Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Two Main Reasons I Wanna Lose Weight and Get Healthier...

Me and My Beloved. I want as much happy, healthy time with this amazing man as I can have on Earth, and then happily spend Eternity with him (no fat worries there).

He's worth it. He's worth it even more than I am. :)  He's loved me normal weight, 300 lbs, and in between. Without a criticism. Without a loss in desire. Without ultimatums. With support whenever I've wanted and needed it.

I'd kind of like to give him back some of the woman he married (ie, less of the me now. hah.)

This is the gal he married:

Yeah, my two main and him. Mostly him. Look at that hunky dude. Sigh.


I Wanna Be A Member of the "Five Percent Club!"

Quote from JOINING THE THIN CLUB by Judith Lederman:

"...according to the National Institutes of Health, 95 percent of people who lose large amounts of weight tend to regain it within the first three years of losing it. The number is smaller with patients who have lost weight through surgery, but it is still significant."


A Good Day, a Happy Scale, New Waist Measure, and Seeking More of this Calm...

703 days and 10 hours to go...

I feel so good this morning. I ate great yesterday. Kept it UNDER 1000 calories for the first time, prolly haven't eaten this little since the day after they took out my appendix in 2002.

I don't do restriction well.

It was unintentional. I had INTENDED to eat up to at least 1500. That was the plan: a low eating day for me. I normally allow up to 1800, and tend to swerve up to 2000 when lazy, but still watching what I eat.

But I had done so much grappling, praying, calming work, that I went positively Zen, methinks. I was just in the nice zone of sweet tranquility.

And the tranquility moved right into my eating.

Hubby will return in the wee hours of Friday (so happy, so happy), so I will aim for a calm eating day today, so he and I can have a lunch or dinner out tomorrow (still restrained, of course) without the agitation of having bad days behind me.

The bigger breakfast strategy has helped, too. It helps me contain lunch.

As a result of that good, but unusually low calorie day for me, the scale is again smiling at me. Yesterday and today's peeks prophesy a good Friday weigh-in (ie back on track).

And not just the scale is cheery. My tape measure got taken out and used today. Waist and Hips.

I had pretty much given up on the tape measure, since my hips and waist have been resistant, especially waist, for the last couple years. I've lost in the boobs (my emptying bra cups are proof). I've lost in the upper arms and thighs. I've lost a bit in the hips. But the waist was stubbornly refusing to budge from 44.5 . For the last couple years, it just wouldn't change. Yes, I take steroids. Yes, I have insulin resistance. Yes, I'm naturally apple-ish. Yes, my adrenals have been happier.

But dang, how could I lose 35 pounds since I started blogging and my waist moves only 3.5 inches????

Well, after I woke up, I looked in the mirror and dang if my middle didn't look a scosh smaller. My imagination?

Nope. The tape lieth not. My hips took another dip. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, my resistant waist has nipped in, too. It's at 43.75 inches. Hips are at 53.5.

Finally. I guess lower carb IS beneficial for budging the resistant abdominal fat.

Now, whether the measure I use is accurate, dunno. It's a MyoTape measure, not the regular just old measuring tape. But it's the one I've used for several years, so at least I know that it went DOWN, even if the tape is not perfect. :)

Getting my waist under the 35 inches Doc Oz recommends is one of those goals on my plate. So, progress. Measurable progress. The INTJ in me likes that.

Okay, so I'm off to make something to eat. Gonna ask my emotions what they want, gonna use my mind to limit my emotions, gonna use my spirit to be thankful and attuned to the greater Power.

Well, okay, I just want to stay nice and calm. I like feeling the peace, baby!

Happy and Healthy--and Tranquil-- Thursday to y'all!

Intuition Combined with Restraint? I guess that's how I see it...

OK. So I made a comment under the previous post in response to Lanie. Got me thinking.

Maybe the issue is that I don't believe internal is all or external is all. I believe it works hand in hand. my experience, the external restraint has to be present so the internal cues aren't waylaid by habit, environment, or screwed up natural instinct.

Even animals, who one would imagine would be ruled by instinct and have "intuition" about eating, having not read diet books or been to WW meetings, get fat and will get fatter and fatter when presented with different environments or foods that trigger their "I want to eat til I die" response.

In nature, I imagine one's diet is pretty mundane and boring. I'm a lion. I eat: gazelle, gnu, gazelle, zebra, zebra, gazelle, wildebeest . But, basically, to eat that you have to run your butt off (literally) and it's still all raw meat, anyway you look at it. (Note: We do't have to run our butts off to get lots of food. We just have to drive to it or buy it.)

I'm a grazing cow. Out in the pasture. I eat: grass. grass. grass. Oh, I chewed a bug. Grass. And I"m out there standing on my feet all day in the pasture, moving around, finding nice bits of greener grass. (Note: We humans don't have to stand all day to eat enough. We sit and order it by phone.)

It's been shown in studies that when one has a diet that is repetitive, mundane, boring, one eats less. Add a smorgasbordian variety and people will eat MORE.

Environment and options change the game. This is why I have issues with intuitive eating. (I tried it in the past, but I believe it was called something else. Like...The Weigh Down Diet. I read Geneen Roth back in the, er, was it 80's? I forget. I know that the caloric restriction backlash is not new. The "get in touch with your hunger" notion is not new. Live long enough and flare bottoms and diet trends return.)

We live in a society with supermarkets and fast food purveyors GALORE. I have relatives who come from Cuba to visit, and they are speechless with astonishment at the amount and variety of foodstuffs and allstuffs that is readily available if you have the money to buy. They are agog.

Well, driving 4 blocks in my urban landscape presents my eyes with temptations St. Anthony knew not of. To the person trying to intuit or restrain themselves (internal, external), this society is not on your side. It's just not.

It's like sirens and Odysseus: the songs never fricken stop.

In the house: ads, bursting to the full refrigerators and pantries.
Out of the house: ads, food joints, relatives cooking, church potluck suppers, etc

I also believe that overeaters are fractured when it comes to the physiology and food intuition. I'm not saying that cannot be healed, mind you. I'm saying I believe that just as someone's moral compass can be cracked (original sin, the fall, or just plain a lousy nurturing), one's eating intuition can be damaged by disease, life, or continued self-indulgence and refusal to deny one's temptations. My body's physiology is screwed up just cause I'm fat (read up on the hormonal disruptions and the hunger/satiety hormone disruptions). My psyche is messed up from decades of letting myself eat what I want for years at a time. My emotions are used to telling me to eat when upset cause food gives me a rush. (Yes, I know, it is like being a junkie.)

My intuition is sooooo messed up, that I cannot trust it to tell me how to eat.

I must use my rational (non-emotional, non-endocrine affected) function to tell my body what it SHOULD EAT. Now, I can have a list of pleasurable foods that I allow on that list of the options, but it's still the MIND over EMOTION.

Emotional eaters trusting emotion?? Really??

I can't.

My emotions would have me ordering a pizza every other day. And on the other days, I'd be having cheese enchiladas and Kahlua mousse or Cuban roast pork sandwiches with lots of mojo.

My intuitive faculty went bonkers a couple decades ago.

Can it be sane again? Yah, sure. I believe in miracles. I believe in healing. I believe in change.

But I know that when people go by emotion and don't impose the reins of reason, the world gets mighty EFFED UP. When people only have reason, without cmopassion, the world is frigid.

So, maybe the solution is about melding the two aspects. Or better, three, by adding the spiritual--and thus completing the triune aspect of balance.

The mind can take the information necessary--be it nutritional, mathematical, personal--and let the emotions go THIS FAR. The rational aspect can keep a nice little eye on the intuitive and say, "yes, this far, no more, because your insanity is now showing." And the spirit can add support by connecting with the Power Source for self-control. (Well, remember, I am a person of faith, after all.) The spirit creates the luminous vision of the best possible self, body included.

When I did the intuitive thing, I consumed enough blue cheese dressing to scare the people of France into stopping shipments to Miami. I can seriously go whack on cheese.

On my current eating plan (which has, with only minimal moments of regain, been consistently but sloooooowly downward) been one that allows me to have my fave food of all (cheeses), but only THIS MUCH.

When I don't control how much, I can eat a pound. Intuitively, emotionally, I can scarf a pound of cheese without blinking.

But when I say to myself, "I'm hungry. What do I want? Oh, I want some cheddar with apples and crackers." Now my mind takes over: "You may have no more than 2 ounces of cheese and 8 crackers. And two apples."

My emotions and my intuition tell me what would give me pleasure, joy, and satisfaction. My mind tells me what is nutritional and wise and has to tell me the boundaries. My spirit can be guided by the higher moral aspect: "Eating is not just about mind or emotion. It's about the greater good, too."

Boundaries make life better.

Marriage is a beautiful thing. The boundaries that say my husband may not boink other women is limiting, but it's a limitation that is healthy for us to continue to have a bonded, trusting, healthy relationship where I can honestly say he's my soulmate. Without that boundary...why marry?

