Thursday, December 06, 2012
So I have been reading this book, and for those who don't know, this book is about a personal trainer who purposely gives up his healthy diet and workout plan so that he can get inside the heads of his clients. I have hit the point in the book where he has gained about 75 pounds and is going to lose the weight.
So, he has cleaned his pantry of all the "criminal" food and it is Day 1 of his Fat2Fit Stage. Nearly hours into the first day, he catches himself slipping. He started his morning with a staple from his healthier days . . . a Spinach Shake. But the hunger pangs arrive hours later. He had anticipated hunger pangs, but not headaches from lack of his Mountain Dew. He was stressing that his snacks would not be sugar coated. He anticipated that the hardest part would be the exercise, as he was winded and out of shape. The struggle between what he should eat and what he wanted to eat was in the forefront.
Drew talks about all the television ads for dieting and exercise. He thankfully dispels one thing in his book that I have ALWAYS believed. While everyone says that exercise and nutrition go hand in hand, the key to losing weight and keeping it off lies in what you eat. It is the most important factor in losing weight. So he shares that exercise helps, but it isn't the critical piece. He also says that you need an approach that takes into account that you will eat at restaurants, fall off the wagon and hit plateaus.
So he decided to forgo his personal training regiment and only do stretching and basic core exercises. He would change his nutrition first.
Another tip he gives, and I'll sum it up . . . change your routine so that when confronted with opportunities to make choices, you make the right ones. It's about making more right choices than wrong, and eventually, for me, it becomes habit. You have to keep it that way! You also have to plan to have healthy snacks. Did I say that already? I say that all the time!
My husband gets annoyed with me because instead of buying the large bags of baked healthy snacks, I will buy individual servings. The cost comparison is insane. But let's face it . . . they are convenient . . . they are portioned . . . they are perfect. If I take that larger bag and split it into smaller bags, there are a few factors to consider . . .
1) If you don't portion them out, then forget it . . . there is going to be an urge to just grab a handful as you walk through the kitchen. And it is not just me grabbing, it's the entire family. And grabbing a couple here and there adds up!
2) It's easy to weigh them when you want a serving, but also easy to grab a couple extra to snack on during the process.
3) I am not going to eat two bags of individual servings that are sealed by the manufacturer. The calorie content is right there on the bag, and I paid more money for it to be that way. But those little zip lock bags that I package are a different story. Sorry - it's true.
So as I tell my husband, the amount of extra snacking on the large bag is dangerous calorie-wise . . .and I'm not convinced that you don't spend more by the time you take into account all the extra snacking on an open bag.
Drew mentions the Boy Scout Motto . . . "Be Prepared." More often than not, you fall off the wagon when you are not prepared.
So my first take-away is to prepare some healthy meals for lunches. I'm writing this one down . . . let's see how far I get.
By the way . . . he also offers some recipes in the book! I'm a little terrified of the Spinach Shake, but the Mexican Chicken is looking doable!
Stay tuned . . .
Friday, November 23, 2012
In my last blog, I was coming up with strategies to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder, and one of my two strategies was to purchase a book on weight loss . . . the emotional aspect, not the science, and to blog about the book on a regular basis. I know the science of weight loss. You need a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound. I've lived weight loss my entire life. It's not the science that messes me up, it's ignoring the science. So I wanted the emotional, not the science.
Let's face it . . . there are a zillion books out there. So it was tough to narrow it down. I actually ended up finding two books, and there is some method to my madness. There is also a confession or two.
First the confessions . . .
1) I need to stop failing at exercise and push through the pain as much as possible. I have an undiagnosed issue with pain . . . possibly fibromyalgia, but we're not sure. But I need to push through, and that's something that I've not been doing consistently.
2) Since my husband started working 2nd shift, I'm alone at night. Over the last couple of months I got sucked into watching The Dr. Phil Show. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I never liked that guy. How did this happen? And even worse, the guy makes sense!
So the two books that I've chosen are related to the above. The first is Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit by Drew Manning. This is a book that I started reading several months ago, and then life got busy. It is about a very fit personal trainer who . . . to get into the mindset of his clients . . . purposely over a six month period gave up meal plans and embraced the typical American diet. He gave up exercising entirely and avoided physical exertion whenever possible. During that time, he gained nearly 75 pounds. I read the "gain" section of the book, but I need to finish the section where he loses the weight, as that is going to be key. Let's face it . . . I know how to gain it! And in fact, some of his Top 10 Food Addictions while he was gaining could easily be some of mine (although I don't think we can find Zingers in New England). He was addicted to Mountain Dew, Zingers, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cap'n Crunch, Taco Bell Grilled Stuft Burritos, Peanut butter and Nutella on white bread, SpaghettiO's (be still my heart), Hot Pockets, Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars and Pringles. And this was a guy who never ate those things, and then had to give it up.
