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A kinder, gentler TBL

Sunday, October 04, 2009

I am not a fan of The Biggest Loser, as I've stated a few times. Of course, I've never actually watched the show, but I really don't think I have to to dislike it. I think it's wrong on several levels: the unrealistic lifestyle -- I mean, who can drop everything they have, and exercise 6 hours a day? What do you do when you've dropped the weight? How do you know the appropriate amount of exercise to maintain the weight? Do they even address maintaining?

I think the bottom line is that they're exploiting these people, and it really turns me off.

However, I'm all about education, and I'm always looking to learn about nutrition, exercise, and how to lose weight. So when I caught an advertisement for "Diettribe" on Lifetime (Friday nights), I set it up to tape.

This one I'm going to watch. I still think it's somewhat unrealistic -- they're supposed to lose 50 lbs in 4 months, or 3-4 lbs per week (which you should all know by now isn't a healthy weight loss after the first few weeks); except the petite gal, who is only supposed to lose 35. ONLY. It's taken me a year & a half to lose 30!

What I do like about the show is that it isn't a competition -- quite the opposite, it's 5 friends supporting each other. They aren't taken out of their real lives; the show comes to them. They're given a healthy eating plan of 1500 calories, 3 main meals & 2 snacks (altho it was unclear to me if any of those included treats of any kind). They're expected to work out an hour and a half a day -- which is definitely more than most people have time for, but at least it's not a crazy 6 hours a day. AND they have a psychotherapist (who's lost 60 lbs and kept most of it off herself) to boot.

So I'm going to keep watching. This is the second season, and I'd never heard of it before.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 10/4/2009 11:03AM

    I don't watch Biggest Loser either. The end results are amazing but I often wonder how they handle real life after the show and if any of them put the weight back on without a support system. It would be a shame if they didn't have a support system after the show; even if they didn't 'win'.

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KARBIE18 10/4/2009 8:05AM

    I happened to catch Diet Tribe on Friday, and thought it was pretty good. The trainer didn't scream, the friends were supportive (as you mentioned), and the diet seemed healthy and realistic. One of the girls even said she could imagine herself eating that way for the rest of her life.

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STARTSPARKING 10/4/2009 6:41AM

    I don't have the Lifetime Channel because I only have basic cable. However, I heard about this show when the series debuted, so I watched the premiere online. (I'm not sure that feature it's available anymore.) It was about a bride and her bridesmaids losing weight in preparation for the big event. I agree it's more realistic than The Biggest Loser, especially since the competition aspect is out of the equation. It's probably why it's not as popular as The Biggest Loser. By the way, it's no wonder there has only been ONE "Where Are They Now" TBL episode although the show has been on the air for eight seasons. As you said, most of the contestants have not been able to maintain their dramatically fast weight loss.

I have lots of stuff on my TiVo, but I may see if I can check out "Diettribe" online again.

Comment edited on: 10/4/2009 6:43:43 AM

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QUARKY 10/4/2009 6:07AM

    Yeah, they have similar shows in the UK, where a weight loss guru will come to someone's house and demand they make huge changes to their lifestyle. It works over the few weeks she does it, and they lose loads of weight, but then it doesn't work longterm, because these people have huge emotional problems to overcome which she doesn't deal with.

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A few realizations

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Lately I've felt like I've been working so hard, but getting so little done -- nothing to do with weight loss at all, just RL. At the end of the day I don't feel like I've accomplished much, yet I'm exhausted.

I had a light bulb moment yesterday. I think a large part of this has to do with the fact that I'm living with my husband again. Yup, he's a time suck. Leftovers went a whole lot farther when it was just me, so I didn't have to cook as much. Or clean as much -- I swear that man is almost incapable of washing a pot (but I love him for the fact that he will cook for himself, sometimes). There are the little errands he throws into my days (like dropping off his dry cleaning). And, of course, there's just spending time with him.

