Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tired. That's All.

This post will be fairly short, as I'm quite tired and can't think of a good topic of discussion! That's kind of a rare thing for me. I generally go on and on... Some posts end up being quite long.

My sodium is back in check today - thank goodness!! My fingers still feel a little puffy from Sunday and Monday.  I'm glad I was back within a normal range for me. Hopefully this puffy feeling will be gone tomorrow, or the next day at the latest.

I had a hard time reaching the low end of my calorie range today. I was 151 calories short! I ate a 90 calorie Fiber One bar to make up some of the difference. I also added two ounces of chicken (for a full four ounce serving).  By that time I was still 11 calories short.  I ate a few chips earlier...Not a full serving, and probably not even half a serving, but enough to add a few calories to get me into my range.  I'm not sure what it was about today, but it was hard to get into range.  It's funny... I felt like I ate just as much, if not more, than other days but I had to fight to eat enough. I suppose that's a rarity, so I'll happily take it!

I'm sure I ate more healthy foods today, so even though I felt like I ate a lot, I was right where I needed to be (with the help of those chips).  I really love how I can eat a lot of healthy foods and still not be in range. Eating healthy means you can eat a lot.  Sometimes I feel like I am constantly eating. These are the days that I know that the things I'm eating are good for me. 

I'm making it an early to bed night tonight. I'm so sleepy! I guess sitting in a hair salon for 2 1/2 hours really takes it out of me...?  Actually it may have contributed.  After for sitting that long, my body relaxed. Now it is ready to continue to relax.  I have some things to finish before bed, but I'll be there by 10 this evening, for sure!!

I'm happy to be ending the day on a positive note. I'm glad I can look back and see that it was a healthy day!

XOXO

Dinner 1/31

Baked turkey nuggets. I also had veggies but they wouldn't fit on the same small plate!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Challenge...ME!

My friend SarahJ19 on SP is starting a 30 day challenge tomorrow, to help herself stay on track with her good habits. A challenge is always good. I love challenges. I really love challenges that involve rewards at the end. I'm an "eye on the prize" kind of girl. I'm competitive. I like to win. I love prizes! And presents, for the record!

I decided that I was going to use SarahJ's idea and do my own little challenge. I am calling it the Kelly Clarkson STRONGER Challenge.  While SarahJ's is 30 days, mine will be a little longer, but not much. I'm going to a Kelly Clarkson concert in March and what a great reason to work hard. I already purchased my ticket, but I'll use it as a reward for doing well on this challenge. It's not going to be about pounds because I'm at odds with my scale. Pound-based challenges are hard for me. I don't do pound goals very well. I run myself into the ground trying to reach them and if I don't or I am off-track from where I think I should be, I stress. In the end, these challenges hurt me more than they help me. A challenge should be hard but not something that is negative. Plus with my skin, muscle, and everything else I am trying not to focus so much on my friend Satan. Uhh... I mean, my friend the scale. Yeah...THAT is how I feel about it. Anyway, this is the Stronger tour and her song Stronger is one that I've been using to get through hard parts of workouts lately. So...it's perfect. She has the Stronger Tour and I have the Stronger Challenge.

I will be using my 1000 monthly fitness minutes as a goal (by the way, February is a short month, which means I'm going to have to work a little harder than I did in January...at least a couple days). I will also be fitting in one BODYROCK.tv workout on workout days...ALL workout days. Whether it is a training day or a CT day, I'll also be doing one. I LOVE these workouts but have only done a few. I'm not sure why. They're hard, but generally short and easy to fit in. The first one I'm going to do is a 10 minute routine. It alternates 20 mountain climbers with 20 toe touches (on your back, crunch style - not standing). That's it; just those two exercises. As many as I can do in 10 minutes. I will continue doing my training days and my CT days (probably yoga and/or biking).  I'm going to try to get back to morning yoga, at least three times a week too. Scratch that...Not try. I AM going to do morning yoga at least three times a week.

That covers fitness

In terms of eating... I'm aiming for at least 5 fruits/veggies a day. Usually this is easy for me but I've noticed that weekends (and days I eat junk for dinner) this is a lot harder. My weekend eating needs work. This is a good time to do it. Other than that, I do well. My water consumption is not a worry. I worry more about drinking too much and being up all night than not drinking enough (rare, since that's about all I drink!).

I'm also going to include a mental health aspect to this challenge. If I feel the need to eat something like I did today with the M&Ms and the frosting, I'm going to take the time to think it through. I'd like to do this BEFORE indulging but let's face it, that's a stretch. If I do though, I'm going to sit down in the evening and think about it....Why did I want it? Did something (like a feeling) trigger it? Was it emotional eating? This won't be an every day part of the challenge and I'd LOVE to not have to do it at all (which would mean, YAY for me!), but I'm realistic....It may happen. At least once.  This doesn't include treats. I'm sure I'll have a Valentine's Day treat or two. My Adopted Birthday is the 18th, so I'm sure I'll have something then. I'm planning ahead. I'm aware.  It's the moments that I'm in "ME. NEED. NOW." mode.  That's not healthy. I need to figure out triggers, why I couldn't resist it, and things like that. Too often when we do challenges we think of the physical and eating.  Rarely is our mental state a component. I'm excited about that part. Perhaps it'll help me change a habit or two!

I've been horrible about monitoring my measurements lately. I can't remember when I took them last. I keep forgetting.  So, as part of my challenge I will be doing weekly measurements.  Not much will change in a week, but I need some consistency so that I remember to do it! I am also going to TRY to get down to weekly weights during this challenge. I'm way to obsessive about weighing-in and do it at least daily...Sometimes more.  That's not healthy, and it causes me difficulties. This is why I'm trying to get away from the scale and part of me learning to worry less about pounds.  We shall see how this goes.... Every time I try, I'm on the scale the very next day. I think I made it three days once.

That's my challenge... I'll record it daily, but I don't know if I will do so on here. Maybe I'll make a page like my training update page. I can post a short summary, or something more in-depth if I go wild over chocolate or something.

Challenge starts...Tomorrow (since it's a short month, I decided I'd start a day early).  I'll keep you posted...

XOXO

Bad Days: We All Have Them.

I wouldn't call today a complete bad day. I did well with exercise, and my eating wasn't bad until this afternoon. I was too high in carbs, calories, and sodium today. I was also too high in sodium yesterday.  Two bad sodium days in a row does not make for a happy me.  I can FEEL that I had too much; my fingers are puffy. It's too late to take a water pill but I'm up to 20 (or is it 22) cups of water for the day....Well, a little more since a bottle is 16.9 ounces. That .9 adds up after a while.

Eating was pretty good until after lunch. I think I waited too long too eat. No, I KNOW I did. But....Work had to be done and I really needed to catch a lady I had to see, and knowing her routine it'd be difficult later in the day. I had a salad for lunch...lettuce, fat-free cheese, a hard boiled egg, some light ranch, and some chicken...Nothing bad.  After I got back to work I was still hungry. Also, the craving monster came raging at me and jumped into my body. I had some M&Ms. Okay, that still would not have been bad....IF I would have eaten my planned healthy dinner.  Instead I had... Reduced Fat Wheat Thins and fat-free American cheese singles. And then some buttercream frosting because, well, I NEEDED it (according to that damn monster).  So much for my healthy dinner. Instead I ate guilt. YAY!

I think this, combined with the sodium, made me drag tonight. I was tired today anyway (could have napped mid-afternoon).  I'm not sure how I focused or how I managed to workout. Unfortunately it was after my "dinner" and I was even more sluggish. It was WORK to get my body to cooperate tonight. BUT, I did it. As much as I really did not want to, I did. Yes, kids, that's determination at work.

First, I had to get on track with my training schedule. I was "off" yesterday and will pretty much be "off" tomorrow. I have a hair appointment after work and that will take a couple hours, plus drive time. With dinner (late), it just won't be possible tomorrow evening. I am, however, going to try to get up early tomorrow to do some morning yoga. Hopefully I can sleep tonight so I can accomplish that. Bedtime will be early, that's for sure.

I did my training workout, plus an extra 15 minutes of walking (when I say walking, I do not know how I walk so fast without running, or falling, because my poor legs are going fast; also this is on a bit of an incline). I finished that, and had about 30 minutes of phone chat time. Then I logged my info, and decided I wanted to walk a bit longer. Tomorrow is the last day of the month and I'm about 15 minutes short of my 1000 monthly fitness minute goal. The extra 20 minutes today was helpful because I won't have to try to figure out when to get it in tomorrow evening. It also made me feel good, I burned a couple hundred more calories, and erased some of my dinner guilt. Not enough to learn a lesson though, because not long ago, I ate another small fingertip full of frosting. Naughty. I know.

I haven't done yoga since Saturday, and was sore all day Saturday as well as yesterday. I missed feeling that soreness today. I can't wait to do it tomorrow morning.  Mr. Insomnia better stay the heck away tonight!!!

