Monday, January 24, 2011

When it’s just not working….

Sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me. I mean, I know that the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. So when my current Body Bugg program isn’t working so well for me after 20-some days, WHY did it take me until NOW to change it?

Simply, I don’t know, but the important thing is, I have changed it now.

Here’s where I was. I started things back up on January 2. I would go back to logging food and staying as close to that target as I can. I would also make darned sure that I hit my burn target every day. Well, the sad thing with weight loss is that 60 pounds ago, it was a lot easier to hit 3000 calories per day burned. As you lose weight it’s harder and harder to consistently maintain those high burns. Logic would tell me that as I lose and find it harder to hit the burn I would need to reduce my caloric intake to offset the lower burn.

Logic and I don’t always see eye to eye.

So I have been struggling. Now, I must throw in here that I’ve also had some hormonal issues. Not wanting to get too graphic on you, but I have been having problems and the weight loss was assumed to be a culprit in those problems. Apparently fat produces testosterone. So my body now has much less testosterone than it did before, so my hormones are all outta whack. That struggle plus the whole lower burn (even when I work my ass off) has made for a tough 20-something days.

But no more…today I finally pulled my head out of my behind and thought “OK….I have a hard time hitting the burn, which makes me mad, so I eat because I’m just pissed. Maybe I need to REDUCE the burn target and focus on the calories IN target to take some of the stress off”.

So I did….I re-did my program. I went down to 1.5 pounds a week loss. My calories in target is still 1800 but now instead of a burn target of 2800, my burn target is 2550. I KNOW I can hit 2550 in a day, even without a huge workout. So now I can focus on the real problem for me…the calories IN. I am no longer beating myself up on not hitting the burn….I should be able to hit that fairly easily. I am focusing on what’s going IN…that is my weakness.

Here’s another big revelation I had. I was struggling for the 1000 calorie a day deficit to lose 2 pounds a week. I didn’t want to lose less than that. Well, honey, it’s sure better to consistently lose 1.5 pounds per week than to lose 2, gain 3, lose 1, etc. So, I am shifting my thinking. I am focusing on controlling the difficult thing, which for me is the calories in. I will hit the burn target every day and be vigilant about logging after each meal so that I have a good grasp on where I’m at, calorie wise.

The lesson for all of us in this is that YOU have to know when something is NOT working for YOUR body. And when it’s not working, don’t be afraid to make the changes necessary for your success. I’m not sure why it took me 20-something days, but I’m here now, and I am confident that these new targets will help me get back on track and lose the 30 pounds that I so desperately want to lose to finish this journey.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Year in Inches

One year ago today I walked into the gym with huge hopes and dreams.

OK...not really. My hope was actually quite small, but that just doesn't sound as good for a opening sentence! But, one year ago today I did walk into that gym for my first "fitness assessment" with the personal trainer, Becky.

During this "fitness assessment" (in where, I'm fairly certain it was discovered that I had NO fitness whatsoever...) my measurements were taken.

I am a 5' 6" female.

That has not changed in the year since I walked into the gym. However, the rest of the measurements have changed.....oh, how they have changed!

First of all, in this year I have lost a total of 70 pounds, getting to 195 at my lowest. Unfortunately, the past 6 weeks have not been good for me (eating-wise) so I have gained and lost and gained and lost. Today's measurement puts me at 205, which is still nothing to be unhappy about.

I have lost 60 pounds in those 12 months. If I take my (very tall) 4-year old daughter and a Kettle bell, that shows me what 60 pounds is. For Thanksgiving I usually cook a 20 pound turkey. If I tossed 3 of those into a laundry basket and carried it around, that is what I lost. Wow....that's heavy.

Today Becky was here for our weekly butt-kicking so I asked her to measure me again. This is the big news....this is pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

A year ago, my arms measured 15.5" inches around. That is the part of my upper arm that sits 5" above my elbow.

Today that measured 12.5". Three inches gone from my arm. Wow...that's pretty cool.

A year ago, my chest measured 47.5". Today that measured 40". That's a loss of 7.5". Not bad!

My waist, a year ago today was a shameful 46" around. That's just shy of 4 FEET around. Well, today, I am so happy to report that my waist is a wonderful 10" less, measuring at 36". WOW...36"! I am very happy about that!