Don't get me wrong, I know after spending more than a year apart that I wanted to be a couple again. It's just nice to realize why I so often feel like I work so hard, yet accomplish so little (sort of like weight loss sometimes).

A few ramblings:

I still have one more pound until I can take my 30 lbs lost photo. I'm trying to mind my BLTs this week, because I think I let them get a little out of hand last week, which may explain why I didn't lose as much as I wanted to.

I hope I like the photo. Lately I've been looking in the mirror and thinking "damn! who is that small person?". Yet technically I'm still almost 20 lbs overweight. Weird!

My almost passing out on the treadmill on Monday was almost definitely due to fasting (duh!). At that point the only meal I'd missed was breakfast, but I need my fuel! My 2 others runs went much better; in fact, the only time I walked was during my warmup and cooldown. My hamstring bothered me after my run on Wednesday, which was weird, but is totally fine after yesterday's run.

Oh, and I am so totally in love with the chocolate mousse recipe from "The Flat Belly Diet". I won't list other people's recipes, but you can always take a look at the cookbook (you don't have to buy it!). It's really simple, and just has tofu, chocolate, vanilla & almond extract, and a little yogurt. The texture really is mousse-like, altho it doesn't quite taste like mousse -- but it's still good! I think a little sweetener would actually make it divine, and once I get down to my GW I might add some, but it's still pretty good without it.

And I was so glad I had some waiting for me after my run yesterday! It was already dinner time and I still had to make dinner, but I sure needed something. So dessert before dinner sometimes works!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARBIE18 10/3/2009 9:24AM

    That's so funny that you call DH a time suck - that's exactly what I call mine! Sounds bad, but that's exactly what he is.

Congrats on the 29 pounds you've already lost - you are the definition of a success story! I can't wait to see the picture either.

That mousse sounds heavenly! I'll have to try it.

By the way, I didn't get your message on my status until I got home from the store, but that's exactly what I did - got lots of stuff for soup. Great minds think alike!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 10/3/2009 9:23AM

    It would be quite an adjustment after living on your own for so long. One more person can make a lot of difference when you are use to something else. Glad to hear your running is going to well - you rock! :)

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KEAKMAN 10/3/2009 8:56AM

    I can't wait to see that "30 pounds lost" photo! I am hoping hoping hoping that you return from vacation and find that you have reached that milestone. (honey, we need to go on vacation again so I can lose more weight!)

Scott and I have realized (after being married over 12 years!) that we were single people for so long that we still need to be single people sometimes. Not that we don't LOVE spending time together, but I NEED him to be gone a few evenings a week and he NEEDS me to be gone a few mornings a week. We both use that time to do what we want to do, with the music up loud or not, in our jammies or not, just being selfish I guess, but it works for us. Once we got over the feeling guilty about it and admitted that we work better that way, we love our together times even more.

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BIKERDIANE 10/3/2009 6:28AM

    I just bought the flatbelly pocketbook yesterday! I will have to try the mousse!

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Monkey see, monkey do?

Friday, October 02, 2009

My husband often kids me that my gravestone ought to say "but it was on sale!". I'm thinking "there's always room for dessert" is actually more me. Or maybe both.

When we went out to lunch on Wednesday, turns out he had a coupon for a free dessert -- if you sign up for whatever Fridays calls its club, you get that in the month of your birthday. He asked me if I wanted dessert -- we don't get dessert all that often, there's usually home baked stuff at home, but when we do get it, we share it.

I said no. I'd much rather eat something I've baked, where I know what went into it (and just how good it is) than something that has a gazillion calories. Not that Fridays' desserts aren't good; they are. And I'm not into deprivation, either, we're still slowly working our way through his birthday cupcakes.

I told him maybe I'd have a few bites if he ordered it, and that he could choose it. Which should be a treat for him -- I'm the one who always chooses dessert, and it isn't usually something he would choose.

In the end, he gave the certificate to the table next to us (total strangers). Apparently if I wasn't willing to have some, he didn't want it either. He's not all about sweets the way I am, although he does enjoy them.

