Last week: 206.1
This week: 205.9
Loss is 0.2. Total loss 69.1 pounds, 30.9 from my 100 pound goal, and 6.9 pounds from being in One-Derland (figuring to 199).
A loss is a loss! Especially after this week. I spent a chunk of my time in Ohio this week for work. Looking at My Fitness Pal I am very lucky to not have gained this week. My meals have consisted of pizza, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, a wrap full of bacon and mayo, and Hardees. I was a fast food junkie this week. I haven’t seen a single Subway and believe me when I say I was looking. That said, I’m still on track. I’ve tried to make the healthiest options possible, but yeah. I had to eat! This makes me even more appreciative that I work right in my own kitchen surrounded by my own food. I did get to try Gumbo for the first time in my life and some of the best corn bread I have ever had while I was in Ohio and I am a fan! It could be that I haven’t had corn bread in so long even watered down corn bread would have been good, but this had actual corn in it. LOVE!
I am very excited because I have been TITLED! I’m referring to my work of course. I am now the Marketing & Social Media Director. I am very thrilled about that and the direction I’m heading. I love being on the internet anyway, so hello! I get paid for to tweet? Awesomeness. I love anything that allows me to design and be creative too so in a nutshell, I am tickled pink.
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I’ve been blogging since June of last year. In the beginning I was informational. I wanted to share everything that worked for me. Since then, this blog has developed into more of a journal and a place where I can hold myself accountable. People ask me a lot what I’m doing to lose weight. I usually refer to my blog when people do, but no one wants to scroll through my rambling to look for useful information. So today I decided to make a summary post for all of the posts I’ve done in the past that I feel would help people live healthier and/or lose weight. These are the suggestions I would make to anybody who wants to make changes that are realistic and long term, and these are the changes I’ve made myself that have helped me get where I am today.
My before and after – starting now to make changes – see here.
How you can do Weight Watchers on your own, for FREE – see here.
How to use the free Weight Watchers app on your phone – see here.
The importance of preparation. Preparation = successful weight loss. Try using Tupperware – see here.
Staying motivated to lose weight – see here.
My Fitness Pal (food tracker) and a breakdown of understanding nutrition labels – see here.
Tips to making healthy food choices – see here.
My tips to losing weight and keeping it off – see here.
Easy changes you can make today to start living healthier and/or losing weight – see here.
Using a free app on your phone to download books for FREE and learn about fitness, nutrition, and weight loss – see here.
Why breakfast is the most important meal of the day and how this applies to your weight loss – see here.
Finding ways to make exercise fun – see here.
Tips from Jackie Warner on what to eat and how to exercise (from a book called, “This is Why You’re Fat and How to Get Thin Forever) – see here.
I think I am on the mend from my cold, finally. I feel great this morning. I have been eating poorly all week so yesterday I gave myself a “cheat day” just to get it out of my system. I’m glad I did because I have no thoughts of junk food and I feel rejuvenated. Being that it is Monday probably helps. I am restarting my routine and no better day to do it than a fresh week.
I’m excited for this evening to get here because I miss the gym. I only went one day last week and I probably shouldn’t have because it drained me. Cold + gym time = not fun. I need the gym to balance my food as I eat better when I work out. Plus it makes me feel good.
Saturday’s Heart Walk was awesome as always. I had great company with a friend that joined me this year. I really need to do this more often. We walked for an hour just catching up and it didn’t feel like exercise. Being part of a good cause feels good as well and being able to see and hear the stories of those who are walking. I mentioned before that we walk in honor of my friend’s baby girl. There are hundreds of other stories with hers. One that caught my eye was a woman who walked for her sister who died of heart disease. She was only 32 years old. I am 30… that really hit home and it is the reason I am so focused on getting healthy. I have a lot to live for and the junk food just isn’t worth it. Junk food or more time my daughter… yea, no doubt about it. It is so not worth it.