I suppose overall the day was not "bad."  It just had a couple bad moments. I'm already prepared for a healthy tomorrow... Dinner for tomorrow night is currently in the oven. I'll just reheat it when I get home from my appointment. I'm making the turkey nuggets I had planned to make this evening.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

XOXO

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Where do the Weekends Go!?

I can't believe it is already Sunday evening. This weekend went by far too quickly, as most do. Five days of work is a lot long than two days of play.  I enjoy my days off. I enjoy working on projects, relaxing, working out whenever I want, spending the day with my dogs, spending time with my family and friends....All kinds of things. Ohhhh if only I didn't have to work!  I'd be in the gym for hours a day and would have a rockin' body, that's for sure!!

I definitely enjoyed, and needed, my relaxation time this weekend. I was so tired last night I didn't even post (obviously).  I thought about it but I was having trouble focusing; way too easily distracted. I also indulged in some relaxation by watching a sporting event on TV (UFC).  As much as I like being active, I like watching sports too...A lot. I'm one of those crazy sports fan girls.  I find it interesting that now I find myself checking out athleticism a lot more than I used to.  I mean, I look at the shape they're in, their muscle definition, those types of those.  It's more about watching my team or fighter of choice and cheering them on. Now I watch everyone and evaluate them. 

I also check out my own muscles a lot more these days. I feel like such a weirdo, but I will admit that I sometimes flex and check myself out in the mirror. Okay, checking myself out in the mirror is a frequent thing. I even check out my shadow sometimes. I know, a shadow shows nothing more than an outline... Yet, I still look at it. It's different now though. Now I take the time to look at my muscle tone, my skin (since I'm so obsessive about it), and my bones. I like to see the lines in my muscles. I like to see the bones that stick out. I've worked hard to enjoy those things, and I see nothing wrong with taking a few moments to admire my hard work.

You'd do the same if you completed a painting, right? Or a drawing? A beautifully decorated cake? A gorgeous piece of jewelry? Or a new clothing design? Wouldn't you just stare at it for a moment? Wouldnt' you just take a few moments to reflect on what you did, and to feel good? It's similar. I've worked hard on myself; on my body. I might as well take the time to look at my progress, and be happy. I spend too much time looking at what's "wrong" and what still needs to be done. It's healthy to take time to appreciate myself and feel proud of my accomplishment thus far. As much as I enjoy my hobbies, being creative in whatever way happens to sound good at the moment, I'm my own work of art.

I noticed yesterday that I do not have a mirror in my basement. Well, not one that I use.  There's a small one down there, on a shelf, but I don't have one on my wall. No wonder I'm always looking at my shadow (on the wall) when I'm on the treadmill.  I forgot to pick one up at the store today, but I need at least one full length mirror for my workout area. It would be nice to check my form now and then. Make sure I look like I'm using the correct form while running. It's good to have a visual. Sometimes it might feel like I'm doing something right, but maybe if I saw it, I'd think differently.  Good form doing work with bands and weights is important, and I'd be able to check on this too. I honestly do not want to see myself during every workout (especially yoga...I'd laugh too much to accomplish anything!), but it'd be nice to have one there when I need it. They're cheap. I just need to remember to pick up one or two.  Or maybe three?

Today was grocery shopping day and I bought lots of healthy things...And very few "treats."  I picked up lots of veggies, some fruit, greek yogurt, some oatmeal, extra lean ground turkey, extra lean turkey tenderloins, boneless/skinless chicken breast, shrimp, and some fish. My treats were some light brie and a box of Reduced Fat Wheat Thins. I go crazy on the treats, huh?  Currently the most "unhealthy" things in my house are some diet hot chocolate and...I guess the brie and crackers. I'm so happy and proud to be able to write that. I have no chips. I have no baked goods. I have no candy.  Yes, life in this house is healthy!

I think that tomorrow night I will make the tenderloins for dinner. I'm going to cube them and prepare them like I did the baked chicken nuggets I made a couple weeks ago. They should be fantastic! I also plan on making the wonton wrapper mini "lasagnas" some night this week. Other than that, I'm not sure what I'll have when, but I'm sure fish will be on the menu at some point, and probably shrimp too.

I suppose it's about time to go finish the laundry, get some stuff ready for work, take the dogs (and trash) out, and relax for a few before bedtime.  These days really do pass too quickly. 

XOXO

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday and Feeling it.

I can most definitely tell that it is Friday today. I am so tired! I'm often tired on Fridays. I think it's just having been up early all week, being busy with work, working out, doing thoughts around the house, and working on random projects. I love being creative and usually work on something that involves some sort of creativity nightly. Whether it's doing a craft project, designing a shirt, or playing my piano, I like to take some of my relaxation time to be creative. 

I'm just starting to get into my piano again, after well....years. I don't think I've actually done much playing in longer than I can remember. I'd venture a guess of at least twelve years....Maybe more.  I decided to drag out my old books and start playing again. It's been so long that I'm having to refresh myself on what I learned. I'm also working on my skills. I was never a concert pianist but I was pretty good. I took lessons when I was a kid, finally stopping when my teenage life got too busy. And I probably got too bored.  I was more concerned with focusing on my clarinet and the French language (all things French, really...culture, food, vacation...).  I'm definitely more than a little rusty, but it's been fun to take some time to review notes and start playing a little bit.  I love music and haven't made much of it in far too long.

I'm not sure what my relaxation will be tonight. I'm so tired that it may not be much, if anything at all. I may actually sit down and watch a movie.  I'm not one to sit still for very long, so it will be interesting if I can make it through one without getting distracted. I'm sure I'll have to stop it a time or two. It's hard for me to sit still for that long! I'm sure I'll get lost in the addiction that is known as Pinterest for a while too.

My workout today was pretty good. I did the second level on my JM yoga DVD. The first day is always a little difficult because it's more a day of learning than real work. Sometimes I have to stop and look at what they're doing so I'm not in a pose as long. Or it makes me the whole time that they're doing a pose to figure it out, or even find my balance. I forget the name of one of the poses but I think I fell on my head three times while attempting it.  Basically you are balancing your entire body weight on your arms.  My arms are weak. My arms cannot hold me for very long in a plank, and then I have the help of my feet! For this move you're supposed to bend your elbows enough that you can put a leg (one at a time) on each arm. Ha. That is not only ridiculously hard (for me) but I'd imagine it's a pretty hilarious thing to see. It's a good thing I hide out and don't do yoga in front of anyone. Ohhhhh the embarrassment that would accompany my attempt to balance on my arms!

I'm definitely feeling the soreness tonight. I think it's a combo of the new, harder yoga poses, and the biking. I love to bike, but that resistance makes a huge difference. It's one thing to bike outside, even fast, on a mostly flat area (some hills, but not difficult hills), but it's another to be biking against some strong resistance, especially when putting your all into it, and watching your speed. I worked, that's for sure.  I still don't burn as much doing that as I do running. I burned 13 more calories today than I did yesterday (during workouts). Yesterday I worked out for 25 minutes LESS than I did today. It's amazing how much more work I have to put in when I bike. Even when running doesn't seem like it's super hard, I still burn more. I've gotta say, I love that. I am more achy today though, and I also love feeling sore. I know I worked hard.

It's good to have variety in workouts. I can feel the difference in my leg muscles that are worked when I bike compared to when I run. I think that's why biking can make me so sore. I haven't used those muscles as much as the muscles I use when I run. As much as I love the soreness, and as in love with yoga as I am... Running still has to be my favorite. Right now it's a combo because I'm doing that training plan, but my walk pace is pretty fast. Sometimes I think I'm trying to push myself to go too fast and my legs have a hard time keeping up (every now and then I lose my balance for a few seconds). It's actually a relief when I go from that to running again. Given the choice between trying to walk faster than my body wants to and running, I'd choose running.

After my workout today I feel strong. I think that feeling the muscle soreness helps remind me of how strong I feel. My muscles feel tight. I'm having one of those nights where I feel like I have bricks in my thighs. It feels amazing. I love this kind of good pain.  I cannot even put into words how wonderful I feel after a good workout. The workouts themselves can be hard. I do believe I called JM a not-so-nice name during my yoga session. I probably grunted a time or two while I was biking. I've had times when I've thought "I hate this" and "I don't want to do this."  I've cried.  The workouts themselves can feel like torture at times. It's that rewarding feeling after that makes them so good. If you can push past the hard parts, you'll feel accomplished, strong, and pretty proud of yourself. You don't have to be the best, you just have to do your best. I'd highly recommend a good workout to anyone, anytime. It's a feeling that you really should experience.

XOXO

Creation of the Day

Baked cheese sticks. Reduced fat string cheese in wonton wrappers. Easy, yummy, and much less unhealthy than the average cheese stick. I cut the cheese in half and then rolled it in a wrapper and sealed it. I baked them at 350 degrees for about ten minutes. You could bake them a little longer for added crispiness.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dinner 1/26

Tonight's concoction: three ounces shrimp baked in fresh squeezed lemon juice, green beans, and sugar snap peas, with some I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray. I had a serving of each item.

