Weight Loss Tracker

Monday, August 9, 2010

Well, I missed the mark

Three months ago, I was 215 pounds and planning our trip to Jamaica.  At that time, I was excited because, if I had played my cards right, I thought I could be below 200 by the time we left.

That leave date is two days away.  I not only didn't get below 200, I am up to 232.  In the interim, I had an emergency partial unfill (2 whole cc which, had my fill doc been there, would NOT have happened) and am still not back up to where I was before the unfill.

I'm pretty damn discouraged.

I AM, however, heading to Jamaica for 9 days.  :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A birthday and -- what?

I had a birthday on Thursday.  It was uneventful and pretty much came and went with a sigh in more ways than one.

One of the reasons is that I probably weigh this year the same as I did at my birthday last year.  Granted, I'm not disappointed that I'm less than I was at my height, but... do I REALLY want to be over 200 pounds and view that as a GOOD thing??  I don't think so.  :(

I've been in a funk.  For the longest time it was the fact that I was doing everything right and not being "rewarded" for it with scale movement.  I know, I know, my clothes probably fit better, but we ALL want to see that number move down.  I SAY I don't care if I'm 300 pounds, so long as I can fit into a size 6 or 8, but we all know that's crap.  I want to be a normal weight too.

So I finally started to move down some and then had problems with reflux and getting badly stuck one day, which led my surgeon (not my regular fill person) to unfill me by almost half.  I'm STILL not back up to where I was, though I do have a fill scheduled for tomorrow at 1:00.  Thirteen and-a-half hours.  And counting.  Tick..................................................... Tock................................................... Tick................................................................................................................. Tock....................................................................................................................................

Hubby and I leave for Jamaica in just over two weeks, and back when I scheduled this vacation I was SURE I would get under 200 pounds as I only had 15 to go.  Then the unfill, and I gained 17.  This last month has not been good in many ways, and I have not felt much restriction.  And I've eaten as if I have no restriction.  I don't even have the nerve to get on the scale.

And exercise??  Pffffft, whassat?  WTH is wrong with me?  I SAY it's because I'm busy, but I'm not SO busy that I can't work out.  I'm just... I guess I'm just in a funk.  I never expected this to be a snap, but some seem to drop it SO easily while people like me may as well be on a regular diet for all the benefit I'm getting from this.  It really pisses me off.  :(

Thursday, July 15, 2010

God grant me strength

...to survive my foodie friends.

Foodie friends are moving closer to us.  Much closer.  Right now they are about 14 miles away.  At the end of the month they'll be 2.5 miles.  I know this because foodie friend wife did a mapquest search.  o_O  As it is, foodie friends don't seem to get the concept of responsibilities, moderation, or boundaries.  I have had to say "no" more times than I can count for different things.

Today I posted on Facebook that I got a B+ (88) on my first test in my C session summer class.  Her response?

"Great job!!! That sounds like a celebration at Cold Stone."

For those who aren't familiar with Cold Stone, it's an ice cream shop.  A very, VERY yummy ice cream shop.

I simply answered, "LOL, nope!"

Her answer was that she didn't mean today. 

I finally just said that I canNOT keep "rewarding" myself with food and goodies, so it's going to be a no.  Maybe I should ask her to send me money instead.  ;)

I'm not going to survive this move.  I like them well enough, but there are things about them that drive me nucking futs.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Not working as I had hoped

Well, I'm glad I got my fill so I can no longer eat a Yugo in one bite.  However, I'm still wide open enough to be able to eat a Vespa without really chewing. 

I have another fill scheduled for the 26th, thank God!  Here's hoping that one works but doesn't work TOO well so that I'm having issues, since we're heading to Jamaica on August 11.  That should be enough of a buffer to know if it is going to be okay or not.

But still -- I'm hungrier than I had hoped.  Couple that with the fact that I'm not exercising, and it's just a mess.  What's wrong with me??  :(

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fill 'er up

Omg, I finally got my fill today!  Holy cow, I was afraid I'd be back where I started if it didn't happen soon.

My fill doc was happy that I had "only" gained six pounds.  "Not so fast," I said.  I had been at a low of 215 during a time I hadn't been in the office.  That 215 came up as 232.4 in the office, so we're talking more like 17 pounds.  o_O

So... now begins the other downward spiral -- the spiral back to 215 and beyond.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Ah, a number.  Is that the size clothes I am now in?  The amount of weight I've lost?  The number of weight I must lose to get to a particular landmark?  The number of weeks I've been exercising?

No, that is the number of pounds I have GAINED since my emergency un-fill.  Color me unhappy.  :(

My fill is on Tuesday, and it can't come soon enough.  I'm so wide open I could swallow a Yugo whole.  o_O

Monday, June 7, 2010

I have to wait HOW LONG??

I called for my fill today and my doc isn't available until June 29th!!  OMFG, I will eat house and home by then!!  I know that after the backpacking excursion, my friend warned me that my body will go into a sort of shock mode and tell me I'm hungrier than I should be (and that may partly be it), but I'm having a hard time with feeling this hungry.  :(

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I need a fill...

Ugh, after that emergency unfill, I've been able to eat burgers (bun and all) and all manner of things I shouldn't be able to.  Being self-pay, I HATE having to go back and forth on this.  However, I am also gaining a few pounds and feeling pretty upset and stressed about it.  I need to figure out when's the best time to do this and get back on the pony.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I went on my first backpacking trek!

My neighbor, Keith, invited me to go backpacking/camping with him.  His life partner doesn't like to go anywhere that doesn't have a spa and cabana boys, and my husband is out of it for days after just mowing our postage-stamp sized lawn, so he and I went together.  It's something that I've never done before, and it was a true challenge.

We left out on Thursday morning and got back this afternoon.  We hiked close to 8 miles, but it was very rocky terrain with a lot of up-and-down through some of the West Virginia-Virginia mountains (the ridge we were on was along a state line).  The first day we walked about four hours and started at about 1,500 feet above sea level and ended at about 3,000 feet -- and that was lugging a 35-pound backpack to boot!  Though these pics are a bit foggy looking, this is at a site called White Rocks Lookout, which is on the ridge of the Little Sluice Mountains and looks over the Little Schloss Mountains in the foreground and the Blue Ridge Mountains further east.  The green you see below are treetops waaaaay below us!

