Monday, October 25, 2010

Don’t Drink Your Calories

I used to be a soda drinker and being a soda drinker is like being a coffee drinker. You need it and want it on a daily basis. I would have soda with at least two of my meals and probably as a refreshing drink throughout the day. In fact even though I was drinking a beverage I was always thirsty. So I would in turn drink more soda to quench my thirst. When I look back I realize that even though I was not eating really fatty foods I was drinking excess calories every day.

When I stopped drinking soda I started to drink juice and iced tea, thinking I was doing better. I soon realized that I was doing the same thing with juice as I was with soda. So I stopped drinking anything with sugar in it cold turkey, my main beverage was and still is water. Now there were times when I would substitute water for another beverages and I would find my thirst still lingering until I drank water.

In fact, I found the late night hunger I used to have was actually thirst. So instead of snacking at night all I needed was a glass of water. There is an easy way to tell if you are drinking enough water. I know this may sound gross but it is by looking at your urine. If your urine is yellow you are not drinking enough water, in fact if your urine is brown you are dehydrated.

You will find that if you start to drink water consistently that you will crave water on a daily basis. Many people tell me they can’t stand the taste of water. I used to be that way, now I love a refreshing cold glass of water. You will find some amazing benefits to drinking water including seeing your hair and skin looking and feeling better.

No need to go cold turkey but gradually increase the amount of water you drink to at least ten glasses a day. Many people speak of water poisoning and say you can drink too much water. I have found that is a rare occurrence that occurs during drinking constants (drinking 2 to 3 gallons at a time). More likely from athletes who have participated in strenuous exercise and they are trying to replace electrolytes. Since I am not a doctor please contact your physician if you are concerned about water poisoning.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Don't wait until you lose weight

  I was emailed by a reader who told me that she loved one of my goals. She said she used to always say when she lost weight  she would do x amount of things. Now that she is 62 years old she realized that she is still waiting. Thirty years have passed since she first started on her weight loss journey.  As a teen I waited to do things  until I lost weight.Now that I have a bit more life experience I know a few things for sure.

You never look as bad as you think you do, you will look back at pictures and say " wow I wish I  was that size again."  sometimes our perspective is tainted when we have a goal set,

 Waiting to buy clothes means you look frumpy in the meantime. Why should you look horrible until you lose weight. Celebrate who you are today as well as who you want to be.

Don't talk about losing weight all the time! Why draw attention to something that may not be an issue for others. It sounds like  you are sad and unhappy with yourself.

Smile and focus on the positive aspects of this journey. If you are not happy now losing weight wont change a thing.

They make swimming suits in different sizes for a reason. Go to the beach, enjoy the sand and the sun.  Fitting into a bikini next year means you have to wait. Rejoice next year by looking back and seeing how far you have come.

Tommorow is never promised waiting until _____ means you let life pass you by!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Give Back

Going through this journey has made me reflect on  those in need. In particular women in need of the basic necessities to feel beautiful.   As I have dropped the pounds I  removed  clothing from my closet that no longer fits. Initially I would donate the clothing to the rescue mission  or drop them in a clothing box on the side of the road.  If you know me them you know I love to shop , so I have lots  clothing to give away. 
I recently had the pleasure to meet with a women who  was living in  domestic violence shelter.  She’d come there with only the clothes on her back.  She told me of the horrible hand me downs that they received.  That many times people donate clothing they would no longer wear themselves  to the shelters.    She spoke of missing her slippers,  her favorite dress and how simples things can make you feel beautiful . I moved, can imagine escaping your home in the middle of the night with nothing.  It made reflect on the things that I take for granted, like my bath robe, scented lotions and a beautiful night gown.  Things that I have  and use on daily basis, that help me feel wonderful before bed. My favorite dress and  my shoes ( I love shoes). This may all sound superficial but it is the little things  that  can put a smile on your  face sometimes.  A woman does have the need to feel beautiful and beautiful piece of clothing or shoes can do that.
I decided that my loss will be another woman’s gain!  I am donating all of my  old clothing to a women’s shelter in my area.  I will take care to look through the clothing and make sure that I would actually wear  it. I am also going to donate my weight loss in beauty products.  I am hoping that you all will join me and participate in your area.  It is as simple as contacting a shelter and letting them know you want to donate.
Now my journey has new meaning !

