Wednesday, May 19, 2010
So, do I cheat? Yes.
One way I cheat, is I allow myself a very small (less than 75 calorie) serving of something sweet. Every. Single. Day. Why? Because I have a HUGE sweet tooth. Most nights after dinner I absolutely crave something sweet. If I don't allow myself a small amount of sweet on a regular basis, then it's inevitable that I will eventually break and I will binge on something ridiculous, and it will be UGLY. So instead, each day I have a starburst, or a Dove Chocolate, or any other "small bite" candy we have hidden in the house (because remember, I have to have those hidden away so I won't binge).
The other way I cheat is I allow myself to eat one guilt-free meal a week. Translation: One meal a week I absolutely don't consider calories. Now, I do set a few limitations with this. For example, if I eat pizza, I have 1 large or 2 small slices and then I have some veggies or a salad to fill me up. Or I'll drink a full glass of water before eating to help facilitate potion control. I also offset a little from days that I have my cheat meal by getting in some extra activity or a second workout. It typically doesn't offset ALL the additional calories, but it does help.
I have dieted off and on for 10 years of my life, and this time I don't want to "diet" but find ways to change my lifestyle. There is no way that I will be able to for the rest of my life never eat pizza or Zaxby's again. So the best way for me to make this permanent is treat it the way I would long term. What it boils down to is an 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time, I eat healthy choices, whole foods, etc. And twenty percent of the time, I splurge. And that's what is working for me right now.
Now for the disclaimer (you had to know there was going to be one). This is the way that I am able to most successfully lose weight to date. It is what is working for me. There are those people who literally can't have a little of something or a cheat meal, because it's a gateway to bad decisions...they just can't quit. What makes weight loss so difficult, is you have to search to find what works best for you, because what works for me, or the masses, may not work for you. It's a trial and error process, and what makes that difficult is you can't give up during the errors. You have to accept failure as part of the process and learn from it to determine what your program should look like. In a phrase, just because cheating like this works for me, doesn't mean it will work for you. And now we know why the opinions vary widely on this subject.
The most important thing I can say about cheating, and anything having to do with weight loss, is it's extremely personal. You have to work to personalize a program that works for you. Be willing to try different things, and be willing to fail; because in the end, you will win with a program that helps you reach all of your goals.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Phase One and Monday Weigh In Stats:
P90X Start Weight: 280.0
Last Weight: 271.4
Current Weight: 269.5
Weekly Loss: -1.9
Total P90X Loss: -10.5
Start BMI: 42.3
Current BMI: 41.1
Right and Left Arms:
Loss (combined): -1
Right and Left Thighs:
Loss (combined): -5
Total Inches Lost Phase 1: -19.75
I know that's a lot of information to take in, but it's all pertinent information to show the progress of my journey. I couldn't ask for more exciting news than the progress that is shown not only on my scale but in my measurements. I can't wait to begin Phase 2 of P90X today and see what the next 30 days holds for me! I'm doing it! I'm doing it! I'M DOING IT!!!
Friday, May 14, 2010
At this particular moment in my journey, things are easily falling into place. I'm eating lean proteins and whole foods. I'm choosing whole grains over flour. I'm steaming vegetables. I'm using portion control. My workouts are coming easily. I'm accomplishing things that I haven't been able to accomplish before. I'm seeing improved flexibility and stamina. My motivation is through the roof - and so is my energy. I look forward to getting my sweat on every day. I'm pushing harder and farther. Everything is AWESOME!
Granted, at some point in time, the other shoe will drop, and I will inevitably find myself in the flow, and struggling to push forward. But at this point in time, I am so enjoying the ebb!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
So, my internet service is supposed to be 16 megs...and for the past week or so, it's been running at 0.6, or 0.4. Which has meant, of course, that it was slower than dial up, and EVERYTHING timed out. Talk about frustrating.
I've had posts, some of which I'll save for a later date, but I will condense all the pertenant information into one blog post here.
Monday Weigh In Stats:
P90X Start Weight: 280.0
Last Weight: 272.4
Current Weight: 271.4
Weekly Loss: -1
Total P90X Loss: -8.6
Concerning my loss, I have officially crossed over 40 pounds down since I first started working to lose 4 months ago! I am so excited and proud at the progress that I am making, and it's awesome to know that I'm doing it - I'm REALLY doing it! Sure the journey has been a battle, and yes, I have had ups and downs. But I am making the overall progress that I have been working toward, and who can complain about that?!
