Thursday, January 31, 2013

190.4; Weight Loss Tips

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study on weight loss tips.. They found that the things that we seem to hold as true, aren't supported by evidence.  Things like:
  • Small changes in your diet or exercise can cause steady and sustained weight loss.
  • Setting realistic goals is important.
  • Slow, gradual weight loss is better than large, rapid weight loss.
  • If you wait until you feel ready to lose weight, you'll succeed.
  • Physical education classes now help prevent or reduce childhood obesity.
  • Breast-feeding helps prevent obesity.
  • An act of sexual activity burns 100 to 300 calories.
  • Initially my thought was to yell that they do work, because they've worked for me.  But then I read that the author of the article is concerned that tips like this really lead obese people astray from losing the weight that they need to.

    Now he's not saying that it won't work for you.  But what he is saying is that there is no standardized study that hold these items, among others, to be true.  Interestingly enough, what studies do show are things like: weight-loss surgery for very obese people; structured weight-loss programs; regular meetings with a physician, dietitian or coach; defining for people exactly what they should and should not eat; and receiving prepared meals or shopping lists.

    In other words, not everything is going to work for everyone.  You need to find what works for you, what tools you need, and live your journey, not someone else's.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    190.8; Dairy Is Not My Friend

    Sunday afternoon I attended a party.  My Grandma turned 88.  She's a great woman and I love her to pieces.  I have been having bad dreams that she has died and it's kind of thrown me for a loop.  I believe, with all my heart, that she will be here forever.  While my brain knows that won't happen.

    We had fun talking and laughing and seeing everyone. 

    And there was pizza.  Yummy pizza with dairy. 

    So I had my 6 tiny squares and was stuffed because really, that's all I can eat any more.  It was wonderful pizza with artichokes, green olives, fresh mushrooms and cheese.  Then I had a cupcake for dessert.  Ok, fine, I had 2.

    Sunday night is when I realized that dairy is not my friend.  Well, to be more specific, dairy is not a friend to my digestive tract.  *sigh*  I was bloated and gassy the rest of the night (just what you wanted to know about me, huh?).  And to be honest, I still felt the effects of it yesterday. 

    So now the question is, what do I do with this information?  I love dairy.  I love cheese.  I love that Greek yogurt.  But do I love it more than I am willing to suffer the consequences?  I think my answer is that for now I do.  When I had issues with milk, I stopped drinking cold milk because that was the trigger.  Then hot was warn milk also.  Then I just stopped milk all together.  At some point, I'll likely decide that eating my beloved cheese and yogurt just isn't worth it anymore.  I've already all but given up on ice cream and milk, but I'll go down fighting for my cheese and yogurt.

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    189; Elimiation Diets

    Have you ever elminiated something from your diet to see if it had an effect?

    I did.  About 14 years ago I had a bad experience with a quart of cold perfect chocolate milk and the restroom at work.  Ding Ding says my brain - you may be lactose intolerant.  Yep.  Goodbye milk. *sigh*  I love a good cold creamy chocolate milk, but sadly it hates me!

    In the last couple of weeks I've been on antibiotics for my sinus infection.  And that means I need to limit my dairy.  As in no dairy for 2 hours before I take it and 2 hours after.  And I take it 3 times a day.  So pretty much I've been on a dairy free diet.  Almond milk does not equal cream in my coffee - just so you know.

    Overall I've not felt much differently.  I will say that I've had less gas.  Pete is thankful... 

    But I miss dairy.  I love cheese.  I love greek yogurt.  I love a bit of cream in my coffee. 

    So when the medicine is done this weekend, I plan on resuming my yogurt.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll see a big difference that will lead me to switch back to no dairy.  Maybe. 

    Happy Friday!

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    188.4; Fat Shaming

    Let's face it.  When you're heavy/obese, people DO judge you differently.  It's human nature and some part of me doesn't blame people for their thoughts.  I mean if I'm honest with myself, I judge people all day long, some negative and some positive. 

    The difference is that I usually don't do it OUTLOUD.  And the biggest lesson in life is that my initial judgement is likely to be wrong in some way.  So I've learned that I need to assess people and situations for a while before coming to a final judgement.

    But today I read this article:  Fat Shaming To Cure Obesity.  In it, the author explains that the stigma of shaming him as a smoker lead to him quitting. 

    I CANNOT imagine how much more shame would have lead me to lose weight.  In fact, the shame of my weight kept me from going to the gym to work out.  The shame kept me from seeking help because I'd have to admit that I was fat.  The shame kept me inside on nice days instead of walking in the neighborhood because I had been called FAT by passerby cars when I was out walking to LOSE WEIGHT.