Today is a bittersweet day. I leave for California in 2 weeks and I am thrilled to see my sister, but today her husband leaves for his deployment. I hate it when my boyfriend leaves for a few days, let alone 10 months to a year so I cannot even imagine what they feel today. It makes me grateful for those who serve our country. I’m proud to have a family member making that sacrifice, but I hate it at the same time. I just hope I can help her when she comes home because this is going to be a hard time for them both. It makes me feel guilty to be excited about going to California to bring her home and to see her when I know the reason for me going is his leaving. That just doesn’t seem right, but I very much look forward to the day they both come home together. That day cannot come soon enough.
So a sad day today, but a new day. In an effort to make the most of it, I’m making new goals for myself this week.
#1 goal is to drink a ton of water. I didn’t drink enough water this past week while I was sick and I think I am dehydrated. So, definitely water is top priority.
#2 is gym time, which will be no issue because I need and want it. Funny how that can change since it used to be a chore, but now a necessity.
#3 is food, no junk food, but I ate so much of it yesterday it that it makes me sick to look at it. I’m looking forward to my fresh fruits in my fridge.
I was talking to a friend last night about how she wants to lose weight. I held myself in check because naturally I wanted to start spewing advice and plan a program for her, but I don’t want to give it if it’s not wanted so I kept quiet. Instead, I am posting here! 🙂
So my advice to anyone who wants to lose weight is as follows:
WATER, EXERCISE, EAT HEALTHY. So easy right? Actually it is.
It is recommended to drink 8 glasses of water a day. That is four 16 ounce water bottles. To effectively lose weight, I’ve read to divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces. So if you weigh 200 pounds, divide it in half, which would be 100. Then drink 100 ounces, which is 6 water bottles or 12 glasses of water.
Benefits to drinking water: Reduce hunger, zero calories, flush by-products of fat breakdown, relieve fatigue, relieve headaches and back pains, look younger, healthier skin, be more alert, regulate body temperature so you have more energy, fuel muscle, and raise metabolism as water helps with digestion. These are just to name a few.
My tip: Do not drink your calories. Go zero for water instead and stay away from diet drinks because the artificial sweeteners in a diet soda will trigger you to want more sweets. However, if you must drink a coke then go diet. I cannot take anyone seriously who say they want to lose weight but they drink regular sodas. A soda has 140 calories. A large McDonald’s Coke has 310 calories. You can eat a McDouble for that amount. Or a small order of fries. If you drink 5 regular sodas a day, by taking that from your diet you will be saving 750 calories A DAY. Do not be fooled by other drinks such as lemonade, juices, or sweet teas. They have just as many calories and sugars as a Coke and they should not be a substitute for water. Green tea would be a good option, but pick one that has zero calories.
Exercise must consist of cardio and weight lifting. Muscle burns more calories than fat. Through strength training we condition our bodies to burn fat more efficiently. It also tones, which looks better than flab.
When I started working out my aunt warned me not to overdo it at the gym. I think it’s natural to want to go into the gym and do a long work out when you are just starting because we know the more we work out the quicker the weight will come off. The downside to overdoing it is getting burnt out and quitting or simply getting bored. When I started working out, if I didn’t push myself to 40-60 minutes each work out then I felt guilty afterwards. As if the 30 minutes I did do was not enough, but it was. That is discouraging. I also often hear people say they hate going to the gym to do the elliptical or treadmill because they get bored.
My tip: Start cardio by doing 20 minutes only. During that 20 minutes, push yourself as hard as you can. Alter your speeds and inclines to keep your heart guessing. If you don’t want to join a gym, go outside after dinner or before work and do a 20 minute walk around your neighborhood. This does not mean a 20 minute stroll that involves stopping every few minutes to greet neighbors and observe the scenery. The 20 minutes should be a power walk. Keeping your workouts to an intense 20 minutes will give you a great workout without risk of getting bored or overdoing it. It is also an easy commitment as it is only 20 minutes. It is easier to start off small and add to it than to start out huge and having to add to more. Divide your time between 20 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes for strength training.
