Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Fave "Dieter's Inspiration" Post This Weekend

Right here


Double Dog Dare Day 7 Particulars--Repairing Damage Done

Okay, so here we are. Seventh day, halfway through, the first part of the Double Dog Dare You Challenge set forth by Allan of Almost Gastric Bypass blog.

As I mentioned before, I felt FABULOUS early yesterday. I felt energetic. I felt slimmer. I got weight loss compliments and comments. I even, oddly, since I'm fat and fifty, got "the eye" from some stranger at the anime/manga/comics store.

Here's me in my grey outfit (well, you can't see the jeans) at around 9pm last night a blurry camera-phone pic holding strawberry Pocky--a popular Japanese treat I like that comes in 70 calorie pod portions and that is relatively easy to resist--I have packs here from June I haven't touched yet. It's one of the few "junk foods" that I like but that doesn't call to me like, say, Oreos or cherry cheesecake or cupcakes or mint chip ice cream or cherry pie or Thin Mints. If you are an anime con or manga devotee, you know about these already. I shouldn't even touch sugar-stuff right now. but there it is. I'm holding a Japanese junk snack without drooling (pre Chinese food overage):

 That's my wee nephew's shiny hair peeping at the bottom. :)

Anyway, I loved fitting into my spanking new clothes (I got grey jeans and grey matching top, and I am someone who mostly wears black, navy, dark brown, so wearing a lighter color on my lower parts--that huge belly, those big hips--is a novelty.) I had my red lipstick and red toenails and red purse and felt all good. I felt chipper. I felt happy. None of the depression that plagues me now and again since childhood in sight. Hooray.

But I went over my alloted challenge calories. Did not go over the # of cals for maintaining current fat weight, but over "goal weight maintenance" weight.

Today, I will not. Already had a nice chat with myself. Already alerted hubby. No candy near me. No crap near me. It's gonna be a good day. Period. I'm gonna take my supplements, be more conscious of quantities, have my protein shakes proactively (to suppress appetite) and drink loads of water (and mebbe tea).

So, this post is to log my particulars.

I went to tally days I sent over and under, and I had a credit balance (heh) of 255 calories prior to yesterday's overage of 371 (approximately, as it always is approximately). That means that today I need to make up 116 too many calories. I cannot go over 1644. That will balance it all out for the challenge week (ie, Mon-Sun).


1.5 roast chicken 1/4 breast portions
2 slices tomato, 1/2 cup lettuce, 8 slices cucumber
2 cups coffee with sucralose
4 glasses water

breakfast calories: 388 

SNACK: none , 2 glasses water

LUNCH: *had lunch at 10 pm so made it large to tide me over to a very small final meal or snack~

taco salad--ground beef, pico de gallo, salsa, cheddar cheese, cilantro
4 cups spinach
1.4 cups cucumber slices
2 cups papaya
4 glasses water

lunch calories: 857

2 WS shakes
assorted supplements (20 cals)

dinner calories = 120

Total Calories for DDDY Day 7: 1465

Best of Plans, Not Best of Actions




That's how many calories I had YESTERDAY! 80% of my good intentions were blow out the birthday window.

I didn't eat the gumdrops. I didn't eat the Kit Kats spread out on the table around the birthday cake. I didn't eat the rice. I tried not to notice the Cuban bread, and I resisted its siren call. I didn't drink the sugary cokes standing around.

I served myself chicken breast and salad, skipped the dressing, but did cave on the tamale and major-comfort-food tostones.

I did eat 4 diffident bites of said birthday cake after niece cut a small, small slice for me.

That after I went so psyched. My hair looked good, my makeup was smooth, and I fit into one of my "goal" outfits. Size 22 jeans. (I fit into a previous identical style but size 24 jeans not that long ago. I bought the 22s at the same time.) Hubby complimented me. I felt purdy. I got comments about how I lost weight. I had packed my protein shakes and sucralose drops.

And then I slipped, bit by bit from the plan.

What's amazing to me is how LITTLE I ate (compared to bashes past), how much I had to STOP myself from "that little bit more", and yet now MUCH it added up to. I mean, to have to use that much energy to pull back,  and yet still cave here and there...damn. I have far to go before I sleep. Miles.

Yah, sure, if I used to eat 3500 to 4000 calories at parties, half seems like a lot less. But from the perspective of a "goal weight eater" that's almost 400 above my limit--which means it's enough to regain over a short amount of time if I were goal weight and ate like that.

Won't break it down for each meal--I'm still bleary from all the sodium from supper, but not one meal I ate went over 1000 calories. But it doesn't take a binge to gain. It simply takes more than one off plan meal.

One of those meals was Chinese (we took our nephew out to a comic book/anime store and then to one of his fave restaurants for late supper).

I wanted to weep that I couldn't have my usual "past fat eating" faves, and still I went over plan. Damn.

Anyway, scale says 250.8

The only reason it isn't showing more Chinese food bloat is cause I drank tons of tea and lots of water (12 glasses) and hit the potassium (green magma, coconut water). That's 1 pound up scale-wise from Friday's new low.

I feel beyond embarrassed. I feel foolish.

I want to see the 240's again fast!

Already told hubby no nice Sunday dinner outing. It's stay home and start making up for the overage. Lots of water! Lots of tea! Roasted chicken and protein shakes and papaya for debloating.

I think I had a deficit in calories for the week until yesterday--so I need to calculate how much I need to make up (if any) of if I just start clean slate. Not sure. Will look at my caloric totals and see.

The DDDY Challenge weigh-in is tomorrow, no? (First weigh-in was on a Monday, so I'm assuming).

Anyway, glad there isn't a family birthday party for a few weeks. Sigh.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Day After The Lunch Mini-Binge

Scale: 250.2

I think the water, potassium-rich foods, and the double dose of Green Magma (also potassium-supplying) helped the bloat be contained. That's 1/2 pound over yesterday's weigh-in.

I did note yesterday, even mentioned it to hubby, how MISERABLE I felt after that lunch. Which was odd--having the tummy feel overstuffed, painful, feeling bloated all evening--odd because I used to eat 2000+ calorie binges in the past without much discomfort other than feeling really, really full. Even when I went to bed, I felt like I wasn't digesting the food properly. Like I couldn't handle this large load like I used to.

Maybe it's just getting older...maybe I got used to eating smaller portions since I started changing more consistently what I ate back in June. Not sure. But I kept telling myself: "Remember how bad this feels. Next time you wanna stuff it, remember how BAD this feels."

Even this AM I didn't feel totally back to normal. Like I had a heaviness in my abdomen.

My body just runs and feels better on smaller meals. I need to constantly remind myself of the misery of stuffing....

Okay, so I just had my controlled breakfast (under 300 cals, high protein) to face the day of temptations. :)

I'm hoping Monday's weigh-in for the DDDY Challenge will be cheering.

Okay, the day's tally. Although I won't be home, I'm taking a wee note pad and pen to track what I eat at the party and then log when home.


WS hot cakes (120)
NH sugar free syrup (57)
WS Pineapple fruit drink (70)
Coffee, 2 cups (5)
4 glasses water

Total breakfast calories: 252




Let's make this Saturday a slimming one!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day Five of Double Dog Dare Challenge: "Clean-ish" Breakfast, Water's a Snap lately, Want to Get lPreplanning and Groove for Weekend Obstacle Course

It's not just the Halloween candy crap that's filling the food minefield this weekend. No, I also have a weekend family party and a visit to a new anime/manga/otaku store that will likely assault my eyes with the sight of Pocky. (I really like Pocky, strawberry flavor and chocolate coconut. I have a box at home that's been there since temptation test. I've been very good.

So, I gotta jot down what to take to up the healthfulness and "filling" quality of what's available at the party (Cuban chicken and rice, for one). Mostly likely, I'll have a very low carb and low-cal breakfast to give me caloric room. Probably drink a protein shake before driving over and  take another to have a bit before cake-cutting to nip any sort of peckishness that might lead me astray. Maybe take various bottles of water to continually sip. Fruit for sure.

Anyway, doing fine. Had a big breakfast and still feel full almost 4 hours later. The 6 glasses of water helped with that fullness. :)

This is my food/water/accountability post for today. If that bores you, skip it. If you like seeing how other people eat/calorie count/drink, fine. Knock yerself out.

Calorie limit for the challenge is: 1760


2 Alderfer (organic, free roaming, etc) eggs and 2 egg whites.
2 cups chopped veggies (mushrooms, zucchini, red pepper, onion)
2 oz Swiss Cheese (actual Swiss, from Switzerland, hah)
1 tbsp EVOO for cooking eggs and veggies in...
2 tbsp hot sauce (Crystal)
1.5 cups fresh organic cantaloupe chunks
(smelled nice while cutting, so I had a half cup before I even got to sit down to eat. Yum.)
2 cups fresh coffee (regular, Terroir Coffee blend, so good)
Sucralose drops for coffee
6 glasses of water (2 before bkfst, 2 after, and 2 more a while later. This is definitely getting easier. Allan's right.)

breakfast calories: 594
(41grams of carbs, 36 fat, 37 protein)

SNACK: water (2 glasses)


I had grilled chicken breast (1.5)
guacamole (260 cals worth, oh dear)
pico de gallo, cilantro, 1/4 cup refried beans
16 tortilla chips (YIKES)
1/4 cup queso dip
iced green tea
2 cups water before meal

Not having a snack and not portioning stuff out on a plate (as opposed to just opening stuff and dipping) is a huge mistake. I went nuts. I did not have my between-meals protein. Mistake. I got all cocky and idiotic cause I felt so good this am and after breakfast. Just goes to show...can't view any meal carelessly.

lunch calories: 1070 (!!!)

