Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Closer to the "One-Seventies", Wheat Belly, And Not Hungry...And almost half of you hung in there in Slimmer This Summer, which is great.

Tanita-san: 181.8

Yes! A bit more down. Closer and closer to breaking that next barrier and hitting the 170s. I don't know how long, but I hope before the challenge begins on the 11th. :D

I just downloaded a book I've been looking forward to reading since I heard Dr. Davis was going to release it. It's just now available on Nook and Kindle (I Nooked it), and it's called WHEAT BELLY. I'm a big fan of ditching the wheat. Hubby and I both feel great, great, great, since ditching the gluteny grains. I may review it on the blog later. May not. Dunno. But you should at least go look it over if you have issues with obesity. The author, Dr. Davis, also has a blog. It's on my blogroll.

I had a good Pilates session yesterday and my core is nicely sore. Weather is miserable, so no walking today. I'm so gonna be happy when cooler, drier late autumn days come back.

I am not hungry. I just realized, right now, I have not eaten today. I'm gonna go fix something after I publish this post. Not cause I have an appetite, but cause I don't wanna get hit by the hungry beast and then have to decide what to eat. Preventative eating, yeah!

I visited the last Slimmer This Summer update linky blog to see how many challengers made it to the finish line. About half. That's pretty good. It was a moderately lengthy challenge--12 weeks--and my hearty congratulations to those who hung in there. TWENTY FIVE made a final post. Some did great, some not so great, but they finished.

We've got a nice number of challengers already for the CHRISTMAS DRESS COUNTDOWN CHALLENGE. I've got a few on the under-consideration list. Basically, I need to know you can finish what you start, which is why StS and DDDY peops were automatic acceptances if they finished a challenge/phase. You stick it out. I consider that important. I've learned that's important, even if you do poorly. You understand weight loss struggles go on for life and you just don't quit! So, thanks to the StS who made it to the finale. And if you're in the CDCC, welcome. Do your prep work. Get READY.

See you in that challenge soon.

And to all: Have a good evening . Be well....

Sunday, August 28, 2011

BMI, average US Woman's stats, another milestone number to aim for, and "Hi" to all my future co-challengers in the next weight loss bloggy event for moi--Christmas Dress Countdown Challenge!

Tanita-san: 182.4

I loved seeing another half-pound down. I want to be in the 170s so badly. Another milestone will be hitting 172. For two reasons. It's the last weight at which I remember feeling truly sexy and good and flexible and well. Before the big illness hit and made me an invalid at 30, with miserable years thereafter soaked in black goo of depression and doctor visits, etc.

172 . I remember doing aerobics in my white shorts and white tank and feeling young and strong. 172. Milestone number in my brain. I wanna hit it.

Out of curiosity, I put 182 lbs (me now) and "172 lbs" (future me) in the BMI calculator to see what percentile that would put me in.

182 = 58th percentile
172 = 50th percentile (smack in the middle)

I then entered my goal weight to see where that would put me:

160 = 38th percentile (a much better place to be on that curve)

(I did hubby's stats on the calculator,  too, the man who's leaned out like mad on our lacto-primal-ish eating, and he's in the 11th percentile. Go, long and lean prince o' mine!)

I found this from the CDC about the average American woman's measurements:

Women:
Height (inches):   63.8
Weight (pounds):  164.7
Waist circumference (inches):   37.0

Nice to have a below average waist, when I'm above average in height (by 2 measly inches, though).  Not nice to see the average US woman is overweight. Unless she's an athlete, full of heavy bones and muscle, 5'4" and 165 lbs is hardly lean.

I make myself this promise: I will get BELOW average weight. Yeah, baby!

 Hello to the gals joining me in the Christmas Dress Countdown Challenge (henceforth, CDCC). As I mentioned in the comments section of in the rules post over at the CDCC blog, having a dress or outfit serves another purpose.

Ever have that week--those weeks--when the scale won't move but the body changes some, so you FIT BETTER in your clothes? Well, having a dress/outfit/coat/grass skirt/etc that you use for motivation is also having a tool to get you through the stalls. Cause if you are exercising, your body can still improve when the scale stalls. A dress can fit a little more even when the number stays the same on your home scale.

This is why it's a good tool. Visual. Tactile. And...a non-scale measure. Worth the investment. Motivation for less than 100 bucks. You can't get a life coach for that.

If you aren't already in a challenge and want some motivation-mojo to get through (most) of the year, go read the rules (see previous link for challenge blog) and see if it's the kind of challenge you CAN do and WILL do and are ready to do.

The blogroll on the right sidebar of the challenge blog is the roster of ladies already IN the ready-to-self-challenge for 14 weeks come September 11. View it here.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Slimmer This Summer Finale Update --progress made, review of goals, eyes on next challenge...

I began the challenge at 195.0 lbs.
I end it at 183.0 pounds.

I was happy to end on a nice round number with my weigh-in today. I originally planned to do the update on Sunday to get the most time to lose ....but I like round numbers. :)

Pounds lost: 12
Original goal: To lose 18. Missed it by 6. Still happy with progress.

Waist: I started with 37 inches. Wanted to make 35, but not sure if it was possible for me (my waist is resistant, but I hoped). Maybe if I had made it to 18 lbs off. But I only made it to 36 inches. However, if I pull the tape nicely snug, I make it to 35. Hah, loose skin!

I exercised consistently, though I did not meet goals perfectly.

I completed the goal to try a minimum of 2 new exercises: I swam. I did aqua-exercises. I played catch and frisbee. I did video-game dancing at the Supercon. I did rave-dancing at the Supercon. I used a kettlebell for the first time.

I think I only missed fluids level 1 , maybe 2 days. I did well with that. DDDY habit got entrenched.

I prayed for the contestants, though I will admit, not daily-daily. I missed some days.

I offered support via comments and email and on my blog. I hope it helped.

I went over my caloric levels more than I care to admit. I'd say at least 3 weeks' worth of days n 3 months had me surpass the 1400 limit. I did not binge, though. I never went over 2000 calories. I resisted a hella lot of temptation!

I missed the updates a couple times (time ran out on me when I went to check). I missed a couple weeks due to death in the family. But I hung in there.

I DID NOT QUIT!

For me, while I was quite imperfect, I was not a total wash-out. I made good progress. I lost 2/3rd of my desired loss and made a 50% progress on waist measurement reduction. During the challenge, I "resolved" my prediabetes and got off blood pressure meds.

I consider this a successful challenge for myself.

I'm glad Debbie and I organized this and stuck it through. I hope the participants got something good out of it. If you made it all the way through the 12 weeks, congrats. Proud of you for NOT QUITTING. I hope you're happy with the results.

My next challenge starts September 11 (eeeeek, dire date, but hey, that's how it is). It's two weeks longer than Slimmer this Summer. If you finished StS and want to join the Christmas Dress Countdown, then please visit http://xmasdress.blogspot.com and read the rules. See if it suits your needs / personality. I know I get motivated by challenges. One doesn't have to be perfect to make progress. This update is proof.

Okay, happy rest of summer, folks. Let's keep pushing toward our goals!

Be well...

I'm starting to organize the CHRISTMAS DRESS COUNTDOWN CHALLENGE 2011....here's the challenge blog link (with rules and other preliminary stuff)

If this is one you plan to do, read THIS.

Easy to remember that url: http://xmasdress.blogspot.com/

It's also in my blogroll to the right (scroll down some),  in case you forget the url. :)


I put up a blogroll over at http://xmasdress.blogspot.com/  of those who asked to join the challenge and are officially IN, if they desire. Angela Pea: I wasn't sure if you're "I'm Good!" means you liked the rules and are in, or if you are fine doing your last 10 pounds on your own. I put your blog up on the roll, but let me know if you want it removed (ie, not in the challenge).

As of this moment, I have 7 gals, including me, in the blogroll.

I have several names on the waiting list, ie. gals I didn't see complete a phase of DDDY or who are not one of the ones intent on completing the StS on Sunday.

If you are completing StS, or you did at least one complete phase of DDDY and I kinda or definitely know you, you're in. Just drop a comment over THERE in the post as directed AFTER reading the rules. READ THE RULES. :)

I put up a few books in a sidebar that folks might want to look into (some asked for suggestions). Please suggest books on these topics (if they helped you a lot):

emotional eating
stress eating
food addiction
binge eating
motivation
organization (cause eating right and exercise requires this)
procrastination (since lots of folks have a hard time getting going)
spiritual issues related to this (sloth, gluttony, weight issues from a religious/spiritual perspective)
Psychological issues not mentioned.
Other pertinent books for the challenge.

If the book you recommend looks useful, I'll add it to the sidebar of the challenge blog.