I'm not sure if this was a case of good habits rubbing off, or not wanting to corrupt me.

I do eat dessert out occasionally, though. Everything has its place. This week just wasn't the time for it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 10/2/2009 10:28PM

    My hat's off to you and your husband for making such a sensible choice. That was awfully nice of your husband to give the certificate to the next table. Keep up your great work. You are lucky to have such a supportive husband, and he is fortunate to have such a good role model in you.
emoticon

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DDHEART 10/2/2009 6:22PM

    Whatever the reason......good going husband of yours!

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LEONALIONESS 10/2/2009 10:00AM

    My waistline is VERY lucky that 99% of places don't have vegan desserts on the menu. Ha! That said, in the rare instance I'm out someplace that *does* have vegan cake I absolutely cannot resist. It's just sooooo rare and I am weak. Hee.

Good for you (and Hubby!) on making a healthy choice.
Oh gosh, I love me some cake. But cookies or brownies are what's been calling my name lately. I make my stuff with prune puree instead of oil and have been playing with reducing the recipes sugar amounts anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 (depending on the recipe) to help reduce calories. Banana bread muffins survived a reduction in oil by 50% and a 75% sugar cut really well. Mmmm.

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NERVOUSWRECKIAM 10/2/2009 9:09AM

    Good job!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 10/2/2009 9:04AM

    Wow that's great and I'm sure your 'neighbors' were surprised and appreciated it. :)

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KEAKMAN 10/2/2009 9:00AM

    What a classy thing to do! He didn't try to force/weasle you into doing it "his" way, AND he gave the coupon to someone else (let THEM get their arteries all clogged!)

I so admire your ability to have just a few bites when it comes to desserts....I love them, the ooey-gooey-er the better, and it would be very difficult to stop after a few tastes.

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SEKSUNSHINE 10/2/2009 8:48AM

    I think that was very nice of him. He is truly thinking of you and that was a sign of respect for how hard you are working! Kudos to hubby! emoticon

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That magic number

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I'm not talking about your GW, or even what you want to weigh this week (altho we'll get to that in my rambling way). I'm talking about that magic number we all don't want to go over. We all have one, and at some time or another, we've probably gone over it. I know I sure did!

So I'm going to put it here in black & white so to speak, to be accountable: I don't want to go over 140 again. I'm barely under it, so there's a pretty good chance I might with this upcoming vacation. But here's what I know: even if I do, I have the tools to get it back under 140 and to keep it there.

I may still in reality be 20 lbs overweight at 140, but I like the way I look. I feel more confident, a tad more outgoing.

So I lost a little weight this week, but not nearly as much as hoped for. Not sure why, there could be any number of reasons, but nothing stands out like a sore thumb to me. Altho in WW parlance, I am now at 18 points; you can't go lower than that. Would 19 points suit my body better? I'm curious. I think I'm going to try & stick with 19 points this week (plus my WPs & APs), and see what happens. 1 measly little point a day doesn't seem like much, but it adds up to 7 points a week. I'm pretty active . . . so we'll see.

Still, despite saying the number wasn't what I wanted, it is: I'm still in the 130s. The only reason I'd really like to lose a couple of pounds before I leave is to give myself some wiggle room. I'd love to come back still in the 130s, but I know myself. I'll walk a lot, but I'll probably spend at least a few days relaxing -- not to mention all the traveling between cities and countries where I won't be able to get much exercise.

I used to think I didn't gain weight on vacations, but this past year of being on WW has proven me to be wrong. I don't usually gain a lot, but those little bits add up. So just knowing I have the accountability of weighing in each week helps.

OTOH, I can already feel the siren call of winter calling. It's been chilly the last couple of days. In fact, I bought 2 new yummy teas yesterday (both Republic of Tea, which I like): Double chocolate yerba mate and Chocolate coconut. Yum! Not all chocolate teas are good, but I really liked both.