This week is my fourth week of P90X, and therefore, recovery week. I'm really enjoying this week, and I'm VERY excited for my weigh in, measurements, and photos on Monday. I know that I will be able to see changes in my body, because I can feel the changes taking place in my body. I am getting stronger. I have more energy. I'm hungrier (but making better choices!). But the biggest change? I'm making time for myself, which is huge. I definitely have always been one of those Mommies who put everyone in the family and everything else first. I am making a conscious effort every day to work out and SHOWER (Oh my GOSH! A daily shower!! No small feat with a tween, a preschooler and an infant!) and just take a few moments for my health and sanity amongst the chaos.
This journey is bringing about a whole new mindset, and that is why I am going to ultimately be successful. I don't feel guilty for putting myself in my line of priorities. I don't feel guilty for "overlooking" the kids for an hour each day to do my workouts. I don't feel guilty for telling my family and friends that I'm losing weight, and need to be conscious of what I'm eating. I'm embracing the changes that this new lifestyle is bringing with it.
Onward and Upward, and continuing to press play. :)
Friday, May 7, 2010
So, I wouldn't describe myself as lacking in motivation, because I'm definitely not ready to give up. However, I would say that I'm going through my first loss of enthusiasm stage.
A weight loss journey, especially a long term one, definitely has phases. You go through moments that you're really inspired and ready to take on the world. You go through moments that it seems to come really naturally to follow your plan and make healthy choices. You have moments that you can still make the choices, but it's a difficult and constantly conscious effort. You have moments that you make mostly good choices, but there are moments that you just can't seem to get it together. And there are moments that you completely fall off the wagon.
While I haven't quite fallen off the wagon, I'm definitely having to work at this right now. Every food I'm not supposed to have seems to be screaming, "You haven't had me in SOOOO long!" and my workouts are more like chores.
Basically, I need an attitude adjustment. I've got to find it within myself to not be so "blah" about this journey and regain my enthusiasm. Here's to hoping I can figure that out SOON!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Sleep is evading me, or I'm evading it. I'm not sure which is the case, but either way, I am not sleeping enough.
I have a few outside circumstances that are keeping me from sleeping. I have a four year old, who is having some trouble sleeping lately. He has gotten into a really wonky sleep cycle due to nightmares. We're working with his pediatrician with a couple of different trial and error based scenarios, but in the mean time, it means things are difficult. I also have an almost 4 month old, who wakes up usually once, and sometimes twice, during the night.
In addition to the things I can't control, I am having trouble winding down every night, and I'm finding myself staying up until I'm falling over, which is typically around midnight or 1:00am. Combine that with being woken up at least four times, and the alarm going off at 6:30, and you get one exhausted me.
I'm acutely aware of how important sleep is to a healthy lifestyle, and specifically a weight loss journey. This can be confirmed in many places and articles available on the internet. One such article from about.com states research from The National Sleep Foundation has found that inadequate sleep:
•interferes with the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates and causes high blood levels of glucose, which leads to higher insulin levels and greater body-fat storage.
•drives down leptin levels, which causes the body to crave carbohydrates.
•reduces levels of growth hormone--a protein that helps regulate the body's proportions of fat and muscle.
•can lead to insulin resistance and contribute to increased risk of diabetes
•can increase blood pressure
•can increase the risk of heart disease
Even in young, healthy people, a sleep deficit of three to four hours a night over the course of a week has a triple-whammy effect on the body.
I am working to find ways to make up for my lack of sleep each night. I am going to start working to get to bed at a decent hour, because at the very least I have control over that aspect of my sleep. I really feel as though this is affecting my journey. Granted, I'm losing weight; but I'm definitely looking to maximize my results, and losing sleep will definitely prevent that.
So, I'm working toward another goal, of at least 7 hours of sleep a night. It's a difficult goal, but my health is worth it. I am worth it. I'm worth this.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Monday Weigh In Stats
Start Weight: 280.0
Last Weight: 274.3
Current Weight: 272.4
Weekly Loss: -1.9
Total Loss: -7.6
Here's how last week breaks down:
My diet this week was inconsistent. I had a lot of decent choices, but all-in-all, I would say the choices were good, but not great. There were some circumstances where I didn't have a whole lot of choices, and I did the best I could with what I had. I had one entire day that I almost completely derailed. I had traditional cookout food, and MAJOR sugar overload. The next day, I had almost zero energy until well into the afternoon. I couldn't believe what a difference the food from the day before had on the way I felt. It was pretty amazing.
