Weight Loss Tracker

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I finally got it!!

Earlier this year I was talking about wanting one of these Weider Powerbells (weighted plates take it from five to 20 pounds), and good thing I waited!  When I found them, I think I could only get it online, and it was $120.  Granted, I could make three payments of $40, but I doubt that even included shipping.

For some reason I thought about it yesterday and did a search, and I found that Sears carrys them.  Not only that, they are now $99.  My local Sears showed they had two, so I went out today and got what appeared to be their last one (obviously their stock info was wrong)!  WOOT WOOT!

This weekend we plan to lay the flooring in the basement, so as soon as that is done, I'll have a workable basement again.  Bring on the workouts!

Here's a link to the different butt-kickin' workouts to do with this thing  :http://www.getpowerbell.com/powerdvd.html

12 Must-Keep Diet and Nutrition Resolutions

Though we all know we're not "on a diet," per se, we still have to follow certain "diet" rules.  I looked through these and they could work well for all of us this upcoming year.  Enjoy.  :)

January: Focus on Fat

Because it has the highest concentration of calories, cut down on fat intake, and saturated fats in particular — heavy cream, butter, sour cream, and cream cheese — which elevate LDL, the bad cholesterol, explains Barbara Schmidt, MS, RD, lifestyle specialist at Norwalk Hospital and private practice nutritionist in New Canaan, Conn.

February: Jot Down Your Diet

Take a few minutes every weekend to map out your daily diet for the coming week. With a checklist format, you can tick off each item as you eat it. "It's important to track calories if you are watching your weight," says Dr. Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston University Medical Center. Adds Schmidt, "Keeping a record makes you aware of what you're eating and makes you a student of your habits, to keep you on course and prevent unconscious eating. Keep an exercise record, too."

March: Eat a Better Breakfast

It's advice we know — and usually ignore! Not only does skipping breakfast keep you from getting vital nutrients, it can lead to your grabbing tasteless, empty-calorie foods, like that stale Danish from the office coffee cart. "Breakfast stokes up your furnace and gets your metabolism going for the entire day," says Schmidt. And the best breakfast choices are fast and easy:
  • Fresh fruit & yogurt
  • High-fiber cereal with skim milk and fruit
  • Oatmeal
  • Smoothie made with nonfat yogurt, frozen blueberries, and avocado  

April: Add Some Weight to Your Workout

The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism, and the faster your weight loss, explains Schmidt. Experts suggest adding two sessions of targeted weight training to your weekly fitness program through either free weights, resistance machines, or exercises using Therabands. Try Dr. Apovian's favorite: Do lunges from one end of the room to the other as you use hand weights to work biceps and triceps.

May: Stop Stress Eating

Use behavior modification to keep you from reaching for the cookies when you get anxious. "Try activities that aren't compatible with eating, like knitting, playing piano, and painting," suggests Schmidt. When you're tempted between meals, she suggests looking at your watch and asking yourself, "Is it my time to eat?" If not, grab the paintbrush. The problem with between-meal nibbling is the chain reaction it starts: We take a bite of a candy bar, feel guilty about it, and then eat the whole thing! Because stress eating is often done on the fly, Apovian says to abide by the following mantra: If you cannot enjoy every bite and eat slowly, it is not worth eating.

June: Stick to Healthy Portions

Often, it's the amount of the food you eat that derails your diet. Suggested serving sizes are surprisingly small, and starches pile up fast. "One serving of pasta or rice is only one-third cup. If you eat one cup, which is not a lot, that's already three servings. A bagel equals five slices of bread, and can't be part of your repertoire if you want to lose weight," says Schmidt. Fats are even more concentrated. Just six almonds equal one serving — eat a cupful and you've consumed 1,000 calories! Apovian recommends the "new American plate": 50 percent vegetables, 25 percent protein, 25 percent starch, and a piece of fruit for dessert.

