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Impressions of Yoga and other random thoughts

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So, the reason I wanted to try a Yoga class at all probably wasn't the best. I was noticing (and mentioned in another blog) that I don't get any endorphin rush while doing cardio or right after. Instead, it's about the time I'm doing my stretches and most of the way done that I kind of have my zen moment. I often feel more energized than when I walked in, not to mention having a sense of simple well-being. I was curious whether it was the breathing and stretching - and, hence, Yoga as the experiment.

Simple answer - no, it's not just the stretches and breathing. It's the full workout.

My impression of the Yoga class ... I was the first to arrive other than the instructor and she was good about helping me set up, encouraging two mats for more cushioning under the knees and providing some blocks. The room did fill up by the time it started and it seemed there were less blocks than people who could need to use them.

While she had been helpful setting up, the instructor was also not a native English speaker and more than a few times I could only catch some of the words, having to watch what she did to follow.

Amusingly to me? The biggest difficulty I had was following her concept of "slowly lift your left leg". By the time I'd lifted my left leg, she was two steps further. My concept of slowly is based on weights - slow control of the motion. So after a couple of times, I quit trying to do those motions "slow" and just caught up to whatever pose it was leading to.

Pose-wise, some I could do reasonably well and others I had no hope of even coming close. On the plus side? All the work I've done in the last two months on strengthening my quads and hamstrings has helped - lots of lunge type poses were involved and my knees didn't have any particular complaint.

The class itself ran longer than I expected - over an hour and fifteen minutes. I did some cardio and stretching after, but didn't really have that same sense.

Today, having done my strength-training too, I realized that the days I feel best coming out of the gym are literally the ones that include all three - cardio, strength training and stretching out. There's just something about feeling I've worked every aspect that invigorates me.

So, no more Yoga for me for a while. Maybe in the future, perhaps doing some with videos instead of a class so I can really work the poses right. TBD (to be determined).


Some time back several Sparkers had linked to a NYT article about a medical study on maintaining weight loss. The article wasn't the study - it was a columnist's commentary on that study and how she wasn't ready for that. (Or something to that effect. I often have trouble following links to NYT articles for some reason - the page simply won't load - so I don't get to read them all.

Semi-related, one of the things I sometimes see or hear is people who do 5-7 days a week of 60+ minutes of cardio. I know I've read some interview somewhere with one couple who claimed that if they didn't do that, they'd start gaining again.

All of that led me to wondering. Is it really that hard to maintain a weight loss with a "reasonable" (30-60 minutes 3+ days a week) amount of activity - or even without deliberate cardio, but just being an active person?

And suddenly something clicked in my mind. I don't recall either the article or the study saying much of anything about people who stop exercising so much reducing their caloric intake. Was that simply omitted, or is the supposition that lots of constant workouts are needed based on someone being unwilling to eat at a calorie range appropriate to their ideal weight?

Which made me curious enough to go see what my BMR calculates to be. For 5'7" (I'm actually 3/4" taller than that =P) and 155 pounds (7" wrists = larger bone structure) and 43 years old, my BMR will be 1442. Assuming a sedentary lifestyle (BMR x 1.2), my maintenance calorie range would be 1730. That's actually in the low end of my current calorie range. So it's a totally doable range for me to eat in.

Hehe, I know it might seem that I'm way jumping the gun thinking about maintenance now, BUT a big part of how I'm going about this journey is with the mindset of habits for life - not habits until I reach my health and fitness goals. I'm really enjoying my gym time right now. I'm not sure I envision myself in there 7 days a week - 2 "rest" days of easy cardio, 5 days of more intensity, 3 days of weights - for years though. Which means I don't want to build other habits, such as how I eat, around having a 2500-3000 calorie burn weekly.

Plenty of time to figure it out, of course.


Lastly, a webcomic I read had a link to a video of Dergin Tokmak dancing. For those who have not heard of him, it's worth looking up some of the videos. He contracted polio at a very young age, losing all control of his left leg and some control of his right. Having seen the movie Breakin' in which a breakdancer with no leg control performs, he was inspired and developed his own style. He has performed with Cirque du Soleil .

What impresses me about that is the unwillingness to let crutches and an inability to control his legs completely stop him. For me it is something else to see that and then think about saying I felt sore and might not do my ST today.

I have to think that if I was willing to really dedicate myself to something and put that kind of effort into it, I'd be able to achieve a lot.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAHOEKARIN 3/3/2012 10:48AM

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to work out every day aka 5-7 times a week 60+ minutes!