First determine how many calories you should be eating. Try this website.
Next, find a way to track your food. If you have a smart phone, try finding a free app. My favorite app is “My Fitness Pal.” If you do not have access to an app, try the My Fitness Pal website where you can track your foods online. Or simply keep track of your food by writing down what you eat and the calories in a notepad. To lose weight, you must monitor what you eat and how much.
- To every meal, add a vegetable. I fill half of my plate with veggies. Not only is it better for you, but it eliminates room on your plate to add the not so healthy foods. It also visually is more appealing because we are eating more. Fill up on veggies first and then go for the other half. I still eat the everyday foods I ate before I started losing weight. Meatloaf, chili, spaghetti, steak, hamburger, chicken, turkey. I just portion a smaller size and fill up on vegetables first.
- Practice portion control. When in doubt, use the portion that equals the size of your fist.
- When you want something sweet or a snack, before reaching for cookies or chips, eat fruit instead.
- Plan ahead with Tupperware. My fridge is full of Tupperware that is filled with cut up fruit (carrots, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.). I also have pre-made meals of chili, meatloaf, or fish. When I get hungry and I don’t want to prepare anything, I already have meals or snacks prepared and waiting for me in the fridge.
- Stay away from fast food. Period. I slip occasionally and when I do I try to make as good a choice as possible, but it is not good for you. Stick with Subway.
- Make good choices. Eating at Subway does not mean you are automatically eating healthy. You still have to make good choices. Smothering your sandwich with ranch or mayo and adding extra meat is NOT a good choice. Use mustard instead of mayo, and never ever use Ranch with anything. It goes the same for salads. A salad alone is healthy, but adding loads of dressing is not. Just 2 tablespoons of regular ranch dressing equals 145 calories. My tip: Keep your salad dressing on the side and dip your salad in it. This will eliminate you going back for additional tablespoons of dressing because you coated the same piece of lettuce with the entire amount of the previous tablespoon.
- Do not think of food as “off limit.” By telling yourself you cannot have certain foods, you are only going to want them more. Think of weight loss as a life change, not something you need to stick to for a few months. By doing so, you will not consider yourself a failure when you give in to temptations. When you do give in to temptation, think smaller portions.
- Exercise. I add this as a healthy eating tip because when I work out I eat better. No way am I spending 30 minutes on a treadmill only to stop at McDonald’s on the way home.
- Take the time to chew your food and enjoy your meals.
- Ask yourself, are you hungry or are you bored? If you just ate, drink a glass of water before going back for seconds.
- Watch less TV. I notice when I watch TV I want to snack. Instead, I keep myself busy or I spend time with my daughter. I also read a lot, and when I read I do not get in those “I need to snack” moods.
- Avoid eating at night.
- If you slip, get right back on it. I have my days where I just want to eat everything I see, and sometimes I give in to that. When I do, I get right back on track with working out and watching what I eat.
I have four additional things to add as my advice to lose weight.
EDUCATE YOURSELF. Educate yourself with new food, recipes, new workouts, ways to strength train, tips to losing weight, tips to eating healthy. I have read so much on these subjects and it excites me to try something new. We have to keep bettering ourselves and our education on our bodies. Doing so is setting yourself up for success. Use the internet, books, the library, magazines, weight loss shows on TV. There is so much opportunity to learn. Take advantage of those opportunities!
MOTIVATE YOURSELF. I did a previous entry on ways to stay motivated. Go back and read it here. Losing weight takes time. You will have to find ways to stay motivated.
MAKE UP YOUR MIND. Make a decision. How bad do you want this? Bad enough to change your habits and stop making excuses? Because you will have to change and excuses get you no where. It doesn’t matter why you’re fat or how you got there. You are fat, that’s it. You ok with that or do you want to change it? Because if you want change, all you have to do is make up your mind that change is what you want. If you want to lose weight, do not talk yourself out of it. Make a plan, set a goal, and stick with it. Realize that losing weight is a long process. A pound equals 3500 calories so know that when you eat right today and exercise 20 minutes, do not expect to lose 20 pounds when you step on a scale tomorrow. It takes time and planning a process in the beginning will better your long term success.