I did really well the first day, pretty damn good the second, and today was a bit hard as my feet were feeling a bit beaten up.  By the second day I had gotten a pretty good blister on my left big toe on the inside, created from rubbing on my second toe.  That got bandaged up this morning, but it was the impact pain on the bottoms of my feet that had me walking rather slowly.  Other than that, my body held out very well -- not even any back pain, which I really expected since I have a bad back.

I slept in a hammock-tent and drank real spring water. 

I built a fire and took an outdoor shower.  We got drenched the first day and nearly experienced severe weather the second night.  I came face-to-face with a couple beavers and a possum and saw more butterflies in one day than I've seen in 20 years.  We didn't see a soul for the entire three days, and the only manmade sound we heard was the occasional plane flying over.  Most of all, I DID IT!!  I only wish I had gotten pictures of me lugging all that stuff around!  :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Thoroughly disgusted

Foodie friends.  'Memba them?  Well, we went away with them to Colonial Williamsburg for the long weekend -- actually rode our motorcycles out (my first long trip as we put on about 450 miles).  The husband is the one with diabetes who burned the bottoms of his feet when we went to Hawaii together back in October '08.  The month BEFORE my surgery.  He's STILL battling that stupid move.

Anyway, even though he's been monitoring his blood sugar and, recently, had to go on insulin, he's gained more weight.  And if you were around him, you'd see why.  My God, after this weekend I have officially nicknamed him:  HOOVER.  That man can suck down everything on his plate before you've taken three bites of your own.  Worse yet is his wife is teeny tiny -- 90 pounds soaking wet.  So in about five bites, she's usually done.  Which then means he also eats HER food.

I really enjoy them (most of the time -- he can be a pip to his wife, which gets old), but watching him eat just makes me sick now.  He eats with his mouth open, eats like you're going to steal it off his plate, food hanging in his beard... it's totally disgusting.  I guess the one GOOD thing to come of it is I lose my appetite.  I worry for his health more than he apparently does.  He eats crap, even though he's kinda "watching" what he eats -- probably goes a bit over his limit for starches and sugars but not totally blowing it.  However, if I had diabetes and nearly lost my foot, I think I'd be making some MAJOR modifications in my life.  At least I'd like to think I would.  o_O

Even though I overate, I'd hate to think I was ever as bad as he is.  Like one night we got an onion loaf appetizer (pretty much thin-sliced onions done like a bloomin' onion from Outback but done in a "loaf") and he literally ripped into it to the point where I just sat back in abject horror and disgust.  I just don't enjoy eating with them, which I guess is good, since the wife seems to think WE are THEIR foodie friends.  Ugh.

The good-bad news is this:  I can now eat bread.  However, I still find myself not finishing what I eat and getting full, which I never got before when I was more filled -- I never felt hunger OR fullness.  So... I don't know if that's good or bad.

Anyway, it was a great trip, except for the night we got trashed and foodie friend hubby puked all night.  Thursday I go camping with my gay neighbor-husband.  THAT should be a test of how fit I am!  o_O

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Apparently hiking trails have weight limits

This story is in two parts.  First, I've acquired a new gay husband.  Yes, yes, the old non-gay husband still lives here; but now I have one that probably wants to have sex with my husband too.  o_O

We have these neighbors -- great guys -- that live on the same drive we do.  Lately the guy one (don't judge -- you all know there's usually one in every gay couple that's more masculine [or feminine] than the other, lol) has been coming over and asking if I want to go walk dogs with him.  We walk.  We talk.  He usually complains about his mate (that's a whole novel unto itself).  I'm kind of a loner, and he's somewhat lonely, so it's been a nice match (well, except that he and I don't see eye-to-eye politically and somehow have gotten into a few of  "those" conversations.  But I digress...).  I think I'm a safe outlet for him to complain about his guy, and because I KNOW his guy, I totally understand.

Anyway, the second part of the story is we're going hiking and camping for a couple days next week.  Yes, I'm going camping with a guy not my husband with a guy who is also likely not to touch me.  But I digress.  Again.  :)  I'm really looking forward to it.  We live in a great area for it, and it's something new for me.  He took me shopping tonight and I got new hiking boots, socks, undies (yes, yes, a gay man helped me pick out undies that wick away sweat and inhibit bacteria growth.  And something tells me the shudder he exhibited had to do with the thought of a vagina and not the bacteria.  o_O ), and some other small items.  Which brings me to... the pants.

We thought it would be best to have those wick-away style cargo pants where the legs zip off and leave you with shorts.  Sounds GREAT!  Sounds smart!  Sounds sensible!  But at 220 pounds and still a pretty solid size 18, it's virtually impossible, especially since these typically run a bit small.  We went to two outdoors stores that sell this stuff, and at both stores the women's sizes end at size 16.  Okay, in all fairness, the second store had about 386 pairs of sizes 2 through 16 -- and two size 24W.  o_O  WTF?

What's worse is that in the FIRST store I thought, okay, the men's pants don't look any different.  I already have no pride left, so I'll try them.  Now, how do you figure out what your size is in a men's?  So I just figured I'd try the two largest sizes -- 38 and 40.  The 38's fit like the 16's did -- which means they didn't.  So I tried the 40's.  They fit... I mean, the waist was good, the length was good, but because men are shaped like 2x4s, there was no give in the butt.  I could move in them, but they just had no give.  Seriously??  I can't even fit in a man's size?

Luckily the second store had a men's XXL-30L -- and I mean A men's XXL as in The. Only. One. -- which was nice and loose enough for what we'll be doing.  Fashionable?  Nope.  Anywhere even remotely close to a color on my color wheel?  Nuh-uh.  Women's?  Not a chance.  But they cover my ass.

Talk about a kick in the gut.  Lose 75 pounds and I'm too fat to hike.  Seems to me there's a market there that needs tapping.  ;)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Emergency unfill :(

Wow, Friday night into Saturday really sucked.

We went to a party with another couple, and everything went okay.  Over a number of hours I had a few glasses of wine, and later in the evening I had half a hamburger patty (dinner was pretty early for us).  I chewed well, and nothing was apparently wrong.

Later in the evening, I felt this horrible pain in my "breadbasket" area, one that reminded me a lot of the pain I had when my gall bladder finally failed me (though not as bad) -- kind of a dull, hot pain that radiated to my back.  I tried to sleep but didn't do very well with that.  In the morning I wasn't doing much better.

