Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'll bypass the bypass. Thank you.

Today during my lunch break I participated in a brown bag "Lunch and Learn"  titled, Weight Loss and Nutrition.  It was a helpful session and scared me into thinking if I don't get my act together, I will soon be eligible for bypass surgery.

I entered the session with a huge plain bagel smothered in plain cream cheese and left with 1/4 of that same bagel the remains of which threw into the trash can.   Why did I do this, because at the session medical professionals talked about how fad diets and magical weight loss programs promise drastic results but studies show short-term dieting frequently results in weight re-gain. They presented proven strategies for long-term weight loss -- one of which included eat slower and savor your meals.
I'm used to inhaling my lunches, snacks and dinners with rapid speed, barely chewing  (whereas I eat my breakfast slower because I am barely awake enough to have the capacity to chow down before 9 a.m.).  The smart docs explained too fast eating causes us to overeat and we really should be taking 30 to 45 minutes to eat each meal because our bodies can't tell us we're full if we eat in less than 15 or 20 minutes..   Luckily they shared this advice within the first 10 minutes of the session and that way I was able to put the remainder of my bagel down.  And sure enough, 30 mins in, I was full off of my freakishly large bagel.  I stopped eating when I was "full".

These docs also went into great detail about weight loss surgery included diagrams and videos of gastric bypass surgery.   That made me lose my appetite especially since they shared that Non-Surgical obesity treatments, such as diets and medications generally suck.   Diets only yield a 6% long-term success rate whereas Medications only 12%.   

After watching a video where someone's stomach was cut down to the size of a banana, it's safe to say that I don't want to ever have to do weight loss surgery.  Sure it's effective, since most can get rid of 60 to 80% of excess weight within the first 18 months but gastric bypass is non-adjustable and requires the cutting and stapling of the stomach and the bowel.

My personal preference: I'd like to learn how to listen to my body and find it when I'm full by eating slower.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

How much does that extra bite cost you?

September already.  Wowzer.  Summer is over and my summer weight loss attempts = maintain.  I'll take it.  Maintaining is better than gaining, although obviously my aim was to lose.  No sense crying over spilled milk - time to get back on that horse, and with the half-marathon a month and a half away I have some work to do!

I've been busy counting my calories most days on, not feeling too bad when I go over my daily allotted calories (1,590/day) needed to lose my unwanted pounds.  But how much do those extra 100 cals in the form of coffee creamer, afternoon carb snack, etc. actually add up to?

A LOT over time.  Even 100 extra calories eaten a day, means 700 extra calories week = almost a pound of gained weight/month.

Years ago a friend shared a YouTube video (it's overly dramatic, but it gets the point across) about how eating a little more each day can be a detriment to one trying to lose weight.  Here it is, and here is why when most go over daily calorie budget, even just a little, they don't lose.  Even if it's just a little.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Men want a Size 10!

Good news ladies - men don't want skinny twigs of women! Their preference is a Size 10.  According to a study shared today on Chicago's Eric & Kathy Radio Show which involved 2,000 men, a man's ideal woman has raven hair, blue eyes and is a Size 10.

Phew!  Sigh of relief to all us ladies who will never be that skinny mini Size 2 or 4...or zero.

I don't think most men have a clue what women's sizes actually are --- but apparently the study did not ask men their preference by saying, "Here’s a size 4.  Here’s a size 12. Who looks better?"  Instead, men were shown several photos and asked which they preferred.

Size 10!

Christina Hendricks
What does a Size 10 look like?  Size 10 is probably like 36-year old Christina Hendricks from Mad Men.  A radio listener pointed her out as a close enough Size 10 example.  She looks fab by the way!   So...if men want a Size 10, then why do so many heterosexual women strive for a Size 6 and below?  Must be that our main mission is to get skinny to impress our peers --- other ladies or to impress ourselves. I guess us women have come a long way since the Mad Men era of existing to merely please men.  Of course size is not a 100% indicator of true health/attractiveness.   It depends on the person's frame (small, medium, large), height (short, medium, tall) or personal preference.

