Saturday, December 8, 2012

Green Coffee Beans

Dr Lindsey talks about the green coffee bean on the Dr Oz show in the video below. I believe it would be safe to take for weight loss and I have confidence in Dr Lindsey, however there are two reasons that I would not recommend using green coffee beans to lose weight.

1) It's expensive.

2) You're likely to gain the weight back after you stop taking the product unless you have changed your eating habits during the process.


If you want to try them, I recommend supplementing a healthy diet with green coffee beans occasionally when you are going to be eating a social meal where it might be difficult to make good choices. 

Also, some say that green coffee beans leach minerals out of your body. I have not fully researched this tidbit yet but I would encourage you not to take green coffee bean to lose weight because of the reasons I listed, but if you are going to try it anyway, please consider supplementing minerals like calcium, magnesium, and trace minerals.






Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sugar Cravings, Adrenals, and Stress

A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed by a natural doctor with adrenal fatigue. Prolonged stress had depleted my adrenals and it was wreaking havoc on my hormones causing depression, anxiety, etc. I took supplements to correct the issue and was feeling better until about mid-September when life became and stayed stressful for several weeks. Once again, my adrenals became depleted and this time, in addition to making my hormones unbalanced, I started craving sugar - bad! I couldn't eat a meal without feeling like I needed something sweet to eat afterwards. I also felt tired a lot and couldn't seem to get through most days without a nap. During those weeks, I couldn't get enough to eat. It seemed like I was hungry all the time and I stress ate a lot. I gained 12 pounds.

Finally, I researched sugar cravings, not knowing at the time why I was craving, and discovered that adrenal fatigue can cause sugar cravings and if enough sugar is eaten, it can result in insulin resistance. I could definitely identify with the symptoms that this website discusses:

-Lack of energy most definitely
-Fatigue
-Need to take afternoon naps
-Cravings for sugar or caffeine to force the adrenals to give the energy that is lacking
-Menopausal symptoms can also kick in if the adrenals are not up to par.

So what to do? I needed to address the adrenal problem again as well as level out my blood sugar problem to stop craving as soon as possible and balance my hormones. I found these products to be especially helpful:

Tri-Chromium w/Cinnamon by NOW Foods for balancing blood sugar
Adrenal Caps by Solaray for adrenal function
Maca by Solaray for balancing hormones
Alpha Lipoic Acid for insulin resistance

Also helpful:
Adrenasense by Natural Factors for adrenals and overall well-being
Homeopathic Stress Mints  - these are very helpful when dealing with stress

I am feeling much better now. My hormones are leveling out, the sugar cravings are nearly gone, I have a lot more energy and now I am working to get the 12 lbs back off.

This information is not meant to replace medical advice. If you think you may be experiencing issues like these, please see your doctor.


Additional resources:

Sugar Cravings

7 Tips for Getting Sugar Out of Your Diet by Fearless Eating
20 Tips to Curb Sugar Cravings and Kick the Addiction by Dr. Frank Lipman
Stop Sugar Cravings by Discovery Health
Curb Sugar and Carb Cravings by WebMD

Hormone Balance

Take the Hormone Balance Test by Dr John Lee, MD
Top 5 Tips for Balancing Hormones Naturally by Cheeseslave
How to Balance Hormones Naturally by CommonSenseHealth.com

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance Syndrome by Green Mountain Natural Health
Natural Remedies for Insulin Resistance by eHow
Insulin Resistance by Native Remedies

Stress and Adrenals

What is Adrenal Fatigue? by Dr Wilson

Monday, October 29, 2012

After The Retreat

I stepped on the scales this morning and was quite pleased to see the same number from before the retreat. Let me tell you how I did it (humor me :). It was actually really easy.

Disclaimer: I do NOT recommend doing this. I used a few science based diet 'tricks' to keep my weight down at a time I knew I wasn't likely to eat right. The tricks I used are in bold font.

Thursday:

I ate a light breakfast, and had egg scramble for lunch (no carbs). Before leaving for the retreat I made a protein shake with milk, chocolate whey protein, spinach and coconut oil to fill me up before facing the bazillion desserts at the retreat.

For supper, I did not limit myself at all. I ate my bacon cornbread with coconut oil on it. I ate delicious cheesy foods (and some not so yummy foods too). I ate 2 (or more) of the Knock You Naked Brownies I took; they were SO delicious! I tried a few other desserts too and drank sweet tea.

Friday:

We baked frozen biscuits and I made sausage gravy with lots of butter.  I ate the egg scramble from the breakfast burritos, smothered with gravy. Someone made a cream cheese danish and I ate 3 servings of them, making myself sick. I ended up taking a heavy dose of vitamin C (1500 mg), drinking 32 oz of water and taking papaya enzymes to get rid of the headache and nausea before being able to go on with my day.

We ate at Olive Garden that evening. I put coconut oil on my breadstick and ate a couple of bowls of salad. I still finished off my Lasagna Rollatini and had another breadstick with my meal. I couldn't resist the pretty pink raspberry lemonade and since the water tasted nasty, it gave me a good excuse to go ahead an order one. So yummy!

I felt awful again after eating all that food at Olive Garden so I picked up some fresh, cut up pineapple to help my digestion and took more enzymes. I felt better by the time I got back to the house we stayed in so I tried a small bite of a peanut butter cup dessert that looked so good. It WAS good so I alternated the dessert and coffee with pineapple because the dessert hurt my stomach. Finally I couldn't take anymore so I quit eating it. lol  I did finish off the pineapple though which made me feel a lot better.

Saturday:

We had Blueberry Breakfast Bars for breakfast as well as leftover biscuits and gravy and the cream cheese danish. I ate a couple of the blueberry bars, half a biscuit and gravy and the danish before eating some fruit. That helped fill me up and made me feel better too.

After leaving the retreat, I knew I had a lot of make up work to do so I started with lunch. I got a piece of grilled chicken from McDonald's. I wasn't super hungry so that filled me up.

For supper I went on a date with my hubby since we were still without our kids and ate a delicious BLT salad (a Caesar salad with bacon and flakes of Parmesan cheese), a juicy ribeye steak, grilled veggies with butter, and a small piece of bread with butter (limited carbs).

Later for dessert, we went to Applebee's where I ordered a Maple Butter Pecan Blondie topped with ice cream, pecans and a rich maple butter sauce. I could do that since it had been over 3 hours since my low carb meal at the steakhouse.

Sunday:

Breakfast the next morning was 2 eggs over easy, 2 sausage patties and coffee with milk and sweetener (limited carbs).

Lunch was a piece of grilled chicken (no carbs) from a fast food joint. 2 hours later I ate 2/3 of the small chicken sandwich that my daughter didn't eat.

Supper was snacking; I had chips and salsa/sour cream, half a donut and cookie dough ice cream.

How hard was that?

Does that sound like a difficult way to lose weight? Does my menu sound deprived? I am excited to realize that after eating so much junk food and desserts that I made myself sick, I can still manage my weight! Just by using a few tricks I was able to eat as much as I wanted.