I have only 96 calories left. Sheesh.

SNACK: (no dinner today!)
2 servings Green Magma shaken in water (40 cals)
assorted supplements and fiber (29--yes, some supplements have calories)
water--2 glasses

snack calories total: 69

Total Calories for Day Five: 1733
Total Water for Day Five: 12

I suspect the salt bloat will be ugly on the scale tomorrow. But I managed to stay under 1760. Not happy with how I distributed calories (not optimum at all) or the loss of strategy and control. BUT...I'm glad I didn't add insult to caloric injury by overloading. Since I'd had plenty of fat and protein in previous meals, and carbs were over 100, I figured I had enough nutrition and could skip dinner. We shall see what sodium damage I did....


Happy Waist-whittling Weekending to you!

Face the Truth Fridays: A new "decade" and maybe the Zone is worth considering?

674 days and 89.8 lbs to go

I had a good long sleep (as opposed to a few days of shorter zzzzzing). As past experience confirms, when I sleep well and a lot, I lose a bit more. Always.

Scale: 249.8

I'm 4/5ths of a pound from a 50 pound loss.

I stayed at the Double Dog Dare challenge calorie limit--or under--from Mon through Wed. I went 9 calories over yesterday, which was more than made up for my the 300 or so calories I was under the previous days combined.

Loss since last week's weigh-in: 1.2 lbs. 

I met (and exceeded) goal for weekly loss (1 lb) and am still on track for my two-year loss goal (98 lbs).

I had figured that my loss at 1800 (pre-dare daily calorie goal) would be about goal (1 lb). This week, due to the challenge, I've eaten under 1800 enough to exceed  goal. So, yes, eat less, lose more. :) I haven't moved MORE this week than any other (well, okay, a very small walk Monday that made my plantar fasciitis act up).

Truth I'm Facing: I'm nowhere near being "on automatic" about food choices. Even to eat at my "maintenance at goal weight" level of 1760, I had to plan, calculate calories before eating to make sure I didn't go over, log food so I wouldn't forget what I ate, and had to force down water.

I have a long way to go to being in fully habituated "lower calorie controlled eating" mode. A long way. But these 4 days have shown me a couple things by examining my food log:

~I will stay satiated longer the lower carb the meal is.
~I get hungrier on exercise days
~It is possible for me to drink MORE than 10 glasses of water a day and not puke
~I lost the most this week the day after my nutrient breakdown was 40-31-29 and I had multiple snacks.

That made me look hard at that chart. That breakdown was suspiciously close to the 40-30-30 of The Zone (a book I never read, btw). I had bought a groupon to a local diet delivery service that follows The Zone guidelines, and after noting this on my nutrition feedback--they show graphs and colorful pies, which are not just cool, but so informational and eye-opening-- it certainly makes me wonder if this will be a consistent result. In other words, if I do more days in that range with multiple snacks (not just one snack), will I lose more than on days when I do fewer meals that are out of the 40-30-30?

Anyway, that would jive with my suspicion that I'm a "mixed" eater type, and it will be interesting to see if the DNA testing that I'll do in November--see previous post on it this week--will let me know that, too.

I have to note another truth: I was peckish last night. Very snackish. And if I were not reined in by the challenge, I bet I'd have noshed up to 2000 cals. Accountability is a huge help here.

Anyone out there done The Zone? Didja like it?

Okay, so that's my progress (goals met), truths faced, and things for me to look into.

Have a Fit Friday and here's to your weekend being a beautiful one!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Award for "Self-analytical Blog Post that Made My Heart Fire Up and a Light Bulb Flash Today" Goes To....

Obesity Strike for THIS post that ends with this:

*Let's face it, kids, the food does, absolutely, soothe and calm and provide relief. It is an anxiolytic. It also provides escape and entertainment. And it's readily available, inexpensive and socially acceptable. Hell, if it didn't make me feel better and if it wasn't pleasurable, then it wouldn't be a fucking battle to reign that shit in.

It's a rawly honest post examining a startling weight regain, emotional meltdown, and epiphany that changed a fundamental philosophy. I was rivetted.

It even scared me a bit.

It reminded me of something similar in my life--twice--that led to my morbid obesity Not a trifecta like hers, but well, I know what being in THAT place feels like. I know the depression that leads to food-stuffing. I know the sense of unfairness that made me wail daily for almost a year about how I did not deserve what was happening. I don't know about this blogger, but I was really, really close to ending it. I was suicidal--and not just in the form of bingeing.

It's potent, that post.

You should read it.

What are your weight loss rules? My #1 and Stephen's #1....

I was over at WHO ATE MY BLOG? and like the first entry in the "rules of weight loss" series that this blogger, Stephen, just started enumerating:

Rule #1: You have to want to change your behavior. Weight Loss = Behavior Modification


I'd put "Make the decision" as my FIRST rule of weight loss were I to make a list (and I might eventually). All change--and behavior modification is to me a nice fancy, science-y term that means MAKING CHANGES to our patterns of action--begins with a realization and a decision.

Realization: I'm fat. It's impacting my life negatively. If I don't change I can't do X, Y, or Z and bad things will happen to me (early chronic health conditions, early acute health conditions,  more expenses, fewer job opportunities, problems socializing, fewer dating chances, lower self-esteem, less confidence, early death, etc).

Decision: I will make the necessary changes in my life to stop being fat and forestall or avoid certain problems due to this fat--and improve my life.

Then you go and start figuring out what BEHAVIORS need to be MODIFIED (ie, changed). Some examples (not from my life, just making some for illustration):

Modification 1: I will have 3 meals of no more than 500 calories each and keep a calorie count daily, instead of my "eat what I want" no matter how many calories that I do now. (subsets of this can go on in terms of modifying recipes, setting up meal times, banning fave restaurants if they have no good options or too many temptations, etc.)

Modification 2: I will cook dinner 5 days of the week and eat out 2 days, unlike now when I eat all my dinners out.

Modification 3: I will increase the number of fruits and veggies to 6 a day, in contrast to my 2 a day now. To do this, I will go to the Farmer's market at least once a week to stock up.

Modification 4: I will get up at 7 instead of at 8 to do 30 minutes of exercising and 30 minutes of motivational reading and meal planning for the day.

And so forth....

I've had great nutrition KNOWLEDGE since my teens, reading books, reading magazines, taking a nutrition course in college, even reading dietitian program texts. I've seen 4 nutritionists since my 20's, and I generally impress them with my knowledge of nutrients and my good eye for calorie counting and knowing what a serving is.

Knowledge is not as much "power" as the adage may lead one to think. Knowledge NOT applied is just knowledge. It's only powerful when USED.

Behavior modification is about overhauling actions--big and small. Again: CHANGE. We fatties need to change the way we eat and the way we move (or don't). We eat too much. We prolly move too little. We may make poor spontaneous or emotionally driven choices. We make excuses--legitimate or silly--for why we stuck that burger, third slice of pizza, handful of M&Ms or second doughnut in our mouths. We don't properly plan, strategize, and follow-through.

To change is to accept responsibility for what we can: what we eat, how we move, when we eat, how we sleep, our medications, hiring professional assistance, etc. To change is to find ways to make up for where we have unavoidable deficits instead of using them as habitual excuses for staying obese: disabilities, medical conditions, limited budgets, unsupportive family, etc.  EVERYONE has some kind of obstacle, or many, be it...

~budgetary (hard to get a lot of fresh foods or pay for a gym)
~environmental (works in a bakery, candy shop, restaurant; imprisoned)
~relational (unsupportive family, friends, coworkers; feeder relationship)
~medical (endocrine/metabolic issues, mobility issues, cardiac issues, etc)
~psychological (trauma that relates to seeking food or seeking a fat body)
~emotional (comfort eating, associating food with pleasant memories)
~spiritual/ethical (hedonistic gluttony, food exorbitance).

Changing ourselves makes losing weight and keeping it off hard because, well, you know already:  making new habits is hard. It means you have to do things DIFFERENTLY and sometimes that difference takes a lot more planning and effort--at least until the habit is so well-established that it's automatic. Because temptations make you want to go back to old, pleasant, rewarding ways--rewarding in ways other than on the scale.

It's always gonna be easier to pick up a phone and order pizza or Chinese and have food magically appear in disposable containers than to shop for good groceries, chop veggies, peel fruit, saute or bake or grill or steam, serve it, and then wash pots and pans and dishes. Always. It's always easier to do a drive-thru then head to teh supermarket, choose, pay, come home and prepare it. Always.

So, one has to DECIDE it's worth taking the extra trouble to set aside time for meal prep (or at least meal/calorie planning so one knows what to buy at convenience eateries) and for regular exercise. Then one has to...modify...behave in that new way...change...

