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Posts Tagged ‘Weight Loss’

Welcome back to The Weight Loss DiaBLOG! We have so much catching up to do!

Since we were last together, there is so much that has been going on! For some it has been the end of vacations, the return to school and/or work. If you live in an area of four distinct seasons, the weather is cooling, the leaves are changing, and the days are lessening in hours of light.
I always find that the beginning of the school year is like New Years. It is a time of starting over, creating new habits and making goals for the year to come. In that regard the turn of the calendars to September is a good opportunity to get focused on healthy eating and living.
The start of the school year was like that for me. For one thing I am too busy, too tired and too stressed to eat much! Sadly, my body thinks it is that of a polar bear, and when I endeavor to eat less it automatically goes into hibernation mode, slows down the metabolic processes of my digestion, and shuts down the ability to shed any weight. So, I eat healthy, I eat less (significantly less) and the scales still do not move south! As a matter of fact, one particular week, I was below my caloric intake every day for an entire week, and I gained two pounds! How does that happen?
The flip side to the similarities I share to a hibernating creature, is that eventually my body has to recognize the obvious, and my body lets go of a pound or two. So, this past month my weight loss was only TWO pounds, but I promise you, it is a minuscule representative of the effort that I put in to dropping it!
I need to give you a success update that (sadly) is not reflecting on the scales of doom, and that is my writing last month about the need to ensure that food is not an idol in my life. The consciousness of this has really changed my habits. Let me give you an example; recently, at lunch, in the staff room, a box of really good chocolates sat on the table. I looked at it, and memories of chocolates past danced through my memory, like sugar plums. Then I asked myself, “do you want one because you really want one, or because they are in sight?” The answer was clear, I was not hungry, I was not even desiring chocolate at that time (a miracle in itself!). So, I passed … and didn’t regret it. Now, if the answer was yes, I would have taken one, and just one.
For me, to take the time to really consider the difference between need and desire, over eating because it is there is a monumental change. There have even been a few times when I have left food on my plate (something our beast was immensely delighted about), and for those of us who grew up under the rule to “clean everything off your plate” that is also a monumental change.
As far as my goals for this past month, I have been recording my intake daily, even when I knew I would be over my daily goals. This has been made easier because one of my co-workers is also using myfitnesspal, and so I have an accountability partner to celebrate successes and share frustrations! I have not gotten to the point of walking on a daily basis, but I am up to three times a week.
Well, off I go, I need to do something about these legs that are looking far too much like a polar bear too!
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Eight weeks in, nine pounds lost. Some goals achieved, and some not so much.

As I look at the image to the right, I feel a bit disappointed. Although at four weeks I was seeing my body changing, I really stagnated at that point, as my weight made a climb up and then back down to where it was again.
But I am not giving up!
In the months to come I will return to the Weight Loss DiaBLOG, but not every week. I will update about every four weeks. Doing this will give me the accountability of a month at a time, and will, hopefully, provide greater changes to report.
I am also planning on sharing pictures of changes, and starting to take measurements, with the hopes that I will be encouraged by changes other than numbers on the scales of doom.

I truly love all of your input. The things that work for you can work for others, and the things that frustrate you also frustrate others. With each email, comment, or note I have gotten I have been encouraged that I am not in this alone, but I am part of a larger group of people who are trying to live differently, healthier.

This week, as I was interacting with another blogger about a topic vastly different from weight loss and exercise, I had a bit of an ‘ah-ha’ moment. We were discussing the things in our lives that we have put ahead of God, or in the place of God, and how we are learning about the rightful place of God above all else. For days now, since that conversation, I have pondered food as an idol in my life.

Food is a need for living. Food is pleasureful. Food requires time planning what to have, preparing it, serving it, eating it (suffering heartburn after eating it, followed by poor sleep). Food is very much a part of our every day. Do I spend too much time thinking about it? Do I finish one meal, and start thinking about, longing for the next? Do I live for it? Is it an idol in my heart, my life?

I may have had a eureka moment with this one. I think I need to keep questioning what height of priority I am giving to this beast, and start eating to meet my needs, and not my wants. This will be a work in progress!

For this first four weeks to come my goals are simply to get back on track with recording my foods eaten, and to get walking on a daily basis. Hold me accountable! If you think of me, send me a note and ask how I’m doing. If you see me, ask me if I walked yet today.

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This past week started with great enthusiasm to get back to walking, and to eat more healthy. Then I got sick … the walking didn’t happen much. One day when sick I did well to walk from the kitchen for more water then back to the living room to lie on the couch.