My activity level this week was also slightly inconsistent. I did miss two days of my P90X, but I had one day that I doubled up (unrelated to the missed day) in an attempt to deal with stress. I had some trouble with energy levels in a couple of the workouts, so I'm working to experiment with what I eat beforehand to find the right combo to have enough to fuel the workouts. I did find that I was able to stretch farther, and accomplished more of the workouts than I was able to last week, so that's a WIN!
General Week and Journey Overview:
On a scale of 1-10, I would give this past week a 6. I still made some great decisions for my body and my health, in spite of a few pitfalls along the way. I feel like I got a decent amount of weight loss considering all that has gone right and all that has gone wrong.
I am now two weeks completed in my journey to health and weight loss, and I can feel and see some results already. I took my two week progress photo last night, and can see a few subtle changes. Overall, I'm pretty impressed with how things are going thus far, and I can't WAIT to see what the future has in store for me.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
It's true. The cost of weight loss is high. Finding the extra money in a tight budget to afford the healthier foods is sometimes very difficult. There are the costs of workout systems, exercise equipment, jogging strollers, yoga mats, vitamins and supplements, running shoes....
There is a huge financial burden associated with weight loss, but there is more. Food is not just fuel, in spite of what we would like to imagine. Let's face it: food is also social. And finding a balance between weight loss and a social life can be difficult and at times impossible.
There are those in our lives that are almost ridiculously supportive. When they have cookouts or gatherings, they are prepared for us to come, and they have healthy alternatives available just for us. They've prepared grilled chicken and have steamed or sauteed vegetables in addition to the burgers, hot dogs, and potato salad.
There are those in our lives that are supportive. When they have cookouts or gatherings, they prepare for their guests as a whole, but they are fully expecting that we will be showing up, chicken and vegetables in hand, and will help us get our food prepared.
And then, there are those in our lives who say they are supportive, but what they really mean is they're supportive as long as we don't change around them. They have their cookouts and get- togethers, and they expect us to be there, but they expect us to eat what they have prepared. They get genuinely offended if we look at the food available and decide that it isn't food we need to be eating for our journey. They say things like, "There's no dieting for my party!" and "One meal isn't going to hurt you."
I am so incredibly grateful for those wonderful people in my life who are in the first two groups. I'm completely unsure of how to handle my loved ones who fall in the third group. I adore these wonderful, amazing people, and as a person who loves to cook and loves to entertain, I can understand why they are proud of the things they have prepared and would like everyone to partake in them. But, as a person who is trying to lose weight and trying to get myself to a healthy lifestyle, I am completely perplexed by their attitudes. It is because I have always taken a "just this one thing won't hurt" attitude towards life that I am where I am with my weight, and if I don't change, I will continue getting the same result. It is unclear to me why that isn't an understood concept across the board.
I'm still trying to find the best way to handle these kinds of situations. The best solution I have come to so far is having a small amount of what is offered, so as not to offend, and trying to work around as much as possible by eating before and after the gathering. I will continue to work toward my goals and I will continue to look for ways to make this all work together with my life.
Friday, April 30, 2010
There are some people who believe that food addiction is a phantom disease - something made up by all the fat people to excuse their bad habits. I sincerely wish that was the case.
Food addiction is a struggle, as with any other addiction, and it's not just a struggle for overweight people. It's more than overeating, though overeating and binging is a huge portion of it. Food addiction also brings with it a total obsession with food, and a huge amount of guilt and shame. It usually carries a back story, the ever-looming question of, "Why do I do this and what am I trying to "replace" or "accomplish" with food?"
As a food addict, I have to make very serious adjustments to my life to accommodate the addiction, because it will spiral out of control very quickly if I'm not overly cautious. So what does overly cautious look like for me? Well...
- Having my husband hide all sweets in the house (really well, because I absolutely will look for them) and rationing them out so I can't binge
- Planning out any meals at restaurants before going to a restaurant, so I'm not tempted by the high calorie/high fat meals and foods once I get there
- Not allowing the purchase of high calorie/high fat/not nutritionally dense snack foods, even for my children, because I will get into them
- Working diligently to not wait too late to plan dinner, because if it gets too late (later than 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon), I will resort to fast food, delivery or take out
- When dealing with a stressful or emotional situations, I make a very diligent attempt to fill my time with exercise, or some other distraction if exercise isn't possible, to avoid emotional binge eating
- Never allowing myself to go more than 3-4 hours without food, because if I get overhungry, I will overeat.