And, finally, a year ago my hips were 46.5" got BACK! Well, today, I have less "back" measuring in at 39.5" for a loss of 7 inches.

That, folks, is a lot of inches.

3 left arm
3 right arm
7.5 chest
10 waist
7 hips

Thirty and a half inches.

Thirty and a half inches, adding up to 60 pounds of fat and flab gone from my body.

Twelve months ago I went into the gym wearing a 22/24 pant and a XXL shirt. Today I wear a size 14 pant and a Large shirt. I have even bought a few 12's and fit into them!

Today I am leaner, healthier, and more active. A year ago today I was embarrassed to walk into that gym, let alone let someone assess my fitness and take my measurements. Today I reminded Becky to bring a tape so she COULD do measurements!

A year ago I thought if I could just drop 10 or maybe even 15 pounds then I wouldn't be edging uncomfortably close to 300 pounds. Today I am focusing (once again) on getting below 200 and then getting a nice, comfortable distance from 200 so that if I bounce around 10 pounds, that bounce won't put me over that dreaded 200 mark!

Today I am not going to focus on the disappointment that I have in those 10 pounds I gained over the holidays, but I am going to focus on the 60 pounds that I did lose and the 30.5 inches that left on the same bus outta Lori-ville.

Weight loss is not going to be a temporary thing for me; the last 6 weeks taught me that so clearly. Old habits are easy to fall back into, so I will spend the rest of my life being vigilant and being mindful of what I am eating. I often razz my good friend, who on a "bad" day probably wears a 6. To me, she is TINY. But, to hear her complain about gaining 10 pounds and struggling to get those off so that her pants aren't' tight was just downright irritating. Being in that very spot right now is kinda humorous. And, I can see that for me, I need to get to that comfortable place. Maybe my comfortable place will be in the 170's....and if I get up into the 180's, I know that I've hit those dreaded 10 pounds and it's time to be very careful. Time to be very vigilant. Time to be very mindful. But that is OK, because 2010 was the really tough part for me....2010 was the year that I went from being out of control to grabbing the wheel of my own destiny again. I am now in charge, the weight is NOT. I am no longer looking down the barrel of "almost 300 pounds", which is exactly what 265 felt like to me. At that point I thought it's got to be 35 pounds DOWN instead of 35 pounds up because if not, there will be no turning back....I will feel totally lost.

So, here I am...205, and I'm OK with that. I could probably stay this weight forever and be OK with myself, but for ME, I need to get a comfortable distance from 200. For now I am going to celebrate what I accomplished over the last 12 months and focus on doing more great things in the next 12.

I hope that if even one person out there reads this and identifies with it they will KNOW that they too can make big changes in their life. So for that person, whomever you may be out there reading, you CAN do it. You CAN lose the weight. You CAN get your body to a healthier state. You are stronger and more dedicated than anyone when it comes to YOU. And above all, YOU are totally worth it and YOU deserve it! Good luck!

Stay Tuned.....

Today is a big day, with big things to celebrate.

Stay tuned for more! I hate to toss out a "teaser", but I didn't want y'all to think I had abandoned you. I'm still here and today's post will (hopefully) be a good one!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Finding Nemo - Just Keep Swimming

One Week Down............

Well, I am officially one week into logging food and paying attention to my "burn" numbers. I should be happy...I mean, really...I should, because I lost 3 pounds, but I am not happy.

See, I've lost those 3 pounds before. Yeah....seriously.

I got to 195 in November. Then I thought it would be OK to slack off, quit logging food, and ENJOY the holidays without restriction. And, at that time I was willing to take any weight gain consequences.


I weighed in on 1/1 at 205. Wow. Ten pounds of enjoyment. Ouch...that hurts. So, today I weighed in at 202. Which means by next Monday I should hit the coveted "Under 200".....again.

Now, if this story were a friend's story, I'd be all "It's're on the right track...don't beat yourself up over it....blah blah blah." And, I'd mean it. But I keep saying it to myself and I'm just not buying it. I just keep thinking "What a damned idiot...have I learned NOTHING?"