My tips for times of great eats:

Fill up on protein
Eat as much fruits and veggies as possible to fill you up
Throw in as many low carb meals as you can to balance out the junk meals
Use healthy oil on everything you can to feel more full

I would like to add this very important note:

I am craving sugar right now so you might notice that my menu has lots of desserts in it and not just from the retreat. I have been doing a little research on sugar cravings and apparently my adrenals being depleted by stress is a major factor. However, there are other factors as well that I will be covering in a post soon. Eating this much sugar is not healthy and I would highly recommend that you not eat this way. However, the tips I shared above will help you manage the amount of sugar you eat when faced with situations like these.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Retreat

Today is the first day of our annual retreat. It's a weekend where a group of ladies get together in a fancy rented house to relax, shop, laugh and... EAT! Wouldn't it be a dream if I could say that we all bring very healthy foods that fill us up and cause us to lose weight and detoxify while we're there? Yeah... it's not like that at all. We bring the best tasting, most fattening, sugar laden, delicious foods that are available for munching on the entire weekend. Yum!

My only hope is to lean toward the high protein foods first each meal, bring a dropper of coconut oil to put on all my foods to fill me up and hope for a meal that I can eat low carb once or twice. I know that will cut down on the amount of food I eat at least.

I'll let you know how it goes...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weigh In Tuesday

Excuses, excuses. Blah, blah, blah...

I gained .8 lbs this week. For the most part I did pretty good, but I kid you not, I ate attrociously some days this week. :(

Friday night John wanted to splurge but we had a sick girl and couldn't get out so he ordered a special from Domino's pizza that included 2 pizzas with garlic butter sauce, garlic bread with marinara, hot wings, Dr Pepper and cinnamon sticks with icing. I did not hold back I'm ashamed to admit.

John took me for breakfast Saturday morning and I ate what I wanted - eggs, 3 sausage links, hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, coffee with cream and sugar and a couple of bites of John's pancakes.

I had a caramel eating spree Sunday....


The good news is, the worst part of our stress is behind us. Sure there are little stressors here and there that I still feel unable to deal with but I see a great future ahead of us and weight loss coming up!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Losing Again

I weighed in today because I am desperate ready to start losing weight again. The last 3 weeks of my life have been so bizarre that even I hardly believe it. The stress has been incredible and the urge to eat has been at an all time high. I haven't wanted to control my eating through all of this because with life being so difficult to handle, food was the one pleasure that was consistently there.

That being said, with as much stress eating as I have done, I have been surprised that I have only gained 6 lbs. I believe it is because of the amount of fat I eat. I am not afraid of fat. I know fat is healthy (the natural fats - not man made fat). I know it is satiating. Fat is brain food. The benefits of eating fats are many. The dangers of not eating enough fat are incredible! Read this: 6 Risks of Eating a Low-Fat Diet
... and this: 5 Signs That You Don't Have Enough Fat in Your Diet
 

Most resources will tell you to avoid saturated fat (animal fats). I don't know if you believe in God or not, but I believe God made animals with delicious fat and even if you don't believe in God you have to admit that animal fats are naturally occurring. There are plenty of resources to be found proving that saturated fats are good for you but I do believe that because of hormones and such, our factory produced animals have far more fat than they should, causing me to believe we should still be careful not to eat too much meat fat. However, I use butter freely.
For more info, check out:
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig (also authors of Eat Fat, Lose Fat)
Or a highly entertaining and interesting documentary called Fathead where he disproves the lipid hypothesis and proves you CAN lose weight eating only fast food for a month.

I have stopped drinking sodas almost completely. I did not consciously choose to stop drinking sodas but the information I have read about high fructose corn syrup and aspartame* causes me to cringe when I look at sodas. I can barely drink them myself and usually only out of habit if at all, but I feel like a really bad parent when I let my kids drink them.
*That documetary is available online for free now: Sweet Misery

Not having a support system (as well as stress eating) has been a really big downfall for me. I think that's one of the reasons Weight Watchers is effective; you have someone besides yourself to answer to. I still don't have a support system but I'm not going back to Weight Watchers. My pride may be involved a little but I don't like their new 2012 system and I don't want to spend the money.

I weighed in at 180.6 today and have decided to start out with cleansing especially after eating so badly yesterday.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How I Lost Weight in Dallas


We went to Dallas for 4 days for a friends wedding and stayed with a couple of families in a rented house. I was already up 5 pounds from the number I had lost to before and my clothes were not fitting right. Everything was snug and I needed a plan to keep from gaining weight or maybe even lose a couple of pounds before the wedding since the dressy clothes I have are for my 5 lb less body size.

Since the other mom I was staying with was making the cake for the wedding, I offered to be in charge of meals. This helped me a lot because I had much more control over what I ate this way. I knew I was going to need every trick in the book to get through this weekend without gaining another 5 lbs!

I had brought the Genesis Pure green coffee beans with me that I had bought for John. They work basically the same way as low carb by keeping the insulin from storing fat. I planned to eat low carb as much as often but had the green coffee beans in case there was a meal where I didn't have choices. Thankfully I only needed to use them twice.

Adding oil to meals (that I keep in a handy little baby Tylenol bottle in my purse), makes the meal more filling and it sticks with you longer. Eating enough healthy fat is an important part of weight loss.

The underlined meals are weight loss friendly meals.

Thursday - Traveling Day

Breakfast at Denny's (low carb): omelet with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese, 4 sausage links, coffee, added olive oil

Lunch at Sam's, buying wedding food (low carb): Chicken salad (surprisingly delicious), toppings off my daughters uneaten meat lovers pizza (Yum!)

Supper at the house: rotisserie chicken, green beans, sauteed broccoli, biscuit (oops)

Friday - Day Before Wedding

Breakfast (used green coffee beans): Egg scramble with sausage and spinach, fried potato and onions

Lunch (green coffee beans): Deli sandwich (1 slice of bread, lots of deli turkey, 1 slice of cheese, mayo, mustard, spinach), Doritos, several fresh strawberries, 1/2 pkg nutty bar, 1-2 oz honey roasted peanuts (I could not quit eating!)

On the way to lingerie shower: Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino

At the shower: generous slice of chocolate cake

Supper at Abuelo's (low carb): chicken tortilla soup, Reynosa salad

Saturday - Wedding Day

Breakfast: Green smoothie (banana, yogurt, strawberries, spinach, orange juice), 1/2 biscuit w/sausage gravy, scrambled eggs

Lunch (low carb): Leftover chicken, leftover broccoli

Supper: whatever I could grab at the reception as we kept the food table stocked (2-3 grapes, 1/2 sandwich, a couple of bites of cookie, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, celery, ranch), cake, tea, coffee with creamer

After reception: In and Out burger w/tomato, lettuce, onion, 2 creme filled cookies from the wedding
(Classic stress eating)

Sunday - Return Home

Breakfast: 2 green smoothies (banana, blueberries, spinach, yogurt, sugar, strawberries)

Lunch at Famous Dave's (low carb): brisket, green beans, jalapeno beans, added olive oil (skipped the roll and free ice cream)

Supper at McD's: grilled chicken wrap w/BBQ sauce, apple dippers, McDouble w/o bread, part of a chocolate shake


Somehow, I lost 1.8 lbs this week.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Weigh In

Yikes... I was hoping for better news. My weigh in today is 179.8

I have a lot of work to do.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Drinking Water

If you read just about anything, anywhere, about losing weight, you will probably see "Drink Water" as one of the things they recommend. Most people say it's because it makes you more full. That is a little difficult for me to believe because if you just ate less because you drank a bunch of water, wouldn't that tend to make you more hungry later? I somehow couldn't believe that was the only reason, so I looked into it.