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don’t Get That Old Thing Back

It is funny how going back to my hometown triggers old habits.  I realize that in the past going home was bout eating food from home.  So this weekend we went back to our hometown for a family gathering.   As we entered the city I could feel the old me creeping back into the picture.  I started to think about all the great restaurants we would visit on previous trips back home.  I realized that vacation has been a code for all you can eat week or weekend. 
We can’t stop going out to eat or enjoying the taste of home when we visit.  You must plan your meals regardless of where you are eating. Sometimes this is a difficult task because you can easily fall back into bad habits. For example we went to our favorite diner for breakfast anticipating the great food. By the time we were seated I had totally forgotten my plan. I ordered a large breakfast that included all my favorite things.  When my order arrived, I looked at all the food and realized my mistake. Instead of saying forget it and just eating it all, I asked for a smaller plate. I then took a sample of each item and put them on my smaller plate.  I moved the rest of the food to the side and when the waitress returned I asked her to remove the plate.
I was able to enjoy the flavors of home reasonably; I am slowly learning how to stay on my plan!!   Deprivation is not a part of my plan therefore I must balances my portion sizes to meet my plan.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Making Changes

Yesterday I was driving around looking for dinner. I was exhausted and I did not want to cook, I knew that I could easily pull into a drive through to eat.  The thought crossed my mind several times but we kept driving around looking for alternatives.  Finally we went to Panera and I stood I line looking at the Menu. I swear it took me at least fifteen minutes to find something on the menu that was suitable to eat.  But when I finished ordering I was proud of myself. I was tired but I was fueling my body with food that would not blow my plan. It was tasty and I did not fall into the drive through trap.   

I am making changes and it feels great to be this motivated!!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Slow and Steady

Shows like Biggest Loser and Thintervention make us feel like weight loss should be fast.  You see people losing five to ten pounds a week. So after a week of eating right and working out you think you should see the same results. Instead when you get on the scale you see a weight loss of one to two pounds or less.  You begin to think that you’re not doing enough and it is a possible that you won’t lose weight fast enough.
You have to realize that a loss is a loss. Regardless of how much weight you lose, you weigh less now than you did before. Celebrate every loss as a victory and be proud of your accomplishment.   If you were locked up on a ranch with nothing to do all day but exercise, you would lose weight quickly as well. But we live in the real world with daily obligations.  Safe and lasting weight loss is slow and steady.  It might benefit you to keep track of your body measurements weekly and weigh your self monthly.  That weigh you’re not consumed with weekly weigh loss.  
What ever your plan is remember it does not matter how much you lose, every loss is a victory.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Many times I have failed because I did not hold myself accountable for my actions.  You see it all the time a person drops twenty or thirty pounds and they shout it from the rooftops. They do this because they are proud of what they accomplished and want to share it with the world.  The same person when they fall off the wagon makes excuses for their failure.  My go to excuse used to be that I did not have time. I was too busy with work, school and family to focus on my health.  When I actually write those words, I see how silly I sound. 

I have slowly learned over the years to make myself accountable for my actions.  I keep a daily journal of my food and water intake. I write what I am eating and why I am eating it.  This way I actually have to provide sound reasoning for my actions.  It also helps me that my husband is my accountability partner, I asked him to hold me accountable when he sees that I am getting off track.  I trust him to be fair, reasonable and firm with me. If you have someone in your life like that then you may need to ask them to be your accountability partner. My best friend uses me as her accountability partner and I take that responsibility seriously because she trusts me with her health.
You must remember we all get off track sometimes and you should never beat yourself up about it. However, you need to be realistic because if you spend more time off track than you do on your plan then you have a problem.  It may be time to evaluate your plans practicality and determine if it is causing new problems in your life.  An impractical and restrictive plan will cause you to feel trapped and you will be overwhelmed.  This is meant to be a lifestyle change, when you change your lifestyle you are affecting your attitudes, values and beliefs. You have been committed  and practicing  your old lifestyle for a long period of time.  It is going to take some time to change and for that change to be permanent you need to be accountable to yourself.
Remember only you can make the decision to change! Hold yourself accountable, stay positive and GET UP OFF THE COUCH!!! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Small Changes