Personally, my "happy" size was the size I maintained most of college, a Size 6.  That's when I felt my absolute best.  Not too skinny, not too fat, just right.  I didn't maintain that size to lure in the opposite sex, but to feel better about myself.  To feel my best.  And even with the 50 pounds I'm fixing to lose now, I never plan to go lower than a Size 6.  If I did, I would be too skins and bones looking.  Surely I'd look like a Star Jones version (post-weight loss) bobble head of myself.  Gross.

Of course right now, with my 50 pounds to lose, it's real easy for me to get on my high horse and proclaim, "I, who am currently a Size 14, vow to NEVA dip below a Size 6".  It's very easy for me to say considering my body is not apt to dip below a Size 6.   Losing 50 pounds will put back at my Size 6 but my healthy weigh range means wearing anything between a Size 6 and Size 10.  And I guess if that range doesn't work for me,  I could always try Sears*.

Yes, I referenced Mean Girls.

Anyways, great morning radio show topic.  Also discussed: things men notice about women first.  The Top 8 (listed in reverse order --- so #1 is really #8):

  1. Eyes
  2. What's fake (artificial)  -- i.e. fake lashes, hair, boobs, etc.
  3. Glowing skin -- hooray for bronzer and tans!
  4. Hip to waist ratio
  5. Pitch of voice -- Higher the better
  6. Size of her "group".  This perfect size is 3.
  7. A genuine smile.
  8. Thickness of hair

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Use stickers for workout motivation

While I was in law school steadlily gaining weight with each passing academic year, I read a lot of stories on how to lose weight.  Sometime after 1L year, I stumbled across a before/after story in some lady fitness mag (Self, Fitness, Shape? --- not sure which one). The story was about a couch potato turned military chick who after deciding to join the military had to lose some pounds to pass her physical fitness military exam.  The magazine asked her how she did it, and one thing she mentioned was that after each workout she put a sticker in her calendar to mark her success.

As soon as I read her story, I was motivated to do the same.  After all, my sister's wedding was months away, and I wanted to look better than ever in my Bridesmaid dress. I went out and purchased some grade-schooly type stickers from the Dollar Store and went to work on my sticker plan.  Using the kind that say, "Way to Go"  and "You Rock", my weight loss increased with each week.  Two months later, my calendar looked like a hurricane of stickers had exploded onto it -- and I was down 10 pounds!  It was an amazing feeling to see how many workouts I had completed.  It didn't hurt that my bridesmaid dress had to be taken in as well.

I need to resurrect the STICKER plan.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm doing well -- except for the cow

Two weeks ago I re-defined my specific weight loss goals.  I'm doing well.  If I were to give myself a grade in all areas...

1.)  I want to lose 25 pounds 
Grade:  C
Explanation:  I've hovered around the 3 pound loss for two weeks.  Nonetheless, I'm seeing good changes in my body --- i.e. my waistline is coming back!  I'm making better food choices and overall eating more veggies and fruits daily.  I'm also participating in a pedometer challenge at work which keeps me focused on walking to get my daily steps up!

2.)  I want to complete a half-marathon 
Started training.  Need to kick up my training and be more consistent with my workout plan. 

3.)  I want to build muscle and lose fat  
It's simple - to gain muscle I need to work my muscles.  Got in one session of weight lifting.  Need to do it regularly.
4.)  I want to complete a 10-day juice cleanse 
Had to reschedule my initial plan because of travel plans-- changed the start date to September 1st, but have gotten more organized.  I'm reaching out to people who have juiced for tips/advice.  Keep the suggestions coming!  I've been warned Day 1 I'll be crabby.  Day 2 will be worse.  But if I can make it past those two days I will feel fabulous.

5.) I want to complete a winter time 5K  
This is well on it's way.  Found a race to run and a friend to join me.  After the half-marathon running this will be a breeze! 