Okay, done for now.

Later, be well...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Which "Obesity Stage" Are You Living In? I like being a ZERO!

BMI isn't so useful a tool. I use it as a milestone marker. But I know it's got serious limitations and problems.

Some docs want better ways to gauge obesity and its effect. So, I was reading the stages in the Edmonton Obesity Staging System:

STAGE 0: Patient has no apparent obesity-related risk factors (e.g., blood pressure, serum lipids, fasting glucose, etc. within normal range), no physical symptoms, no psychopathology, no functional limitations and/or impairment of well being.
STAGE 1: Patient has obesity-related subclinical risk factor(s) (e.g., borderline hypertension, impaired fasting glucose, elevated liver enzymes, etc.), mild physical symptoms (e.g., dyspnea on moderate exertion, occasional aches and pains, fatigue, etc.), mild psychopathology, mild functional limitations and/or mild impairment of well being.
STAGE 2: Patient has established obesity-related chronic disease(s) (e.g., hypertension, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, reflux disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, anxiety disorder, etc.), moderate limitations in activities of daily living and/or well being.
STAGE 3: Patient has established end-organ damage such as myocardial infarction, heart failure, diabetic complications, incapacitating osteoarthritis, significant psychopathology, significant functional limitation(s) and/or impairment of well being.
STAGE 4: Patient has severe (potentially end-stage) disability/ies from obesity-related chronic diseases, severe disabling psychopathology, severe functional limitation(s) and/or severe impairment of well being.

And I realized this:

At my very highest at just about 300 lbs, I would have to self-categorize myself as having dipped into Stage 3 for a spell. Not cause of organ damage (though I was damaging my liver, had elevated enzymes, Ultrasound showed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), but cause my activities were severely impacted. Movement...breathing...sleeping...and depression was rampant. "Impairment" of well-being, oh, yeah.

I spent most of my morbid obesity in Stage 2. No question about it.

I look over the criteria, and realize I'm a ZERO, just from how I feel and what doc says: Prediabetes resolved. No hypertension drug now. HDL and triglycerides, amazing. LDL higher, but good LDL particle size. Apnea pretty much gone, no waking up choking... though I'm asleep, so can't really tell for sure, hah. Reflux gone.  Liver hasn't been rechecked via ultrasound, but I'm  guessing way, way less fatty. Easier to move (exercise!). Energy high. Depression not in sight. Joy of life, even with its sad moments--considerable.

I do have damage--to skin, to joints, to liver, I'm sure--from having been obese for more than 2 decades. No joke. You pay a price! I suspect the longer one is obese, the more price to be paid. Some things are irrevocable. Lifespan may be impacted for sure. We can't know for certain. But I do suspect the longer you wait to fix the problem (don't be an ass like me), the less you get to live and the more you suffer down the line.

BUT....for today...for now...being a zero is nice.

I want to stay a big zero when it comes to this.

I can cross my legs. I can touch my head to my knees. I can go up a flight of stairs without being winded. I can walk and feel strong and buoyant, simultaneously. I take such joy in doing these things I could not do before.

And I"m still fat. Overweight.

Just not obese. :)

What stage are you in? Don't you wanna be a ZERO?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A tiny bit of new ground gained on an earlier weigh-in and Pilates (late, but done) on an immune attack day...and more thoughts on the Christmas Dress Countdown Challenge...and my Motivation Accessories, Ordered, To Use When In The 170s.

Tanita-san: 183.6

That's a mere.2 lbs down since yesterday, BUT, psychologically, it's big. A new low ground.

And it brings relief. Yay, I didn't go up again due to a bad night of sleep. Had I slept fully and well, might have been a half pound. :-/  Mebbe. Especially since I weighed in several hours before my normal time. (And yes, I've noticed 3 hours can make a difference of at least .2 lbs.)

But I ain't feeling perfect.

Woke up NOT able to breathe and had to remove the pillow to take a breath. I had a flash from my apneic past, only this was different. I've had this weird feeling before....

It's not asthma at the moment bothering me. I was breathing fine all week.

Today had trouble. But it's not bronchial. Yes, still some light allergic reaction (would doubtless be more sans the Singulair and Zyrtec, etc). I am slightly congested nasally (August/September, sucks), but this is apparently thyroid related. I go through phases when my immune system attacks my thyroid, and it can be very bad or so-so or milk. So far, it's on the mild-to mid side. It feels like there's an impediment to heavy breathing (so I can't exercise full throttle), a pressure in my throat, and if I angle my head (like on a pillow), it's hard to breathe.

Pain in the...neck. But it happens. For some reason, when allergies or an infection hits, it seems I'm more prone to this. Perhaps just marshalling an immune reaction (allergens, viruses, etc) makes things go berserk. Just gotta wait it out and put off getting my blood test done a bit later (not Friday), to see if it will require a meds adjustment.

Anyway, will work through it. As long as I can breathe, I'm fine. Just can't really exert myself.

Hubby accidentally left my keys in his workbag, so I was late to Pilates (had to panic a bit, then hunt down the spare, hah). Rainy, so my 12th day of the blow-out got rained on. No more blow-out. Curls sproinged back up. But hey, 12 days of smooth, elegant hair from ne condition/blowout--that gal did a great job at the Aveda salon.

Been thinking about the challenge to come, looking at red dresses online (and black, and green, and anything that might be holiday-ey). I think part of the challenge will be to encourage the "water lap band" experiment for those who can't feel full on modest portions. I think I'll also suggest a "go mostly clean for two weeks" experiment for those who experience stalls. I have to get a book list together. Think about what sort of stuff would go into the sporadic motivation mojo emails.

It's gonna take time and effort. I don't know if I'll budget in for some sort of prize(s).

But I am thinking about it.

I thank everyone who responded with interest in the challenge. As I said, I'm gonna limit participation and give priority to those who completed the Slimmer This Summer (thereby showing they can complete a challenge, hang in, not give up, etc). I'd love to have everyone aboard who has interest and can abide by the rules. And no, no exceptions to the MUST weigh in weekly and MUST post a weight/scale number, yes, those THREE DIGITS, weekly on the blog, a public act of accountability. If I host the challenge, that will be ironclad requirement numero uno.

And we will be kind to each other, good weeks, bad weeks, bored weeks, always. No mean people. Period. But we should feel free to kindly kick each other in the butt when we're screwing up. KINDLY. With real concern, not nastiness. That's okay, always. :D

I got inspired by Katie J's purchase of a Vera Bradley patterned purse. I ordered two in the Versailles Pattern. (I liked some other patterns better, but this has the colors I need to fill in the bag dept to match some clothes/footwear.) Pics:






These matched babies could take me on an overnighter/weekender, I think. :D And would match my mostly black/red/blues wardrobe.Especially since I want to acquire more happy greens to wear. Greens are cheery. I wore black for so long--and still default to it, as I look great in black--that I want brighter colors in future to supplement my black staples.

The purses are MOTIVATION tools to get me out of the dang 180s. I've been here too long and it's time to see a new "decade". 170s: here I come!

Got any motivational items waiting for you to see a new number? Do tell me!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Finally Back to "Low Ground" With Four Days Left in Slimmer This Summer and Why I Don't Believe In Shrouding One's Weight Number in Secrecy....

Tanita-san: 183.8

Captured the lost ground. Back to lowest journey weight again. Just want some progress beyond this by last weigh-in for StS. As long as I do what I ought and don't go salt-nuts (as I am wont to do), should be fine.

I had such a long-winded post last time, hey, got nothing here. Plan to walk today. Cancelled my Pilates classes this week due to hubby's trip/hurricane worries, but now we're not gonna get hit and hubby's trip was rescheduled. Yay to both. But I still gotta move.

If you are interested in a possible challenge I'm pondering, read the long-long-long-looong previous post. I only want folks who will commit to hang in for the full challenge, be the weeks good or bad, breezy or excruciating, joyful or depressed, milestones or setbacks. I want folks willing to lay it out there, good or bad, no excuses. AND A WEIGHT NUMBER. No hiding.

We give power to the damn scale number when we don't voice it. What's covered up is made to seem shameful. What's hidden is given more power than it should have. Set yourself free. Post the damn number and empower YOURSELF. Own it.

I've always told people my real weight, when I was 299 (and I'd round it up to 300). I didn't see any reason to lie. Trust me. People look at you and if you're obese, they know you're fat. They know you ain't 130 lbs. Lying about one's weight is just kinda weird. Hiding is...a way of admitting shame. And I think shame is already enough part of the equation. It's best to let it loose, release the number, and start getting over the embarrassment. Can't hide being really fat. People've got eyes. So, why hide a number when the evidence is right there in 3-D?