Some Good Links

Here are a couple links from Jillian Michaels' newsletter.  Good stuff!!

http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness-specialist/more-about-carbs.aspx?xid=nl_LosingItWithJillianMichaels_20120126

http://www.jillianmichaels.com/fitness-and-diet-tips/more-cardio-options?xid=nl_LosingItWithJillianMichaels_20120126

What Work Looks Like

One of my favorite looks!! That's 409 calories gone. Some may say this is gross but I think it's awesome, strong, and healthy. I may look gross but it's because I moved. What do you look like?

XOXO

The Sneaky Eater

I baked some donuts a couple nights ago because I wanted to test a new pan and a recipe. The donuts were baked, not fried. I feel like I need to state that immediately. I knew that I couldn't have these little guys around the house because there is no one else there to eat them. Well, I'm sure the dogs would love them but I don't typically give them baked goods. They usually have to steal them. Anyway.... I decided I'd bake the donuts and take them to work. Perfect! That way I could have a couple (sampled one, and figured I'd have one at work the next day) and not be tempted by them staring at me all the time. A bunch of donuts and one girl? They'd gang up on me for sure.

Today I ate a donut, when I was in the office alone.  Not a problem. One donut is allowed sometimes (although I had one yesterday too). I tracked it in my nutritional data and that's just fine.  I felt that I had to eat that donut when no one was around. I guess I thought that the one I had yesterday was enough and I shouldn't have another today.  Later on, again, when it was quiet, I decided I'd eat another one. Keep in mind they're smaller than the average bakery/gas station/whatever donut, and not fried, and homemade, making me the master of the ingredients. Two donuts was certainly not going to kill me. After tracking the day's progress, I needed those calories to get into my calorie range anyway. In the end, donut number two worked out. Although it isn't the healthiest, I was just fine as far as my daily ranges for values.

The problem with these donuts is that I felt like I had to sneak it. I grabbed on in the dark, wrapped it in a napkin, and snuck back into my office (smaller office within a larger office/suite area). I felt like I needed to hide the evidence so I ate it pretty quickly. I didn't really even get to enjoy the flavors of that donut and the glaze on it. I ate something I knew would taste good and really wanted, yet didn't get to enjoy it because I was afraid someone would "catch" me eating it. It's not the donut that I'm concerned about. It's the way I went about eating it.

That? Is not good. Not good at all.

One thing that has always stuck with me is that I've often eaten in secret.  I have a problem with people watching me eat. If I feel like too may people are around and can see me, I start to feel anxious. I do okay eating in restaurants but prefer to be off to the side, not out in the middle for all to see. I can't stand it when people go by and look at what I'm eating. I'm sure they probably just want to scope out other offerings, but it makes me feel as though they're judging me.

I also have a history of eating in secret at times.  This is typical of many eating disorders.... It's not "normal." I'm a binge eater, but I have not had a true binge in quite a while.  I have times now that I consider binges but they are no where near as bad as what they once were. It's hard to binge on bad foods when you don't keep them in the house.  If I am somewhere and bad foods are around, I have a hard time not caving in. What I would consider a binge now might be a small bowl of ice cream, and after that some chips or something. ). That's not a binge, not a true one anyway. But for me it's become like a mini-binge, I guess.

Although I'm better able to control binges and I do other things when I'm upset, there are still some characteristics of disordered eating that I notice. I'll hide in a dark corner so that if someone awakens I can try to hide it quickly (if I'm at a home that's not my own).  I experience the same feelings afterward, usually guilt, I do it in secret, and I feel out of control (a little; much less that in the past) when it happens. Sometimes it's not even about the comfort of it. Sometimes it's that the foods is there and I'm drawn to it. This is why I do my best to avoid junk food. However, avoiding it doesn't mean that I've totally changed my behaviors. I had been doing good with that for a while. I could talk myself out of almost any possible binge. I'm not sure why, but the last couple months, I've noticed those times increase.  It's a good thing I'm home most of the time.

Secrecy when it comes to eating is something I can remember doing for quite a while, as is night eating. I guess that makes sense because at night there's no one around to see. When I was younger, it was easier to scarf down a bunch of food when no one would be awake.  I have noticed that the night eating seems to change (increase) with hormonal changes in my body. At times when I'm up, I want to eat. It's an almost anxious feeling that need to "right now." Other nights I can talk myself out of it and go back to bed without difficulty. It's much less dangerous now that I don't keep junk in the house. A 90 calorie granola bar isn't going to do a whole lot of damage, but if that pattern were more frequent, over time I'm sure that it would.

Secret eating is also a problem. It's a behavior that needs to change. Eating in front of others shouldn't make me anxious. If I am eating something that's unhealthy (like pizza and cake at a birthday party last weekend), I cannot stand the thought of people seeing me eat it. I feel a bit hypocritical, like I shouldn't be eating that because I don't typically eat it anymore. It's like I fee like people can see me eating unhealthy and they know I don't typically do that. Part of me feels guilty...How can I write about health if I'm not always healthy? The problem with that thinking is that it's placing stress on me to be a perfectionist. I will fight and fight with myself (and sometimes the insistence of others) to not eat bad things. Sometimes I give in and sometimes I don't.  I do know that, every now and then, it is okay to have something unhealthy. I have it in my mind though that I should be healthy at all times. Now I sometimes eat in secret because I'm afraid someone will see me eat something I feel I shouldn't. I'm afraid of being judged. I have put pressure on myself to be as good as possible as much of the time as possible. 

I need to keep in mind, with food, "progress not perfection."  I can manage just fine with exercise but apparently not so much when it comes to eating.

Binge eating is not something to be taken lightly. It's a real concern, and is often linked to other issues. If I were to be diagnosed right now, I'd be given the diagnosis of "Eating Disorder NOS." NOS means not otherwise specified. Basically it would show that there's a problem with my eating; my eating habits and patterns are disordered, meaning they're not "normal" behaviors.  Binge eating is a serious condition that you should take time to learn about, especially if you notice things that might not be considered normal in your eating habits. You should always discuss concerns with your physician or a mental health professional.

Having an awareness of these things is so important. These behaviors are typically noticed in adolescence or early adulthood.  The damage can be started as early as childhood. If you notice a child eating large quantities of food, trying to hide it, and feeling badly about it after, you should not hesitate to ask for help. The effects of these behaviors in childhood can lead to complications in health later on.

I found this link on binge eating in kids and I really liked it and thought it was important to share.

Kids and Binge Eating

I'm going to take some time tonight to really look at my behaviors and patterns. I'm going to look at ways I can modify these behaviors. Not keeping things around the house is good, but it's not changing how I feel or how I think.  I definitely need to spend a little time working on my own self-improvement.  We're constantly changing, learning, growing... It's important to be aware of how you are changing and do what you can to make those changes positive. Health and happiness go hand-in-hand.

XOXO


Leftovers for Lunch

Salad mix, 2 ounces chicken, half a cup of pineapple, and a quarter cup of cheese. Light ranch on the side, of course.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Product Review: Diurex Aquagels

Let me start by saying that I do not agree with using diuretics (or any other pill) for weight loss. However, there are times when you just might need to use a diuretic.  At those times, you generally have gained weight but it's water weight. You may feel bloated, puffy, and uncomfortable.  Diuretics are fine, when used appropriately. I do not agree with the concept of popping them left and right to try to lose weight. Taking them for a purpose other than intended? That's misuse of a medication. In my eyes, that's no different than taking a pain medication to get a high. Any medication should be used according to the directions or prescription.

So. There's my opinion on that.  Now for my review.

I've been taking this medication when needed and I will say that it makes a world of difference for me. I suffer from what I think is PMDD (not diagnosed but I fit all of the criteria).  PMDD is pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. What is it? Severe PMS. I sometimes think of it as PMS on crack... It is out of control sometimes.  One of the symptoms associated with it is water weight gain (fluid retention/menstrual bloat).  When I experience this, I typically experience some pretty significant discomfort. Not only do my pants feel tighter, but I feel like I'm going to bust out of them. It hurts to have my skin stretch and hold all that extra water. I can feel it in other areas of my body. My fingers often feel puffy and dry (although they're like little fluid filled sausages). Although I try to avoid TMI on this blog... My ta-tas hurt terribly too. When this time comes around I'd love to live in leggings, sweats, and sports bras. Unfortunately I have to go to work, which means I need to dress professionally, not run around like a college student.

I started taking these little gels a couple months ago. They're amazing.  They definitely take care of that extra water! I drink a lot of water as it is, but when I take one, my system is definitely flushed out.

The directions say to take one after eating breakfast and drinking a full glass of water. By the way, I like that the importance of breakfast is stressed....My opinion on breakfast is another post though. The quick version? EAT breakfast!! Anyway....Another aquagel can be taken six hours later. Not more than four should be taken in a 24 hour period. Also six to eight glasses of water should be consumed when taking this product.

How many do I take? Usually just one.  It seems to do the trick. I take one after breakfast and drinking enough water (generally on bottle number two by that time, if not three!), and that usually provides me with symptom relief. I'm very cautious if I take more than one in a day. I make sure to take it right at the six hour mark so that I'm not taking it too late in the day. I'm already awake enough at night, I don't need to be up anymore!

