Thursday, November 13, 2008

Okay, did I blow it tonight?

I've been a little down about my lack of weight loss for the last two weeks. I actually added jogging (a big deal for me!), a little, every third day. I've been very busy and haven't eaten much. And I've been stressed, so I haven't slept much every night. Today I weighed in with a four-pound gain. What do I have to do???

The gas was off due to repairs, so I couldn't cook dinner tonight. We ordered pizza. The last time we ordered pizza, I only wanted a couple of slices. That's pretty good for me. But tonight, I ate an entire medium, thin-crust pizza. And I didn't even feel full afterwards! I have no idea what that was about. I was genuinely hungry.

I don't really feel too bad about it. I don't feel guilty. It's something I've never done before. I actually found it somewhat remarkable, to eat that much pizza and not feel over-full. I think I needed it. It was a very thin crust. There were a lot of veggies on it and not too much cheese. My dog ate the crusts. And that's all I ate. And I drank water with it.

I think I'm okay. Still, I don't want to weigh-in tomorrow.

I won't be exercising at all tomorrow. I have a dress to alter for an event I'm going to on Saturday night. The dress is WAY TOO LARGE. It was just a little big when I bought it, but I'm now having to take it in by two inches per side. Pretty cool!

I'm going to be wearing heels. I have experienced pain with heels, but I haven't worn them in some time. I think I'll wear the shoes all day tomorrow just to see if I can get used to them.

I might have time to use the rowing machine after I'm done with my dress. I plan to dance my ass off on Saturday night!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Steps toward optimum health

Yes, two submissions today. I have a lot to share. I'm crabby and crampy; I'm feeling bloated. Either I curl up around a bottle of Advil in bed and watch stupid movies or I do something positive. Or's still early in the day.

I subscribe to GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle newsletter. I'm not necessarily a follower or fan of hers, but I was curious about what she had to say. The other day she sent some information from three notable medical experts who do work in alternative medicine. Basically, they shared about making daily choices that help create optimum health.

Here's an abbreviated list of their points:

  1. Get good sleep, at least 8 hours a day. If it doesn't just happen for you, try taking Valerian, chamomile, tryptophan or magnesium and B6. They work just as well as prescription meds. Good sleep helps the body to heal and rejuvenate, and if you don't get enough time to achieve that...
  2. Eat well. That means eliminate processed foods, especially the white ones. Eat fresh and as organic as possible, with as many raw foods as possible that still maintain all their natural enzymes. Lots of fish (not fried). And drink plenty of pure, clean water.
  3. Exercise often. If you've gotten good sleep for a couple of weeks, and you're been eating clean for a couple more, then your energy levels will be up for adding regular, fun activities. Try adding movement for stress management as well, like yoga.
  4. Back to that rejuvenating sleep thing - the human body needs to fast for 12 hours every day in order to process everything and clean itself out. About eight hours are used to digest your last meal completely and another four are needed to void out toxins. That all happens when you're sleeping. Those late night snacks only cut short or skip some of the processes, and then there's a build-up of toxins. Sleeping is not a waste of time!

The human body, when cared for properly, is self-correcting and self-healing. Don't abuse yourself, don't cave to stresses, learn to wisely wield and manage your emotions. Nourish it with clean air, water and food and it will serve you well and provide for you a wonderful medium for experiencing a full and rich life.

Joslin Diabetes Center dietary guidelines for Type 2 who are obese

I'm thinking about going back to Green Mountain in December, nearly a year since I went the first time. I want to show off my progress, and to have the opportunity to spend a week focused on exercise. I want work closely with one of their fitness experts, someone who will be straight with me about what I'm doing, how I'm doing it, etc. I'm getting to the point now that its taking more to get my heart rate up (which is great!), but I'm still too heavy to get really going. My knees are still holding me back. And I think I'm still holding me back as well...not pushing myself in the right ways.

So while I was on the Green Mountain website, I saw a reference to their connection with the Joslin Center for Diabetes in Boston, MA. Out of curiosity, I went to their website and did some poking around. And while there, I came across their dietary guidelines for those who are Type 2 and overweight or obese.

Basically, I've been very nearly doing what they say to do.
  • Protein should take up 20% - 30% of daily calories, which is higher than was recommended in the past. I've been eating about 30% because I'm quite tall and need it to help manage hunger. I choose leaner proteins, like fish and poultry, but I do eat a little lean beef and lamb once a week, and I have eggs for breakfast every morning. My cholesterol is exceptional, so I'm not so worried about high cholesterol. I also include a lot of legumes as a source of protein, because they also provide carbohydrates and fiber...more about that in a bit.
  • Keep carbohydrates at 40% of caloric intake per day, but they say to make the bottom limit at around 130 gms. of carbs per day. This is a new low for diabetes guidelines. Out of personal experience, if I go above 150 gms. or carbs per day, I stop losing and start gaining weight, and my blood sugar starts to go up. But they also want us to take in a minimum of 25 - 30 gms. of fiber a day, with 50 gms. per day being closer to what we should shoot for. This means that if I'm restricting my carbohydrates, that I need to add high fiber choices from other food groups, such as legumes, fruits and vegetables. Also, eating that much fiber in a day mean a whistle-clean colon, but it takes time to work up to the 50 gms. per day.
  • 30 - 35% of calories should come from fat, with less that 300 mg/day of saturated fats. This is slightly higher than my daily goal of fat intake, but probably closer to what I'm achieving. I found some really good extra virgin Greek olive oil recently and have been anointing everything with it!

They are recommending a modest rate of weight loss, one pound every week or two. And their exercise recommendation is 2.5 to 3 hours a week at a moderate intensity, using a mix of cardio, stretching and resistance.

So I guess I'm right on track. It's just a matter of not losing focus and not backsliding into old patterns. I have made major changes in how I live, and my body is slowly moving in the right direction. At this rate of weight loss, I'll achieve my goal in a little over two years. I wish I could do this faster, but I am seeing the benefit of losing at a slower rate. My skin is really not hanging off me. The fat is loosening up (some parts of me are quite squishy!), but my skin is still fairly tight, even after 40 lbs. of loss. So I've decided not to worry about my skin shrinking. I'll just stay focused to toning my muscles. By the time all the excess fat is gone, I should have some nice muscles to show off.