6.)  I want to save refined sugar treats for special occasions.
Saying no to sweets except special occassions is difficult.  I've had cravings like crazy but NO means no.  That means saying no to free office cookies and morning pastries.  I have more energy without so much sugar in my diet.  It's amazing!  I also find I'm able to enjoy sweets more when it's once in a while instead of every day.  I recently traveled to Nashville and went to an Jeni's ice cream shop.  It was glorious and I didn't feel one bit guilty indulging.

 7.)  I want to go to the gym three times a week 
Have been making it to the gym 1-2 times/week because of traveling.  This is changing this week as I don't have any upcoming travel plans for a while.  Otherwise have been doing a LOT of walking!

8.)  I want to eat no more than one dead cow a week.  

I tried this and failed because of steak dinners two days in a row.  Plus, while traveling I splurged on a jr. bacon cheesburger from Wendy's and a cheeseburger from Dairy Queen.  To make up for it, I'm trying to avoid beef for the next month --- as i've used up my allotted "one dead cow a week" and need to make up for what I ate.   The one glorious decision I made while traveling was to do eat fake ground meat soy tacos.  I couldn't tell the difference between the soy mean and beef.  I'll have to try more fake options when I crave the dead cow.

Drum roll...

my current weight loss GPA = 2.16 or C-

OVERALL: I need to step it up.  I will have a higher weight loss GPA in two weeks!   Aiming for at least a 3.0!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I will reach my goals

I'm a "fan" of Bob Harper on Facebook and today in a status update he wrote, "Make it a point to be more active today.. Get a workout in! Today is the first day of the rest of your life and you are worth it!"

 I like that goal.  That's doable.   No matter how my schedule looks before or after work, I can always fit in a 15 to 30 min walk during my lunch break.  Any day.  Everyday.  That's what I'll do today.  Done!

Goals keep me focused.  In the past they've helped me accomplish great tasks.   It's time to jot down some August 2011 - December 2011 goals to keep me focused.

Wikihow says STEP ONE in reaching a goal is to Set a realistic but challenging/inspiring goal.
"Take a big dream, like "I want to be famous", and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps, like "I want to star in ascience fiction movie", "I want to go to three auditions a week", "I want to move to another city" and "I want to save $5000 so I can move." Make the goal big enough to challenge and excite you, but not so big that you hesitate to take the first steps."

Here's my break-down.  
My big dream:  "I want to be thin" which is girl talk for "My extra weight is interfering with how I feel about myself.  It needs to go!"  Specifically for me, being "thin" means losing the 50 extra pounds I have stored on my frame.

My big dream broken down into smaller, more manageable steps
 1.)  I want to lose 25 pounds and then take it from there.  Only a year ago, in August 2010, I weighed 20 pounds less than I do now.  Over a year's time I let stress from new life changes make me eat with reckless abandon and focus less on exercise.   Losing 25 pounds betwen August and December will get me half way to my goal of losing 50 pounds and getting thin!

2.)  I want to complete a half-marathon I've signed up for one in October!  I have a buddy and a training schedule (that's gotten off to a rocky start) but I will do it!

3.)  I want to build muscle and lose fat  I can do this through stepping up my weight training...which is actually part of my half-marathon training plan

4.)  I want to complete a 10-day juice cleanse I have researched juicers and watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  Unless I hear better suggestions, I plan to get an inexpensive Black and Decker juicer from Wal-Mart to stay in my $50 juicer range. I have recipes for drinks.  I scheduled my cleanse dates in my calendar for August 15th thru August 24.

5.) I want to complete a winter time 5K  Working on getting this set-up. The last winter outdoors race I did was in 2002: The Jingle Bell Run in Champaign, IL. It was cold and it was glorious.   Perhaps it's time to do it again!  