Whether it's giving up booze or sugar, giving up cocaine or pizza binges, giving up an established pattern requires energy--it can be so exhausting to the mind and body to learn new way of behaving. This is not an assumption--it's documented. Read SWITCH to see.

I had to do work in my life to get over outbursts of anger. I've had to exercise self-control sexually to live up to my religious beliefs (and trust me, when you're single, abstinence is tough, but not as tough as dieting, hah). I've had to exercise self-control not to tell assorted people in out there to F-off, at work and at school and in family life. I had to change my life to adapt to a university program, modify my behavior to get great grades. I had to alter my routine to work at X employer or Y job site. Change is usually tough at first, then you adapt.

I often and for long periods decided not to exercise self-control about food choices--and yes, that's ALWAYS a decision what we choose to eat and how much unless one is captive and the food choices beyond one's control-- and I didn't exercise at all. I am now in the process of modifying those gluttonous and slothful habits (among others).

Just like substance abusers, sex addicts, the bad-tempered, chronic fibbers, name-your-vice relapse, dieters also relapse (go back to old ways of eating and not voing). And then we have to try again--or we mess up your health.  Part of modifying my behavior is to immediately get back on the calorically-restrictive eating habit rather than just feasting away for weeks or months and then, sluggishly, crawling back to the, "Oh, I need to diet" mindset after I regained part or all of my pounds lost.

Immediate, or at least PROMPT, course correction--that's part of behavioral modification for weight loss. (Maybe that's a rule, too. )

So, that's why things like blogging (for me and others) and challenges (like Allan's) are valuable. They force me to strategize, change behavior, add new habits, reinforce better behavior to get to my goal and achieve ease and familiarity and HABITUATION with a DIFFERENT set of behaviors, those that establish and maintain...a healthier weight.

Yeah. Stephen is right. Behavior modification is key. It has subsets, particularly EATING LESS AND MOVING MORE.

But once you break down the behaviors into smaller units, then you get the particular pattern that works for individuals (how to shop, how to stock pantry and fridge, how to cook healthfully, how much water, when to drink, supplements, exercise schedule, tricks mental and otherwise that get one to do this stuff, etc). This is where more the personal, the individual, the unique comes in. 

Still, if you look at the habits of successful "losers" and "maintainers"....I think you find more commonality than difference. They had to eat less. They had to move more. They had to find foods they liked that fit the caloric needs. They had to find (at least most) activities they enjoyed to burn calories and firm up. They had to find ways to stay motivated. They had to find support (whether through books, groups, blogs, family, friends, organizations, or their own souls.) They had to look long-term, not crash diet short-term. They had to sacrifice.

But first they had to firmly, clearly, unequivocally DECIDE to start the journey of change. :)

Have a trimming Thursday, folks!

Day 4 Double Dog Dare Challenge: Scale, Water, Calories, Etc.

675 days and 90.8 lbs to go...

Scale= 250.8

Yesterday I ended up with 1556 calories and 12 glasses of water. (Challenge target calorie level is 1760.) I'm actually still lagging for tomorrow's weigh-in and to meet goal I should weigh-in at 250 or less.

Okay, then. This is gonna be the post with the Double Dog Dare Challenge particulars (calories/water).

Egg Beaters with Spinach and Mushrooms
1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar
1 cup unsweetened coconut water 
coffee, water (4 glasses)

homemade egg salad with lite mayo and mustard on romaine
1/2 Florida avocado
1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
1 small Brazilian papaya
Starbucks grande skinny vanilla latte
supplements: magnesium, quercetin, C
water (4 glasses)

lunch calories: 592 (Calories so far today--878)

2 cups Amy's Organic Lighter in Sodium Minestrone soup
1 tbsp grated parmesan
WS Vanilla shake
water -- 2 glasses

snack calories: 303

WS shake
WS Hot Cakes
2 tsp Smart Balance
1 tiny pear
water --2 glasses

dinner calories: 363


1/2 serving Kay's protein chips (chili nacho cheese)
1 slice Kraft 2% American cheese
11 grapes
WS shake
water== 2 glasses

snack calories: 226

I felt immensely peckish at night--really on the prowl, very snackish. So, after the protein chips, cheese and grapes, and still being not satisfied, I hit another shake. That did the trick. I calmed down. :)

Total calories for the day: 1769 (first time I went over so far in the challenge-- by 9 calories)
Total water for the day: 14 glasses

Wishing all my Challenge-mates well today!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 3 Double Dog Dare Challenge: scale, water, calories, and whatever else

WI:  251.2

(Starting weight was 252.4, yesterday was 251.8)

I didn't have my late night snack, so I was under the 1760 allotted calories yesterday. 1646 total for Tuesday.

I'm real happy with that. It's normally crazy hard for me to stay under 1800, and under 1700 is RARE, and I mean RARE for me in the last 3 years of blogging for weight loss. So, yes, this is nice. I always do have a hard time with water, so having this challenge prod me to guzzle, guzzle, guzzle is helpful. (I hate the constant bathroom runs, though. Yikes!)

I went to bed late (4:30 AM) and just got up about 40 mins ago and have not had BKFST. I'm off to take care of that. But I wanted to open this entry to log my day's intake.

Hope the other "challengers" are doing super!


WS Hot cakes and sugar free syrup
Papaya , 1/2 cup
Water, 4 glasses

calories for bkfst:  258

Snack: (Note: Interestingly, despite a small breakfast, I had to force myself, cause I wasn't hungry; but was about to do errands and didn't want to have temptation while driving. So, made myself drink my protein shake.)

Protein shake
Water, 3 glasses

calories for snack: 100

LUNCH: (soooo caught up to me. Craved rotisserie chicken, so got some)

2 rotisserie chicken breasts
3/4 cup white rice
1.5 cups lettuce
3 thick tomato slices
2 teaspoons EVOO with some salt on salad
1/3 cup peas & carrots
2 teeny tiny Seckel Pears (omigosh, so delicious)
Water -- 3 glasses

lunch calories:824

Total so far: 1182 (carbs 94, fat 26,  protein 134; water 10 glasses)


2 small boiled eggs made into egg salad with--
1 tbsp lite mayo, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
On 1 slice double fiber whole grain bread
1/2 cup cucumber slices
35 red seedless grapes (so good, I'm going carb happy tonight!)
1 miniscule seckel pear
multivitamin, plus supplements with magnesium/calcium/Vitamin C
water, 2 glasses

dinner calories : 374

Total Calories for Day:   1556
Total Glasses of Water:   12

I paid $149 to find out if I do better on low carb, low fat, or "balanced" type diet for weight loss!

Yep. I just sprang for a genetic test from INHERENT HEALTH.

I should have it in a week or so.

I should have results a couple weeks AFTER I send in my swab.

So, let's say 3 weeks or so until I know where I fall in the "best eating plan" continuum.

I had read reports earlier this year--what weight loss blogger didn't given how much it was reported in the media--of how a study on a number of women showed that there is a genetic basis for individuals doing better on a particular diet (low carb, low fat, balanced). Even Dr. Oz featured it.

If I had to guess, I'd say I'm a mixed/balanced diet gal. I answered a long test over a year ago in some book about metabolic type and I was "mixed." And then I came across this tonight:

Results from the Inherent Health line of genetic tests provide individuals with a clear understanding of their genetic profile as it relates to a particular health concern, a summary of the role those genes have on their present health and steps to improve their future health outcomes. Relating to nutrition, the article, "What's Your Diet DNA?--Find out fast and for free," appeared withing a larger article "Dr. Oz's Diet Breakthrough," that appeared in the August 9, 2010 issue of Woman's World (The date refers to how long the magazine is to be kept on news stands). In this article, is a questionnaire with 14 questions.

The people with apple shapes, flat derrieres, those who hate skipping meals, those struggling to not overeat sweets, those getting bloated or gassy from eating carbs, those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease in their families, those with a family history of high triglycerides (above 150) are classified in the article as needing to be on a low-carb diet.

Those classified as needing to be on a low-fat diet check off questions in the article as having a clear "pear body shape." The pear body shapes who need a low-fat diet (not a low-carb diet) check off questions asking whether they "have junk in their trunk," tend to skip meals, then pig out, have a struggle not to overeat high-fat foods such as bread and butter, chips with dips, pasta, and cream sauce.
My apple shape and flattish derriere says I should be "low carb", but I have a waist, too. I have HBP and flirted with diabetes. I HATE skipping meals, and like having my three regular ones and sometimes snacks. (I am snacking to keep protein up. If I didn't do that consciously, I'd skip snacks and have the "three round meals" of tradition.)  I don't get gassy from carbs. I sometimes crave sweet, but I mostly crave salty/cheesy/creamy/rich/savory. But I crave fatty rather than sweet--that list of bread and butter, chips and salsa and cream sauces has my  name on it! So, even with that mini-categorization, I'm mixed.

I've always been able to lose weight if I restrict calories, certainly, but when I did the high-carb/low-fat in the late 80's, I was constantly hungry. So, I think carbs really do open up my appetite, whereas fat and protein satiate me. But I can't imagine life without fruit and pasta. :(

What it comes down to is that I want to know for sure. I mean, I still have 91.8 pounds to go. I'd rather do it the most optimal way for my genetic type.