So, here I am, trying to not beat myself up over those 10 pounds, and happy that I'm back on track, back to logging my food, and back to eating fairly clean. I say fairly because I didn't log Saturday or Sunday. I wasn't horrible, but I wasn't perfect either. And maybe therein lies the balance.

I kinda feel like Dory in "Finding Nemo" when she's swimming along and singing "Just Keep Swimming....just keep swimming....just keep swimming aloooooooong".

One Day At A Time

One Meal At A Time

One Healthy Choice At A Time (actual choice, not the brand!)

Just keep swimming.....just keep swimming.....just keep swimming alooooooooong!

It's hard...there are no easy quick fix answers. We did this to ourselves over a period of time and now we're fixing it, but it's going to happen over TIME....not instantly. Yeah, I hate losing those 10 pounds again, and I really wish I was losing a new 10 pounds. But...I'm not, so I need to focus on 194 and be happy about where I got to in 2010. NOW is happening. The rest is just history.

Just keep swimming people!

~Lori~ last thing. Need proof that I'm crazy? Well, I ran a 5K on Saturday in 17 degree weather. DAMN it was COLD! I ran it in 38 minutes and some odd seconds. I'm anxiously awaiting "official" results to be posted. edit. I found "official" results online. I finished in 38:18...I was 129th out of 138. Ha ha. I was 9th of 11 in my age bracket. The funniest thing is that 5 of the registered "walkers" had a better time that I did! Oh well....I finished, I got a really nice t-shirt, and now I can say I've run a 5K!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting Going

It's January and people all over the US are hitting the gym and changing how they eat. According to experts (on some random website I found by using Google, so you totally know it's accurate...right??? Ha ha), 40-45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. Apparently 75% of those people are still sticking with it after one week.

Well, we're almost to the one week mark, so I hope you're sticking with it!

Here's what I want to say about those health related resolutions. You don't have to completely flip-flop your lifestyle to succeed. In fact, I really believe that making SMALL changes gradually will facilitate success more so than making many large changes at once.

I didn't make huge changes. But I got big results in the end. At first, my goal was a small one. At 265 pounds my first number-related goal was to "get into the 250's". I'm a big dreamer like that! BUT, hitting 259, which on most occasions would not be a huge accomplishment, was in fact a big deal for me. I had succeeded. I had done what I set out to do. And just that small victory made me ready for more...ready to move that number a bit lower.

So I set my next goal as "get into the 240's". This time it's a longer stretch because we're talking 10 pounds...but as the scale inched downward I could see that finish line within reach. And that kept me going.

In addition to setting the "number" goal low, I started making changes to facilitate that change, but I didn't implement them all at once. I sat down and made a list of my really bad, unhealthy habits. The list probably looked something like this:

1. Eat fast food too often
2. Little (or no) exercise
3. Eat too much processed food
4. Drink too much
5. Don't eat enough fruits and vegetables
6. I make the "healthy" food unhealthy by pouring dressing/gravy/sauce on it.

I'm sure there were other things, but those are the ones that come to mind first. Now, you might look at this list and think "Well, that's easy enough...just change those", but if I would have changed all of those things immediately, our life would've drastically changed. And I KNOW that I would've gotten sick of that crap and quit.

So I changed SLOWLY. Obviously I changed the exercise issue first. But, I didn't go from completely sedentary to gym rat. I started small and worked out a few days per week. I gradually added time and days until I was working out almost daily. Some nights (and I'm ABSOLUTELY NOT bullshitting you here) I would walk from my driveway up about 4 houses BACK AND FORTH about 100 times until I hit my target calorie burn. Also, I have been found going up and down the stairs to our basement in order to burn a few more calories.

Those things might seem crazy, and a bit extreme, but for me, that's what I HAD to do! I knew the numbers would not lie, so if I had eaten my target calorie intake then I absolutely had to hit the target calorie burn.

I rarely ate out at first. I was a bit psycho about it and my family really got a bit irritated. But, finally I got online and researched WHERE and WHAT and HOW MANY calories I'd get and stuck to it. Having a plan walking in a restaurant was a very powerful thing for me. It made me see that I did not have to give up eating at a restaurant, I just had to be prepared.

