Post-Holiday Renewed Spirit

January 6th, 2012 by regera

If anyone asks, I was naughty this holiday season. Amid mouthfuls of baked macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, and tamales, I wavered. Between bites of baklava, pumpkin pie, and cranberry blondies topped with white chocolate buttercream , I failed. I gained about 10-12 lbs, mostly around Christmas. It was nice not to worry about carbs and sugar for a while, but the whole family lacked control. We all went on Phase 1 this week to straighten up. I’ve lost 7.5 lbs since Monday. It makes me happy that so much of the weight gain turned out to be water weight. I really hate Phase 1, though. As always, the fruit on sale is (or appears to be) wonderful during Phase 1.

Even though it may seem like it, I don’t use Phase 1 as a punishment. It’s more like a reboot. I’d like to get into juice fasts, but they seem so expensive. I’ve been contemplating changing up my diet so I focus on balanced eating and low calorie rather than low carb. I would focus on eating more protein and vegetables, but still omit processed, refined flours and sugars. I’d probably relax on corn simply because I like corn tortillas for tacos and tostadas as well as corn on the cob. I’d relax a little bit on white potatoes, but they’d still be an occasional thing. I don’t miss the potatoes very much, but I do miss corn. I don’t need corn syrup, though.

I need to work on portion control something awful. I tend to wake up around noon and eat two meals between 3pm and 11pm, and then snack quite a bit. I need to work on that so I eat earlier. Whenever something really good is close by (crepes!), I definitely overeat.

Today, I received yet another Amazon order. It had a multivitamin, cat toys, and exercise DVDs. I don’t think I should order any more, but I get excited reading the descriptions and end up ordering them. I’m not ready for the 30 Day Shred. Seriously, I got 2 or 3 minutes in and had to quit. I haven’t exercised since before Thanksgiving. I ordered some others that looked easier. I’ve done the bellydance DVD off of Netflix, as well as one of Leslie Sansone’s workouts, so I know I’ll be able to handle that level of activity. I got the Island Girl workout because it looked fun and the Tannith Lee workout had good reviews, and both were very cheap. I figured it was worth checking them out.

I really liked the Kettlenetics workout, but I’m uncomfortable with my stance. I’m never sure if I’m doing it write since most instructors on DVDs emphasize having knees slightly bent, and the Kettlenetics instructor appears to lock hers. I’m more comfortable with locked knees because of my natural gait/posture/stance, but I don’t want to cause any damage. I’ll figure it out.

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

Discover Bellydance with Veena & Neena

Leslie Sansone: Walk Away the Pounds Ultimate Collection

The Science of Fitness with Tamilee - I Want That Body!

Island Girl Dance Fitness Workout for Beginners: Hula Abs & Buns

I’m a Work-in-Progress

September 30th, 2011 by regera

After completing Phase 1, I feel like I’m back on track. I weighed in at 228.5 this morning. I wanted to say that I’ve never weighed that low in my adult life, but I’ve realized that will be true as I lose more weight. From now on, every new loss is a new low for me. :D

One habit that worries me lately is this need to plan my cheats for special occasions. Over the summer, my family celebrated three birthdays and I planned delicious sweets for each of them. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my mother’s birthday coming up, I look forward to the desserts ahead. It worries me that I think about it so much. On one hand, trying to make sweet treats healthier seems to have become my hobby. But on the other hand, it can’t be healthy to think about food so much. Ugh!

Lately, when I walk the dog, I see coyotes around. They don’t pay us much attention, and my dog doesn’t flip out over them. It just makes me realize I should be more aware of my surroundings when I go out like that. I think I prefer the sky during the colder seasons. The air is so crisp and clear, and the stars seem brighter. I’m going to have to start walking in the evening soon when the nighttime gets too cold. I don’t mind because the chill means there still won’t be too many people outside.

Derailed, but not a train wreck

September 15th, 2011 by regera

I haven’t been doing well with weight loss lately. I went off plan with sugar, and I ate things that weren’t healthy. I weighed 231.5, but that was due to not eating regular meals. We (mom, dad, and myself) finally went shopping and recommitted to the South Beach Diet. The idea was to start Phase 1 again…but somehow we left the store with bananas, rice, white chocolate, and fruit leathers. Ahem. So now that those things are gone (which is a euphemism for eaten) we can try Phase 1 again.

Since I wasn’t eating regularly, I decided to forgo exercise. Then last week I developed an ovarian cyst. It wasn’t very painful, but I couldn’t twist or bend much. My mind often leaps to the worst case scenario. I was afraid I’d have to have surgery, and we can’t afford that right now. Then my cat got sick over the weekend, and I was terrified that he’d have to get surgery too. I would have to wait until Monday to call the vet, so I stressed about those things all weekend. Fortunately, my cyst went down and my cat got better. I felt so relieved.

My dad’s dog has a lot of energy, and I’ve been telling myself I’d walk her so she could burn some of it. I’ll walk her after I make this post, so if it becomes a very long one, you’ll know I’m procrastinating.

I got my Amazon order. The water bottle cage isn’t as sturdy as I’d like, but it’ll do. My DVD’s are great. I only did the Kettlenetics two times, but it was fun and it made me sweat. I like that it isn’t high impact cardio. You do have to squat a lot, so it could be stressful on the knees. It’s not jarring with jumps and hops, which is the type of exercise I loathe. I also got Pilates Sculpt and Tone. I highly recommend that one. It has a lot of selections. You can pick the sessions by length of time or by what tools you use. You can do pilates with mat work, weights, a ring, a fitness ball, or a small ball. I’ve only done mat work so far, but I’ll also do the weights. Even if I don’t get the other equipment, there are plenty of exercises to do. I intend to get a fitness ball. That will expand the selections.