I will say that since I made a conscious effort to up protein and reduce carbs (without actually BEING lowcarb, as I do get 150+ carbs a day, but don't go over 200) has helped the appetite a lot. I am trying to get protein and carbs in balance, with a lower than some low-carbers do. I am not trying to be in ketosis--at all. Just to take some of the load off my pancreas and insulin-resistant system. :)

I have never seen a fatfighting blogger report using this test--if you know of one, drop me a link!--so I will certainly be reporting on the results here for anyone interested. Then, I'll tweak my eating plan accordingly.

If it makes the tough job of losing weight more targeted and faster and, maybe, easier, hey, it will be worth $149.

So, what type do you think you are? And would you pay that  much to know?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What 252 Lbs Looks Like on Me--AKA-- facing the fat without filters

I am the type of person who needs photos to shock me. I had the reverse of what some other bloggers relate: I see myself in mirrors as SMALLER than I am. My brain makes me think I look better than I do, fatwise.

I need photos to remind me how big and apple-y I am. In fact, it has always been the shock of pics (family pics, especially) that reminds me I am a morbidly obese female. In the mirror, I prolly see 40 lbs fewer than reality. I got a different sort of body dysmorphic thing. I see less fat, not more.

That's why though it's really hard to share pics of myself in clingy, unprotective workout wear in my fat bod, I force myself to do it. I mean, some of those pics I posted under "Phat Pilates" are horrifying (my messy hair, bunched up belly!)  But it's how I have to shock myself into staying on my eating plan.

Okay, so there it is. My latest pics from the trainer (taken last week, but I was lazy about uploading).

Why does she always take the AFTER the workout when my hair's a mess? hahahaha

Tracking for Day 2 of the Double Dog Dare

Okay, so, first things first: The scale.   251.8  (Challenge weigh-in 252.4)

Some of the bloat is gone. Good.

This post is for tracking calories. My daily limit for the challenge is 1760.

I've been doing my own diet that incorporates lower-carb WonderSlim (a pseudo-Medifast type thing, only cheaper and with more non-soy alternatives) with my food. I have consciously cut back on the quantities of rice, bread, pasta, though I eliminate nothing (though I do try to minimize sugar). Since I belong to an organic co-op, I add my fruits and veggies to the convenience of higher-protein WS Frankenfoods.

Yeah, it's a bit schizo, but I don't like the idea of an only packaged diet and right now I'm too damn lazy to go back to my mostly home-cooked organic diet (which was very high in fruits and made me hungrier than the protein rejiggered foods, interestingly.) I kid you not. I was spending so many hours in the kitchen and shopping when I did that, that it was mentally exhausting. I need to sort of slowly work up to the "more natural cooked meals at home" thing, and I don't foresee that happening in the near future. I really hate to cook.

And critics can say what they like, but I do find that having higher-protein snacks and easing off on the bread/rice/regular pasta keeps me from becoming a binge-monster. I love bread and pasta. I could eat tons of the stuff and be an a snoozy fog of serotonin bliss. I miss my two daily slices of buttered toast and weekly pizza and thrice weekly pasta fest.  But I don't miss the pain of a stretched belly or feeling bad.  I really don't miss THAT.

So, that's where I am. I do try to get in my 5+ fruits and veggies (harder now that I've cut back some on fruit to keep appetite tamed). I do take supplements (generally multivitamin, magnesium, extra C, quercetin, enzymes, and sometimes calcium if I skimp on dairy). And now I'm drinking that water!

WS hot cakes with sugar free syrup
fresh papaya with TrueLime crystals
bit of Smart Balance
Water (four glasses)

calories for breakfast:  318


Campbell's Healthy Request Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup
w/added organic chicken breast (Valley Fresh)
w/ added black beans (Eden Organic)
w/ added reduced fat cheddar (Andrew & Everett)
(I made the whole can of the soup with 1/4 cup of added black beans and a full can of added chicken white meat, divvied it in half, then ate the half with the cheese. Saved rest for later or tomorrow.)
water (three glasses)

lunch calories: 335

coffee w/ sucralose
WonderSlim pudding
water (three glasses)

snack calories: 102

For day so far: 755 calories, 10 glasses water, 78 grams carbs, 18 grams fat, 54 grams protein 


3 cups organic raw spinach and 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp blue cheese crumbles with 2 tbsp blue cheese dressing
1 Aloha Mango protein drink (Bariwise)
2/3 of a gross frozen dinner: French Meadow Bakery Fragrant Curry Chicken (bleh)
Because the frozen dinner sucked: I made a half-sandwich with
Boar's Head Lower sodium ham (2 oz) and Swiss cheese (1 oz)
on Double Fiber Whole Wheat Bread (1 slice).
Unsweetened coconut water (1 cup)
Gummy Vit C , Magnesium, Multivitamin
Water (2 glasses)

dinner calories: 890

Total calories so far: 1646

Final edit:  I didn't have a late snack and stayed at 1646 calories and A FRICKEN RESERVOIR OF WATER! I spent a good part of the day in the toilet, weeing. I may have eroded part of my womanly bits. Maybe that will add to my week's weight loss--slimming by wearing away body parts?!

Second day of the dare on plan.

Monday, October 25, 2010

*The Challenge Particulars for Day 1 of the Double Dog Dare

I'm gonna use this post to update water/calories for the Double Dog Challenge.

My Pur water pitcher is getting a workout! I've already refilled it a couple times since I made a pot of coffee and had 4 cups of my required 8 cups of water with breakfast. I plan to have the rest of the require 8 after Pilates around lunchtime. I don't like to drink water around suppertime, cause then I'm up at night weeing. Annoying.My goal for the challenge is to divide the water into 4 + 4 or 3 + 3 + 1 (the last with afternoon snack or just before dinner). Drinking water is a chore for me, so I just wanna drink it and be done.

My insides are sloshy. :)

So, I'll just edit this post as the day goes on:

BREAKFAST: (I entered the quantities at's Nutrition Tracker to get the particulars of calories, carbs, fats, protein, etc.)

4 cups water
2 cups coffee with sucralose liquid
1.5 cups fresh papaya with TrueLime crystals
1 servings WS protein hot cakes
1 serving Nature's Hollow "maple" syrup
1 serving Amazing Grass supplement (I usually take this the day of trainer workouts)
1/2 scoop Solgar Whey to Go

breakfast calories: 398

LUNCH: (was craving Southern Fried Chicken of all things. Ended up going with the least damaging "fried chicken" offering I could think of on the drive home...and yes, I'm a cheese freak.)

1/3 ounce Swiss Chees--after workout "immediate snack"
Wendy's Spicy Chicken Caesar salad--no dressing, no croutons
2 TBSP parmesan/shaved
Coke Zero (12 oz)
Water (done with 8 minimum for day)

lunch calories: 537


WS Protein shake
1/2 cup 2% milk

snack calories: 161

FiberGourmet Rotini (2 oz)
Small Wendy's Chili (I got at lunch, reheated for dinner)
2 slices 2% Kraft American Cheese
(mixed the above to make a Chili Mac liter version)
1/3 cup Cubanelle pepper chopped
1/2 cup cucumber slices

Dinner calories: 475

SNACK: (saved dessert from dinner for later snack)

WonderSlim dark chocolate pudding (chilled since dinnertime, yum)
Sliced Strawberries
1/3 WonderSlim caramel nut bar

snack calories: 179

Day's Calorie Total: 1750
Day's target calories: 1760

I ended up drinking 12 glasses of water, so I did better than the challenge demanded. Yay.

According to the Nutrition tracker, I met THEIR goals for me for:


I went over their goals for me for:

--sodium (er, I normally do, being the cheese and salt freak I am)
--fiber (I ate 52 grams of fiber. Heh.)

They have me low on carbohydrates (that's intentional on my part, though I'm not an Atkins sort of eater. I mean, I made it to 189 carbs, even though I'd ideally like to stay in the neighborhood of 125), as well as a lot of nutrients, but I just took a magnesium and multivitamin supplement, and that covers a lot of what I went under (magnesium, B12, folate, etc).

I didn't have a lot of fruit or coconut water today, so Potassium intake is low.

There ya go. Day one...on target re calories and water.


Double Dog Dare Initial (Bloaty) Weigh-In

Officially:  252.4

That's a bloated weigh-in. I was 251 Friday, 250.6 Saturday, 251 Sunday AM. Then I made a really salty supper (canned soup, low carb/ low fat quesadillas, jarred salsa, jarred jalapenos, and cause I ran out of fresh mushrooms, jarred mushrooms). I never went over 1800 cals this weekend, so it's NOT regain. The sodium content of supper is evident in this weigh-in.

Hopefully, the lotsa water required by the challenge will help flush this out in the next couple days.

But there it is. Starting gate number....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Allan's "Math" Challenge: Eating at "160 x 11" Calories for 2 Weeks

I signed up today for DAILY BURN just to see what they recommend. This action was spurred by reading a challenge set out by Allan of Almost Gastric Bypass blog: To eat at goal weight level for two weeks.