Fast food was a tough one because we're on the go a lot and my kids enjoy going to McDonald's every now and then. I can only convince these people to eat so much Subway! So, grilled snack wraps with no sauce or the grilled southwest salad became my fall-back plan. When I HAD to go there I knew I could get something and I knew how many calories I'd be "spending" on that.

So, as you proceed through the end of this pivotal first week, evaluate what you're doing and what you want to get out of it. If you're looking for a long-term fix, perhaps going slower NOW will actually benefit you in the long run. Make a list of your bad habits. Vow to change those, one-at-a-time and even write out a plan for changing them or at the very least, adapting them to fit into a healthier lifestyle.

And, finally, before closing this post, I do want to give you one last tip. Take a picture. Now. I know it sucks and I know you don't want to see it, but take a picture. I wish that I had taken a photo before I started. I have some but not exactly what I want. I generally hid from a camera before or made sure I was strategically positioned for minimal unflattering glimpses! Take a picture and then just put it on your computer and save it. At the end of the year, or 50 pounds from now, or will be glad that you have something that you can SEE the difference. You'll feel better and look better, but there is something amazing about seeing the side-by-side comparison. If I could go back in time I'd take a Biggest Loser type photo...sports bra and workout shorts....fat rolls hanging all over the damned place and looking like hell. I still have fat rolls, but I'd love to see the side-by-side comparison.

Good luck as you proceed into the great beyond of the first week. A whopping 71% of you will still be with it after the 2nd week...and after a month, 64% of you will still be plugging away. The more specific you are about the resolution the more likely you are to achieve the goal, so write down a "best case scenario". I think you'll be surprised how much farther you can actually go...stick with it and let me know if you have any questions!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eating Healthy

A lot of times it seems as if people think that eating healthy or being on a diet means that you are never full. Well, today when I piled my lunch plate high I wondered "how many calories are REALLY in this lunch?". So, I set out to find out the answer to this question.

Let me explain, first of all, that the Body Bugg software makes it pretty simple to get an accurate calorie count on what you're eating. In fact, all I had to do today was weigh everything and now we know. Here's what I had for lunch:

And here's how many calories that plate (and it's a full sized dinner plate, not a salad plate!) FULL of food was:


Yeah, you read that right...309.

Three Hundred and Nine

Now, in the grand scheme of 1800 calories a day that I'm trying to stay at, that's not much. In fact, that's a "well I guess I'll be having a snack later" kinda meal! I must confess a few things...first of all, I have grown to love fresh, raw vegetables, with no dressing on them. Seriously...I love the taste of them. Secondly, I have to confess that I LOVE Laughing Cow cheese wedges. Just the simple act of spreading that cheese on the sandwich makes the sandwich so much richer and enjoyable. Like mayo, but without the fat & calories and trust me...the Laughing Cow even tastes better!

In full disclosure, I do feel that I should explain exactly what is on the sandwich. The "bread" is a Thomas brand bagel thin. I just found these at Kroger and I'm seriously loving them! Spread on that is one wedge of Laughing Cow cheese (garlic herb). I put on 6 slices of Oscar Meyer turkey, and a hand full of salad mix.

Now, here's a tip...I know many of you are thinking "But I don't have TIME to cut up all those veggies for every meal, yadda yadda.....". Well, neither do I folks! So, here's what I do and TRUST makes eating healthy SO MUCH easier!

When I get home from the grocery store I leave out all of the vegetables and fruits that I bought. I then clean, cut, and Ziploc bag those babies. So in my fridge, instead of a bunch of celery you're gonna see a Ziploc with celery sticks cut up, cleaned, and ready to go! I do the same with broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper, green pepper, and even a little onion. Then when I need to use them most of the work is done.

Here's another tip...if you're a dressing person (you slather the dressing on your healthy salad adding about 400 calories and fat), then just slowly cut back. Buy reduced or no fat versions and slowly cut back on your regular dressing. I am being totally serious when I say that I prefer no dressing or dip, because I like to enjoy the flavor of the food now.

Oh, and one more thing...Rice Vinegar...check it out...very clean and refreshing on a salad. Hmmmm...maybe I should come up with a Rice Vinegar salad dressing....hmmmmm....