It suppresses your appetite

Drinking water DOES suppress your appetite by filling you up and causing you to eat less. We tend to ignore (or not realize it exists) the signal from our brain that tells us when to stop eating and overeat so we're probably eating closer to the proper amount when we fill up on water first.

Drinking 2 glasses has been proven

It is a study proven fact that drinking 2 glasses of water before your meals will cause weight loss even if you don't do anything else to lose weight. That's pretty interesting, but how easy is it to drink 2 glasses of water even once, let alone remembering to do it before each meal?
Here's an idea: put a bottle of water beside your bed which will be ready for you to drink first thing in the morning. Water bottles typically hold 16 ounces or more, which is the same as 2 glasses of water. Not only has this got me drinking before breakfast, I'm actually drinking more water throughout the day as a habit. In addition, because I fill up my water bottle before bed, I'll go ahead and drink 16 ounces while I'm filling it up.

Health benefits help with weight loss

The benefits of drinking water are endless (think 'cure all') but drinking 2 glasses of warm water in the morning is known to have these specific benefits:
Stimulates digestion - digestive problems are common nowadays from heartburn to bloating, constipation, ulcers, and so many more
Flushes out the kidneys
Clears your system, flushes out toxins
Helps your bowels to work properly

It boosts metabolism

A German scientist, named Michael Boschmann, proved that drinking water boosts your metabolism.
Drinking 500 ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30%. The increase occurred within 10 min and reached a maximum after 30–40 min.
See the technical results of that study here: Water-Induced Thermogenesis


You CAN like it

The more water you drink, the more you'll crave it. If you don't like it at first (as didn't I), you will find yourself getting used to it the more you drink. Drinking lots of water will at first cause extra bathroom trips. After a few days, your body adjusts and you won't need to use the toilet so much. For the first few nights of drinking 2 glasses at night, I was waking up during the night to go, but not anymore.

Thirst can seem like hunger

Your body doesn't differentiate between hunger and thirst very well. Many times, when you feel hungry, your body is actually needing water. Instead of reaching for a snack next time you have the munchies, try drinking a glass of water, wait 10 minutes and see if you're still wanting a snack.

Reduces water weight

Once your body has enough water, it will stop hanging onto the excess water in your tissues from dehydration.

In addition...

Most people don't realize that by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Everyone could benefit from reading this interesting, mind-changing book, where Dr F. Batmanghelidj talks about how many illnesses are caused by dehydration: Your Body's Many Cries for Water
And remember - proper health will result in the proper weight!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Define Deprivation...

Where I am:

I have known for a while that I am not doing well with losing weight. When I looked back at my weigh-in's, I was shocked to see that I have only lost 3 pounds since January! That's when I decided to get off of Weight Watchers and use their science to lose weight. I have been doing a little roller coaster since then with my small gains and losses.
I know what works for weight loss and what doesn't, so I have been trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. I mean, I know some of what I'm doing wrong is eating things like cupcakes but cupcakes HAVE to be a part of my diet or I will fail from deprivation, right?

We took a week off and went to Canada on vacation this month. While there, I was around a lot of people who eat well. Fresh veggies were served with each meal and fruit was sitting around, ready to be eaten at all times. Cut up watermelon was on hand quite a bit and it was available to be eaten at random.
One of our meals was a healthy soup made with German sausage, veggies and even a bit of barley in it. The barley surprisingly only added a hardly noticeable amount of pleasant texture. The soup was delicious!
While there, we were talking about different ways of eating, and it suddenly occured to me that my problem might be my current definition of deprivation. We had talked about our similar views on vegan eating - we feel meat is part of a healthy diet. Although I personally think eating vegan is a not healthy, I have a lot of respect for anyone who can remain vegan or vegetarian for years on end because I know that it is not easy - it takes a lot of dedication and self control. What about deprivation for them? Do they feel deprived?

Like being vegetarian, weight loss is a way of eating. When you are vegetarian, you don't eat meat and animal products. When you are losing weight, you also limit certain foods. For some reason, I don't think vegans see it as feeling deprived. I bet they feel proud when they resist the foods that they believe against and are empowered by their choices. When I saw it that way, it feels weak to me to eat whatever I want because I don't want to be deprived. That is actually what Weight Watchers teaches you - not to deprive yourself, just eat less of it. However, since I'm not on Weight Watchers any more, I don't have the point system to limit me and keep me on track. Their point system makes a ton of sense and the 49 weekly points that are meant for keeping you from feeling deprived, really keeps you from feeling deprived. Since I'm not on that system anymore, I don't have those 49 points limiting me, keeping me in check. So how do I keep track of whether I have had too much 'deprivation avoidance' type of foods? I don't. I think that is my problem - my perception of deprivation.
Before, if I wanted a cupcake, I looked at how many points it was, how many points I had left and decided how much of it I could eat without messing up my points.
Since I don't want to spend the money on Weight Watchers and know that because you rely on the point system for your weight loss (meaning you have to stay on WW the rest of your life to keep it off) I refuse to go back to that and have re-determined to figure out how this weight loss thing works and lose the other 30 pounds without Weight Watchers. They tell you and reiterate in most of the meetings, that the meetings are a key factor to weight loss. If you stop coming, you will stop losing and most people gain some of it back again. It sounded like going to the meetings was a good idea at the time, but now it just looks like marketing to me.

So to acheive this, I HAVE to get rid of the Weight Watchers mindset and start thinking differently. I think that line about deprivation is what keeps people on their program. People are trying to avoid deprivation, which keeps them coming back because it is too hard to keep track of how deprived or undeprived you are based on how much junk food you have allowed yourself.

I have looked into several new books. I am only reading the books about losing weight as a lifestyle and no calorie counting crap or special foods. Counting calories is a load of huey because it does not take into account how your body processes different kinds of foods (more about that later). I can't read fast enough to read them all. There are a ton of books and blogs out there, similar to mine that are telling me the same thing I'm writing about. What I am blogging about is real stuff - this really works! I have just felt like a fraud because it wasn't working for me. But the more I read, the more I realize that this is it - this is the way to lose weight and keep it off. All these books are telling me the same things - the same things I'm telling you.

So, after a break and a long period of thinking about things, I'm back and full of more ideas. I can't wait to share them with you!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Munchies




So I discovered something today...

I was on my way home, from an hour and a half away, my daughter pulls out her little bag of Funyuns and I realize I would really like something to eat. I know I couldn't be that hungry because I'd eaten 2 small lunches earlier in the day. So I asked myself, on a scale of 1 to 10, how hungry was I. I really wasn't hungry, which got me to thinking that my munchies are probably not actually hunger, rather boredom or being tired.

Once I'd convinced myself that I wasn't actually hungry, I actually wasn't hungry. I was only wanting that good feeling we get from food because I was setting in on a one and a half hour path of boredom.

From now on, I hope that when I get the munchies, I have the presence of mind to remember to check my hunger level and talk myself out of eating.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Five Simple Food Rules to Lose Weight

I could not have said it better myself! I WILL be reading Bob Harper's book The Skinny Rules...

Celebrity trainer Bob Harper is here to discuss his new book The Skinny Rules, which shares his top tips for weight loss success from years of helping clients and contestants on The Biggest Loser. The book focuses on 20 "nonnegotiable principles for getting to thin" - and we've got five of them right here! - by Angie Greenup

Five Simple Rules to Lose Weight

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Diet Drinks

I have heard from more more than one source that drinking diet sodas is a fat habit (see #5). This comes from very good sources and is good advice, but I find that diet sodas, at times, keep me from feeling deprived.