Well, why diet if the mind and the restriction the mind puts upon urges/desires/impulses is ignored???

Maybe I've misunderstood the Intuitive Eating movement...but it just seems like old hat. Been there, done that: got fatter.

I believe human beings are mind and body and spirit. What did the classical thinkers call that? Reason, emotion, will? I forget. Been a while since I studied the Big Thinkers (and I'm consequently getting stooooopid in my middle age.)

I don't believe that letting emotion lead is the smartest way to go. That's a surefire way to get in deep doodoo in the end.

Chances for success in any major life-altering endeavor--and make no mistake, losing 100+ pounds is life-altering and major and a huge change--is to engage the mind (reason, thinking), body (feeling, wanting, craving) and spirit (aspiring, willing, visionary).

So, well, what would that system be called? Holistic Eating?


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Allan, Intuitive Eating, The Pleasure Principle, Gluttony, and How It All Ends Up!

Okay, so Allan can be a button-pusher. :) Oh, you don't know who I am talking about? It's ALMOST GASTRIC BYPASS's blog owner and really talented scribe. (The guy has fiction chops. He surely do.)

He's pretty brutally frank, and that's not everyone's cuppa tea. I am an INTJ, and I like to analyze, and I often see all sorts of solutions to problems. I sometimes am paralyzed by my ability to OVERanalyze. I like my life introverted and tranquil as does my INTJ hubby. But, when engaged in a debate, I used to be so fierce (and often the winner) that I scared people. My bad. I've mellowed with menopause and age. I don't wanna debate anymore. I just want to enjoy my golden years as much as life, health, and Islamic Terrorists will allow. ; )

So, I wouldn't debate with Allan. :) He's a toughie. (And cute when he smiles, and scary when he doesn't.)

My journey is not his in DEGREE (ie, I don't eat as few calories as he does and I will never lose at the rate he does. I'm older. Female. And my thyroid ran off to Argentina to tango with someone slimmer, apparently.) BUT...we know one simple, inescapable fact: we gotta eat less. Even if we choose not to move a lot more, we do better to move more. But we gotta eat less.

I"m assuming the big trend in talking about Intuitive Eating (gee, thanks, Oprah) is because a lot of us who are fat have disordered relationships with food. I get it. But sometimes, let's face it, it's just that we like to eat, food tastes good, food makes us feel all yummy and serotony in the brain. Pleasure is something we want as humans. Food is a basic and legal form of pleasure. (Sex is another, but that requires someone else's cooperation for us to overindulge, and there are all sorts of components that can make it complicated for many to do the whoopsie 3+ times a day in an equivalent way to how overeaters eat. With gusto. With abandon. With frequency. And sometimes in secrecy.)

I'm a Christian, and there is a longstanding historical legacy of teaching against overindulgence--be it sex, food, anger, acquisition, frivolity, etc. All those fasting and starving ascetics--and fasting has a favored place in many religions, though it's not as in favor these days, it seems--knew that it was dang hard to resist food (what, wine, women, song?). Yeah, better to sing than schtup and stuff indiscriminately. Overindulgence tends to lead to bad things.

Too much wine and you could say something so stupid you lose a pal or a spouse or you could run over an innocent bystander while driving.

Too much sex and you could end up with a lot of broken hearts or infected bodies in your wake. Not to mention a bad rep (at least in ye olde days) or in the midst of your own personal stoning. (Yeah, if you shtup someone else's spouse, here come da rocks! Even today in other countries!)

Too much song (ie funtime diversion) and you might end up with no money and too many mooching friends who'll ditch you when times get rough. And also too much sex and wine if your singing takes place on South Beach. Heh.

Too much food: you get fat. You don't fit in public spaces. You may have a harder time dating, finding a spouse. You pay more for clothes. You gotta buy 2 plane tickets. Your arteries start clogging. Your liver starts scarring up. Your joints wear down faster. You get sleep apnea and up your risks of cardiac arrest. You get diabetes early. You cause isssues for your fetuses.

Every vice has a price.

I don't drink too much(maybe two glasses of wine a month with the sisters). I've never smoked. I never got a speeding ticket. I never caused my parents worries (as my mom so often praised). I never cheated on my taxes. I never betrayed close friends in the usual, dramatic ways one hears of. I considered once becoming a nun and my husband even considered being a priest. (Thank God that he did NOT cause I like bumpsywumpsy with him a LOT!!!) I've been wholly monogamous, well, always, but especially since I met hubby in 1982. I never indulged in unsafe sex. I never took drugs that were not prescribed. (It's amazing how many people do not believe that I, a teen in the 70's, a 20-something in the 80's, did not TRY pot at least. Nope. I even refused to date guys who smoked...cigarettes.)

I did have an anger issue--which was made worse by the drugs used to treat my asthma and allergy issues over the years-- but being married to the calmest man in the universe helps a lot. and food. Yikes! There is my big vice. GLUTTONY!

It's a vice where you pretty much mostly hurt yourself, not others, so it seems pretty innocent.

But the ancient abbas and ammas knew something. It's a bad thing. It's a sign of being out of control. It's a sign of selfishness. It's a sign of greed (another one of those big sins).

If we tallied what we fat folks spent on food, and then considered how eating 1/3rd or 1/5th less comes out in terms of moolah--that's money that isn't being put toward better uses. Whether it's planning for retirement (so we don't mooch off other people), or investing in our children or families (be it education, health care, housing, etc), or assisting our fellow human beings-- those who NEED calories an ain't getting them. We could give them, literally, our excess calories in donating to hunger relief.

Gluttony means we use up more resources than is fair in a world where so many don't have a fair share.

For people of faith, eating is not just eating. Eating can be an act of spiritual discipline or an act of faith or a communal exercise in fellowship, even an act of generosity, an opportunity to say, "My spirit will overcome my flesh. I will let you have this food and I will go without due to my love for you."

It can also be an act of willful rebellion against God. It can be an act of total self-absorption. It can be choosing to live by bread alone, as it were. It can be an act of unfaithfulness. It can be a form of suicide (which the Roman Catholic church would say is a huge, huge NO NO.) It's a denigration of the temple...which is what the Apostle Paul calls the human body. The Lord's temple. His dwelling place. It must be treated with dignity, honor, and reverence.

Whether what we eat is low carb, high carb, in-between carb, whole, vegan, organic, etc, in the end, if we're obese or overweight, we eat too much of the stuff produced by the hard labor of farmers and cattlemen and chicken ranchers.

If we want to reduce our bodies, we have to reduce our intake. I don't see how you get around it.

All the people who over the decades said it was their glands and their bodies and they couldn't lose weight: Gastric banding and gastric bypass have shown, oh, yes you can. It's all about restricting intake.

I have glandular issues--how cliche is that. But it's true. Nevertheless, when I get below a certain level of calories, I go down.

I will never be Hollywood slim. I've never been Hollywood slim in my life, not even when I was 15 and normal weight (139) and active (biking, swimming as much as I could, playing softball, walking to school and back). It would require eating so little as to make life...too harsh.

But I do believe I can reach a reasonably healthful weight and eat, yeah, a lot less than the 3500+ calories daily that got me to 300 lbs.

So,, back to Allan: He put up a challenge to find out what certain blog-post-commenters had in common. I don't know what they have in common. But since they claimed not to have a "plan", my guess (aside from that they're, like me, FAT) is that they, in fact, know that it's not intuitive or whatever: It's calories in, burn out. My guess is that they know that to lose weight, they gotta EAT LESS AND MOVE MORE (or just eat a lot less).

My guess is that when they see the scale go up it's cause they took in too many calories, and when they want to take it off, they cut back on calories and maybe hit the jogging trail or gym.

My guess is that they know what the plan is or should be. Eat less. Period. Move more, ideally.

It's the same core plan for everyone who wants to lose weight.

How you make the calories work for you is what is pesonal. How you move is what is individual. I can't run, but I like dancing and Pilates. I can't eat seafood (dammit), but I like chicken breast and lean pork and I like beans and I love eggs for breakfast. I can work in things I like, and what I like is different than what you like. But most dieters end up finding the "added value" of veggies and some fruits for filling up with little caloric damage.

So that was my guess to Allan's Challenge: They say they don't have a plan, but they know what the plan must be--fewer calories in compared to calories out.

You can't get away from that.

Grappling and Taking Down the Emotional Monster

You can guess life smacked me around a bit, since I haven't posted since, er, when, Saturday?

Okay, so Saturday began a descent that culminated in Sunday's insanity.

I found out some very stressful news from Sister A, which even today has me praying double and triple time for her. We all met up (siblings and their kidlets) for a birthday party Sunday. I'd had one of my happy but lite breakfasts to get me in a better frame of mind.

I brought over fruit and Greek Salad.

I had THREE servings of the salad with honey pear dressing, about 3 ounces of Serrano ham, white "Cuban style" cheese with coffee, who knows how many Amaretti cookies, I lost count. A piece of dark chocolate. One bit of Parmesan bread. Coconut water. White wine with strawberries.