I tried to sip on a protein shake and got maybe 1/4 through it before I felt that queasy, I'm-going-to-vomit feeling.  And yep, it came up.  And up.  And up.  And saliva.  And protein shake.  So I did a pretty stupid thing (thinking back now) and broke up a motrin tablet thinking I was experiencing swelling, especially since I had been having some light reflux over the past few weeks due to my end-of-semester stress.  Well, I found out pretty damn quick that that was a BAD idea.  I spent the next 30 minutes over the kitchen sink, tossing up waaaay more than I took in.  All I could figure it was at that point was all the saliva I had swallowed since the night before.  I would get a muscle "spasm" and up stuff would come.  And the PAIN.  Omg, I could hardly stand.

It got so bad I called my doctor's emergency number and said I was getting really worried.  I didn't know what a slipped band felt like, but I knew all the vomiting/PBing wasn't any good.  However, the more I did that, the more the pain in my chest lessened -- so that was the only good thing.

He told me to come in and, many pokes later (this wasn't my normal fill doc), he said he had taken out 2cc.  That's nearly HALF of what I had in my band!  Ugh...

He thinks I had a small blockage that didn't really feel like a standard blockage which caused irritation and then swelling.  I appear to have a sensitive stomach that reacts badly to even slight irritations, which isn't making me love my band much these days.  :(

So now I have to figure out how long to go like this before I try to get refilled again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

8 Workout Tips for Women

From Everyday Health:

Fitness: An Essential Part of Women's Health

When it comes to workouts for men and women, all exercise routines should not be created equal. So what's the best way for a woman to get fit? Work in some cardio, add a little weight, and stretch — here's how to get started.

A good fitness program involves cardiovascular (cardio) exercise, muscle toning, and stretching for flexibility — it can help keep you vital and ward off dangerous threats to women's health, like heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. And while men and women can benefit from similar workouts, women can and should tailor their own fitness routine — one that’s just right for your body’s needs and wants.

"Women absolutely need a well-rounded fitness regimen," says Kristy Altman, ACE certified group exercise instructor and managing director for the Knoxville Track Club in Tennessee. "Women need to lift weights to build strength, and they also need stretching to maintain their flexibility." The third part of a well-rounded women’s workout routine? Cardiovascular exercise. Cardio gets your heart pumping, while weight-training exercises target your arms, abs, thighs, butt, and calves.

Many women shy away from heavy weight-lifting exercise, but strength training is still an important part of an overall women’s fitness routine. When lifting weights, start out using lighter weights and more repetitions for better muscle toning, says Altman. You can use weight machines or free weights at the gym or work your muscles with resistance bands — whatever is more comfortable for you.

Even if you start toning your muscles with very light weights — such as a 3-pound weight in each hand for curls — you can gradually add more weight as you develop strength and become more able to do the exercises with correct form. When you can complete three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions each, for instance, challenge your muscles by increasing the weight, says Altman.

Cardiovascular exercise is the cornerstone of women’s workouts. Cardio activities help you burn calories and maintain a healthy body weight — both very important parts of women's health. "First, we all need cardio. Women tend to carry weight in their stomachs and hips and, because there is no such thing as spot training, cardiovascular exercise will help to keep that area lean," says Altman. Running, biking, swimming, tennis, hiking, and walking — these are all good cardio choices.

You can accomplish more from your workout by targeting multiple areas of the body at one time. "Any exercises that multi-task are awesome for women — anything that’s working more than one muscle group at a time," says Altman. "We can work out core-abs in almost any weight-lifting exercise if we focus on engaging those abdominal-core muscles." Focus on your abs during your workouts, and you'll have a taut tummy and strong core before you know it.

Altman suggests adding balance bicep curls to your workouts. Stand on one leg and do six to eight bicep curls. Then stand on the other leg, repeating your curls. These curls provide muscle toning in your arms while also strengthening your abdominals. Overhead tricep extensions are a good addition to arm workouts: Hold a medicine ball or a weight above your head, with arms straight up; then lower it toward your back moving only your forearms. Now press up by straightening the forearms overhead to work your triceps — work your calves at the same time by standing on your toes as you do the movement.

We all know that exercise isn't only about good health — women want to look great, too. So don't forget to tone your lower body. Lunges are a great addition to women's fitness workouts, as they target the thighs and buttocks, areas where many women need to focus on muscle toning. Try doing your lunges while holding a medicine ball to make the movement a little tougher, and do wall squats to tone and strengthen.

Great workouts for women don’t have to be all about the burn. Yoga can help you relax and de-stress before or after a long day — and it also works your flexibility to keep you limber as you age. Altman suggests yoga poses like the downward-facing dog, the forearm plank pose, side lying twist, and seated forward fold. These poses involve stretching and muscle toning, making them great choices to add to your fitness mix.

'Scuze me, Doctor, what's this thing on my butt and why is it shaped like a couch??

Omg, can you say NO exercise since I visited with my sister back in March (I think)??  I try to blame it on school, like I do the nibbling when I go through THAT too, but at this rate I could be blaming schooling for another year.  Obviously at the end of any semester I am cranking out papers by the forest-load and studying for finals, but I can't find an HOUR for myself?  REALLY?  Or is it that I don't really WANT to?  Unfortunately -- and if I'm really honest with myself -- I believe it's the latter.

Okay, so I FINALLY get my basement all put together last week (like TOTALLY finished -- even put up all the baseboards and arranged all the stuff down there), and I'm sitting upstairs getting butt rot on the couch.  WHY??  And to boot, I've been eating at times as if the band is just a rubber band -- i.e. stretchy.  I'm getting really pissed, and I'm getting pissed at me.  My goal of having done a 5K this spring is gone since I wasn't able to really do the Couch-2-5K through the winter.  Why?  Because I quit going to the gym (in fairness, though, I was working out in the basement... THEN).

Oh, and I think I'm addicted to ice cream.  No doubt I need an intervention.  Yes, I said it.  My name is Beth and I'm addicted to Ben.  And Jerry.  And Haagen Dazs.  My threesome is turning into an all-out orgy.  o_O

What the hell is going on??  I could kind of blame it on end-of-semester stress, but if I keep turning to food when I'm stressed, what have I learned??

The one GOOD thing happening now is that I have a vacation planned and booked for mid-August in Jamaica.  Because of this, I have set a goal -- to be below 200 by the time we leave (the last time I weighed, I was 215, but that may be just a pipe dream about now).  It's TOTALLY do-able, so long as I follow through.