I do yoga and meditate. It's part of my spiritual practice. I was fortunate to find a studio on the east coast that is more of a practice than fitness. If you ever try it again, try 'gentle hatha' where it is more about learning the poses. I don't consider it a workout for me, it's part of my every day meditative practice. I know when I first went to a class a longggg time ago at 230 lbs, I wanted to die. That's when I realized that there is a big difference between the fitness one and the practice one. I have taken some other forms of yoga that are more challenging but there is no replacement for cardio for me. If you want stretching just make up your own routine, that's pretty much my yoga practice.

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SANDYB223 3/1/2012 7:58AM

    I think you are very wise to think ahead about maintenance. I think it the hardest part, speaking as one who gained about half of my weight back gradually over last year. So I am definitely thinking ahead this time, so not to go down that path again!! So KUDOS to you!!!
Also kudos for trying yoga. I take a class once in a while, and really like it. But if I do it too much I kinda get bored. I really like the higher energy cardio and running.


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AHEALTHIERME444 2/28/2012 8:19PM

    Good for you for trying Yoga! I tried 2 different DVD's and I feel so inept and ungraceful. Don't feel like it is something I would really ever enjoy but wish I could. Maybe after a lose a little more weight I will be easier to contort myself?!

Thanks for another great blog! emoticon

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LGAR519 2/28/2012 4:49PM

    You are a very brave person-----trying yoga. I would never be able to get off the floor. So I think I'll pass. I haven't thought about maintenance yet but will one day!!

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SHERIO5 2/28/2012 10:20AM

    Your mind just never stops does it?!

Good for you trying out a yoga class. I personally love "fusion" workouts...I use DVD's that combine cardio, stretch and strength especially on days when I am limited on time. Ellen Barrett is one instructor I like, but there are others if you are interested. I haven't seen much on SP about these types of classes, DVD's. You use light weights in some of them, and your own body weight for your strength training. Since I often have pain, stretching is something I probably do more than most people.

My philosophy on exercise is just to keep at IT, whatever IT works for you, and mix IT up with different types of IT's so you keep your body challenged. The exercise part is the easy part for me, I wish eating consistently came so easily!!!

I enjoy your blogs because they reflect the journey of someone seriously working towards life long change... emoticon

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TXWINS 2/28/2012 10:05AM

    It is rare that I have ever felt the endorphins that I hear others talk about. But after a yoga class on my way driving home I felt really good and energized and I imagined that must have been the endorphins. I never get that feeling after a cardio workout. The yoga workout was rather strenuous with lots of stretching and relaxing at the end, so maybe it does have something to do with combining the cardio then follow up with stretching after. Thanks for sharing your insights. Have a great week!

Comment edited on: 2/28/2012 10:06:33 AM

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SASSY5468 2/28/2012 9:52AM

    Your blog posts are always so insightful. I really appreciate how much you study, focus on yourself and strive for success. You are an inspiration! Thanks :)

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SCMAMAJONES 2/28/2012 8:35AM

    My Wii fit has a yoga program, and I've tried a few of the poses. I don't think I'm ready for yoga. I also can feel my knees twinge when I do squats or lunges, so until I drop more weight, I'm staying away from those as well. I know exactly where I get the endorphin rush -- and it's the cardio. But it has to be over 30 minutes. Shorter and I don't get it. I have to force myself to do strength training because I have limited time and don't get the same good feeling afterwards. (I do realize it's important, I'm just not there yet)

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Avoiding absolutes

Monday, February 27, 2012

It is so easy, sometimes, to use absolutes - particularly ALWAYS and NEVER. I can't say that I never say never, but I do try very hard to avoid it.

One example? I really really dislike fish or any form of seafood. (Well, technically I do eat tuna / albacore, but that's it.) I dislike liver. I dislike brussels sprouts and cauliflower and lima beans.

Will I say that I would NEVER eat any of those? No. If I had a choice between starving and eating something that would normally be a no-go for me, I'd eat. I might not look delighted, but I would eat. I'm not sure if there's any edible item out there that I would absolutely refuse to eat if the circumstances were dire enough.

The words ALWAYS and NEVER often concern me when I see them used with respect to health, fitness and weight loss. There really isn't much place for ALWAYS and NEVER in a lifestyle change. ALWAYS and NEVER depend on things not changing, so change is in direct opposition to them.

"I ALWAYS give up around this point."

