Thursday, July 30, 2009

Week 7 - The Reason for the Effort

This lady to our right is essentially the reason why I have to get in shape now. I have no idea how old she is, but I'm related to her by marriage. That means our kids not only have my crazy genetics, but they have THIS too?

I refuse to saddle my kids with this.

I've lost one more pound. That puts me at 21 down so far. I did really well for 6 of the 7 days, but then last night we went out with my husband's family to Chuck-a-Rama and I was confronted with this. Since you probably can't see clearly (I was trying to be subtle), this woman's belly hangs to her knees. This is NOT an exaggeration. I wish oh so much that I was exaggerating.

I wish I had supermodel genes to pass on to my kids, but I don't. I have giant breasts and belly curtains that weigh as much as the rest of the person carrying it. I have thighs that go on forever and grotesque flapping underarm fat. That just sucks.

And because I care for the future of my children, I will stop eating butter. I will eat more veggies. I will roast my chicken in nothing but spices. I will refrain from pint sized ice cream binges. The chip bags will remain uneaten for weeks at a time. I will count my freaking calories. And I will push my body to pain and back.*

I choose HEALTH, damn it!

*currently already in pain. I have a serious kink in my neck and biking 7+ miles this morning made it worse. And I've been compensating for it all day so it's radiating down my back and across my shoulders.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer Bike Rides

You know what's great about exercising in the summer? You can do just about anything you want till really late at night (relatively).

You know what sucks about exercising in the summer? Sweating. Blech!

I'm sure there are some of you who might suggest I do some swimming. I have lusted after a good swimming pool of my own for a long time. Why my own? Because I don't like all the hassle of packing everything up to go to the gym, only to share dressing rooms with much better-looking naked people and athlete's foot. But that's only half the problem. See, I'm, well, buoyant. I don't have to work to keep afloat, so it's not much exercise. I do love biking though. You can bike in the summer and the breeze will keep you cool. In the late evening before it gets dark it's both safe and pleasant. Then you stop and there's no breeze good enough. No AC works fast enough.

Thank goodness for cool showers and clean cotton sheets.... mmmmm

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Week 6 - Now I know...

...what happens when I eat lots of goodies and don't exercise (I did go out on a good bike ride last night, but once does not count apparently).

I lost a whopping .2 pounds this week. That means I still haven't lost the official 20 pounds yet. Close, but not quite.

It has been nice to have people say they can see a difference already though. Dan says if I'm super good this week - about both meals and exercise - then I should drop significantly since we dropped the calories again. And he says that if we raise the calories I HAVE to do the exercises.

This is my week, dang it!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Week 5 - what do you know? I'm still losing

So, even though I followed the plan by only maybe 60% this week, I still lost another 2 pounds. That means I'm down by 19 pounds of fat total so far. It feels good, but even though people tell me I'm looking good I can't see any difference. My clothes don't really fit me any better, I don't see it in my face.

Dan says I can't skip meals anymore. If I need to, then I should set an alarm. Skipping meals puts the body into starvation mode apparently.

I rubbed some cajun seasoning on some chicken breast tenders and then surrounded them by fresh asparagus for dinner the other night. Turned out perfectly. I think I need more spices because I'm getting bored of chicken. And goodness knows there's no good fish in Utah.

My goal is to hit this thing by at least 80% this week. That means I have to get out and exercise more, and I have to follow the eating plan. I can do this. I think.

Monday, July 13, 2009

unconventional dinner

I had a creamsicle, two tomatoes, and a couple slices of fancy deli turkey for dinner. I'm so bored.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

How does one diet at a party?

When I was a kid I remember one "fast" Sunday in particular (once a month you donate the money you would have spent on food to the poor - you "fast" and get all sorts of spiritual benefits). I was probably 4 or 5 and some big person asked me if I had fasted. I said, "yes! I only ate one banana!" There was lots of laughter and I was embarrassed that I hadn't been 100% faithful to the idea of fasting.

Yesterday I went to two parties. I was good! I only ate 3 creampuffs!

I think the only way to make sure there's something at the party that you can eat is to take something that you can eat. Otherwise there's no guarantee.

No guarantee, but most people serve both proteins and carbs, and there's plenty of water next to that soda.

I took a fruit salad. Fresh cherries (picked yesterday morning even) and strawberries and pineapple in a fat-free, low-sugar cream sauce. Yum. I still ate too much, but it wasn't a bad day.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Week 4 - 7 pounds

Yup, 7 pounds.

This week was a little bit tough because of the 4th of July. I mean, how can you not cheat at a barbecue where bratwurst is featured? I did have Dan's permission.

Besides some sanctioned cheats, I was really good about food this week. The awesome part of this program is that I honestly don't get hungry. I've gotten in some great walks (there's a good park not too far away and it's a great day trip for us, and I have a good friend that I like to walk with) and even done some weights. I need to do more, of course, but I'm doing great.

And I lost 7 more pounds!

That means I'm down almost 20 so far. Yippee!

Okay, so I want to talk a bit more about what I'm learning. The gist of this program (Total Health & Fitness) is retraining my metabolism through smarter eating and exercise.

Basically, you need to eat at least 5 times a day - every 2 to 3 hours. At those meals you need to eat carbs and proteins, but you should only eat enough to get you through to the next meal.

My menu hasn't changed much from the beginning, but here's what I eat:
First meal (7 or 8 am): small bowl of cereal (I've discovered Honey Kix - yum and very low cal) and an egg (I usually spray a small paper plate with Pam and crack the egg and poke it with a fork, then microwave for 45 seconds - perfect and no clean up)

Second meal (around 10): cheese stick (Western Family are all of the following: cheapest, lowest fat, lowest cal, and best at "stringing"), 5 Triscuits (doesn't seem like much, but amazingly it's plenty - I eat the best flavor ever... fire roasted tomato, or sometimes the rosemary and olive oil), and a piece of fruit (although today I substituted with 3 very yummy tomatoes).