Size up portions this way:
  • 3 ounces of protein = a deck of cards
  • 1 cup rice or pasta, 1 medium fruit = tennis ball
  • 1 ounce cheese = a pair of dice
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter = ping-pong ball
  • 1 tablespoon oil, salad dressing = ½ ping-pong ball 

July: Feed Your Mind and Body

So often people eat simply because they're bored and depressed about being on a diet! Shift your focus away from the drudgery of counting calories and find ways to replace eating with fun. Investigate activities that not only get you up and moving, but may also promote well-being, like yoga, Pilates, and meditation. "You need to take that time for yourself," says Schmidt. "Even if you just go for a 30-minute walk, for instance, to get away from daily living, you could relax and be stress-free." Other ideas to get you moving:
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Golf (walk, don't use the cart!)
  • Kickboxing
  • TV fitness shows 

August: Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals and antioxidants to keep you healthy, young, and free of cancer. The goal is "five a day," but to lose weight, keep serving sizes in mind. Many whole fruits are two servings, like a large apple or a banana. "Eat both and you've already had four servings," warns Schmidt. Sugar snap peas and baby carrots are two good snacks. Bolognese sauce on spaghetti squash is a great pasta alternative, says Apovian. But beware of what you put on your produce. Hummus adds fat; a better alternative is low-fat dip or salad dressing. Peanut butter on apple slices tastes great, but adds 100 calories per spoonful.

September: Develop a Better Body Image

It's easy to lose motivation if you tell yourself you'll never reach your goal of becoming a supermodel. Realize that most women don't have the "perfect" body — you might have some diet-resistant trouble spots, but that's no reason to quit. Find ways to celebrate every lost pound and set your sights on being the best you can be. "Focus on exercise and improving performance and the body will follow," says Apovian. Adds Schmidt: "I always tell my clients it's about being healthy, not about being thin."

October: Break the Binge/Guilt/Binge Cycle

You're changing your lifestyle, so change your behaviors, too. Promise yourself no more binges, even when you fall off the wagon. Just because you ate a slice of cake doesn't mean you should follow it with slices two and three. One piece of cake is 500 calories, while a pound of fat is 3,500. You'd have to eat it every day for a week to gain a pound. Once won't derail all the work you've done, so don't beat yourself up — just get back on track, says Schmidt.

November: Get More Sleep to Lose Weight

"We all should sleep eight hours a night," stresses Apovian. Studies show that people who don't get enough rest eat more when they're awake. If you find yourself dragging in the afternoon, you might think, I'm tired, so I'll eat. "But you feel tired because you're dehydrated and need to drink more water," explains Schmidt. Speaking of fluids, if you sip a lot of coffee and caffeinated sodas throughout the day, you might have trouble sleeping at night — plus caffeine further dehydrates you, requiring you to drink even more water.

December: Practice Moderation During the Holidays

"Exercise at every opportunity," says Schmidt. "Try for all seven days a week because you'll be eating more calories." Her day-of-the-party strategy is to have your regular meals, with a light snack beforehand "to take the edge off so you don't arrive ravenous and ready to eat the furniture." Watch liquid calories, especially sweet drinks like eggnog, which are high in fat. Set a two-glass limit on wine or wine spritzers, and sip a seltzer in between. Remember, alcohol increases triglyceride levels and slows down your metabolism. Focus on enjoying other holiday activities, like caroling, decorating the tree, and dancing, says Apovian.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Down one size, but it's not what you think

I got some gorgeous earrings for my anniversary (yeah, I know... don't know the story there, especially since we were fighting on our anniversary), and they were so expensive it made me really think about finally gettingg a jewelry rider on our homeowner's insurance.  I have an appraisal for the earrings, but the ones I had for our wedding rings are 16 years old, and I have another ring (one of those three-diamond types they typically call the past, present, and future) that I put together from an old engagement ring and two diamonds from his grandmother's old wedding rings which I have no idea the value of.  This particular ring, however, was also too big and, especially since it's wintertime here, it tends to twirl all around my finger -- which means I don't wear it now.  So I'm getting it re-sized along with the appraisal.