Now if I could only get rid of this couch-shaped boil on my butt...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another semester DOWN

Omg, I can't even begin to tell y'all how hectic and busy this last semester was, but the grades are rolling in and (so far) I have two As and a B.  I'm waiting on the other two grades to post (I expect an A in one, and I was borderline between an A and a B in the other, the one I took the final in today).

I hate the end of the semester, primarily because I notice it makes my band act all crappy.  I was thisclose to wanting to rip it right out, I was getting so tired of its shenanigans.  I get tense, which makes my band tight and causes me to get reflux at night while I'm sleeping.  The good news is that I never got filled back up to 5.2 like I was at my tightest (a number that really REALLY worked for me), so I was able to weather through the reflux with a bit of motrin and careful eating.

I only have a week off before starting summer classes, so I'll have to use my time wisely.  I have a bunch of stuff to post here, so I'll try at night to pull the most pertinent stuff and share them.  I also need to try to catch up with all of your blogs as well and see how everybody is doing.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Me gone long time

Omg, how long has it been?  I haven't even checked.  It's been a whirlwind around here with my last week or two of this semester coming to a close.  I love how every professor wants huge papers and research done at the close of the semester, don't you?  o_O

To boot, I've been on two team projects -- one went pretty well, the other was a complete disaster.  I was so stressed I PBed a bunch, my band got tight, and I am now periodically suffering from EOSNAR or End of Semester Nighttime Acid Reflux.  That's always nice, don't you think?

Besides that, I can't tell you the last time I exercised.  I've gone for a couple dog-walking excursions, but beyond that, my basement doesn't recognize me anymore.  And what's worse is I only have a week off before I start summer classes.  Just kill me now.

I haven't forgotten about all of you.  A couple were even kind enough to check to see if I was alive.  :)  Yes, I'm here -- trying to remember my name on some days, forgetting why I got up and went into that room on others.  But it should all be worth it in the end, righ?  RIGHT??

My eating has been hit or miss.  Some days I do well, others I'm downing a pint of Ben and Jerry's.  I have some time today, so I should get my butt off this permanently implanted couch and go do some of my Zumba program that I just got in the mail last week to shake things up a bit -- literally and figuratively.

The GOOD news is, we're going on vacation after summer sessions are over.  I will definitely need some R&R by then.  I think we're heading to Antigua to some romantic little getaway.  I can hardly wait!!

I will touch base soon as I'm almost done.  I found some great articles worth sharing, and maybe I will be back on track by then.  I miss everybody!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunshine Award

DawnB http://db1119.blogspot.com/ nominated me for this a couple weeks ago and unfortunately I found out as I was leaving to go away for the weekend... then I got sick... then I ate for two weeks straight and didn't come back to my blog and forgot.  :(  I'm ashamed to admit that, but it's true.

I finally started perusing the blogs I follow again and remembered this very kind award by Dawn.  So now I will return the favor!


The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world.

Once you receive one, then you:

1. Post the logo on your blog.

2. Pass the award on to 12 fellow bloggers.

3. Link the nominees

4. Let nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to the person you received this award from.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers in no particular order & pass on the happiness :)

3 - Meredith (she has since moved on from blogging, but she is an inspiration nonetheless)
Thanks for all your inspiration, your laughter, your tears, your concern and comments -- everything about you.  I also appreciate all my followers as well.  Good luck to ALL of us on this journey.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm sorry, is my band causing you issues?

Omg, foodie friends are driving me nuts.  Not only is it bad enough that they want me to commit to having fun with them this summer (uh, I have CLASSES, remember??), but the other day they wanted me to go with them to a motorcycle dealership for an open house they were having.  The draw?  Free food -- pancakes, sausage, donuts, etc.  Um, REMEMBER MY BAND??  I said thanks but no thanks.  Foodie Friend Husband says, "But, but, it's FREE FOOD!"  I said I can't eat that crap even if I wanted to!  He still didn't seem happy that I wasn't jumping on the free crappy food bandwagon, but whatever.  These people drive me nuts sometimes.

This is just wrong on SO many levels

I haven't been around for over two weeks now -- partly because I was sick, but partly because I was just downright ashamed.  Pitifully ashamed.

We've had major stressors here that have had me eating like there's no tomorrow.  I'm a horrible stress eater, and this last couple weeks has really taken me to the limit.  The week of the 10th through the 16th or so, I was fighting a big cold which means I don't eat right anyway.  From that point forward, though, anything that wasn't nailed down was in big trouble.

How bad could it be, you ask?  Well, pretty damn bad.  Not only has it been bad, I certainly haven't been LOGGING my evil deeds, which almost makes them seem as if they didn't happen, right?  But I decided last night that as of this morning, I was clawing myself back up onto that wagon and getting back with the program. So this morning I decided to be brave and realized I MUST get on the scale to see how bad this last 2 weeks have been. I mean, I KNOW how bad it's been as far as the food, but I needed to be hit between the eyes with the aftermath that the scale would show me.

I step on, and... I went from my low-low of 218.2 to 219.8. That's all I gained, 1.6 pounds!!! I literally stepped on the scale three freaking times and was just gobsmacked.

Now mind you, in the last two weeks, I kid you not, I have eaten FIVE boxes of Hot Tamales (the candy, not the Mexican food), three boxes of Good 'N Plenty, 5/6 of a half-gallon of ice cream (in two days, no less), an entire box of 5 100-calorie bags of Sun chips, an entire box of 5 100-calorie bags of baked Cheetos, an entire box of 5 100-calorie bags of Chex Mix, an entire box of Chewy Protein Bars (I think there's 6 of those), an entire box of Speciak K Fruit Crisps (I think there's five of those), an entire box of reduced calorie rice krispie treats (probably 5 in a box), six peanut butter cups, nearly an entire box of multi-grain Cheerios, six high-calorie drinks this weekend (three Friday and three Saturday --Baileys with vodka and fat-free half-and-half) and a partridge in a pear tree. I am NOT kidding. And that doesn't even include MEALS I ate!! Oh oh OH, and to boot, I'm on my cycle, which usually guarantees me a couple pound weight gain. Couple ALLLLL that damn food with the fact that I haven't worked out in two weeks, and something is terribly... OFF. o_O

Whew, I can't believe I admitted all that. And I KNOW I missed something.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Feelin' the love again

I think I heart Denise and Jillian again.  Memba those size 16 pants I got into a few weeks ago? Well, I meant to post that I put them on last weekend and they fit BETTER than when I first put them on! Like, NOTICEABLY. When I initially put them on, they weren't so tight as to make it hard to breathe or sit down, but I felt subconscious about the tightness across my bum. However, I went to a funeral last week and wore those same pants again and they were definitely looser!  Utterly amazing.