I've been attempting pretty much that: Eat at the level of calories that it would take to maintain a 160 pound weight level (goal weight, not "thin weight"). I'd still be slightly overweight at that level (by about 6 lbs).

I've been trying to stay at about 1700 cals, no more than 1800. That might still be too much for me at that weight, but it's close to the maintenance weight for that poundage , so I figured rather than a "crash diet" or a VLCD, that I just get used to eating the way I'd have to eat anyway to stay at the lower goal weight. I mean, it's what I'd have to do to stay there anyway, so why not inculcate the 1700 calorie habit while losing, right?

So, Allan's challenge is to eat at goal weight x 11 calories. For me, that would be 1760, about what I'm doing now, though I've had some off days that went to 1900 and 2000 in the past two weeks, and a couple even over 2000.

Anyway, after reading Allan's challenge post about a half hour ago, I immediately headed to Daily Burn and got this advice for my height/weight/activity level:

OK, so here's the deal...

We estimate that you'll burn about 2,495 Cals a day from normal daily activity and exercise. To lose weight, we recommend that you eat about 1,996 calories a day. By sticking to this plan, you should reach your goal weight in about 91 weeks.
NOTE: It is not a good idea to drastically change the amount of calories you consume. Consult your doctor or nutritionist before changing your diet.

Your Recommended Nutrition Goals

Calorie Goal 1871 - 2121 cals
Carb Goal 99 - 149 grams
Protein Goal 139 - 239 grams
Fat Goal 54 - 93 grams

I find it very heartening to see that my two-year plan and caloric intake level and loss rate kinda matches up. They say I'll reach goal in 91 weeks. I allowed for 104 weeks 7 weeks ago. 104-7=97 weeks. Not that far off. :)

Their calculator will offer numbers for the "average". I have an impaired metabolism, so while they say I'll maintain at 2495, my own experience in the past year tracking my gains and losses with caloric intake tells me I maintain at 2300 (give or take 50 or so cals). Not that far off, but I'm making it personal. If they say I should maintain at 2495, and I know I maintain at 2300, there's almost 200 cals of difference. One can GAIN weight on that. :(

So, let's take 195 cals off their intake estimate for steady, healthy weight loss: 1996. Take away the 195 and round it down: 1800.

Using Allan's formula I get 1760.
Using Daily Burn's and adjusting for my metabolism lag: 1800.

Pretty darn close.

So, I'm gonna join the challenge and for the next two weeks. Here are the rules:


* 2 WEEKS, STARTING 10/25/2010

~~I will drink the 8 glasses of water (which I almost never make, though I usually make it to 5 or 6) .
~~I will eat at or just under 1760 calories.
~~I will record my intake (I use Sparkpeople, but since this is a challenge, I may need to at least post calorie counts on the blog, yes?)

1760 cals. The amount of food fuel that (more or less) will maintain 160 lbs on my 5'6" female, post-menopausal frame. That's what I intend to weigh (God help me!) on September 3, 2012. (or sooner, if God really helps me!)

Let's see what the weigh-in will be like keeping to this consistently (and as I'm not the world's most consistent dieter, it's gonna be an experiment in disciplined consistency.)

Off we go.

Tomorrow, the challenge weigh-in.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quote for the Dieter's Day: Think HEP, not DIET

So the first step towards permanent healthy weight loss is, somewhat ironically, to lose the diet and the diet mindset. Instead think about a Healthy Eating Plan (a HEP) that you could live with and enjoy for life. The best answer is to dieting, then, is: A lifelong program of everyday healthy, pleasurable eating coupled with regular exercise. To lose weight, eat less and exercise more. How boring! How prosaic! Yet how true.
--Meg Selig in "Why Diets Don't Work...and What Does."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Face the Truth Fridays: Met Goal at Week 7 (weekly and overall) and Learned I Can Overcome Urges for "Comfort Food" Self-Medication When Sick

681 days, 10 hours, and 91 lbs to go...

Last Friday's weigh-in was 252.8.

Today, Tanita-san (my scale) smiled a nice number at me: 251.0

I like even weigh-ins. Don't you? Especially if it's a lower round number.

- 1.8 lbs.

The original goal, as you may recall, was to lose 4.08 lbs per month, roughly a pound per week. This puts me back on track. This is my seventh weigh-in since setting my 98 lbs in 2 years weight loss goal. So, I should be 7 lbs down.

And now I am, after some iffy weeks.

Nice to be back on track.

I'm hoping that I can accelerate loss before Thanksgiving, cause once the holiday hoopla starts, the celebratory days may get dicey. Better to lose extra beforehand, just in case.

If I can lose 1.5 lbs for a few weigh-ins, rather than "roughly 1" (technically, 0.95 per week), I can get a nice cushion for holiday temptations. Although I do need to PLAN for those tempting episodes. That's the pre-holiday homework.

What truth am I facing?

I don't have to let my diet go all to hell cause my health deteriorates a bit. Normally, when my asthma/allergies act up, I hit the comfort foods hard. I slurp a ton of soup. I drink a lot of tea. And I go for the easy to swallow, warm, gooey comforting stuff (usually something cheesy or doused in gravy or swimming in olive oil).

This time, when the breathing went downhill last Wednesday, got worse Saturday, and then got better before hitting a bump yesterday, I didn't go for the gooey-food-loves-me consolation.

It is possible to say no to food self-medication.

I need to remember that I did that this week when this temptation hits again.

So, while I'm not feeling great health-wise, I'm feeling great about my controlled eating and progress this week.

