Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My weightloss journey and the Christmas holidays

Well, I was looking back at this blog and realized that it has been a long time since I posted on here.  I am not sure that anyone reads this or not, but it is a way for me to document what I am doing.  I need to do more of it.  So up until the holidays, I had lost over 40 pounds.  I still have a long ways to go to get to my goal, but I am on the way.  I just need to keep doing more of the same, working hard, eating right, and exercising.  I noticed that it was in August that I wrote here last.  I have plateaued a little bit with my weight loss, but I figured that I would make it through the holidays and then it it hard again.  Mark gave me a Ninja blender for Christmas.  I can use it to make healthy smoothies for breakfast and then concentrate on more fruits and vegetables for the rest of the day. 

I have been thinking about cutting meat out of my diet for the most part.  I can live without it most of the time and just eat it a few days a week.  I read a couple of books that talk about low carb living.  The thing that they have in common is the reliance on more fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains.  So far, I haven't been doing the grains.  Over the holidays, I have eaten and drank things that I shouldn't.  On Christmas day, I gave myself a pass to eat what I wanted to, without overeating.  It went well.  So far, I have maintained over the holidays, which is good. 

This fall, October and November, I signed up to have a personal trainer from one of the HPER classes.  It went well and Nikki gave me a lot to think about and work on.  She gave me four weeks of workouts, which I have not used yet.  But it gives me something to do in the future.  I also bought an inside trainer for my bicycle.  It turns my outdoor bike into an indoor bike.  I have enjoyed riding it.  I have also done the Wii fit a few times over the break.  I need to keep moving forward with adding in more exercise to my lifestyle.  This coming summer, I would like to ride the 20 miles bike ride in the Dirty Kanza.  A friend is interested in the Nitty Gritty Dirt Dash, so I might do that with her.  I also can sign up for a personal trainer at the Rec Center when school is back in session.  All of this will keep me moving forward. 

I will admit that there are days when I wonder why I am doing this and want to throw in the towel, but then I just keep going.  I have bought some new clothes because some of my pants were falling off of me.  I need to go through my closet and get rid of some of the things that I cannot wear anymore and things that I don't wear.  I am fitting into clothing that I haven't worn for a while.  So that is good.  I read an article the other day about not waiting until I reach big goals, but to set small goals and reward myself when I reach them such as 5 pounds or exercising for a certain amount of time each day.  So I think that I will try that and keep moving forward.  I have had a lot of people that have encouraged me on this journey and I am grateful to them, especially when I hit a low point or plateau.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

30 pounds lighter

So it has been over a month since I have written anything down.  I had planned to write on a more regular basis, but I have not done that.  Life has gotten in the way.  Since then, my total weight loss adds up to over 30 pounds.  I still have a long ways to go, but I am almost 1/3 of the way to my final goal.  Eating this way isn't too hard most of the time, but occasionally I get a little depressed that eating has lost enjoyment and just become a way to fuel my body.  I guess that is what needs to happen though for me to be successful.  Since the 4th of July, I have survived vacation and my birthday without a weight gain.  My loss has been slow but steady, about 1-2 pounds a week.  For my birthday, I did treat myself with a blizzard and really enjoyed it.  But the other day I tried to eat a white roll and it really didn't taste as good as I expected, so I spit it out and threw it away. 

I am still reading books and trying to decide if I should stay completely low carb with lots of meat and vegetables, or potentially explore going most vegetarian with some meat a couple of times a week.  I have cut down what I was eating in the morning.  I have decided that too much bacon, eggs, and red meat is not good for me.  So I am trying to eat other things and having some meatless meals may be part of it.  I talked to a friend that switched to eating vegetarian and he said that he feels better and has lost over 25 pounds.  So it is something to consider.  I can slowly move that direction.  Salads are the mainstay of what I eat. 

Exercise is where I am doing much better than in the past.  I got my bike out a few weeks ago and have been riding it more, especially in the mornings.  I was doing a lot of swimming before they closed the aquatic center.  I need to make time to go to the rec center in town to swim, either in the morning or at noon.  Swimming is such good exercise overall, not only for my legs and cardio, but also for my arms.  Just moving 5-7 times a week has been a goal and I am doing well with it.  My biggest obstacle is getting out of bed in the morning.  Once I am out of bed, then I am good to go and enjoy working out (swimming, walking, and riding my bike). 