Well, here’s to hoping I stay on plan this week! :)

Gaiam Kettlenetics Slim and Tone Kit Gaiam Kettlenetics Slim and Tone Kit

Pilates Complete Sculpt and Tone Pilates Complete Sculpt and Tone

Birthday Spree

August 5th, 2011 by regera

I had a rough week a while back I was gaining weight several days in a row, which is uncommon for me. Usually I bounce around between a small range (about 2-3 lbs) and then drop, only to bounce around in the new range. That week, I gained several consecutive days. I finally narrowed down the cause to my inositol supplement. I’m glad I figured it out because I was starting to worry.

I ordered several things from Amazon with some of my birthday money. I got Kettlenetics, a pilates DVD, a cage mount for my waterbottle cage, and some orthotics. I realize Kettlenetics may not be an authentic kettlebell workout, but I like the clips I saw on Youtube. I’ll look into heavy kettlebells when I can afford them and a decent DVD. I’m interested in the Skogg System, but I can’t afford it right now. I’ve had a waterbottle cage for my bike, but the bike has no place to attach it. My dad suggested Velcro, but that would look ridiculous and it probably wouldn’t even hold a full bottle. I got the Topeak waterbottle cage and my metal waterbottle fits in it great. Now that I got the cage mount, I should be all set! Eventually, I’d like a bicycle computer, headlights, tailights, and a basket for the back, but with a waterbottle, I’ll be able to go farther and rest for a while as I take a swig. Amazon hasn’t mailed those things yet, but I’m eager to get them.

My birthday was last month. I celebrated by making myself a strawberry swiss roll. I used white whole wheat flour (henceforth known as WWW flour) and agave nectar. I used a reduced sugar strawberry jam and real whipped cream, along with Blue Bell No Sugar strawberry ice cream. It was strawberry overkill, but it was so good. The week after, I made a full fat cheesecake (once again with WWW flour & agave). It was my first homemade cheesecake, and it was delicious! I doubt I’ll make it again in 2011, though. So many calories! I’ll try to find a recipe that uses low-fat cream cheese so we can have a cranberry cheesecake near Christmas time.

I think I’ll have to use something other than agave nectar in the future. I’d like something more natural, or at least with something that’s been studied more than agave nectar. I’ve read some things about it that give me pause. I liked that it doesn’t have as strong a taste as honey and that it’s lower glycemic, but that’s not enough to make me stay with it. It’s expensive anyway.

Ugh, more research!

The Prologue

July 7th, 2011 by regera

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. This is the place where I say too much without really saying anything at all. I’ve been losing weight since February 2010. Although I’ve only lost just over 40 lbs, I’m in it for the long haul. I hope that by writing the blessings and blunders of losses and gains, I’ll be able to educate myself about, well, myself.

I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember, and obese since I was in elementary school. We ate whatever was cheapest, usually packages of ramen noodles and Kraft macaroni & cheese. I never really tried to lose weight. Once when I was in high school, I tried to exercise. I kept it up for two weeks straight and noticed how quickly I was becoming fit, but I suddenly stopped and never picked it up again. Somehow, at the time, it was enough to know I could exercise but not worth the effort to stick with it.

I’ve been fortunate that in my life. My problems have all been self-inflicted. I was never abused in any way. I don’t remember anything traumatic related to my weight, only the occasional disappointment because I couldn’t ride a ride or fit into clothing. I can only remember being made fun of twice, and only one of those times was about my weight. The new guy in our small rural school mocked me for being fat (I honestly can’t remember the specifics of what he said). I think he was trying to impress JM, who was popular, or as popular as you can get in a tiny school where everyone knows you. Anyway, JM told him to quit and the new kid asked why, JM said it was because I was nice…and my dad was a cop. New kid backed off very quickly. I think I only remember because I got a compliment out of it.

I do deal with depression. It’s only been serious a few times. I used to get episodes where I’d be depressed for a few weeks, then I’d get back to my regular old self. Because of those episodes, I dropped out of college and moved back in with my parents. Right now, I get anxiety about moving forward with my life, and the anxiety is more crippling than the depression. I’m working on ways to reduce it, but it’s a slow process for me.

I also have PCOS. My old GP diagnosed it a few years ago I took metformin until the 1st bottle of pills ran out, and I never bothered getting a refill. When I started trying to lose weight, the impetus was my embarrassing PCOS symptoms. I had discoloration on my face, some cystic acne, boils on my underarms, and my periods only came a couple of times a year. I was scared and frustrated, so I started the South Beach Diet with my dad. Now, I’ve wanted to eat more healthy foods for a long time, but my parents didn’t like spending the money on it. They thought weight loss was all about exercise, and food intake didn’t matter. My dad had high cholesterol and his doctor recommended low carb, so I was happy to join him in eating healthier. I did most of the cooking for the two of us, while my mom and sister continued to eat like before. After a while, my sister decided to do the Insanity workouts. She started eating healthier, but in a different way than my dad and I did. Nowadays, even my mom is eating healthier.

I lost ~ 30lbs just by eating based, loosely, on the SBD. I still eat saturated fats like heavy cream and butter, but I nearly completely avoided all flour, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils. I still have cane sugar since I eat dark chocolate candy bars, and I also use liquid sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup, but I think I would have quit a long time ago if I wasn’t able to have a cookie or other dessert every so often. I suppose desserts are my downfall.

Well, that’s a rough treatment of my life so far. More to come!