Talk about dedication to your job . . . going that far to get into the heads of your clients. I really must finish that book, as I think those insights could help me tremendously.
And so my second book, which I just downloaded to my Kindle last night . . . The Ultimate Weight Solution - The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom by Dr. Phil McGraw. I still cannot believe that I got hooked on this darn show. It is a daytime show, so I never saw it because I work. But there is this odd channel on my cable which shows it at 7:00 p.m. each night, and since my husband is not home to object . . . and since I was flipping channels and happened to watch one of his shows, I later got hooked. I chose this one for a couple of reasons.
1) Because 7 keys is less than 8 - ha!
2) Because the guy makes sense the few times I've heard him talk about weight loss on his show . . . even though I still can't believe that I watch his show.
3) Because I knew I would be able to hear his voice as I read the pages . . . and sometimes that kind of connection can be huge.
I also had noted somewhere that those who followed through were successful. Of course, I'm not idiot . . . they could be trying to sell a book.
So those are my two choices. I will be checking in on a regular basis, so stay tuned.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
I am looking back over these past several months of changing my habits and my eating, and I'm so thankful for the progress I've made and the great people I've met along the way. No matter how dismal life may be, you can always make a list of things for which you are thankful and turn negatives into positives. I truly believe it is one of the keys to staying upbeat . . . well, that and a whole lot of sarcasm and humor.
As the winter comes upon us, I begin to see the signs of SAD creeping it's ugly head into my life. For those who don't know, SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder. I typically ignore the signs, and then by late December I realize just how far I've sunk. By January, there is no turning back.
SAD is a real thing. It's not some made up mumbo-jumbo. It affects as many as 6 out of 100 people in the U.S., and even more can have milder forms. If you live in a northern region, where skies are normally gray from October to March, lack of sunshine can will bring it on. There is research that proves brain chemistry is affected by bright light. While less than 1% of the population in sunny Florida report symptoms of SAD, 10% of Alaskans report severe winter depression. Itís more common in women and typically will starts in oneís 20s. The symptoms subside in the spring and return in late fall. If you want to combat it, you have to be proactive. You can't wait until it is at it's worst.
I know that SAD is responsible for me being able to lose weight from Spring to Fall, and then to fall off the wagon beginning at Thanksgiving. I always blame the holidays for my departure from healthy eating, but the reality is that I should be able to have the same mindset to get through. But I clearly DO NOT. You can have that holiday cheer . . . the cookies, candies, cocktails, cake, cupcakes (all C's by the way), but you have to get back on track. I never can get back on track. Why? Because by late fall, if you suffer from SAD, forget about it!
So this year I told a friend of mine that I was going to begin to take care of mine in November. I also told that friend to remind me . . . bug me . . . hunt me down and make sure that I did it. And as friends do . . . she reminded me and she bugged me on the weekends when I saw her. I love friends.
So I made an appointment with my doctor to talk about it, and before doing so, I did some research on-line on light therapy. My doctor was very excited about my research, and she was also very pro-light box! So I decided to bite the bullet and drop some cash on a light box . . . which I've ordered and expect to get soon.
It's funny how when you talk to people about these things, others will chime in and say they have trouble during the winter months as well. I always say . . . the strong people are the ones that talk about it . . . not the ones who hide it in the closet or under the seat cushions of the couch.
RECOGNITION is huge.
I recognize that I have a problem with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
I recognize that while I've been great about tracking my food, I'm starting to lean toward the high end of my calorie range and I struggle at night with wanting to go over that range. I will typically call it quits and go to bed . . . but that's no life.
So I've also decided in the coming days that I will purchase a book on weight loss . . . the emotional aspect, not the science. I KNOW THE SCIENCE! I've narrowed my choices to three . . . and I'll be making a choice after eating my turkey today. And once I do, I'll be blogging about the book on a regular basis (or at least that's my plan). So stay tuned.
So . . . make a list of the things for which you are thankful.
And . . . if you have issues with SAD . . . it's November and time to make an action plan. I've got mine ready.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
So my 14.5 pound loss in the challenge was not met, I was short by 1 lousy little pound which I think was a missed opportunity while on vacation. I know where I went wrong . . . it was EPCOT in Orlando. I love that park.
