Monday, September 16, 2013
... about planning for maintenance while you are still losing weight,
EXCELLENT article about weight loss and weight maintenance!
Saturday, September 14, 2013
"If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?
If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous?
If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? "
— Author Unknown
You have the opportunity to make healthy dietary and exercise choices. You have the opportunity to do something about losing weight. Go for it!
Friday, August 02, 2013
I have an 88-year-old aunt (who was really our family's matriarch, and like a grandma to most of us), who seems to be in her last days.
I will consider attending her funeral in Canada. However, there are a few complications:
* possibly an MRI and a KU Med Center appointment to re-schedule
* expensive airline tickets, etc. (Depending on the dates I google, costs vary from around $700 to $1100. I guess I could spring for either, if I decided to, but, I'm struggling with how to make that decision. I'll try to priceline it, and that might reduce the cost by several hundred dollars.)
* some anxiety about flying alone. I seem to get stressed over things that did not used to stress me, prior to developing multiple sclerosis.
Please think of me (and, send up a prayer or two, if you are a praying person) while I wait for updates on my aunt's situation, and attempt to make the decision about whether to attend the funeral or not.
A side note -- I was recently in Canada for our vacation, and had an awesome visit with her. Other family members said that her good days were very infrequent. Often she would not get out of bed; some days she wouldn't open her eyes. The day that we were there, we had coffee and doughnuts with her in the nursing home dining room, and a nice visit. It felt like a gift to spend that blessed time with her, so soon before the end.
Friday, May 17, 2013
I may have posted this before, but, I believe that "change it up" is such an important strategy (both to "bust" plateaus, and, even to help avoid them), that I wanted to post it again.
It's all about change.
When I experienced my first plateau, the advice that I got was to decrease calories and increase exercise.
While that is not bad advice, it immediately concerned me. Because I knew that plateaus are a normal part of dieting. And, I'd already made a lot of changes. I just couldn't see myself commiting to decreasing calories and increasing exercise every time I reached a plateau. I was already doing almost as much as I was willing to consider.
So, I started researching plateaus, and found out, that, although decreasing calories and increasing exercise are two options, it's really about "change", and, those are not the only two changes possible. When you are in a plateau, your body has likely become accustomed to the changes you've already made.
Homeostasis is a fancy word for your body's preference for staying the same. Once it figures out that is already HAS changed, it doesn't want to do anymore of that. (Because... what if you are starving it?!) So, it becomes more efficient at using calories, and hangs on to pounds and fat.
So, we need to trick out bodies into thinking the famine is over. If your body doesn't know what to do next, your plateau might be over soon.
Here's a list of things you can do to "change it up". I'll start with the 2 most obvious ones. However, others are often just as effective. Or, more.
1. Decrease your calories.
2. Increase your exercise.
3. Increase your calories. I know. This sounds counter-productive. However, it can increase your metabolism, and it can trick your body into believing that you are no longer going to be starving it. Then, decrease back down.
4. Decrease your exercise. Same reason. Then, increase it again.
5. Change what you eat.
- If you've been eating low carb, add some carbs back in. Especially the complex carbs with lots of fiber. However, avoid or limit "whites" (white flour, pastas, baked goods, too much sugar, potatoes, corn). Your body will change simple carbs into sugar. Sugar makes you fat.
- Try eating lots of vegetables and low fat protein.
- Be sure that you are getting enough fat. Good fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, almonds, peanuts or other nuts, natural peanut butter, dark chocolate, etc can actually help you to lose weight, if you eat them in moderation. You have to eat fat to lose fat. Fat grams don't make you fat. Sugar makes you fat.
6. Change your exercise routine.
- Be sure that you are doing a combination of cardio and strength training. If you are running, try biking. Add a new muscle group to work on during strength training. Maybe start some yoga or swimming. You may wish to change your routine every 6 weeks, or so.
- If you aren't doing much strength-training, muscle-building exercise, increase that to 3x per week. Building muscle increases metabolism. Increased metabolism burns fat. (Caution: Muscle weighs more than fat. You may gain pounds before you lose them. Let the tape measure become your friend; you will likely begin to lose inches before you start losing pounds again, and, that's OK.)
7. Eat more frequently. If you are only eating 3 meals a day, increase the number of times that you eat. Try for 3 smaller meals and 2-3 snacks per day, rather than 3 larger meals. Try not to consume more than 400 calories at a sitting.
8. Be careful about food additives, etc, such as artificial sweeteners, trans-fatty acids (hydrogenated oils), etc. Even calorie-free additives can slow weight loss. Sometimes, they require the liver or other body parts to work harder to remove them. Then, your body can't work as hard to remove fat.
9. Drink more water, if you're not currently drinking an adequate amount.
10. Calorie cycling.
- ** If you keep your calories above your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) every OTHER day, your body will not believe that you are starving it, even if you drop below it on in-between days. In fact, you can even get by with decreasing your calories for up to 2-3 days in a row.
- As long as you don't go longer than that before you plan a day above your BMR. The trick to calorie cycling, is that you are "cycling" your calories -- doing different things on different days. Eating low-calorie EVERY day is not a good solution. You need to alternate lower calorie days with days that are above your BMR.
You don't need to believe that, to lose weight, you have to do more and more difficult things.
Just think change, change, change. And, then, you can always change back, because that will be a change too.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Todays' conversation with an older lady at church:
"You look more and more like a teen-ager every day. You look so young since you lost the weight."
I didn't tell her that I turned 51 yesterday.
I also didn't tell her that I had purchased the cute little skirt I was wearing this morning out of the size 16 section on the GIRLS 7-16 rack. (I wear a size 6 Women's. They are about the same. But, the girls' clothing is sometimes less expensive; and, cuter!)
It is comments like this that I have to replay in my head on those days when I'm tired of the permanent lifestyle changes that are involved with maintaining my weight loss.
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