But the situation with Sister A had gotten worse and she was near tears. Sister B was going through a new round of depression and had an infection causing her severe pain. Gosh, there was a pall over that party.

On the drive home, I was feeling the blossoming of Monster Binge. I really could feel that I was totally about to lose it. I wanted to weep. I felt so helpless that I could help neither sister right now.

So, I tell hubby in a voice not to be messed with: I want a hamburger!

He's the sweetest, dearest man in the universe, but at this point, he should have told me, "Honey, I love you more than my own life. No. You are not having a fast food hamburger."

I'm having visions of buffalo wings, tacos, burgers, pizza. I am possessed, I swear.

Well, the only blessing in all of this is that I only got the burger (no fries, no dessert, and even at the party, I bypassed the birthday key lime pie and apple strudels). I got home and I ate it. Very fast.

And I said, "Shit....this has to stop."

I started drinking water, water, had a high protein hot cocoa to give my mouth something that wasn't "evil".

I went to bed still feeling a little crazed.

Now, I felt horrible when I woke up 4 hours later. (Yeah, add not enough sleep, cause the sister and food thing is making me uneasy on the mattress there.) I ate a very small breakfast (200 cals) and water.

I almost cancelled Pilates, but that would have made hubby sad and me mad at myself. Hubby was heading out that afternoon to San Francisco for a business conference, so I didn't want to make him worry about me on top of everything else. I got my workout clothes on. I did NOT want to go. (A rare thing, as I like doing my Pilates and feeling that "I did it" glow aftewards.)

So, I went to Pilates. Bloated from all the sodium and crap the day before. I did the upper body work fine, but my knee was bad. Dunno why? Lower body work took a bit of modifying.

There's a Subway below the Pilates studio. I don't go there very often, but I decided before I got lured in by the various WORSE fast food options on the way home, I'd get something. I got the footlong Turkey Jalapeno Melt (extra turkey) (to share with hubby) with every veggie they had on top. And baked chips. And a Coke Zero. (I looked away from the cookies.)

I ended up having 1/3 of the chips and tossing them. 1/2 the sub with avocado. 1/2 the Coke Zero.

And I felt like I started to calm down.

Hubby had had lunch while I was gone, so I wrapped the Sub for dinner or lunch the next day (sans half the bread).

I had a blip later that day (too much tzatziki and too much almond butter, but not as bad as the day before).

I spent a lot of time just grappling internally, and y'all who binge know what I mean. Just trying to destress, find a calm place, and not let food win.

By Tuesday, I had started to calm down. I talked to Sister A (things were still bad, she sounded down), and then I prayed some more. I ate the leftover sub for supper with a plum and some debloating coconut water. I was able to finally get good sleep--solid, not waking up feeling panic sleep: 11 hours' worth.

I was able to bring down the quantity again Tuesday, meaning after Sunday's worst and Monday's still a bit bad, Tuesday was almost good. :)

But good enough that when I checked the scale today (and I was terrified to do so before), I was less than Friday's weigh-in. Hallelujah! In fact, I haven't weighed THAT number (254.0) since July of 2002. And the only reason I remember the precise month and year is that is what I weighed after my emergency appendectomy (July 5th) during the follow-up weigh-in at the surgeon's office.

I'm not out of the woods emotionally, but it's calmer. It's been raining and raining and raining (tropical depression), and that makes me feel a little blue, but not too much. And that's a ray of light.

So, I have high hopes for today and tomorrow. I want a decent weigh-in Friday, and staying calm and not letting worry get to me will be key.

I wish you a calm day and night, with less food and more movement and a lot more sleep. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Milestone Numbers

On  my previous diet blog, I did a post about the magic numbers. Fat people seem to always have certain weights they associate with certain time periods or milestones, I think. (From what I've read on blogs, at least). If you asked me what was my magic weight, it wouldn't be the slimmest I ever was or the slimmest I wanted to BE (and never was). It would be what I weighed when I got married: 154.

But I have other "milestone numbers", which is what would be the weight numbers that show I've crossed health classification levels. Here, from that Once Upon a Diet post in June of this year:

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

So, I did it again.

The WHO's classification for obesity is this:

BMI Classification
< 18.5 underweight
18.5–24.9 normal weight
25.0–29.9 overweight
30.0–34.9 class I obesity
35.0–39.9 class II obesity
≥ 40.0   class III obesity 

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

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

To leave Class III, I'd have to get down to 246, at which weight my BMI would be 39.9 and Class II Obesity, and I'd be considered severely obese.  At 216, I'd have a BMI of 34.9 and be in Class I--plain old obese. No scary modifiers.

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

My goal "end weight" for this blog is 160. That's not my magic Wedding Day number. It's not even my larger "happy weight" of 175, a weight at which, while I was large, I was able to feel flexible and not look too large dressed up. In fact, I could dress up, cause my belly wasn't gargantuan. :) The medical charts would still have me as overweight, but let's be frank: I'd have so much hanging leftover skin at 160, that you could take away 20 + pounds just for excess flesh, and that would put me well into ideal medical weight zone.

The short-term medical milestone goal for me is 246 lbs. I'd no longer be officially morbidly obese. And that's a bit under 9 lbs from where I am today. I will be most celebrative when I see that number on the scale Milestone. :D

What are you magic and milestone numbers?

Looking for what works...not just what doesn't....

708 days and 8 hours to go...

I was reading my Kindle at the beauty salon (while getting grays covered prior to a much-needed trim), under the hard hat dryer, totally engrossed in that book I mentioned last post -- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. --and it talked about how it's important to look at a situation and find where something WORKED, as opposed to where it did not (or why). Find what was done differently. So, I seemed to have done that  instinctively in looking back to the weeks where my loss was not just on target, but a bit above. The big breakfast came immediately to mind.

Nudged by the book, I looked back at other factors that were consistent in those weeks. I came up with: sleep. I was sleeping 7 to 9 hours consistently.

This past week, most notably  Monday on, I was sleeping about 5 hours, occasionally 6.

I've been battling my Vampire Cycle tendencies (up all night, sleep during day), and sometimes I do stay up too late and then have to compensate by sleeping less to make appointments and such.

Therefore, another goal for this week will be to sleep again in the 7 to 9 hour range and see how that affects appetite and rate of loss along with The Big Breakfast. :)

It's gonna be tough, as hubby is going out of town for most of the week, and well, we live in a neighborhood that's become increasingly unsafe. So much so, when I'm alone in this big old building, sound sleep eludes me. I tend to wake at the smallest noice, even when I've booby-trapped the doors.

Can't wait to move. (Another change)

So, there it is. Two things that may have compromised my appetite/diet plans/rate of loss/metabolism even.

Look back on your GREAT weeks and GOOD weeks, then look at your bad loss weeks. What were the  EXCEPTIONS, the things that you did on the great and good weeks that you didn't on the bad ones. (Other than just, you know, EAT MORE, MOVE LESS). Did  you eat particular meals or certain foods that helped? Sleep better? Drink more liquids on the good and great weeks. Did you socialize more, read more, walk more. 

Anyway, let's hope this week is a bright one...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Face The Truth Fridays: Did NOT Meet Goal, But a Small Loss, and Back to Big Breakasts, Less Night Snacking

709 days and 13 hours to go...

On the scale:


Too small of a downtick downward to meet goal. To meet Goal, I'd need to lose 1 lb and a scosh (actually 1.01 pounds, but how the heck am I gonna measure that?)  Only lost .4 lbs. Just under half a pound. Bleh.

Well, what was different this week? I experimented with half the calories/food at breakfast. I I ate too much fruit for my lower carb plan. I allowed later evening snacks (not bad, bad stuff--high fiber/high protein, fruit, protein cocoa). BUT..the truths I'm facing here in week three:

1. I really may need a big breakfast (by big, I don't mean pre-new blog big, which averaged 750 to 800 cals, and certainly not "eat what the hell I want" big breakfasts at Bagel Bar, which cold easily top 1100. No, I mean 400 to 500 cals, high protein, lower carb breakfasts like I did the previous weeks.)

2. I've hit too much fruit. I know, that sounds crazy. Dieters are supposed to have fruit! Well, I used to be a 6 to 7 fruits a day girl, sometimes more. Me loves ye fruit. BUT...I do find if I eat more fruit than 1 or 2 a day, I WANT MORE, and before I know it, I've got a big appetite back in general. I wish I could just eat a big pile o' fruit a day, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I should focus on a big ole pile of greens, I suppose.

3. I need to rein in the laxity in evenings. I need to set a particular caloric level I allow for those evening munchies and pretty much make that a new habit (or just consider the NO FOOD AFTER SUPPER RULE). Not even sure which I could manage better....