    Shame does not usually lead to changing behaviors.
    As with any punishment, shame can have the short-term effect of discouraging certain behaviors. It will, however, have only a weak long-term impact on reducing unwanted behavior and a negative long-term effect in terms of bringing about behavior change (Covington, 2000; George, White, & Schlaffer, 2006). Moreover, using shame to modify behavior will have a number of potential unwanted consequences (Levine, 2005).
    We should not be shaming people to change.  We should be encouraging people to seek change on their own.  When someone believes that the idea to change is their own and not someone else's, they assume control over the change and are more often than not successful in changing. 

    Please, if you know someone who isn't healthy, may be overweight, don't shame them into changing.  Encourage.  Kindness goes a long way in this world.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    189; Bzzzz, Bzzzz Ding You're Done!

    Weird title, huh?

    Most of what the gastric band does is remind you how you should be eating.  Reminds you to slow down.  Reminds you to take small bites.  Reminds you to chew very well.  Reminders.

    Have you heard of the HapiFork from HapiLabs?  If not, it's a fork that will connect to some form of media to help you eat better.  According to the website, it will vibrate gently to remind you to slow down, take smaller bites and eat better.  You can not only see your eating on your phone or your computer, but you can connect with a community or a coach to see how you can change your habits.

    I have to admit that I'm intrigued with this.  I'd like to see it in action.  It's it really unobtrusive?  Is it something that others will hear and see?  Is it something that you can cheat with? (you know everyone thinks this...)  Does it track when you don't use it for meals?  What if you need a spoon?

    The company is also launching something similar to a BodyBug or watch that will monitor activity, sleep, calories, working out.  I've often wondered about these too.  Would I become so addicted to the readings that I'd do whatever it took to meet my goals?  I'm already addicted to getting a certain number of calories burned at the gym for it to be a 'successful' workout.  Would this make things worse?

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    188; My Quick Update....

    1.  I'm on round 2 of antibiotics for my sinus infection.  Do you know what happens to women who play with the balance of good/bad bacteria too much?  Yes, secondary infection in a not so comfortable area.  *sigh*  And because I can't have dairy around the times that I take the antibiotic, I've been chugging yogurt for lunch every day....all to no avail.  *sigh*

    2.  My weight went is hovering at 187-188.  I'd really like it to go down.  Thank you in advance...

    3.  I haven't been able to gym for a week.  (see #1 and #2).  I'm anxious to get back.

    4.  I burned my right hand on boiling water yesterday trying to bake bread.  Boiling water hurts.  Pete says I am a burn magnet.  It's likely true.

    5.  We spent $800 on a new water softener yesterday.  For that price the water should do a lot more than clean things.  It should be gold water or something.

    6.  Pete is in a phase of trying to re lose about 10 pounds.  He's struggling to figure out how to do it when it's hard and a puzzle of things versus when he was initially losing and an easy equation. 

    7.  It's freaking cold.  As in -16 when when I left for work this morning with a possible high of -1.

    8.  I'm excited to have dinner tonight.  I made Sunday Sauce that closely tastes like the sauce my Grandma used to make when I was a kid.  I'm chasing kid memories with food.  But I don't feel guilty because I can do it in moderation.

    9.  I'm waiting for my newest Kiki la'Rue order.  A couple of tops, scarf and a bracelet. 

    10.  I'd love to be able to hear out of both ears at once and hear well.  (see #1)

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    187.4: I Need to Practice Eating Out

    This past weekend was Pete's Birthday.  And honestly I thought it was his 45th, when really it was his 46th.  Crap he's old...I mean, I love my husband.

    We had a low key Saturday which was his birthday.  He wasn't feeling the best and my ear was still plugged and I walked sideways from lack of balance.

    Sunday I went to the gym (shhh, I have a streak going, but let's ignore it, so I don't stop...).  I came home, had breakfast, jumped in the shower and we were off.  We picked up my 10 year old niece, who is a hoot.  She talks...C.O.N.S.T.A.N.T.L.Y. about stuff and makes Pete and I laugh out loud.  We went to the Mall of America, which appears to be the only mall that Pete can shop at (he doesn't like the other ones...or shopping in general).  We did our errands, shopped, window shopped mostly and had some gelato. 

    For dinner, we met my family at Texas Roadhouse.  MMMMM, honey buns.  This time I was determined to eat clean-er, eat less and be aware of how I was eating and my body.  So we sat at the table and waited for the rest of the family to arrive.  Everyone was eating the rolls and I took mine.  I took small bites and talked while I ate so I wasn't eating fast.  But by the time that the majority of the roll was eaten, I realized that it wasn't going to go down.