I was thinking the other day, what do I want to accomplish?  I know that my overall goal is to lose about 102 pounds, which is a lot.  But why?  I want to be healthier.  I want to feel better about myself.  I want to look better in clothing.  I want to be able to fit in a roller coaster or amusement park ride without the employees looking at me and saying, you'll have to wait for the extra large chair.  I want to be more physically fit.  I want to fit better in airplane seats and be able to put the seat belt on easier.  I know that there are other things that I want, but these are some of them.  I read one thing that said to concentrate on only 5 pounds at a time, I think that I can do that and it breaks it down more.  Right now, I am ready to break another decade in weight.  When I do that, I will be where I haven't been for a long time.  So I need to keep moving forward slowly and see what I can do.

Friday, July 5, 2013

July 4th and the Journey Continues

So I made it through the 4th of July and a picnic.  I didn't have any alcohol but I did eat one cupcake and a spoonful of cheesy potatoes, otherwise I did pretty well on the plan.  I got on the scale this morning and I cracked another decade on the way down.  So far I have lost over 20 pounds which is amazing.  This is the smallest weight that I have been in a while, probably about 15 years.  I need to continue this journey.  The place where I am still struggling is with exercise.  It seems that everyone is running now, but I don't think that my knees can handle it.  So I am walking, swimming and I want to get my bike out and try doing that.  Those are all things that I enjoy doing.  I took a long walk yesterday and plan to walk or ride my bike today after cleaning the house.  Exercise is my focus for now.  I seem to be eating okay, although I am still looking at the new plan and thinking about switching.  If I do switch, I need to invest in a good blender.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Exercise and A New Plan for Eating

Exercise has always been my problem, or maybe since kids and work have gotten in the way.  I am proud of myself because I am really making an effort this time.  Yes, I didn't get up today to go walk like I said that I would, but I am trying to find ways to put at 30 minutes a day into exercising.  Yesterday I went to the pool to swim laps.  I probably overdid it because I woke up at 3 am and my whole body hurt.  But that is the pain of working hard.  It didn't seem that hard when I was swimming because I love to swim.  Tonight we have tickets for the theatre at 7:30, but I might try to get a swim in early, maybe around 6.  Otherwise I need to find a way to exercise sometime today, even if it is just 30 minutes of walking or the wii. 

Eating meat and vegetables without carbs has been relatively easy for me.  Although I can live without all of the eggs and meat.  I have been reading a book by Joel Fuhrman about switching to a vegetarian lifestyle.  I am considering it.  I think that the weight might come off faster by making the switch.  The lifestyle change is focusing on fruits and vegetables.  I will see about it when I finish the book.  But it sounds like something that I could live with and do.  I just want to get the weight off and looking at losing more than 100 pounds seems daunting.  When I got on the scale the other day, I am close to 20 pounds down, but I have been doing this for about 3 months too.  I had hoped to be down more pounds by now. 

The other day I went to have a pedicure done.  Amber mentioned that she could see that I have lost weight or at least shifted some of it.  It was good to hear, because I don't feel that it looks or feels like I have lost anything.  That is probably the most frustrating, the speed of the weight loss and the feeling that I am not getting anywhere.  But I will keep going.  Right now I have good momentum and I need to just keep moving forward.  Setting small goals for myself might be useful.  Something small for me to attain and keep going. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A treat for myself

So, I have been on this journey for about 2 months now and I hope that there are results.  At times I think that I can see results, but then I wonder if I am just fooling myself.  Some of my clothes actually fit, so then I wonder, have there been results and my clothes were really tight before I started this?  Or am I fooling myself, and the scale is wrong, and there aren't results.  I guess I will need it to be a drastic change before I am convinced.  I have been sticking to the low carb menu and it has worked well up to this point.  I did have some ice cream yesterday, which was the first ice cream that I have had since April.  I am trying new recipes and staying low carb.  I got on the scale on Monday and it showed no change since last week which is 16 pounds total gone.  Then I got on the scale today and it showed that I was down 3 more pounds.  So we will see what happens as the week goes on.  The only change I have made recently is to add green tea tablets to see if that helps.  I have also added exercise.  I put a Couch to 5 K app on my phone and have been using it.  But I wonder about it since my knees are hurting a little bit.  So I am wondering how good it is to run on asphalt or concrete, which is what I have been doing.  Tonight I am going to swim and see how that works.  I can also go to the Middle School track to run which is a little more giving on the knees.  Finally, I want to get my bike out to ride.  Adding exercise to my routine is something that I have been trying to do. 

