Monday, January 28, 2013
I’m kind of in the mood for a rambly blog… My thoughts are definitely disheveled.
I have a busy week. Like a crazy, busy week. I also have a lot of work stuff, a presentation, recruitment, lunch with a seminar speaker which means I have to go to his seminar and not skip like I usually do, the realtor is coming this afternoon, my house isn’t clean, my yard is a mess, I’m not making much progress writing, I feel like I have a million experiments to do… and my mind is scattered this morning.
TJ came to visit again this weekend. We really didn’t do much, but spend time together. That boy doesn’t like to plan. I need a plan. I thrive on plans. So my plans revolved around food. What food could I make, what food would he want, what food did I want? Granted, I made horrible food decisions this weekend, and I felt bad about doing it. I even felt sick last night after I ate some of the cookies I baked. I sent most home with him, but I had three for dinner. And then I felt awful. Total sugar overload. After my weekend of poor food, that was the sickeningly red cherry on top. This morning it felt like I was expelling all of the bad food demons out of my body – so hopefully I can get back to eating clean and enjoying that feeling.
My emotions are just now catching up with the fact that I am in a serious committed relationship. Its weird. This is my first real one, and we’re already talking about marriage. I just don’t know how to wrap my head around it sometimes. On Saturday he laughed at a fat joke on TV. I was offended. Partially by the joke, and partially by his EXTREME laughter at the joke. He apologized, but stuff like that still burns my biscuits. Its just weird for me to still be so emotionally touchy about stuff like that.
And add to all of this my stupid surgery incision is still wide open. I don’t see much progress in the last month. Its not depressing, but more frustrating than anything. My left arm is all deflated from losing my muscle tone, and my right arm is still stuffed full of fluid from the injury – so I feel lopsided.
I felt skinny (for me) on Friday, wearing a cute dress. Cue today – I had trouble getting my jeans on and buttoning them with no armpit definitely hurt. More than it should have. I probably should have picked a different pair of jeans, but dang it – these FIT. I know they fit. They just need to be stretched out. There are so many small movements, like buttoning things, or reaching for something, or sneezing, that just still really hurt.
TJ says he can always tell when its starting to bother me. He says I get all shifty, and get this look on my face. Its probably the face of anxiety over changing the bandage, mixed with pain, and a dash of poor me. Its annoying to me that all of this is happening. I’m still trying to downplay how horribly gross this whole thing has been. The trouble is, I’d still do it. My left arm looks great. Its just this freak accidental thing on the right that has me all in tatters. And I definitely know I needed the skin removal after losing the weight.
I went to my normal doctor last week for some bloodwork. The almost passing out thing had gotten bad again, so I went in to see if I was anemic. No problems there. The doctor scale was a good 8 pounds heavier than my bathroom scale. Now I know I was wearing three layers of clothes and really chunky boots, and had a belly full of breakfast, but it wasn’t 8 pounds. The nurses were really sweet and wanted to see my arm scars and one even wanted to see the gross wound. I told her about Spark, and the nursing student with her already knew about it.
Then they took my blood pressure, 115/65. *I was like, ummm what? Before I lost weight I would normally have 150s/90s – I always thought that was just anxiety. Last year when I reached the weight I was at now I got 120s/80s – what I thought was normal. So now, even though I haven’t lost weight, I’ve still improved my blood pressure with healthy eating and regular exercise. So it just goes to show that even though the scale isn’t moving for me, I’m still making positive changes on the inside. After I left the doc, the bloodwork says I am not anemic and my blood sugar is fine, so my brain and autonomic nervous system are just freaking out over this massive open wound that isn’t healing. Doctors orders are to get up early, drink something that contains real sugar – actual calories, and then get ready for the day. I’ve been doing that for the past few days and I haven’t had any problems except for guilt. I just hate drinking 200 calories in the morning, but I’m not ready for food, and I chose to drink a breakfast drink that’s chock full of vitamins/minerals and protein. So that’s it for me.