I know they are not super healthy but drinking only water with all my meals, occasionally makes me feel like I'm missing out. I can do that for a while, but I'm likely to end up drinking sweet tea, chocolate milk or juice instead anyway.

Most of the time I drink water with meals (especially at sit down restaurants - weird I know) and I try to limit my intake of sugar substitutes including diet drinks, but I do drink them occasionally when I'm just not in the mood for water again.

How do you feel about diet drinks?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jonah Hill's Weight Loss

I had recently read a news article about Jonah Hill losing weight. I loved that his weight loss was a result of changing his eating habits and trying to be healthier.
See that news article here: Jonah Hill's Secret To Slimness

Today I read another news article about him and he has gained his weight back. I tend to agree with the writer's theory that he did it on purpose. Jonah Hill's on-screen character is just not the same without being pleasantly plump.

What do you think?

7 Secrets to Long-Term Weight Loss

New research reveals that the key to banishing unwanted pounds for good is outsmarting your hunger hormones, with easy changes in daily habits. The simple formula for long-term weight-loss success includes eating more of the right foods, learning to love your body, and making friends with your scale.

Here’s the latest skinny on how to win at losing weight, with science-backed strategies.

7 Secrets to Long-Term Weight Loss

How To Get Fat

Eat nutritionally void foods mostly, to develop a constant craving for more unhealthy, calorie dense foods. See if you can create a strong craving using this method. Usually you'll crave things like chocolate or Twinkies if you need certain vitamins so don't take supplements either. This will also cause your logical resistance to these foods to diminish by lowering the function of the brain since it won't be receiving all the nourishment it needs (see Donut Effect).

Eating these nutritionally void foods will also lower your body's ability to function properly and since it is in your body's best interest to maintain energy levels and stay at a healthy weight, your body won't have the sustenance to keep those mechanisms up and will have no choice but to be lethargic and toxic, resulting in the desired weight gain!

Avoid vegetables - especially superfoods and greens. Fruits are almost just as bad - only eat them in dried form or canned in sugar. Best if eaten as a syrup on pancakes at IHOP.

Avoid any extra activity. I have heard that exercise can supercharge your metabolism and it might also make you feel good about yourself (which ultimately might make you reconsider this plan). Not good.

10,000 steps a day is apparently the target amount of steps for optimal fitness. Buy a pedometer to see how many steps you are typically taking and if you are finding yourself taking anywhere near this amount, try to take it easy. Change your habits to lesson your steps.

Ways to lesson your activity:
  • Park as close to the door at Walmart as possible. Even if you have to drive around the parking lot for a few extra minutes or watch for someone to come out of the store and leave a good spot, it's worth the extra time waiting to avoid having to take any more steps than you have to.
  • Use elevators instead of stairs.
  • Get a DVR from your local cable or satelite provider, determine which shows you are most interested in and set them up to record so you will never run out of things to watch on TV. Even when nothing is on, you will have your favorite shows to watch!
  • Shop online instead of going to the mall or Walmart. Walking around means extra steps and going outside might inspire you to exercise or something.

Choose foods that are a combination of high carbs (simple carbs like white flour and sugar are best) and high fat. Donuts and french fries are excellent options!

Don't eat breakfast. This is important, so I repeat, don't eat breakfast! This is the #1 way to lower your metabolism and kick start your weight gain. Try to skip meals when you can to trick your body into thinking there's a pending shortage of food so it will lower your metabolism and hold onto the fat you are working to keep.

If you find yourself considering eating healthy, eat a salad with no cheese and fat free dressing. This will help you REconsider next time you have an idea like that!

The fats used in fast food restaurants are the kind you want. Avoid healthy oils - especially coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil, flaxseed oil, etc. These are likely to derail your efforts.

Check your local used book store for the books called Eat This, Not That and only eat the 'This' foods and avoid the 'That' foods. Whatever you do, DON'T get any of the other books in that section though. No matter how tempting it is, don't read other books about weight and especially this blog, because what you think about, you get more of!

One except to that last rule - if the book is about restrictive diets like counting calories, low-fat diets or Atkins, you might try switching to this strategy. You will lose weight at first but this will help you gain weight in the long run because whatever weight you lose, always comes back with more!

Good luck and happy gaining!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Fitness Pal

A friend of mine mentioned using My Fitness Pal the other day because she could track her water and fiber intake - both of which are very important for your health and weight loss. I originally chose not to use My Fitness Pal because I have a very low opinion of counting calories. However, so long as we are using it for other purposes as well and not as a rule, I think this is a tool that we can benefit from even if we are not counting calories.

BTW - it reminds me a LOT of Weight Watchers tracking except theirs track points, track foods differently and do not show nutrient content.

If you are going to use it, I would like to encourage you to not put too much stock into the calories and fat intake amounts it gives you. Especially if you are using low carb meals occasionally to lose weight, you will be constantly going over on calories and fat.

Unfortunately, most diets want you to restrict your fat. That is a bad idea for lots of reasons. Fat is important - especially for brain health. As long as you are aiming for healthy fats, please don't pay too much attention to their fat numbers. You actually want to eat more fat than they are going to recommend.

Check out their handy mobile app!


Read this series about fat and weight loss:
Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Weigh In Wednesday

Weigh in Tuesday got skipped so I am weighing in today and have decided that Weigh In Wednesday is kind of catchy so I will be switching to Wednesdays. :)

Lost .6 lbs this week!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Better Health for Weight Loss

Anything you do for your health, causing your body to function properly, is going to help you lose weight.

For example:

Ever feel hungry even after you've eaten? Not getting enough nutrients can make you think you're hungry or even result in cravings. Taking a multi-vitamin can help supplement what we aren't getting from our food.

Being low in vitamin D, magnesium, or iron can compromise your immune system, sap your energy levels, or alter your metabolism in ways that make it harder to take healthy-lifestyle steps. "You may compensate for low energy with caffeine, sweets, and simple carbs," says Dr. Hedaya, "Or find that you feel too run down or weak to exercise." - Bary Nan Cohen of Prevention

Doing a colon cleanse will help to restore proper function, and takes a toxic load off your body, giving you more energy and the ability to think more clearly.

Sleep is very important for weight loss. This topic is so important and this writer covers it well: Web MD: Sleep and Weight Gain

Balancing your hormones has such an impact on your weight, that there are several books written about it. My favorite is Julian Michaels Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!
Also, the better your health, the greater chance of your body balancing your hormones on its own.

Fruits and vegetables not only have less calories and are overall good for weight loss, they also nourish your body, resulting in needing less food.

Taking a flaxseed oil or fish oil supplement balances the omegas in your body and helps you think better, which of course leads to better choices. A deficiency may cause cravings, especially for fatty foods.

Drinking 6-8 eight ounce glasses of water a day cleanses your system and helps to avoid hunger and cravings that are actually thirst. Drinking water is generally known as a part of any good weight loss plan.


Health Issues

There are all kinds of health problems that cause weight gain. Kidney, heart or liver problems, thyroid problems, PCOS, hypothyroidism, depression, blood sugar problems, medications, Cushing's syndrome, food sensitivities, hormone imbalances, stress itself and emotional eating from stress.

