up my Omega 3 intake. Instead, I've been trying to get my healthy fats through other sources. Hey look, here are some suggestions to help you out.

My best friend and I have been discussing our family food budgets and how we can lower them this month. I stumbled across this Cost of Food estimate by the USDA and was astonished to see the expected 'moderate' budget of a family of four, like mine, was $981 a month. I've been aiming for $125 a week and usually end up closer to $150 if I do really well. When I get some free time I want to go through the food plans used as a basis but for now, I simply found it interesting and worth pointing out. I think I find it most surprising because best friend and I always talk about how eating good healthy food simply costs more, especially once you add in organic and natural products, and yet that plan likely does not include organics or environmentally responsible products. I simply can not afford to eat 100% organic currently, but I try hard to buy local/sustainable/responsible/organic when I can. Coupons help

I've been a Body Pump convert for what seems like forever. Or maybe it has only been a year? I don't remember exactly and while I have recently branched out to cardio heavy classes like Zumba and RPM, the Daily Burn has it right.  Weight training gives me confidence. Building muscle has been one of the biggest changes I've noticed on my body, and what keeps me going every day. I look different and it is hard to deny that when I stare at myself in the mirror. I have a long ways to go but I don't want to just be skinny, I want to be healthy and strong. I want to be confident and self assured. I want to know that I can do whatever I set my mind to, and it is impossible to downplay the role strength training plays in giving that to a person. 

Side note: BPA in your canned goods! Actually I'm a little surprised that this is "new" as I've known about it for quite some time. I try to buy canned tomatoes from Eden Organics in bulk from Azure Standard because I read that they have lower levels than most other can linings. You can avoid buying beans in cans by buying in bulk, dry, and then cooking in the slow cooker. Separate out into servings and freeze them until you need them. 

Side note, side note: If you are a parent and are not watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. You should be. Our children deserve better. Do we really want our children struggle as we are now? This journey isn't easy, I don't wish it upon my children or anyone elses. 

If you have made it all the way through this post, you get a cookie! Ok, not really because that wouldn't be very #twitloss friendly. You do however get an update on me. I've moaned and whined and cried over the last few weeks as I felt stuck. I upped my workouts (5+ hours a week, that is 28-30 activity points a week I'm earning!) in order to break a very low weight loss month of May only to have the scale finally move, but slowly. After having a breakdown last week, best friend gave me a mental slap across the face. Again, I'm not eating enough. And I'm not giving myself enough credit, I have probable thyroid issues, I'm still in the first 6 months of a new birth control, my body is adjusting to some pretty drastic lifestyle changes, and we won't even get into the stress and upheaval that is my personal life. I'm not normal and need to stop expecting my loss to be linear. I've upped my activity and lowered my intake.... my body can't possibly recover and build muscle if I don't feed it! This week I made an effort to eat more protein and to eat most of my earned activity points..... and what do you know? I lost 2.8 lbs.

One of these days the saying "it is more than just a number, you are more than just a number" will click. One of these days. I posted something about inches lost not too long ago here. Since then I have measured two more times, once of which was this morning. 




Inches Lost May June
Bicep

0.25 0.25
Neck

0.75 0.25
Over Nipple

1.5 0
Under Bust

1.5 0
Waist

2.5 0.75
Over Belly Button

2.5 2
Hips

1.5 0
Thigh

0.75 0
Calf

0.5 0
Totals:

11.75 3.25

Almost 12 inches lost in May, just over 3 in June. Over that same time period I lost 13 lbs (most of which was in June), 37lbs since we first started this blog and the #twitloss hastag, 47 since the very first time I signed into Weight Watchers more than a year ago. My journey is not a quick one by any means, but that just leaves the end rewards all that much more valuable to me.  



Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm hungry, but my tummy hurts.





First thing's first: I started this challenge at 196, and I'm down to 190.4. That's pretty damned impressive, considering I haven't been able to work out until very recently.






Remember the elliptical I kept promising I was going to put together? The one I bought a year ago and it sat in a box in the corner until I put it in the closet "to get it out of the way for now, but I swear I'm going to put it together this weekend/next weekend/next week..."? Yeah, my friend came over last Friday and put it together.