That's how I felt the other day when I went to take the dogs for a walk.  It was a beautiful day -- and after the winter we've had, it was VERY welcome -- and I decided to head out to the trails and the park to walk the dogs.  It was odd, but once I hit the trail, I actually had an URGE to run!  Now, I was always one that said if Godzilla himself was chasing after me, I couldn't run to the mailbox at the end of my driveway.  However, this overwhelming urge came over me and I ran.  I didn't time it, but I would guess I went non-stop for about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes -- and I really think if I had pushed it, I could have gone longer.  I then did week two of the couch-to-5k (I haven't been doing it consistently), which was very difficult for me to complete when I did it last.

It's amazing what our bodies not only CAN do but WANT to do when they're feeling healthy.  I've been fighting a cold the last couple of days or I would have gone out and done it again.  Maybe this weekend.  :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

I no heart Jillian now, too

Holy hell, I've done her Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism two days in a row (Wednesday and yesterday) and I can hardly MOVE now.  She's BRUTAL!!  Imagine 55 minutes of constant movement with hops, jumps, twists, BURPEES, and other horribly ugly things, all set to psycho music.  And with Jillian telling you not to "call it in."  I cursed her.  I cursed her a lot.  And when I can hardly get out of my car or out of bed, I curse her even more.  o_O

New lowest number!

This was actually yesterday, but I wasn't able to post, but... 219!  I have now lost 71 pounds, officially the most I've ever lost!  Previous to this, I had lost 70 pounds on a diet I did some years ago.  So the way I look at it, anything from here on out is a new record for me.  :)

A friend of mine who lives in the neighborhood and I got to meet a fellow bandster (and prior LBTer) who we've been talking to for about a year.  She and her hubby were nearby for a conference he was attending, so she came with him and we all met up for dinner and DANCING last night.  I can't tell you the last time I've danced, but it was so much fun!  We even all got hit on by a young man-whore, and that just made my day.  LOL  How sad is it that you get excited by getting hit on by a guy who I think made the rounds to every woman there?  But still, he was harmless, and it made US all feel good.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Over seven feet -- GONE

I'm going to try to take measurements around the first of each month this year.  It's one of the promises I made myself (along with working out and logging meals, which I have been doing religiously).  I finally pushed over the seven+ foot loss at 86.5 inches!!

And though I was pretty disappointed in late January's measurements, I'm VERY happy with this month's!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


That's the sound of my plateau breaking this morning!  Omg, I haven't been able to get below 221.5 to save my life -- and hit THAT four freakin' months ago -- but this morning I did it!  I hit 220.5!!!  Did you hear me screaming this morning??  Now I'm ready to see this scale start moving again.  DOWN.

The one thing I started doing differently -- and which I always touted as a huge weightloss tool -- is logging my meals.  I have this GoWear Fit and have only been paying attention to the calories I expend and not paying any attention to logging my meals.  BIG mistake.  Ever since I started doing that eight days ago I've lost 2 1/2 pounds!  It's really jump started my exercise routine too.  I've been working out every day since last Monday (except for yesterday).  I've decided that because Mondays are my heavy school day, that will be my day off -- but until further notice, I need to get in an hour every day six days a week.  I NEED to make the time for it.  And now I'm seeing the benefit from it!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I no heart Denise Austin

Omg, how can ANYBODY be so perky?  And trim?  And... perky?  And annoying?  Did I mention perky?  Nobody should be able to do those exercises and breathe normally, much less be able to talk.  Continuously.  All through the workout.  Ugh.

I've also realized my "downward dog" more resembles a "wounded beast." 

I DID, however, survive an hour of Denise, followed by a half hour of the Kettlebell Goddess.  :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I worked the Vagina Monologues at school for a class project last night (pretty funny show), and in so doing, I was given a tee-shirt if I wanted one.  Sure, free tee-shirts are great.  However, I remembered looking in the box and kind of stressing since there were only three sizes:  small, medium, and large.  No extra-large.    Okay, I thought, I'll take the large and fit into it soon enough.

Well, I decided to try it on right there -- just put it on over the shirt I was wearing.  And... IT FIT!  I don't mean that I was able to pull it down over my girth and stretch it out, I mean it FIT  OMG!!  Yesterday was a good day.  :)

Friday, February 26, 2010


Okay, I know 1/2 pound isn't a big deal in the grand scope of things, but this is my lowest-low weight since being banded -- and I haven't been here in four months and nine days.  :(  I kept bobbling two to three pounds above that number, usually 223 to 225 or 226, but when I started my two-week liquid kick-start three weeks ago, I was at a disappointing 231.

So... I feel like I'm FINALLY back on the edge of the precipice and am ready to go down, down, down, baby!!!

Watch out for those little calorie bombs you think are healthy!

As of Monday, I did what I SAID I was going to start with the new year and began logging my meals on my GoWear Fit site.  It's really helped readjust my thoughts on what I'm doing, and I KNOW it will help keep me focused and from going over.

Last night was an eye opener, though.  I have these little sesame bars I bought from Wegmans that are WONDERFUL, healthy (I thought) snacks.  I mean, nuts and grains are healthy in moderation, right?  Well, I went to a nutrition site to get an idea how healthy these bars are based on limited information, I understand, but it was a bit disheartening.

These bars are about one ounce a piece.  As far as I know, they consist of sesame seeds and honey and are hardened to a solid bar.  So I plugged in one ounce of sesame seeds and about a teaspoon of honey (best guesstimate) and those little suckers came out to nearly 180 calories each!  A few weeks back, before I started the liquid diet, I was eating sometimes three or four in a day thinking they were good for me!  WOW!  Now I know one of the reasons I wasn't budging with my weight!