Well, I have on a ring that I've almost never been able to wear since I got it because my fingers were just too big, but lately I am able to wear it.  It's on the finger that the three-diamond ring would normally go on (ring finger, right hand).  I gave this ring to the girl behind the counter and said I needed the other one sized to this one's size.  Omg, ONE WHOLE SIZE.  The ring was a 7, and I now need it in a 6.  That's a lotta fat in one's finger to go down an entire size.  And the thing is, when I was thin, I wore about a 4 1/2 to 5.  Maybe one day...  :)

Kind of a non-scale victory, but I'll take a small size anywhere in ANYthing.  :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Redefining myself

I had a good session with Heather last night, though it was a hard one.

I haven't seen her in about a month due to my classes and trying to get everything wrapped up for the semester.  The last two weeks of school were brutal -- total stress eating, bad choices, hand-to-mouth, all of it.  The bad thing is that since school ended, THEN it was celebrating -- drinking Colorado Bulldogs (very fattening, even for alcohol), ice cream, and chips.  The result is certainly no surprise -- a six pound gain.  To boot, I wasn't even making time for exercise those last two weeks because I was studying so hard -- the ONLY time I had missed exercise since the first of October.

Obviously she wasn't happy to hear how I had dealt with the stress, reverting to old habits.  She was asking me why my grades were so important to me, what was the significance to me and what did it mean to not do well?  What drove me?  I told her it was odd -- I'm VERY particular and a perfectionist about my school work and my work ethic/product when I'm at a job, but my house looks like hell.  Very odd to me, but I guess it's somewhat common, to not be perfectionistic in all aspects of one's life and focus on some areas of importance.

I said I wasn't sure what drove me, what made this area of my life so important to-- and then I stopped dead.  I took in a deep breath, let out a "whoa..." and started crying.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  When I was a kid, I was told I would never amount to anything.  I don't think it was said a lot, but it was enough to make a huge impact on my faith in myself.  I think I'm busy trying to prove to myself that that wasn't true, and getting good grades or doing a good job is one way that I help stamp down that inner voice that keeps trying to hold me back and make me doubt myself.

This isn't about trashing the person this came from; it's completely about me unlearning some horrible things that I tell myself and that the deep, dark recesses of my being tend to believe:

You'll never amount to anything
You'll never finish
You're worthless
What makes you so special
Why are you doing this
You can't do it
What are you thinking
You're an idiot/moron/dumb fuck/loser

Whether I've heard all of these things at one time in my life or anther with my physical ears or my mental ones I can't say.  The lines have blurred between when some of these may have been said to me and when I took up the mantra myself and let those thoughts seep into the dark recesses of my own psyche.  How does one undo something that feels like it's part of their DNA?  How does one begin to have faith in themselves, to truly believe in themselves?  I mean, I get angry at my own demons, knowing that I'm intelligent and not worthless, that I'm a pretty decent human being overall, but still... it never goes away.  The lies that are my demons never get chased off by the angels that are my truths.  Why is that?  At 44 years of age, will this ever change?

I know it is what has hurt me in the past with weight loss.  I still have the dieter mentality even now, feeling success and failure with every pound lost or gained.  I define myself based on my accomplishments, whatever they are.  I allow society to tell me that my worth is based on how young I am, how I look, how thin I am, how wealthy I am (though the latter doesn't matter so long as I have the first three because I'm a woman)... I mean, how fucked up IS that?  Who are they to decide??  Yet they do.  They have that power.  Somehow, they have that power. 

And it doubles up with my own self-doubts and can feel so suffocating sometimes.  I sometimes feel like such a fake because what people see is a strong person, somebody with outer strength.  But like the zodiac that I am -- Cancer -- I appear hard on the outside but I feel so frail inside.  People who don't know me that well can hardly believe it when I share glimpses of the real me, the things that scare me, cripple me, bring me to my knees, incapacitate me.  I'm an open book, yet I put up walls.  I feel fake, but somehow both personas are me.  I used my size for so long to help add to my outer strength, or the appearance of it -- so now what?  When I let this go, what then?  Do I change?  WILL I change?  Hell, CAN I change?

