Thursday, March 31, 2011

Falling Off the Wagon

So I fell off the wagon a little bit this last week and was a little upset when I saw the scale. However, I decided it wasn't going to stop me and went to do my workout, until the batteries in my Wii Fit balance board died on me. So now I am waiting for them to charge.

I am still not going to let it get me down. If I have to wait till this evening to do my work out, I will make sure I do it. My new attitude is not the typical "I failed so I should give up" but is now, "I learned my lesson and will try not to make the same mistake again."

It's important to recognize that you made a mistake and learn from it. Don't tear yourself up, remember that it takes lots of practice and that when you fall off the horse you get back on.

This week I will work harder on counting my calories and making sure to work out each day. What are your goals this week?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A New Do for the New You!

To date after working out for about 9 weeks now and I have lost 15 pounds, over 16 inches and dropped 2 pant sizes. My sister also gave me a bunch of clothes that didn't fit her right, and today she took me out to get my hair done for my birthday.

I feel like a whole new person. I've lost only a fifth of the weight I'd like to lose but I already feel so much better, and the new do added an extra bounce to my step today.

I look good and I feel good, and nothing is more motivating to keep going then that. My dad called me on my birthday and asked me if I felt old, and for the first time I honestly said No! I feel younger, healthier and happier then I have since I was probably 15.

I love my new do and I can't wait to see how it looks when I've lost even more weight. Keep on keeping on!

(UPDATE: I took my measurements after making this post and I'm actually down more then 20 inches! Take that fat!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Medium! Medium! Medium!

For the first time since I was like 10 or 11, I fit into a medium shirt!! I've lost 14 pounds and over 16 inches since I started doing cardio 4-5 times a week. It feels great to fit into something that small, even if it's a little snug. I've gone down two pant sizes so far but would like to go down a couple more sizes. But Yea Medium!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Children and Healthy Habits

Growing up, I knew I was over weight. What I didn't know was how to change it. I was told to get out more often, eat better. No one taught me about calories, nutrition facts or aerobic exercise. I'm not angry about it, health and weight education was not as readily available as it is today.

When I was thirteen, my family and I talked to my doctor about my weight I was prescribed the diet drug combo knows as Phen-Fen, until I fell to the floor with chest pains and was told to quit immediately. Since then I have tried other diet pills and crash diets. No one taught me about lifestyle changes and healthy habits.

I am very thankful that now, when my kids are growing up, healthy choices are in the spotlight. People have gotten tired of being fed over sized, high calorie meals and are now pushing corporations to make changes. The government is also making steps towards changing how people think and feel about their food, and Kudos! to Michelle Obama for her "Let's Move" campaign and Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution for bringing that to our children.

I am proud to say that my children are aware that what they eat and exercise are important. They both know and understand what a nutrition label is and why I am reading them. (They even brought me home 2 of my favorite Naked Juices instead of cake for my birthday yesterday, because they know I am trying to lose weight and eat better.)

It's important for us to teach our children about making healthy choices. Talk to your kids when you are reading labels, tell them why the ingredients you are using are healthy, tell them why you are grabbing a diet instead of a regular soda. They listen and absorb more then you would think. Help your children make the choices that will lead to a healthier lifestyle as adults.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Super Natural Food?

There is no such thing as super natural food right? By that logic everything is natural, from the blueberries picked off the bush to the rubber in your tires. That means that every thing you eat is technically "natural" by the meaning of the word.

I find it hilarious how many companies and products are labelling their food as healthy and all natural, like Pizza Hut when they came out with their "Natural Pizza," I wanted to laugh. There was nothing special about that pizza, nor the word natural.

The Federal Food and Drug Administration do not regulate the word natural, and there for everyone can slap the label natural on anything they like, even genetically modified foods can be given the term natural, and most people just accept it as a healthy choice.

Well Stop! Please remember that marketing comes up with these coined terms and ideas, to make you think things are healthier then they are. You have to try and remain objective, read labels and think for yourself!

If someone does find a super natural food though, please let me know! Can you just see ghostly bell peppers, or bread with ESP? I can just hear it now... "don't eat me!"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Food Journals and Calorie Tracking

So why is keeping a food journal or calorie tracking so important? Because keeping a record of what you consume will tell you a lot about where your specific issue lie. Your calorie consumption might be fine and you need to increase your exercise, or you may find you need to cut back your daily calories with, or with out exercise.

Calorie tracking is a great way to monitor what you are putting in your body on a daily basis. Consider creating a food journal as well, in place of just tracking calories. Track what time you ate each item, how hungry you were at the time, how did you feel when you were eating each item, and how long you felt satisfied from what you ate.

This can help you get an even more in depth look at your habits and can really help break emotional eating cycles. The more you are aware of, the more you can fine tune and make changes where they are needed.