Okay, so? This time is a new time. Don't give up and you can immediately say you didn't give up around this point.

"I ALWAYS blow my diet on the weekends or in the evenings."

Are you sure? Can you go back and prove that every single evening and weekend have involved excess eating? Even IF you can, this time is a new time. Make this ONE weekend or evening not a blown evening and poof, the ALWAYS is defeated.

"I'll NEVER get this weight off."

So ... if you start to lose, you'll be wrong. Since internally we know that being wrong is bad (if not deadly), we're now likely to unconsciously sabotage ourself. That just sets us up to fight our own best efforts.

"I'm NEVER able to stop my bingeing or emotional eating"

This one is kind of interesting, actually. How likely are we to remember the times we overcame an urge to binge or eat because of overpowering emotions? If we didn't do so, it isn't going to be remembered. There's such an interesting way that our minds remember a few key episodes (probably the worst ones mixed with the most recent ones) rather than all the potential situations and a ratio of times we didn't to times we did, not to mention a comparison of really bad to not so bad.

If there's a trigger food, try thinking back and see if there has ever been a time you didn't binge around that food. Or recruit someone to help you by providing a single serving or less of that food and be there for you to prevent that expanding into more. Bingo, now you've stopped one binge (with help) and proven it can be done. Similarly, with emotional eating, try to think of times you've felt particularly strong emotions and done something other than eat. Crying until you felt sick? Screaming at the top of your lungs? Curling up under the blankets? If even once you've responded to that emotion without eating, then NEVER isn't the right word.

Instead of ALWAYS or NEVER, try to put things in a past tense (that acknowledges the frequency without claiming the absolute) and a present to future tense (that expects improvement over time).

I've often had trouble keeping myself motivated at certain milestones, but I'm almost to this one and I know I can keep going. I look forward to beating more of these milestones.

I'm slowly gaining more control of my binges. With my best friend's help, I was able to limit myself to one bag of chips. I look forward to being able to enjoy a single serving and actually appreciate the flavor.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBONYSOL 4/8/2012 6:10AM

    Another interesting word is "should"; it isn't an absolute word. However, "should" is a word that one might consider using infrequently. "Should" gives one the excuse for not doing something. In fact with enough "should"s, a person could get in quite the mess. Best to stick with "I will do it"

Comment edited on: 4/8/2012 6:11:50 AM

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POMELO 3/12/2012 5:25PM

  In addition work at not using "them", "just", and "only". It does not create well-being or community. I caught myself the other day saying, "It's just me." Since I said to someone I know quite well - I said, remind me not to say that again, it isn't true. It's me.

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KIPPER15 2/28/2012 11:38PM

    I had a boss who used always and never like a mantra. I don't work for him anymore. emoticon

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KATIEK21 2/28/2012 10:54PM

  you are so right! i am so guilty of using always and never a lot! I will work on it :)

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JUSGETTENBY42 2/28/2012 8:12PM


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SM-ARTGIRL 2/28/2012 6:46PM

    Thanks! I gave up smoking in that very same way.
Every time I encountered any situation where I habitually thought "I can never get through this without a cigarette", or "I always smoke when..." I challenged myself to wait and breath and observe myself.
The craving passed and I got to show myself that never and always are pretty much abstract concepts when applied to our human brains.
I just remembered this quote:
"Habit is a second nature that destroys the first. But what is nature? Why is habit not natural? I am very much afraid that nature itself is only a first habit, just as habit is a second nature."
Blaise Pascal

Yes, you do have the power to change any habit or way of being. emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/28/2012 6:46:51 PM

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MIMIDOT 2/28/2012 9:26AM

    Love your blog. I'm afraid I'm guilty of saying ALWAYS and NEVER too often.

Good luck to you!

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GRAMPIAN 2/28/2012 6:50AM

  Lots of good sense. emoticon

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AHEALTHIERME444 2/27/2012 8:08PM

    Great blog..thanks for sharing!

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RHIANNA20 2/27/2012 7:22PM

    Very awesome and so turn. Thank you for sharing!

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MEGSBHS 2/27/2012 2:16PM

    Absolutes are probably the biggest reason I'm dealing with food issues. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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KASEYCOFF 2/27/2012 2:03PM

    That is a good blog, really good - and helpful. Thanx for posting this!

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ELVINMIA71 2/27/2012 1:56PM

    Love it! I am so guilty of the "ALWAYS" and "NEVERS"...and I have been working so hard it trying to change it and not say it any more.