I've only used it twice since then because I've had a lot going on with work and school (omfg, can you say STRESS?), but also, because my stomach's been bothering me so much. The stress doesn't help a lot, but all the meds I'm on don't help matters either. I take 3 pills in the morning, and 5 at night (remember the part when I told you I'm broken? I wasn't lying). All the pills and all the stress have caused my body to... shall we say "back up." I have to add another pill to the cocktail in order to let my body relax and do what it's supposed to, which will then allow me to get back on the elliptical-horse and kick all the rest of y'all's asses in this challenge. ;) (love you all!)


I don't want to get all TMI on you here. And I don't want to make excuses for why I'm not utilizing my beautiful new(ish) elliptical machine. I'm still going to get on it as soon as I'm not doubled over in pain, I swear.


I'm not slacking on the challenge though. I'm still eating right, and eating far less than I was before. I'm drinking a TON of water (practically drowning myself, actually), and walking as much as I can. I lost my pedometer (yes, again), so I can't tell you what I average daily anymore, but I know that it's more than I used to average, which is more than 3 miles.


How are you doing on the #twitloss #challenge?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fish Burps & A Twitloss Challenge Check-In

National Institutes of HealthImage via WikipediaPart of my attempt to be healthier includes taking more vitamins. Especially those that can do me some good...like fish oil. The problem with fish oil is that when I burp I small and taste fish. GROSS! Now, I know that this is because I am cheaping out on the supplements I buy. I shop at Costco people, I buy in bulk. I will live with the fish burps and my Twitter peeps will learn to live with my whining on occasion. LOL! According to the NIH Fish Oil in the correct doses is (the ones I am interested in are in green):

Effective for...

  • High triglycerides. High triglycerides are associated with heart disease and untreated diabetes. To reduce the risk of heart disease, doctors believe it is important to keep triglycerides below a certain level. Doctors usually recommend increasing physical activity and restricting dietary fat to lower triglycerides. Sometimes they also prescribe drugs such as gemfibrozil (Lopid) for use in addition to these lifestyle changes. Now researchers believe that fish oil, though not as effective as gemfibrozil, can reduce triglyceride levels by 20% to 50%. One particular fish oil supplement called Lovaza has been approved by the FDA to lower triglycerides. Lovaza contains 465 milligrams of EP and 375 milligrams of DHA in 1-gram capsules.

Likely effective for...

  • Heart disease. Fish oil may be effective in keeping people with healthy hearts free of heart disease. People who already have heart disease may be able to lower their risk of dying from heart disease by taking fish oil. Though not all researchers agree, some investigators believe that fish oil may be even more effective in reducing death from heart attacks than a group of commonly used cholesterol-lowering drugs called “statins.”

Possibly effective for...