I went back to my big breakfast today (high protein hotcakes with 40 cals of sugar free syrup and 2 tbsp apple sauce and cinnamon, 1 container of egg beaters with 1 tbsp of salsa and 1/4 cup lowfat cheese in a small orgaic sprouted corn tortilla, coffee, water.) I need to have my second cup o' joe and drink all my water before we leave (the hour drive way down south to get our heads o' hair done. Hubby is off, so we need to get this done so we don't look like savages. :D

I suppose this week's experiment is to see if having that bigger (double size as this week's) breakfast will help calm the day's hunger.

I am still nowhere near the level of exercise I should be at. I'm a slothful doofus. Throw low-carb stones at me.

I am reading a book on my nifty KINDLE (latest generation, WiFi and 3G) called Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.

I figure there are so many things I want/plan to change, that maybe this type of self-help/motivational book would be more helpful than another diet book for motivation mojo.

What helps, helps, right?

Happy Friday to you! Let's keep it going!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Scaling Back at Starbucks...AGAIN!

710 days, 11 hours, 45 mins to go...

Well, I think I'm ready to move down to the TALL size today. :)

I have a post-exercise latte habit. Two times a week, after Pilates, I head to the Starbucks that's on the first floor of the center where my studio is. Since 2008, June, I was used to getting my sugar-free, 2% milk latte. I started with Cinnamon Dolce, moved to Vanilla, stuck there. Sometimes, I'd try skim milk (the "skinny" lattes), but I gotta be honest. They just don't cut it. 

I like skim milk with my cocoa. Not with my coffee. I grew up, as most Cuban kids do, drinking "cafe con leche" for breakfast, and that was with whole milk, espresso, and sugar.
I can do without sugar. I can do with less than whole milk. But I gotta have the espresso and the bit of milk fat. There, that's the truth. :D

Earlier this year, I scaled back to venti with NO extra syrup. (I used to ask for two extra pumps of vanilla sugar-free syrup.) Then I scaled back to a grande size to save some calories.
Now...I'm ready to scale down to the tall size.

I guess that's like 3 slurps. hahahah
Anyway, it hurts less in stages than in one fell swoop.

Today..."Gimme a tall, iced vanilla latte: sugar-free, 2%. Thanks."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Tracking Matters ~aka~ Take Online Calculators With a Grain of Dieter's Salt

I love online tools. Calculating this and measuring that. In fact, I visited another one today:

Daily Calorie Needs Calculator. 

Nifty, right?

I plugged in my current numbers and it promptly told me I needed to consume 2951 calories to MAINTAIN my current weight (254.8 as of this AM, but I entered 255 rounding it up.)

Excuse me while I snicker.

If I eat 2951--oh, let's just call it 3K cals, shall we?-- I'd gain weight. Period.

How do I know this, you ask?

I've had a weight loss blog for  more than 3 years--May 2007 to be precise. I've logged my ups and downs (thankfully, mostly down, though slooooooooooooowwww as heck). I've lost almost 44 pounds from my high weight, and 34 pounds since May 2007. Roughly 10 lbs a year. A slow rate, but progress. Call me Mrs. Turtle. Call me Dame Snail.

In those 3.5 years, I've done, on and off, either Weight Watchers food journaling to track intake and points or nutrition tracking to check calories and nutrient breakdowns. My latest round of tracking showed me what I needed to eat to MAINTAIN--ie, the exact same weight on the scale for nearly a week--and it was around 2350 cals. Yes, way fewer calories to maintain than the calculator suggests. 601 fewer. And that was when I was 10+ pounds heavier.

Granted, my body is damaged. My thyroid is a lump of scar tissue and I need to use drugs to supplement what it no longer supplies. I have an autoimmune (well, more than one) condition that puts me often into a flare of inflammatory processes. And I'm menopausal and 50.  And pretty sedentary. None of that is a plus for weight loss. So, maybe that's why I'm so far off that general calculator for weight/height/age.

If you are trying to lose weight and not succeeding, I suggest you do the nutrition tracking for a few days at your normal eating, and see at what level you stay still (or gain, if you are gaining now). Now, cut back, say 500 cals. If you were maintaining, cutting back 500 cals should be 1 pound loss a week (might be more if you lose a lot of water). If you cut back 500 cals and still aren't losing, check your portions to see if you're estimating your intake incorrectly. Measure EVERYTHING. Then cut back more. If  you start losing 1 to 2 pounds a week, you're eating 500 to 1000 fewer calories a day than you need to maintain at the level you are at with the amount of exercise you are doing .

As you lose pounds or become more or less active, you need to reassess to maintain the rate of loss.

I you want to lose faster, yes, you have to cut back more. You knew that. But I would never recommend eating less than what will offer your body proper nutrition (fruits/veggies, protein, healthy fat). Most nutritionists caution against going below 1200 cals a day consistently. If you go below that, I recommend medical supervision and care to pack as much vitamins/minerals in the calories you do eat, particularly muscle-sparing protein.

I really think it's useful to know where you maintain, cause it might be way off the calculator and you may be someone who needs to eat LESS than most others to be a similar weight.

Tracking is also good to show you that you may be eating MORE than you realize, calorie-wise. If you measure and you log, you can't lie to yourself about how "I don't eat that much." It's easy to think you had a cup of pasta when you had a cup and a half.  It's easy to think that was a medium or small apple, when it was a large one. It's easy to imagine that sip of this and nibble of that doesnt' add up, but if it's more than what helps you maintain, it's what makes you gain.

Yep. It's really easy to eat 1000 and think you ate way less.

Something else, and easier, you can try:

Use the calculator to get their base suggestion for maintaining weight. Jot that down.  Now, change the weight in the calculator to the weight YOU WANT TO BE. That lower amount should be enough to get you to lose. And it would get you used to eating what it takes to maintain a normal weight.

In my case, I put one lower than my goal happy weight, one that has me no longer overweight. It said: 1977 calorie needs.

I would lose weight at 1977. At a slow rate, but I would.  I doubt I could maintain the weight the calculator states at that level. I might have to be at 1400 to maintain 150 lbs. Or I'd need to up my exercise (which, frankly, isn't alluring).

The main reason I'd suggest gauging where YOU maintain is just to get an idea of how different you may be metabolically. Of course, it's a given that you'd have to be super honest about intake (no fudging on the nutrition tracking). It's silly and does no good if you refuse to log that spoonful of cake or nibble of cheese or slurp of someone's soda or milkshake. You have to really treat it as an experiment.

If you are losing, tracking will show you at what caloric level you lose X pounds. If at Y caloriez you lose 1 pound a week, then you're eating/burning roughly 500 calories MORE than you need to maintain. That can give you an idea of your own individual factor as opposed to a general calculator.

Online tools are quick and fun. But they may not be accurate for you--not about BMI or caloric needs.

So, just keep that in mind, and use the tools with some caution and care. Or you may be eating too much. ; )

Wise Words for Wednesday: On Pilates and Aging

I've seen women totally transform their bodies with Pilates, myself included. My Pilates experience more than any other exercise has convinced me that it's possible to grow stronger, more fit, and more flexible with age - not the opposite.
Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My First Golden Kiwi, and Have You Ever Had a Sugar Apple?

Okay, so I'm back and had something to eat: 2 ounces grilled ground beef with onion and parsley, 2 falafel patties drizzled with tahini, hummus with half a pita, navy beans, two plums, and right now, am sucking the inner goodness out of a GOLDEN KIWI while 4 strawberries wait their turn.

Yum. I like these. I almost didn't bother cause I don't generally LIKE kiwi (the green ones). BUT, the lady who coordinates the local coop group said they were very sweet and delicious and BETTER than green kiwi.

I like em. Lots. Suck, suck, suck out the golden sweet innards. Mmmm.

Go here for a nice taste comparison with PICS.

So, while I'm slurpng fruity yumsiness, hubby tells me about some fruit a coworker was having. "I think it's called sweet apple, something like that." He describes it. I say, hmmm...and look it up. Show him the pic at this wikipedia entry: Sugar Apple.

Yeah, he says.

I say, "That's anon. I love the stuff. You can grow it in Florida. It's just been a while since you've seen me eat it." It's a fruit that just seems to show up rarely in my life, though it's yummy.  But it's one of my earliest memories of living in Florida. Getting one to eat from a relative we visited when I was 14, dark seeds against pale fruit flesh.

It's Sweet Sop. As opposed to one of my fave "juice" fruits: soursop.

Anyway, if you happen upon either in a farmer's market, given one or both a try. Lovely, lovey, lovely...strange fruit. :D

Now, if I could get up the nerve to try durian.

Over, Under-eating and Frustrated with Co-Op

Mmm..I may ditch the co-op. I had been a member before with no problems (even helped the coordinator on occasion fix boxes), but in just a couple weeks, I'm seeing a coordination issue cropping up. (no pun intended)

There's a new farmer's market opening in October. There's one 20 mins away that has great stuff on Sundays only (organic, on the beach, which is a plus for coming cooler months). Whole Foods,  Publix and Fresh Market offer some pretty nice stuff. So....well, we'll see.