Naturally because of the water weight gain, the numbers on the scale go up... They go down when the water goes out of the system.  I do not use this product to watch the numbers on the scale go down. However, it does help to see that because I know it's working. Although, feeling the changes in my body after taking one is probably enough to know that the diuretic is doing its job. 

I really like that it's caffeine free (this particular kind). Others have some caffeine because caffeine is a diuretic.  I monitor my caffeine intake and try not to have too much in a day. I'd prefer to stay away from a product that contains it. This one contains a diuretic (Solubolized Pamabrom). The company makes a few different products; some do contain caffeine. I like that they offer choices so that people can choose what's best for them.

The box boasts that it is prompt and effective. I definitely agree! Immediate release? Yup!

This is a product that, if you NEED it, works well. It can help with those additional pounds of water weight caused by bloating/retention.  Again, I am not (and would never) suggest that someone take this product to lose weight. Weight loss should be done in a healthy manner  - through healthy eating and exercise. It works!

XOXO

The capsules are easy to take. They're small and because they're gel caps they're easily swallowed.

Healthy and Delicious

Dinner tonight was baked pineapple chicken and green beans. I baked the chicken with the pineapple, in some of the juice. I just used canned pineapple chunks.

I had 4 ounces of chicken and half a cup of pineapple, and 2/3 cup of green beans.... Equal to one serving of each.

A lot of pineapple chicken recipes include soy sauce, brown sugar, or
other things I preferred not to use. The chicken isn't super flavorful this way but I like it. I found that I really like eating a bite of chicken with a chunk of pineapple. It's more flavorful than eating the chicken on its own.

Dinner smelled so good the dogs were begging for it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Link...

I love this little slide show. I've had several of these occur at different times during running. My favorite is the last one!

XOXO

http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness-pictures/weird-things-running-does-to-your-body.aspx?xid=tw_weightloss_20120118_blog#/slide-11

Sleeping Beauty

Cutting down on my water intake has, most definitely, helped me to sleep better lately. I find that if I cap it at 18 eight ounce servings, I'm good for the night. I just have to be sure to be done drinking fairly early. I have managed to sleep all night for four nights in a row...Well, kinda. I was up once on Saturday night, but that was actually early Sunday morning. I wasn't up for the day but it was around the normal time I would get up.

I hope that this trend continues this week. However, I hope I don't feel as tired as I have the last two days.

Monday morning I expected to be tired. I didn't plan on getting up early to workout or anything because I had been busy and on the go all weekend. I didn't get home until around eight Sunday evening and went to bed later than usual.

I must have still been tired from last night because I was exhausted pretty early yesterday.  I got home from an appointment around six and didn't feel like doing much of anything! That includes making dinner. I believe I had a couple Special K 90 calorie bars and some Skinny Cow clusters. It was quite the dinner I had. Every now and then I have one of those nights. Luckily they don't happen often. I was fine in terms of calories and fat and such, but the carb content in two bars and a package of clusters was definitely higher than I like!

I was having a hard time just focusing on, well, anything.  I was in bed early....Around 10 and I'm pretty sure I fell asleep pretty quickly. I still felt tired when the alarm went off this morning. It was definitely not one of those days that I jumped up out of bed, ready to go. So? I stayed in bed for a while longer. I don't think I slept very well, as every time I fell asleep I had a dream that I was in a situation similar to what would be shown on the TV show Pretty Little Liars. I watch bits of it when it's on and the TV happens to be on that channel, so I guess something stuck with me. Odd. It felt good to at least lay in my warm bed for a while longer though.

So far today I am feeling refreshed. I felt good after I got up and got moving this morning and was fine all day at work. I made it through a tough workout this evening. I'm not sure it was actually all that difficult but after three days off, it sure felt like it!! PHEW! It had its rough moments, but I feel so good now that it's done. Accomplished, too.

I love weekends away. I love time with the people I love. I particularly enjoyed some bonding time with one tiny little princess. She's (finally!) being bottle-fed a little bit of the time and I was thrilled to get to sit and hold her while she had her bottle. I'd say that bonding like that is one of the best things ever! All fun and wonderful times aside,  it is nice to get back into a normal routine. 

One thing I need to do is be a little bit better about my weekends away. I tend to not eat frequently enough, but when I do it's something not so great for me. Like on Saturday.... I had a few little chicken bite things, two pieces of pizza (considered one serving), and some birthday cake. That was meal. I snacked a little on some unhealthy chips that I usually don't eat.  Oh and I had  coffee and a Special K bar earlier in the day. Sunday was one meal again... Mid-afternoon I had some soup, half a sandwich, and a few fries at a restaurant. I did snack on some Special K Cracker Chips later in the evening too though.  This? Is not healthy. I definitely need to plan better when I'm not home.

I'm weird about eating though... If no one else is, I don't like to. If  I'm the only one having breakfast, no matter how small, I feel weird. I feel like I shouldn't be eating. I feel like a pig. So I try to fight it off and have water, and sometimes coffee, instead.

I also don't like eating where people can see me, not too many people anyway. I can eat a a restaurant but like to be off to the side and in a booth so it's easier to hide.  Saturday was rough because I was at a Birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's. I tried to not eat any pizza but, let's face it, I was feeling hungry and it was staring me in the face. I had planned ahead and it was only 300-something calories but still, I did not want to eat it in front of people. But I did. And cake too.

I think these eating behaviors are left from when I was fat. I guess part of me still feels like people are judging me based on my eating. Like, if no one else is eating, I feel like a pig. Or if people see me eat something unhealthy, like pizza, I feel bad. Don't ask me why...Maybe because I am such a strong advocate for healthy eating. I'm honest though, most of us have times when we eat something unhealthy.  For some reason though I feel like those moments should not be in large groups of people. It's like the fewer people who see, the better. I probably draw more attention to myself by not eating certain foods than I do eating them.

I guess sometimes it's easy to forget that I look "normal" and that it's okay to eat a couple small pieces of pizza sometimes; and a slice of cake too!

As wonderful as those times are, I'm happy to be back to the usual routine. It's more comfortable for me. This is probably why I try not to do social activities that revolve around food and drink, which is difficult since most of them do. I remember when I started this journey, my socialization went down greatly, and mostly for that reason. I just had no desire to go to events in which food and drink were a large part. I felt safe in my familiar setting. At first, I needed to avoid things because I was afraid I'd fall. I suppose that's a habit that I formed, because it remains true....A little. I do go to more events now, and have allowed myself foods that I avoided in the past. I really feel like I need to get back to that point though. I have had a hard time losing more weight lately.  My body fat is in the normal range, yet my weight is still high. I'm happy about the body fat, but the weight is obnoxious. Every weekend trip away or fun event is almost like taking two steps back. Not everyone is on my schedule....Not everyone works out (and I often don't have a place to do it). Not everyone eats the way I do. It's stressful and annoying sometimes. Whether it be sodium, not working (I missed the "k" in that and spell check listed several other words, with "whoring" being the first on the list, and "working" wasn't even on the list....SERIOUSLY!?!) out, or just crappy foods, I usually come back a pound or so heavier. This is not good when I'm trying to lose weight.

I'm in the process of figuring out a different system/plan for those times. I have to worry about offending someone by not wanting to eat their unhealthy foods. Offended or not, this is my body, my health, my life.... I've gotta do what's good for ME. I suppose people will understand that. And if they don't.... Too bad???

XOXO

I Don't Wanna Eat...

Do you ever have those days? Times that you just do not want to eat. I had one of those days yesterday. It's not because I was afraid to eat, or I wanted to avoid it so that I'd lose (or at least not gain) any weight. It was just that I didn't feel like I wanted to eat. I did because I knew I had to but the thought of it was exhausting.

Despite feeling hungry, it sounded like too much of an effort to prepare anything. I suppose it's because I was so tired that preparation was very undesirable.  Lunch ended up being left over ground turkey taco meat with some fat-free cheese. Dinner was two Special K 90 calorie bars and some Skinny Cow clusters.

Oh! I just remembered I had some crackers and cheese too. I suppose yesterday was my unhealthy day for the week! I was fine in terms of calories, fat, and such (but higher in carbs than necessary)...It was just not good as far as the quality of what I ate. It was not a very healthy day.

The day started out just fine, and healthy.  As it went on though, I felt more and more tired and less and less like making anything.  It takes a bit of work to be healthy. It's just not making something to eat. I have to keep in mind what's healthy and what is not. I have to pay attention to my intake and where I am in terms of cals, carbs, fat, sodium, etc.  I just did not want to do it yesterday.  Not eating would have been the perfect solution.  However, my stomach was growling, so I decided to feed it.

Being back to my usual, healthy self today feels wonderful...Almost like I'm detoxing from the bad! It's as though I can feel the bad things moving out of my body.  My workout was especially helpful with that!!

It's definitely not worth getting off-track, even for a day. I know it happens to us all though, at some point.

