Friday, July 10, 2015

Lose weight without dieting?


How? I mean, seriously. How do people do it? I've heard people say they just ate healthy and cut the junk. They don't weigh or measure their food. They just eat right and exercise. But how?

I've been carb-cycling for four weeks now. For the most part, I love it. I honestly do. But I measure and weigh everything. I'm constantly worrying about calories. I don't understand how you can lose weight simply by just eating right.

Or am I just scared to try? My whole life I've heard you have to count calories or points. I've been given a calorie target or points range. Always. The only times I've not been told to have been when I've tried Atkins or South Beach. Those were pretty restrictive, though. There were some major limitations on foods you could eat. Even now, with carb-cycling my calorie target is 1200 on low-carb days, and on high-carb days it's 1500.

I love the foods I'm eating now. It's much "cleaner" than I've ever eaten before. My daily diet (as in the foods I consume, not a plan I'm following) consists of lean meats, vegetables, fruits, Greek yogurt, and unsweetened almond milk. I do have the occasional "treat" on my reward days or special events. I'm eating healthy. I'm not eating frozen "diet" meals. The thing I can't get away from is measuring and weighing. I can't look at a portion of meat and say that looks about the size of my palm, so it must be a serving. I'm too scared to try that.

I guess I'm just rambling. This really isn't a motivational post. It's me griping. It's me dealing with the fact that I don't want to have to work so hard to lose this weight. It's not the hard work I mind, it's constantly thinking about it. I have a friend who runs a very successful coaching program where she and her business partner (who I haven't personally met, but know online) teach people wanting to shed weight and get healthy and fit how to do it. Maybe I should think seriously about saving the money to join their program. If for nothing else, to help me learn to stop obsessing about food and calories. I feel like that's all I do now is talk about my diet (again, how I eat, not something I'm on) and its restrictions. Every function I bring it up. I don't want to be that person who others look at and always think is "on a diet."

I'm OK. I'm not giving up. I'm not having a pity-party. I'm just saying what's on my mind. I'm going to keep on keeping on. I'm going to get this excess weight off my body.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Do I dare?

Oh my gosh. Yes, I'm typing this just after midnight. I think I just decided on a goal, and it scares the daylights out of me.

Yeah... that. Running. Well, for me more walking right now. I am seriously considering a 5K a month. Part of me gets really excited about this idea, but the other part of me wants to hide in a closet. I am terrified I won't be able to finish. Or that I will finish last (highly likely). I'm afraid I'll be embarrassed.

I'm afraid.

And that's why I have to do it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Move It!

That's right. Move it! I mean, exercise. Ugh. That's like a super-sized four letter word, right?

Yeah. I know. When you've been sedentary for so long, it's hard to find the motivation to exercise, and then you've got to deal with the pain and discomfort of putting your body into positions and situations it's just not accustomed to. I feel your pain.

No... really I do.

I don't love exercise. Maybe one day I will. But at just under 280 pounds, I am not a fan of it. But, I'm a big fan of what it does for my body and how it makes me feel.

Let's explore. Why do I exercise? Why should you? Now, I'm no trainer. I hold no degree in exercise science. I hold no certifications. But I will tell you just a few reasons why I'm choosing to get over the pain, discomfort, and embarrassment (yes, I do feel embarrassed at my size an inability when I walk into the gym and do my thing around bodies that are more fit and able than mine) of physical activity.

1. When I'm done, I actually feel good. I don't know if it's endorphins or some happy hormone that released, but when I walk out of the gym I feel good. I certainly walk out differently than I walk in. If you can get in the door, that's a major part of the battle right there.

2. I feel proud. Yeah, I "loaded up" my bar with the smallest weights they have (but I put two on each end, thankyouverymuch), but I made it through the entire BodyPump class with just a few minor modifications. Like tricep dips. I'm just not there yet. But I know how to modify them on the step, so that's what I do.

3. I push myself more than I normally would. Today, I rode a stationary bike that looked much like the one pictured above. I rode five miles. At the first mile, it took me just over 5 minutes. I decided I would do two miles, but try to reduce my time and finish the second mile in less than 10 minutes. I missed it by about 20 seconds, so on the third mile I said I wanted to make it under 15 minutes. I got really close. At that point I was getting worn out, but I kept promising myself I'd get under an average of a 5-minute-mile on this blasted thing. So, I said to myself I was going to go five miles. The last mile was hard, but kept pushing. I was literally talking to myself. "OK, you're in your subdivision." Then, "OK, you've made it to the soccer field. Just have to go around it." I was proud to finish up five miles at 24:22. I make promises to myself when I exercise and push myself to not only meet that promise, but as I surpass each little goal I make a new one. I push myself just a little farther. I don't typically do that. This is new territory for me.