The first time I lost weight with WW I lived in VT, worked full time, and didn't have a treadmill (altho we did get an exercise bike eventually). So I know I can do it. It's just been a long time since I had to deal with a real winter.

It is so much easier to be a couch potato in winter, tho. I've been feeling a bit less energized lately -- not really less motivated, less energized. I don't know if it has to do with this cold (which is getting better, slowly) or the shortening days. But I also love the brisk days of fall. My mom said she hates this time of year, because of the short days, but I love it. Winter is a different story.

So am I being obsessive about vacation and weight? You betcha. Another fine line to walk, and one I don't traditionally walk very well. My husband & I enjoy movies, and we tend to watch the ones we like over & over again. Til we have some favorite quotes. At lunch yesterday, he quoted me a line from "Independence day": enough with the fat lady. You're obsessed with the fat lady (it goes something like that, anyway).

What he doesn't get is that I do have be somewhat obsessed. I know how easy it is for me to gain weight even when I'm being vigilant . . . and just how very long it can take to lose a few pounds.

Still, it came to me today: we do have to plan. We do have to think about what we'll to be successful. But in the end, we have to live in the present or our life will pass us by. What will happen on vacation is my future, what happens right now, right this very minute is what really counts.

  
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DDHEART 10/1/2009 5:59PM

    We do need to obsess a bit.....we've been there ,done that and bought the t-shirt in a larger size to prove it so yes we do need to obsess a bit, but I like the way you have come to the point at the end of recognising that what happens right now is what counts. Go, have a great time and when you come back if the scale is up a bit get back to basics. emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 10/1/2009 2:02PM

    I support you 100% - living in the now is good, with an eye on the future. As they say, "fail to plan, plan to fail". I hope you have an awesome vacation - you deserve it!

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KEAKMAN 10/1/2009 12:52PM

    Sorry about another quote, but this relates to your final paragraph, "But in the end, we have to live in the present or our life will pass us by. What will happen on vacation is my future, what happens right now, right this very minute is what really counts." I like that a lot, and I just happened to read a similar thought today...

"The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."
Jack London

Hmmm, if you AND Jack London are saying the same thing to me, maybe I had better listen!

Anyway, I like to idea of trying one extra point....I have been reading a lot lately about exercise and weight loss and NOT eating enough. It is hard to say, yes, I will eat 19 points (or for me 2000 calories) and not get frantic about it. But maybe that is what our bodies need.

Best wishes. You are wise and thoughtful, and I know you will do well. (and I am REALLY trying not to be jealous of your trip....can not WAIT to hear all about it!)

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No easy answers, but simple solutions

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I don't think there's any one answer to our obesity crisis. I think there are many causes: processed foods, social disconnect, lack of nutrition education, sedentary lifestyles -- the list goes on and on, and the reasons are different for everyone.

There ARE some simple solutions, although simple doesn't mean easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. If it were easy, we'd never regain weight.

But here's one simple solution (that isn't easy) that I've blogged about many times already: get the junk out. The processed foods. Yes, they're very, very convenient, but boy oh boy, they really are evil. Even most of the good ones.

A funny thing happens when you eat mostly real food: your tastes really do change. It happens slowly, but suddenly you realize that something you used to crave no longer satisfies you or tastes all that good. I find that happening more and more these days.

Take Larabars, for instance. Of course they aren't real food either, but they're damn close. Read the ingredient list. There's often only 3 ingredients! I didn't used to much like them. They weren't sweet enough, there's no "real" chocolate (aka chocolate chips or a chocolate coating). Yet upon recently trying them, I find that they really are satisfying.

Don't get me wrong; I will always love me some high fat, highly sweet dessert. It's in the genes. I even still wish I could have one every single night. But the payoff for eating healthy and getting healthy really is even sweeter. It takes time, and it's hard, but it's oh so worth it.

I've eaten healthy for a long time, but there's always room for improvement. I used to rely pretty heavily on Amy's frozen foods, and nice wraps from Whole Foods. Now I make almost all my own meals. Yes, I don't work, and that does give me more time. Someday I'm pretty sure I'll be working again, most likely part time. It will be harder, but I know that making my own meals from scratch is necessary to my healthy lifestyle.