The best treatment is prevention. Most illnesses start a long time before they are noticed and are caused by toxins, especially in your colon. The book Gut Wisdom helps with understanding how the colon works, how to treat problems and improve digestion.



Conclusion

I would recommend starting with a cleanse - it doesn't really matter which one (colon, liver, whole body, etc). Make sure it's natural, with herbs and start out slow. If you have a toxic load on your system (as most people do), you may experience detox as your body clears out toxins. This is normal and even desired, but if it happens too quick, you could experience cold or flu like symptoms.

Learn what you can about your health. There's an overwhelming amount of information out there, but each small change you make, each new thing you learn about your health, are a small steps toward feeling better and losing better.
Go nourish yourself!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Low Carb Food List

In general, I do not recommend using a low carb diet long term. Not only is it unhealthy because our body needs carbohydrates, but it will ultimately lead to feeling deprived and you will likely end up gaining the weight you lose back or even more. However, when used in addition to a more healthy and sensible plan, low carb meals thrown in 2-3 times a week, can really boost your weight loss efforts. Eat low carb meals about 3 hours apart from carbs.

I also don't recommend counting carbs. I think that's a bit obsessive and is likely to cause you to burn out. It's a better idea to eat foods that are low carb for a meal or two and just limit carbs in general.

Your weight loss plan needs to be something you can live with for the rest of your life. If you can't live without cake for the rest of your life, it needs to be included in your weight loss plan. The goal of this blog is to teach you how weight loss works, so you can use that knowledge to eat better, without deprivation, to lose weight.


Low carb foods in a nut shell would be meat, cheese, eggs, fats, veggies, and some condiments. Here are some more specific (but not all inclusive) examples:

Meat, cheese, eggs, fats:

Butter
Cheese
Cream
Eggs
Fish
Mayo
Meat
Oil
Poultry
Sour cream

Veggies:

Alfalfa seeds
Asparagus
*Avocado
Bean sprouts
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Celery
Cucumber
Eggplant
Green beans
Lettuce
Mushrooms
Onions
Peppers
Radishes
Spinach
Tomato
Zucchini

Other:

*Bran (wheat, oat, etc)
Coffee
Dill pickles
*Flax
Mustard
Tartar sauce
Lemon juice
Salad dressing (most)
Seasonings
Sugar free Jell-o
Tea
Vinegar


Limit:

Eat in limited amounts when eating low carb meals:
BBQ sauce
Brazil nuts
Catsup
Lemons
Macadamia
Tahini
Walnuts

Not so low exclusions:

Corn
Potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Winter squashes
Liver
Milk
Nuts
Tofu

*Their carbs are mostly unusable due to their fiber content.

What are carbs?

Another Low Carb Food List

What Are Carbs?

In case you are not sure what exactly carbs are, here is a list (that is not all inclusive) to give you the general idea of what foods are considered carbohydrates:

Sugar:

Desserts
Fruit
Honey
Molasses
Soda
Sugar

Starch:

Beans
Bread
Cereal
Corn
Flour
Grains
Milk
Nuts
Oats
Popcorn
Potatoes
Pasta
Rice
Wheat

Carbohydrates (carbs) are an important part of our diet. Choose whole foods and whole grains as often as possible.

Read Good Carbs, Bad Carbs

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked

"Misconceptions about how to lose weight abound, especially on the Internet. Get the facts on shedding pounds now: Start by dispelling these 10 commonly held - but wholly inaccurate - notions."

10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked

Be Nice to Fat People

People who are overweight live a little different than those who are not overweight might think. If you've never been overweight, you may not understand what it's like and may be missing a little empathy.

A thin friend of mine once told me that she thought overweight people choose to not get off the couch and go take a walk. She saw being overweight as laziness and thought of it as a choice. That was a very painful moment for me and I have never forgotten it. What it seemed like she was telling me was that she thought I was lazy and I'm guessing stupid too since it would be stupid to make a conscious choice to be overweight!
What she was lacking was understanding and empathy. She couldn't possibly imagine what it feels like to be overweight and not have a clue what to do about it. Of course we all know that calories in - calories burned = weight gain or loss but somehow it's not that easy.

I've made plenty of plans and tried many ways to lose weight that didn't work out for me before. Diets are a racket nowadays and it should be clear to everyone that they don't work. Usually people who diet end up feeling deprived and gain back even more than they started with initially!

I've seen this with someone I'm very close to. She has been overweight since she had her last baby, then only months later had her gallbladder removed. He has been nagging her for years to lose weight. When she eats, he makes suggestions about the amounts and her choices.
HE is the reason she is overweight. He has never been there himself and doesn't have a clue what he is doing to her. He doesn't realize how it feels for someone to constantly disapprove of you and guilt you for your food choices and weight. I know how I beat myself up for eating badly, I can only imagine how tough it would be to have an external source of guilt as well.
She can't lose weight until she decides to do it for herself. As long as she is trying to lose weight for someone else or motivated by guilt, it's not going to last. She has health issues and genetic factors that contribute to her being overweight, but honestly it's more about what's broken in her head that keeps her from sticking with something. As long as her motivation is trying to make him happy, she'll never succeed.
He doesn't know what it feels like physically, mentally or emotionally to be in her shoes. Never judge someone until you have walked in their shoes!

The Mental Factor

Being overweight is physically limiting but more than that, it does something to your mind. There are many, many things that are different for an overweight person. I don't know how to describe to you how this affects someones mind, so I'm hoping you can understand what I mean.
Each 'little' thing makes an overweight person feel really bad, lame, stupid, horrible, etc.. The only word that I can think of that is similar to what I mean is 'frustration'. When you feel frustrated, it feels a little bit helpless and hopeless. Being overweight isn't just feelings of helpless and hopeless but also of guilt and stupidity.

You might know what it feels like to be overweight if...

You can't cross your legs. To this day, when I sit and cross my legs, I still do not take it for granted. I was so excited when I realized I could cross my legs while sitting! I still notice every time I cross my legs, how good it feels to be able to do that and it brings a feeling of happiness.

You can't sit in theater seats without your thighs scraping the sides. The day I sat in a theater seat without my thighs scraping as I sat down, was a really awesome day for me. This was an amazing NSV (non-scale victory) for me! My thighs scraping the theater seats was one of those things that made me feel so lame.

You are uncomforable. I didn't even realize I was uncomfortable until I noticed that the more I lost weight, the more comfortable I felt. I remember laying in bed on my tummy and it felt so good!  I realized at that point that everything feels different when you have extra weight. Even if you don't realize you're uncomfortable, you still are. That contributes to the overall bad feeling in a way that people aren't even aware of.

Your thighs rub together so much when you walk that it causes painful rashes. That is frustrating, painful and very limiting.

You are not 'comfortable in your own skin'. I gained a lot of confidence when I lost weight. When I was overweight, social gatherings were a great source of anxiety for me. It was miserable to be so unhappy with myself that I couldn't talk to people. I always thought that if I could only accept myself as overweight and be ok with who I was, I would be a lot happier. I'm sure there are a lot of overweight people who are able to do that and it works for them, but I never could accept that for myself even though I wished I could.