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CHUBRUB3 2/27/2012 12:31PM

    Awesome blog!
You are so right! These can be very limiting words and restrict us from achieving more.
Thanks for your insight.

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_RAMONA 2/27/2012 12:01PM

    Brillian blog, Blue! (say THAT several times quickly)

My favourite line:
"There really isn't much place for ALWAYS and NEVER in a lifestyle change. ALWAYS and NEVER depend on things not changing, so change is in direct opposition to them."


I'm really sorry we got off to such a bad start, because you insire the socks off me... and it pains me to think you might not believe that when I say it. I know you will surpass even your own greatest hopes for this journey!

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ICANDOTHIS1968 2/27/2012 11:21AM

  Good reminder!

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TXWINS 2/27/2012 10:06AM

    Thanks for sharing, I particularly like what you had to say about how we sabotage ourselves with our negativity. Have a great week!

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SHERIO5 2/27/2012 9:47AM

    Lots to think about here!


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SASSY5468 2/27/2012 9:46AM

    Excellent blog! Thanks for laying this out there for us. It is definitely a fantastic reminder :)

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AKRONEWITTER1 2/27/2012 8:56AM

    emoticon It makes me realize how much I use those absolutes without even knowing it. I need to work on it and not beat myself up when I do slip. This is a new life for me and I intend to make the most of it.

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TMCLEOD4 2/27/2012 8:54AM

    Very true! Thanks for sharing!

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SCMAMAJONES 2/27/2012 7:56AM

    This is so true! Thank you for the reminder. I worked really hard on cleaning my house this weekend, and I'm trying to use the same mentality. Instead of I always mess it up again, I'm trying to think things like just do a little bit every day and it won't get as bad.

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VICKIEBETH 2/27/2012 6:38AM

    This is a great and encouraging blog. Thanks for sharing. I do think that we do too many absolutes and I hadn't thought about it. And this time around I'm really not using them but I hadn't realized. Thank you for bring this to my attention. I will work at continuing, maybe that is why I have done better in this past year and few months. I am pleased with my progress and even when I have set backs I know why and when now. I'm more aware and that is part of it.
Again thanks for sharing.

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WHQPHQ 2/27/2012 4:31AM

    Thanks for sharing this, I know sometimes I can eat a small amount of chocolate and be satisfied. Other times it pushes me over into a binge. I'm still trying to work on what my trigger is, I think is probably linked with my low self-esteem "oh I've eaten chocolate...might as well give up..I'll never lose this weight". It's a vicious circle of being down on yourself leading to self-destructive behaviour.

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A-shopping I will go

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Didn't actually end up buying much, though.

I knew I was wearing an 18 in plus sizes from heading to Lane Bryant a couple weeks ago, but for once I decided that I refused to buy jeans or slacks that were wide enough to pull all the way up to my upper thighs. That has been one of my major peeves wearing "fat" clothes - and seems to be LB's favored style.

Today I went to Torrid. Not much in the way of selection, BUT they did have jeans. More importantly, they had jeans that were "skinny" in the calves and ankles. Wow, so very very nice. And they even had a pair of slacks that weren't huge on the bottom. So I wound up with one pair of each.

Next weekend I think I'm going to hit up a few second-hand stores and see what I can't do about replacing shirts. Neither LB nor Torrid has anything I'd be willing to wear in public or private. (Half the problem is they're into spring colors now, and the shades of pink and green and lavender ... just are not a fit with me. The other half is ruffles, frills, long past the hips, deep V-necks, off-the-shoulder, and other styles that aren't agreeable.)

Last "shopping" I did was to get an eye exam and look at frames. Vision-wise, I'm beginning to lean toward needing reading glasses. I have had a mild astigmatism, but it isn't enough to make me need lenses. But lately I've found that I can't hold the phone less than about a foot and a half from my face or it gets blurry. And I can't bring small print closer to read it. Decided that frames and lenses are priced such I'll get them in a few weeks.

Doctor told me my eyes are looking wonderfully healthy (did retinal scan and all) which is a good thing. Hehe, they even did a blood pressure check - 73/123 - very nicely in a normal range, especially given this was mid-mall wandering. (Pulse of 72, which is just fine for same.) So WOOHOO for that.

I can choose between reading glasses only or progressives. I'm thinking to go with the latter because while I can see fine in spite of the astigmatism, it has made my left eye slightly lazy, probably makes me strain just a little, and I'd really like to look at the moon without the blur.