Tracking and logging, admittedly, are time consuming but it is definitely worth the effort, and I promise you will learn something about your eating habits you didn't know before. Honestly, I had no idea how many calories I consumed in an average day, until I spent two weeks keeping track and wow is it an eye opener.

There are some really great tools on the internet for tracking calories, or creating a food journal or log. Some websites offer printable pages for keeping logs, and some websites have fully interactive online calorie trackers that allow you to enter your calories and track your progress all in one place.

Here's a few websites that offer calorie tracking:

My Calorie Counter by Everyday Health

Calorie Count

My Pyramid

There's many options available online and I highly recommend checking out a few sites and trying one out for a while and see what you learn.

One more really great site for calorie tracking is Calorie King, they have an impressive database of nutrition facts for all sorts of foods, whole foods and pre-packaged and restaurant foods. They do offer paid programs and services for weight loss, but the actual food database is free to use and is a great resource.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Article I Read about Regret & Guilt

I have signed up for several different blogs and emails from other weight loss websites and blogs, and I try and read them everyday. I find a lot of great ideas and inspiration for new ideas for my blog.

Calorie Count is a website that offers a lot of online tools for weight loss and better living, including a calorie journal, daily emails and advice. I signed up a few months back and receive the daily emails and find that most of the time the headline will get me to open and read the article.

Today's article really hit home, it put two very strong emotions, into the form of characters in a story, Regret and her horrible twin Guilt. It talks about the differences in the two emotions and how regret often leaves us with a lesson learned and guilt just leads to more guilt.

If you have ever had a hard time trying to lose weight and felt bad about it in any way I encourage you to read this article. I found that while I used to really relate to the Sister Guilt, since changing my outlook on my lifestyle and weight, I find myself feeling more and more like Sister Regret.

Which sister do you relate to most? Does it make you want to change your frame of mind?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Dreaded Countdown Clock

Do you dread looking at the clock while you are working out? How does it affect your work out?

I watch the clock as it counts down and I enjoy seeing how much I have done and how little I have left to do. Occasionally it seems a little depressing to see I'm only 10 minutes in to a 30 minute work out, but then I just tell myself you're already a third of the way done.

I tend to daydream while I work out and find it helps me get through it quicker and with less glances at the clock as it counts down, and when I do look at the clock I'm usually surprised to see how much time has passed.

I have not tried doing my work out with out a clock being visible, and think I will give it a try soon and see if it makes a difference.

How do you handle the ticking clock? Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Try and stay positive and remember every minute you do is a minute you've earned. We all know that the word work is a key part of the phrase work out, and while you're not getting paid cash for your work, you are being rewarded with better health and pounds shed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Music to Make You Move

One of the ways I keep my work out from boring the heck out of me is music. I have a very large collection of mp3's and have multiple playlists that I like to listen to when I work out.

The key is to find music that makes you want to move and add it to your work out. I like a lot of rap and hip hop, but I also like a lot of alternative rock and what I call Fem Rock, which is angry girl music :)

So make a playlist today and get to working out. Remember to mix it up once and while or you're going to get bored again. And if you like to sing along, please do it! It's great for your lungs to sing while you are working out, why do you think the military has running cadences?

My current playlist:
Ayo Technology - 50 cent & Justin Timberlake
Love the Way You Lie - Eminem & Rihanna
Running Up That Hill - Placebo
I'd Start a Revolution - Aimee Allen
Halo - Beyonce
Wall to Wall - Chris Brown
What I Got - Sublime
9 to 5 - Lady Sovreign
Intuition - Jewel
Oh Timbaland - Timbaland

It's over 30 minutes of music, as I do warm up stretching before and after. I also keep the playlist on random, keeps me on my toes!

Why do I want to lose weight?

I have been overweight since I was 10 years old. I was a skinny kid and then we moved, I didn't know anyone and dived head first into books and drawing. I spent most of my days on my bed reading, writing, and drawing; anything but get out and get physically active.

By my mid-teens I had found some friends and had become more active and I did a lot of walking and started to lose just a little bit of weight. Then, at the very young age of 16, I got pregnant, this did not help me lose any weight. I didn't put much on with my son, and lost most of it over the next few years.

At the age of 22 I had my second child, and put on 50 pounds. I only lost about 15 pounds in the year or so after the pregnancy. Then over the last few years I just let myself slip even more till I weighed 5 pounds more then I did at my heaviest pregnancy weight.

Then, a year ago, I was told that my cholesterol was borderline high and with the family history of heart attacks and my previous trips to the ER for chest pains, I had made up my mind. It was time to fix things.

After spending almost a year reading nutrition facts and labels and trying to eat healthier, I realized I still wasn't losing any weight. I felt better about what I was eating, but not any better about my figure.

So, for Christmas, I asked for the Wii Fit. I started working out 2-3 days a week doing a random combination of exercises available through the Wii Fit. After a month of not really seeing much in the way of results, I had decided to switch to strictly cardio. Now I workout 5 days a week for 30 minutes or more and I have lost 12 pounds and 16 inches in 2 months.