It's so hard to believe what affects us for life.  What happened happened, but why do we -- hell, why do I -- then choose (and yes, it's a choice of some form) to believe, hang on, and feed that which hurts the most?  Will I ever get this right?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My FINAL final is finally finalized!

Omg, I'm DONE -- for a month, that is.  I had my last final on Thursday, and I've been somewhat busy doing stuff I want to do since then.   Well, except for today.  Today I was shoveling snow.  Lots and lots of snow.  The photo above is from my neighbor's across our common driveway.  I thought it was just SO pretty!

But I have all my grades in now -- two As and three Bs.  Not disappointed.  Next semester I have signed up for six classes, though.  It's only one more credit hour, but one more class.  I'm either horribly stupid or brave.  Or horribly stupid.

I don't go back until January 19, so I have things I want to get done now.  First of all is this HOUSE.  Omg, I haven't cleaned since before the semester started.  Yes, you read that right.  I had so much dog hair clustering on my hardwoods that I was about to just name it and say I have three dogs instead of just two.  I figured the easiest thing to do would be to get a leaf blower in here and just blow everything out.

The good news now is maybe I can get back on track with my eating.  Holy moly, I don't even want to know how badly I did these last couple weeks.  But ever since classes ended, I haven't really been all that hungry, which is good.  Tuesday I go in for fluro and possibly a slight re-fill.

Anyway, mama's back for a little bit.  I hope to find some really good info to share here with y'all.  Welcome to all the new joins!  :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Aaaahhh, sleep, that elusive creature

I went in on Friday and got a slight unfilill -- about 1cc.  Though I wasn't happy about that, the unfill -- along with a perscription for Nexium -- seemed to do the trick last night.  I only wish it was longer, since I had to get up about 8:30 in the morning to get up and ready for a final I had at 10:30.

But wow, the sleep was NICE!  I had hardly slept since Monday.  I had called the doctor's office Friday morning, asking what I should do, and the receptionist asked if I could hold out until Monday because my fill doc was out until then.  I almost started crying, and I told her I had hardly slept since Monday.  She texted him, and he wanted to come in and help me take care of it.  Thursday night/Friday morning's episode had been pretty bad, with me jumping out of  bed coughing and sputtering because of the horrendous reflux I experienced.  I felt like I was going to drown.  I took a THIRD Protonix, only to feel myself refluxing on it (the taste, not the pill itself) later in the morning.

Anyway, sleep was WELL received.  I even took a nap today (Saturday) after taking my first of four finals.  That felt very good too.

I have an appointment with my doctor on 12/22 (already scheduled) that has now turned into a fluro exam.  We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Okay, dangit, this is getting old...

The reflux I was talking about late last week responded to the Protonix my P.A. put me on.  And then it stopped.  o_O

Friday through Sunday, I slept great.  But starting Monday night and since then, I've been having the same exact issue -- even ON the Protonix (twice a day, mind you).  Granted, I'm not experiencing the same amount of reflux, but still... it's enough to wake me up numerous times a night.  However, it's weird -- it doesn't seem to be as much acid as it seems to be saliva.  I'm not sure what that's all about.

I called the office the other day to ask what I should do.  They said I could either come in for a slight unfill, or I could simply try to just deal with it until finals are over next week.  Since I'm self-pay, it's not really worth it to me to pay for an unfill just to turn around and get another fill later on.  I'm already scheduled for the 22nd for a potential slight fill.

I got a new Sleep Number bed the other day (a bed I've been wanting for nearly a dozen years) and I haven't even really been able to fully enjoy it because of the damned reflux.  :(

W-w-w-w-ow, w-w-w-w-w-hassat?

Omg, I get COLD now!!  Today was a bit blustery, and all I had on over my tee was a zip-up hoodie.  In the past, that would have sufficed, but not today!