I'm 51. I'm 183.8 lbs.

So what? Do you like me less cause it ain't 125? Do you like me more cause it ain't 299?

It's just numbers...

And, well, I guess I did have something to say. :)

Later, be well...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Next to Last SLIMMER THIS SUMMER CHALLENGE Update..and Some Long-Winded Thoughts on the Scale AND...On What I'd Like To See In The Next Challenge...So Tell me what you think...and pics of my new green sneakers...

I meant to post yesterday, but hubby and I headed out and then I got lazy. But I did weigh-in and update the sidebar yesterday with the weigh-in (in case nobody noticed, hah).

184.4

That's .6 lbs down from last week.

This week has been an upsy and downsy week and I have struggled.

Playing catch in my new bright green sneaks!

I walked x3
I did Pilates x 2 with trainer
Worked on push-ups (still can't do them right) only 1 day (lazy, lazy)
Matching green "feline footwear",hubby's
PUMA and my ONITSUKA TIGERS
I had a casual day of playing Frisbee/Catch with the family
And otherwise I stayed in out of the heat being a lazy cat.
Drank my fluids all but one day, when I fell short by 8 oz. (Mistallied.)
Prayed for y'all.
Blogged.
Did not quit.

Breathing got radically better and I've had no issues this weekend. Huh to that in the deep of hurricane season's heat/humidity/pollens, but I won't say I'm not grateful.

I'm still not at my lowest weight of 183.8 for the challenge, but while I'm crawling on my way down, it is on the way DOWN, and if I do a half pound a week consistently for the rest of the year, that's almost another 10 pounds down, and I'd be only 15 lbs away from goal weight.

Yes, I do have to think of it in long-term. I only want to lose 25 more pounds (to 160 original goal), and it may take me a while to do it, but the point is and always will be consistency. Losing a bunch one week or three, gaining a bunch for a week or three, then losing a bunch again---that's not healthful or my style. I want to learn to be consistent...in losing, in maintaining. I don't wanna yo-yo, all hyped up for a month, then fizzle out for 3, then find myself fighting the same pounds over and not really getting where I want to STAY.

I want to get to my dang goal weight, be it 160, 170, 145, whatever. I want to GET there and then learn how to maintain it (which is a whole nother hard work journey). Crash diets don't appeal to me. Yo-yo doesn't appeal to me. Whether it's 3 pounds, 2 pounds, 1 pound, or a half a pound a week, I just want to be someone who is doing what she needs to do week in and week out.

That's hard. But that's the only way to beat the fat for life. Learn what it takes to do the things that need to be done.. at each meal, every day, each week, month by month,  year after year.

And I think I need to see the scale the way I see the mirror or the blood pressure cuff or my every-3-months bloodwork. I can't ignore it, avoid it, or let it make me nuts. It's simply FEEDBACK. Like my waist measurement (that hasn't budged in weeks and weeks). It just says, "Here is where you are at" and no more. It's not cussing at me. It's not blessing me. It's not reviling me. It's not telling me I"m better than... It's a number. It's monitoring. It's accountability. It's information. THAT IS ALL.

I measure my waist and hips, I weight, I take my blood pressure, I get blood taken for lipid and CBC panels. I check the mirror to see how my eyes look, my hair, my teeth, my skin. Why? Just to track. Just to see if I'm making progress. Do my brows need plucking? Is there still some gunk on my incisor? Do I need to add benzoyl peroxide to the night-time regimen for my skin. Did I have too much salt? Did I eat too much of this and that and mess up my LDL?

Sometimes I do good things (moisturize, pluck, brush, use conditioner, eat lots of veggies, take my vitamins, exercise). Sometimes things go a bit bad (I don't wash make-up off properly before bed, forget to tend to a zit, eat too much sodium, go nuts on cheese, forget to drink extra water when I exercise in the heat). Sometimes they go way bad (like the time my liver enzymes or sugar were going out of whack and my triglycerides were high when I was binge-ing during mom's demise and taking statins, both hurting my liver).

The mirror, scale, tape measure, BP machine, etc...they just give me INFO. Then I do something with it--be it change food or or movement, or ignore it, or call the doc in a panic. Whatever. Tools. Just tools.

The reason I do these measurements isn't principally to feel great and get a boost and motivate myself. Those can play a part. The main reason I do these things is to see if I AM MAKING PROGRESS and if I am NOT MAKING PROGRESS to find ways to motivate myself to do the things that will improve the result on the scale, with the tape measure, on the lipid profile, with the blood pressure monitor.


The motivation isn't the scale. The scale can tell me if I'm motivated or not. 

It's a gauge of motivation, and it's confirmation of proper changes implemented in one's plan. It is not THE motivator.

Measurement tools are FEEDBACK. They are not the judges of what I am worth.

I am worth just as much at 184.4 as I was at 299 lbs. I may feel differently ABOUT myself, but that's not the scale's problem. That's MINE. That's psychological stuff or self-esteem stuff or mood stuff or whatever.

Every article I've read about those who lost a lot of weight and kept it off talked about daily to weekly weighings to stay on track and correct behavior before it got way out of hand. The majority of the time I didn't want to get on the scale it was because I knew it would be bad and I didn't want bad news. And the majority of time I've seen bloggers over the last 5 years avoid the scale or take scale breaks, it was because of the fear or stress of the number.

We love the number when it's positive.

We hate it when it's negative.

I make a new proposition: Let's not hate a number or love a number.

Let's think of it strictly as feedback. A coach will tell a runner if their time, their number, was better, worse, the same. It's a way to gauge where training time/techniques need to be applied. Maybe check for issues.

If you are doing everything RIGHT--calorically, exercise, fluids, sleep, meds, mood--and the scale is cruel for 2 to 3 weeks on end, then yes, there may be some deeper issues, medical issues. Allan used to tell us this all the time. If you do it right and you arent' losing: SEE A DOCTOR.

If  WE KNOW we're not doing it right, then why get upset at a number on the scale that reflects our NOT doing what we ought? The scale can be deceptive, as it doesn't measure FAT, just WEIGHT, and that can be skewed--in terms of fluid retention at TOM or after salt intake or with steroid use, or huge water loss at the start of low carb diets, which says nada about FAT, etc--but it's only a tracking tool. That's it. Other measures are needed for body composition. Nevertheless, it's a good tool. It is good feedback OVER TIME. One week can be off. Two . But over time, it's a good tool. USE IT. As a tool, not as a self-esteem monitor or a mood controller.

Just a feedback tool for someone renovating...a body. :)

Cause this cutiepie deserves to have a hot(tish) wife:
My Prince, who looks so hot with a mitt, yes?


Now, for my next challenge:

I had pondered hosting a Christmas Dress Countdown challenge. I still think I'd like to do something along those lines. However, I really think what I want to do is something a bit different than what I originally discussed via email with THURSDAY'S CHILD. I do think I want an email component, which means it will have to be a smaller challenge (so it's a not a crazy long email list).

I was looking back at the things that helped or motivated me most in past challenges, and maybe include things like that. But also include something I've never seen addressed in other challenges I dabbled in or competed over the years: the spiritual and/or the "change techniques" component.

I have no idea right now how that would be set-up. I had this brilliant flash of a notion in the midst of falling asleep two days ago, and I remember going, "Oh, geesh, that would be it. That would be amazing." And I fell asleep--and forgot the brilliant idea. Dang. That's frustrating.

But I do think that many of us already know the nutritional tips, the tracking tips, know we ought to exercise and drink fluids. How many know the actual helpful techniques for behavioral CHANGE? The spiritual aspect that can help one overcome vices/bad habits?

I'd also want the time between StS and when the new challenge starts to be prep time: get rid of junk or trigger foods from your home, prepare the books and exercise stuff (DVDs, equipment, clothes) ready, shop for fresh plan-friendly groceries, figure out your water needs and schedule to workout, get family and friends on board to support you through the temptations of the holidays before the challenge ends (no Halloween crap, healthful options at Thanksgiving). Whatever needs to be done to be all set and IN the mindset. And that can--and maybe SHOULD--include the purchase of a smaller size dress, one that doesn't fit yet, to motivate one to fit into it by Christmas. Or at minimum a photo of the desired dress and the desired size. Yep.  Prep work.

Maybe that's too ambitious for ONE challenge. Maybe I'm full of crap.

And if you think whatever challenge I come up with is too demanding or weird or whatever, remember, there are always many challenges going on. You can find one that suits you, for sure! You can start one...and should, if you have the energy and ideas or just the time! Nothing suits everyone. Be a challenge starter or co-starter!