JUST DO IT ALREADY. I get so tired of excuses. I can’t do this because of this… I’m fat because of this… I want to do that, but I can’t because of… w h a t e v e r. None of that matters. If you’re still making excuses, what are you afraid of? And if you’re making excuses then you don’t want it bad enough. If you stop making excuses and just start ACTING on what you need to do to lose weight, you’ll have dropped some of the weight already and you can get in a routine.
There are several things I’ve picked out of Jackie Warner’s “This is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever).
First with food. She suggests adding 2 eggs daily, 1 cup of oatmeal daily, 2-3 cups of vegetables daily, 2 servings of whole fresh fruit, water, a whey protein shake, and herbal tea.
Eggs: I boiled a dozen eggs and put them in a bowl in the fridge. I eat one typically with breakfast and I snack on 1 or 2 more throughout the day. A boiled egg white (no yolk) is only 17 calories. Within the egg is a nutrient called lecithin, which breaks down fat in the body. Eggs curb your appetite and make you feel full longer. After testing this, it is definitely true. You wouldn’t think 2 boiled eggs will fill you up and last, but they do.
Oatmeal: It is a fat burner. It digests slowly so that we get a stream of energy instead of just a burst of energy. It also curbs appetite and fills you up longer. My breakfast this past week consists of a cup of oatmeal and either a boiled egg or a banana. Compared to previous weeks, I’ve noticed I’m eating less calories throughout the day because I’m full longer.
Vegetables: Easy enough. With each meal add a protein and 2-3 cups of vegetables. Luckily for me, Weight Watchers pushes the veggies anyway so this was no change for me. I think I mentioned in a previous blog to fill half the plate with veggies to fill you up.
Fruit: adding fruit will cut down your sweet tooth. I’ve been doing this anyway so when I read this in her book I can definitely say that’s true as I have always had a huge sweet tooth. What I learned from Jackie’s book is that fruit is ideal for weight loss because it has balancing, detoxifying, and fat-burning effects on our bodies.
Water: Already covered. Take your weight and divide it in half. That is how many ounces of water you need to burn more fat. You should at least be getting 8-10 glasses a day.
Whey protein shake: This one is new for me. I bought one at the Vitamin Shoppe for $13. My cousin said to be careful of the sugars and calories so pay close attention to the nutrition label instead of the flavors of shake. I was never interested in protein shakes before because I always thought of them as meal replacement drinks. I’d rather eat the food… but what I learned is that they have other uses for our bodies that can help with weight loss and weight control. Whey is quickly digested and put to use by the body. It is a natural fat burner, improves insulin levels. Overall it works to help lose excess pounds and control weight. I’ve only been using protein shakes for 2 days. I’m using one after my workout because it helps recover and build muscle. Protein shakes can be used in replacement of a meal, ie in the morning to kick start your metabolism. And as it can be drank as a snack to help control cravings.
Herbal tea: I have not tried this because I’m more prone to my diet green citrus tea. I’ve never been one for herbal tea, but according to Jackie Warner it can be used as a late night snack. It regulates appetite, mood, energy and cravings. So it may be a good thing to drink at night while watching TV. For myself, I’ve been trying 2 boiled eggs when I watch TV, but I notice the healthier I get the less TV I watch. When I watch TV all I want to do is eat anyway so that’s not a bad thing.