I think making small changes can make a big difference. I used to park close to my office on a daily basis. The the closer I parked to my office, the harder that walk seemed every day. I made a change this semester; I started parking on the other side of campus. I have to walk up four flights of stairs to get to the quad, then I have about a quarter mile walk to my office.  I realized this morning that I was no longer tired walking to my office in the morning.  I did not do anything drastic but I made a small change that adds a bit of exercise to my morning routine.  I don’t deviate from the route even if I am late or if it is raining. I keep a poncho in my briefcase and I wear sneakers every morning to make the walk easier.
Sometimes we make thing so complicated that we become roadblocks to our self. Creating a healthier lifestyle can be as simple as parking farther away from the grocery store. You can even modify your everyday meals to make them healthier and reduce the calories.   I am a cheeseaholic; I admit that until recently I used to slather cheese on everything.  Mainly because I thought it made everything taste better. Two months ago I stopped using cheese completely.  Instead I load eggs and sandwiches with vegetables. I still have flavor but I don’t miss the cheese at all.  I don’t feel deprived, it was small change.
Removing the cheese has removed 500 calorie and 45 grams of fat per week from my diet.  Considering that it only takes a reduction of 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat.  If I only made that change I could possible lose one pound in 7 weeks.  However adding in the daily addition of exercise I can actually lose one pound in 4 weeks. It does not seem like a lot but in a year that is 12 pounds you have lost with minimal effort.
If sticking to a plan is a difficult task for you, start making small changes every week.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Unsolicited Advice

Chances are as you begin your journey there will be many people in your life cheering you on.  There will also be people who will provide you with “unsolicited advice”. You know the ones who tell you that you can’t do something because you’re overweight. Others that assume you don’t know anything about exercise because you have put on a few extra pounds.  They sneak up on you, zap your confidence and sometimes make you doubt your plan. The funny thing is most of these people probably need to drop a few pounds .
Just call these people  “HATERS”!!!
I have had a few of those people in my life and I have gotten rid of them .  At first, they make you angry and you push on for a while.  After a while you start repeating their exact words in self defeat.  These people are roadblocks to your success and you  know who they are.  This is not the first time they have deterred you from progress.  But you will need to acknowledge who they are  and tell them you don’t need their advice or  comments.  
The best thing you can do is to become informed about your body.  Get online or go the library and learn  about nutrition. It is important that you get to the doctor so you know what you need to work on. Schedule yourself a physical and request that  they do  blood work.  This way you can get a complete picture of your health.  You have to do the research to invest in your health, that is the best way to show commitment.   

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Being a mother is the greatest accomplishment that I have in my life. It has taught me a lot about love, sacrifice and multitasking. As parents, we will do what ever it takes to give our children what they need.  We often sacrifice our own health and beauty to accomplish that goal. As a mother of two, I am guilty of putting my children, husband and household before myself.  Although I take joy in taking care of my family, I find myself unhappy when I neglect myself.
I realize that everyone in my life is happier when I am happy.  So I must do things for myself and that includes exercise.  I can remember countless times that I sacrificed my exercise time for family events or obligations.  I would feel the satisfaction of taking care of my family but the regret of losing “me time”.  It began to seem like I had less time for me in my daily routine.
Now I take an hour every evening to workout or run but when my husband is at work I jump on the elliptical.  My oldest usually get’s quiet time while I work out and I put the baby in his swing. I also encourage my husband to take an hour because I realize he needs that release as well.  I am a happier mom, wife and woman since I started focusing on myself for a portion of the day. 
I am still a wonderful mother and wife but I am also a wonderful me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Advice From A Novice Overweight Runner.