Hope this Friday finds you full of joy and health...

~~~   ~~~   ~~~

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yummy Big Breakfast The Day After Organic Co-op Pick-Up & Learning To Eat Less, bit by bit, cause I'm a Diet Marathoner, not a Sprinter

I woke up feeling no hunger, so I did email and some dishwashing (the dinner soakers) and listened to radio (a program about showing love to gay teens to prevent suicides, etc, another on the stuff going on in France).

Finally got hungry around 3pm. For some reason, the hunger came on fast, so I did a quickie breakfast, one of my faves: veggie omelette. I had really fresh spinach and scallions and baby bella mushrooms, and a few days' old cubanelle pepper, and a half an heirloom tomato leftover from Tuesday's breakfast. In they went to the pan with some garlic powder and pepper anda  pinch of sea salt. I added lowfat cheese on top. I cut up a beautiful papaya and sprinkled TrueLime on it (it really makes the flavor pop, more than even the liquid, real, organic limes). I had half a small organic grapefruit. Fresh coffee (this time George Howell's Terroir in the Select Custom Blend, which has this crazy good dark chocolate vibe in it). I sipped a bit of a protein fruit drink to bring the protein closer to 30 grams (what I aim for at breakfast, as I found that keeps the hunger at bay longest. Over 30 is not considered good, or so I read--and that may be unscientific and erroneous, so let me know if that's so-- so I do tally as I add ingredients.

Soooo good. The papaya is not just nice for one's digestion (due to papain), for those of use who are prone to congestion/phlegm/goo in the bronchii and nasal passages/sinusitis, it's a good thing.'s good for those with high BP due to the potassium. It's my fave breakfast fruit. I try to have one ripening on the table at all times (ie, one ripe to eat, one waiting to ripen, eat half of first, refrigerate, eat that next day, then the other one is ready to go, buy new one, etc). It's a Superfood, and it's alkaline rich,  so I'm glad I love the stuff.

Some folks suggest eating it alone, on an empty tummy, for maximum benefit.

Due to insulin resistance, I won't eat any carb alone (not fruit, not bread, not pasta). I'll only eat fruit if I can team with protein and a bit of fat. :D That worked to get my sugar down sans meds, and I'll stick to that.

For about 500 calories, I got a very filling, anti-oxidant packed, satisfying, mouth-happy-making breakfast. Lots of protein. Anti-nose-goo goodness. :D

And today the scale was 252.0. So, another widdle-bitty downtick. I'll take it.

I find it interesting that I haven't had such a hard time anymore staying under not just 2000 cals--which I was finding a struggle, nearly impossible, in the decade plus--but that I'm now settling into a more comfortable "under 1850" pattern. This is good, and I hope I can find the inner resolve and dietary changes to maintain this. To keep my weight in the "low overweight" range --since I'm not even aiming for "thin" or "just normal"--I'd have to eat consistently UNDER 1800--unless I plan to start marathoning. (Don't hold your collective breaths on that. My knees and R ankle shudder at the idea.)

All the talk about "lifestyle change" is not bullshit (pardon my Etruscan). It's the Lord's truth. You have to start eating the way you'll always eat, because the reason for yo-yoing is that we eat in "diet mode" and then the "I"m done and off diet mode" and guess what? Off diet mode means "stuff I used to eat I'll eat again." Which means you get to the size you were...again.

I have had a very, very slow weight-loss trajectory. But I haven't regained what I started losing in 2004. I may have only lost about 10 lbs a year, but the pounds have stayed off (with small bobbles).

If it takes me two years (as this blog's Header states as the overarching goal), then that's a FIVE TIMES MORE a year loss than I've done so far. It may seem really slow to a lot of folks, but it's REALLY FAST rate to me. Mrs. 10 lbs a year (more or less).

I've already lost more than 10 lbs this year. I'd love to end the year with a total loss of 20+ pounds. That would double the average rate of my previous loss.

But most importantly, I want to learn to happily, full-tummy-fillingly learn to live on 1700 calories (more if I find my inner athlete). That's how it has to go down. And as I get older, I'll probably need to eat 1600, then 1500. That's just how the math goes. You age, you need less food unless you're Jack LaLanne maybe.

I tell myself even now: This is how it is. Forever. You have to find a way to make satisfying meals that are around 500 calories or fewer. You need to find nutrition optimizing combos and snacks. You have to learn to say no a lot to urges and cravings. You sometimes have to go to bed hungry.

I don't fool myself that this will be easy. I'm still struggling some days not to go over 2000...cause my brain and body still want to eat MORE MORE MORE. But I do find a certain calmness I didn't have last year, the year before, the year before that. Maybe it's just that I'm really sloooooooow to adapt to new habits. And it just takes me a long time to switch grooves.

It took me a while to be able to eat fewer than 2500.

It took me a while to be able to eat fewer than 2200.

It's taken me some months to be able to have consecutive days under 2000.

I'm not gonna win any weight-loss sprints. I'm a tortoise, not a hare.

That's okay. I just want to win my race and I'm only running

Hope Thursday finds you healthier and happier than yesterday and further along in your race--whether you walk, jog, or sprint....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just Checked My Fat% and BMI with the OMRON Fat Loss Monitor

I bought an OMRON Fat Loss Monitor 6 months into my weight loss blogging (November of 2007). I haven't used it much, but I did record two times I used it. There seems to be some inaccuracy (maybe just I used it wrong), but I'll post what it gave me:

July 23, 2008--
276.4 lbs:  BMI 44.5

Nov 16, 2009--
267.2 lbs: BMI 44.5

Oct 20, 2010--
252.2 lbs: BMI 40.8

Last time I checked, it gave me a fat % of 48.3.

Today, it showed a fat % of 46.0.

Well, progress. :)

I guess I can put the gizmo away until next year. Heh.

My scale has a sense of humor....

So, I complained about it not budging all week in my post.

Then I go weigh myself before making some food: 252.2

It budged. Not much, but it did.

I guess it didn't care about that rice....

It's laughing at me, isn't it?

Sick o' da Scale And Angry at My Wonky Immune System....

Well, my eating this week has been between 1400 and 1800 cals.

And the scale is not budging.

And I'm really sick of that.

Well, okay, fine, deep breath.

I don't wanna stress and set off  a binge. Staying calm. :)

Tested my allergy to oranges by having one with breakfast. It was soo good. I used to eat or drink oranges every breakfast for years, then got really sensitized. So, I stopped having them for MONTHS now. Well, within an hour, I had a rashy patch on my arm and my skin felt prickly. So much for the test.

Had a ton of veggies yesterday. Like 4 servings at lunch (had low cal veggie soup from a gourmet deli and I added some of their pasta fagiole to up the fiber, then I added in some of the diet cabbage soup from same deli cause I like cabbage).  I was gonna have spinach salad, but ended up adding the handful of cabbage into the soup. Nice. With a sprinkle of parmesan and coconut water (for my BP and to balance the salt in the soup)--lunch.

Protein shake snack.

Late afternoon hot tea with 60 cals of protein cinnamon pretzels.

At dinner, I had a biggish salad with my chicken and lentil-rice (yeah, I let the carbs in, sigh.)  It had chopped tomato, peppers, onions, and a lot of herbs on top. Really nice with the lemony vinaigrette. I freely confess I gave into having too much rice and chicken.

Late evening snack: protein hot cocoa and three 15 calorie low-carb biscotti.

I saw some gorgeous seafood on a blog and have such a craving. I haven't been able to have seafood since December 1997. Yep, nearly 13 years. In Miami, where everywhere you turn has seafood, where you can go buy fish fresh off the fishing boats at various locales, it's torture. TORTURE.  But going to the ER in anaphylaxis ain't no, no fish for me. No shrimp or scallops. I weep.

Dieting was so easy back when I could eat seafood. Shrimp and scallops and fillets (my fave used to be corvina, but any flaky, light-fleshed fish made me happy) are so easy to cook for a doofus-in-da-kitchen like me. And I loved it. And with some garlic and lemon and parsley, good to go. Low cal protein. I miss that ease.

And I miss tuna salads and sandwiches for lunch. A lot. Used to be my 2x a week lunch.

Today is organic co-op pick-up. Valencia oranges are on the list. I guess I better give them away. I'm allergic. Hubby has rosacea that blooms with citrus.

I love oranges. I love seafood. I can't have either.

I'm a bit mad about this today. I'm resenting my defective body.

Yeah, I better go distract myself from self-directed anger....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kirstie Alley Loses 50 Pounds. Big Yawn... What's REALLY Interesting? Regular Janes Who do it!

I don't know about y'all, but when some rich, pampered celebrity loses weight (for the umpteenth time), it's just not a big deal. Not to the rest of us who don't have chefs, trainers, assistants, and oodles of money at our disposal to go to whatever doctor, spa, bootcamp of our desires or just to set up a 1000 sq ft home gym with all the trimmings.

I mean, if I were rich, I could just go to some super-luxurious dieting spa for a whole summer and lose 50 pounds while having my pedicures, manicures, hair treatments, eyebrow threading, and whatever nips and tucks a celebrity needs to stay in the game.  All with maid and laundry service and plush robes and soothing music and gorgeous scenery. Big whoops. How hard can THAT be?

She lost, what, 75 pounds on Jenny Craig? Now she's lost 50 on her Organic Liaison.

I'll be impressed if she made 45K a year, had to exercise on her own or in a gym class with a bunch of other sweaty regular janes, had to cook her own meals AND the meals of others in her household who weren't on a diet, had to resist temptation without a bunch of cheerleaders and therapists (or auditors, whatever) at her beck and call. And if she kept it off for 5+ years.

Lots of regular Joe and Jane bloggers online have lost a lot more, kept it off for years, and had to struggle to do it with small budgets, tending to family needs, without household help,  and pressed hard for personal time to exercise and cook. THOSE people impress me. A lot. You are my inspiration, y'all!

Celebrity with dieting entourage making moolah from products and a tv show during her weight loss efforts...again? Yeah, right...uimpressed.

I wonder how the viewership was for the show. Is? Is it still on? I know I lost interest fast, just as I did for the Carnie Wilson one.

I think TBL, as over-the-top and crazy as it is--and for the money that show makes, they should give everyone who makes it to the final 6 100K and the winner 1 million!--at least shows regular folks getting the special attention every celebrity has access to (hardcore trainers, dietitians, setting). They pay for their access to all that with humiliation and absence of family--tough prices, but worth it for those who take advantage for their losses.

Trust me. If I hit the lottery, I'd be making an appointment at some in-patient weight loss luxury locale before I can count my cash. And if the lottery was big enough, I'd have meals cooked for me in a lovely cozy kitchen. And my Pilates trainer would come daily in the AM. And I'd have cognitive therapy a couple times a week.

I see no excuse for staying obese if you have every tool at your disposal barring some serious trauma thing that's linked to food.