So I stopped by the store today to get a new coat.  My old ones are 3X, waaaay too big.  I got the one at Costco last month, but that was relatively lightweight.  I needed something with a bit more bulk.  I lucked out and got an XL on clearance for $29.95!  It's a tad bit tight, but it'll fit eventually.

But yeah, I get cold now!  Whassat?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The 4 Most Fattening Fall Foods

Good to know, especially the Starbucks info!  o_O

Watch Out for These Sneaky Calories!
-- By Sarah Haan, Registered Dietitian

Halloween marks the beginning of a two-month season packed with parties and desserts—now that's scary for anyone who is trying to manage his or her weight. Beyond the fun-size (and therefore calorie-controlled) candies of Halloween, several fall treats are big calorie bombs. Be on the lookout for these surprisingly high-cal foods, which can add up fast if you let your guard down.

Pumpkin Flavored Baked Goods

Pumpkin itself is a healthful food. Plain pumpkin puree contains a dose of vitamin A and fiber for a small amount of calories. But pair it with sugar, cream cheese frosting, shortening and butter and you’ve got a high-cal treat dressed in a healthy-looking orange outfit. Restaurants and coffee shops are the biggest villains, promoting their pumpkin scones, muffins, donuts and breads, which can contain up to 630 calories per serving. Don't let "low-fat" versions trick your either; low-fat is not the same thing as low-calorie. Your best bet is to avoid all of these pumpkin treats, unless you look up the nutrition facts before you bite and decide that it can fit into your day. Homemade treats, frequents at parties and offices, aren't necessarily better either, so be careful!

TRICK: You can bake your own pumpkin treats using less sugar and fat, plus whole-grain goodness. Use a mini muffin tin to help with keep your portions in check and steer clear of these seasonal baked goods!

Hot Seasonal Beverages

Sometimes there is nothing more enjoyable than sipping a hot drink on a crisp fall day. Many coffee joints offer special seasonal beverages during the holidays. While plain coffee is low-cal, seasonal lattes and drinks contain a lot of sugar, and most boast a heavy dose of cream, too. A medium pumpkin spice latte with whole milk is 410 calories at Starbucks, and its competitors don't do much better. As liquid calories do not aid in fullness or satiety, these calories probably are not worth it!

TRICK: Order a small beverage (if you must) and lighten the load by requesting fat free milk and holding any whipped topping. Freshly brewed chai tea can be a great alternative that is virtually calorie-free, but look out for blended drinks that are ready to serve; they often contain cream, syrups and lots of added sugar. Many coffeehouses use a sugar syrup as the base for their chai; ask that yours be made with real tea and no added sugar. Request hot water and a teabag of chai tea (black tea with spices) with some low-fat milk on the side. Watch out for these high-cal hot beverages!

Caramel Apple Anything

Yes, it’s obvious. If you cover a healthy fruit with sugar, it becomes a less healthy choice. Simple caramel apples seem innocent, but they can pack 300 calories onto that little wooden stick. Pop extra sprinkles, candies or nuts onto the outside of the apple and it’ll amp the calorie level even further. It's also good practice to avoid caramel apple desserts and baked goods from most restaurants. Most don't even contain a single serving of fruit and more than their fair share of calories and fat (see chart below).

TRICK: Enjoy your apples by cutting them into wedges and dipping them into low fat caramel dip, fat free vanilla yogurt or peanut butter. The following high-cal treats are far from healthy.

Chocolate Fun Size Candies

They may be teeny-tiny, but at an average of about 100 calories a pop, these popular fun-size treats can really add up! Sure they're smaller than a full size bar and offer built-in portion control, but how often do you stop after just one? It's far too easy to eat four of five "little" candies, thinking you're not doing much damage, but that can easily add up to 400 or 500 calories in a matter of minutes. The bars that hide the most calories are those that contain peanut butter, coconut, chocolate, caramel, and nuts.

TRICK: Start reading fun-size labels before throwing out the package so that you're not eating blindly; these calories do count. Figure out the best choice for you and stick with that particular treat. Fun-size peppermint patties and Twizzlers have about half of the calories of the average chocolate bar but keep in mind these can still add up! Here are 11 fun-size treats that all contain 100 calories or fewer.