    Shit.  Not again.  Not again at a restaurant with my Mom watching me with her eagle eye.  So I sat.  Then I tried sipping some of my niece's diet coke to help dissolve it.  But it must be the combination of the carbonation and the sugar, because it didn't help that much.

    So I picked at my food and tried to move it around so that no one would notice that I wasn't eating.  As everyone else was finishing and I was realizing that we'd need a to go suddenly slipped down.  Instant relief.  It wasn't super painful like the last couple of times, it was just uncomfortable.  So I ate a bit of my plain sweet potato and a few mushrooms.  I boxed up my 3 ounces of meat and the rest of the potato and mushrooms for my lunch the next day.

    What I realized is that I need to practice eating out.  This is a process and I need to be allowing myself time to learn it.  I need to be aware of what I'm eating and how I'm eating it.  Talking while eating is good because it slows you down.  BUT talking while eating can be bed because you don't realize what your eating and how.  I also need to make good choices.  Chewy bread that can mush up and get stuck, isn't a good choice. 

    I'll get this.  I know I will.

    Wednesday, January 09, 2013

    187.0: After You've Met Your Goal

    Then what?

    I mean this seriously.  I've noticed that I'm a bit compulsive when I set goals that others can see/know about.  Like my goal to be 220 or less when I had my surgery in March.  I knew that they would weigh me the day of surgery and therefore I really really tried to get there, to the point of working out a couple of hours a day.

    I joined the Holiday Challenge at the Y.  Weighed in 11/26/12 and had to weigh in by today to see if I got the shirt.  I haven't been working out, but I managed to lose 5 pounds in 6 weeks (most of it in the last week).  I got the shirt.

    But today?  Today I feel like I've indulged and there is no goal or no one watching.

    For breakfast I 6 ounces of Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup berries with it.
    For lunch I had 1 cup tomato soup with 1/2 english muffin with a piece of low fat cheese on it.
    Then I had 3 mini peanutbutter cups.
    This afternoon I had about 10 small pieces of licorice.
    Then I had a Special K pastry Crisp.
    Then I had about 3/4 cup cucumbers/red pepper strips with about 3 ounces of hummus.

    My mind thinks it's been eating all day long.  But when I log it in like that it's not bad.  Sure I could have chosen better with the peanut butter cups and the licorice.  But I followed up with fresh veg knowing that the sugar wasn't cutting it.  And it's not that terribly indulgent.  But I feel like it is.

    I think I feel like that because I was very determined and limited my intake the last week to meals and very few snacks.  That is to say, my mind plays a trick in that it thinks I was better with eating last week when really it just may be that I was so limiting last week and I can't sustain that, so I start eating more to compensate.

    It's a mind game.  Really it is.  I think some of it is about control and some is about meeting goals.  But it's definitely something I need to work on to be truly healthy.  It's ok to have snacks and indulge as long as it's not way out of balance from what I should be eating.  It's ok to try to stick to limited eating, but it needs to be be done in a healthy way.  Those are the things I need to keep working on.

    Tuesday, January 08, 2013

    188.0; I Lost My Way

    I started watching the Biggest Loser last night.  I both love that show and hate it.  I love that they give hope to people and teach them how to lose.  I hate that it's a game and some of the tactics they use to lose are questionable AND not sustainable when people go home.

    I'm not going to lie, when I started thinking about losing weight, it was all about getting skinny.  I think it's a natural reaction when you've been overweight, to want to be skinny.  But the more I realized what it took to get there and more importantly what it would take to stay there, I realized that skinny wasn't it.  I needed to be healthy.  That means eating good portions of food that it good for me, at least 80% of the time.  It also means working out so that I can run a 5K with ease, so that I can life weights and have strong muscles and bones.

    Along the way I've had my love/hate relationship with the gym.  I love being there and the feeling when I leave and the sore muscles the next day reminding me that I worked out.  But I also burn out from the gym.  I get sinus infections and can't work out because it feels like my brain is bobbling in my skull.

    I've lost my perspective.  Yes, I'm slowly losing weight and that is great.  I got caught up in new clothes and shopping and feeling my new body slip into clothes that I never would have imagined 2 years ago.  I got caught up in using my band as a MAGIC BULLET.  And it's not.  It's meant to be a tool and I haven't been using it that way.  And I'm almost ashamed to admit it.  I'm ashamed that I have this tool that I can use to maximize my healthiness and I'm wasting it.