So, week seven and I have re-lost the three pounds that I had gained, and am now holding firm … well, actually there is little on me that is firm, but I am heading in that direction!

I was told once that we have two choices as we age, we can either be wrinkle free or thin, but not both. I am opting for the wrinkles (although if I actually achieve my  l o n g  term goals a little plastic surgery nip and tuck … heck, more like yank and fold … might be necessary).

As we have been experiencing a heat wave here in the Pacific Northwest, food is of little interest to me. I have preferred water, Jumbo Freezies (only 100 calories for a Jumbo one, and no fat), and raw vegetables and fruit. So, once it all digests I expect to be pretty much a stick person!

I am not sure about those of you who are in this lifestyle change with me, but I have reached a bit of a plateau. Not physically, but mentally. I feel a bit like my mental get up and go attitude has gotten up and gone.

What do you do when you reach this point? How do you get the desire to keep going back? I would love your input!

 

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Six weeks down and … what was lost has been found … in the form of 3 pounds … 😦

The effects of vacation, and more so, returning from vacation, have amounted to a gain … sigh.

It is not depressing me, as I was anticipating it. Just last night, after polishing off a bowl of Reeces Peanut Butter Cup ice cream (I didn’t buy it, it was just there in the freezer calling my name … I am SO weak), I remembered that the next day was weigh day … too late. I have not continued walking since getting home (much to the chagrin of my beast), and I have not eaten with awareness of what I am putting in my mouth. So, I now live with the consequences of my actions … and my ACTIONS must be better next week!

So, since my recovery from vacation (and bacon) is still in process, I thought I would spend the blog post today on a subject that is close to my heart, and still pertinent to the goal of moving from our old selves to our new self.

The subject is that of the self perception of women in regards to their appearance. Check out this video:

I do believe that this video, were it shot in another city (perhaps where you or I live) and with different women (perhaps with you or I … and our friends) the results would be the same. We struggle to see anything good about our bodies.

What I wish had been done is to include a portion of video of young girls (before the onset of puberty), and asking them the same question. I have a good feeling that their responses would have been quick and that they would have been able to identify numerous things that they love about their body.

What is it that changes in the self perception of females as we grow from child to adult?

See what these girls have to say:

So, how old do you think that first girl is?

How sad, how very sad. Especially since the place (school) that most teens spend most of their waking hours is the place where the negative messages are communicated to them on a regular basis. The pack (like a wolf pack) mentality reigns, and the weak can become trampled. For those of us who work within schools it is vital that we speak constant words of affirmation to the girls in our classes, and who we pass in the halls. Our affirmations might be the only positive message that a girl might hear all day, and we need to be the agents of change for the next generation. For those of us who know girls in any context (our daughters, their friends, at church, in community groups, at the grocery store, the daughters of our friends, etc.).

The self-perception of our next generation of girls could be one of the most effective ways to deal with weight-related health issues in the next generation. If a girl can feel comfortable with her body, she might be more likely to join in that sport, in that dance, in that swim.

How many of us refuse to bring our swim suit to someone’s home when they invite us for a swim?

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Week number four was one of cravings, and week number five was one of temptations!

I have to say I was so very excited by my progress … and a little scared, because vacation was coming, and this vacation location provides breakfasts (with bacon) and dinners created by a creative and talented chef …

I   a m   s o   w e a k    . . .

After four weeks of trying to change my habits, it has now become work … hard work! That said, I have still not become faithful with exercise. Oh, I have hopped in the pool, and spent hours walking the aisles of thrift shops, but not so much the daily walks and abdominal exercises.

And that was my goal this past week.

We come to Cannon Beach every summer to attend Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center family camp.

From our room to the famous Haystack Rock (above picture), is about one mile. My goal for the week was to walk there and back at least once every morning (meaning that I could have my bacon, and eat it too).

After two days of two, two-hour walks, I thought I might never walk again. But, alas, the reward of getting my bacon made the gain worth the pain (I only wish they served bacon EVERY day!). I did the walk at least once every day (and twice on about half of the days that we were there) that we were there, and felt great satisfaction for it!

I was also very faithful to myfitnesspal app. Even though there were a few days that I went over my caloric goals (despite my walking), I was still feeling like it was a complete success heath wise. And really the holistic perspective is what it is all about.

I do not have a weight loss update, as I was away from my scales (but feeling no sense of separation anxiety for it) on Friday, so I’ll have until this coming Friday to erase the sins of bacon-filled days past.

Let me know how the summer is making living healthy easier or more difficult.

Week 6

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Week number four has been one of … cravings! It all started with hubby bringing home … ice cream (it’s a good thing it wasn’t cookies, or I might have given in).