  • High blood pressure. Fish oil seems to produce modest reductions in blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil seem to be able to expand blood vessels, and this brings blood pressure down.
  • Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea). Taking fish oil alone or in combination with vitamin B12 seems to improve painful periods and reduce the need for pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Taking fish oil seems to improve thinking skills and behavior in 8 to 12 year-old children with ADHD.
  • Stroke. Moderate fish consumption (once or twice a week) seems to lower the risk of having a stroke by as much as 27%. However, eating fish doesn’t lower stroke risk in people who are already taking aspirin for prevention. On the other hand, very high fish consumption (more than 46 grams of fish per day) seems to increase stroke risk, perhaps even double it.
  • Weak bones (osteoporosis). Taking fish oil alone or in combination with calcium and evening primrose oil seems to slow bone loss rate and increase bone density at the thigh bone (femur) and spine in elderly people with osteoporosis.
  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Fish oil seems to slow or slightly reverse the progress of atherosclerosis in the arteries serving the heart (coronary arteries), but not in the arteries that bring blood up the neck to the head (carotid arteries).
  • Bipolar disorder. Taking fish oil with the usual treatments for bipolar disorder seems to improve symptoms of depression and increase the length of time between episodes of depression. But fish oil doesn’t seem to improve manic symptoms in people with bipolar disorder.
  • Weight loss. Some evidence shows that eating fish improves weight loss and decreases blood sugar in overweight people and people with high blood pressure. Preliminary research also shows that taking a specific fish oil supplement 6 grams daily (Hi-DHA, NuMega), providing 260 mg DHA/gram and 60 mg EPA/gram, significantly decreases body fat when combined with exercise.
  • Age-related eye disease (age-related macular degeneration, AMD). There is some evidence that people who eat fish more than once per week have a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
  • High cholesterol. There is interest in using fish oil in combination with “statin” drugs for some people with high cholesterol. Doctors were worried at first that taking fish oil might interfere with statin treatment, but early studies show this is not a problem, at least with the statin called simvastatin. Scientists think fish oil may lower cholesterol by keeping it from being absorbed in the intestine. There is some evidence that using vitamin B12 along with fish oil might boost their ability to lower cholesterol.
  • Asthma. Some research suggests fish oil may lower the occurrence of asthma in infants and children when taken by women late in pregnancy. Furthermore, fish oil seems to improve airflow, reduce cough, and lower the need for medications in some children with asthma. However, fish oil treatment doesn’t seem to provide the same benefit for adults.
Now, I have shortened up the list from the NIH site, so go check out the link above to see EVERYTHING they list plus some things that Fish Oil won't effect. So...sorry to my Tweeps for the occasional whine. :D

As for the challenge check in...I am back at 204. Sigh. But I have done Tae Bo 4 times for 43min each over the last 4 days. Yay! I think I will sleep in tomorrow. So it looks like my only hope of a win here will be int he inches lost department. Heaven help me I am not loosing any actual pounds. Eh...it is what it is. I think I will be setting a short term goal after this to help me look and feel better before I go to Vegas later this year. So...are you challenging with us? How are you doing? For my fellow Twitloss peeps...how is it going? Any setbacks or hurdles?
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Eat and Lose?

Wow, it's been awhile! Dear Twitloss, it's been many, MANY months since my last confession.....

Today's post is sponsored by Debbie Allen talking about the cost of fame.




Iconic, no? It also seems to be correct. Except, instead of fame we're talking a better body. A healthier body? If you follow me on twitter you've been seeing a bunch of workout tweets with crazy calorie burns for the past month. Awesome, right? Well, yes. But, there are still pitfalls lurking to screw with your head (via the scale) and your metabolism. I hate pitfalls.

So, the workouts: I dropped my fancy pants gym (FPG) and joined the Y. Now, I loved FPG, but my employer set up a deal with the Y's around the city for employees and the cost per month is nearly half FPG. For what I was doing there, it certainly wasn't worth double the price. Plus, I can go to any Y in the city AND there is one about 3 minutes from my house. Can't beat that. The one closest to me is pretty small, but they do have some fun classes there, and there is one a little farther away which has MORE classes. I wasn't big on classes at FPG, but they now make up the majority of my workout. The schedule:

Monday -- Zumba! There are two zumba classes, Monday and Wednesday. The Monday class is more latin inspire, the Wednesday class is more hip hop inspired. Both are fun, but the Wednesday class is killer. My knees protested, so Monday zumba it is. Weights before if I can get there in time.

Tuesday -- wildcard. No Y on Tuesdays. I either do something at home (treadmill, exercise dvd, zumba on the playstation, etc) or it's a rest day.

Wednesday -- Step aerobics. I tried this for the first time on a Saturday morning and it was NOT the beginning class. Oops. I stayed for the whole thing. I didn't die. But, I decided the beginning class was really where I belonged. It's still hard as ****. Weights before if I can get there in time. Weights after if I'm not exhausted.

Thursday -- Urban Line Dancing. Dancing is supposed to be fun, right? Um.....last week I burned 826 calories having "fun" for an hour. Bring. It. On.

Friday -- Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Rest day. WHOOOO!

Saturday -- Weights and Cardio at the Y. Treadmill? Elliptical? Stationary Bike? You know.

Sunday -- Usually a rest day, but if the spirit moves me I might walk a mile. An easy day.