You have to shop in plus size clothing (where apparently only fashionless old people design clothes). Unless you have plenty of money to buy clothes from 'proper' places, it is really difficult mentally to go shopping.
First of all you have to go to special places - you can't just shop anywhere. Imagine going to the mall and only being able to shop at 2-3 stores. Even the clothes that have your size on the tag, at most places, are not designed for full figures and will not look good no matter how big they make them. Lane Bryant is the one store I know of that is plus size and has clothes that look nice. The clothes in most plus size stores and even most plus size sections tend to look like they are designed for older people. Not everyone can afford to shop at Lane Bryant though.
So already I was shopping in 'special' stores, alone (forget going shopping with friends who are thin, you don't even go to the same places), then I hated trying clothes on. I hated what I saw in the mirror. Shopping was not a pleasant experience for me and I avoided it unless I just had to have something, which resulted in wearing clothes that I really hated a lot.

Have you ever worn clothes that you hate? When I wear clothes I hate, I feel ugly. I feel uncomfortable the entire time. At this point, it doesn't matter what other people think, I feel ugly and cannot be myself because I'm so conscious of how I look the entire time I'm wearing that. Even when I'm at home, wearing something I don't like can make me feel crappy all day. What's worse than being overweight? Being overweight and wearing clothes you hate all the time.

You have tried so many times to lose weight. It's not as simple as the calorie equation might seem. Unless you know HOW to lose weight, no matter how hard you try, it really is impossible to get the weight off and keep it off. Every failed attempt is really hard on a person mentally. It really hurts to not only fail over and over, but the result of your failure is something that makes you feel even worse! So Thomas Edison failed at making a lightbulb a few times, at least his failure didn't result in still being overweight.

You feel different/special. Being the odd one out, different, special... is not fun. When you look around you at all the 'normal' people who you'd give anything to be like, who don't understand you, it feels really bad.
This might sound hilarious to you, but even overweight people don't seem the same as you. As an overweight person, you know how bad it feels for a thin person to say they feel fat or need to lose weight. You wonder what they must think of you if they think they are fat! So you can never say that you feel fat (even if you are) to someone who is more overweight than you are. Unless you are the same amount of overweight, you are not the same. Funny how that works... :)

You can't do things that everyone else can. Like doing that stretch with your hands behind your back, there are many things, great and small, that an overweight person can't do, that most people can. Those little things don't seem little when you can't do them. In my mind, those things seemed big - it really hurt to not be able to do things that everyone else could.

You don't know how to help yourself. No one chooses to be overweight. You really don't know how to help yourself. That made me feel really hopeless and stupid.



So how does this affect someone who has never been overweight? Please take it upon yourself to look at overweight people with love. Have a little empathy for them and understand that even when it doesn't seem like it, that person may be really hurting. Kindness and acceptance goes a long way.
Of course, you can't really help them unless they want to help themselves, but accepting them the way they are and realizing they have mental battles that you can only imagine may give them the hope they need to find a way to lose weight or accept themselves the way they are so that none of the above really matters anymore.

Also, check out Psychological Consequences of Being Overweight

Do you have something to add to this list? Feel free to leave a comment.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Weigh In Tuesday

I gained .4 lbs this week. Not too surprising after my last post. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Falling Off the Wagon

Mother's Day

For Mother's Day dinner, we went to Chili's. Fighting the crowds on Mother's Day doesn't appeal to us, so fast food or an evening meal is what we prefer. Chili's didn't use to be too weight loss friendly but that has changed and I chose Chili's because I knew they have lighter options.

I ordered a grilled chicken plate with grilled veggies (yum!), beans and broccoli - a very weight loss friendly meal. I felt full before I got to the beans so I took them home with me. I was so proud of myself for not only ordering a light meal, but I didn't even eat all of it!

However, that is not how my weekend has gone. I have had the hardest time eating right this weekend!

Saturday

We went to eat at a buffet with my mom on Saturday, for a Mothers Day meal. I did great on both of my first two plates, eating low-fat meats, lots of veggies and making low carb choices. The desserts were more than I could resist though and I ate so much that I felt blugh the rest of the day and didn't get hungry again until the next day. *sigh* This is NOT how to lose weight...


Friday Night

The night before, my Mom had made 2 different kinds of cookies and I ate way too many of them after eating too much nachos, followed by eating graham crackers and milk (a nostalgic snack for our family) and cookies again because everyone else was. *sigh again*

Thursday Night

Going back even another night, we had company Thursday night and after eating too much food for supper, I ate too much of the apple pie and ice cream they brought with them.


Back to Mother's Day...

So after a weekend with my family of making bad choices and botching up a visit to a buffet, I ate entirely too much for lunch and was desperately asking myself "Why?" Why am I eating too much and making bad choices? Then I remember something... baked Cheetos. I haven't had baked Cheetos in forever!
When I was really seeing the weight come off (1-2 lbs a week), I always had baked chips on hand. And deli meat - I love cold cuts but I haven't eaten them for a while. Which leads to asking myself what has changed.

I think the answer is coupons and health issues. Because I am learning to budget my groceries and use coupons, my eating habits have changed a lot. My health problems (gallstones) changed my eating habits a LOT! I have lost sight of the plan and veered off course...

I used to eat things like hot cereal, cold cereal with skim milk, eggs, bacon and 45 calorie toast or fruit or yogurt and nuts for breakfast.

For lunch, I typically ate deli meat and cheese on 45 calorie bread with mayo on one of the bread slices. Maybe I would eat some fresh veggies with it or throw pickles, spinach or lettuce and tomatoes on the sandwich. I would usually eat baked chips on the side.

Dinner could be anything like grilled or baked meat like chicken, fish or pork, spaghetti, chili, etc. Usually we had sauteed veggies on the side or baked potatoes with light sour cream, butter or healthy oil, salt and pepper.

I always weighed my foods and knew how much a serving of things were. I still know how much a serving is pretty well but I tend to cook whatever is quick and easy or what I have on hand forgetting to make sure it's going to help me lose weight.

What to do now?

Getting back up

When we've fallen off the wagon, my suggestions are:

  • Re-evaluate your pantry. Get rid of the foods that are tripping you up (trigger foods).

  • Write a menu and make a shopping list of items that are going to help you lose weight (i.e.  yogurt, frozen fish (tilapia and swai are inexpensive options), deli turkey, frozen fruits, veggies, baked chips, 45 calorie bread, nuts, fresh spinach, eggs, lean microwave meals, etc).

  • Pull the fruit basket back out and stock it with fruits that you like to eat.


  • Go to the library and get one or two of the books that I suggest and read through it for inspiration.

  • Or revisit some of the posts on this blog.


Do you have anything to add? What has worked for you to help get you back on track?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How NOT to Exercise

This is my second round of doing the Shred. The first time was a flop and here's why:
I saw a friend of mine had started the Shred - Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred workout DVD. I was immediately inspired to join her for the support because I too wanted to get in shape and knew a partner would help keep me motivated.
I was still overweight at the time and she was a thin girl but that difference didn't mean anything to me at the time. I went to Walmart that day, bought the DVD and started working out the next day.

To help us connect while on our journey, I started a Facebook group called 30 Day Shred. We immediately had several people join us and it became an instant success!
We discussed whether to do the Shred every day. I knew that you are not supposed to start out exercising every day but it was the 30 Day Shred and everyone said "Of course, we'll do it every day". Like duh...
So we all did it every day. (Well most of us...)