Me, I may have physiological reasons that would be a huge obstacle to lithe slenderness, but I'm obese cause I'm just lazy and eat too much. Yep. I sit too much and eat too much. And I like to eat what's easy cause I hate to cook (ie, takeout, delivery). But I've always done well if there was "authority" over me--be it nuns or a trainer. If I had someone there every day saying "This is what you'll eat" , that's what I'd eat.

I consistently exercise cause my lazy ass does what my trainer says. Something in me wants to make the goals externally set for me by a person in "authority". Maybe that's from Catholic School training. :)  If I had a spa chef at my disposal, I'd eat low-cal tasty spa food and be happy. If I had a daily trainer telling me to move my butt, I'd move my butt. (If I could afford it, I'd pay for that NOW.)

I do see where therapy is called for as I do have compulsive and neurosis issues,  but really, once you have the tools and helpers, if you can't lose weight and get healthier (and I don't mean skinny as a rail, I just mean healthy, even if some chub, as I don't believe a bit extra fat is a big deal), then there's something else going on (spiritual, mental, emotional, ethical,  whatever) that needs to be addressed. It's not just about food or movement at that point, if you've got a cook and a trainer and an assistant and a maid that takes care of everything mundane for you. It's something else.

What that 'else" is, in me or Kirstie or anyone else,  I won't guess, though I do consider it my job to self-analyze. I'm sure I have stuff lurking inside I"m not as clued in about as I'd like, though I am hugely introspective. (Which is a depressing thing, as we introspective types see so many of our faults, we then start loathing ourselves a bit. I suspect narcissists never introspect. Ugly stuff in the human innards.)

Well, how ranty did I get? Sorry.

I just hate seeing all the glowing applause and kudos to the celebrity dieter when the no-name ones out there--well, some have names on their blogs--do it without fanfare, without big compensation, without photoshopping their progress pics, without chefs or trainers, without make-up artists. Who just show their gradual and sometimes stunning transformations in simple smartphone shots. Who are making changes big and small to what they eat and how they move for life. Who don't get standing ovations on Oprah for showing off pounds lost. THOSE people impress me and keep me going on days when it feels like too much, because they are the majority of us struggling against the temptations. The stay-at-home mom. The busy doctor. The teacher. The restaurant employee. The mechanic. The farmer. The farmer's wife.

You guys who lost it and kept it off, or who are still losing it, but losing lots and giving us tips and encouragement on your blogs: You are my heroes.

It's Not Just Cancer that Medical Research Helps, aka as Thank You, Big Pharma, that I can breathe!

I posted a response to a post that Allan mentioned in one of his blog posts. He got really mad at Becky Johns of My Walk from Flab to Fab blog over an entry on cancer.

I didn't stop to do research or get numbers or anything like Allan. This is personal for me, as in ME. My gratitude for the advances of science and pharmaceutical research and the doctors who have tried to improve my life--and keep me breathing.

But I did want to add my own bit. I tried to comment and got an error message (don't know if my comment went through). But this was my personal reaction, which was spontaneous and maybe not as eloquent as I would have liked. Whatever. Here it is:

I do not doubt there is a great deal of bureaucratic waste and some abuses in ANY large, for-profit (or even nonprofit) system, and that includes Big Pharma.

However, I'm alive because of science, technology and Big Pharma. My brother and I were both born with bad, bad asthma,allergies, immune problems. He is 14 years older and grew up in clean air mountains eating farm food (organic, since they were dirt poor and had no high tech fertilizers and such), eating just killed chickens, fresh laid eggs, just milked milk, running and getting exercise. But he had asthma that sometimes simply put him near death. So did I.

I grew up here. I got the bad food that sixties and seventies and 80's youth likes (fast food, sugary junk), and I suffered as my brother did without the benefits of fresh air and food.

HOWEVER, neither one of us saw significant relief from our crippling symptoms until they came out with inhaled steroids and Singular and antihistamines of the stronger sort. That made life almost NORMAL. Prior to that, I'd miss 50 days or more of school He routinely ended up in the ER, me,too.

I would have died without the anesthesia and medical know-how and antibiotics that took care of my acute appendicitis with incipient peritonitis. My father would have died without his anti-epileptic drugs. My mom would have died without her bone marrow stimulating drugs and transfusions when aplastic anemia laid her low. It gave her 6 years of life she and I cherished.

I am a God-fearing woman. I believe in miracles. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe we should not be gluttons and become fat (like I did) becaus it is a sin. I believe that cleaner food is wholesome, which is why I support local farms and belong to an organic co-op. I buy organic milk, eggs, and a lot of my other dairy...and as possible meats and such. I like the local food movement.

But I will not dismiss the immense benefits of medicine, technology, and Big Pharma. People ARE being saved by meds that the pharmaceutical research develops. Lives are being saved.

Is it all pure and perfect. No way. Greed is part of the human sin condition. As is corruption, not just in big corporations, but in any aspect of life--families, churches, small businesses, sports, etc. Where you find profit, you'll find corruption. Where you find desire, ditto.

But I worked in a major hospital. I worked in the hematology/oncology wards, and I saw those doctors, nurses, and the medications/drugs they used sometimes work amazing things to help. I will add that I and a coworker would also pray for our patients on a daily basis--she a Pentecostal, me a Baptist. And my Catholic mom and I would pray constantly for her own healing. We do give God his due. But I believe the God who made our bodies able to repair (to some degree) also gave us brains to come up with remedies. He's the one who gave us the plants out there from which things like healing drugs are refined. Herbs, willow bark,'s been used for ages.

I think to condemn a whole, when that whole does so much good in its parts, is fanatical and short-sighted.

Mir, Princess Dieter

Is there some selfish finagling involved with the "pnk" campaign. Sure. Probably. But I will happily buy pink products if it means more money for scientists (even if others line their pockets). I want a cure. I'm a woman. I've got boobies. I've got sisters with boobies, nieces with boobies, and I want them and myself to KEEP THEM and their lives as long as possible, as healthfully as possible.

I donate to cancer research, the lung association, leukemia. I've had people I love be affected by all these diseases (I'm a bad, bad asthmatic, and I can live almost like a normal person cause I take a bunch of meds, meds that have nearly zip daily side effects and don't make me nuts like the prednisone and epinephrine and theophylline that were my only options growing up). I would have died at age 4 without the medications during hospitalization that kept pneumonia from killing me. (More than one bout of pneumonia.) I would very likely have died of the HOng Kong flu when I was 8 had the doc not had those meds to inject me with (five of them) to keep my airways open. I was moments away from death in 1974 at the age of 14  due to a severe allergic reaction (exposure to a cat, dog and parrot all at once at a pal's house just was too much). Fortunately, the friend's dad was a cop and, thank Heaven, had his car with the lights/siren and rushed me to the ER, not stopping for red lights in the snowy winter. During that drive,  I made my internal confession and prepared to meet my Maker. It was the drugs they injected into me and the drugs they infused into what was left of my airways that saved me so that I can be here, middle-aged and 50, typing today.

Thank you, reasearchers, who came up with these meds. Thank you!

I would love to see lots of diseases and conditions wiped the hell out or essentilly nullified in my lifetime, especially those that affect people who matter to me: multiple sclerosis, lupus, asthma, prostate cancer, fibromyalgia, insulin-dependent juvenile diabetes, paralysis, etc. And if we can put the kibosh on cancer, especially those that affect people well before old age, hooray.

Big Pharma ain't perfect. But Big Pharma makes breathroughs. And my life is better for it.

And I'm not furious at Becky, like Allan. I am dismayed.

And yes, I disagree vehemently with her about cancer research, yes, but I don't disagree with the value of cleaner foods and more wholesome lifestyles (activity, food, less stress, all the things that sages for ages have said is good for us, nothing new).  I can't help but wonder, though, if Becky or one of her children came down with a treatable oncological disease, would she really reject the established medical regimen or chemo? Really?

I have my doubts. I think she'll rethink.

I'll also add that many, many ladies from the churches I've attended home-schooled with excellent results, and I have seen healing miracles happen (sadly, not for my mom or me, but for others). I did have a church pal get healed from cancer without chemotherapy/radiation/drugs, a gal who went the organic, vegetarian route. cannot predict when miracles will happen or when a body will on its own go into remission and which will not. Why reject effective medications and regimens out of hand? Why dismiss research that extends and saves lives? God, in the end, is the God who creates the human brain, human ingenuity, human creativity.  So, I do not diss the choice to say no to drugs or to home school. Personal choice. And I pray almost daily for MORE breakthroughs, MORE cures. I pray God blesses researchers to find the brilliant insight that will save MORE lives.

I find no contradiction in taking my daily meds AND eating organic foods and filtering my water and destressing with prayer and exercising. I see it all as part of being healthier.

And I see no contradiction in donating to cancer research /seeing my docs regularly/ staying on top of the research for my medical conditions AND avoiding certain toxins/ eating a mostly healthful diet/using natural remedies and....praying for miracles.


For a fatfighting blogger-doctor's response, read this.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quote for the Dieter's Day: It's not Self-Denial; It's Self-Love...

This one is thanks to "Rapunzel" of In Pursuit of my Inner Pin-Up blog:

So, here's what I'm thinking. How about instead of considering every day of dieting one of self-denial, how about thinking of it as an act of love? Saying no to the bacon/french fries/pizza isn't punishment, it's self-love. Sweating it out on the treadmill or around the park with my dog isn't torture, it's self-love. Choosing salad over a Big Mac isn't deprivation, it's self-love. See what I mean here? Doesn't that tiny little shift in perspective change the whole diet mentality?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Face the Truth Fridays: Late Posting-- Some Loss, Sick and Sleepless in Miami

697 days, 12 hours, and 92.8 lbs to go...

I'm backposting this so it shows up as Friday. I didn't have my laptop yesterday (hubby had a day-long seminar with presentation and took it) and he got home at 8:30 pm, by which time I was just not feeling like posting.

Weigh-in: 252.8

That's a minimal loss from last Friday's 253.2, and I'm not reaching my weekly goals.

While I had several on-target days this week--ie, at 1700 to 1800 calories-- I had enough above target that loss was only half a pound.