The most important thing to remember during the fall season is to think before you bite. Don't make excuses about desserts or baked treats being "healthful" just because apple or pumpkin is in the name, and monitor your intake of tiny-size treats, which can easily add up to BIG numbers of calories. Think about what these seasonal treats are doing for your body and put your label reading skills to work and stay in control of your choices.

*Sources of Nutrition Facts

All calorie information, with the exception of Cheesecake Factory, came from respective restaurant and food manufacturer websites on October 20, 2009. All Cheesecake Factory calorie counts courtesy of CalorieLab.com, which posted scanned menus from a Washington state Cheesecake Factory, where restaurants must provide calorie counts by law. Total fat and sugars were not available. No nutrition facts are currently available on the Cheesecake Factory website.


5 Tips to Break Sugar Addiction

Okay, if you're not able (or willing) to do the Five Day Pouch Test, I found this article in Everyday Health to help break sugar addiction. I was personally a bit surprised by number three!  o_O

If you’re an American, there’s a good chance that you need to break a sugar addiction. From the time we’re children, processed sugar is constantly marketed to us. From Honey Comb to Hershey bars to a litany of carbonated beverages (the highest-grossing "food" sold in America), we spend our lives sucking saccharides in over-abundance.

Now, millions of us suffer from a variety of problems related to eating too much sugar, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

So, how do you break sugar addiction? Here are five tips to get you started.

1. Quit eating high-fructose corn syrup. Start checking nutrition labels and you’ll notice that a huge swath of what we eat has high-fructose corn syrup in it, especially sweets and junk foods. But you might think you have a healthy diet and still have a sugar addiction because you regularly eat yogurt, ketchup, granola and meal-replacement bars, and salad dressings – many of which contain high-fructose corn syrup. Despite piles of data explaining how dangerous this stuff is, profiteering food manufacturers continue to defend their use of it.

2. Eat natural sugars. Quit dumping white sugar into your recipes, coffee, tea, and cereal. If you must sweeten something, use honey or turbinado sugar (sold as Sugar in the Raw). Avoid brown sugar, as it’s often just white sugar with molasses added. While your food might, at first, seem bland, after a few weeks you’ll notice that lots of things are much sweeter than you knew, including grains, fruits, and milk. After a few months, you won’t miss refined sugar at all, and you’ll be able to tell that soda pop is nasty, syrupy goop.

3. Quit eating artificial sweeteners. At UC San Diego, researchers found that Splenda fires up the same neural pathways as sugar. Psychiatrist Guido Frank then told The Scientific American, "Splenda has less of a feedback mechanism to stop the craving to get satisfied." Which, to Frank, means it keeps you craving sugar. Again, if you really need to sweeten something, use natural sugars, and sparingly.

4. Eat plenty of fiber. Soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar – preventing sugar crashes and the cravings that inevitably follow. Soluble fiber can be found in fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, beans, fruits, and vegetables. I’ve found that beating sugar crashes is its own health benefit, as you escape the hunger, depression, and lack of energy that come with them. It also breaks the sugar addict’s cycle of refueling every couple hours with more sugar. Not to mention, fiber helps you feel full.

5. Wait out the cravings. Assuming you’re eating healthy foods in healthy amounts on a regular basis throughout the day, you should be able to out-wait sugar cravings as they arise. Like any food cravings, sugar cravings pass pretty quickly. If you’re starving yourself to lose weight, rather than eating properly, it’ll be much harder not to cave to sugar cravings. Here are some healthier desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cutting Calories: How Low Should You Go?

The more and more I think about it, I seriously think this is what happens to those of us with a band.  Let's face it, we are having our food and calorie intake restricted.  When that happens too much, I think our metabolisms stall out.  Here is what Everyday Health has to say about it:

Can Eating Too Few Calories Stall Your Metabolism?
Learn why cutting out too many calories can keep you from losing weight.