Being overweight brings a unique set of challenges to running, in particular if you have been overweight a majority of your life. The initial challenge is fear.
Fear of failure usually comes first; you think that you will not be able to run.  I am here to tell you that you can and will. But this will happen only if you want to put the effort required into running.  The first time in my life that I ran I was 232 pounds. I did not run fast or far but I ran.  You will not be able to run 5 miles the first day but you will be able to run. Even if it is only a block, down the street or even a few steps, you can run.   Running is a skill and like any skill you get better with time and practice.
Many say that others will stare at them because they don’t look like a runner. Well if someone is staring at you while you run, there is a strong possibility they would be staring regardless of what you do. I have met so many wonderful people running and a majority of them were cheering me on as I ran by. I have had women shout “You go girl” out of car windows as they drove by me.    In fact, even though I am happily married, I have been asked out on several dates while running.   I have always found that funny because I am usually drenched in sweat when I run.  Let them stare; hopefully they will stare long enough to see your transformation.
Other says they don’t have running gear and it is expensive.  I am a frugal when it comes to running apparel.  Look on the clearance rack in discount retailers; they always have last season shoes on sale. Every pair of Asics gel running shoes that I own came from Burlington coat factory on the clearance rack.  I usually purchase pants and shirts from Target or Wal-Mart’s clearance rack. I never pay more than five dollars per piece.  
The fact is that the day after you run for the first time you will be sore.  You will feel muscles ache that you never knew you had.  My advice is to drink lots of water, stretch, take some ibroprofen and soak in a warm bath after you run.  The next day do it again, the more you run the sooner your muscles will get used to running.   Pretty soon, you will not have that achy feeling anymore. That is when you will know it is time to run harder and longer.  

Wake Up Call

Recently we took our family  to the grand opening  of a famous chicken restaurant. It  was part of our family outing and I was  considering that a cheat day. We ate in  and I had two chicken thighs , a cup of red beans and rice, one biscuit with strawberry jam  and a cup of sweet tea. For desert I had one of their mini  apple pies.  Keep in mind that I had a sensible breakfast and was unable to eat anything for the rest of the day.  Mainly because I was full all day after that meal. Considering we ate at 2pm , the caloric intake of that meal must have been atrocious.  
I did not think about it until 11pm that night when I sat down to track my food for the day. I was flabbergasted to find out that not only did I use my daily points but I had consumed almost all of my weekly points. I began to think about all the times that I had gone to fast food restaurants 2 or 3 times a week. Thinking that I was eating sensibly because I knew my portion sizes.  When in fact I was overeating and consuming an entire days calories in one meal.
This really puts into perspective how you become overweight and what roadblocks you can personally put up  that hold you back.

Goals in progress

I  think it is important to have healthy lifestyle goals.  So I have spent about a week creating mine for the  year. Initially I was thinking in terms of weight that I want to lose.  I  slowly came to realize that  fixation  on a specific number  can  cause unnecessary pressure. I have been watching numbers rise and fall far too long.  So my goals are based on how I want  my body to look, feel and how I want to fit in clothing.
1.       I will  to focus on toning my lower body . My goal is to do lower body exercises 3 time a week. 
2.       I will  run for at least 25 minutes 3 day a week until it feels easy. I will increase my distance and time when necessary.
3.       I want my clothes to fit without bunching  in the abdominal  area
4.       I will  wear shorts next summer without feeling self conscious about my legs
5.       I will stop the mindless eating and track everything  that I put in my mouth
6.       I will drink a minimum of 10 glasses of water a day
7.       I will not deprive myself of certain foods, but I will observe portion sizes
8.       I will not wait to lose weight to purchase clothing
9.       I will not beat myself up about setback but I will remember that every meal is an opportunity to start over
10.   I will not have an entire cheat day but have a special meal. Giving myself and entire day allows me to eat mindlessly and inject far too many calories.
I am sure  there will be more to come but this is what I have so far!!

What is this all about?

I am so glad to be in the position to create this blog. I think that there are so many of us that need to get up off the couch. I am not a doctor or a fitness guru, I am just an ordinary woman who has battled with weight issues her entire life.  I am currently on a journey  to live an active lifestyle. 
For me this is a difficult journey because I grew up in a home with sedentary parents.    I never played sports or participated in activities that required  physical activity.  I can never remember walking or running with my parents. We spend a majority of our family time in front of the television or at the kitchen table.
So you can imagine how difficult it is to get out of a routine that you have been a part of your entire life. I started this journey 10 years ago when I was in college. I was tired of being the fat girl and really wanted to look and feel better.  So I started walking and eventually started running and eating better. I have had many major setbacks and I have gained and lost weight  more times than I can count.
So I am tired of dieting and now I am focusing on living well instead of dieting for the moment.  Nine weeks ago I gave birth to  my second beautiful  baby boy. So this journey  has taken on a new level of importance.  I don’t want to be a sick parent who needs medications to survive.  I have been lucky until  this point and have not had any weight related health problems that require medication.  I don’t want my luck to run out so I am working to change my life.