The other little surprise was the flax seed I've been adding to my Dannon fat-free yogurt, another treat I do once a day for the calcium/dairy and because it's a good sweet.  My sister mentioned adding flax seed for the added fiber because it really doesn't add a taste.  I looked those puppies up, though, and two tablespoons (the amount I add) is about 80 calories.  Not that 80 calories is a gut buster, but it seems high for such a small amount of stuff.  :(  And whe you add it to the cup of yogurt (which is 110), plus the few walnuts I toss in for texture (another 30 or 40 calories), you're talking about a 225ish calorie snack!  o_O

Well... I guess so long as I plan for it and leave room in my day OR decide to do 1/2 cup instead, I'll be fine.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Got up this morning, and I'm 1/2 pound away from my all-time low of 221.5 -- I was 222!  This has me psyched, since I have been more like 224 - 225 for the longest time, but I had gotten back up to 231 by the time I started the two-week liquid jump start.

I spent an  hour and a half this evening doing a workout of 30 minutes of kettlebell training, followed by an hour of Pilates (something new for me).  I was pretty happy with this DVD because it gives a beginner, intermediate, and experienced version of all the exercises.  Depending on what you pick, that's the type of exercise you see instead of having all three there and you have to watch one particular person.  My GoWear Fit, however, showed only seven MINUTES of exercise.  I assure that stupid thing that I as working my butt off.  :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Down eight sizes

This has me pumped, going to a comfortable 16 (down from a 24).  I guess even though the scale AND the tape measure haven't been moving any, stuff is shifting around.  Even friends I only see periodically say they think they see the loss in my stomach or hips.  I'm glad they can see it because I have not been able to.  However, I can't remember the last time I was a size 16!

I just spent over an hour in the basement doing a new kettlebell routine that about killed me.  What a great way to get cardio AND strength training in one!  I recommend it for anybody who thinks they are ready to try something new.

I have been somewhat lax in starting my new year off right.  I either go balls to the wall or nothing.  It's time I get a decent routine down and STICK WITH IT.  I'm not going to see any results if I don't do what needs to be done.

I also had a partial unfill today.  I am getting really tired of going back and forth to the doctor's every month.  He fills me up, then less than a week later I need to go back and have some taken out.  I MAY have been brought from my 5cc to 4.8.  He said I was still more than the 4.6 I was at when I got my last fill, but less than the 5 he had me at.  I did just FINE Saturday afternoon (my first day of solids after my fill), but dinner didn't do so well.  I think it was a combination of having had a couple drinks and then trying to eat -- AND eating a bit of bread at the table when we got to the restaurant.  Nothing like pb'ing most of the evening in a very posh restaurant.  I highly recommend it.  o_O  I have to say that the last week or so, I no heart my band and have been going through a case of "what did I dos?"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Last night we went to dinner with the foodie friends to a very posh restaurant (well, for us anyway).  We had tried this restaurant last month when we were enticed by a "restaurant week" where we were allowed to choose from a reduced menu for $35 per person.  This restaurant typically costs quite a bit more (everything is a la carte with a steak alone costing about $50), so the previous dinner was quite a bit cheaper.  The problem was, when the waiter was told by us that we were doing the "restaurant week," he copped a bit of an attitude.  This set pretty badly with me and I complained to the manager, who at the time, offered no relief.  I later came home and contacted the home office and a few days later got a call from the manager who then offered us and the other couple each a $150 gift certificate to come back -- which we did last night.  The friends also rented a limo for us to go in style (the wife's CEO uses a service, and they were able to get a reduced rate).  Overall, we felt like rock stars.

Well, on to the good:  I haven't worn any of my work clothes in some time, but then again I haven't lost much since I quit working last March.  I decided to wear a pair of nice slacks instead of a skirt and went to the closet to pull out my black ones, size 18.  When I slipped them on, I couldn't believe it -- TOO BIG!  HOLY SMOKES!  I almost decided to wear them, but then I decided to go into the box I had stored away with all the smaller sized clothes I had bought off eBay right before I lost my job and see how a pair of 16s would fit.  Well, they were a tad bit snug through the rear, but they FIT!  I was in size 16s, something I can't recall the last time I was able to wear!

The other part of the good was that yesterday was the first day of solids after having been on a liquid diet for two weeks (at my doctor's suggestion) to try to kick my metabolism back into gear.  Other than Valentine's Day dinner (where I was DYING for a steak), I haven't had anything but soups and liquids for forever.  I decided to run the fast into my fill time, which was Tuesday.

Okay, now for the bad and the ugly -- I pb'ed my nice Morton's dinner (or what little I had of it) and spent half the evening in the bathroom.  :(  It was painful, to say the least -- not just the physical pain, but the fact that such a nice dinner was being wasted.  We ordered appetizers for four (at "only" $88, if you can believe it) which was PHENOMENAL (but not worth $22 a person, I'll add), and that was about all I got in me but a few pieces of my steak.  I think the problem may have started, however, with the bread they brought.  Ah, yes, bread.  But not just any bread -- freshly baked onion loaf.  That was my biggest mistake.  I think this fill put me over the bread threshhold, and I got shown what for.  I never felt right after the bread (topped with a mojito and a couple sips of wine -- BIG mistake).

I came home and took a TON of papaya enzyme, popped some Protonix for later, and hoped for the best.  I have to say, the papaya seems to really help.  I used it one other day when I was feeling a bit tight, and it seemed to relieve the pressure in pretty quickly.  So note to those of you who may not know:  Papaya enzyme helps break down proteins, which is especially helpful if that's what's stuck in your band.

Oh, and on a side note -- foodie friend wife called us their best foodie friends.  Yay.  o_O

Friday, February 12, 2010

More on plateaus

Odd that I got this in my e-mail from Livestrong.com since I've been on the plateau from  hell.  Eventually everybody is going to hit one, so I thought I'd share.


Weight loss is typically a long process. Most people lose the greatest amount of weight at the beginning of their regimen, due to the many changes their bodies go through. However, weight loss plateaus are also common. This occurs when you do not gain weight back but you are not losing any more weight, either. You can overcome weight loss plateaus in various ways so you can get back on track to your ultimate goals.


While you lose weight, you likely are cutting back on your calories. Although calorie-cutting helps you lose more pounds, it also can decrease your metabolism, Weightlossforall.com explains. Also, when you lose too much weight too soon, your body can respond by eating muscle stores in order to make up for the loss in calories. Because muscles help rev up your metabolism, losing muscle can contribute to a slower metabolism. During such a scenario, your body no longer burns calories, so you reach a plateau in which you will not lose any weight.