By Krisha McCoy, MS
Medically reviewed by Christine Wilmsen Craig, MD

If you're like most people who want to lose weight, you want to lose it fast. So you may be tempted to make drastic changes in your diet to dramatically reduce the number of calories you consume. But what you may not know is that eating too few calories can actually backfire and sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

"It would make sense to stop eating [when you are trying to lose weight], but it actually works in the opposite way," says Kimberly Lummus, MS, RD, Texas Dietetic Association media representative and public relations coordinator at the Austin Dietetic Association in Austin, Texas.

Calories and Your Health

The most effective way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you expend, creating a calorie deficit. But if your calorie intake dips too low, says Lummus, your body could go into starvation mode. "Your body will start to store fat because it thinks it is not going to get anything," says Lummus. "You will be at a point where your body is kind of at a standstill."

Lummus says that when your body goes into starvation mode, your metabolism slows to a crawl, burning calories as slowly as possible to conserve its energy stores. This is why people who cut their calories too much may reach a plateau and stop losing weight.

Eating too few calories can be the start of a vicious cycle that causes diet distress. When you cut your calories so low that your metabolism slows and you stop losing weight, you probably will become frustrated that your efforts are not paying off. This can lead you to overeat and ultimately gain weight.

"It is so hard to sustain cutting calories and eating too little. What typically happens is that the person will go in the opposite direction; they will just become too hungry and go into a binging mode," says Lummus. "Because you are getting frustrated by not seeing any weight loss, you just sort of throw in the towel."

In addition to sabotaging your weight-loss efforts, eating too few calories can also harm your health. When your body goes into starvation mode, you are at increased risk for the following:
  • Abnormally low blood pressure and slow heart rate
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Electrolyte imbalances, especially potassium deficiency
  • Gallstones
  • Hair loss
  • Brittle fingernails
  • Loss of menstrual periods in women
  • Soft hair growth over entire body
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anemia
  • Swelling in your joints
  • Brittle bones
  • Depression
Coming to Terms With Calories

Remember that calories are not your enemy. They are a vital part of a healthy and energetic life. "Your body needs a certain amount of calories just to sustain proper function," says Lummus. This is why fad diets that force you to cut out too many calories leave you feeling lethargic, shaky, and ready to give up.

Instead of opting for a fad diet, find a reasonable eating and exercise plan that allows you to lose one-half to two pounds per week. There is evidence that people who lose weight at this rate — by making better nutrition choices, eating smaller portion sizes, and exercising — also have the best chance of keeping it off. Make a plan to adopt new healthful habits that you will be able to stick to indefinitely, and always allow yourself a little wiggle room for special occasions.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Interesting news...

Well, I went and saw Paul, my P.A./fill doctor, and it seems I threw him for a loop.  I went in telling him what was going on, how I was feeling, etc., and at first he thought I needed a slight unfill.  I wasn't happy to hear that and asked how it was that I could have been filled back in July and it was just now giving me problems.  He explained how women have hormonal issues that can cause tightness, blah blah blah.  I wasn't really agreeing.

I added that I was in finals mode and that I figured the stress was a factor.  "Why didn't you say so?" he asked.  Okay, so he was thinking it was a temporary issue and decided to prescribe Protonix.  Then he asked about how I've been doing with food.  I said that I don't often feel hungry, but then I don't really ever feel "full" either, after eating what I SHOULD eat.  I also said that I've had no real problem eating anything.  He asked if the reflux had any residual food with it, and I said no -- which made him furrow his brow and exclaim that he was truly befuddled.  He said that maybe, instead of needing an UNfill, I actually need a fill -- that the acid reflux is a result of being a bit too open, especially since food was not being held in my pouch and brought up with the acid.

However, because I am symptomatic he would rather try the Protonix for right now, let things settle down, and then schedule me for a fill when classes are over.  That worked for me!  I would have never assumed I was in need of a fill, but maybe he's right.  Granted, that will put me on mushies over Christmas, but that's okay.  :)

Possibly time for a slight unfill

For about two weeks now, I've been experiencing reflux while I've been sleeping.  I had reflux once after a too-tight fill, but that lasted almost 24/7; however, this is different.  It's usually only at night, and it's been flooding me to the point where I'm waking up hacking and coughing, feeling like I'm drowning.