So I've already got plans to go back in two weeks to pick frames and lenses. I've invited my daughter along for her artistic input on which look best on me. (Being 17ish years since I've had glasses, I need that.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 2/26/2012 11:16PM

    way to go emoticon new cloths are great and make you feel so good when you can get into a style you have been able to emoticon I planning on getting a new out fit for emoticon emoticon Easter its something i remember doing when i was little and in the past i have not wanted to buy a 2x out fit so this year will be different. you have me motivated to do it thanks emoticon emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 2/26/2012 10:40PM

    You are doing GREAT. Love hearing your good news. New clothes make the effort worth the work.

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CHUBRUB3 2/26/2012 2:11PM

    Yeah! You are doing great and going to be looking for smaller sizes very soon!

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WHQPHQ 2/26/2012 12:30PM

    I would love to find jeans that fit! I am a big fan of glasses =)

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SASSY5468 2/26/2012 9:45AM

    Hooray for finding jeans that you like! That's always fun :)

Yeah, I have to take my glasses OFF in order to read ANYTHING! I've decided that, instead of getting bifocals, I'm going to get an old lady chain to hang my glasses on because I always liked my grandma's glasses chains when I was a kid and it's a FANTASTIC fashion statement, right? RIGHT?! :) Ha! Have fun picking out some sassy new glasses!

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HYDROQUEEN 2/26/2012 9:05AM

    Oh to find a pair of great fitting jeans. I would love to find a good old fashioned pair WITHOUT some kind of stretchy material. These "comfort fit" jeans have a tendency to migrate south taking my underwear along for the ride. emoticonLOL. As for the glasses I would strongly recommend asking LOTS of questions. I know many people who have the progressive lenses and love them...after the adjustment time, but I didn't care for them at all. I found them to be very restrictive. I'm not sure if the frames I chose were tall enough to allow the bottom viewing area to be positioned as it should (although I was assured the frames I chose were fine) but I literally could only get one word at a time into focus while reading. I had to turn my head back and forth across a word at a time! Didn't work for me. I then tried bifocals which were better, but lost the middle vision clarity, so had to remove my glasses to use the computer and the dashboard in the car was a blur while driving in them. I'm now in trifocals and like them sooo much better. I too have an astigmatism and have no idea if that is relevant. That may be a good question to ask your eye doctor. Best of luck!

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LGAR519 2/26/2012 8:38AM

    Glad you enjoyed your shopping trip. I love to shop but haven't done any lately. I could use new glasses frames. I've had the same one for years. Very outdated! I really don't like the new styles. Wait until you get to the bi-focal stage. Hubby wears tri-focals. Ugh! My eyes are a mess due to high blood sugars. Very blurry vision. Hopefully, it will clear as my sugars drop.

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AHEALTHIERME444 2/26/2012 7:29AM

    UGGGH reading glasses-do we need yet another reminder we are getting older?!?
I am in the same place except I have been wearing contacts/glasses for distance since high school. I would be interested to hear how you like the progressives since that is where I think I am headed.

Also for jeans I think someone may have already suggested this but check Target out..they have a great selection. I went there last week and actually found a pair that fit great after looking around for a while.

Happy shopping! emoticon

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Picking a protein powder

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Well, I've found a protein powder to order and try out. It fits my requirements:

1) Whey (milk based)
2) Unsweetened
3) Unflavored

I actually found two. One was from concentrate. The one I'm ordering is an isolate. Concentrates tend to be about 70-80% protein and still contain things such as lactose (for whey-based). Isolates tend to be almost pure protein. That also makes isolates more expensive.

The tricky part with the one I'm getting is that whole unsweetened and unflavored aspect. If I were to simply add it to water, it might not be particularly palatable. (While not really the same, powdered milk is what comes to mind.) However, I have thought about the possibility of adding MY choice of sweetener (cane sugar or honey, for example) and conceivably add flavorings such as cocoa or drops of pure vanilla extract. If that doesn't work, mixing up a fruit smoothie or adding it to yogurt or fruit juice or milk are certainly options.

Since the smallest available is a 2 pound jar (about 30 scoops / servings), I should have plenty of chances to try it in a variety of forms.

More to come when I actually get it ordered, delivered and start trying it out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITKIZ 2/25/2012 10:39PM

    I'll be following this, it sounds interesting.