A treat for myself, was to buy a couple of new shirts this last weekend while I was in Stillwater.  The size hasn't gone down yet, but it was nice to be able to have something new to wear.  And the treat of clothes is better than a treat of ice cream or food, which I need to move away from.  My next treat is to buy a better pair of shoes for walking and running.  My tennis shoes are all at least 5 years old.

So the journey goes on....

Monday, June 3, 2013

So this is not a good week for me, or it has started out bad.  I got on the scale yesterday and for some reason I was up 3.5 pounds.  I have been following the eating plan, so I am not sure what happened.  Maybe I just need to stop eating all together.  This is one of those humps that I have to get over or get past.  It is kind of defeating though if I let it be.  I know that it has put a damper on my excitement.  I did a lot of walking on Saturday and then I cleaned house yesterday for my exercise.  I am going to try to go to yoga tonight and get started with it again to at least improve my flexibility.  I did try a new recipe yesterday, Jalapeno Popper Chicken.  It was pretty good and low carb.  I am also reading a book about low carb eating.  Will let you know more as I move forward.  I am just not in the mood to write today.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Journey Continues - through another holiday

When I jumped (okay stepped cautiously) upon the scale this morning, it said that I am about 14 pounds down since I began this journey.  I managed to make it through another weekend (and holiday) sticking to the plan.  I am not sure if I can see a major difference yet, but I plan to keep going.  As long as the scale shows me going down, something must be working.  I told Mark that I crossed another decade threshold, which is also good.  This weekend we traveled out to western Kansas to see Mark's dad.  While we were out there, I did some climbing around when I was geocaching.  We climbed out onto the chalk bluffs by Castle Rock and walked into some others.  No where was really far, but I did get out of the house and walked around.  I plan to find time to do more walking.

In the past few weeks, I have tried a few different recipes.  I pureed up cauliflower a couple of times with cheese to make "mashed potatoes".  It really wasn't bad and fills my craving for the potatoes.  I made a recipe called "oopsie bread" and it worked too.  Recipe - http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=259930.  This recipe was pretty good too.   I even tried using zucchini as hashbrowns and making cheesy potatoes.  This would have been better had I let the zucchini dry out a little bit, or maybe put it in a skillet and let it brown up for a little bit first.  I bought avocados and a cucumber last night to try to make salsa from it.  It will be my next experiment.

I will admit that it isn't always easy, but then no journey always goes smoothly.  Last night I came home from the grocery store and Mark was drinking a beer on the porch.  I really wanted one but held out and didn't have one.  In the future, I could have one occasionally without doing too much harm. But for now, I plan to keep on the straight and narrow path.  Diverging from the path hasn't worked in the past. 

Which leads me to another topic.  I picked up a First magazine at the grocery store and an article talked with Dr. Oz about the Eat to Live plan of Dr. Fuhrman.  I went ahead and ordered his book to see if it might be an eating plan that would work better for me and not be so much meat and fat.  In a quick glance at the Eat 4 Your Type book, my blood type would work best on a vegetarian diet.  I am okay switching to mainly fruits and vegetables and not having the meat.  What I read in the article was a focus on healthy nutrition rich fruits, vegetables and beans.  I have already cut out the starchy and sugary foods, so that won't be a problem.  So another thought as I travel down this road to becoming slimmer and healthier.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Slowly but surely

Well today I jumped on the scale this morning and I am officially over 10 pounds lost since I started this journey.  It doesn't sound like much in the almost 6 weeks that I have been doing this, but it is something.  It is more than I have been able to do in a while, so I need to be proud of that.  A week ago yesterday, I turned in my last qualifying exam and so that pressure is off.  If I need to rewrite parts of it, in the instance that I don't pass, then it will be easier than writing it the first time.  The information that I included is good.  With that pressure gone, and my eating doing okay, now I need to focus on adding exercise to my plan.  I am not sure if it is my imagination or not, but some of my clothes feel like they are fitting looser.  I have not taken my measurements, but I need to do that to begin tracking them.  So my next goal for this upcoming week is to find ways to add exercise to my life by doing things that I like to do such as walking to find geocaches, swimming, walking in general, riding my bike and maybe trying to do some frisbee golf.  So, next week, more movement here I come.  I hope to be seeing more results in the future.  As to eating low carb, it really hasn't been that difficult.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Journey Continues through Temptation

So I have to say that I am proud of myself at this moment.  I hope the saying "pride goeth before a fall" isn't true in this case.  I got on the scale yesterday (my weigh-in day) and I was down about 3 pounds more.  That makes a total of 10 pounds since my weigh-in on the Monday after Easter.  So not too bad for 4 weeks.  I can do better by adding exercise, which is my next step.  I have been trying to get through my qualifying exams and I am on the last one.  My goal right now is to get through the next 2 weeks and turn my last exam in to the readers.  