I’m not touching my scale for awhile. I need to check my head before I throw it anymore curveballs. I’m just a little gloomy today, I’m sure it’s a symptom of the sugar crash and missing TJ combined. I have my BodyMedia armband on today. I wore it on Friday and I got 30 minutes of “exercise” in. Umm… no I didn’t. I think I’ll have the common complaint that most of the FitBit users have said – it logs your daily movements as exercise, which we don’t. I always assume Spark is over estimating the calories burned, but hey – this will up my fitness minutes and maybe give me a boost in the mood department. So there’s that…
I need to get working on a presentation I’ve got to get ready for tomorrow. And I need to figure out what to take for lunch. I’m failing to plan, which makes me think I’m planning to fail. I think that’s part of the reason, even though I had fun with TJ and got in good snuggle time, I felt like the weekend was a waste because I didn’t really accomplish anything (don’t tell him that!) – and then he goes and says, “I know we didn’t do anything today, but today went by really fast, and I wish it hadn’t because I just want to spend more time with you…” *cue ridiculous girl emotions…
Thursday, January 24, 2013
This made my 5'10" self feel a little bit better:
Mathematicians found the formula used to calculate body mass index (BMI) has made tall people more overweight and those vertically challenged not fat enough.
They argued it did not take into account a person’s weight tends to grow with their height, giving taller people more room to bulge.
Consequently Prof Nick Trefethen, a leading mathematician, has devised a new formula after finding the current BMI divided weight by too large a number for short people and by too small a number for tall people.
“The NHS relies on the BMI pervasively in all of its public discussions of obesity,” he said.
“We deserve an explanation of what justification they have for using this formula.
“BMI divides the weight by too large a number for short people and too small a number for tall people.”
He added: “So short people are misled into thinking that they are thinner than they are, and tall people are misled into thinking they are fatter.”
The BMI formula is used by doctors to work out if someone is overweight or obese and so at risk of problems from high blood pressure to heart disease.
It is traditionally calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared with the aim of giving a measure of an individual's body fat.
But this assumes people scale up according to a model of growth, in which they get taller more quickly than they bulk out.
A BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is normal, less than 18.5 is seen as underweight while 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight. A mark of 30 or above means a person is obese.
Prof Trefethen started investigating the problem after realising conventional BMI calculation methods failed to take into account that taller people tended to be bulkier than those who were smaller in height.
He found short people were misled into thinking that they are thinner than they are and tall people are misled into thinking they are fatter.
For those who are 150cm tall [five feet], the new formula would add a whole BMI point, enough to topple people lurking on the borders of the "normal" weight into "overweight" territory and a similar number would become "obese".
Those of 180cm or above (six feet), lose a BMI point. Only those of average height (170cm) will remain the same BMI.
The mathematical formula was devised by the Belgian scientist Adolphe Quetelet in the 1830s. But the professor insisted his formula was far from simply an academic exercise.
“BMI is only one of many factors and inevitably not everyone will fit the standard pattern,” he said.
“We know that BMI is a good indicator of population level trends, but not always a good indicator at an individual level."
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
THOSE 5 pounds…
You all know what I’m talking about. There comes a point where you are just within 5 pounds of a goal. It may not be your final goal weight, but its something like being in onederland, or finally making it into the 170s (like it is for me). Then you reach a point where you never think you’re going to lose those five pounds. You may have lost a lost of pounds before… heck I’ve lost around 100… but these same five pounds refuse to leave my butt.
I lost them briefly… for less than a week. One time that I stepped on the scale it read 178. Then I gained it back up to 183, and I’ve been hovering there ever since.
Then the unthinkable happened. I gained another five pounds. It was the holidays. I felt like crap from my surgery. I felt like crap from being around certain members of my family. And I ate like crap. Now THOSE five pounds pissed me off.
I don’t know what it was about those new five pounds that put me ten pounds away from my mini-goal… but those new five pounds almost derailed me. I think if the scale would have read 190 instead of 189 I might have had a fit. Luckily, no major fit, just a realization that I needed to re-focus. Now with those new holiday five pounds I felt awful. Partly this was due to my extreme restriction on movement for two weeks. I’m better now, but I still have quite a few restrictions. But I somehow managed to get rid of those five pounds.
It took three weeks for me to do it, through mainly diet alone. I had a salt detox, a semi-sugar detox, and I increased my protein A LOT. At 189 I felt like I had gained twenty pounds instead of five. I know this happens a lot on this site, but we become so hyper critical of our bodies, and we all know what a pound of fat looks like, so we can basically picture on our bodies exactly where those new five pounds went. I know I felt like it went directly over my ribcage, into my arms as I lost all my muscle definition, and in my belly.
I would like to say that I am silly. Its okay, but there comes a point where you even realize that you are freaking out about five pounds. Five pounds. That’s it. I was five pounds heavier than I spent the majority of 2012, and I was going to let five pounds make me feel like crap?