XOXO

Dinner 1/24

Tonight I baked some tilapia (one of the few kinds of fish I will eat), seasoned with lemon and some Mrs. Dash. I have three and a half ounces on the plate. Four ounces is a serving but my plate was looking full (to me) at three. I finished the plate with two servings of veggies; California blend and green beans. I haven't had fish in a while and it was so good!

Run!!!

I saw this online and decided to share it. It applies to exercise in general.... Just get up and move. Your mood doesn't matter. You don't have to get up and run a marathon or bike in Tour de France. You can run a mile, or walk one. You can bike five miles or half that. You don't have to be the best. You don't have to be the fastest. Just do what works for you. Just move!!!

XOXO

Monday, January 23, 2012

Time Off

I took yesterday off from blog-land. I am so exhausted that I'm taking today off too. I'm in one of those states of being so tired that I can't think clearly. Not good for writing purposes.

I will be back tomorrow with at least one post!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cheating.

I'm semi-cheating right now.  I'm writing my Friday blog on Thursday evening, but will wait until Friday to post it. I suppose I should refer to it as planning ahead. That sounds much better! I have plans with a friend and her family and don't want to spend my time this evening writing a post. I will try to sneak one in on Saturday and plan to post on Sunday. 

When it comes to weight loss and eating healthy, I feel that cheating can take on two forms. The are both fairly simple ideas.

There are days that you may eat something and you don't account for it. Maybe someone else will review your food journal and you don't want them to see that you ate a bag a chips and a candy bar for lunch one day. You might feel guilty because you are trying so hard to be perfect. First, you should know that no one is perfect. As long as you are eating healthy more times than not, it is okay to have a time when you eat something that's not healthy.  Just don't let it become a habit. A bag of chips and a candy bar is probably not a good lunch every day of the week.

Also, this type of cheating leads to a miscalculation in your intake.  If you feel it's okay to do this frequently, over a period of time it will only hurt you.  You're not only being dishonest with anyone else you share with, you are also being dishonest with yourself. You're cheating yourself out of a healthy life, and maybe even weight loss. My rule is that if it hits my lips, I account for it. Again, there is no such thing as perfection and I may eat something and forget to track it. The world will not end! Generally this is just something I forget so it's not a habit. I also have had times when I was away and didn't track. However, during these times I am always very mindful of what I eat. I try to scribble it in a notebook if I can't use my online tracker, but if I don't, I don't stress. More times than not, I don't go astray.

There are also entire days dedicated to cheating. People call these "cheat days." This is something that many people do when eating healthy or "on a diet." I don't like cheat days.

I think that cheating can set people up for failure. I think the point is to make people feel less guilty about not eating healthy. However, it's not teaching a healthy habit. It's teaching yourself that it's okay to eat something not so great as long as you have an excuse.  Most of us who went through times of unsuccessful weight loss attempts are pretty good at having excuses (likely calling them reasons). There is also the potential to go overboard on such days. People can eat whatever they want, with no attention paid to nutritional value, and supposedly guilt free. I couldn't do this. Working hard all week and then doing whatever one day would make me feel guilty. I'd feel guilty about the bad despite giving myself permission ahead of time.

This ties in with my dislike the idea of being on a diet. For me that thought makes me feel restricted. It makes me feel like I must behave in a certain way. I lost weight when I gave up diets when I changed my lifestyle.  A diet is generally a short-term solution. I don't know anyone who has gone on a diet forever. I wanted a long-term solution. I wanted long-term results. If I eat something unhealthy, I account for it and life goes on.

I think that cheat days could promote an obsession about food. I try not to obsess about food. If I had a Saturday cheat day, I'd be stressed out about eating healthy all week and would be living for Saturday to come. On Saturday I'd go wild. I'm not about to test this theory, but knowing me, I'm pretty sure that's what I would do. It's almost like I'd have to give myself permission to be "bad."

This could also promote sneaking food. Oh boy...This is what had something to do with weight gain for some of us. Hidden foods, eating in secret, and even hidden methods of weight loss (slim fast in the trunk, anyone? Just me? Diet pills in the glove box?).

It's better for me to have a healthy mindset at all times, knowing that everyone has a treat now and then and no one is perfect. For me this has become a healthy way of life. I don't allow cheat days in other aspects of my life. Why should what I eat be any different?

These ideas aren't for everyone. Some people might be able to have a cheat day with no problem. Maybe it's the one day they allow themselves a treat, but stay healthy other than that. I'm writing from personal experience. I'm writing what I could see happening based on my past experiences. It's important to review different weight loss methods that worked for you and that didn't. It's important to be aware of your behaviors and your attitude toward food. For most of us who have been to the point where we've been overweight, we've likely had bad habits, made excuses, and have been sneaky.

What it really comes down to his healthy behaviors toward food and eating. Changing your lifestyle isn't just about what you put into your mouth and exercise. It's about changing behaviors and attitude. As always, my opinion is that you should change your lifestyle to have success. I'm anti-diet. If you've struggled, take a look at your behaviors and what you've tried. Make changes. Truly change your life. You might be amazed at how your outlook, about many things, changes. Changing my lifestyle is honestly one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I'd recommend giving it a try.

XOXO

Thursday, January 19, 2012

On the Menu Tonight....

.... Salad. Lettuce, reduced fat cheese, hardboiled egg, turkey, and then light ranch dressing. It tasted soooo good. I was going to have some steamed cauliflower too (not on it) and totally forgot to make some. Oh well!

Lunch Goodness

PB2 and a Vitatop. Yum!

Burn Baby Burn!

This morning I FINALLY got up early to do some yoga. I felt pretty rested when the alarm went off, although I did try to hit snooze twice. The first time was a success, but then I couldn't fall asleep again. I decided that instead of being lazy and laying in bed, I should get up and move!

I don't feel that I slept that well last night, but apparently it was enough.  I was up three times to use the bathroom, despite my efforts of drinking less. One of those times I was up for a little longer than I usually am because my clumsiness took over in the dark. I walked into a baby gate (used for the dogs, to keep them out of trouble) and stubbed my toe. I think that a stubbed toe sends a little pain shooting through most of our bodies. I managed to cut my toe and was bleed a little too. Nothing major, pretty silly, and an easy "fix." I'm slightly annoyed that it kept me up a little longer.

Anyway...Water...

 Perhaps I need to cut down on my overall amount and be done even earlier than I did last night.  I am drinking one less bottle of water today to see if that helps. I'm going to try to stop drinking around 18 or 20 cups.  If I remember correctly from last time this happened, over 20 is when I seemed to get up. I will still have my nightly cup of tea. That's probably more like a cup-and-a-half because of mug size and I don't usually measure out water.  Hopefully this little decrease will help me to sleep through the night.

I found that I burned more calories doing yoga this morning than I did on Tuesday evening. Interesting.  I was back up to the amount that I burned on Sunday. I don't think that I worked any harder today than I did on Tuesday. I think it was the time of day.  On both Saturday, Sunday, and today I was up and did yoga before getting into my typical routine.  Tuesday I had already been up and going all day. I think that morning yoga gets the heart rate up more because of sleeping all night. When I've already been up and moving, it doesn't seem to take as much effort. That's my theory anyway.  I still hate morning running, even if I know it'll result in more calories burned.  Yoga was a nice way to get in some body weight training, get the heart rate up so I could burn calories, and just a nice way to start the day. It's a great feeling to start the day feeling accomplished!!

XOXO

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sleep. Cravings.

The two words in my title are not related, although lack of sleep does have impact on your healthy eating habits and can cause you to have cravings. There, that's the link with how, in a general sense, the two are related.

Now....About me...

I slept horribly last night. I went to bed and laid there for the longest time. I "woke up" about an hour after I'd been in bed to pee (there really is no good way of saying that other than directly), then again an hour after that. Both times I didn't feel like I'd been asleep. When I realized I needed to get up, I felt wide awake. After the second time, I laid there for a while, and then finally fell asleep...Only to awake a few hours later to pee again. I had trouble falling asleep, and was up again a couple hours after that.  I think I got the best sleep (or it felt like it in anyway) during the hour I hit the snooze button on my alarm. You'd think with my sleep being interrupted every ten or twenty minutes I would not have slept well. I probably didn't. Maybe I was so tired that any little bit felt like a lot at that point.

I had been planning to get up to do yoga this morning. Obviously, with hitting snooze so many times, that did not happen. I wonder if I had trouble sleeping because my body knew I wanted to get up early.  I seem to have that problem other times too. If I know I have to be up for something and I'm worried about not getting up, I can't sleep. If I'm excited about getting up early for something, I can't sleep. Perhaps that's what happened last night. 

The crazy thing is that the previous two nights I was really tired. I went to bed at a normal time so I didn't end up getting up early.  I'm going to try again tonight. My plan is to be in bed early and hopefully drift off to sleep. It would be amazing if I could stay asleep all night! Even getting up just once would be tolerable.