But onto the temptation that I journeyed through this weekend.  On Saturday, I helped with the After Prom event at the HS.  No, Derek is not a junior this year.  They wanted some of the sophomore parents to help with the event.  Which was actually good, because I know what they had planned, what worked and what didn't work so well.  So that when I help plan for next year, I have that knowledge.  At the event (which ran from 11 pm until about 3 am), I was assigned to watch one of the entrances (exits) and to help serve pizza and keep the "candy bar" well stocked.  The "candy bar" had little candy bars, Twizzlers, M&Ms, marshmallows, pretzels, and little graham crackers.  A lot of "red light" foods available for grazing.  But this is what makes me proud, is that the only touching I did of that food was to stock the containers for the kids.  Granted, we were really busy for about an hour serving pizza to the kids, but after that rush died down there was a lot of free time with the candy staring me in the face, especially those Twizzlers.  It was late at night, I was tired, and the candy was readily available; all were the makings of the perfect storm or a chance for me to fall off the wagon.  But I held strong and just drank water instead!  Actually, following this eating plan is not too difficult.  I do miss rice, potatoes, tortillas and fruits, but if I can use this to jump start my weight loss, then in July I can rejoin Weight Watchers and keep up the success. 

Beyond that, most of my weekend was spent reading and working on the research to begin writing my qualifying exam.  I hope to get stuff on paper this week, at least a start.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Two weeks

Well, it has been two weeks on this low carb plan.  I have lost some weight (about 5 pounds) although I hoped that it would be more.  I just need to stick with it and see what happens.  I still miss the carbs a little bit, but it has been easier than I thought it would be.  I have noticed though that my plate is meat and green usually.  This weekend we went camping and I ate according to plan.  I also took time to do some walking.  I know that I just need to stick with this and results will happen.  I didn't gain overnight and so I won't lose it overnight.  On Friday, I received a card of encouragement from a friend.  It will be something to reread when I need more inspiration to be able to continue.  Each day is a new struggle, but I have had lots of victories so far and hope to continue.  Also, if I happen to have a bad meal, then I just need to continue on and restart instead of quitting. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Eating Plan

I've decided that with the big 5-0 looming in my future, at the end of the summer, that I need to take better care of myself.  So one of the first things that I need to do is to lose the weight that has been hanging around for a while.  I believe that by making this journey more public, it will help me to be more accountable and therefore be more successful.  A friend of mine has been doing a modified Atkins diet - low carbs, and has lost about 30 pounds in about 3 weeks.  So I decided to try the same thing.  I was going to wait to start something until after I finished my PhD qualifying exams, but seeing Art's success spurred me to try it now.  

So here I am four days into this new life.  The first day (probably not a good day to start) was Sunday.  Now that in itself wasn't bad, but the fact that we had the EHS Basketball banquet that night, was hard.  But I did pretty well and only snuck a couple of bites of cheesy corn and cheesy potatoes.  So maybe you could say that Monday was the real first day.  Breakfast is eggs, meat, and cheese.  Lunch is meat, salad and vegetables.  Dinner is the same.  I do get to have dessert, sugar free jello and whipped cream.  Three days in and I have done really well.  I want to get on the scale to see if anything is happening, but I am trying to wait until Sunday and the end of one week.  

Tuesday, Mark and I went out to dinner at Chili's.  I went ahead and ordered chicken without the mango salsa, without the mango vinaigrette, without the avocados and without the rice.  After taking to Art, I could have probably had the avocados.  Oh, and I ordered extra broccoli and grilled shrimp.  I have discovered that Subway and their salads are a good way to eat lunch which is why I ate there the last two days. 

My plan is to eat this way without changes until at least the 1st part of July.  Now if I reach my goal before then, I can modify it.  I am going to try to blog about my experience, my successes and challenges that I may face during my journey.