Eat a mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat every few hours in order to help speed up your metabolism (NOTE:  My doctor only wants us eating three times a day, so I guess my advice here is to follow your doctor's orders). This also will help prevent you from going hungry too long and overindulging at your next meal. MyOptumHealth.com also recommends that you vary your healthy food choices in order to prevent boredom. This will help prevent meal-skipping, which can thwart your continued weight loss efforts.


While adequate fuel is necessary to help increase your metabolism, you also will need to revisit your exercise routines. Once your body becomes too accustomed to a particular type of exercise, your muscles adapt and you will not lose as many calories. Intensify your workouts by pushing it to the next level or by trying something new. For instance, if you speed-walk, try adding some jogging intervals. Also, add some strength-training routines to help build up your muscles.


According to AnneCollins.com, you may experience a weight loss plateau within the first month of your weight loss regimen and experience it occasionally until you reach your weight loss goal. The key is to quickly recognize that you have reached a plateau and respond accordingly. A weight loss plateau does not mean you have failed at your weight loss regimen.


Ideally, you should lose a maximum of 2 lbs. per week during your weight loss regimen. Although weight loss plateaus are common, your body can enter starvation mode if you lose too much weight in a short period of time. If you start to experience dizziness, headaches, hair loss, anemia, excessive fatigue and heart rate changes, call your doctor immediately.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's like being pregnant

I'm on day six of liquids and I've seen my bathroom more than any other part of the room.  Six pounds down, though, but dang...

And hubby's eating.  All the time.  AND mentioning food coupons he's come across.  Since we've gotten epic snows, I've been stuck with him more than I might normally be inclined to be.  I may have to run him through the woodchipper.  Don't worry though, I won't leave a trace.  o_O

The only thing I've done other than straight liquids is a half cup of yogurt with flax seeed each day and a small piece of cheese.  I figure that since they're primarily protein (and dairy), they won't hurt anything.

The goddess kicked my ass

I got some new DVDs for kettlebell training to use with my new toy.  One is called the Kettlebell Goddess Workout, and I have only three words -- OH. MY. GOD(dess).

If anybody is into kettlebells (reminder:  I bought a Weider Powerbell in which you can adjust the weight), this looks like it's going to be the whole package.  It shows three different women doing the exercises, and what's nice is each one is holding the kettlebell(s) different than the others so you can choose which way you want to do them.  There are numerous workouts you can choose from depending on whether you want to do cardio or work on specific body parts OR the entire body.  I did the entire body one, and though it was only about 30 minutes, I am REALLY feeling it today.  My butt, behind my shoulder blades, my legs -- feels good.

And the best news of all is that my arms aren't all beat up like the first time I used it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Can you break a New Year's resolution when you haven't even begun it yet?

One of the promises I made to myself starting off this year was to start logging meals -- not only to see where maybe extra calories are hiding out, but to see if at times I'm not getting enough, especially since I've had a plateau from hell.

Do you think I've done it?  Guess.  o_O

WTH?  I think part of it is, unless it's a VERY basic food item, it can be hard to know how to log it.  Ah, but I can't do that.  I can't say how "hard" it is to do and then not do it when I KNOW it is something I will have to do to make sure I'm on track.

And I didn't do any exercise last week.  I spent the entire weekend looking for new glasses, and it caught me behind on my homework.  I was doing each day's homework the night before until the wee hours, and barely getting it done.  I just can't start off this semester this way, barely hanging on by the skin of my teeth.

Just shoot me now.

Going back to my roots

I finally made it to one of my doctors' monthly meetings this past Monday -- the first one since January of 2009.  Unfortunately, my school schedule has been such that I always had Monday evening classes and could never make them.

My primary question the other night was HOW IN THE HELL DO I GET OUT OF THIS PLATEAU???  I've been stuck here for more than half of 2009, and I'm sick to DEATH of it.  Even all the exercise I did the last few months didn't do a damn thing.  I mean, I don't expect the band to do this FOR me, but I expect SOMEthing to come of it.

They recommended I go on liquids.  For. Two. Weeks.  Uh... wow.  I've done liquids before -- even did the five-day pouch test -- but those only last a few days.  They felt that doing this for a couple weeks will shock my system.

So as of today, I'm on liquids.  I held off a few days because I realized I could run it right into my next fill on the 16th, especially considering that I have to do two days of liquids right after my fill anyway.

Therefore, if I seem especially cranky, you'll know why.  o_O

The nice thing is that a friend of mine, who has been trying like hell to get a band for a while (she had a date set for this past August and it got canceled just days before she was set to go in) got a new date of 2/12, so she's on liquids too.  Being that I was already planning on doing liquids, it worked out nice that I could be a liquid buddy for her.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Measurements to start off 2010

I know this is almost February already, but I finally took measurements to use to gauge my 2010 weight- and inch loss.  I hadn't done as well as I had hoped since my November measurements, but hey, I'll take the 1/2 inch.  :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Memba that XL Costco jacket?

Well, I think I mentioned when I got it that, though it technically fit, it was a bit snug through the rear and belly section (it's slightly long, with the zipper beginning around hip level).  I could raise it up over my hips and zip it and then pull it down over my hips and belly.  It FIT, but I wouldn't have sat down in it while zipped!  lol

Well, last night I kind of noticed -- though tonight I made note -- that when I slid it down over my hips, there wasn't any resistance like before!  It's not the type of material to stretch, so I know it's not that.  So even though the scale hasn't moved, there IS a shift.  YAY!

Which reminds me, I NEED to take new measurements to start out this year (even though we're almost in February).  Since classes started two weeks ago, I also resumed the gym.  I need to use ALL my resources to keep me from freaking out when the scale keeps showing me from 221 to 225.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Personal Trainer Picks: 10 Best Exercises to Do Today

Any type of exercise is good. But we wanted to know which at-home exercises were most likely to give you the results you want—in the least amount of time. To find out, we went to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a nonprofit organization that certifies personal trainers. We surveyed more than 3,000 ACE certified trainers by e-mail, and we got more than 500 responses. Based on their experience, here's what personal trainers rate as tops.

Best Total Body Workout: Swimming

To target all your muscles, hop in the pool. Both your upper and lower body will be working, and to maintain proper alignment, your abs and back will get in on it too. Another key reason that trainers choose swimming: It's low impact, so you're less likely to get injured. In addition to an aerobic workout, the water adds resistance, giving your muscles another challenge.