It's great fun, but guess what? The scale wasn't moving. No, these aren't olympic sized workouts, but going from relatively nothing to relatively a lot should move the gauge, right? The first week, it was all good. 5lbs down! Then.....crickets. So what could be the problem? I smell pitfall.....

Calorie count could be off -- this is always a possibility. But, I'm using a heart rate monitor, the kind with a chest strap so it continually monitors and you're not stopping to take your pulse, so the count was as accurate as I was likely to get.

Food logging was off -- it's always a possibility that you're eating MORE than you're recording. In fact, it's almost always a SURE THING you're eating more than you're recording. I have a food scale, and I measure things, but I'm not a fanatic. (unless, of course, you think having a food scale makes you a fanatic.....) And, there is always a pinch or a taste here and there, right? But was it enough of a pinch or taste to offset 700 and 800 calorie workouts 4-5 days a week? No.

Hmmmm.....definitely not at a plateau, because I haven't been doing anything long enough to plateau. So, wtf?

I've been a Sparkpeople member since 2007 and I like many things about the site. But, a friend of mine started using LoseIt.com and I joined on there so we could be "friends" and I found it was a stripped down version that I liked. She uses it on her smartphone, I use it over the web. I'm sure there are lots of features I don't use, but it's great for logging food and exercise. I began noticing something, though. It would subtract the exercise cals from your daily allottment.

Say what?!

So, I started on May 19th, Lose It thinks I should eat 1684 cals a day. I like that number. Turns out, though, after exercise, I had a net of 523 calories. Hmmmm. If you think you can do anything on 523 calories a day, you are sadly mistaken. If you keep that up, for say......5 weeks.....then your body will go into starvation mode. Sparkpeople, for all it's good qualities, doesn't make the connection between calories in and calories out. Lose It does it, not only for the day, but tallies it up for the week, which makes it even more plain how I was getting in the way of my own progress.

5 weeks ago: 1,706 calories UNDER my weekly budget
4 weeks ago: 542 calories under
3 weeks ago: 739 calories under
2 weeks ago: 2,661 calories under (someone call a doctor!)
last week: 2,749 calories under

And all of these numbers came with going over daily calorie counts 1 or 2 days a week. Something is definitely not right with that picture.

Now, conventional wisdom would be -- if you're working out and eating fewer calories than advised, you should weigh less. A lot less. That isn't what was happening, though. Instead, my body was all pissed off because it was hungry! There is no way any doctor would tell me to eat 500, 700, 900 calories a day, right? The fewest I've ever heard suggested to anyone was 1200 cals. The amount of calories you're allotted IS the diet. 1200, 1600, etc. It's so much better than the 2000, 3000, 6000 (oops!) you were eating before. So to go below that is just insane.

Now, yes, my clothes fit better. Down a size already. Yes, building muscle. But that would have happened anyway, and I'd probably be farther along than I am if I would have simply eaten my exercise calories. For more on that concept, click here.

So, my goal for this week is to EAT MORE! Yeah, I kinda like the sound of that. Instead of being 800+ calories under budget at the end of the day, I'd like to hit the number right on, or be a little under. Yesterday, I was 158 under at the end of the day.

Is this the answer? Who knows. Maybe the problem is inaccurate logging, or a faulty heart rate monitor calorie counter. But, even if the numbers don't change dramatically, it will be one pitfall overcome.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Um...it's Thursday?

Billy BlanksImage via WikipediaHoly crap! I just realized it was Thursday and I had not posted. *blush* I have been so busy and well so much going on that it totally escaped me. Here is my current status:

Exercise: 23min of Billy Blanks on Tuesday and Wednesday
Food: around 1300-1500 cals per day
Weight: I was at 201 this morning...so I actually lost a little bit. :D

Not much else to share except I woke up with a headache and have so much going on it is freaking crazy...but I can't share the news really yet. Suffice it to say I should have a big announcement this weekend. (I hope...every time I say that the timeline seems to stretch!)

I hope you all have an awesome weekend, and well sorry this is such a sloppy & slapped together post.
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