But, anyway, all that's what I've been pondering, and especially this: components that are about changing more than what we choose for breakfast or how much water we drink. Probably including a book of the challenger's choice (I might offer a list for suggestions) to use and read and apply during the course of the challenge. Perhaps one food book and one change book and one spiritual book. Well, that would be CHALLENGING, except for folks who love to read.

But one thing I know for sure, I want a challenge that is very supportive, positive in outlook, hopeful--like Slimmer This Challenge has been, hooray!-- and one where scale accountability is a given. One number, once a week, no excuses. Allan had that rule, and trust me, it motivated me. I knew if I didn't give that number by that day of the week, I was OUT of the challenge, unless I had a darn good reason and let him know (ie, hospitalized, no internet access on Fiji vacation, computer crash, etc).

I remember how more than once, when I was tempted to hit a cookie or an extra serving of this or that during DDDY, the knowledge that I'd have to send a number to Allan come Sunday made me NOT hit the chips and salsa or blue cheese dressing. Seriously, knowing there would be a reckoning of the numerical sort can be the thing that stops the nighttime extra snack.

Well, Allan would holler sometimes.

I won't holler, but I think knowing you'd have to publish your numerical feedback for the week, rain or shine, was a sort of rein. And to encourage each other NOT to think of the number as the determinant of mood/feeling/motivation, but just something to guide us, help us tweak, help us regroup, or help us celebrate milestones.

As far as other parameters, perhaps a more flexible caloric level than StS, as long as it's one where folks can lose something a week to reach the Dress Size goal....not everyone needs to be 1200, but some people do. Not everyone can lose at 1600, but some people can. Livability--food plans and exercise plans that reasonably fit into your life/family life/work life/day-to-day, but is challenging enough to actually cause weight loss and increase in muscle. Just not TBL level hard. ; ) Since it's another long challenge--3 months or so--one can lose a nice amount to fit into a lovely Christmas dress without having to live at the gym or starve.

So, those are my thoughts on a "next challenge", encapsulated here:

1. Weigh-in number must be posted on the blog once a week, on the given day(s) without fail or excuses.
2. A caloric limit chosen by each participant to encourage steady weekly loss and a healthful diet plan of their choice that includes real, wholesome foods and adequate fluids. Participants will need to decide how to track--any method, I don't care--but you should have some method to know when you hit your limit.
3. An exercise type/variety/intensity chosen by the participant to be at least 3x a week.
4. A book(s) to be studied, blogged about, that helps the participant with change/procrastination/spiritual/vice/bad habit issues that will help overcome overeating.
5. A very supportive atmosphere and positive support structure, which should include commenting on each others' blogs to cheer each other on.
6. Email motivational support from leader(s)
7. A goal dress size stated (or guess at) or, better yet, pic of dress bought for motivation or wanted as a dream-dress, and ideally, but not required, a pic of challenger WEARING the dress in the after when challenge concludes. (Faces can be blocked out for privacy, but we wanna see you fit into the goal dress.)
8. A commitment NOT TO QUIT. To stay in the challenge and work on issues and post weight, even if one is doing poorly. To hang in. Hang in and not disappear. A COMMITMENT to fellow challengers to go the distance, no matter the obstacles.


I'm thinking that if it's a limited, manageable number, I'd give priority to those who finished Slimmer this Summer who want in. If you stuck with the StS 12 weeks, you can stick to a similar number for the Christmas Dress Countdown.

Anyone have suggestions on what a challenge should have based on what motivated you the most to LOSE the most in the past? Comment away...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Started with 57,and now 24 Left As of Last Update...How Many of You Will FINISH the Slimmer This Summer Challenge?

Week 1, there were 57 challengers starting all fresh and energized. Here's the roster on day one: Slimmer This Summer Begins

Now, with only 2 weigh-ins to go, this weekend/Monday and August 28, only 9 days left,  we have 24 fighting on and checking in--including Deb, our leader. (Some might still be in the challenge, but just forgot to update for whatever reason, but 23 checked into the linky plus Deb's post with the linky, for 24 who officially checked in for the last update.)

Here's the update roster for last weekend: Slimmer This Summer Week 11

Thank you to those couple dozen still hanging in, whether doing well or not so well or awful. Thank you for NOT GIVING UP, NOT QUITTING, which was one of the rules of the challenge. Just hang in!

That's more than half who GAVE UP on the challenge.

This is expected. I expected it, though I hoped otherwise. I hoped no one would quit even if they did not meet all their goals, did not have great weigh-ins, did not feel motivated. Just hang in there and be accountable. But that's par for the course. Ask Allan how many quit right in the middle of a phase. Or early in a phase. It's how it goes. People start all flush with desire to change...and that fizzles. Life gets in the way. Stress hits.

We had a death in my family. I didn't quit.
Some of us have major health issues, but didn't quit.
Some of us have trouble with the summer heat and exercise. But don't quit.
Some have new jobs, no jobs, vacations, children acting up...and don't quit.

Thank you for hanging in there to all these folks:


1. DebK  9. Dieting4Disney  17. Beyond My Looking Glass  
2. Jo @ A Well Kept Life  10. Empty Nest  18. Mir aka Princess Dieter  
3. sarah  11. Julie  19. sugar  
4. The Voices Within Unleashed  12. Angela Pea  20. Karen@Turn My Life Around  
5. Michele  13. Laryssa @ Magic Garden  21. Natasha @ My Journey to a Better Life  
6. Brandi  14. Miss April  22. Stormy@BigButtTheory  
7. Vicki M.  15. JoBee  23. MB  
8. A Hippo With A Headband  16. Amber Overcoming  


And if you didn't update, but you haven't given up...get back in the game. Only 9 days to go. Let's make it a good 9 days, 9 days to feel satisfaction about. Remember to link up this Sunday/Monday with Deb at her blog post for the challenge.

Let's make it a soundly accountable 9 days. Let's finish strong, no matter the ups and down. Let's finish this together....because completing a challenge makes you part of a minority. Every challenge I've been in has had oodles of drop-outs. Stay in and feel proud about it.

Persevering, even in the face of setbacks and adversity--that's what lifelong weight maintenance will be. Not quitting. Getting back on the horse when falls occur. Maintaining motivation, or fighting to get it back when it lags. Struggling. Breezing through. Struggling again. Falling. Getting up. Forging habits. Finding your groove. Holding on. That's what a lifelong weight loss success story is like. You've seen the successful maintainers blog about it. You don't win if you give up. Giving up is the only failure.

Don't quit. Keep going. Be strong.

Be well...

Perspective on the asthma/allergy (or why I need to NOT whine)...Better Breathing, Better Journaling, Crap Scale....but it will move. I keep the faith...Baggy "goal shorts" pic and naked mirror time motivation (no pic--ever!)..and how much hubby can eat (but I can't)...plus joy comes in the morning (afternoon, evening) with a Charlie Brown Praise Break...

Yesterday ended up better than it began. By my evening walk, I could up the pace. Breathing was nearly normal but nasal congestion, while improved, remained.

Make me wonder if the Pilates session did the respiratory good.

I will note that, so far, this summer has been MILES better than a couple decades worth of summers. I didn't need to cancel a whole month of exercise sessions. I didn't need nasal cauterization. I didn't rely on Nasonex (which I quit taking after the March onslaught, and usually start up again before August, to ready myself). I'm much less affected. I just got used to feeling GREAT on the non-crazy-allergy months, so I expect to feel and breathe great. The impediment this month, while frustrating, is nothing compared to summers past. Even the trainer commented on my improvement over the past 3 summers she's worked with me. Well, it's true. :)

I need to keep perspective. I am a whole, whole lot better. I am not dripping gobs of snot or needing to see an ENT or longing for Prednisone to put me out of my misery. :)

It's amazing to me after having years of being a "respiratory cripple", as I tagged it in the early 90s, when walking to the bathroom was enough to wind me, when I became often housebound, when I would have 6+ bronchitis episodes a year.

This is so much better. I guess I wanted to skip the bad altogether. To get a reprieve.

And I did. This is a reprieve. I will be thankful and not whine. :)

Today, to keep the motivation up, I spent some time in front of the mirror stark naked. And you know, I didn't mind it so much. I knelt on the bed and looked in the dresser mirror and thought, "Wow, if I hadn't gotten morbidly obese and had still done Pilates, my body would be amazing..." and then I thought, "But for an old dame who did wreck her body for 2+ decades, it's not bad. I kinda like that woman there."

My body would terrify a Hollywood starlet and it probably would disgust the shallow types who only see beauty in the perfect smooth slenderness of magazines...but me, I looked and thought, 'Yeah. I want to keep this. I don't wanna go back."

Hanging skin and droopy boobies and rippled butt and all, I had a woman's curves and some muscle and lean cool looking legs. This is my motivation today. To keep this and to do even better...to not lose what the hard war has won me.