The other thing I’m trying from Jackie’s book is limiting my time at the gym for 20 minutes for each cardio. I used to spend the entire amount of time on one machine. Instead of doing that and staying at the same speed for the entire time, she suggests taking twenty minutes of cardio and use that time to interval intensity training. Interval intensity training alternates intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity. For example, running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking at a normal speed for 2 minutes. On the treadmill it can mean upping your incline and speed for 2 minutes and lowing the speed for 4. This makes you sweat your butt off, literally. I usually do 40 minutes of cardio when I go to the gym, depending on my schedule I occassionally do more or less. So today when I went, I did 20 minutes on the elliptical, 20 on the treadmill, and 10 on the bike. I found that by switching the machines, each time was like starting over and I felt like I had more enegery and focus to do the high intensity levels of speed that she suggests. So this works.
One last thing I’m trying is using the incline more on the treadmill. As part of the interval training she suggests upping the incline to 12.0 and walking at a 3.0 or 4.0 depending on your height and ability.
In a whole, this has been a good week. I feel good with these changes and I am looking forward to a fresh start next week. My goal this week is to continue into next week with these changes and focus more on weight lifting. I always set weight lifting on the backburner to cardio, but since muscle burns more fat I really need to stop doing that.
When you start changing your habits to lose weight, you begin hearing a lot about metabolism. Have you ever wondered what metabolism is and why it is so important?
Metabolism is the powerhouse for your body. It converts the fuel in the food we eat to the energy needed to power everything we do so that our body can maintain itself. Whether you are exercising, sleeping or eating, your body is constantly using energy and burning calories to keep you going.
Metabolism also affects body composition and the amount of muscle versus the amount of body fat we have. Those with more muscle will likely have a higher metabolism than those who do not. As muscle burns up to 90% more calories than fat, this is important. Ever wonder why it is easier for men to lose weight than women? Typically men have more muscle than women. Can you see where I am going with this? 🙂
Now you may be wondering why I am going on about metabolism when you thought you were going to read about breakfast.
Here is why:
My very intelligent cousin once told me something about metabolism and breakfast that has stuck with me for years. Are there any campers out there?
Metabolism works like a camp fire. When you are camping and you go to bed, overnight the camp fire gradually dies out. When you wake up the next morning and you notice there is no fire, how do you get the fire going again? You throw logs on it. If you throw a ton of logs all at once, the fire will die out because you smothered it. If you add logs slowly to the fire, it will blaze.
The logs are the same as food and the fire is the same as your metabolism. When we go to bed our metabolism slows down. Your metabolism will not start blazing again until you eat. If you skip breakfast and wait to eat until lunch, you are wasting hours without your metabolism working at its peak.
The solution: EAT BREAKFAST!
Sounds simple right? Breakfast falls in line with the busiest time of day for most people. As a result, common excuses are not having time to eat breakfast or simply hating breakfast food.
I have always loved breakfast so I never had a problem with wanting to skip this meal. I usually wake up starving anyway, but I see breakfast as another opportunity to eat so I am not going to pass that up. I realize though that not everyone has a fondness for this particular meal of the day. Regardless of your feelings towards breakfast, it is necessary to your weight loss and metabolism. No excuses, you have to eat breakfast.
Make breakfast the jump start of your day! If you know you will be in a hurry the next morning, plan your breakfast the night before. Try waking up 5 minutes early or grab something small, like fruit or a granola bar. You do not have to give yourself enough time for a trip to Denny’s just to eat breakfast. And for those who simply hate breakfast food, what is breakfast food? It isn’t just eggs and pancakes. Breakfast is a time of day. The food can be anything you want.
Have I persuaded you to breakfast yet? Here are some ideas for what to eat:
For those like my cousin who absolutely hate breakfast, try meal replacement drinks. This is her solution, and quite frankly I think she’s a genius with this stuff so try it.
For the rest of us, stay away from small sized foods that are packed with calories, like bagels. Instead eat high fiber foods like oatmeal, strawberries, yogurt, walnuts, cereal (not the sugary kind! Look for whole grain), toast, eggs. Love bacon? Try turkey bacon. Find foods that allow you to eat the most for your calories or points.
Other ideas for breakfast food: banana with peanut butter, banana with yogurt, oatmeal with fruit, egg with toast, granola bar. You get the idea. Keep it small and simple. I read online that those who ate 2 eggs with a piece of toast burn more calories throughout the day. Try it!