- Keeping a healthy, car-friendly snack, such as a fiber one bar, on me at all times, in case I get caught out and need to eat, because if I get hungry, I will run through a drive-thru, and will not make healthy choices.
In addition to making these, and other adjustments, to my daily life, I am also having to do a lot of soul searching and looking within myself, because as noted above, this is a mental struggle. And if I don't work to identify why I am addicted to food, I will never fully recover from my addiction, regardless of my weight. And just as with any other addiction, it will be something I will have to keep in constant check, because it will be very easy to end up right back where I am with my weight without ever realizing what happened if I become too complacent.
Is it difficult? Very.
Is it conquerable? Without a doubt.
Will it ever completely go away? Unfortunately, probably not.
Is that okay? It is with me.
Why is it okay with me? Well, here's the thing: I'm not thrilled about having this struggle in my life. However, I am so much more than my struggles. I will not be defined by my addiction. It may be a part of my life, for the rest of my life, but it is not who I am. Sure, I will have to be on my toes, make more adjustments than most, and continue working to make sure I'm not eating for any reasons other than to fuel my body; however, my life is so much bigger, grander, and more awesome than a few extra steps to ensure I'm as healthy as I can be.
I'm a food addict. And though that affects my journey, it won't cause me to fail my journey. I will overcome this. I will succeed.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
I promised some food ideas for eating those 5-6 meals a day for this week's blog. Now I am a working mom, so I literally have to take some time in the mornings and at night to pack my cooler for the day (yes, I really do this lol).
I posted my breakfast recipe I make in my first blog-that's my first "meal of the day" and at only 250 calories, it keeps me full until at least 11, which is awesome. My 2nd meal can consist of any of the following combos, and are all around 200 calories:
South Beach Meal Bar
Lowfat Cheese stick and crackers
Banana with Nutella (YUMMM!!!)
cottage cheese and jam
This is what I eat about a half hour before I leave for the gym on my lunch break-I prefer to eat lunch after I get back from the gym, to hold me over so I don't over-snack in the late afternoon.
My lunch almost always consists of a turkey sandwich on rye (rye has proven to keep you fuller longer) with lowfat mayo or hummus, and lots of spinach and tomatoes. A real belly filler coming in at only 300 calories!
My afternoon snack can be any of the following as well:
Handful of mixed nuts-Planters makes good varieties for digestion, energy, etc
100 cal bag of popcorn
Cheese stick and crackers (I could eat this 5 times a day, seriously)
Then for dinner, I'll try to hold off until about 6:30 to eat, which is just late enough so I don't have night time munchies. I'll make this a bigger meal with lean protein, lots of veggies and a carb. Also, believe it or not, pasta has a lower glycemic index than even brown rice, so I've been incorporating whole grain pastas into our dinners lately, and indeed it is true. Glycemic index works:
Soooo...try it for a week-I know it requires getting up a bit earlier to prepare this, and it's not as easy as going through the drive through, but it's SOOO worth it! I have recommendations for smart drive through choices as well, but, that's another time.
Here is what I'm going to be cooking up tonight-in honor of my recent trip to Jamaica, where the food is so wonderful, tasty AND healthy!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Yesterday was Day 4, and I rocked it!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Since beginning my P90X journey, I have discovered muscles that I had no idea existed. I'm sore in the expected places - abs, glutes, quads, calves, and all the arm muscles - every single one of them. And I'm sore in some really unexpected places, like the tops of my feet (new this morning), around my rib cage, and in my arm pits. I would have thought that the sore muscles would hold me back in my workouts, but the amazing thing is, once I get warmed up, they aren't sore at all; so it doesn't affect my workouts whatsoever, which is definitely a welcome discovery.
I've also noticed that I have more energy. Now, this isn't like a blatantly obvious energy boost like you see on vintage cartoons when a character drinks from a bottle labeled "pep" and suddenly can lift school buses. This was a more subtle change, and I almost didn't even notice it. It showed up in little ways, like when I am cleaning, I don't have to take as many breaks; and in the evenings I'm not quite as completely drained. But, it's there. And I would imagine that will only get better as I continue.
Another big difference I'm noticing is I'm HUNGRY, like all the time. I have to be honest here: I always thought all these fitness gurus were out of their gourds talking about eating 5-6 small meals a day. I mean, really, who is hungry enough to eat every 2-3 hours? And who has the TIME for all that craziness, anyway? But I have found the word "meals" is deceiving. I am eating every 3 hours or so, because if I don't, I get absolutely famished. No kidding. I'm talking, "my stomach is gonna eat my liver if I don't eat right now" famished. So I've started incorporating light snacks into my day. Snacks like a serving of raw baby carrots (14 carrots) with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese and five Triscuit Crackers - a snack that has a grand total of 155 calories, and has proteins and carbs to carry me through to my next meal and is actually amazingly filling.