I stayed in my challenge calorie counts yesterday. I exercised 75 minutes altogether. I drank all my fluids. I stayed away from starches. And while the scale didn't move down, I feel like I'm starting to get a grip again from the slippery slope. (fingers crossed) Onward...I don't lose heart or faith.

And to commemorate the re-commitment to MY own transformation today, a pic of me fitting into an old pair of "goal shorts". White shorts. With a white tank. I haven't worn white in..in..I can't remember. Fat people tend to avoid light colors. Well, this fat woman did. But here I am, all in white. These shorts are XL. I bought them back when I was 4x. They didn't go over my hips then. They do now--with room to spare:



My plate again has room to spare, too. Back to reining things in and not letting portion creep get me.

I wish I could eat like hubby and be on the verge of underweight like he is. Sigh. Men. So lucky. Can eat more than we do! Here's the "lunch and snacks" I packed last night for hubby --not including the breakfast I pre-made for him to nuke or the apple and banana he takes in his work-bag for his extra fruit snacks or the Larabar and nuts he keeps at his desk for emergency hunger:

Hubby's lunch for today...with snack..in his
EASY LUNCHBOX set, cooler not shown.

Today's lunch part 1: grilled chicken breast with 1/2 cup Mexican rice and a spinach mozzarella salad  
Lunch part 2: sirloin burger with cheddar, asparagus, mashed potatoes (real butter and cream)
Snack: Beanitos with salsa, cottage cheese with strawberries and cantaloupe, dark chocolate square.
Not showing: nuts, apple, banana, Larabar

Yes. That's his "lunch bag" contents. And he's on the border of underweight. (He lost 60 or so pounds altogether, half this year when he did the Primal experiment. Experiment cancelled. He dropped so much weight, I had to put starches back in the diet in the form of rice and potatoes, with the occasional legume (peas, those Beanitos now and then). He was turning into pure bones. Starch is fattening, so there you go. Eat the starches, keep from losing too much.

So, for you men who want to drop fat like mad, go Paleo/Primal. Hubby literally had to eat ALL DAY, snack ALL DAY, eat multi-meals to just keep weight on...and still got bony.

Grrrrr. This is so unfair. I want to eat all day long, too! hahahahahah

And for those, like me, who won't be reaching certain goals by Slimmer This Summer Challenge's end, don't ever give up and repeat this quote I got from Anne today:

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, 

don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”


Anyway, be good to yourself with healthy foods and movement and be very, very happy today! It's your day for JOY!

And for believers out there having a hard time, going through the dark night of temptations and sorrow,  this one's for YOU!



AMEN!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Struggling, but My Attitude Sucketh NOT in a week of Roller-Coastering Mood ; )..plus day out with sisters and totally resisted the killer fried food and dessert barrage...but it's asthma-season for me...EASY LUNCHBOXES and planning what you eat..and has anyone tried PURE WRAPS?

I am on increased meds, so excuse the rambliness of major proportions, should it show up. :)

This was an emotional week. A few reasons:

1. Since the weekend, the asthma/allergies have started getting worse. August is a notorious month for me (September, too). A month that often saw me in the emergency room in the past (before I became better controlled with a battery of Rx's), often saw me with bad sinusitis, bronchitis, nosebleeds, visits to docs, steroids,e tc. So, doing Pilates this week has been hard. I've even teared up today in frustration at not being able to breathe deeply or control my breathing. My walks have been at a slower pace (no sprinting or superwalking), because my respiration can't keep up. But I'm trying to stay active.

2, Sunday, the family (sans eldest sis who was visiting with ill relatives and friends) got together. Mood up. Tuesday was the first month marking of my nephew's death. Mood way down. Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of my father's death. Sad. But my sisters and I, and my niece (the one whose brother just died) and grandniece (her papa is the one who died) got together to put flowers at the cemetery and have lunch and talk. This was good. But there were some teary  moments.  And today is my big brother's (well, the youngest of the 3 big brothers) birthday. Glad he's alive and well (though he's asthmatic/allergic-sufferer, too, so we congest together). Up and down and up and down.

3. Appetite has been higher, no longer superzen. This is a combo of the stress from the breathing, the mood shifts, and who knows, maybe the extra fruits I'd been having since last week. Scale is still higher than my lowest weigh-in, and the lack of adequate sleep is making things worse. Oh, yeah, that does make me hungry, forgot that. Not sleeping. (This is partly the meds, partly the trying to shift to earlier hours.) It will sort out, but it means it's tough to portion meals and it's a struggle.

On the plus side: 
~I'm still trying to move at a good level against the breathing odds. Makes me feel...powerful...to not give in. :D

~I'm not focusing constantly on the stressful negatives, but actively focusing on what's good and making "thanksgiving breaks" during the day when I focus on and thank God for the great stuff in my life. I am blessed in so many ways.

~While we ate out yesterday--at Ruby Tuesday's--I had salad bar (1 and a half plates of all the non-starchy veggies plus some egg and a couple tablespoons of the chopped ham for protein. Drank my water, decaf, iced tea. Kin had a fried/butter-drenched extravaganza. And when everyone else had the chocolate lava cake with ice cream and tiramisu, right in FRONT OF MY FACE, I didn't touch a single crumb/spoonful. I just sipped my coffee and averted my eyes when tiramisu flew around. ; )

~Been really tired, tired, tired in the evenings (lack of sleep, adrenal exertions from the meds increase), but still am fixing hubby his three bento boxes' worth of healthy lunches before I go to bed and making sure he has his breakfast stuff--which sometimes means scrambling his eggs ahead of time so he can nuke em warm, or making gluten-free hotcakes (he can have starch, since he's a metabolic burner!) with no-sugar homemade fruit compote, etc.  He and I really love the EASY LUNCHBOXES system I got him last week and we started using this week. It's a positive, cause I'm keeping up with NOT caving to crap, even when exhausted. I force myself to the grocery store; I make myself make the lunches. I make sure we have produce galore. Big plus. Big lifestyle change from the gal who just would call for delivery crap when tired.



As far as the EASY LUNCHBOXES: a dream for us. Three boxes fit in the bag, and it zips and is easy to carry. Works great. He gets two meals and one box full of snacks (nuts, Larabar, hummus with carrot sticks, cheese n apple slices, etc.

I won a set from Katie J's blog (thanks, Katie!) and that should arrive soon. This way, we'll each have our own bento system, which is lovely, as when we have to take food for BOTH OF US to avoid temptations when out and about, that will simplify matters. And they have a great page with pics of REAL lunches and ideas. They do need more low-carb, Paleo, Primal, Gluten Free example pics! Maybe I'll snap one these days of hubby's threesome. ; )

No BPA. And though the lids are made for kids to be easy pop open (not Tupperware supertight), I just use rubber bands to secure stuff that might spill and use Press n Seal for when I use cottage cheese/yogurt/mooshy-smooshy-semi-solid--oozey stuff.

I have the bags in olive and aqua, and won a system with a dark red bag. The newest color is the pink, I think, and young girls, as we know, loveth the pink. With my three bags and 8 containers--and they have nice colorful lids--I'm REALLY set.  I fill them at night, put the whole bag in the fridge, and hubby just has to grab 'n go in the AM when he's ready to head out for the office. Then he puts the whole bag in the fridge at work. :D EASY!

It's a great TOOL to make sure you think about what to eat and plan for balanced, healthful, non-crap meals. If you're a dieter who works, really, get some sort of brown-bagging or bento system. Makes things easier. And making stuff is as simple as cooking extra at dinner (or lunch or breakfast) and saving it for the next day. And some things I pack are so easy and don't require cooking for hubby: nuts, fruit, cottage cheese, salads with deli meat, etc. If you like  yogurt, you can make a whole great snack in one bento, make your main lunch food in another, and not have to give in to office-crap temptations.

Speaking of stuff that makes lunches easier: Anyone try those gluten-free, no soy or assorted weird stuff alternate to regular sandwich wraps,  PURE WRAPS? If you have, review it or link me up to your review of it. And where did ya get it? Thanks.

Anyway, if the weather is benevolent--and August/September in Miami is not the most benevolent of times for exercisers being outdoors--I will have my walk and that will make for almost 1.5 hours of exercise for the day. I may not be able to go all-out while I have congestion issues, but I can do something. And so can you!