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AHEALTHIERME444 2/25/2012 9:24PM

    The only advice I would give you is to make sure any protein powder you are using does not have creatnine in it. My husband was using a protein powder in his smoothies in the morning that had this and had a routine physical about 6 months after he started using it. His BUN and creatinine levels which are tests for kidney functioning were elevated and his glucose was also elevated. He went off it for 6 weeks and his levels normalized. Pretty scary that it could have put him into renal failure! Apparently his doctor said this is becoming more common since protein powders have gotten more popular.

There are plenty of protein powders without it and I hope yours doesn't have it but wanted to warn you. sounds like you have a great plan. Will look forward to hearing about how you are liking it/using it.

It is obvious you are working so hard these last couple of days..keep up the good work!!

Comment edited on: 2/25/2012 9:25:26 PM

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WOMANOBRONZE 2/25/2012 8:25PM

    Wow - we must be on the same wavelength!

I went shopping today to two vitamin shops, (Linberg's and The Vitamin Shoppe) to check out the powdered protein market - prices, additives, rationale for the price differences, etc. and was impressed with the selection out there. Whey, egg, and soy seem to be the biggies, though almost anything that grows can be reduced to its protein base apparently...including hemp!

But I'm going to stick with low sodium sliced turkey in the near term and think about it some more. For 60 calories (two ounces), I get 10 grams of protein that requires NO preparation on my part (yes, I'm too lazy to shake a bottle!), tastes good, is easy to digest, and won't keep me awake if I eat it just before bed time. Also, it's one of the few foods that doesn't make me hungrier after I've eaten it (commercial smoothies are always doing that to me).

My husband told me to feel free to slurp a few raw whites "Rocky-fashion," but he's just being mean. You've probably read about that study of two groups of women limited to eating 1400 calories a day. The high protein group was supplementing their protein with 25 g of whey protein (while maintaining the 1400 calorie limit) to compare to a control group who were eating just the RDA of protein. At the end of six months, the high protein group showed an 8% weight loss as compared to the 4.1% weight loss from the control group. Furthermore, MRI of the dieters found that the high protein group had a higher percentage of muscle tissue in their thighs, too. The theory is that, everything else equal, bodies with more muscle burn more calories.

Very compelling results - I hope it works for us!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKFRAN514 2/25/2012 7:44PM

    keep us up to date on how you like the stuff. have a good week end

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CHUBRUB3 2/25/2012 12:19PM

    Have fun inventing new flavors!
Let us know how you like it.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 2/25/2012 12:12PM

    Can't wait to see what you think of it. emoticon

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LGAR519 2/25/2012 9:38AM

    I went ahead and got some but haven't used it yet. I'm still searching for the proper amount of protein that I need daily. I might even get the proper amount in my diet and won't need it. Let us know how yours does.

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WHQPHQ 2/25/2012 2:37AM

    Which brand did you buy? I've heard people bake with it or put it in omelettes.

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EXCUSES-BE-GONE 2/25/2012 1:01AM

    I would stay away from artificial sweeteners, cane sugar and go with the fruit or real vanilla. You can also stir it up in orange juice.

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NEWMOM20121 2/25/2012 12:45AM

    Also looking forward to hearing your comments on the powder.

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B-LYNN1ST 2/25/2012 12:40AM

    Oh yeah, adding things like that will help the taste. I'm a vanilla whey fan myself. I haven't ordered any online in a while, other whey based products. I can't stand waiting on shipping. But I use all kids of fruits in mines.
My fave is. Mango, 1/2 banana, and 3 just 3 strawberries.
1/2 cup of coconut milk unsweetened, and also 6oz of water with a splash of lime or lemon. It's great! I also have gotten the non sugar added whey, don't mix well, kinda chalky and I can't stand it. I use it in my soups now, because that's the only way I can get rid of the chalky taste. I wish you the best of luck with your protein choice, let me know how it turns out for you.

~Lynn~ emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/25/2012 12:40:48 AM

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TAMPATINK67 2/25/2012 12:23AM

    Look forward to hearing your comments on the powder!

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On Feet and Feeling

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feet part one:

My foot, the one that had me ease up on walking in late December, and swap completely to gym cardio (bikes and elliptical), is taking considerably long than I'd like to heal fully. At the same time keeps feeling improved, so I'm not worried as yet. After all, there's no way I can completely avoid walking on it and it doesn't end up notably pained even with a day at the mall wit my kids.

I think I need to revisit my shoes. I bought the ones I wear when the plan was lots of walking - and they are running shoes. Now more of my activity is bike (and some elliptical) at the gym, neither of which really need the heel-to-toe roll. For all I know, those could be slowing the recovery, which would make me feel silly.