I'm not sure what may have caused me to be too tight since nothing has really changed... I haven't had a fill since I think June, so what may be causing it to be too tight six months later?  I don't know if it's stress related due to school or what.  Somebody I know mentioned that she had the same problem and was glad to find out it wasn't a slip.  A SLIP??  I wasn't even thinking about a slip!!

So the doctor gave me the choice of coming in today between surgeries he's performing or waiting until Monday.  I think I'll take today, thankyouverymuch.  I don't think I can handle another night of this.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I want to run a 5K

I checked with an online site called Active.com that shows activities in my area, and there are a few 5Ks that will be going on in the spring -- one in April, another in May.

I've never run more than three minutes at a time, and THAT was only once.  I have downloaded the Couch to 5K program on my computer -- now I just have to figure out how to get it onto my MP3 and start planning for this.

I've seen others I know do a 5K or half-marathon, and though I never considered myself the running type, I would SO consider this a feather in my cap and proof that I'm making this work out.

So... now it's in writing.  I don't want to just think about it, I want to say I'm going to DO it... because we all know what "thinking" about stuff does for us.

[For those interested in the podcasts that I'm referring to, you can find all 12 weeks here:  http://www.ullreys.com/robert/Podcasts/podcasts/podcasts.html .]

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

BAD PB, feeling sick

Whoa, Nellie, bad night! Hubby has been eating a lot of these breakfast burritos from a place here and asked if I wanted any. They're not HUGE, but more than I would eat, so I asked for half of one. I ate it and almost immediately got the burpy/bubble/swallow thing going that told me it wasn't going down quietly. o_O

I THOUGHT I could save it, but no, it was up and out not long after I finished. However, I guess because it was somewhat cheesy, it did not come up very easily. Not only that, it didn't come up in one episode. It took three.

Is it possible to PB more than you ate?? o_O Cuz it sure seemed like it.

Not long afterward, I felt somewhat sick. This one got me a bit nervous. I sure as hell don't want any band slippage.

This is one of those times I'll be taking it easy for a while and doing liquids. I was planning on going back on the five-day pouch test again if only because I've started experiencing reflux at night when I'm sleeping. It's not acid, but it's been waking me up, choking me (though I've been sleeping higher and higher on pillows) for a little over a week now. I haven't had a fill in a while, so I know it's not due to anything like that. Maybe I'm too tight, but it's hard to tell since my last fill was in either June or July. Stress from all the school work? I don't know... I figured if I did the pouch test, it might settle things down.

Zumba kicked my ever-lovin' butt!

Well, I ramped up my exercise a bit yesterday.  I again found myself at school on a Monday where I had about three house between classes, but I wanted to do things a bit different.  So I spent the first 35 minutes or so on the elliptical and then took two classes back-to-back.  The first one was a 30-minute class called ABC (Abs, Butt, and Core), which was then followed by a class called Zumba.  Apparently this is a whole phenomenon that I have not been aware of, and I think I know why -- because it's an ass-kickin', sweat-makin', heart-thumpin' dance-style workout that incorporates Latin-inspired moves that are gorgeous to watch when people who are thin and coordinated and have cute butts do it.  Sadly, however... I ain't that girl.  Nothing like trying to shake it this'a way and the blubber is counteracting that'a way.  o_O  Holy moly, I was a MESS!  It was like watching Jell-O during an earthquake.

I don't know if I should go back or not as I probably embarassed myself beyond words.  Red-faced, sweating like a pig, can't do the moves, lookin' ridiculous... yeah, gimme more of that, right?  But I DO see that, for three easy installments of $19.95, I can experience the excitement of Zumba in my own basement.  I'm thinking about it for when we get the floor put down between semesters later this month.

[link to a version of this program] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDXmi4icBW4