I wish all my fellow fatfighters well today. If you're struggling like me to get back down the scale and find your full-behemoth mojo again, let's egg each other on. No quitting. Ever!

later, lovelies...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

For Food Freak: Yeah, they're staying put (hair), plus wearing gray at 184.4 lbs(pics)

Food Freak: I had the hair done Saturday, and this is how it looked tonight. So, hanging in there, though my curl pattern is imposing itself bit by bit.. I do add leave-in condish to the ends (twice since Saturday) to keep hair moisturized. But all I do is brush it out. (I had to remember to add a brush to my purse, cause with curls, you only use your fingers to adjust.) :D




Very comfy "The Girls" slacks in XL

Monday, August 15, 2011

Slimmer This Summer Challenge Update: Complacency Goeth Before the Fall...Or Rise (in weight)-- 1.2 Pounds UP as other things take the stage. Looking for balance, organization, and getting that number back DOWN! But, hey, my hair--and hubby's, too-- looks great. Pics included.

Hey, all. I meant to do an update yesterday for Slimmer This Summer, weighed in and everything before heading out the door for assorted activities, but came hope late and still had stuff to do--laundry, cooking hubby's Monday lunch, packing the 2 lunches and snacks--and yes, he eats two lunches to keep from being too skinny since he gave up all grains except rice and all starchy veggies except potatoes and a bit or corn now and then.

Wish I had that problem.

My problem this week came from Tanita-san's numerical glare:  185.0

Sheesh. 1.2 pounds UP from last Sunday. UPPPPPP. UPPPP.

Yeah, and only me to blame. No excuses. I simply got lax and comfy. I am so happy where I am, even as fat as I am--cause we can't call 185 lbs sleek, now can we?--but so energetic and so flexible and feel so good and feel cute and get tons of compliments and hubby's adoring my new bod, and, yes,  still so happy to be officially NOT obese, that my motivation just fizzled. If I don't watch out, I'll be officially obese again.

Dang.

But part of creating this blog and joining this challenge was being accountable. I have to report the BAD, not just the good. And here it is. The bad.

Let me correct a point: It's not fizzled altogether, the motivation. I still counted calories. I still exercised. I still drank my requisite fluids. I still took vitamins and blogged and read inspirational snippets and visited fatfighters online.

Fizzled as in not scrupulous, not as focused.

Part is that I've begun a new HUGE project, almost as huge as losing weight, and that has sapped a lot of my focus. I"m doing two new things, the HUGE organization of my clutter/healing of my hoarding/simplifying life thing, and getting back to serious Bible study, which also takes a couple hours a day. Between all those hours and that divided focus, weight loss seems to not be my sole-super-duper-main-supreme-above-all focus. This means calorie creep and exercise whittling.

Sucks, but I am NOT a multi-tasker. When I take on another huge project, the others suffer.

But I have to find a way to do it all. I am envious of folks who can do many major things at once--Allan, formerly of Almost Gastric Bypass blog(s),  and his career expansion while undertaking major weight loss and overseeing challenges comes to mind, as well as those of you dealing with challenging new jobs while losing, or bearing and rearing new babies while losing. I admire the ability to do that and hope I can develop some of it. But me, I tend to need to focus on ONE BIG THING at a time.

I focused on weight loss for the last year. The economic realities of our current nation means it's imperative for us to simplify and be ready to sell and move in short order as needed. This is why I am tackling this BEFORE reaching goal weight. I decided reaching non-obese goal would have to be the cut-off.

So, this week, I need to find the internal drive and energy to give more than one thing priority. I can't let myself lose all momentum and regain to the point of waking up and finding I have 20 pounds back on me! No, sir.

185.0
Sheesh.

Okay, new week. New obstacles. New refocusing. And let's see how talented I can get at organizing multiple projects.

This past week, my exercise was:

1x swimming
4x walking
2x Pilates with trainer

Fluids: fine
Prayer: yes, praying for y'all
Push-ups= worked on them x2
Waist: Still 36 (dang)
Quitting: No, but I need to learn new skills, clearly, to regain progress-making mojo

I'm not depressed or bummed, mind you. I am simply more in "problem resolution" mode. I assumed that having a couple of 1600 calorie days and a 1750ish day, which should not have impeded me at 185 active pounds,  BUT THEY DID. It seems that I will have to revise goal weight. I will not live with any weight that requires me to LIVE FOREVER on 1200 calories. Forget it. I'd rather stay fat. The lowest I'm willing to go, lifelong, is 1400 to 1500. I find that a livable range, whereas I find 1200 too restrictive for life. It doesn't seem a like a lot of leeway, but that's yogurt and fruit plus nuts worth. That's a salad with chicken's worth. It is a big difference for those of us who've done the 1200.

I know I'm metabolically lower than many. I knew that a year ago from tracking. I don't maintain of my weight in the range the charts I've seen state. I maintain on my weight on the range minus 300 (if it's consistent with my previous estimates, which probably is WRONG, and it's more complicated formula-wise,, but I'll worry about the math some other day). I'll find out in time. But after this week, when I ranged from 1400 to 1600 a day for all but one day, the weigh-in comes as a slap of reality to realize that, yes, I will never ever ever eat remotely like I used to. NOT REMOTELY...and I knew that intellectually, but I know it now in actuality. While exercising THAT much, I still can't eat much at this lower weight.

We will see how this unwinds...

TWO weeks until SLIMMER THIS SUMMER ends. I'd like to end it at least at 182 (or less). Let's see how that goes, shall we? :D

Oh, and we had an Aveda hair spa day Saturday, hubby and I:





I wish all challengers well in this final stretch. I hope I didn't let too many of you down with this week's uptick and my motivation's semi-fizzling.

Be well, all...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Some Princess Dieter comments and links speaking on the Theories & Complex Factors on the Matter of Becoming Obese and Getting NOT Obese and a Quote ....on a lazy, bloated, wanna-nap day...

Scale is up from salt and added carbs these last 4 days--both of which cause water retention and scale stalls in me, historically. I knoweth of what I speak.

As much as I have enjoyed the added taters, sushi rice (with my veggie sushi), and brown rice (with my grilled chicken and veggies) this past week, and as much as my salt-hungering tongue loved the dips into soy sauce and shakes of the Celtic sea salt, and as much as my fruit-addict self loves summer's bounty of colorful sweet beauties, it's time to get back on program and stop being slackerish on my tracking.

No binges. No massive overages (though I have gone over calories twice this week). It's just me being hungry again from the carbs. I know it. I've doubled my fruit intake. While that may be a heathful food option, raw fruit, it's still too much in the sugars department for my metabolically not-normal body.

So, back to more veggies, fruit moderation (noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, weep, weep) and scaling back on tubers and rice. I won't ever eliminate them, but I got too loose with allowances. Once or twice a week, fine. But almost every day this week, even modest portions not so fine. For me, it's NOT just calories--it's insulin. It's appetite. I felt my appetite growing and my night-time snack urges return. I want them to go away again and regain the Zen Appetite. :D

Yesterday, I walked and did Pilates. 1 hour and 20 minutes of exercise. Felt good. I'm sore.

Lots of interesting discussions out there in LowCarb/Paleo/Primal blogs after the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS).

I'd recommend this one first: There is no single cause of (or treatment for) obesity

And I recommend this one for the lucid and gracious third reaction  to the Taubes/Guyunet debate by Dr. Paul Jaminet.

For me, recognizing the food-reward research/findings set me on the road to loss. That was pivotal for me. Then Taubes anti-carb pronouncements helped me see my Insulin Resistant status needed a careful eye on starches/sugars. Dr. Jaminets (and others) on toxins/inflammatory foods helped me realize that as a person with a big family history of and personal affliction with auto-immune diseases, I need to consider THAT aspect as well. All three have served me.

But I agree with Healthy Skeptic--it's a very, very complex situation and it requires looking at the variables. Not all situations are equal, because not all bodies function the same.

However, caloric restriction works. We Challengers know it.

And yet, most dieters who lose regain. Or never make goal at all.

How can one keep on a restricted diet for life (if needed), if the appetite is insane or binges are an issue? Even bariatric surgical patients have issues with regain, so how could it not be for those lacking the assist of constricted stomachs or rejiggered intestines?

If wanting or wishing were both = to doing, no one would be fat.

And why don't all people lose at the same rate on the same calories? Not everyone maintains on the same calories, even if they are of the same height and weight. Not everyone is as healthy or energetic or satisfied with their meals or nourished on the same QUANTITY of calories. Bodies differ. Medical status differs. Types of food ingested differ. Fluids processed differ (ask a kidney disease patient about that one.) Carbs tolerance differs --ask an I.R. or diabetic person about that. Tolerances of foods differ--ask a celiac disease or I.B.S. sufferer about that. Fat metabolism differs--some of us absorb and fill up fat cells more efficiently. Some of us release fat from cells LESS efficiently. THere are genetic tests for that. Some folks swell up fast with salt. Some are barely bothered. Some are metabolically more efficient and their bodies ratchet up to burn excess calories. Some just make more fat and don't elevate temperature or activity naturally to compensate.