I tried a recipe for cookies that had no added sugar, butter or eggs.

The ingredient list included:
oats (I love oats),
cocoa (who could say no to cocoa?),
bananas (yum!),
peanut butter (so much for no butter … and peanut butter is divine),
and vanilla.

I was so eager for these little 47 calorie treats!

Unfortunately they were not so tasty. I don’t even think that the Cookie Monster would have enjoyed them! Plus, three days after I made them they started to grow that familiar hairy material known as mold (and I discovered the ‘hair’ AFTER eating one … blech)!

I considered adding an egg and sugar, but figured that would defeat the purpose … back to the drawing board.

Even with the cravings, I still lost THREE more POUNDS!

I have to say I am so very excited by my progress … and a little scared, because vacation is coming, and this vacation location provides breakfasts (with bacon) and dinners created by a creative and talented chef …

I   a m   s o   w e a k !

It is interesting to me that the people who have joined me in going from Old to New, have been so much more successful in their physical activities, and less so on the scales … maybe that is what is hindering me 😉 , I am afraid that if I exercise I will not lose anymore weight? Sounds like another excuse to me.

Oh, hubby did suggest a walk on my favorite trail the other day. It was sunny, it was warm, it was perfect. I am not sure who was grinning more, the beast or me. Unfortunately, the river is high, and the mosquitoes swarmed us as soon as we entered the wooded part of the trail. I thought they were going to literally carry us off. I had not experienced mosquitoes like that since I was a child and our family was on vacation on the Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia. So, our intended hour-long trek lasted only thirty minutes.

After four weeks of trying to change my habits, it has now become work … hard work! That said, I have still not become faithful with exercise. Oh, I have hopped in the pool, and spent hours walking the aisles of thrift shops, but not so much the daily walks and abdominal exercises.

And that is my goal this next week.

Week 5

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“Another ONE bites the dusk
And another ONE gone, and another ONE gone
Another ONE bites the dust”
(Queen)

After three weeks I am now down six pound.

I have to say I so did not deserve to lose even that one pound this week. My little get-a-way with hubby/wedding celebration of a friend was not so good for the good eating habits I was getting into.

But I did discover a product that I love to have for lunch, that is super nutritious, and delicious. It is called “Texas Caviar” by a company called Pita Pal (who also makes amazing hummus).  The following are the nutritional facts for one serving … that is a whopping 3/4 cup! Heck, there are so few calories and fat, go ahead and have a larger serving!

Calories 70 Sodium 330 mg
Total Fat 3 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 12 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 3 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 2 g
Trans 0 g Protein 3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 6% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 30% Iron 6%

Ingredients listed on the container are: blackeye peas, bell pepper, jicama, corn, onion, parsley, red pepper, cilantro, orange juice, canola oil, spices, citric acid, sea salt, potassium sorbate and a lot of love!

Now, you might be asking, what is a jicama? Well, it’s picture is to the left, and I would say it looks like a combination between an onion, a potato and a turnip. It’s delightful ‘crunch’ when you bite into it will make you love what little flavor it has.

Back to our progress …

One of you is biking up a storm, but a little disappointed to not be showing much evidence on the scales of doom.
I did a little checking, and biking builds strength and muscle tone, it builds stamina, it improves cardi-vascular fitness, it boosts your metabolic rate, improves coordination (hum, I should take up biking, I am the most clumsy person in the world), it reduces stress, and it provides opportunity to breath fresh air! It does burn calories, so keep it up!

Another of you is a faithful user of http://www.myfitnesspal.com.
YOU are my hero!

Another of you has re-defined fast food.
She uses a divided container like the one on the right, to hold prepared salad fixings, so that when you need fast food, a salad is almost completely ready when you, or one of your kids, opens the refrigerator door! Love it!

Another of you is struggling with eating and all right, and swimming for exercise, but not seeing the evidence on those scales of doom.
Well, do not thing that you are getting nowhere my friend. You are getting healthier, and those benefits are not necessarily seen on the scales! According to Health Canada, your increasingly “healthy habits may help you reduce your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis while providing many benefits such as:

  • Better overall health
  • Lower risk of disease
  • A healthy body weight (it will happen, your metabolism is just hanging on for dear life)
  • Feeling and looking better
  • More energy
  • Stronger muscles and bones”

It looks to me as though living healthier is like an iceberg, much of the benefits are unseen (underwater), we only see the small, slow, numerical effects  (above the water). So, do not despair. Besides the fact that your kids can see you living healthier only increases that underwater part … as they have healthier living modeled to them!

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