All-in-all, I'm really amazed at the immediate changes I'm noticing in how I feel. I can't fathom what kinds of changes I have to look forward to in my future if I'm feeling this many changes less than a week into it. Whatever they are, they're patiently waiting for me, and I can't WAIT to reach them.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
In our society, most people skip breakfast, then either get fast food or fraternize with co-workers over buffalo wings at lunchtime, then go home and eat a "healthy dinner" and think that's enough-it's not! Your body's metabolism needs a kick start early in the morning to get going all day-that is how our bodies operate. Studies show that people who eat a good breakfast WILL lose weight faster than people who skip. Why? Because when you fast overnight and then through the morning, your body goes into 'starvation mode'. It goes back to our hunter/gatherer ancestors-your body thinks food supply is in short demand, so it holds on to any food intake as if you won't be eating again for a while. Hence, skipping breakfast, when you do finally eat lunch, your body will hold on to it for fat. I see so many women making that mistake of skipping meals, thinking that will help them lose weight-it might for a day, but it will backfire on you in the long run. Still want to skip breakfast? I didn't think so.
The key to keeping your metabolism up is to eat small meals, 5 or 6 times a day. This keeps your blood sugar and your energy at a steady rate all day long. I try to eat my breakfast every morning by 8:00 or so. For all you moms out there, treat your eating like you would a toddler-snack time at 10, lunch at 12, snack time at 3, and dinner at 6. I know it may seem like you are eating all the time, but that's exactly what you should be doing. Any one of my given "meals' is not a full plate of food, it's more like grazing. I promise if you do this, you will see instant results in weight AND energy. Even if you do have the occasional midnight queso fest...
Next week-I'm going to write about exactly what kinds of foods you should be eating throughout the day.
Here's what I get up at 5 am every morning and make for my husband and I for breakfast-(if I can get up, you can too-I've never been accused of being a morning person)
1 whole wheat english muffin
3 egg whites
lowfat shredded cheese
salt and pepper
Just scramble up the eggs and milk, divide in 2, sprinkle on cheese and picante sauce! I give each of us a half of an english muffin each. I throw these into tupperwares for us to bring to work. It's only 250 calories each and loaded with protein to keep me full. Well, until 10am ;-)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Test Number One - Easter weekend: PASSED.
Test Number Two - Spring Break Vacation: IN PROGRESS
I'm leaving tomorrow for our Spring Break Vacation. We'll be out of town for five days. The destination spot we have chosen is a location that we frequent, and it's a spot that, as with most vacation spots, is known for delicious foods, and I'm not talking about amazing Brussels sprouts.
Admittedly, this is going to take some courage, and will power, and manipulation. I'm not going to be able to go and have cocktails, steak and dessert. But, with the right balancing of calories, I may be able to have water, a small lean steak and a few bites of a dessert - and still feel like I'm getting to take full advantage of the foods that I love to enjoy while away.
I refuse to go on vacation and feel deprived. But more so, I refuse to go on vacation and set myself back in my journey. I am taking my scale. I'm watching my weight. I'm going to adjust as necessary. I'm making sure I get plenty of activity in addition to the much needed relaxation. And yes, I am going to make mostly healthy choices.
I have set my boundaries. I'm approaching this vacation with an 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, I will make awesome choices, stick to lean proteins, complex carbs, and stay away from over-processed, bleached white flour, simple sugars, etc. And I'm allowing 20% wiggle room, to permit those little indulgences that I simply can't resist. I will control those by using good old fashioned portion control.
I'm not sure how frequently I'll be posting during my vacation, but Monday is weigh in day and I'm SO EXCITED for it to get here already! That scale won't lie about my time away - and for me that's a beautiful thing.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Official Start Weight: 280.0
Last Weight (4/1/10): 278.6
Current Weight: 276.2
Weekly Loss: -2.4
Total Loss: -3.8
I will begin P90X at the end of this week, and my journey will begin to really take off. Until then, I will continue to work in extra activity and continue to make healthier eating choices.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
It's easy to convince myself that because this is a special occasion, it's okay to allow myself just this one little splurge. Just this one time, it's okay to have that burger, or those ribs, or that extra slice of cake. Seems logical, right? After all, a diet isn't failed on one splurge....