Variables.

Because I'm genetically a fat-hoarder (if I eat too high fat like some low-carbers, I'm screwed), and auto-immune (I can't have some things that don't seem to bother others), allergic (some food groups are totally out to me, limiting what I can eat), and a hyperconditioned overeater (I do respond to the food-reward combo of fat/starches-sugars/salt, so I have to restrict or avoid trigger hyperpalatable foods or I BINGE). I also have hypothyroidism and that affects metabolism and mood and makes losing weight harder. (Saw what happened to Linda Ronstadt when her thyroid went kaput?) I'm post-menopausal, so I need fewer calories than when younger. Age is also an impediment, though not a solid wall 100 feet high.

Impediments aren't insurmountable, they can just make it harder, make it slower, make it maybe necessary to get MORE professional help.

I'm a genetic, medical, neurotic mess. I need to read and study and work to get over the hurdles to lose weight. For me, every pound is a fight. I'm never gonna be the stellar "Lost 8 pounds a week" type. Oh, no. But I made it out of obesity and just wanna stay outta obesity, even if no one ever nicknames me "Slim." :) It's about health for me. Not Perfect Health (as that has always been beyond me, since birth), but better health.

I've said for nearly a year to assorted friends and relatives who ask that I've lost on both low-fat and lower-carb, but that for me, moderating carbs is an appetite suppressor in a way low-fat never was. But that both break the reward cycle and can help people with that. I still believe this. But I think every person should examine their individual situation and see how many of these variables discussed out there on bariatric matters--toxins, carbs, protein, fat, low fat, low carb, low toxin, hyperpalatability, food-reward, etc--and see which are the predominant factors in YOUR life. Depending you YOUR issues, you may need to tweak how you eat or see a counselor or dietitian or specialist in endocrinology. It's not one diet plan fits all.

I also do believe you must reduce caloric intake (as a nation, we freaking eat too much crap and some of us too much even of the good stuff). But I think that for those of us with crazy big appetites, it's worth looking at appetite suppressing properties in moderating carbs/starches/sugars.

Whatever your individual situation is--and you may be much healthier than me and not saddled with a plethora of genetic wackiness, or you may be WORSE off and feel hopeless--just know that you can learn a lot from the scientists and sociologists and psychologists out there working to see how to solve our problems. But it will come down, as transformations always do, to working your butt off and developing new habits It's hard. But it's not hopeless.

Here are a couple ofs quote from Dr. Jaminet--just two the many I read this afternoon among the blogs chattering after the AHS:
It seems to be easiest to induce obesity with a roughly equal mix of carbs and fat; both low-carb and low-fat diets tend to be less obesogenic. This result is compatible with Stephan’s views because carb and fat together are more rewarding than either alone, and with my views because carb-fat combinations can be highly toxic – for instance, a fructose-PUFA combination is more toxic than either alone; or carbs feed gut pathogens while fats carry their toxins into the body.


...

Due to the diversity of factors which conspire to cause obesity, it is a rather heterogeneous disease. Its unifying character is that some combination of causal factors induces “metabolic damage,” such as leptin resistance, in a variety of organs, including the brain. Metabolic damage can affect both appetite regulation and energy homeostasis.

~~Paul Jaminet, co-author of THE PERFECT HEALTH DIET

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quickie--exercise, calories overage, chrono-Bible-plan...

Just cause I have the WORST memory --used to have the BEST memory, but this is what assorted illnesses, meds, and middle age did to me--a recap.

Walked 25 mins, swam  & did pool-exercises 20 mins, and ate 250 cals OVER challenge calories. Yep. I could have done without the rice and chocolate probiotics and extra fruit. But, there ya go. The good and the bad.

I also yesterday began my chronological Bible reading plan. You can see the schedule HERE. I just began with January 1 and 2 (did double duty) and will work through it in order.

Off to Pilates..later...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two Quotes For Fatfighters -- and they're not fuzzy wuzzy...they're a reality slap in the face....

Eh, I have nothing much to add today. I'm getting ready for my walk, so I'll just post a couple of quotes by Epictetus that anyone who's been futzing around with getting in shape--but not making progress--or who made progress and started losing ground or who simply needs to refocus should read many times over and heed.

I know it's the kind of stuff I need to hear and hear often, cause wishful and warm and fuzzy thoughts don't get squat done. If we wanna transform, it's damn hard work with lots of real commitment and daily recommitment on those harder days.

It doesn't JUST happen. No magic pill. No fairy godmother waves a wand. No "wake up and be fit."

You do it. I do it. Meal by  meal and walk by walk and weight-training session by weight-training session and swim by swim and ounce of water by ounce of water and affirmation by affirmation and "no, I won't eat that" by "no, I won't eat that" and "yes, I'm gonna go move, though I don't wanna" by "yes, I'm gonna move now, though I don't wanna."

And it's hard like heck. Then just hard. Then a bit easier. Then a habit (that can be lost if we don't stay focused on goals.)

Well, I guess I did have something to say. No surprise. Hah.

On to the quotes:


    Whatever you would make habitual, practice it; and if you would not make a thing habitual, do not practice it, but accustom yourself to something else.
        Book II, ch. 18



    First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
        Book III, ch. 23

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sore. Relieved. Sad. Blessed. Grateful. Bloated. Sis Strategy. Sweet Potatoes?

Sore: MY MUSCLES HURT! My first Pilates training session since the family tragedy. It's been four weeks. I put my all into it. We did the whole body. And though I'm normally only feeling the soreness the night AFTER, I felt it as soon as I moved to get up. Ow. That's great, right?

I love feeling that feeling. Muscles: build away.

Relieved: My sister's pericardial effusion is resolving on the corticosteroid, and so no surgical intervention is planned for now. Her grief is huge and pressing on her, and her 70-year old body is trying hard to stand against it. But I'm relieved no surgery. Thank you, God.

Sad: Just one of those "I woke up missing the gone" days. Also, I've visited some blogs today, and some made me feel sad cause some folks are having hard times with the eating or their health. I know that story too well. I've never had perfect health and still envy those who do or know what that's like. I don't. I won't ever in this body. I gotta wait for the resurrection to have that inkling. If you want to share some of the sadness, read this post. Read it especially if you have blood sugar issues/are at risk for diabetes/are not working on losing the fat and getting healthy. Don't close the barn door too late. And please pray for Deb. She is in a time of seeking...and I wish her only the greatest wisdom and peace as she does.



Blessed:  Even with all the worries on my mind this summer, I can say I'm blessed in many ways and I choose to be grateful for the love and goodness God has allowed into my life. It's the only way to keep any perspective when times are hard--financially, emotionally, dietetically, medically, relationally, etc.

Can you walk? Blessed. Can you see? Blessed. Can you hear? Blessed. Do you have clean running water in your home? Blessed. Shoot, do you HAVE a home? Blessed. Is there healthful food in your home? Blessed. (And if you doubt it's an enormous blessing, think of East Africa's trials right now.  And give--I chose World Vision, as I've sponsored a couple kids in Africa through them for 13 years now.) Does someone love you? Blessed.Blessed. Are you mostly pain-free? Blessed. Can you think, imagine, dream, hope, strive with your own hands, work, sleep, and wake again to a new day of a life in a free land? Blessed.

Bloated: And I'm blessed even when the scale goes up cause of sodium bloat. I had gone about 20 hours without eating, and right in the middle of my walk,  I got hungry. Just got really hungry. I detoured to a local sushi place and in 5 minutes was back walking, with a small takeout bag in my hand. Incentive to walk FASTER to get home. Hah.

Aw, man, that avocado sushi and kappa roll with my first meal of the day were lovely, but the starch and soy sauce bloat, not so much. Glad I exercised hard yesterday--my 55 minute Pilates and 30 minute brisk walk. It was a starchy indulgence.

Sis Strategy: That's my sister's treat method--middle one, not eldest with the heart issue now. If she wants something "off plan", she makes herself walk to get it, eat it, walk back, and burn off the calories. So, if she wants pizza, instead of a bus or drive, she walks to the pizzeria, and figures out how much more exercise she needs to burn it off. Always has done that. And back in her younger days, she was down to a size 6 (old size 6, which is more like a 2 or 4 in today's sizing). And she only got up a bit in weight (she's in the 160s now) in her SIXTIES and with illness keeping her inside more in the heat. But she was always incredibly shapely, lean, and PAID for her treats with movement. I should have learned that system ages ago, huh?

The sushi place was about 15 minutes away, walking. :) I wonder how much I burned off of that rice?