I missed one day because we had guests in our home overnight and there was no opportunity that day. I surprised myself by sticking with it and lasted even past the 30 days. I did it for about 6 weeks until I went with my mom and sisters on vacation for a week. We tried to exercise while we were there but I lasted about 2 days before giving up exercising entirely.
After returning from that trip, I truly tried to get back into an exercise habit but that was in September and until this week I bet I have exercised maybe a handful of times. We tried walking every day - flop. I tried pulling out the Shred a time or two, yoga, crunches... nothing could get me back in gear. I had burnt out after 6 weeks straight of exercising EVERY day!

Two days ago, after most of my work required me to sit most of the day, I REALLY wanted to do something active. I pulled out the Shred and while doing it, I felt really inspired to seriously change my life from this point on. I have all kinds of ideas and I've been thinking for a while, about all the things that have defeated me time after time and formulating a plan of how NOT to start exercising again. You see, I have never had a good exercise habit that stuck, so I don't know for sure how to start the habit, but I have some major experience in how NOT to start exercising. So here is my advice:

DON'T think you can do everything skinny girls can do.
While doing the Shred (2 days ago) I did something for the first time that I was not able to do even during the 6 weeks of doing the Shred before. You know that stretch where you clasp your hands behind your back and lift your arms up to stretch out your shoulders? On the 30 Day Shred group, we discussed doing some of the exercises at one point. Some would say some of the moves were easy while some of us were feeling lame for not being able to do those things.
That stretch is something I never could do. I could maybe get my hands away from my back a few inches, but I was really straining to do that. I am just as out of shape now (actually more so when considering I had done it for 6 weeks) and I can do that stretch now. The difference? Several pounds. Now that I have lost more weight, I can do that stretch.
If you can't do something they're doing, it might be because it is physically impossible for you right now.

DON'T take exercise advice from people who weigh a lot less than you OR from people who are already exercising regularly.
Weight as well as fitness, really makes a difference on some of these things.
The girls on the group talked about pushups. I was doing the girly kind (on my knees). Some of them were not only doing several more than I could push out but they were doing them normal (on their feet)! Even after doing it for 6 weeks, I couldn't do very many. I can do more pushups now than I could then and I'm out of shape now! I think back and realize that the people who were doing more pushups and regular pushups were girls who were thin and the one who did regular ones was already exercising regularly before the Shred! Regardless of how in or out of shape you are, the amount of weight you are pushing up really makes a difference.


DON'T do all the reps.
If you push yourself to do the entire workout, that is an excellent way to burn yourself out, make yourself too sore and end up not exercising for weeks.
I went to the YMCA for a class once and I expected the girl teaching the class to tell us beginners how to do the modified form. Since she gave no directions for modifying her moves, I thought I was probably doing a beginners class and like a good girl, just followed directions. I could barely move the next day. The 4 steps in front of my house were agony to get up and down. It took me like a week to get over that - I hurt SO bad. I couldn't even think of exercising let alone going back to the Y for a while. When you are beginning, even if they say "You can do it", no you can't! Don't do it. Do as much as you can at first and don't push yourself. You can do more tomorrow... and the next day. Those videos/routines (even the beginner kind) are designed to keep you challenged for a few weeks. Even 3-4 days into it you will be able to do more than you could the first day.

DON'T hang in there.
Same as above, different wording. When they say "Hang in there, you can do it", don't. Take it easy at first. Even if your 'at first' is a week or two into it. I don't think I ever did all the reps without breaks during the first 30 days of the Shred.

DON'T buy stuff.
Every dollar you spend on workout gear, yoga mats, hand weights, programs, DVD's, water bottles, equipment, etc is one more dollar that is going to make you feel guilty when you don't use them.
If you're going to buy something, buy it at a reduced price or just buy 1 or 2 things that are inexpensive. Unless you can buy them at a yard sale, flea market, resale store or even a used sports place, my advice is to not buy it. Do you know someone who you could borrow from for a little while? I'm sure someone you know has bought a bunch of workout stuff they aren't using. :)
You are so motivated when you decide to spend all that money on the item that you are so sure will get you into shape, but it's really hard to stay motivated after that. If you are already motivated, and have already established the habit, it would make more sense to invest in the items that you already know you would use. There is no magic 'thing' that is going to make you fit.
When I started the Shred, I knew this piece of advice (from experience) and used canned food as my weights. I eventually bought 1 pound weights once I had stuck with the program a while. Which leads to another piece of advice that seems quite obvious to me but I have learned is not so obvious to some...

DON'T buy the big weights until you've been exercising a while and feel you need more of a challenge.
Those little weights might seem small in the store, but they won't feel so small after lifting them in ways you've never done before over and over again.

DON'T overdo it.
Going from completely out of shape to exercising every day is a terrible idea for so many reasons. Especially if you are fitness illiterate, meaning that you don't know what the muscles are called let alone the names of the moves. Grapevine... what?
Some of those moves are difficult to figure out at first. DON'T let how silly you feel or look keep you from trying it again the next time. It took me forever to figure out how to do that silly grapevine!

DON'T do it alone.
If you decide to start exercising and tell no one, if you give up the next day, who cares! Find SOMEONE, even if it's someone across the country (preferably someone who has similar fitness levels and weight as you) to do it with you. With as many types of social media as we have now, it shouldn't be too difficult to find someone (or someone who knows someone) to do it with you.

DON'T think you have to do something MAJOR!
Yoga IS a valid form of exercise. Yoga tones muscles as well as stretching them. When I did yoga for the first time, after about 3 days, I noticed was that I had more energy because I could move more easily. Stretching and becoming more flexible made doing everything more easy, resulting in feeling more energized and stronger. Surprising but true!
Thinking you have to do some set amount of exercise or you're not doing it right is a silly notion that most of us get in our heads that is likely to defeat you.

DON'T let soreness defeat you.
You are already not going to be super sore after following my advice on not doing all the reps at first, but when you first start out, you are going to be sore. The best way to get rid of the soreness is to work through it. Exercising those sore muscles again helps to work out the soreness.

DON'T let injuries or limitations defeat you.
I have had back problems for years. When I started the Shred, being out of shape and not knowing better, I put my back out the first day. I realized though that she didn't spend enough time warming us up and did a little warmup on that area of my back (between my shoulder blades) before starting the DVD.
A friend had knee problems and couldn't keep doing the Shred because some of the moves were too hard on the knees. Some of the exercises cause my hip to pop in a very uncomfortable way. I modify those moves and just do them as much as I can.
I used to feel like I wasn't doing it good enough and I almost thought I couldn't do it because of that. I nearly gave up. Only the group kept me going - I couldn't bare the shame of giving up. Now I realize that modifying the moves is a completely acceptable thing. The programs are designed for a general audience and the sheer fact that you are doing the program even if you can't do ALL of it, is absolutely good enough!

Last but not least...
DON'T give up.
Taking a tiny step in the right direction is always better than standing still.

And a quote...

"So I know that it’s not the easiest habit for most people, and most people’s experiences consist of starting and stopping and starting again. Which is fine — don’t beat yourself up about it. The important thing is starting again." - Zen habits


For motivation, check out this post:
How To Start Exercising

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weight Loss Manners

When my grandparents still lived in the area, we would go visit them a couple of times a month. They had discovered that my kids liked hot dogs and mac-a-roni and cheese. And potato chips... and cookies... and soda (not the diet kind usually)... and candy... and ice cream. So of course they were always offering these things when we visited. It was at that time that I determined to never let my weight loss become more important than my manners.