I've been sitting here for 2 hours waiting to get mine. It was supposed to be done TOMORROW. But shares were ready today, a day early.  Shares were first gonna be ready 4:30. Then call after 6. Now I find my extra fruit share is missing--again--despite my letting the coordinator know right off and asking her to tell coordinator and arrange for me to have my fruit share. (I got extra fruit last time, so it's consistent for me.)

This is more of a hassle than an hour long trip to Fresh Market so far.

We'll see. I just find that I don't want to have to deal with stuff. (There's another issue that's not food-related that came up, too.)

The organizer is a very nice lady and I respect her efforts to promote local farms and health, but hell, I'm 50 and always want to find the simplest, best option, and this may no longer be it.

That aside: Yesterday, I had 2 vegetarian meals, one with chicken. I went over my calories. Today, I"m well-under (okay, I've only had 250 calories so far. I'm sipping a 60 cal protein fruit drink, cause I don't wanna make a meal until I get this food share picked up.)

Goal: Just to not cave to cravings that hit in the evening, really. :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Phat Pilates ~How Your Trainer Can Modify For The Big-Bellied so the Fat and Obese CAN do Pilates!

I had planned to post this last Thursday, but got lazy. I hate uploading pics.

Interestingly, I'm posting this about modifying Pilates moves today, which was my FIRST time doing The Hundred--the quintessential Pilates exercise--without modifying into a diamond leg shape for my belly. No, I did it with the table-top shape. I noticed I could do that on Saturday when I first attempted it at home on my fitness mat. I only got to 50 at home (twice) in tabletop. At the studio today, I went all the way to 100. Yay.

Losing this last batch of pounds on a higher-protein, lower-carb diet clearly has made my belly a scosh smaller so I could reposition. Yay. The trainer was encouraged enough to have me do other exercises with tabletop and not diamond legs. (See pic at upper left of modified "teaser" on the Cadillac to see what I mean by "diamond" legs that make room for my tummy. Pic taken back in June, when I weighed about 12 more pounds. If your fat is localized largely in your torso/belly, this is one type of modification--basically, just making room for that "belly obstacle.")

All right, a few pics from last Thursday's workout session--not the whole session, not nearly all the pics, just some to give you ideas for what you may need to do in a class/session--which I post for fellow fatties who want to try Pilates but maybe don't know if they're local class will/can/knows how to modify for us apples/big-bellied types:

Here, I'm just doing some balance work with the chair. If your fat is largely in your belly, you can be thrown off balance FORWARD. I started with my fingertips on the bars you can see there attached to the chair. Just the fingertips to give me balance.

But as you can see, I can do it without holding on now (better balance, stronger legs, stronger core.) I'm pushing down the movable chair arm with the ball of my foot.

I have so much fat you can't see the muscle action, but you do use your abdomen a lot for centering, strength, staying upright and steady, and to help the leg move more smoothly up and down.

Here, we're doing armwork while the legs also work on the chair. I've got weighted balls in my hands. For those of us who are overweight or obese, upper arm and upper torso fat can get in the way of lots of arm maneuvers. I know that when I started, it was torturous to get my arms straight up over my head--pretty much couldn't do it. The fat around neck, upper arms, shoulders, etc literally got IN THE WAY. So, you may have to hold your arms wider to accomodate that.

Same with the legs on the chair. You may need to place your feet as wide as possible on the up-down movable arms to accomodate the belly/thigh fat. But you CAN do it. Just need to find the posture that allows you to move with control.

The move. Arms go up as legs press down. Sounds easy. :)

It's actually harder to get the arms up than to push against the weighted arm.  Having the feet in the down position feels good, having them up puts some pressure on the belly.

Breathing matters a lot in Pilates, and in constricted positions (The Hundred with head up and knees bent; rollbacks, etc) people with lots of fat in the neck/torso areas can find it hard to breathe.

Tell your class or personal instructor ANY TIME you find breathing obstructed. It's time to modify or focus on how to get you oxygen. :)

Here's that rollback that makes it hard for ME, an asthmatic, to breathe:

You may not be able to tell, but my pelvis is curved under, my spine curved (yeah, the adiposity makes it hard to tell), and this requires I really engage abdominals to hold the position. The ball held like this was more stressful 20 pounds ago, but it's still not easy to put arms this close due to upper arm/upper torso fat. I'm going to swing from side to side with that ball (passing it to one had, then passing it to other). Here is the modification: stopper farther back, feet under strap to make room for tummy.

This is a similar exercise, but on the chair.

I have weighted balls, instead of the one ball. I'm in a rollback position and doing side twists.

Modification: My feet are on the box, instead of being held straight out, which would then put my belly in the way of movement and strain my lower back.

I'm hinging back here. This is modified for my belly the same way as the rollback: I'm on a box, yes, but my feet aren't on the reformer pad. They're under straps on the frame, which gives me support and lets my legs stretch out some.

I wish I had pics from today's session, cause I did some arm work on the Reformer without having my legs stretched out. They were in lotus position on the box. My balance was great and my back didn't feel strained.

You can see in the pic where my feet are flexed under the straps. The Reformer's settings are also placed to give me more room (the stopper is placed farther back).

Whatever your body needs, the machine CAN be set for it.

I am still working the, a lean to the left and right are added.

I'd probably tip over if I didn't have my feet in straps. That's a lot of weight shifting to the sides!

In any case, this is a hard exercise. I always dread it. I can breathe better than with the rollback, but having my arms up is still a struggle (see those hams that I call upper arms?)

Back to the Chair. Here is one way to do the Twist that my stomach liked. I've done it on a box on the Reformer, on the Cadillac, on a fitness ball--never on a mat.

BUT..on the chair, because I press down as I twist, I have lots of room for my middle to move in a circle left, circle to the right. It feels really good. Normally, the twist is a battle against the fat obstacle in my middle. The press down on the chair relieves the obstruction beautifully.

 If you carry a lot of weight in your torso, just getting balanced on the chair to do a side bent or side lift can be tricky. It's important you TAKE YOUR TIME with the trainer to be in a proper position, yes, but to feel as if your weight is distributed in a way that you don't topple. When I was first learning this move, it was a fiasco. I just could not balance.

Now..the balance is easier on one side (weird how that seems so often to be the case) but not daunting. Keeping the balance as you push down and raise up, well, that's another thing. :) It gets easier.  For large-bodies, the command to press legs together can be nearly (or actually) impossible. My feet weren't this close 20 pounds ago when I was first doing Pilates. As my thighs slimmed, i could get my legs tighter together, which also helped.

A stretch I used to DREAD. Why? I'd get sooooo dizzy doing this. You start with the carriage on the Reformer towards the backrest, kneel on it with foot against the headrest, then push out. But whenever I did it, I got so dizzy. I think having my belly pressed down there was just squeezing my organs and doing something to my blood flow. No kidding.

Well, last Thursday, when this was taken, was the first time I did NOT get dizzy. Again, losing weight is less taxing to the organs during movement, and there's the proof.

After class, we took a few minutes to work on postural work. If you carry a lot of weight up front like I do (belly, bosom), your posture will tend to get out of alignment (think of pregnant women with big bellies compensating by arching spine or throwing shoulders back or both). So, we worked a bit on getting me in proper alignment.

So, there. Just a few exercises that can be modified for the overweight/obese.


Now, go inquire about classes or training. Let Pilates pros know we need classes with teachers who know how to modify and train larger bodies. This is an area the Pilates community (just as does EVERY other fitness community) needs to address aggressively. I know I was intimidated going to the studio, to the gym, etc, and I am not alone. Pilates trainers need to get themselves training on dealing with the FAT and the VERY VERY FAT, cause we need exercise more than the already slim and/or  fit. :)

Happy fitness endeavors to you! Hope this helps you try Pilates!!!

Note: I weigh 258 in these pics.

I wanted to dive into a chocolate bar: I watched This Instead....

Someone really needs to make that brochure. :D

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Aaaargh, and what would a pirate on a diet say on TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY?

It may be Talk Like a Pirate Day everywhere else, but in my house,  it's TALK LIKE A FATFIGHTING PIRATE DAY!

And tell me, ye fellow fatfighters, just how would a seafaring outlaw talk off the pounds?

1. "Be that lite rum, me pretty?"
2. "Keep that devilish loaf of yeasty-beasties out of my beard! Ah, but hoist that roast chicken over to my petard!"
3. "I'm goin' over the side for my daily laps with Ol' Davy J."
4. "I gather this here giant squid carcass is low-carb..."
5. "Do I look too stout in this leather waistcoat?"
6. "What eyepatch? Oh, no. That's my emergency stash o' jerky."
7. "Even my parrot feasts upon low carb bran crackers."
8. "This ain't no feather in my cap, matey. It's a quill with which I jot my calories upon my daily scroll."
9 "Let the whole crew join to track the booty we consume!"
10. "I'm not happy to meet ya, wench. That's an organic zucchini in me breeches I'm warmin' for my supper."