I feel much better then I ever did. I don't get winded doing simple things any more. My pants keep getting looser and I've had to give away a bunch of clothes that are too big for me now. Which feels great.

Now we know I have medical reasons for trying to lose the weight but that's not the only reason. Like most of you trying to lose weight, I just want to look better too. I want to buy those clothes that have never fit me, I want to be able to wear a bathing suit with out shorts and a t-shirt over them. I want people to look at me and see me, not the extra weight I am carrying.

Why do you want to lose the weight? What keeps you motivated to work out and eat better? I'd love to hear what helps you and what keeps you going!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Safeway's Online Features

I shop at Safeway. I like the products, the deals, and how closely it is located to my place. Another thing I like about Safeway is their online shopping tools. Now I know most places let you shop online, but that's not the cool part. Safeway, (and possibly others, I have yet to check) have a little button next to the items you are shopping for that says more information.

Can you guess what some of that info is? That's right the nutritional facts! This tool is great for when you are creating menus or just curious about the ingredients and nutrition facts.

This tool is also very helpful for me, because it helps me find and input my calories quickly. This makes calorie counting just a little bit simpler. It also saves the amount of time you stand in the aisle at the store looking at labels, time you could be using to work out or just enjoy yourself.

There are some items that will not have the nutritional information available such as items from the bakery or hot deli counter. I try to avoid a lot of these items simply because I have no idea what I am putting in my body at that point. Try and find a comparable treat with the nutrition facts on the package if this happens to you, and tell yourself those cherry turnovers probably have like 600 calories!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Taco Bell or Taco Hell on your diet?

For lunch today my significant other offered to bring home lunch. I was having a hankering for Taco Bell, so I decided to do a little research on Taco Bell's nutritional facts. I came across some things that I was happy with, then I noticed some things that just took my breath away.

Number one would be Taco Bell's Volcano Nachos. Holy cow are these things bad for you. I wouldn't even recommend eating a half an order. There's a whopping 980 calories in these bad boys.

Let's list the facts:

980 calories,
560 calories from fat
9 grams of saturated fat
60 grams of total fat
0.5 grams trans fat
45 mg of cholesterol
1620 mg of sodium
89 grams of carbs
15 grams of fiber
6 grams of sugar
21 grams of protein

Now I will commend them on the fact that the Volcano Nachos do offer about 50% of our recommended fiber for the day. I however, do not think it outweighs the amount of calories, fat, and the 66% of sodium you get from these puppies.

Number two on my list is Taco Bells Taco Salads. I have to admit I have a bit of a beef to pick here. Taco Bell offers 4 taco salads, but don't be fooled! The Taco Salads range from 660-910 calories!! The salad section on Taco Bell's nutrition site has the highest caloric value average for all the groups.

If you really want Taco Bell, and I do, look at the nutrition facts and find the things you like that are the lowest in calories, the crunchy taco only has 170 calories, the beef soft taco only 210 calories, or try one of the many Fresco options they offer.

Just stay away from those Volcano Nachos. Your heart and waistline will thank you!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Not letting it get you down

My family did not have a great week. Seemed like nothing was going right, including throwing out my back falling asleep on my couch. I did not blog for days, nor did I exercise. I felt like crap, but I told myself to not let it get me down. Things can only get better and they are slowly improving, including my back.

I did not stop keeping track of my calories though and it showed when I got on the scale and I've lost 3 pounds this week even with out being able to work out. I am planning on trying to go back to a slightly relaxed work out tomorrow and see how things go. Remember it is very important to not push yourself too hard if you have an injury, or you will make things worse.

My point here is not to give up. I hurt myself and couldn't work out but I didn't let myself throw the calorie counting down the drain. I maintained my portion control and it's showing, mostly in my waistline! Remember each day is a battle and just keep fighting.

My favorite breakfast

I have found I really enjoy nuts and dried fruits. As a kid, I was never thrilled with trail mix. Premixed varieties always have something I don't like, or not enough of what I do like. I like making my own trail mix every morning for breakfast. I keep a large container of my choice of nuts (I really like honey roasted peanuts, cashews and pistachios) and a variety of dried fruits in the house.

In the morning I just grab a small handful of the nuts (golf ball size is a portion of nuts) and about half as much of dried fruits and/or berries. My current favorite combination is honey roasted peanuts and raisins.

Not only is this a healthy snack but it fills me up and keeps me going for quite a while. But it also is great cause it satisfies that sweet, salty and savory craving most people suffer from. Another great reason for buying the components individually is you can mix it up from day to day or people. My daughter likes raisins, but my son likes the blueberry Craisins.

Try making your own trail mix and throw it in snack baggies in your purse or desk drawer for a quick but filling snack.