So I decided to avoid the scale until the end of January. (I didn’t, but I made it three weeks!) Instead of focusing on my number I focused on myself. I know I didn’t do perfect. I know some of my weight loss was water bloat and muscle weight… but now I’m back in the 183-184 range and I am fine. Now I feel a lot better. I’m not saying losing the five pounds is what made me feel better. It’s the healthy eating and drinking water that made me feel better. It does help my ego though that I feel less puffy overall. No one but me would have noticed the extra five pounds. My jeans noticed, but that gave me a measure to see how I was doing, non-scale wise.
SO now I’m back to losing THOSE five pounds. Those five pounds will get me in the 170s. Then if I manage to get to the 170s, I’m just ten pounds away from my goal weight of 170. I plan to get there this year. My body has plateaued enough, that its used to this weight. I’ve been maintaining my weight for a good period of time, so hopefully once I kick back up my exercise routine I will make it to my goal weight.
So don’t let THOSE five pounds get you down. If you keep going, then you will not only lose THOSE five pounds…. But another five pounds… and another five pounds… until you reach your goal weight. Stick with it ;-)
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I friend of mine posted this article on facebook this morning.
Why are women so obsessed about getting thin and skinny and not fit?
Why don't women eat more protein?
Why don't women want to weight lift?
Reason: we don't want to be bulky and manly.
Screw that. I want muscles!
Read it at: www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2
Can you whisk eggs without your arms aching, or push a car that’s broken down?
Your grandmother might have been able to do this, but chances are you can’t.
For new evidence suggests humans are getting weaker — today’s generation simply don’t have the same muscle power as their parents.
And it’s women who are affected most.
‘In Western countries such as the UK, U.S. and Canada, muscular strength has hit a plateau and muscular endurance — the ability to repeatedly exert force, such as doing sit-ups — has declined by 8 to 10 per cent since the Eighties,’ says Dr Grant Tomkinson, senior lecturer in health sciences at the University of South Australia, a leading researcher on trends in fitness over time.
It seems our average muscle power peaked in 1985 — since then we’ve increased in weight, but our muscles have got weaker and weaker, especially among women.
‘I’m seeing a massive epidemic of weak women who have no muscle strength,’ says London-based physiotherapist Sammy Margo.
‘There are skinny women who have no muscles supporting their spine, and overweight ladies who don’t have any muscles under the fat.’
Women’s lack of muscle has serious implications for their health.
Experts say poor muscle strength is to blame for a host of health problems such as osteoporosis and fractures, arthritis and back pain.
So why are women so weedy — and what should they do about it?
GIRLS WANT TO BE THIN, NOT STRONG
It takes only a cursory comparison of the covers of men’s and women’s magazines to understand the differences in what motivates men and women to exercise.
While men strive to get ‘the ultimate six pack’ and ‘more body bulk now’, women’s objectives tend to be negative — to lose fat and burn calories rather than gain strength.
Ken Fox, professor of exercise and health sciences at the University of Bristol, says: ‘The majority of young females want to look thin.
'They don’t eat much, they don’t exercise much, and because of that they have weak musculatures — it’s really not a healthy way to be.’
A survey by the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation found 40 per cent of women said feeling better about their appearance was the main factor that motivated them to exercise; in another, a third of women said they felt more pressure to be thin than healthy.
SCHWARZENEGGER BODY MYTH
Girls and women often avoid muscle-building exercise such as weightlifting or press-ups because they’re afraid of becoming too muscular and bulky.
Even the golden girl of the London Olympics, Jessica Ennis, has admitted she had at first been concerned about weight training because she ‘didn’t want to be all muscly’.
But many experts say it’s actually difficult for women to ‘bulk up’ because of their hormones.
This resistance exercise, as it is known, triggers muscle growth by causing small amounts of trauma to the muscles — the body repairs the damage by adding protein strands to the muscle to increase its strength and size.
Testosterone is the hormone that triggers this process and men naturally have higher levels of it than women, meaning it’s much harder for women to develop big muscles, explains Professor Fox.
‘They can get toned but looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t an issue,’ he says.
Women also can’t lose as much fat — men can conceivably get down to 4 per cent body fat while women typically cannot get lower than 10 per cent.
Women evolved this way because they need more fat to bear children.
THE PROBLEMS START AT SCHOOL
Today’s children are set up for a life of puniness from an early age, thanks partly to our increasingly indoor lifestyles.