Here is where this theory falls apart: there is ALWAYS a reason to splurge. Reasons such as: birthday parties, Easter candy, spring cookouts and bonfires, weddings, July 4th barbeques, vacations, back to school bashes, Halloween parties, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas candies and Christmas dinners, New Years Eve parties, Valentine's Day candy...and before I know it, I'm right back at Easter again. So the "just one little splurge" that I allowed myself turns into a series of chronic splurges. And with a series of chronic splurges comes weight gain, and disappointment, which in turn for some (me!) leads to emotional eating due to depressed feelings because of the scale moving the wrong direction.
I am highly knowledgeable as to what is unhealthy, high in calories and fat, and not going to help me be successful in my weight loss journey. And the crazy thing is, almost every person who has ever tried to lose weight is too. We can all pass the "eat this, not that" quiz with flying colors. So it's typically not a matter of not knowing what is right; it's a matter of not making the right choices in spite of our knowledge. And oftentimes we excuse our bad choices by saying, "It's just this meal. Just this one splurge. Just this one time." And that one time leads to another, and another, and another.
Now, I can't address this without touching on one other school of thought, and that is the mindset that "It's okay if I eat this. I'll just work it off later." This is a completely healthy line of thinking under two conditions: 1-You don't eat more calories than you can logically burn off and 2-you are working to maintain a weight, not lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight, then the formula needed is burn more calories than you consume. If you are consuming a higher number of calories thinking that it's okay because you are exercising and burning calories, you are most likely going to get frustrated (and most likely discouraged) very quickly, because your scale isn't going to move very much, if at all. That's why the most successful formula for weight loss is change of diet WITH exercise, not one or the other.
One other thought from this weekend: As long as we're not dwelling on what we don't have and enjoying what we do have, we'll never feel deprived. Look at it this way: Brad Pitt is a very attractive man. So is my husband. They are both handsome in different ways. But if I focused on the ways my husband doesn't look like Brad Pitt, I could ruin my perfectly wonderful marriage. Do ribs taste delicious? You BET! But does grilled chicken taste delicious, too? ABSOLUTELY! And as long as I don't try to compare my grilled chicken to the ribs, I won't mentally ruin my lifestyle change.
As for my Easter weekend, it was just the way it should have been. It was filled with family, friendship, laughter, fun, and yes, food. I was tempted by the foods I shouldn't eat, but I stood my ground and didn't allow myself to "splurge" on them. And I very much enjoyed my grilled chicken.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Food-it's my passion and my preferred way of expressing my artistic side. My can-opener wielding husband asked me once (while being forced to watch Hell's Kitchen with me one night) 'why do they get so upset when they don't like their dishes?'. So I asked him how he'd feel if someone said his kid was stupid-the sentiment he felt had something to do with a 2x4 to the head of the person who might say that. So, he gets it now. It's an art, a creation, a veritable smorgasbord of senses we serve up and present to others with a "TADA!" and hope it's met with approval. It's a skill that is practiced, honed and fine tuned, that we get better and better at. Much like golf, which I've recently undertaken-the better I get at it, the more I want to play.
People want to know where I learned how to cook, and assume I learned it from my mom-Mom cooked, but not out of love for the food but out of necessity of feeding her family. My mom readily admits her daughters are better cooks than she and is happy to sit back and have us play chef during the holidays. Where I learned, was classic Food Network. When I was a new stay at home mom, I spent countless hours on the recliner rocking my babies to sleep, and fearing the slightest disruption would awake them from blissful slumber on my chest. So I usually had the remote in my hand to amuse myself. Once I had enough Jerry Springer to make me feel like my life was, indeed, up to par, I became fascinated with Food Network, since, well, suddenly not going to the office every day anymore, I had time for such things. My previous idea of cooking was frozen chicken breasts and cream of mushroom soup, but I digress...
I once heard something Mario Batali quoted on his show, and it stuck with me. He said the Italians only dine out at restaurants to give Mama a break from washing dishes. They don't go out to eat for good food, and I definitely share that sentiment. I'm hard pressed to find something I enjoy that I can't make better at home. People think this is unbelievable, but it's like this secret club I feel like I've been let in to, and the irony of it is, it's just so ridiculously easy. I only dine out as a means to have an adult dinner with my husband or to catch up with a girlfriend, purely social in nature.
