Monday, October 24, 2011

Hopping off the Crazy Maker

Do you know what drives me crazy?

People who give me unsolicited weight loss advice like, "Just cut back on starchy foods" or "You probably aren't getting enough exercise," or my all time favorite, "It's just calories in, calories out."


Come on people, I am a weight-loss expert!!   I have devoted years of my life to the study of weight loss:  What helps, what hurts, what can get in the way.  Am I getting enough sleep?  How's my balance of carbs to protien?  What role does blood sugar play?  How much exercise is "enough?"  What can I do to speed up my metabolism?  Etc., etc., etc. 

If it were simple, we'd all be skinny.  I know this because I was skinny most of my life and I did not earn it.  It came naturally to me then as apparently, being fat now comes naturally.  I know there are skinny people out there who work at it every day, but I have to say, their numbers are few. 

I would like to set the record straight on this one thing:  I think you'd be hard pressed to find many adults who consistently eat as healthfully as I do.  I am a very healthy eater.  And I get a lot of exercise, usually far more than my recommended 30 minutes per day.  And aside from that, I am about ten times healthier than I ever was when I was skinny.  I joke that when I was a skinny single girl, I lived on Frosted Flakes and Blue Bell Ice Cream.  And it is not that far from the truth. 

I know people just mean well.  I do know that.  And I am truly grateful that people care about my well being.  But if you really want to help me, please come over and go for a walk with me, or watch my kids while I swim, or come to my house for supper instead of suggesting a restaurant.  Because I am not going to be trying your Paleo diet or your Eat Clean diet or your Dukan diet.  I am going to stick to my regimen of healthy foods and exercise and I am going to trust that if I keep fighting, I will eventually prevail. 

(By the way, if you are newer to this process than I am and you would like to know about the considerable research on any of these points, give me a shout!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fit Friday: Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

Today's tip comes from one of my favorite blogs, Fooducate.  We can take a lesson from our kids:  Stop eating when you are full!  And further, we need to stop making our kids eat beyond that point!  Yes, they will be hungry later.  That's good, right?  Here's the full article for your reference.

The "trick" of the week is actually about avoiding a "big food "trick.  Do you know that the word, "natural" on a food package is practically meaninglingless ? Here is an interesting Food Republic article that explains further.

To top it all off, here is the inspirational story of Alisha, who lost 120 pounds.  One thing that really inspired me was her choice to "start small" at the gym.  She didn't go out and try to run 5 miles the first day. She increased her workouts incrementally as her confidence and fitness increased.  Here is her story.

Have a fun-filled, fit weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why I Persevere

For the past 18 months or so, I've weighed pretty much the same.  I'm about 35 pounds down from where I started my weight loss journey in the fall of '09 and still have a good 60 pounds to lose, possibly more. 

During the past 18 months, I've stuck with my calorie ranges, I've exercised, I've had extremely limited times of going off plan and those times have been rare, indeed.  I've learned to take a holi-DAY and not a whole week or month off plan.  I've dealt with illness, visitors and schedule changes.  I've exercised as much as 10 hours a week and as little as 2.  I've had 3 visits to the internist to have my thyroid medicine levels checked.  I've adjusted what I eat, when I eat, how much I sleep, how I exercise, and everything else I can think of to adjust.  Still, I basically weigh the same.

You may wonder, then, why I persevere.  The answer is really quite simple: I persevere because I am worth it. 

I am 52 years old.  In this decade, I am setting the foundation for my old age.  I am worth having fresh produce in the house.  I am worth the time it takes to plan, shop for and prepare healthy meals.  I am worth setting aside enough time to exercise and to sleep.    I am worth a long and lively old age! 

I hang in there because in the past 2 years, I have reduced my health risk by 200%.  My triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure are fantastic. I eat more fiber than a rabbit. I am a stronger, fitter, healthier, happier person than I have ever been before.  I'm still not athletic, but I am certainly more capable and confident about sports and exercise than I ever was as a thin teen.

I persevere because I want to set a good example for my 5 children and because  I plan on getting a big bunch of grandkids out of them!  I persevere because those who know better should do better and I am one who knows better!   I keep on going because I do believe I will one day overcome whatever is blocking me now and I will achieve my goal.  I stick with it because I have learned so much  that I can never "unlearn."  I persevere because what I am learning is benefiting others.

I am worth it . . . and you are too.  Dream big but work hard too.  One day we will both get there.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Lifesaver - Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

Hey, it's already Friday!  Time for some tips, tricks and inspiration rounded up through the week's reading!

Are you a fan of juice fasts or fasting to "jumpstart" weight loss?  This week's tip may have you rethinking the process.  The tip is:  Know what is happening in your body before undergoing any fast.  It may do the opposite of what you are hoping!  Follow the link for a fascinating article on the topic.

The trick of the week is a super one:  Eat SANE.  Check out this Fooducate blog post to find out the details but in essence, your weight loss plan should be Sustainable, considered an Approach (not legislation), be focused on Nutrition and include a big dose of Enjoyment! 

Now for your dose of inspiration.  Sometimes don't you just think "I'm too OLD to exercise?"  Here's proof that you (and I) are not! 

Have a fun and fit weekend!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mixed (Lunch) Bag

Fun with bento boxes continues.  Last week we had a trip around the world, including a fun Spanish Omelet and a lovely deconstructed Salade Nicoise.  A few photos for your viewing pleasure:

Friday's lunch  - a visit to the Mediterranean:

Beef koftsas (little meatballs seasoned with parsley and cilantro)
Baba Ganoush and hummus separated with a leaf.  It somehow looked better in person.
Cucumber, parsley and tomato salad.  Stuff it all in the pita and enjoy.

No pics of the food but today we enjoyed a visit to India with  chicken curry, whole-wheat cous-cous and cucumber raita.
Paul got his in his wonderful three tier Tiffin just purchased. 

The balance of this week will be Deconstructed Sandwich Week with all my own recipes.  Yippee! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Getting Unstuck

Weight loss is complex.  I am famous for saying that you have to work the numbers, and that is certainly true.  If I consume more calories than I burn, I will gain weight and vice versa.  It's figuring out that "burn number" that throws the wrench in the works.

Last year my internist told me that you can't account for metabolism.  You just have to keep trying until you hit the combination that works.  After a full year of unintentional maintenance, I am here to say I haven't found it. 

18 months ago, I lost 40 pounds on medically supervised weight loss.  I stopped that program when we got the "Littles" because it just didn't work, timewise. It was daytime only and no kids allowed.  Since then I have "found" 10 of those pounds then plateued at a 30 pound loss and never moved.  It can get frustrating.

I had several weeks in a row recently of staying well within my calorie range.  One week I lost 0.4, the next I gained 0.6.  Last week, I was within my calories for the week but what I ate contained some "poor choices" like ice cream. I also forgot to take my thyroid medicine three times.  Gained 1.6.

I realize it probably sounds like I'm whining.  I'm not.  I am saying all this to remind myself (and you) that sometimes, it just isn't that straightforward.  Yet, there are still things I can (and will) do.
  • I will bump my exercise up.  I have been doing just enough to help my exercise challenge team.   
  • I'll take my medicine every day (duh). 
  • I will make sure I get in all my water and maybe a little extra. 
  • I will take stock of my spiritual affairs because no matter the numbers, I am convinced my emotions affect metabolism. 
  • I'll start getting 8 hours of sleep again because I know that affects weight.
I know that if I do everything I can do, eventually, the scale will start to move down again.  The challenge is moving myself high enough on the priority list to get it all done every day.  And today is a new day -- so it will be the day that I hit all the markers.  Cheers!