Dr Gavin Sandercock, a lecturer in sports science at Essex University, tested the strength of 315 Essex ten-year-olds in 2008 and compared the results from children of the same age in 1998.
Today’s children managed only around two thirds of the sit-ups of the previous generation; arm strength had fallen by 26 per cent and grip by 7 per cent.
Dr Sandercock says he was especially concerned by the children’s poor performance at sit-ups, because ‘your ability to do sit-ups has been shown to be an indicator of back pain in later life’.
Meanwhile, in a study by the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation of 1,500 schoolchildren, half the 14-year-old girls surveyed said getting sweaty was ‘not feminine’, and a third of boys said girls who are sporty are not feminine.
It probably doesn’t help that teachers don’t have the right specialist PE training, which is leaving younger generations ‘physically illiterate’, as Susan Campbell, the head of UK Sport said last week.
She claimed this lack of training means thousands of children start secondary school unable to run, jump, throw a ball or catch.
Women’s disregard for muscles may be costing them dearly. Muscles are the ‘scaffolding’ that holds the body up, vital for protecting the joints and bones, and it’s essential to start building muscle in early life to avoid miserable repercussions.
Numerous studies have shown the strength of your muscles can be a key indicator of longevity.
Healthy muscles reduce the risk of falls in later life, says Professor Janet Lord, director of the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research.
‘Muscle allows you to control your movement,’ she says. ‘So if you do have a trip, you fall in a controlled way and there’s less chance you’ll fracture your wrist for example.’
A PAIN IN THE BACK
Strong muscles are also vital for preventing sore backs. Sammy Margo blames the endemic problem of back pain on weak tummy, or ‘core’ muscles.
It’s the stomach muscles that hold you up straight when sitting or standing.
But if these are weak, we tend to use the tiny muscles in the back, which leads to damage.
If you have poor tummy muscles, you tend to slump and overstretch the muscles, tendons, ligaments and discs in the back — setting up inflammation and, in the long term, chronic back pain,’ she explains.
‘It’s not just back pain but ankles, neck pain, shoulder pain, even knee pain.
'You can postpone or prevent the need for a knee replacement just by building up the surrounding muscle.’
WOMEN DON’T EAT ENOUGH PROTEIN
Healthy muscles rely on regular intake of protein — it is essential for the structure and functioning of muscle cells.
Catherine Collins, principal dietitian at St George’s Hospital, London, says recent health concerns over meat, and the growing popularity of extreme diets that exclude whole food groups, such as veganism, means more and more women may be missing out on protein.
‘The best sources are meat and dairy products,’ she says. ‘It’s essential we get about 60g a day — equivalent to an 8oz steak or 200g chicken breast.’
Being deficient in protein can have devastating effects, she adds.
‘If you’re not getting enough protein from food, your body cannibalises your own tissue. It starts by taking from your muscle bulk, but then it will use organs.’
BLAME LIFTS, CARS AND THE INTERNET
Our sedentary lifestyle has been blamed for expanding waistlines, but it is also causing our muscles to waste away, say experts.
The decline in manual labour means our jobs are now overwhelmingly office based, and even getting up to go to a meeting has been replaced by email.
‘It’s not just the fact that the average person sits for eight hours a day,’ says Sammy Margo.
‘We have remote controls so we don’t have to get up to change channels, and cars and internet shopping so we don’t have to walk to work or school or carry heavy shopping back home.’
There may be good news on the horizon, however, thanks largely to the stunning success of Britain’s female athletes at last summer’s London Olympics.
Lucy Wyndham Read, a personal trainer, has noticed a shift in women’s requests and aims.
‘Women are now asking for an athletic shape. They want to look feminine, but have definition and tone,’ she says.
Strong could be the new sexy — and it’s healthier, to boot.
THREE EASY WAYS TO FIGHT BACK
The simple habits that mean you can build muscles — without going to the gym...
1) Try ‘the String’ to build abdominal muscles, says physiotherapist Sammy Margo. ‘In the morning take a piece of string, suck your tummy muscles all the way in, release by 50 per cent and tie the string around your stomach. Keep it on throughout the day and try to keep the muscles engaged when you’re sitting, standing and walking. Within a week you should notice you’re already starting to engage the muscles automatically.
2) Get into the habit of always lifting yourself out of a chair without using your arms. ‘This keeps the thigh muscles nice and strong, protecting the knees,’ explains Margo.
3)Practise standing on one leg as long as you can. This works the muscles but also strengthens balance receptors in the legs. They provide information to our joints about our position and stop us falling over.
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