Once I realized what truly "good" food is, it sparked the health conscious beast that lied in me. VERY dormant, I might add. I had lived my life as a steady size 8-10, living off of processed food and restaurant fare, which, in my early 20's didn't affect me too much. As I navigated through that decade, I realized I wasn't 19 anymore. Thankfully, my new hobby was in line with this. Much like the Italians, I began to see the value of choosing 5-6 fresh, quality ingredients and combining them into something that was far superior to anything I could order off a menu. My cooking style is much like that, I don't like to over manipulate foods, over sauce or cover up anything-I love to choose ingredients that can each shine, individually and combined in a way that complement each other.
Earlier this week, I remarked to my husband now that with this full time job and our hectic schedule, I was disappointed in what my "cooking" had morphed into. It's not me, and I have been missing out on something that really "fills my cup". The same day, Shannon asked me to write this foodie blog. This has inspired me to get back to where I want to be with food in my life-as difficult as that may be. This blog has taken me near an hour to write, as I've already had to play referee at least 13 times, so you can imagine how much uninterrupted time I get to pursue my passion. I think the men got it right with golf, as that requires leaving the house for a few hours!. Since Monday is the only day I come home after work and we eat together, I am committing to making this my REAL cooking day. I'll even break out of my box of "tried and trues" and try something completely different.
Here's one of my all time favorites, always a crowd pleaser, as well as healthy:
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Right Arm: 16
Left Arm: 16
Right Thigh: 28
Left Thigh: 28
So I must admit, this is my body. And I'm so totally disgusted and freaked out to see that in black and white. Who has measurements like that? Whose hips are only nine inches smaller than her height? This girl. That's who.
But, at the same time, it's so motivational. Because I can say that I NEVER want to see those numbers like that again. I never want to see my thighs measuring where I want my waist to be. I never want to do these measurements again and be ashamed.
I'm ready to bring on the progress. I'm ready to bring on the work. I'm ready to bring on the sexy. And I can't wait to do this again in a month. And then lather, rinse, repeat...until I have the measurements that exceed my expectations. I'm ready. Are you?
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sometimes it's blatant: a comment is made by someone you thought would NEVER make a comment like that, or a name being called under someone's breath out of anger. Sometimes it's not so obvious: a glance into your shopping cart at the grocery store, or a surprised comment about how healthy and thin your children are, or a second glance when you walk to the pool in your swimsuit.
Judgment happens, and it happens daily. And it's ugly. However, something else happens daily - and it's beautiful; because for every person who is judgmental, there are three who are not. They always seem to see past the weight and see the person who lives inside.
Being overweight is hard. It's hard to look in the mirror and be discouraged. It's hard to be judged before I'm known. It's hard going places and not knowing if I will be comfortable in a booth or seat. It's hard clothes or shoes shopping and realizing that things aren't going to look exactly the way I want them to on my body.
But in a way, being overweight has been a blessing. I have found friends and a husband who love me for who I am, not how I look. I have learned the basics of humanitarianism, compassion, and empathy through my positive and negative experiences. And I have found support and inspiration in places I never would have otherwise.
It is my goal to lose weight. It is my goal to set myself free from the chains of judgment. It is my goal to no longer be in a position that people have reason to judge me and to no longer have the difficulties that come along with being this size. It is my goal to inspire others to take this journey with me. It is my goal to make people who haven't been in these shoes realize how difficult it is to walk in them. It is my goal to find the beauty within myself that others see, and encourage everyone who has ever felt the way I have felt to find the beauty within themselves as well.
This journey is about so much more than a goal weight. It's a journey of self discovery. It's a journey to inspire others. It's a journey to show others how difficult being overweight is. And most importantly, it's a journey to show that it absolutely can be done.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
The TRUE value of Shakeology (in dollars)By Larry Armstead II
I hear so often that Shakeology is too expensive to try and that, for much cheaper, one could make their own just-as-effective Shakeology blend. So, I put that to the test. I went to a few of my favorite vitamin sites and looked up retail prices on what one would have to spend. I even did a little extra digging and went around to find coupon codes to get discounts and deals on what I found.
I came as close to duplicating Shakeology as I could. There are still a few ingredients missing that are in Shakeology that are not found in anything I list below.
To make your own home-made Shakeology, you'd need...
Multivitamin: MegaFood DailyFoods One Daily
Serving Size: One pill.
Meal Replacement? No.
Free Gifts? No.
With Coupon/Coupon Code/Preferred Customer Discount: $48.66
Sales Tax (with Discount): $52.06
Fruits & Vegetables Blend: NSI 42 Fruits & Vegetables
Serving Size: Two pills
Meal Replacement? No.