What's your dieting pirate saying right now?

(Hey, Allan, post #2. Heh.)

No EarthDancing, Just Routine Chores and Nookie....and a yummy breakfast

 714 days, 7 hours to go...

So, we didn't hit the EarthDance. My heat rash told me to stay INDOORS.

Which is fine, as I can enjoy hubby's body in privacy. How many calories does nookie-wumpsy-bumps burn? Well, I guess it doesn't matter. I can't be in the kitchen scrounging for crap, if I'm attacking raspberry-pink nipples.

Chores do need to be done--mostly laundry right now, but dusting needs are urgent and...okay, my least fave...bathroom chores. Ick. Scrubbing has to burn more than potato-couching.

And I plan to dance some more--gotta make up for missing the New-Agey prayerdance rave, right? Gonna cue up my Mac Mini with YouTube goodies on the flat-screen (Gosh, I love watching streaming Japanese anime on that big tv using the Mac Mini) and move my fat bod.

Brekkie made me very happy. I've been doing a combo of those high-protein hotcakes and something with eggs/egg whites with appetite-calming success, so I keep on trucking that duo.

Today, I put low fat cheddar and pico de gallo (leftover from yesterday's lunch) on top of egg whites scrambled. On the hot cakes, instead of just sugar free syrup, I nuked organic strawberries from my co-op for a minute to compote them, and mixed in a bit of sucralose, and that made a lovely topping. Added some gourmet coffee from Paradise Roasters (Safira, Brazil, mmmm) that I mixed with the last scoop of the Terroir Cauca, Colombia Select blend and it was surprisingly nice. Had a cup of fresh watermelon, which really felt like summer-when-I-was-young in my mouth (though Lord knows I detest summer in Miami when I'm a hot-flashing old dame.)

Gotta drink more water. I'm so bad with water, so I really gotta push and push myself to get it down. But coffee, yeah, I can take another cup. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Hope Sunday is seeing you slimmer and more joyful. A new week has begun. Aren't new beginnings just lovely?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dinner: High Fiber Rotini, Sauteed Chard, Steamed Broccoli, Bibb Lettuce

715 days, 3 hours to go...

Okay, so for lunch I had a grilled chicken feast--the fajitas were nearly oil-free. I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of sauteeing, like so many Mexican places do, the chicken was simply grilled and the veggies lightly grilled (not much flavor, but that's okay, cause i had guac and pico de gallo and black bean salsa). Used low carb multigrain tortillas. No rice. No sour cream. No cheese. Had coffee and water.

Dinner: FiberGourmet rotini with Rao's marinara and 2% mozzarella. The steamed broccoli, sauteed rainbow Chard, and Bibb lettuce (with a tabespoon of Annie's Organic Goddess dressing) were all from my organic food co-op weekly share. Felt like a sweet drink, so had Coke Zero. Dang, that stuff tastes so much like the real, sugary thing. More Water.

I cut up fresh watermelon for dessert. Might have another pluot. They wuz yumsy last night.

Wondering if I'm going to the EarthDance event tomorrow (hippy dippy New Agey sorta "love the earth, love each other, dance for peace" sorta thing. There's gonna be music, geisha dancing, Bollywood dancing, drumming for healing, assorted spiritually classes/events--such as making a sexy organic vegan smoothie--and (if you were a devoted watcher of ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, this next part will make you remember Edwina and the talking stick, and you will smile), a talking circle.  :::guffaw:::

Hubby's a drummer so he may do the drumming workshops.

I'm all psyched to see the fire spinners. Woohoo.

The neighborhood is artsy and up and coming, but still pretty much by the worst crime area down here. These are late afternoon and evening events.

I really don't wanna lose more parts of my car. Heh.

We'll see.

See, Allan. I made TWO POSTS.

Nice extra downtick today...Some Food From Yesterday...Pics from After Workout (front, side)

Got on the scale after waking up and it was 2/5ths of a pound down from weigh-in Friday. I will TAKE IT. My first "scosh down" for the next 7 days. While my weeky goal for loss is just 1 lb and a "scosh", I would not mind seeing a loss of 2 lbs and get a bit of a head start on the holiday obstacle course. I have exercised 3x this week, and I want to add to that and make it 4x. That would be the first time this year I've exercised that much in one week. (Inertia has ruled.)

So, I forgot to take a pic of supper last night--to divert myself from the temptation of Friday take-out that was our habit, pizza or Mexican, etc--and cause while I had planned a vegetarian high-fiber pasta night, but felt sick after some ill-advised decluttering (the dust killed me). I said, "Screw it, we're having soup."

Yep. Canned soup. Granted, we had nice organic co-op fruits and veggies to go with it, but I laugh. He had chicken rice, I had chicken corn chowder, and I added extra organic canned chicken to both to pump up the protein. I added mushrooms to mine. It was actually quite good with the additions. I made an organic sprouted corn mini-quesadilla with lowfat cheese. And two pluots. I think I was wanting corn?? Even today, I'm thinking about that yummy raw corn and leek chowder I've had delivered from time to time. Weird. Anyway, not a low-or-lower carb supper after all that, but the scale was fine. Yay.

Hubby wants Mexican today. I'm sitting here with the menu figuring out what will do the least damage and most satisfaction. Prolly chicken fajitas sans rice. Or the taco salad (which doesn't have a shell), but has the chicken or beef, greens, salsa, guacamole...

Deciding, deciding.

Anyway, I got sidetracked the other day re uploading. Here's Thursdays's bkfst and lunch:

I'm laughing at my mostly eaten Saturn peach on the table in the second pic. I was sooooo famished after working out that I was hitting that peach while plating the food. The portobello mushroom and zucchini sautee was so good, dang. My glutton soul wanted another plateful.

Breakfast, first pic, was egg whites with veggies and cheese. that half of a papaya looks intimidating next to the smaller pile of eggs. hah.  The cloudy beverage is coconut water. I like to have a good amount before working out so I don't get cramps. (I am very prone to cramping in two specific body areas. If I do the coconut water, I am almost guaranteed no cramps.)

I uploaded a bunch of Pilates pics, but am not gonna post all of them. I want to organize and post to add to the PHAT PILATES section (see tab under blog header). It's to show some examples of how my trainer modifies the moves for my obese body.

We did do some posture work yesterday. Because my fat is predominantly addominal (and I carry the bosom/belly thing in front), it alters my posture. It feels weird when I'm in proper alignmen, cause I can feel the front-heaviness pulling me forward and off balance. Yeah, excess fat is distorting, is it not?

Here are a couple of shots AFTER working out. Weight in this shot: 258 (I had a bit of bloat):

I still feel very weird posting pics of me in body hugging workout wear. It's not pretty, I know. It's still kinda scary. But I was looking high and low for pics of fat gals doing Pilates three years ago when I was interested, and there weren't any. A bit discouraging. I hope me posting my fat, fifty y.o. body doing it will encourage fellow fatties to give it a go!

I hope....

Happy Saturday! A new week starts tomorrow. Make it a healthy one!

Friday, September 17, 2010

I didn't feel like exercising today. THIS SONG got me up on my feet!

I played it over and over and just danced and did some isometrics to it!  Made me feel good.

They're gonna be in a local peace festival. I wanna go!!!!

Quote of the Day: Sugar, not Fat!

For the past couple years, I have started to move more and more into the position espoused by today's quote from Dr. Mercola, though I won't say I espouse his entire nutritional philosophy:

The truth is, many of the health problems attributed to fat and cholesterol are in fact caused by SUGAR, not fat!

I think it was just hearing about sugars and inflammation, sugars and cancer, sugars and diabetes, sugars and upping cholesterol, sugars triggering binges, etc. It was just coming to me as: Okay, this stuff is like poison in many ways. It has to be reduced (or for some ELIMINATED) from one's daily meals. Multitude of health issues may be impacted (some seriously) by ingesting sugar (sucrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, and etc ad infinitum).

I do think it still comes down to calories for weight loss--burn more than what you eat or stay the same or gain. Period. Gastric bypass' popularity has proved that even those who said they couldn't lose weight by eating less were lying. The surgery made them eat less: they lost. (Unless someone can show me a gastric bypass patient whose surgery was done properly but right off the bat either didnt' lose or gained.) Eat less than you burn, you lose weight. Eat more than you burn: gain weight. (And yes, some people naturally burn more--freaking lucky devils--and some naturally burn less --we the cursed ones-- for all manner of reasons, such as some naturally fidget, some naturally have an urge to NOT sit still, some have great thyroids, some have whack pituitaries, some have endocrine disorder.) It still applies: Even if you're a metabolically blessed person who can eat five turkeys and two pigs and a palmful of chocolate a day and burn it off, if you eat the SIXTH turkey and the second palmful and don't burn it, you'll gain.

But I think that simple, processed carbs may actually be the diet devil. Time and more research will tell.