4. Yes, I'm sore. My husband just shakes his head and smiles as I hobble about the house. But you know, it's proof that I'm alive. It's proof that I'm working my body. I'm using my muscles as God intended. I'm working on this temple that I've let get completely destroyed by fat. I will have no regrets because I could have exercise and chose to sit on my rump instead.

5. It makes me feel sexy*. Yep, you read that right. Sexy. My husband calls me Sexy, and he has done so for years. He has never known me thin. Ever. He met me overweight, and he continues to love me obese. To him, I'm sexy. But I've never felt it. But when I exercise, (oh please don't laugh) I want to strut around in all my sexiness. OK, laugh. It is pretty funny. But it's true. I feel sexy after I've worked out. That right there feels really, really good. Even though I know what I look like, I still feel sexy.

So, there you have it. Five reasons why I exercise. If you don't exercise, give it a shot. Figure out the personal benefits for yourself. Your reasons may be totally different than mine. That's OK. Really. But seriously, find something you enjoy and get moving. It's worth it. And please, someone remind me of this post when I stumble and just don't feel like doing it. I have to motivate myself every day to get up and do it, even though I know how I'll feel after. I'm still holding out hope that one day it'll get easier. But, I'm gonna keep plugging along and doing it.

*Note: My husband also makes me feel sexy and strong... just not the same way exercise does.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Work In Progress

I've made some really crappy health choices in my life. The worst choice was to ignore the fact that I was killing myself with every bite I took. Seriously. I didn't get to be this weight by eating broccoli. My weight puts me in a class defined as "morbidly obese." Now in my simple brain, that word morbid means if I don't do something about it, it's going to deteriorate my health to the point that it's gonna kill me. I don't say that to be a major downer here. I'm simply trying to put into words why it's time for me to take my health seriously.

I am so glad I started carb-cycling. I know there is science behind it. It's all way over my head. I know there are multiple ways to lose weight. They just weren't working for me. I stuck with them for a bit, but nothing for very long. And just "cutting back" and simply "eating healthy" most of the time wasn't working for me. I needed a plan. I needed some structure I needed accountability. This gave it to me. If you're reading this for the first time and wondering what carb-cycling is, I recommend you pick up Chris Powell's Choose More, Lose More for Life to learn more about it.

I've had this book and stared at it for a long time. I told myself it was too hard and confusing. But it's not. I started out with the same foods and just ate those over and over again these first two weeks. Two weeks in, and I am finally feeling like I can look for ways to switch things up a little. I made tilapia (for the first time ever) for dinner last night. I'm looking up recipes for homemade protein bars. I'm trying things I never have before. I used to hate celery. I now eat celery once, sometimes twice, a day. I'm learning to love it. My tastes are changing. My cousin posted on Facebook about buying some caramel filled chocolate chips, and it didn't even phase me. The kids ate microwave buttered popcorn yesterday, and I didn't feel deprived. It's working! I'm finally, at nearly 40 years old (this September,) starting to take control of my health and my body.

So, I said all that to share my progress for the week. I'm so very proud of myself for finally making good changes for my body. To me, I'm not on a diet. I've changed my diet. I'm finally putting good stuff in it. Tomorrow is my reward day, and I intend to have something good, yummy, and maybe not the best choice for a healthy lifestyle. But that's the beauty of it. I can do that once a week, so long as I don't go on a feeding frenzy. I'm ready to finish out week 2 and start week 3 strong!

I wanted to share the protein shake and nutritional that I use to supplement my daily diet. I don't take a multi-vitamin in pill form, however I drink a liquid nutritional that provides me with the vitamins and minerals, not to mention anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories, that my body craves. I don't want to post it here, because this blog was not created with the intent to sell anything. However, if you are interested, please send me a message at and I'll be happy to share with you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A little re-evaluation this morning...

I've been up a little while, it's just taking me a bit to get posting. I've been doing some re-evaluation of some stuff this morning. (By the time I actually post this, it'll be afternoon.) No, I'm not giving up on the carb-cycling food plan. I have, however, begun including the weight management system from the company I've been a distributor with for sometime now. I had originally not planned on it because I wasn't sure if it'd fit. But then I got to thinking... if the Powells are including a program to supplement/enhance the carb-cycling, it's not against the "rules." Nothing in my program is breaks the carb-cycling rules, and actually everything is plant-based/clean.