Free Gifts? No.
With Coupon/Coupon Code/Preferred Customer Discount: $14.99
Sales Tax (with Discount): $16.04
Probiotics: NSI Probiotic Vegetarian Capsules
Serving Size: Two pills
Meal Replacement? No.
Free Gifts? No.
With Coupon/Coupon Code/Preferred Customer Discount: $27.77
Sales Tax (with Discount): $29.72
Protein: Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey Protein Double Rich Chocolate
Serving Size: Two pills
Meal Replacement? No.
Free Gifts? No.
With Coupon/Coupon Code/Preferred Customer Discount: $41.12
Sales Tax (with Discount): $44.00
Retail Order Total: $270.88
Discounted Total: $141.82
Discounted Total with Shipping: $146.81
Daily Pill Amount: 5
Autoship Available? Yes
Autoship with Free Shipping? No
Point: save yourself the pill counting, the multiple orders, missed ingredients, and get all of those things plus more as well as the meal replacement benefit all in one simple daily glass of Shakeology for...
Serving Size: One scoop
Meal Replacement? Yes
Free Gifts? Yes--Shaker Cup & 2 Workout DVDs
With Club Membership: $107.96
With Coach Discount: $89.97
Autoship Available? Yes
Autoship with Free Shipping? Yes
Sales Tax & Shipping...
Retail with Free Shipping: $128.95
Club Membership: $123.25
Club Membership witth Free Shipping: $116.05
Coach Discount: $103.96
Coach Discount with Free Shipping: $96.76
Plus, a chance to win up to $5,000 just for trying the product! (ends March 31st)
If you are interested in Shakeology check out:www.beachbodycoach.com/zestyguru or www.shakeology.com/zestyguru
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
The 'job' of being a coach for Team Beachbody is about inspiring others to get into shape. It's about getting healthy and reaching out to others to join you. And that's what I've done with Deanna. I invited her to join me in this quest and she has agreed to go 'all in'.
Now let me tell you a little about Deanna. She is no cookie-cutter woman. Every single time I talk to her I'm either amazed or surprised. Ultimately, I always walk away having learned something because she is simply that awesome. She's a rare gem that way. On the other hand, she is 'every woman'. Just like many of us, she has struggled over the years to find herself. She's gotten lost in the busyness of every day life and has put herself on the back burner for the sake of, well, just every day stuff. She has dieted and lost weight. She has gained it back, only to lose it again. She has been on that roller coaster. Just exactly like so many of us. This time it's different, though. She's not going to diet. Diets are about deprivation. She will not deprive herself of anything. Instead, she will treat her body like the temple it is. She will introduce to it wonderfully healthy and delicious foods. She will push herself physically to shed fat and build muscle. She will struggle. She will fight. She may even cry. But, she is committed and she will succeed. I believe in her.
The thing about this is...supposedly I'm her coach but, realistically, she is the one who inspires me.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I see her. Every time I close my eyes and think of myself, she's there. And she's beautiful. Unfortunately, as soon as I open my eyes and look at a photograph of myself, or catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror, a stranger stares back at me and she's gone. You see, the me that I "see" inside just doesn't match the me I see outside.
Inside I'm sassy. I'm fashionable. I'm curvy. I'm attractive. I'm sexy - a vintage, classic, ageless sexy - like a Gil Elvgren pinup.
Outside, the fact is, I'm 280 pounds on my 5'8" frame. My body is the right shape - I actually do have an hourglass figure - but the proportion is TOTALLY off. I need to be less than half of me to match the me I see inside. I try to be fashionable and cute, but let's be totally honest here: for whatever reason, designers just don't feel that fashions apply to the overweight. And what is cute on a small frame is NOT always cute on mine.
"There's a difference between interest and committment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results." ~ Kenneth Blanchard
I've been overweight since the birth of my first child, ten years ago. And for ten years now, I've been "interested" in losing weight. Ten years wasted on a rollercoaster of losses and gains; ups and downs. I've lost 30 pounds - multiple times. And I've gained it back, and more, every time. I've succumbed to emotional eating, putting me at more than 130 pounds overweight and 160 pounds over my lowest weight. My goal lies somewhere ambiguously between the two.
I'm done being "interested" in losing the weight. I have a pinup girl inside me. And I'm ready for her to come out of this shell. My name is Deanna. And I'm here to prove to myself that my reflection can and will match the pinup I am inside.