Feet part two:

I finally remembered and went online to look it up. With doing the elliptical, I've noticed that my feet start to get that tingly numb "asleep" sensation after a while. I end up lifting my feel up off the step, or changing position (more toward the inside, more toward the outside, front or back), or rolling my foot rather than just keeping it flat. The last makes me think I'm being silly because I might as well be on the treadmill.

Turns out it is fairly common reaction. Because the feet aren't lifted and moved, all of the body weight is on them very constant, much like standing still. The very things I already do are some of the ways people have dealt with it. Other options seem to be wiggling the toes every so often, using one with an incline (possibly because body center of gravity changes), switching between a forward and backward pedaling cycle, keeping the time short.

Oh, and one more option I really need to try - keeping shoe lacing relatively loose so the top of the foot isn't constricted. Why? I have a high arch and I ~KNOW~ the top of my feet are ridiculously sensitive. (My reaction to even light things hitting the top of my foot is much like hitting the funny bone in the elbow ... and subsequent ache like a bruise for some time.)

Feeling part one:

I have noticed to my amusement that when I hit the gym, I never get the "endorphin rush" or whatever one wants to call it during a workout. If I push myself, I'm internally cussing at the machine or myself. (Cardio level on the bike ... the amount of resistance is just too much to keep up any length of time. I'm working on it.) Maybe for that I'd need to do longer stretches or higher intensity, but I'm happy where I am.

But, I do find when I've finished the cardio and the ST on those days and I do a little walking for final cooldown then settle down to stretch, each stretch brings me closer to a feeling of well-being. That is the point at which I feel freed of stresses, like everything I've just done has totally been worth it.

I swear I have a springier step at that point walking to the lockers than I did when I walked in the door.

Yes, I really do need to try a yoga class someday just to see if it's purely the stretching that brings that on or if it's the combination of the good workout ended with stretching. Doesn't matter which, I love that feeling.

Feeling part two:

I nearly injured myself again recently (almost two weeks ago, I think). This one was a strain at the back of my right knee toward the outside. I look it up and see stuff like "LCL injuries, IT band tendonitis" and the like. Ugh.

I head to the gym like normal, though, since it isn't really hurting walking - only certain motions. It was my ST day, and I took care to pay very careful attention to all my actions and movements. By doing so, I believe I discovered what change a few days before was at fault.

See, I've been reading different articles about weight machines. Some of those articles claim certain machines are bad for you for one reason or another. The seated ab machine, for example, and hence my recently mentioned swap to a prone one ... that is DEFINITELY more focused on the muscles doing the work.

Well, the machine in question that had warnings about it was the inner and outer hip abductor - specifically the ones where you sit with pads at about your knee area and pull your legs in or press them out. (warned against even in a SparkPeople article:
). So in their place I tried using a multi-hip machine which sets up more like the "standing abduction" exercises.

I probably can blame my form. I use the machine for front abductors and sometimes glutes if that machine is tied up, so I know how to set the height and resistance. But obviously I did something wrong. And once I realized the cause, I swapped back to the "risky" machines which have yet to give me issues, perhaps because I don't overload on weight.

While I felt the pain of it for a few more days, R.I.C.E. helps a lot, especially when we're able to identify the particular motion that exacerbates it.

Feeling part three:

One thing I've usually been good about is listening to my body and identifying pains. There's a very distinct difference in the pain of a sprained muscle, a strained tendon, a well-worked muscle, an over-extended joint, a pinched nerve, and so on. However, when I was up near my top weight, I had begun to "stop listening" because some aches were just expected. My feet were going to be achy from being walked on a lot or stood on for long periods, my knees were going to dislike long flights of stairs, my upper back and neck would generally ache from the front pull on them.

It's funny how often I can and could say I was quite healthy for an obese person. Sure, on a relative scale compared to others, I was "healthy". On a relative scale compared to me at other weights? Not a chance. I was declining and simply accepting each small change for the worse as "normal". Some I even, at 42 going on 43, could blame on aging as well.

Going in the other direction, I've started listening again and realized I don't have to settle for some not very good level of overall health and fitness that I temper with that "for an obese person". I'm aiming for healthy and fit PERIOD. It is NOT acceptable to me that I can't lift my own body weight. It is NOT acceptable to me that I hurt my foot walking - because I have all this excess weight pressing down when I tried to walk faster.