Until then, finding a way to eat fewer calories that your body needs daily with maximal satisfaction (however one defines satisfaction, be it bulk that fills the tummy or small portions of most-desired foods, or high fiber, or high liquid, or meat or no meat) is the only surefire way to go down, down, down on the scale. Less in than out. But also BETTER IN...

Face the Truth Fridays: Made this week's goal...surprisingly..and seeking that iron resolve!

Despite the chocolate bomb and some off plan meals and some lazing about (been avoiding outdoors due to recurrent heat rashes), I made my weekly goal: I lost a pound and a scosh. :)

Weigh-in: 255.2

That's 1.4 lbs lost. Same amount lost the first week.

Surprised me, I can tell you. I thought I'd be the same or UP.

Okay, so, thank you rainbow chard and cantaloupe and not having pasta or bread with those meatballs yesterday. Heh.

The truth that I'm facing up to this week is that to make the life changes (see the previous post on that subject), I'm going to have to find some walled-off, latent, untapped--pick a term--pool of resolve that I haven't had to tap into for years. What I want to do health-wise and in other areas is going to be even harder than I had anticipated. I'm not put off, but I am realizing this can become a huge, huge life passage for me. Yeah, a bit scary.

But also exciting.

Inertia begone.

This past week, reading fatfighter blogs, I came across two who pretty much talked about just DECIDING, just having that iron resolve that refuses to budge from a mindset or lose sight of the prize. I think that is what I needed to read and I want to emulate that (though, I will be honest, it's very easy for me to lose momentum and lose that vision, as evidenced by the regret I feel for so many lost opportunities to FOLLOW THROUGH on doors that opened for me.) I've got a huge pile of unfinished projects behind me, and I know this is what makes me so full of regret when I play back the tape of my life.

Letting this flaw snake through my days has left me large with largely unrealized potential. That sucks more than I can say.

I admire iron resolve. I admire the spirit that refuses to be quenched.

That's what I want to be in the later years of my life. Not ruled by anxiety or insecurity or depression, but pressing on and getting to the goals I set, no matter how small or how dauntingly huge.

Wishing you a health-enhancing Friday and a great, great weekend. And iron resolve.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Off to Upload Pics for Post

Ah, did Pilates, had lunch, went outside to feel the sun a bit while I had my sneakers on. :)

I have a boatload of pics to upload to my Fotki account--mostly Pilates, two meal shots for my food today, some hair documentation (trying new products)--and when that's done (eek 74 photos!) I'll have my regular post of the day.

I am really afraid I screwed up the week's weigh-in with a couple of bad days and salty foods, but it reminds me I'm not fully in the right mindset. I need to turn to fricken steel and dust off that old mantra of 'Just say no!'   Only to non-plan friendly foods that will 1. trigger me and 2. get me above the caloric limit of 1800 calories. It's about calories, its about burning them and not eating them and stop playing stupid ass games with "Oh, I really, really want that. I need that. I deserve that.

No, I don't. I need to start posting fat pics of me (the worst ones that really show those bulges) all over the kitchen and pantry. I may just do that. Little STOP signs.

Anyway, until the regularly scheduled post...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Restarting the Organic Co-op and Planning for a New Life

718 days, 11 hours to go...

Today, I get to pick up my organic co-op food share. I've done this before, and I had stopped due to summer storms and just some sort of ennui. But they have a coordinator closer to my house (I hate, hate, hate driving), so I'm back on board.

I'm looking forward to the honeycrisp apples, cantaloupe, pluots, and strawberries, of course, and the Holland peppers (mmmm) and Bibb lettuce.  I need to find me a nice set of recipes for kohlrabi (I have no idea what this is, mind you) and Rainbow Chard and candy cane beets (look really pretty in the pic).

There's more mundane stuff, too, like broccoli, fair trade bananas (handy, as hubby has a banana-a-day habit), oranges, slicing tomatoes, shallots, and celery. We're gonna have some sort of squash. I'd rather it be spaghetti squash, then I can have a low carb "pasta" lunch and supper this week. Acorn and butternut don't do much for me, though I might consider "souping" the butternut if that turns out to be the offering. One of the fruit options will be kiwi or black plums. I adore black plums. I hate kiwi. Guess which one I'm rooting for? :)

So, yesterday, while checking on the google map where the new coordinator's house is, I felt genuinely happy to be back on board with the co-op, starting this fresh blog, getting my vision mojo going...and I head out to fill my latest thyroid med prescription from the endo --and yes, part of the reason I buffaloed up is my thyroid done died on me a couple decades ago, and yeah, I have the same thing Linda Ronstadt has, and yeah, you saw how she lost her slim, sexy, rock-hottie figure when it got her. I was already overweight to start with, so things got REAL big.

Back to me, there, happy, looking-forward. Heading to CVS.

And I can't go. It's drizzling and I have NO FRICKEN WINDSHIELD WIPERS.

Some lowlife thief ripped off my wipers. Geesh.

So, I can't drive in the rain. I have to wait until hubby gets home to get my Rx filled and then this am, new wipers. Oh, not just new wipers, a bit of repair, cause the FRICKEN LOWLIFE who took my wipers didn't just slide them out. They damaged the mechanism.

I curse them with jumbo grape-sized bleeding piles for life.

Funny thing is, I've had worse crime happen to me. I had my purse stolen (and that put me out about 2000 smackers, when all was tallied.) I grew up in a bad neighborhood. I got beat up by a would-be robber. Our apartment was burglarized various times.  I was terrorized by a rapist who, though I was spared, attacked another woman in our building. We came back from our honeymoon to find we'd had our place ransacked (and some wedding presents gone, mostly cash.)

Overall, lucky, considering where we lived.

But, somehow, this "petty" crime just got to me. I think because of the recent issues locally--policeman getting killed, a SWAT team exploding the early morning --and I mean that literally, as the house shook and woke us up at 5 am and change, due to the authorities blowing in the door of a suspected drug dealer across the alley in the back from us--lots of burglaries reported, car break-ins, a rapist on the loose (and seeing dozens of police cars with lights flashing is a startling thing).

I think this little straw just crashed it all down: We aren't safe here. The neighborhood has gone to shit. Time to move.

We may still have some nice neighbors to the left and to the right we've known for years (in one case more then 25), but little by little, the slumbering little 'hood only two blocks from the police station, the mayor, the firefighters, the community theater...has turned crime-infested and scary. The economic downturn prolly didn't help, as I notice fewer stable renters around us, and a continuing movement, in and out, which tells me these are not people who are economically stable at all. And, in some cases, really loud and rude, leaving beer bottles in the street (and sometimes things I will not name). Fighting in the hallways of their building (which I consider really totally uncivil and low class). Got an issue with your significant other or relative? Then take it inside or go to your priest or rabbi or iman or a counselor. I should not have to hear you yell at the top of your throat that your woman or your man is a shithead--whether in English, Spanish, or Creole-- thank you very much.

But it has set a fire under me to move.

I never wanted to live here, not from the start. It was for hubby's sake, really. He'd lost his ma and grandma in quick succession (one one year, one the next) and this was where he grew up and where his mom died (and later became the place MY dad died). But this is not home to me. And it's a cumbersome albatross of a property. I wanted to ditch it in '98. Then I said, okay, by 2002, we'll be out. That gives him time to grieve, adjust, etc. Well, here we are, post-boom (what a missed chance to rid ourselves of this place), and selling now is gonna be one hard chore. Not to mention the neighborhood, a pleasant and peaceful one in our dating days, is now full of LOWLIFES WHO STEAL HUBCAPS AND WIPERS AND GARDEN HOSES and do graffiti on the wall (yeah, that was nice) and have no respect at all for property of others.

I need to change my body. But I also need to change my address. While being here is convenient in some ways (within 20 mins of 2 of my 3 siblings, very near my Pilates studio, near my alma mater where I am considering returning, near the beaches, near state parks, near the best shopping mall in this whole county, maybe two counties, near a two hospitals--which with my health issues is nothing to sneeze at as being near an emergency room is absolutely essential. Still. I'm tired of feeling like we've got a burden on our backs.

I want to simplify. I want to be able to pick up and MOVE at a moment's notice if hubby gets a better job opportunity, given he's highly skilled and needs that mobility in case the big opening comes along. I want to stop being a homeowner, and I want to rent for a while. Maybe I never wanna buy again, dunno. We've been homeowners since 1983, the year we married, and I hate worrying about plumbing, roofs, painting, renovating, hurricanes.

If a hurricane comes and flattens the place I live, I want it NOT to be mine. I want to be able to say, "buh-bye, outta here".

Maybe having my wipers stolen, a small event, really, that set me back some time, aggravation, and 50 bucks, was just a nice little catalyst to make me focus on what the hell I want besides the weight thing.

Time to set down new timelines. Ones for a move. Ones for other tranformations. One for retirement.

Time is running out. It really, really is.