    This is where my workout gear has sat for the last 6 weeks or more.  At the foot of my bed, just waiting for me to use it.  I realized last night after watching the Biggest Loser that I'm wasting more of my life, trying to use a magic bullet to get what I want.  And that's not going to happen.  It's not the way I want to live life. 

    Monday, January 07, 2013

    190.0; Hi, My Name is Michelle and I'm An Addict...

    Had you talked to me even 5-6 months ago about sugar addiction I would have told you it was a myth.  At least for me.  I crave fruits and veggies and chicken and things that are good for me.

    But something happened over Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I started indulging in in things that were sugar/carb based and less fresh fruit/veggie/lean meat based.  And I've said that I didn't really change weight over the holidays.  So to some degree I felt successful.  It was my first holiday season and I did good.  Right?

    Well no.

    I've been sick with more sinus issues over the last month.  I went in for antibiotics after I couldn't get it to clear on my own.  But I felt very tired and just run down.  So Friday I had the last of the goodies in the house - dark chocolate covered pretzels.  Saturday morning I had yogurt for breakfast with some fruit.  We had a meeting on Saturday and ate at the Pizza Ranch where the meeting happened.  But for me, this meant large green salad and a couple of pieces of pizza over a 3 hour period.  Saturday night I had more yogurt/fruit and went to sleep early.  Sunday morning I had yogurt and fruit and we went on a drive.

    By Sunday afternoon I realized that I had been craving sugar.  That I had been craving carbs.  Having the yogurt and the fresh fruit seemed to balance out the cravings.  I made chicken fried steak with potatoes/gravy and a fresh cucumber/tomato salad for dinner.  I ate one bite of potatoes and it wasn't it.  The fried steak was lean beef that I pounded out myself and tenderized, but it wasn't going down well so I maybe had 2 ounces of it.  And I had a huge bowl of the salad.  I wanted the salad more than the rest of it. 

    I am a carb/sugar addict.  I need to realize that I feel better and my body feels better when I eat less of that and more of the fresh stuff.  I need to get back to eating more of the fresh stuff to feed my body appropriately.  Recognizing this should help me stop when I go to indulge and ask myself if fresh fruit won't serve the same purpose?

    Thursday, January 03, 2013

    192.2; Emerson Had It Right

    Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.  Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day.  You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
    The quote is from Emerson.  Reading through the stuff on my phone last night it really struck me.  It only added to my post form yesterday.  He had it right.

    We get so caught up in the yesterdays and tomorrows that we forget what we have today.  We get caught in the mistakes of our past and the what if's of tomorrow that we forget each day is a new chance to do what we want. 

    I'm not going to say it's not a challenge, because it is.  But I firmly believe that we'd be happier if we focused on the here and now versus the before and after.

    Wednesday, January 02, 2013

    193.0; I'm Not Where I Want To Be

    I'm at 193.  I think that I'm up a pound from my pre Thanksgiving weigh in. 

    I'm not where I wanted to be.  But I'm reading a lot of blogs today and this week that are saying the same thing.  And every blogger (including me) posts about a renewed energy to change life.  I think it comes with the new year.  There is a lot of importance placed on January First.  A lot of it comes from the 1's in the date.  1's signals newness and re newness.  A chance to do over what you didn't like and to start fresh on something new.

    I'm trying to think a little different.  But then I've always tried to think differently about this.  I believe that life is a journey.  That you're on a path and you control a portion of the direction and a higher power controls the rest.  I believe that you have minute,tiny choices to make every day.  If you add those choices up at the end of the day you get something bigger.  If you add your week up, you get something larger.  If you add your months up to get something even larger.  And if you add your years up you get gigantic outcomes. 

    (deep thinking for what seems like a Monday, huh?)

    What I mean to say, is that those huge, gigantic goals that you're going to sit down and write or have already written are huge, gigantic goals.  But you get there one little selection at a time.  So instead of putting those huge yearly goals down, think about the smaller ones instead.  If you accomplish the smaller ones, the huge ones are inevitable.  So set the smaller, achievable goals and the rest will come to you.

    My goals for January:
    1.  Get back to the gym at least 5 days a week.  4 Cardio and 1 weight lifting.  Anything more than 5 is a bonus!
    2.  Get back to eating cleaner and with more thought/planning.  I love the fresh veg and white meat and fish, so why did I deviate to the red meat and high cal carbs?
    3.  Relax by reading.  Read something every day, even if only a chapter in a book or 10 pages in a magazine.  Reading calms me down, relaxes my quiet mind and feeds my soul.
    4.  Say yes more often than no.  Turn those "I could haves" into "I did".
    5.  Remember to be present, in the moment and live in Grace.