It IS acceptable to find myself feeling better and better, physically and overall, to walk out of the gym feeling satisfied and both energized and relaxed.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 2/24/2012 12:02AM

    thank you for the great post and all the wonderful information on using the elliptical and dealing with knee pain. i agree it takes for ever to get your to heal i fell in Dec in the parking lot at church and like you still have some discomfort. thank you for your words of encouragement as I was getting discouraged know slow weight is good but some times you just want see a big number on the scales. have a great week end and look forward to more great blogs
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B-LYNN1ST 2/23/2012 9:26PM

    I love your blog post. Every workout you do "own your own" is pretty much risky, but when you have a trainer who is there to help you with form, you run the risk of less injury to any body part "you're working on." I'm one who listen to my body, and I hate it when people say. If you don't feel the burn your body isn't working. Correction, if your doing the workout right, and not putting a lot of stress on that muscle or body part, your body is going to do that workout with 0 risk of injury. We can hurt ourselves at any give moment. I hope your foot gets to feeling better and soon. I have the foot falling asleep too as well, and what I do is move my foot around a lot after 5 mins or so. I call it the dead foot; because it's very numb I it feels like 100 niddles going off at the same time, and I hate it with a passion. I wish you the best of luck.

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SHELLYK972 2/22/2012 7:22PM

    I get the numbness in my feet on the elliptical.. A trainer once told me to alternate regularly between going forwards and backwards.. It really didn't help, but I like to do it to change things up and not get bored!

About the shoes.. I highly suggest going to a running store and getting fitted there.. They'll look at you walk and suggest shoes to correct whatever you're doing.. turned out the sneakers I had were too tight across and I supinate. She gave me some to try and I don't have anymore numbness!

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    i like that youbroke stuff down to the kiss method. i too am working on the ouchie normal to real normal. now if i could just keep the stress at bay,

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LIVINGFREE19 2/22/2012 4:18PM

    You have this outlined to a T.
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TMCLEOD4 2/22/2012 2:38PM

    You may want to look up (online) going in "reverse" on the elliptical. I know a lot of people do it but I read somewhere that it's very hard on the knees. If your knee is already having trouble, even a little, you might not want to do that. I had a PCL injury several years ago and need to be very careful with what I do during exercise and how I do it. For the feet tingling (going numb), I rock onto my heels and wriggle my toes for a while every so often. I don't use the elliptical much, so I don't remember exactly how often.
Soft tissue injuries seem to take forever to heal. My knee injury several years ago and my ankle sprain (about 1.5 years ago) never completely healed. Make sure you take care of yourself. Really good shoes help immensely.
One more thing, the Total Hip Machine used to make my hips pop and I think it takes really good form to use it properly. I used to tell people that it's called the "Total Hip" because that's what you'll need after using it (in case you don't know, that's a hip replacement). I never had a problem with the seated machines either.
Sounds like you're doing great! Keep working on it!

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SASSY5468 2/22/2012 2:02PM

    I am so happy that you are looking at all aspects of your journey and analyzing them! It is SO important to be AWARE! Very impressive :)

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_RAMONA 2/22/2012 2:02PM

    I am in AWE of your ability to to break everything down into small measurable pieces! I can see how this is contributing to your success in so many areas. GO YOU!

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SHERIO5 2/22/2012 1:26PM

    Keep up the journey of self-discovery!! You are learning so much, and you are persistant. You WILL do this!! emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 2/22/2012 1:17PM

    Keep working toward feeling better. You won't be let down. I had so many aches and pains I associated with being in my forties. I'm closer to 50 than 40 (47) and feel better than I ever have in my life. Don't get me wrong there are more aches and pains when I workout hard or don't give my body a rest but overall there is no comparison to back before the weight loss and exercise.

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MISSFORTE 2/22/2012 1:15PM

    Wow ! I saw you rpark on the Spark people insider today, thanks for sharing! your pics of improvement are great.

And me too about feet feeling like they are asleep on ellipical thank you for the insight!

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PARASELENIC 2/22/2012 12:51PM

    I feel in a similar way to you with exercise, Blue. I don't get that giddy endorphin rush while working out-- it's at best a zen (go, push, go, push) and at worst a (ZOMG I WANT TO DIE THIS SUCKS) kind of experience.

BUT AFTERWARD: I feel much better. I feel more stable, content, centered, and well, just DAMN GOOD. So maybe the endorphins that are produced during exercise don't really hit until after you're done?


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