I dunno, something about setting the weight goal and looking at a timeline and pondering transformation--plus a small, but irritating criminal event--have gotten me to just want to up and change all sorts of things and set all sorts of goals. But it is a good thing. I've been crushed by depression for so many years (that really bad 3.5 year bout after mom died was bad, bad, but nothing like the one when my health broke and I had to quit working. I was suicidal back then.) I'm feeling hopeful and scared, but a good scared. It's the scared that realizes change is essential or might as well buy that cemetery plot right now.

Not to knock funeral pre-planning, but ya know what I mean, right?

I'm really bad at completing projects. But, hey, I got very little life left, if one is baldly truthful about it, I'm on the downhill side of the human life span, since there pretty much is bupkis of a chance of me making it over 100, ya know?

The time is now. It has ALWAYS been now, just is more now than ever.

I think this may actually be my midlife crisis. I have been mulling over my flaws, regretting so many opportunities lost, feeling anger at the issues I let get me down, feeling old, feeling vulnerable, feeling like I wasted my potential, feeling trapped in possessions, all sort of things. At the same time, I feel great happiness and satisfaction with my marriage, love the time I'm spending with siblings and their progeny, feel healthier and more energetic than 42 pounds and a few years ago, and my sex life really did take off dizzily with menopause. Woo!

So, maybe not a full-on crisis, but a midlife re-evaluation and meditation?

Whatever. I want change. All sorts of change. I have no clue where to start, so I have to figure this out. I want measurable steps to getting to A, B, and C. And I want to start RIGHT THIS MONTH. Next year this time, I want a discernibly DIFFERENT environment and pattern of life. Keeping the joyful, loving, happy, and satisfying aspects, ditching the confining, depressing, anxious, fearful, self-conscious, and self-destructive ones.

My entrapment is a lot more than just fat. It's habits, all sorts of habits, and fears. I'm neurotic. No kidding. I worry about so much it's exhausting. I think my hoarding (be it fat, books, clothes, shoes, etc) is about building a comfortable hiding place and feeling secure.

Merciful Lord, have mercy on me and help me big time to get out of these habits and fears!

I wrote more than I intended. I think I was mentally just "typing" out my ruminations and feelings, and I have to change my subject header, since this was supposed to be about the co-op. hah. Forgive my rant. I think I just needed to do that.

You out there: Be well. Eat well. EAT LESS. EAT SMARTER. Move. Drink water. Keep hope. Make something in your life better today. Love someone more today.  Just be well. Let's be better than we've been. Let's be MORE "well." :D

Okay, I got things to do and a life-ditch to dig out of...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why I'm Looking Eastward and Giving Switzerland a Dirty Look Today!!!

719 days, 7 hours to go....

Holy cow. I discovered a bomb in my house yesterday!

So, there I was. Eating well. Drinking pretty well. No binges. Pretty calm. It's suppertime. We're almost done eating. I made a no-sugar apple compote to give hubby for dessert with some vanilla frosty (I don't get tempted by those, so I can use half of a small frosty one night for his dessert and the rest the next night, usually with an apple compote.)

Then hubby gets up, goes, "Oh, I almost forgot..." and goes off to retrieve something from his office. He comes back and it's some treat a co-worker brought back from a trip to Switzerland.  He says he tasted it and it was good, but didn't know if I'd like it.

It's a chocolate bar with a chocolate mousse filling.

Oh, dear.

But wait, it's milk chocolate. No problem. Milk chocolate is not my big thing. The only one that really tempts me is the Jivara bar by Valrhona (expensive, super nice).

I take a taste, figuring it would cap my meal and I could hand it back.

Holy Swiss Cow on a Sugar Stick!

Whatever they put in that--I suspect crack--set me off. I have not had a chocolate frenzy like that in...well...a good while enough that I can't remember. This thing was created by chocoholic angels. I never came across milk chocolate moussey genius like this in any American bar.

I ate five pieces. Only one was left. Hubby had had two. Sweet Cream Demon Spawn of Candy Hell! It was like being possessed.

I handed the pathetic box with one piece left and told hubby FIRMLY and SOBERLY, never to bring this stuff in the house again. This triggered me like nobody's business, I told him. Don't bring junk food in the house again, period. This was bad. BAD.

He looked contrite and went and hid the last piece where I do not know. Maybe he ate it.

I don't even know the name. I didn't read the box, I didn't jot it down. I just had to get it out of my sight after the frenzy was done.

It was masterfully crafted. BUT...the fault is mine.

I chose to let it control me.

Let's face it: I am a human being with 50 years under my (decidedly overly large) belt. I have two college degrees. I have common sense. I don't do crazy rash things. I never did illegal drugs. I never smoked. I got drunk once when I was 18 and realized it was a very stupid sensation and never got drunk again. I drive carefully. I never got a speeding ticket. I pay my bills on time. I have an enduring and loving marriage (27.5 years). I am a good sister. I was a very good daughter.

So, it wasn't the chocolate. I chose to give up control.

Okay, so I understand that there is some scientific backing for the effect of sugar-n-fat on the brain and that first square was probably toxic to me in ways I cannot fully fathom. But it's still on me. I GAVE UP CONTROL TO A FRICKEN SWISS BAR OF CHOCOLATE!

How dumbass do I feel?

So, I got on the scale and, thankfully, there was only a 1/5th of a pound uptick. Probably more to do with the salty Italian fixings in my dinner salad (artichoke in brine, genoa salami (1 ounce), cappicola (1/2 ounce), mozzarella, briny peppers, black olives) than the 300 or whatever calories in the chocolate. Still...I messed up my will affect my weigh-in.

It was incredibly delicious. It was not worth it.

So, now that I've thoroughly admitted my humiliation at the hands of Swiss candymakers, I am happy to say today has been back on calm. No Swiss candy bombs in sight!

I do admit there is a bar of chocolate in my dining room. It's Valrhona, it's very dark, it's not a temptation bomb. I can now and then indulge in a square and not feel like I have to scarf up the whole thing. This is the only kind of dark chocolate I can allow--one that has some bitterness, one that can sit on the table for weeks and serve its purpose without setting me off the way a creamier, sweeter one can. Maybe cause it's nice, but not INSANE LOGIC SUCKING sorta nice. A treat that can be kept discreet.

So, hey, you, Switzerland. Yes, that prickle on the back of your collective Alps-hiking necks--that's me giving you the eye of death for making that insane chocolate bar. It's lethal. It's of the devil. It's just too good. Hope you all get fat!


Today, so far, 400 calories. All is calm, all is Swiss bombs in sight...may it remain so....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Appetite on calm setting today, even after Pilates...and whoa, smaller salads at Wendy's, yay!

720 days, 7 hours, 48 minutes to go...

I didn't feel all freaky hungry today, which is always a happy thing.

I had my egg whites with cheddar sprinkles and protein lower-carb hotcakes with sugar free syrup for breakfast. had some green magma, Solgar Whey with amazing grass before my Pilates training session.

After the session, I got a sugar-free vanilla latte, grande, and headed to Wendy's to get some salad. Noticed I could get a smaller size plus a side. Got a salad for me and the side for later or tomorrow (chili). Got a salad and side for hubby, too. He can have it for a light supper or just take it to work for lunch tomorrow. Great. Makes life easier.

Considering that the larger, original size versions of these salads can top 600 cals, it's a very good idea to offer the downsized ones.

Gotta give Wendy's props for having salads that are edible (unlike some other fast food eatery salads which are wretched). I've tried 3 of the revamped four (haven't tried the one with cranberries and nuts and chicken) and they're all tasty. They don't even need dressing with all those topping. Just toss the dressing or save it for some salad you make a home. If you're doing low to lower carb, the cobb has egg/chicken/bleu cheese/bacon/tomato on greens. Who needs dressing with all that fat and protein?

I think the smaller size is great for lunch. And if you have the caloric leeway, you can pick a side to have as a snack later or use for breakfast. Example: if you get the baked potato side, you can pack it with broccoli or ground beef or chicken with some lowfat cheese to have for dinner. You can take it for lunch similarly packed (easy to nuke, right?) Or if you want it for breakfast, you can heat half in a pan with olive oil and drop an egg or two in there. Voila...breakfast skillet. And you still have half a potato to use up.

If you prefer the chili (yay, fiber with your protein!)...that's fine by itself as an afternoon "keep the blood sugar steady" nosh. Or you can just have it for supper with a side of your choice. Or you can pour it over that half a potato you saved up from before. :D

I like having leftovers. Hubby likes taking lunch to work and anything that makes it easier for me to make my fella happy in his Chococat lunch ensemble, hooray.

Weigh-in yesterday was in the right direction. (I check every other day to see how that's going.) I hope the fast food sodium isn't badly reflected on the scale tomorrow. (Water, water, and some potassium rich coconut water should help.)

Lots of interesting stuff in the "diet news"....and maybe I'll address that tomorrow.

Happy Monday...and may this week be healthful for you. Please encourage a dieter today. It's a touch undertaking no matter how you cut it....