Third meal (noonish): sandwich (Sara Lee Delite bread has only 45 calories per slice, sliced deli-type ham or turkey, and I found some flavored american cheeses with only 70 calories per slice - I got a cheddar bacon flavor and a garden veggie flavor, tomatoes and pepperoncini if I've got them), and a handful of Sun Chips (we're back on!). I also drink a lot of Crystal Lite lemonade. I love that flavor, almost as much as I love the cherry pomegranate. It helps fill in the holes.

Fourth meal (around 3): half a cup of cottage cheese and a yogurt (Activia is pretty low cal). I like to mix them, but I might continue the obsession with good fresh tomatoes and do cottage cheese and tomato and then do yogurt separate.

Fifth meal (6ish): chicken breast or fish (I like to microwave a frozen breast for about 2 minutes, coat it with crusting and spices, and then cook it in the toaster oven for about 25 minutes), half a cup of brown rice or a small potato (I have to admit I'm not a big fan of brown rice - I don't like the texture. I do love wild rice but it's super expensive.), and a bunch of veggies. If I do a potato, I'll microwave it in a baggie for a couple minutes, cover it with fake butter (can't believe it's not...), veggies, and a dollop of fat free sour cream. It's surprisingly tasty.

Sixth meal (8): Skinny cow or other such yummy cold treat - about 100 calories or less. Yeah, not much of a meal, but it's a perfect late treat.

Dan said if I eat later than 7 pm I should cut out the rice or potato. And if I stay up really late I can do a small snack of protein (like a cheese stick or egg or something).

Simple enough, right?

So the deal is, you raise the calories every week till you're barely losing and then drop them suddenly again - this keeps you from hitting plateaus and also trains your metabolism higher and higher. Pretty nifty trick, eh?

I'd put up another pic, but the numbers aren't changing yet. Not there anyway.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Frustration / Fresh!

This week I'm supposed to be very careful about what I eat. Like exact in my portions and times and such.

Unfortunately, I'm finding that it's tough to keep it up sometimes. The 4th was a real tough one. I've been great since, of course. I've done my weights and done cardio 3 times already (one more today and I'll get it all in).

I don't feel satisfied though. Dan cut out my Sun Chips, so I keep looking at that unopened bag of peppercorn ranch Sun Chips longingly. I did get some great veggies though and that has helped. I'm a sucker for asparagus. And tomatoes. Drool!!!!! I cut up a big juicy tomato yesterday and Felix ate the whole thing. I need to get back to the store and get more. I'm glad he's such a big fan like I am. Broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, artichokes...

I think next year I'm going to tear up a large chunk of my parents' yard and do a veggie garden. Maybe I could do artichokes around the edges. I don't know if you've ever seen them growing, but they're funky.

In Italy I met a family who had an artichoke farm. I got to spend a day pickling artichokes and mushrooms and we ate a large number of them too. I can't even begin to describe just how amazingly yummy these things are. We're talking tender, juicy, tangy, fresh, so yummy your mouth will yearn for them for years to come. Drool again!

That kind of food makes me not miss things like hamburgers and french fries. My sis is growing potatoes in her garden. She also has a large strawberry patch (can anything beat fresh strawberries?!) and a bunch of other good stuff.

Oh, I did find out that there is a kind of kiwi that grows in Utah. It's a vine and it's hardy to -25 degrees. According to one website: "Hardy Kiwis are much smaller, about the size of a large grape. The fruit’s skin is smooth like a grape and does not require peeling before eating. Kiwi culture is also similar to that of grapes. The plants grow as a vine and require strong support and annual pruning for the best production and quality."

Friday, July 3, 2009


Some have asked what kinds of foods I eat on this eating plan. It hasn't changed much from that first post - not significantly, at least. But here's a pic of what will eventually be today's snacks: Sugar snap peas, best flavor of crackers out there, fudge ice cream bar, the cheapest (and best) string cheese... And I didn't include the Honey Kix (super low cal and very yummy), the yogurt (Fiber One or Activia Light), the fancy fish fillets or chicken breasts (I have a great and simple way to prepare them that keeps moisture and flavor - ask if you're interested), or the really yummy new flavor of Crystal Light Immunity - Cherry Pomegranate.

Truth is that I eat really well. I just occasionally get tempted by the chocolate and the soda and the Chik-fil-A. 6 months. Then, my metabolism will be trained and I can have that occasional treat and it won't matter. Thank goodness there are good-tasting health foods now though or I don't think I'd make it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Week 3 - another pound down

One lousy pound. Dan said not to be worried though because that shows him where my metabolism is. Now we drop 300 calories per day to start training my metabolism to be where we want it.

Apparently by raising and lowering the calories, that keeps me from hitting a plateau, and I'm totally okay with that.

Of course, I have to follow everything by the numbers this week. That means I have to get all 1300 of my calories as specified (I can still mix things up within though, like doing fish instead of chicken at dinner). And I have to keep walking/biking and I definitely need to do the weights that Dan has planned for me.

Dan said I could cheat at the bbq on the 4th, but otherwise I need to be good. I think I can do that as long as I do some shopping. I need the variety and I'm almost out of cheese sticks.

Interesting to note this week. Dan said that to maintain my current weight I'd need like 2700 calories a day. I'd like to think that's gross, but that's what I've been doing. I guess the Italians weren't kidding when they called me golosa (glutton). And I was even skinny (comparatively) back then. Crazy stuff.

I can't wait till my metabolism is back to healthy.