So, in addition to the protein shake and daily nutritional drink I was already including (I added the protein when I started the plan, but I was drinking my nutritional daily - I refuse to give it up. I feel that much better when I drink it.), I have now added a morning and evening capsule, and an evening detox tea. Every bit is plant based - no synthetic ingredients that my body won't be able to absorb. I feel really good about adding this to my new healthy eating.

Another area where I've done some soul-searching is with exercise. In the Choose More, Lose More for Life the Powells want you do to these 9-minute-missions pretty much as soon as you wake up. I've tried. They aren't me. I end up getting really upset and discouraged when I can't do them. So, I talked it over with my hubby and I'm going to get my strength training at the gym instead. I used to love BodyPump. I'm going back to that. It's nearly an hour of weights, but love it. I'm also ready, I think, to start trying DDP Yoga again. That would be at home. For cardio, I plan on swimming for now... maybe some water aerobics, as well.

I've got to do what works for me. If I dread it, I don't do it. So, I have to find activities that I will do, otherwise I will sit on my butt. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to weight loss. However, I feel like a proper, healthy diet and a good dose of daily activity are crucial. How you choose to get that in has to fit with you. If it's a chore, you won't do it. I know I certainly won't, as is evident in my performance doing these 9-minute-missions

I'm not saying everything has to be amusement park fun, but there are so many different ways to get that activity in. Find one that you enjoy doing, you know? Don't enjoy running, but love to do Zumba? Great! Do that. Don't let someone tell you the only way to lose weight is by running if that's not your thing. Hate lifting weights, but love doing activities where you use your own body to build strength? Great! Do that! Find a way to increase muscle mass that you enjoy, and find a cardiovascular activity that you enjoy, and start moving. That's what I'm learning to do. Am I there yet? No. But I'm getting closer!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day... Day 7

So first and foremost, Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there. I hope you had a wonderful day. We woke up late for church, but we did manage to make it to the 11AM service. Hated we missed Sunday School, though. After church, we came home and chilled for a while. Our Father's Day present to my hubby was a family walk. That's actually what he wanted.

Today was a "reward day." It was actually hard at first to think along the lines of what I wanted to reward myself with. I ended up pretty much eating the same foods I had all week, only I mixed my carbs and fats. I also at a little more at my meals than I had been doing. My splurge was a mini bag of popcorn. I briefly thought of having some soda, but I wasn't ready to tempt myself with that yet. There's just too much sugar and soda addiction for me to feel comfortable with trying it. I haven't craved it all week, and I don't want to put it into my system only to let it drag me down next week.

So, I am gearing up to start week 2. My challenge next week is to start exploring options for meals to keep on track but that will allow me to change things up. I'm not bored yet, but I need to be ready so that boredom doesn't derail me. But so far, so good with attempting to retrain my brain to think about food as fuel and for serving a purpose rather than entertainment.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Day 6...Big Fish...Week 1 Weigh-In

Whew! What a day! Day six of carb-cycling, a high-carb day, was spent away from home for most of the day. I'm a pink hatter in a Red Hat Society group, and today was my first outing with them. The Red Hat Society is for women over 50. They meet every so often, and the women wear purple and wear red hats. I'm not 50 yet, so I'm a pink hat member. I wear lavender and, you guessed it, a pink hat. Many of my family members are in this group. Out event today was a local production of the Broadway musical "Big Fish." I use the term local very loosely as we had to drive a few hours to get there. But if you live in north Georgia, between Dalton and the Tennessee border, it's local.

I knew this day was going to be a challenge. After having a great week, I didn't want to blow it because I was away from home. So, last night I spent the evening prepping my food for the day. This morning I loaded up a cooler and headed out with my family.

First stop after picking up various family members along the way was Applebee's for lunch, and some photo-taking fun. I was pretty dang pleased with myself. Not only did I not eat anything from the menu, I even refrained from snacking on anyone else's food. Then we headed to the theater. Before the musical began, we had to do another round of photos. I spent about a minute feeling awful about how much bigger I am than the rest of my family, and then I told myself to get over it. I'm working on it, so no body-shaming on myself allowed. Here are just a couple photos of our group.

The musical was fantastic. I ended up eating two of my meals in the car. It's all good. I made it work, and I didn't blow all I'd worked for this week. I can't really ask for much more.

So, I guess I should share how my first week went. It's not officially a week in as I just started on Monday. However, I'm going to weigh-in on Saturday mornings, so here I am doing my first one on day 6. I'm pretty pleased with the results.

And with that... I'm gonna head to bed. I'm whooped! Goodnight!