To help with the sleep issue I'm done drinking water (except for the little I will drink in order to swallow a small pill and a vitamin later) for the evening. I ended my water consumption with 24 cups (a cup meaning an eight ounce serving; an actual cup).  Actually, it's a little over that because of the amount I drank...I really probably drank between 26 and 28 cups. Geez...No wonder I pee so much! Anyway, I've cut myself off because that is more than enough for the day, and I'd love to have a good, full night of sleep. I'm drinking my Tazo "calming" tea right now, and as soon as I'm done with that, I'm done with fluids for the night. I may even take my pill and vitamin with the last bit of that.

I REALLY hope this little plan of mine works. I need some to sleep so I can get up and at least do yoga!!

Now...Cravings.  I was thinking about cravings today and how much of an annoyance they are.  Cravings are sometimes typical during weight loss, especially when you've just stopped eating the foods that your body loves. They're also effected by hormones or by different things that can be going on in your body. 

For me, whenever I experience hormonal changes, I crave carbs. Generally it's sweets. This is probably because the hormonal changes cause a change in how the body perceives insulin and such. That's probably a blog post on its own, so I'm just leaving it at the fact that hormones sometimes cause cravings. Perhaps I'll get into how the hormones effect the body in another post.

Just be aware that while they do cause cravings, you can find ways to fight them. Don't try to use hormonal changes as a reason to go crazy eating unhealthy things.

Other bodily functions (I know when people say that they usually mean things like having gas or elimination - I DON'T) can also cause cravings.  Your glands may be small but they do quite a bit of work. If something isn't quite right, you can get cravings. 

Here is where I will say how important it is that you take a daily multivitamin.  It's good for your health to do so. I'm sure it will make your body pretty happy.

It is also important that if you're trying to lose weight you consult with your medical professional.  For your health, you need to be sure that you are approaching weight loss with a healthy mindset and that your methods are healthy. There are far too many methods of weight loss that are damaging. Many show immediate results but they're not effective for a lasting loss. The one thing that will show lasting results is to change your lifestyle...Be healthy! 

If you're starting a program, check in with your medical professional to get their input and recommendations. Make sure it's safe! It's really not a good idea to start a program or taking a substance for weight loss if you don't know all of the facts.  You may not fully understand the facts (even if you think you do), and having a professional explain it to you is a good idea.  For example, the HCG diet.  It's probably a good idea to see what your physician thinks of a diet that directs you to load up and eat as much of whatever you can the first couple days, then drop to a very unhealthy 500 calorie a day plan, and so on... See what he or she thinks about taking the pregnancy hormone to lose weight. 

My guess would be that most medical professionals would not agree with many diets that promote unhealthy living. I haven't done a poll of every professional, but my feeling is that if they're good they'll be honest and concerned about your health, safety, and well-being.  I think I'd have a hard time seeing someone who recommended something that's unhealthy.

It's good to check in with your physician (or a physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner, whoever it is you see) at least yearly to be sure that your body is functioning properly.  It's a good idea to have lab work done at least yearly too. Obviously if you need it more frequently, your medical professional will recommend what's appropriate for you.  Lab results can show if you have levels that aren't functioning normally. Sometimes, these abnormal values can impact on your weight - your ability to lose, or if you're gaining, cravings...All kinds of things that may contribute to your weight loss efforts.

Do not hesitate to see your physician if something with your body isn't "right."  It's important to be mindful of how your body functions so that you are aware of any changes.  If you're feeling differently than what's normal for you, it isn't a bad idea to go in for a check-up.  I'm not saying call your medical professional at the first sign of a cold, but if there's something that seems fairly serious, it doesn't hurt to get it checked out. For example if you have increased fatigue, can't get warm, have insomnia, or changes in your mood... Call for an appointment.  Good health is not just about eating healthy foods and exercising. Good health is about having an awareness of how your body functions. Take time to learn about it. Ask questions when you go for an appointment; ask what's normal and what's not, report things that seem different, anything that you feel you should share or you would like to know more about.  It only takes a few minutes and could benefit you greatly.

I don't go rushing into the office over every little thing. More times than not, if I'm not feeling well I try to wait it out and see if I get better on my own. I don't hesitate if my symptoms persist or worsen, or if I'm in great pain, or have an injury. You have to use your judgement, which is why it's so important to know your body.

I'm proud to say I've been to my physician's office for athletic injuries twice.  Of those, one included x-rays, a MRI, and a referral to a specialist. Why am I proud of that? The reasons for those visits were due to injuries I noticed when working out... I have never, that I can recall, been to the doctor for an athletic injury. It felt good to go in for something that happened while I was bettering myself. 

Plus, let's face it, going to the doctor and showing continued weight loss is always a proud moment. I guess my medical professionals are the people I really want to impress with my weight loss. They understand it. They know how they body works. They know the effort and hard work that goes into losing weight. They like to see their patients doing something good for themselves; bettering their health and bettering their lives. It's a really great feeling to hear your medical professional say how pleased s/he is with your accomplishment. Oh, and when you do it the natural, healthy, lifestyle change way, I think they're extra pleased!!

Take time to really know your body, learn about your health (family history too!), and be aware of changes. Your health depends on you taking care of yourself.

XOXO

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Turkey Taco Tuesday

 I was planning to make turkey enchiladas until I found  a new bottle of taco sauce hiding in the cupboard. I made turkey tacos instead.  Since the can of enchilada sauce was open, I made the enchiladas too.Those will probably be lunch, no wait...dinner tomorrow night. My PB2 and chocolate PB2 arrived today and I'm excited to use that for lunch tomorrow. Yay for less calories! I tasted a little bit of the chocolate and it was good! It does look a little strange in jar, but tasted just like regular peanut butter.

I didn't take a picture of dinner tonight... Turkey, wheat tortilla, lettuce, fat-free cheese, and a little taco sauce. Easy enough to picture right?

Here are my black bean and corn enchiladas for tomorrow.
Ingredients: Black beans, corn, wheat tortillas, fat free cheese, and enchilada sauce.

I stuffed the shells with a half cup each of corn and beans at first, then cut that amount down because they were just way too full. I'd say a quarter of a cup of each would probably be enough. I poured the sauce on top, then sprinkled about a cup of cheese on top (that's a serving/quarter cup per enchilada), and baked them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and they were done.  Easy! I'll just pop them in the oven tomorrow night to warm them up.  I love make-ahead dinners. So nice!

Sugar is so Sneaky

I read an article on fitbe today that talked about hidden sugars in cereal. I've included a link because wow! that's a lot of sugar. There is also a link on that page to an article on Prevention's website that lists names of sugar, so that you know just what you're looking for when you are reading nutritional labels. 

Sugar will also sneak its way into your food without you knowing. Again, I cannot stress enough how important it is that you read nutritional labels and be aware of these things.  Keeping track can not only help you with your weight loss, but also to live an overall healthy life.

Clearly, I am an advocate for tracking nutritional data!!


For those of you who are parents, or just big cereal fans, check out this link...

http://fitbie.msn.com/eat-right/10-worst-kids-breakfast-cereals


XOXO

Strength Training Woes

I will be the first to admit that my ST is lacking. This newfound love of yoga is helping, as evidenced by the muscle soreness I still feel in my abs (and haven't done yoga since Sunday).  However, I know I need more of it and more consistenly.

I am not a fan of ST. I don't really know why because it's not that bad and I feel good when I'm done. For some reason though, I'd rather do some crazy cardio...Huff and puff, sweat like crazy, and all that good stuff. Lift weights? Not as thrilling. I've done it consistently before, but then lose interest.  I KNOW I need to do it but yet can't muster up the motivation. I also feel good, and accomplished when I'm finished. I love that soreness. Yet, I don't do it often enough. I really think that yoga will help me get back into it a little more.

I think that part of it is that I'm far too worried about calories and I burn more doing cardio. Obviously.  However, my muscles need attention and they need to grow in order to help my body continue to burn fat. I know these things, yet here I am writing about my lack of ST.

Secondly, it's kind of boring. Then again, so is cardio sometimes. 

I like the JM DVDs because they combine both cardio and ST, and they go pretty fast. This is probably why I am so in love with her yoga DVD. 35 minutes of yoga seems to pass much quicker than a 35 minute run. Although I will add that doing this running program varies what I'm doing and definitely makes time go faster than if I do a straight run.

Third, I am slightly fearful of muscle. Why? I think I'm at the point in my weight loss where I'm building muscle. My body fat monitor well help me determine whether this is true or I'm just off in some delusional land thinking this is true.  I think once I have a more concrete measure I'll be a bit more relaxed about this. If I know for sure I'm gaining muscle mass, I probably won't worry as much about the scale.  I don't like to play guessing games, so I guess I tend to be more cautious. I probably think the opposite until I'm proven wrong. I hope that this time I am.

Measurements also help, and are very important. however, these are not done as frequently as I would weigh myself. Because I don't see change that frequently, monthly measurements seem to be best.  I know I have not done the best in taking measurements recently. I really need to take the time some morning and do this again. I like having things to compare to. This will probably help with the fear that I have that I'm not gaining muscle and it's actually fat.