The Truth I'm Facing: I have to stop feeling like because I give some favorite goodies up that this will result in faster loss. I guess I figured that giving up those Sunday bagels and cream cheese and bacon, and giving up the weekly overload of cheese enchiladas or lasagna, or giving up daily chocolate bars, or giving big dinners out on Saturdays, that I should be rewarded by big number losses on the scale.

The reality is that giving those up has stopped the past cycle of 10+ lbs increases a year (some years a lot more depending on stressors, like mom's death throes). And that should be enough.

But emotionally, I feel like I'm giving up such pleasures and delights and I should get rewards that are BIGGER.

I know, that's childish, but that's the emotional aspect. I want to be rewarded MORE for giving up my longstanding indulgences and having my meals on fricken bread plates now.

From luncheon platters the size of medium pizzas to bread plates the size of a compact disc case.

The truth is that there are more sacrifices I need to get used to making for the end result I want, and I need to leave my little-girl emotional trantrums behind.

In other personal news; I"m having trouble breathing and feeling cranky.

Asthma started acting up--feels like a fat dog is napping on my chest today--and I have a family party to go to. Haven't been sleeping well for a couple days, and it shows in several ways--circles under eyes, increase in appetite, bad mood.

I am making a pitstop to pick up salad veggies and fruit to take with me and I'll be taking a protein shake to try and minimize temptation. When my stamina is low and appetite is up, I really don't want to face hot dogs and birthday cake and fatty dips. Ack!

It's always scary when the breathing issues exacerbate cause I feel like I'm back in the dark cave from years ago when it didn't get better--for years!--but I gotta tell myself whatever is in the air will subside and I will get better. The important thing is to not stress, stay calm, or my adrenals will poop out! No, seriously, I don't want the "eat more" stress syndrome.

I hope this weekend finds you in better shape than I am. (If you're breathing freely, offer a bit of thanks for that blessing!)

Have a healthy Saturday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Did Jillian Michaels Get the Math--and Kettle Bell Workout--Wrong?

This article says she did, and especially the "lose five pounds a week" math:

Now let's take a look at Michaels' weight-loss claims using the example of a middle-aged woman who weighs 190 pounds. Since there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, to fulfill Michaels' promise of losing 5 pounds a week, this woman needs a weekly deficit of 17,500 calories.

Part of this massive caloric deficit can result from dietary restriction — but not too much or it could cause her metabolism to slow down and she would experience intense hunger. A minimum intake for our hypothetical woman is around 1,400 calories a day, which is about 500 less than her typical weight-maintenance diet. Over the course of a week, she could lose 1 pound this way. So just 4 pounds — or 14,000 calories — left to account for.

Kettle bells can be a tremendous calorie-burner in the hands of an experienced user. But since Michaels' DVD is targeted at overweight and out-of-shape women, I think a generous estimation of how many calories our hypothetical woman can burn is about 600 an hour. Considering that she would burn roughly 100 calories sitting on the couch, the actual extra calories burned from doing Michaels' workout is 500 per hour.

Dividing that into the remaining weekly deficit of 14,000 calories, we find that our poor woman needs to use Michaels' kettle bell DVD for 28 hours each week. That's four hours of kettle bells a day — every single day.

Two fitness experts who are experts and certified in kettle ball training called Michael's kettle ball technique appalling. Yikes.

She's suing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Watch The "Self-Hate" Talk AKA Hate the Fat but Love the Fatty (especially if that fatty is you)

690 days, 8 hours, and 93 lbs to go...

I'm 50. For most of those years, I have been on the continuum that begins at Chubby and ends at Bigger than a Blue Whale. I've done a lot of fat-hating, self-hating talk.

Interestingly, I've not been a fat-hater, fat-basher, not even when I was normal weight (but chubby by society's anorexia-level standards). I've dated chubby dudes and had crushes on BIG guys (Mario Batali, John Goodman come to mind, and I preferred John Travolta tubby). I also have dated pole-thin guys and had crushes on skinny "idols" (lots of J-Rockers and Japanese actors come to mind, who, collected in a room, still weigh in toto less than me, I surmise. Those bony boys are hot. Yes, that's a slim J-male in the photo below right. And, oooh, remember young Clint Eastwood, whose body was astonishingly vertical? ) I've seen fat women and thought they were beautiful, in art and in real life. It didn't occur to me in the slightest to mentally diss them. (Scroll down for a pic of the big-beautiful Crystal Renn, a plus-size model.)

But when it came to ME, I've been brutal over the years. I've been a self-verbal-abuser when it came to my body.

I'm deciding to be done with that. I've been more merciful to myself this year than others, and I want to continue on that path. I don't believe it has ever done me any good to self-hate cause of my weight. It's just added darkness instead of hope. It has not been a good motivator (and as the book I've been reading on change goes, positive trumps negative in the motivation/change game.)

So, I'm giving up the self-dissing re fat.

I hope you do, too. It's not helping us.

Interestingly, I can say there were other times when I seemed to transcend the social stuff and felt really beautiful in my fat. Fat may look worse than thin, but fat FEELS really good. I understood something my sister-in-law told me decades ago (she and my brother have been married 40 years.) She occasionally gets a bit chunky, but usually diets it back down. However, she'd said in conversation with my other sister, back when I was a teenager, how my brother liked how she LOOKED slender, but preferred her chunkier when it came to the bedroom.

I get it. I love the feel of my fat, but not what it does to my health or how it looks in clothes.

However, despite those fleeting moments when I was free of cultural expectations and felt beautiful and looked in the mirror and didn't let myself be horrified, it has been more common for me to berate my body.

I don't see how this is a good thing. But it is automatic. And I'm assuming it's very, very, very common.

The problem is that hating the fat tended to mean hating me. My problems with self-esteem and self-loathing began roughly when I got...chubby. I was normal weight (slim) from infancy to age 9. Then they started me on injected steroids (bad asthma ) and I started plumping up. It changed my self-perception. I began to feel suicidal at that age, too, which might have been depressions from the steroids or from feeling suddenly all that self-loathing from becoming "unpretty.". Maybe both.

It's really hard to separate a part of ourselves from ourself. I want to hate the excess fat and still love myself (and as a Christian, I believe I am more than mere body).  A couple of other bloggers are talking about this today--visit Kate at Fabulous at Fifty, for example. I share her view of the Fat Acceptance movement: I believe we should love fat people as we love skinny people. We should not consider one to be more deserving of respect, love, caring, jobs, etc. Study after study shows there is fat discrimination, and I suspect many a fat person has suicided over the self-loathing and isolation that comes with fat, when they felt no hope. I know I wrestled with that after yet another failed diet in my younger years.

Fortunately, I have beeen well-loved--both when slim and young and fat and older--and that has a life-enhancing effect that kept me alive.

I worry when I see fat acceptance blogs that go beyond fat-acceptance or anti-fat discrimination and move into "My fat is me and it's staying put and any indication that it shouldn't stay put is insulting to me and shows you hate FAT PEOPLE!"

Well, no. I don't want my younger generations in my family to stay fat (or get fat if they are currently slim.)  When I make lower fat or low-sugar treats for family gatherings, I do it cause I want to lose weight, sure, but cause I don't want to be a cause of gained weight in those who come after me in the bloodline. I don't hate them. I hate that the excess of fat at the obese level clinging to their bones will bring them disease and disability before their time.

All four of my nieces and nephews are overweight. Even the two boys, skinny and active when young, are now men with excess fat--one morbidly obese. Both nieces are obese. So far, the grandnephew and niece are slim and well. I want them to stay that way, but I shudder when I see the mom buying McDonalds fries and nuggets for lunch or letting them eat sugar constantly. I can foresee where they'll end up: where WE are. Too big for our hearts, livers, and circulatory system.

All my siblings who grew up in Cuba remained normal weight (some quite slim, slim) until they were old, when a few pounds creeped up (and by old I mean sixties). I grew up here, the next generation grew up here, surrounded by junk food and lousy fare in schools (greasy pizza, fried chicken, sloppy joes on white buns, greasy grilled cheese) and candy and sugary cereal ads and cars to go everywhere...and we're fat.

I don't hate my relatives. I want them to be well and happy. But I do hate our collective fat.

I hate the fat that's choking my country's people--including me.

But I decided I'm done hating the body as a whole or me as a singular fat being.

I will not throw ugly abuse on the body that takes me through this sometimes excruciatingly lovely world.

I'll join hands with the FA crowd when it comes to anti-discrimination. I will not join hands when it is about inertia or giving up the fight to be healthy. Excess fat is not good for us, so we should struggle to get to a healthier weight--and I don't mean a Hollywood weight, I mean something that improves blood pressure, sugar numbers, mobility, removes undue pressure from joints, reduces risks for certain cancers, allows us to sit in public places without fear of cracking chairs, allows us to get up stairs without wanting to pass out.

Dieting is a dirty word to some. Fine, don't call it dieting. Call it "eating less so I can live more."

How's that?

Mercy is a beautiful thing. Compassion is a virtue. Understanding is important. Self-forgiveness is powerful and often necessary.

But powerlessness is not (and that's a word I take from Kate's post.) The Fat acceptance that sits back and says, "This is me and I can't do anything about it" is powerless and has surrendered to the temptation of food and the ease of inertia.

Should people stop fighting the temptations to cheat on spouses, shoot neighbors who are rude and loud, slap bosses who are overdemanding, rip-off the gullible, cheat on taxes,  or any other evil thing or sin. Well, then the fight against gluttony--which, if you're a person of particular faiths, is often very clearly defined as wrong-- shouldn't be tossed off with a white flag, either. (The flipside being the excess of vanity that causes one to be obsessed with being thin and beautiful to a stunning degree.)

Today, say something kind and complimentary to your body. Appreciate the amazing things it does for you. And appreciate you inner being, too. I am --you are-- more than a body, but you and I live through these bodies. It's an insult to the Creator not to tend well to them. Including appreciating the gift they are.

Today, say a kind word and a prayer for the obese folks you run across. Smile at them.

We all need to know we're welcome in the bodies we inhabit right now.

But don't stop hating the excess fat that shortens our lives and lessens our mobility through this world. Don't stop fighting against fat anymore than you'd stop fighting against racism or sexism or the other --isms that make life miserable for us and others.