Sweet Potatoes?  Our American kids raise funds for their schools selling candy or crap plastic "made in China" products that don't work or last. Japanese kiddes sell...sweet potatoes? Wow. That's interesting. And they're cute, too, in those yellow hat. Lookee here.  Looks like they even plant and grow those babies themselves. Hm. That in part may explain why their kids aren't ballooning to insane weights and early diabetes in as rapid a pace or rate as ours. I'm sick of seeing kids selling candy bars to raise money, or cookies, or cakes. How about they sell fresh fruit? A bag of no sugar/no salt trail mix? How about they sell baked sweet potatoes? Or have an herb harden they tend (exercise) and sell bundles of basil, dill, chives, oregano, cilantro, etc. :) Oh, right. People will spend it on crap, not fresh, real food, is that the obstacle? Sad. I've not bought Girl Scout cookies for years. I'd happily buy Girl Scout Herbs and Lettuces. :D

Today, count your blessings, pray for those struggling, support those you can, accept support if you need it, eat healthfully, move well, rest deeply, and say thank you for the simple and beautiful and needful and enlightening things in your life.

Be well...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Slimmer this Summer Update: Only 21 Days Left, But Hey, Not Obese Anymore and Still Making Progress...and a huge loss (for me, not you mebbe ) this week, which is nearly freakish, but hey, happy!

Loss since last challenge update: 3.2 lbs.

Um, that like never happens. Huh. Yeah? Whoa. Dang. Whoo! Must have been retaining water last time. I better enjoy that loss number. It's a rarity on a list somewhere. ; )

This was my first week back to some challenge order and normality after the tragedy for my family. I still have sad moments and weepy moments and wake up sometimes just....feeling down. But it's gotten better. Life insists we live, ya know?

I'm back to exercising. This week, I moved, while not at my challenge level. Just moving again felt like a victory. Sometimes fun, sometimes challenging.

I'll be honest, it's hard getting back in form and the heat makes me wanna stay inside, where I have very limited room to MOVE--yes, I'm an obsessive-compulsive clutter-hoarder, which you can tell by my pics like in the I'm not Obese Anymore post from Friday. And that's the bit of space I have!

Exercise: I swam x1. I walked x 4. I did some work on the push-ups. And that's all.

Fluids: perfect

Waist: Still 36. My waist is being stubborn. Hips and upper thighs are down a smidge, though.

Food: Went over calories by a hundred a couple days, otherwise stayed under 1400.

Prayer: Yes, I'm still praying for the challengers.

Support: Lacking. I need to get my support mojo up, but I have left some comments on a few blogs. Just not all, of course, and not many. My apologies.

Quitting: Not a chance. :)

My weight today:  183.8

I started the challenge at 195. I should be down 13.5 pounds by this time to be on Challenge Level Timetable.

I'm down 11.2. I'm behind, obviously. And....I am not stressed at all. No joke. I am very pleased.

My progress is fine enough for me given I went through a horrible time when I could have caved altogether. I did not cave.  I continue to make progress. Thank you, Lord!

I'm now down 115.2 pounds from my highest weight,  and I updated my ticker. :D

No longer obese, and getting farther from that obese-overweight boundary of 185.4. Each pound away from that number makes me happier and happier.

It's unlikely I'll make challenge goal of 18 lost. But I will strive to get close. As long as I make progress each week, I will be satisfied. It's all about moving forward!

Are you moving forward, be it by an inch or a yard or a mile? Be happy as long as you are making it closer and closer to your goals.

Have a great Sunday. Keep challenging yourself, no matter how little or how much, just keep doing it. Don't give up.

AND..if you're still working it in the Slimmer This Summer Challenge and want to continue with challenges through to the holiday (one or multiple), please comment to that effect and tell me what sorts of things you'd like to see in a Christmas Dress Countdown or other type of challenge. The idea is to keep at it and keep focused and not give up. The idea is also to provide accountability through Thanksgiving and up to the food-temptation bomb that is the end of the year. Anyway, comment away on this matter if it's of interest or email me. 

Be well...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Goal, New Motivation: Christmas Dress Countdown

I am pondering the matter, and it's not unthinkable that I can be close to--or by some crazy good fortune and a metabolic shift of tectonic degrees, AT-- goal weight by Christmas this year. I lose slower now, but I still can lose. If I can get to 170 or 165 by Christmas, that's pretty dang close. I don't know what size that would be...12? 10?. No clue.

I carry in my torso, so the size YOU wear at 185 or 170 is not what *I* wear at that size. Dense bones, wide torso, hips and bosom....that's me. :)

But I know I CAN lose 1 pound a week, even 1.5 pounds, with focus, lots of exercise, and tracking my food to stay scrupulous. There are 4+ months to the Christmas holiday season, that's about 16+ pounds if I'm a good girl and my body doesn't do something odd.

That would take me to a bit under 170 as long as I'm consistent and my body doesn't do anything whack. My original goal was to reach 160 by September of 2012. If I can reach 170 or less by Christmas of this year, then that would motivate me to push to make goal (or very close) by my birthday 7 weeks after that.  I could hit goal, maybe, 7 months ahead of schedule. How cool would that be?

I know weight loss isn't always a smooth trajectory. Boy, do I know it. But one can plan and hope for a consistent bit of progress. Planning that way, you can at least get CLOSE and CLOSER, rather than backsliding and losing focus and regaining. Right?

So, here's the plan: I want to be in a smaller size, maybe 2 smaller sizes, and look good in my Christmas outfit this year. I'm thinking red. :D  Something like this, a cheery red or green, ie. holiday colors, though I prefer 3/4 sleeves, ya know? I do have that loose skin issue, so I may want to default to a dark color with bright accents--a deeper red, perhaps, if not black-- just to camouflage that. Dunno. But  maybe I'll just try to rock the red and to heck with the lumps and crinkles!

There's always compression foundation garments. hahahah

So, since I got inspired by Thursday Child and her own Christmas goal--and hopefully hubby will still be gainfully employed so I can afford a Christmas outfit!--it's a Christmas Dress Countdown here on this blog. I figure there are never enough motivators for us fatties-who-wanna-be-non-fatties. :D

Slimmer this Summer continues--I'm down 10 pounds so far today, but still behind schedule for the 18 pounds off goal-- and Christmas Dress Countdown begins, at least mentally and unofficially.

Anyone else wanna be motivated by a snazzy, form-fitting, new holiday outfit and shoes to match? Maybe that can be the next official challenge after Slimmer this Summer ends. There's time enough to save up for it, too--dress, shoes, bra, slip, maybe cute purse. Four months to save and four months to lose and four months to tone up.

Think about it. Gimme your ideas on it. Should it be an official challenge?

I'm scheduling this to post Saturday (I'm writing it Friday, after reading Thursday Child's/Z's post.) I didn't wanna post twice on a milestone day. I'm very proud of that milestone! Heh.

Later...be well this weekend. Keep to your healthy plan of eating and moving. Kill the fat, k?

Friday, August 5, 2011

As of today, officially, no longer OBESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :::bliss celebration dance:::

BMI of 29.9 & no longer obese. Just overweight.
With "Salma" nail polish by Zoya, cause one needs
great glmmering summer golden red nails for a party!
I got on twice to confirm, and you can see both readings!
:D :D :D :D

A lot of work to get here. A lot of work to go to get to goal weight (or revised goal weight, whatever). A lot of work to STAY not-obese. The fight never ends.

But sometimes, you get a great day to celebrate freedom! Freedom from all sorts of fat-related shackles. This is one!

Baila!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time for a walk..to keep the pounds off...
hair is UP (I hate wearing my hair up, but it's HOT!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Now, there's a creative (aka nuts) delusion to justify stuffing in the junky sweets

The Sweets Empire Parts 1 and 2

If you've never read Japanese manga online before, you read it right to left, top to bottom. You can click on the page to go to the next one, or hit the "go right" arrow on your keyboard.

This is a two-part story in a series of often dark stories about teens. Madness (transient or otherwise) or surreal escapist fantasies or skewed perspectives figure in many. The author weaves the characters into a very cool finale, complete with an unnatural natural disaster and "new day" sorta hope. It's an ending that lets them...fly...sorta...

In The Sweets Empire, a gal loses a lot of weight in order to confess her love to a boy in her class who favors thin beauties. But she's derailed by ONE spoonful of a sugary treat snuck into her mouth by a mischievous friend. What follows is ...not normal. Binge eaters will identify in part with her reaction!

The ending of her story is victorious for her, and man, some of us need a full-size poster made out of that last panel.  If cakes and sweets are your downfall, take a look at that panel and repeat like the heroine, "I won't ever surrender to you, evil sweets empire!"

Be well...