I also think that part of what sticks with me is that when I started, and dropped lots of weight fairly quickly, I only did cardio. I guess that gave me the mindset that cardio results in weight loss. I know that ST is just as important, not just for weight loss but for overall health. I know that my body has changed and what worked at first isn't going to work now. I 've lost a lot of weight (including fat). I'm building muscle. As these things happen, the body adjusts, and changes need to be made.

Life is about balance....Workouts are no different. A good workout regime contains both cardio and ST. So? Today I'm not only doing some biking, I'm doing ST too. Maybe I will do a little yoga before. Or after. I've heard it's better to do it after because the body is continuing to burn calories. I get so sweaty with cardio though, I get cold if I'm not moving as much. It's worth a try though. Maybe I'll just have to change my shirt. Whatever I need to do, I need to achieve this workout balance. I need my ST. I think I will start scheduling that on my biking days.

XOXO

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dinner 1/16

My meal this evening was garlic shrimp. I decided I needed a veggie so I made some steamed corn to go with it. Yummy!

Sodium, Sodium

I know I have posted about how I am careful to watch my sodium intake.  Sodium is a sneaky little element that's in the majority of the foods that we eat. There are many forms of sodium, and several of them may be added to foods. Some sodium does occur naturally and generally I don't make a fuss over that. It's the extra sodium that I look at.  As long as I'm in my suggested daily range, and the sodium is found naturally in foods, I'm okay with it. There is such a thing as having too little sodium, and that's not good either.  It's the sodium that is added to foods, such as processed foods or preserved foods, that's not good. Adding salt to your food also is not the best idea. 

We all need sodium, but the amounts that are found in some restaurant meals are more than we need in an entire day. An individual should eat less than 2300 mg (milligrams) of sodium a day. Just one restaurant meal can exceed this. More than that, at some places, just one item can exceed that allowance!

I found a difference in data but only one teaspoon of table salt contains 2300-2325 mg of sodium. That's the maximum anyone should have in a day, and more! I actually eat less than this. I like to keep my intake between 500 mg and 1500 mg, generally eating between 1000 mg and 1500 mg. Sodium is one of those hidden values that can hinder weight loss efforts, because too much sodium will cause you to retain water. This is bad for your body system which, no matter if you want to lose weight or not, is unhealthy for you. In the long run too much sodium can hurt you in other ways, for example by leading to high blood pressure.

My sodium post was prompted by a meal that I ate yesterday. Just one meal contained 2030 mg of sodium. This restaurant meal contained half a turkey sandwich and a cup of soup.  Just so you're aware, soup is generally a higher sodium food, especially canned soup.  My daily total of sodium for the day yesterday was 2534, about 1000 mg (in some cases more!) more than I had every day last week. My intake for one meal was higher than my total daily intake on an average day.

I can't imagine what this would have been like had I eaten at a fast food restaurant that served burgers or fried chicken items and french fries.  Or had I eaten somewhere that served a larger meal. Yikes!!

I am typically not a fast food eater just because it is so unhealthy. I have been in situations that I have had to eat a fast food meal (because it was either that or don't eat), but if I'm in that situation I keep it as healthy as possible.  These are also rare instances. I've eaten fast food less than a handful of times in the last year, because I avoid it as much as possible. It's just too unhealthy and not worth it to me.

However, I can understand that some people may want to eat a fast food meal every now and then.  Just make sure it's only every now and then! I know people who eat most of their meals out.  I can't even begin to imagine what their daily sodium intake is.  It's important to make healthy choices when you eat out, because even those choices can contain a lot of sodium.

Sodium is one of those values that we often overlook. Most people pay no attention when it's actually very important to do so.  Another such value is carbs. By the way, that meal I had last night contained 75 mg of carbs. Unless people are on a specific diet or are typically healthy eaters, I'd guess that most people do not watch their carb intake very well. Actually, this probably goes for other values, like iron, as well. I've learned that tracking what I eat is something I need to do in order to track everything - not just calories and fat.

Your dietary intake isn't just about the fat and calories that you take in. There are many more values that are important to keep track of. These values can impact on your health in many different ways. It's really important to be mindful of what you're eating and how it might impact on your body.

Paying attention to and tracking my intake really has helped me to be aware of what I need and what I don't need.  It has helped me to lose weight. It has helped me to improve my overall health.  It doesn't take very long to read labels, research restaurant nutritional data, and track what you've eaten.  My health is worth making this small effort.

XOXO

Yog-AHHH!!!

** This was written on Sunday, January 15 but someone managed to save it instead of publish it. Oops. 

The "ahhhh" in the title of this post indicates pain. I woke up this morning and I was SO SORE. I knew I was doing some body weight training by doing yoga but I didn't think I'd wake up today and feel it. I felt it all over; arms, upper back, legs (a little), abs, butt...Definitely not the effects of the race training session I did last night.  Must be the yoga from yesterday morning!

It felt amazing! I honestly did not think yoga would make me feel so sore. I was pleasantly surprised. As the day went on I didn't feel the soreness as much, and I think this is partly because I did yoga again today. I stretched those muscles out and worked them again. Later in the day, just to make sure I still felt it I'd move in a way that would use those muscles, just so I could feel a little bit of that pain. It's still there. Yay! My favorite has to contracting my abs and feel it.

I honestly love this kind of pain. I feel accomplished. I know I did something good for my body. That soreness reminds me of that.

Oddly I burned more calories today than I did yesterday. 24 more to be exact. I think that's a pretty decent addition. Another unexpected (but pleasant) surprise! I'm thinking that it has something to do with the fact that I'm more familiar with the moves so I probably put more effort into them.  I think that knowing what I was doing helped me to focus more on the poses and what I put into them rather than learning how to do them. 

I know I mentioned it in my last post but I am so, so happy that I decided to give yoga a try. It makes me feel good and even though it's not a major calorie burning activity I can feel that I worked when I'm finished.  I love feeling my muscles shake in poses, not knowing if I'll be able to make it through without dropping out of a pose. I make it. Talk abut feeling accomplished!  Also? I have learned that I can do regular push-ups! Finally! I haven't given them a try in ages so it was another great surprise to learn that I can actually do them, non-girly style. These push-ups are done in a yoga pose, but are very similar to regular push-ups. 

I'm definitely working this into my routine a little more. I love yoga!!


XOXO

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Yog-ahhh....

That is a relaxing "ahhh" not a frightened "ahhh!!" Just thought I'd clarify.

This morning I did some yoga for the first time in quite a while.  I know the last time I did yoga was when it was sunny and warm outside. Maybe last spring? Or even the summer before? I honestly cannot recall.  I do however recall it being the same DVD, and I was in my living room trying to figure out what the heck I was doing.  The poses were difficult. I think I only did the workout twice before switching to kettlebells.  I honestly thought yoga just was not for me.

I've been reading  a bit more about different exercises like yoga lately and thought it would be good to give it a try again. I'm glad I did. I would say that this time was a success! First, I caught on to the poses much better than the first time. I've not done or studied yoga since the first time, but I seemed to pick it up better this time. Also? I liked it - a lot!! I think that this will become part of my routine, just because it made me feel good. I could feel my muscles working and stretching, and that's a great feeling. It's good for the body too.  It works the muscles in a different way than I usually work them and variety is always good for your body.

My routine was the JM Yoga Meltdown DVD.  It was only about 35 minutes long, including a warm-up and cool-down.  I was able to keep up with either JM or the girl doing the advanced poses the whole time. No beginner moves necessary.  Some of the poses felt difficult but most of them weren't too bad once I got the moves down. At any rate, I did it with much less difficulty than the first time I tried it out.

Yoga can be considered body weight ST for some, depending on the level of fitness.  A body builder will likely not get any ST benefits from it. However, a beginner (or someone who doesn't do enough ST) is more likely to get some gains, at least for a while.  As the body builds muscle then exercises like yoga will be less effective for ST, mainly because your muscles will need a continued challenge that yoga will not provide. However, even an experienced athlete should consider yoga (in my opinion).  It it a good form of stretching and any exercise has benefits.  Also, some say that yoga is a very relaxing practice and most of us can use relaxation from time-to-time!

For me I didn't get a sense of relaxation but that's because I was very focused on getting the moves right and maintaining my balance.  My muscles shook in some of the poses (pretty sure this means it's a form of ST for me! Yay!).  I could feel the stretches and they felt good.  JM likes to mix it up with cardio though, so instead of holding all of the poses, some were in and out so that the heart rate could rise a little.  I didn't burn many calories during this workout. In fact, my heart stayed in the fat burning zone (which means my heart rate was lower than it is in the calorie burning zone).  You know what though? I'm okay with working in the fat burning zone!! I wasn't really doing yoga for the calorie burn. My plan was to use it to get some additional fitness time while doing something different than I usually do. I highly suspect that I was able to achieve some ST benefits. 

I felt really good after the workout. My muscles felt (lightly) worked but I also could tell they had been stretched which was awesome.  I think that I will do yoga on when I'm home on weekends.  It's kind of a nice way to ease into the day after coffee and breakfast! My run this evening was much easier than it has been and I felt more energized.  I know this is because I'm getting back into the routine and back into better shape. I can't help but wonder though if yoga helped with that. It's definitely a possibility. 