Note: If you're going to make swimming your primary form of exercise, complement it with weight bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, tennis, or weight lifting. This will help keep your bones strong.

Best Ab Workout: Crunches on an Exercise Ball

This won top honors because it's an intense workout that allows you a greater range of motion. "Balancing on the ball requires the core stabilizer muscles in your back to contract, in addition to the abdominal muscles," said one personal trainer. It takes less time to fatigue, so you don't have to do as many of these as you would traditional floor crunches.

"It's also the hardest exercise to cheat on," said another trainer. Since this is an exercise that ranks high on difficulty, beginners may want to start with crunches on the floor.

How to do Crunches: Position the ball so that it's supporting your back. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Start with your arms extended in front of you, then slowly curl up. Hold, then lower. For more of a challenge, place your hands behind your head.

Best Butt Workout: Lunges and Squats (tie)

These moves were chosen for many of the same reasons: You can do several variations, you can do them anywhere, and they work your leg muscles in addition to your gluteal muscles.

Here's what one trainer had to say: "Lunges help develop balance and posture." While another chose squats because they "simulate everyday functions such as getting up from your chair. As we age, strong legs become a necessity for balance, hip stabilization, and coordination."

How to do Lunges: Place your right foot about 2 to 3 feet in front of you. Keeping your right knee directly over the ankle, bend that knee, at the same time dropping your left knee toward the floor. Your left heel will come off the floor. Don't lean forward. Hold, then press into your right foot to push yourself back up. Repeat with your left leg in front.

For a more advanced move, start with your feet together and step forward or backward into the lunge. Then push yourself back up to the starting position. Note: If you have knee problems, you may want to skip this exercise and do partial squats only.

How to do Squats: Stand with your back to a chair and your feet about shoulder width apart. Bending at the hips and knees, lower your butt until it's almost touching the chair. Looking down, you should be able to see your toes as you bend. If all you see are knees, you're bending too far forward; keep your knees behind your toes. Then slowly stand up.

For a greater challenge, hold dumbbells at your sides. If you have knee problems, stick with partial squats-lower yourself only halfway to the chair.

Boost your metabolism and fight over 40 fat with this training plan.

Best Arm Exercise: Pushups

Still a favorite of professionals! "If you were to do only one arm exercise, this would be the best for toning and firming," one trainer said. Pushups target mainly the chest muscles and the triceps in the back of your arms.

As another trainer put it, "When the triceps are developed, they add a nice look to the arms." In addition, the core muscles-the abs and back-are stabilizing you, so they're getting stronger as well.More praise: "Pushups are also a fabulous confidence booster. Many women don't think they can do them until they try, and then they see progress-fast!" If you can't do pushups on the floor, try doing them against a wall or leaning on a table or railing.

How to do Pushups: Lie facedown on the floor, hands by your shoulders and knees bent. Press your palms into the floor, straightening your arms. Keep your head, neck, back, and hips in line as you lift your body off the floor. When your arms are almost fully extended, hold. Now slowly lower, but before you touch the floor, push back up.

Advanced move: Do pushups on your toes instead of your knees.

Best Calf Exercise: Heel Raises

"Ten million dancers can't be wrong," said one trainer. For shapely calves, 75 percent of the trainers voted for heel raises.

The advantages of heel raises is that they concentrate specifically on the calves, they're easy to learn, and results are rapid.

How to do Heel Raises: Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. In the beginning, hold onto a chair or wall for balance. Rise up onto your toes. Hold, then slowly lower. To make this move more difficult, try doing it one leg at a time or holding dumbbells.

Best Short-on-Time Exercise: Walking Stairs

Can't fit in a workout? Trainers recommend that you hit the stairs. "Without taking any extra time, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator—which usually takes just as long to arrive anyway," suggested one trainer. Plus you can do it at work, home, shopping, even when you're traveling.

Walking stairs gets your heart rate up, strengthens your lower body, improves posture, helps prevent osteoporosis (it's a weight bearing exercise, so it helps build bone), and improves stamina. You'll also burn about 45 calories walking up and down stairs for 5 minutes.

You won't gain a pound this season with this easy, do anywhere stair climbing routine.

Best Workout When You Don't Want To: Dancing

The simple reason, according to many trainers: It's fun! "In my house, we have 'dance time' while preparing dinner or washing the dishes," said one. "We all bop around to our favorite CDs. It's a great way to incorporate exercise and quality time into our everyday routine."

"Good music will make your toes start tapping. Soon you'll be dancing-and not even thinking that it's exercise. Dancing lifts your spirits and burns calories," said another trainer.

Lose weight while you work by putting some muscle into your household chores.

Best Exercise When You're Pooped: Stretching

If you're going to plop down in front of the TV instead of exercising, at least do some stretches. Said one trainer, "Stretching increases bloodflow without being too taxing, giving you that little boost you may need to get going." Even if you only stretch, it will help you rest better, so your body will be ready to go for your next workout. And most trainers believe that we all need to stretch more anyway.

Best Exercise for Better Posture: Pinching Your Shoulder Blades

This move reverses the daylong effects of slouching around and hunching over the computer or steering wheel. "Doing this helps maintain the spine in its erect and neutral position. It opens up the chest area and prevents the rounded shoulders syndrome," said one trainer.

"It activates the trapezius and rhomboids, the muscle groups responsible for holding you in alignment," explained another. Equally important, it's easy-so you'll be more likely to do it.

Best Exercise for Walkers: Hamstring Stretches

Trainers are hot on the importance of stretching, but they feel that people aren't getting the message. For walkers specifically, trainers encourage this move because hamstrings are likely to be tight, which can lead to injuries and back pain. Being flexible also improves walking posture.

How to do Hamstring Stretches: Standing, place your right heel about 6 to 12 inches in front of you, with your toes pointing up. Put your hands on your left thigh for support. Bending your left knee and leaning forward from the hips, shift your weight back, sticking your butt out, until you feel a stretch in the back of your right leg. (It'll look as if you're half-sitting.) Keep your back straight. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Do two or three stretches with each leg.

Walk of the weight in 6 weeks with fitness guru Chris Freytag's walking boot camp.

How to Find a Personal Trainer

For more information on finding an ACE-certified personal trainer, call (800) 825-3636, or visit their website, acefitness.org.