Besides breakfast, here are some other easy ways to increase your metabolism:
All physical activity boosts your metabolism. You can walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Try parking away from the store when shopping so you have to walk farther. Even walking your neighborhood for 20 minutes is exercise.
Build more muscle
As I mentioned above, muscle burns more calories than fat. Focus on doing around 15 repetitions for every muscle group during your weight lifting. For each workout, focus on different muscle groups and rotate them.
Eat often… but eat right
Eat every 2 to 3 hours. People who skip meals usually believe they are doing right because they are saving calories. Not so! You are also wasting calories that your body could be burning if you did eat.
The longer you wait in between meals your metabolism will start conserving energy by slowing down. Not a good thing! Eating every few hours will reassure your body that you are not starving. Skipping meals frightens your body into storing fat because it is not certain when food will be available.
In addition to kicking your metabolism into gear, eating often will prevent you from starvation eating later when you are so hungry you are more likely to make a bad food choice. As you eat throughout the day, continue with good choices. Do not think that eating every 2 to 3 hours means you can eat mindlessly all day. Snack on vegetables and fruit.
Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses a day. I recently read that to burn more fat, divide your body weight and use that number in ounces to know how much water you should be drinking daily.
Examples of foods that help boost your metabolism include: Salmon, apples, broccoli, carrots, brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, grapefruit, lemon, oranges, peaches, pears, plumbs, cayenne peppers, berries (all of them!), cinnamon, fish, flaxseed, peanut butter, chicken breast, turkey, eggs, spinach, beans, green tea, yogurt, almonds.
Don’t drink your calories! Or don’t drink your points if you’re doing Weight Watchers.
I gave up soda when I started Weight Watchers. I thought I did anyway. I gave it up for Diet Coke, Coke 0, and every other diet drink out there thinking I was doing right by not drinking the average 150 calories found in a 12 ounce can. (For those drinking regular soda, if you drink 5 twelve ounce sodas a day that is 750 calories wasted.)
What I wish I knew then that I know now…
Diet soda provides zero nutritional benefit and all you are drinking is artificial sweeteners. I read about this online and I saw on Dr. Oz that the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas triggers something in your brain to make you crave more sweets. I have always been a sweets person so I cannot comment on that except to say that it makes sense. The more sweets you taste the more you want it.
Also, something to consider that I read in “The Skinny Rules” by Bob Harper. He mentioned one of the ingredients in soda being corn syrup. Corn syrup is made from a bushel of corn. What do factory farms use to fatten up their cattle? They feed them corn. So if we are drinking sodas with corn syrup it is something to think about. Are we cows? Well… no!
It does not stop with soda. Juices and juice drinks are just as bad and most have the exact same number of calories and sugars as a regular soda. In my charge at throwing information at friends, I’ve had a few mention they gave up soda for other drinks. Juices, lemonade, whatever. All are wasted calories and no better for you than a coke.
The solution… WATER, water, water, and more water. I drank diet soda up until about 3 months ago. Switched to water only when I hit a plateau and dropped 5 pounds. I found myself to be more full, ate less, and overall had more energy because I was hydrated. I still drink a diet coke every now and then. Especially if I’m out at a restaurant eating dinner, but as of 2 days ago no more. I only drink water and diet Green Tea Citrus. It’s really good so if you see it in the store you outta try it.
There are a lot of benefits to drinking green tea besides being for weight loss alone. Just a few… it helps with treatment and prevention of cancer, is used to treat multiple sclerosis, used to stop Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, raises metabolism, reduces risk of heart disease, reduces level of cholesterol, and treat rheumatoid arthitis.
Yeah and I totally looked those benefits up just now. I’ve read them before, but of course did not have them memorized. If anyone knows any supplements to a better memory please let me know.
In the meantime, one suggestion I read in Harper’s book was to drink an entire glass of water before every meal. That’s an easy change to start with right?