I may also use yoga on my "rest" days from working out.  It's a feel good type exercise that doesn't burn a lot or make the body work super hard.  I think it's a good way to spend 35 minutes of my day too. I don't like rest days and even doing something light like yoga will help me feel as though I achieved something on those days.  Any movement is better than no movement, and I'll still be giving my body a pretty decent rest.

I'm not typically a morning exerciser. The idea of getting out of bed 45 minutes early to run is not appealing to me. I've been able to get up and do some other JM DVDs in the morning, but I know what those workouts are like. Most mornings it is much easier, and probably more pleasant, to hit the snooze button and stay in bed instead of getting up to put myself through some mild torture. I go in streaks with how good I am about getting up. Sometimes those JM workouts get me out of bed. Right now I'm in a time frame where the idea isn't thrilling. However, this yoga workout was not nearly as intense as her other workouts. I can see myself getting up to do this. I found it to be very enjoyable, which I don't find other exercise.  I love how I feel after but I have moments of horror during some workouts.  I've yelled at the TV, myself, and I have cried, but I've gotten through them. And after? I felt amaaaaazing. I think that with this particular DVD I can get up and do something I enjoy and that I feel is a good way to start the day, and also feel accomplished after. This just might be the solution to my morning workout struggle, although it is dependant on me sleeping well the night before which, at times, is a challenge.

Overall? I like yoga now.  I'm excited to do more of it! It's light, fairly easy, and it makes me feel good. This might be a perfect exercise for me!

Lesson to be learned from this? If you try something once and don't like it, give it some time and then try it again. You never know, you might end up liking it the second time around. It's worth a try!

Namaste.

XOXO

Friday, January 13, 2012

Delicious and Nutritious

2 scoops + 1/2 cup skim milk = YUM!!

This tastes just like chocolate milk. Best protein powder ever!



**Available at Trader Joe's

Dinner 1/13

Shrimp stir fry over whole grain brown rice. Slightly charred because that what happens when you wander away from the stove to log your nutritional data and take longer than expected. Oooooops. It didn't taste burnt (luckily!) and was actually quite tasty.

1 cup shrimp and veggie mix
1/2 cup rice
2 Tbsp stir fry sauce
I only used a little to get the flavor

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Importance of Sleep

This post could be long because sleep is highly important; in life and in weight loss. If you're not getting enough sleep it can actually contribute to weight loss difficulties.  Sleep is also why this post is going to be somewhat short. 

I am so tired.  I could have gone to bed around 6:30 this evening. I didn't simply because I had things to do and I don't really want to get up at two in the morning.  I had trouble falling asleep last night, which is most likely why I am tired today. I had errands to do (okay some were wants not haves) after work, so I got home late which threw my schedule even more off. I ended up making today a rest day from working out.  We all need days off. Muscles need time to heal, the body needs to relax, and on and on...

However, I'm sitting here feeling quite a bit of guilt. Today was mean to be a training day.  I realize it's not a huge deal and I can just do it tomorrow but I hate the feeling of missing a workout like that.  I also know that it is important to listen to my body and if I'm feeling so tired that I could fall asleep at dinner time, that probably means it's a good day to take off. 

Life goes on.

And I'm quite happy it does.  Being tired does not help me with eating either.  I did not feel like cooking dinner when I got home, so I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Not so bad except I decided that I needed a reduced fat cheese stick and some crackers, oh and like six candy canes. Okay, six is an exaggeration, but that's how I feel! It was way more than I wanted to eat since I wasn't working out. Yet, I did. Now? I feel guilty. I'm not beating myself up because I've learned that it's ridiculous to do that. It is not helpful; only harmful.  So, here I am maxed out on my calories when I wanted to stay at the low range. I realize that one day is not going to make that big of a difference, however, I don't like it. Like it or not though, it happened. 

What can I do?  Move on from today.  The day is over. It's time for bed.  I didn't have a perfect day. I know it's because I was tired (honestly I've randomly cried today too, a sure sign I'm tired).  My motivation for working out wasn't there and it wasn't for doing much of anything else either. I worked on some easy crafty stuff and took a bubble bath. It was relaxing, which I guess I needed.

We all have these days and all we can do when we have a bad one is simply acknowledge it and move on. It does no good to dwell. It does no good to try to erase. 

For me, tonight, the best thing to do is just go to bed and get the sleep that I quite obviously need. Which is exactly what I am going to do.

Here's to a better tomorrow!!!

XOXO

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Link Time!

I came across this article today and I really enjoyed reading it, so I thought I'd post it on here to share with all of you. A lot of what is said in the article is similar to things I have said. Basically? The things that the media is throwing at you, claiming weight loss, aren't really going to help you. I decided to give my opinion on what the article states too.

http://www.beautyandfashiontech.com/2012/01/products-that-will-not-help-you-to-lose-weight.html

First let me say...I love that article.

Although it's a short section I'm glad to see that something was written on HCG.  That seems to be the big trend lately and people buy into it without a second thought.  I am happy to see that science has not proven the effectiveness.  For some reason HCG is one that really bothers me. I think it's because it's a hormone and well I'm not a fan of using anything like that to alter your weight. I don't like chemical things like pills either.  I'm happy to read though that most HCG pills are just sugar pills. Hmmm...Placebo effect, anyone?

I also disagree with the diet that goes along with it. Stuff your face full of anything you can; no matter how bad for a couple days and then drop to fewer calories than you need just to function; to LIVE. I'll say it again and again, 500 calories a day is too low!!! That's a meal, or a meal and a snack for most people! 
500 calories a day is not healthy. It's dangerous. Welcome to the starvation diet.

Some people fight for their lives to try to eat more than that because they have an eating disorder. Be happy you don't have to go through the hell of having anorexia. If you want to eat, then eat!! Just make it healthy!!! Don't starve yourself because some person came up with this grand weight loss scheme.

They also address Hoodia, and my feelings on that are the same as HCG. No good.

Green tea doesn't really do much different for you than normal. I agree with the article in that it may initally help with weight loss due to the increased caffiene in your system.  Coffee does the same thing.  Tea is natural, safe, and nothing I'm overly concerned about. Just don't start popping green tea pills left and right thinking you're going to drop some major pounds.

As far as acai...I stand where I do with green tea. It's natural and I don't see much harm in it, but it won't cause you to lose that weight.

I love the last paragraph in the article... It states that the best too for weight loss is self-empowerment. I cannot agree more.

Don't waste your money on products.  Save it and spend it on healthy foods or put it toward a gym membership. The only way you are truly going to safely lose weight long-term is by changing your habits. Even if you have weight loss surgery, you will still need to change your habits. Honestly after going through something that invasive, I don't know why someone wouldn't change! Yikes!

Eat healthy.  Exercise.

Weight loss really IS that simple.  Easy words, easy formula....HARD work.  There is no quick fix that will have last effects. You need to put in the effort of making healthy meals, menu planning, tracking your daily values, and making sure your diet is healthy. Again, when I say diet I mean it as in what you eat, not in terms of being on a diet. Big difference, and I don't like the latter use.  You must put in the hard work of exercise. Lots of people don't like it. Really though? Do you think you're going to burn calories by injesting something and then sitting on the couch?

No one wants to hear that it takes actual work and dedication. Too many people want to hear that there's a magical solution. There's not. 

If you want it, you have to go and get it.  After all, if it's worth having, you'll do what you need to in order to get it. If you want it badly enough you'll live with the sweat, the pain, and the time it takes.  If you want it, you'll do it.

XOXO

Dinner 1/11

Baked chicken nuggets and sweet potato strips.

Boneless, skinless chicken breast coated in olive oil, panko, and parmesan, seasoned with Mrs. Dash garlic & herb, and sprayed with olive oil. Serving size is four ounces.

Sweet potatoes were coated in olive oil and seasoned with paprika and Mrs. Dash garlic & herb. Serving size is the equivalent of half a sweet potato.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hold the Half

You read that right. I may hold off on the half marathon I've been contemplating. Why? Simply because I didn't think it through. I have more than enough training time; it's not that.

I've been seriously considering having surgery due to the weight loss and excess skin.  The more time that goes by, the more I want it. Originally I was considering having it done this spring.  I'll obviously have to go for a consult and see if my body is ready and what the surgeon recommends. He may say I need to lose more weight. Or maybe I don't.  If I am ready, I'm thinking that I'd like to do surgery in April. I don't want to wait too long because I'd like to be healing and look somewhat "normal" by the end of summer, at least.

The time frame that I'm looking at for surgery is right in the middle of race training. In two months I will hopefully be healed enough for the 5K, but being down for a while isn't going to be good for the training.  There's no way I can be ready for a half marathon if I have surgery this spring.  However, I know I can at the very least walk the 5K, even if I can't run it.  If I have to walk, it'll be a good way to get back into fitness after healing.

I suppose that settles that....Unless of course I'm not ready for surgery, then it doesn't matter and I can continue to contemplate! For now, I will continue my training as planned.

XOXO