Since there was nothing being offered to eat that was remotely weight conscious, I ate what they served and tried to limit it some but not to the point of being rude. I would at least eat one cookie. To not eat what they offered would possibly make them think I didn't like it. To tell them that I was dieting would probably stress them out.

These kind of occasions will present themselves occasionally. People are always more important and there are ways of making up for it later and trying to eat carefully when faced with this type of situation. Please put your respect for people over your weight loss goals.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Starving

I love this information from Mens Health. Simple yet so true...

10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Starving

Foods That Make You Gain Weight

If you simply avoid foods like these, you would probably lose weight without doing anything else:

#1 - Foods with a high fat and carb combination
Because carbs cause our body to store fat, foods that are high in fat AND carbs are going to cause weight gain unless you eat them in small amounts.
Examples: pizza, biscuits, cheesy foods, mashed potatoes, gravy, corndogs, creamy foods/soups/sauces, donuts, pies, cake, desserts, chips, junk food in general, carnival foods like nachos, pretzels, popcorn, etc.

#2 - Sugar
We eat too much sugar in general. The kind of sugar we eat is not a natural food. It has been stripped and processed to the point that it actually uses up minerals from our body's resources to process it. It is literally taking nutrients from your body!
Sugar is not only high in calories but also void of nutrients. It doesn't satisfy our bodies nutritional needs, which results in your body asking for more food!
Don't forget the large amounts of sugar in your drinks: sodas, coffee, juice, tea, etc.

#3 - Carbs
We do need carbs in our diet, but we eat too many and the wrong kind. Simple carbs (white flour, sugar) taste the best and are what most carbs are made of, but they are nutritionally void (have been stripped of their nutrients through processing). They not only cause weight gain, but are a large part of what's making us sick.
Try to choose complex carbs (with whole grains) as much as possible.
Example of problem carbs: muffins, dried fruit, cereal, bagels, white bread, rolls, white pasta, white rice, potatoes, etc.

The easiest way to avoid foods like these is to not let yourself get hungry and eat the stuff that is good for weight loss first. For example: If I can just eat the green beans and turkey first, the roll looks less and less tempting as I get more full.

Weigh In Tuesday!

I lost 1.6 lbs this week!

How I did it:
I paid attention to what I ate.
I thought about my choices as I ate instead of just eating whatever because I didn't care at THAT particular moment.
I used the information I blog about - what I know causes weight loss or gain to make my food choices.

I did not diet.
I did not feel deprived.

I did eat like a dozen cookies in one setting (which I regret) but was able to overcome the calorie intake in the meals before and after that.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm an Abstainer

While reading this post, I realized I'm an "abstainer". I do better when I give something up completely than if I try to moderate it. Take donuts for example - I rarely eat donuts because after a while, I forget what I'm missing out on, whereas, if I eat them, I can't seem to stop.

I don't have doughnuts on my list of trigger foods for that reason. I do not eat donuts. I need to do the same with chocolate chip cookies...


Quiz: Are You an "Abstainer" or a "Moderator"?
by Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

How about you? Which one are you?

Foods That Make You Lose Weight

Here is a list of foods that cause you to lose weight. This does not mean to exclude any other foods, but when you are eating these foods, thank them for making you lose weight. You don't HAVE to talk to your food, but it might be fun. :)

Lean protein - Your body works harder to break down protein, burning more calories and it takes longer to process too. That is 2 reasons (works harder and longer) why lean protein helps you lose weight.
Grilled chicken, fish of just about any sort, eggs, BEANS (protein AND fiber = superfood), lean pork, turkey and other lean meats are good options. Even bacon in moderation is ok. You CAN eat bacon!
Egg whites or egg beaters are a very lite option but I personally do not recommend this as a habit because it is not healthy. For a quick, light meal, cook egg substitute, frozen diced veggies (onion, pepper mix) and frozen turkey sausage together, seasoned with a little salt and pepper.

Fiber - For the same reason as protein, fiber helps you lose weight - it takes longer to process and slows down digestion causing your meal to stick with you longer. Choose whole grain versions of your breads as often as possible. Sara Lee makes amazing bread! Their Soft and Smooth varieties makes the 100% whole grain breads much easier to eat. I use Sara Lee 100% whole wheat 45 calorie bread. The slices are thinner so you are eating less bread which also helps you to lose weight - less carbs.

FRUIT!!! - Fruit has little consequence to your weight. Fruit also has fiber. Eat fruit regularly. Try fruit you've never tried before. Eat fruit before a meal to curb your appetite. Eat fruit when you have the munchies. Ignore what the extremists tell you about certain fruits having sugar in them and all that jazz. Just eat it!
If it is not convenient, you are not as likely to eat it. Keep convenient fruit on hand - ALWAYS! Some examples - grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, frozen fruit, etc.
Use fruit to replace dessert. When everyone else is eating cake, eat the frozen berries with low fat or fat free whipped topping (that you brought with you because you planned ahead). Yum!
Eat Green Smoothies!

Vegetables - Vegetables will make you lose weight. Vegetables will make you lose weight. Vegetables will make you lose weight! I'm not kidding... so I repeat - vegetables will make you lose weight. Some of them actually burn more calories to chew and digest than they have in them.
Use your imagination. Sauteed and roasted veggies taste amazing. Sautee broccoli in butter and olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic on high heat just until it browns like you've burnt it. That charred taste is amazing!
Add spinach to everything! Spinach has a very mild taste and adds color to foods. I blend it and put it in eggs, mac-n-cheese (the kids love it), sauces, etc.
Add onions to whatever you can. If you don't like the taste, add a little at a time until you get the feel for how much is tolerable, cook them a little longer and you'll barely know they're in there.
Salads are great but don't eat them if you hate them. Or find ones you love and eat them when you want them.
There's just nothing like grilled cabobs. I love to make them with meat, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms. My husband doesn't even like mushrooms but he can't get enough of the grilled mushrooms!
Try green smoothies. They're delicious and SO nutritious!
Try doing google searches to find ways to eat veggies for people who don't like them. I used to not like veggies but I eat as much as I can now.

Dairy - Drink skim milk, eat yogurt frequently, make pudding, cheese sticks, butter in moderation, cheese in moderation... Butter and cheese are not lean options but taking them out of your diet causes feelings of deprivation which leads to failure. Just eat them in moderation. Which leads me to another important food for weight loss.

Fat - Yep, you heard that right - fat. If you cut nearly all the fat out of your diet, you are likely to lose your hair, become constipated, create health problems, have trouble thinking clearly (fat is brain food), crave fat and of course feel deprived. You need healthy fats in your diet, especially if you are trying to lose weight. This series explains: Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly

Condiments - Condiments like ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard and relish don't affect your weight enough to worry about them. These help a lot to avoid deprivation. Pickles and salsa should be eaten freely.

Also - Light popcorn is high in fiber and curbs the appetite. Sugar free Jell-O is a great snack and is 0 points. Hummus is high in fiber, protein and nutrients - a great option for weight loss.

Soup - Broth based soup (not cream soups, which are loaded with fat) are generally very low points/calories and are very effective at curbing your appetite and helping you lose weight. Try eating soup before your meal to keep from eating as much of the other food - especially at buffets.

Herbs and Spices - These do not affect your weight and add much flavor to your foods!

For more on foods that make you GAIN weight, click here: Foods That Make You Gain Weight