My husband and I butt heads over this frequently. He likes highly processed foods and fast foods. And if he wants them, he's got to go out and get them himself. I won't enable him. Which is why I don't buy his soda, either.

Do you have a simple solution?

  
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MOMMA_GRIZZ 9/30/2009 10:41PM

    I agree but I like to call it 'clean' eating. I just feel better if I eat unprocessed foods now. If I do eat a processed food, my body knows it and then I suffer. It is a strange thing what our bodies adjusts to isn't it? I don't think there is a simple solution - it's an overall solution really - changing both physical and mental attitudes towards getting healthy. I wish there was a simple solution - it sure would make it a lot easier and yes, you're right if there was a simple solution there would not be an obesity crisis.

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LEONALIONESS 9/30/2009 10:49AM

    Agreed!

I only get processed food from WFM, so I at least feel like that's a big leap over conventional brands. No artificial crap or hydrogenated oils, at the very least.

I've been doing more cooking lately due to being broke all the time all of a sudden. I have bought things like pre-made seitan (because I didn't plan ahead!) but I also usually make my own seitan. I've pickled beets this week, I've dried my own fruit, made my own pickles and experimented with making soy milk. I want to make almond milk, too, once I have some money for almonds and cheesecloth. I make biscuits, soups, muffins, etc. from scratch. I make homemade caramel and the occasional PB cup. Ha. I found a salt water taffy recipe that I MUST do. I haven't had it in seven years(!)

I need to start making my own bread, as well. I have a bread machine, I just need to find some vegan recipes. Oddly enough, the book that came with the machine calls for stinking dry milk in most recipes. Milk in bread? What? Um, no. Gross. I really really want an ice cream maker so I can try making my own ice cream. No one makes the flavors I want commercially (pumpkin! pistachio!) so I intend to do it myself!

There will always be a place for processed food in my life. I enjoy vegan jerky and that amazing Sheese vegan cheese too much. I think, in some respects, the whole vegan thing makes it a tiny bit harder. For omnis, real cheese that isn't something like Kraft counts as 'clean'. If I want cheese and don't want to involve cows, I have to do a vegan processed version. Sheese is clean by WFM standards, so it's WAY above omni "processed cheese food" like Velveeta or Kraft singles but it's more processed than dairy cheese. I'd much rather eat processed foods, personally, than animal products, though, so it's a trade off I'm willing to make. :) I just do it moderately ('cause that Sheese is pricey and I need to mail order it!!!)

Yes, I could eat only fruit, veggies, grains, beans, etc. all day, every day but I really don't want to. Just like I could try raw veganism but don't want to. I like mock meats and I like good vegan cheese and I like soy ice cream. I shouldn't have to give up a taste I like just to wear the 'clean' label (not directed at you, I'm thinking about the other vegans who are big into how clean they are). There is this huge sort of contest amongst some vegans to see who can be more 'pure' and lord it over all the so called 'junk food vegans'... It's tiresome. Ugh. Sometimes, when talking to other vegans online, I know why omnis want to pound us. LOL.

Sorry, I went all freeformy and off topic.
Good blog!

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KEAKMAN 9/30/2009 8:51AM

    My simple solution is similar to yours...no junk in the house. I make what we eat (except for when we eat out). And because we are really trying super hard to get our house paid off ASAP, we are on a tight budget, so that limits our eating out (a bit). I like cooking, when I have time to do it well and carefully, and with my new fall schedule (Tuesdays and Thursdays semi-off) I have more time to cook.

You are right..."simple" does not equal "easy" but it isn't hard to do. And Scott likes anything I cook, or will try it, and knows that my feelings don't get hurt if what i make isn't so great. The rule is "tell me if you like or don't like it - I can't read your mind, and I might make it again and you'll be stuck eating it!"

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