My husband and I had a really nice dinner at one of the French restaurants. We shared a lobster bisque. I had filet mignon with scalloped potatoes. We shared a Creme Brulee. I had wine. It was our most expensive meal . . . both monetarily and calorie-wise. However, I would not change a thing. There was success if you looked (the word share).
Second EPCOT undoing was a little shop in Germany . . . Karamell-Kuche . . . which resembles the Werthers Original shop in the commercials they've been showing. I didn't know the shop was there, but as I walked buy I could see through the window . . . a baker drizzling Werthers caramel on a cupcake. Are you kidding me? Of course I had to go in. Turns out this shop was not there last time I was at the park in 2010. It opened a few months later. So this was a new find for me, and it was heaven. They had a case full of fresh bakery items and every single one of them had caramel in some form. Fresh Werthers caramel . . . everywhere.
My husband and I each bought one treat, and a small bag of caramels to take home. We ate the treats right away. The caramels are still floating around. There is success there . . . as that's not what I would have done a year ago. I would have bought numerous treats to take back to the hotel. And I would have bought other items in other places at the park.
Success isn't measured by what you eat . . . it's measured by how much. Sure, if you eat a lot of garbage you're not going to be as successful. But a fresh little caramel turtle isn't going to make or break your day if you're tracking on a regular basis.
I didn't gain . . . I just didn't lose that week. And that's a win! That is success!
So a 10 week challenge that included a 2-week vacation, and I lost 13.5 pounds. That's success.
I am researching my reward. More to come, but I promise you it won't be drizzled in caramel. :)
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
As part of the Biggest Loser challenge on SparkPeople, I had to set goals the first week. Here we are 10 weeks later, with weigh-in looming for the final week and I am looking back at those goals.
The original question that I had was . . . is setting a higher than usual goal setting myself up for failure, or providing a challenge?
My goals 10 weeks ago were . . .
1. Participate in the RTC and ITC goals, while encouraging others on the team and celebrating our success. I have already started working on this one, and this blog post is a part of this week's goals.
Truth be told, I could have done better on this. Life just got in the way. I will definitely try to do better in future challenges. DEFINITELY!
2. Track my food daily and stay within my range to continue and extend my 105 days on the road to healthy eating! Well, today was Day 107, so I feel like this one is moving by momentum at this point.
O.K. - let's talk about that one a bit. Yes - I had this goal of staying on track day by day by day. When I went on vacation, I felt that if I broke that cycle it would all come tumbling down. However, there were some days where I didn't count the way I could have. NOTE: I said "could" have, not "should" have. I was on vacation. I tracked my food every single day with the exception of three days on vacation. Did I overdo it on those three days? No . . . I just didn't track.
3. Make plans to get through a two week vacation that falls right in the middle of this challenge I will battle having no kitchen, eating restaurant food, and try to stay active to maintain or lose during this time frame. This one is a big one. I have never stayed healthy on a vacation. The temptation of eating out and "being on vacation" is just a tough one for me. However, this time will be different. There will be healthy snacks. There will be water. There will be structure. There will be evening blogging on Spark (if possible) to stay accountable. There will be one large meal a day surrounded by smaller ones. Let's just say, I've got some plans. I have to make it to Day 175 (which is the last day of the challenge).
Reality is that regardless of whether I stayed on track every single day, I still made it to Day 175 without gaining weight. Let me rephrase this in big bold letters. I WENT ON VACATION AND DID NOT GAIN WEIGHT. That was 13 days . . . and for me personally, that is HUGE!
4. Revive my blog and post at least three times a week. This is a must, and should not be a problem.
This is one that I could have done better on. Time just wasn't on my side. So it's a goal for the upcoming Winter Challenge, right?
5. Find a way to increase my fitness level, which is the one thing that has really been a problem for me over these last 105 days. This one is the toughest for me, because I still have an unexplained medical issue that is still in the process of resolution and has taken a backseat. When I exercise, even a small amount, I have muscle aches similar to flu the next day. The more I do, the worse the pain. And so far, it is unresolved. I've been "managing" the pain. Does it keep me from exercise - absolutely. Nothing worse than getting out of bed with a myriad of aches and pains and trying to make it to work each day. But this is something I have to mange and get better at, until a solution is found (still in the works).
Yes - I could have done better on this one. I did learn that I am capable of much more, and that's a great thing. Did I use that capability as best as I could? Probably not. So there is room for improvement.
So here is the deal . . . 14.5 pounds was my goal over the 10 weeks. I will be surprised if I make that goal. However, anything over 10 is success given that I went on a 13 day vacation.
I say SUCCESS! But we'll see how the numbers pan out on Thursday morning.
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