Monday, January 3, 2011

Really? We're only 2 days into this? REALLY?

OK, let me just say that even though I know logging my food WORKS, it still sucks! I hate it. But, I'm going to do it because IT WORKS for me.

I'm two days into the "restart" and thankful for the BodyBugg program. Tonight, I needed something sweet, specifically, chocolate. I'm serious...I NEEDED it.

So, I took a look at what I had logged thus far and decided that I was willing (and able) to spend some calories on 1/2 of a Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar.

...and it was goooooood.....

And there's the beauty of this program, right? I mean, how many people, 2 days into their "diet" are going to eat 1/2 of a Hershey bar and not say they "cheated"? Not me...oh no....I did not cheat. I am still within my daily caloric intake so I DID NOT CHEAT!

Ha ha...I just love that!

Now, this obviously can't become a daily ritual, but it is so wonderful to know that when I NEED it, I can have it!

Oh, and just in case you're interested, I am drinking the water. All 100+ ounces of it daily. Wow...that is a lot of water folks! But, I know that by the end of a few weeks I am going to see a big weight loss because I'm flushing out the excess sodium and whatever else is lurking in there from all of the holiday bad eating and drinking. And, drinking the water makes me feel better.

...and pee a lot...

So, on that note, I am signing off for tonight, but just know that if you're out there thinking "Geesh, this SUCKS" you're so totally NOT alone. I'm out here muttering it also, but keep with it and the rewards you will see on the scale will make it suck a little less every week!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Fresh Canvas

To me, the New Year always seems like a fresh canvas must seem to an artist....

...a spot where ANYTHING can's just up to YOU, the artist to make that first swipe of the brush and see where it leads you...

I knew a few things would happen right away with my fresh canvas. First of all, my 2010 canvas' final masterpiece featured the loss of 70 pounds. So, with the new canvas begins the journey to lose an additional 30. The first step in this journey for ME is to put the Body Bugg back on, create a new program, and get back to what WORKS for ME. And as such, on January 1 I charged the Bugg back up, created the new program, and put it back on my left arm. I didn't log food on the 1st. I like to take baby steps! (Plus, we were having ham and beans, and I just didn't want to go there!) But today, once I had eaten breakfast (which, of course, was carefully MEASURED) I logged into the site and entered my food.

Step one of my 2011 canvas complete...

But, logging one meal isn't the finished product. Now I have to plan meals again, and choose what I'm going to eat based on how many calories I want to spend for that meal. Probably sounds like a pain, right? Well, it is, a bit, but once you get used to it, it's really not bad at all. And, I can tell you for SURE...the pain and inconvenience of logging food is NOTHING compared to the pain and inconvenience of lugging around an extra 70 pounds. FOR SURE.

And in the spirit of baby steps, I am changing one thing a week (or so). I followed this thought process last year, and will do do again. So, this week, I am changing my water consumption. That's right, I'm going to drink 8 glasses a day every day this week. Once the week is over (in my experience) it's become more of a habit than a chore, and I am a firm believer that water consumption is a HUGE help in weight loss. I have my bottle of smart's a 20 oz. bottle. I drank the initial bottle and have filled it from the fridge once. So, I'm well on my way. Now, I know that the recommendation is 64 ounces, so drinking 8 of these bottles is MORE than enough. I'm aiming for 5 bottles full...that's 100 oz. and that's good for me.

Environmentalists, do not despair! I open ONE bottle per day and refill it. Yeah, I know I should use a washable bottle and all that, but I'm all about baby steps, remember? So I put ONE bottle per day into the trash. It could be 5, so I'm making a baby step there! Work with me....

Readers (if there are any of you out there) I challenge you to get back to basics, whatever that is for you. If you don't know what works for you yet, figure it out! There are tons of great weight loss "assistants" out there...these things will assist you in succeeding. You can do it. Change ONE thing this week...cut your soda consumption in half...go for 3 walks for 30 minutes each....stop eating fast food....just DO SOMETHING! Trust me when I say that these small changes will add up to BIG RESULTS in the end. If one a week is too much, change one thing every two can do it!