6.)  I want to eat less refined sugar.  Ok this one's a lie.  More like I know I should eat less fined sugar.  I want to work on minimizing the consumption of donuts and candy at work.  I want to avoid Starbuck's sugary drinks.  I want to say "no" to ice cream treats on sale at Jewel and only enjoy them on special occassions -- birthdays, parties, weddings.  Revised:  I want to save refined sugar treats for special occasions.

 7.)  I want to go to the gym three times a week I have a Groupon pass for one class at Flirty Girl Fitness and a gym membership at the Y.  The Y location is literally a 4-min walk from my apartment.  It opens at 5 a.m. weekdays and doesn't close until 10 p.m.  Morning workouts may be what I need to complete this mini goal.  No excuses.

8.)  I want to eat no more than one dead cow a week.  Let me explain.  Last July, when I started this blog I made up my "One cow a week" rule.  It stuck then so it's time to bring it back.  I wrote, Cheeseburgers were doing me in so I made up a rule that I can only eat one serving of dead cow a week.  Max.  Not daily.  This means, once I have my ONE cheeseburger or Chipotle steak burrito, it's time to switch to Boca Burgers, Black Bean burgers, veggie-based meals and other non-four legged friends.  Veggies, you should be very scared.  I'm going to devour you like no other.

At this point I've made my  August 2011 - December 2011 goals big enough to challenge and excite me, but not so big that I don't hesitate to take the first steps.   8 goals.  Sweet!  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trim the Fat

After a weekend of camping at the Warren Dunes in Michigan where I pigged out on processed snacks, hot dogs, burgers, brats, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup S'mores and donuts, I have some detoxing to do. Besides my unhealthy camping feast, the day I left camping grounds, I headed to Jewel-Osco and found boxes of Choco Tacos on sale for $2.99.  Still high on camp nostalgia, I bought a box because they reminded me of camping at Blue Lake Fine Arts camp when I 15.  It's funny how so much of my "bad" food choices are governed by emotional eating, particularly sugary and saturated fat-laden foods.  Yes, I'm speaking directly to you Cheez-Its. 

Post-camping and one Choco Taco later, the scale said I'd gained 3 pounds!  My notion that eating BIG Cheez-Its, grilled sausage and Donettes would help me maintain my weight, let alone put me closer to 50-pounds of weight loss, was false.  I'm sure the scale number would've been higher had it not been for the exhausting hike to and from the campsite to the beach.   Walking uphill in hot sand while carrying beach gear is no joke.  The first 10 minutes walking were lovely.  We walked through woodsy areas with beautiful lighting.  Then we arrived at the sandy hills and it was terrible.  I felt like I was walking to the Promised Land.
While on the beach at the Warren Dunes, I watched toned women prance around in tiny bikinis while I sat feeling like a whale in my snug one-piece.  Of course, not everyone who wore a bikini was toned and gazelle like, but most were.  As I work toward my weight loss goals, I dream of wearing a bikini and joining them. My dream bikini color: Zebra!

Four days later, I'm finally back to my pre-camping weight, and I have a loooooong ways to go to meet my 50 pound loss.  Training for the upcoming half-marathon will help but I'd also like to lose inches by beefing up my muscles.  After all, 5 pounds of fat compared to the same amount of muscle looks drastically different.  I want to focus on decreasing my body fat percentage in addition to overall weight loss.

Me (blue shirt) - Age 15 - Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
In between flute and piano rehearsals, I remember pigging out
on Choco Tacos during camp free time.
I'm still buzzing from watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix.   The weight loss results in that movie were insane and after watching the doc I've watched my fair share juicing before and afters on YouTube.  Bottom line:  Juicing makes you lose weight --- but if you don't change your lifestyle you'll end up gaining all the weight back.

5 pounds of fat vs. 5 pounds of MUSCLE.  Huge difference!

My plan: In August I will try a 10-day juicing detox.  I'll monitor my progress and share the results.   For me it'll be a way to jumpstart progress.   Feel free to share any tips.  As for developing more muscle mass, I'm staying motivated with the above photo.