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Archive for the ‘Lap Band’ Category

It has been far too long since I’ve made (and stuck to) a true workout plan.  Since I have these next two weeks off from work, I definitely wanted to get myself back on track in that area.  Plus, after two weeks of solid workouts, I’ll be in a nice routine.  That way, I can begin the new year (and go back to work) with a nice little system set up. More on this week’s workouts in a minute.

I have been writing about it a lot lately, but for some reason as soon as I get overwhelmed, the first thing to go is my workout plan.  And it shouldn’t.  If anything, I should hit the gym more.  Because nothing helps me de-stress like a good workout.  It helps me clear my mind, release any frustrations, and feel so much better about myself (and maybe even the stressful situation).

The main thing is to make it a priority, even in the midst of a busy schedule with lots of other responsibilities.  I was talking about this with my sister last night and with her help, I’ve decided that I have to change up my “plans” during the winter, when the days are so short.  The main issue is getting home from work in enough time to take Sofi for a walk while it’s still light outside (because it’s still dark when I leave for work).  I have to also factor in getting more daily grading done. Because this year has been really tough on me in that area.  Having 3 honors classes (and the workload associated with them) is killing me, and by the time I get home I’m so mentally exhausted from the day, that the last thing I want to do is grade essays.  Which gets me behind, which stresses me out, and so on.  So, here’s what I’ve come up with.  It’s a very realistic, workable plan that will allow me to get everything I need to done and not feel like I’m letting any one area of my life slip.

  • On my “early” days:
    • 12:10-2pm: grading/planning
    • 2:30-3:30 gym time – elliptical or the bike for 45 minutes
    • 3:45-4:15 (or so) – walk Sofi
  • On my “late” days:
    • 2:25-3:00 (or so) – grading/planning
    • 3:30-4pm: walk Sofi
    • 4pm-5pm: workout DVDs/Wii
  • Saturday:
    • 10am: Zumba
    • 11:30-1pm: Clean the house
    • 2pm: Walk Sofi
  • Sunday:
    • “Rest” day
    • Walk Sofi
    • Grocery shop
    • Meal plan

My sister made me put in a set rest day, because as she pointed out, if I don’t, it’s way too easy for me to fall into the bad habit of just saying, “oh, I’m tired, today will be my rest day.”  And then continuing to do that for 3-4 days.

You’ll notice that the plan doesn’t have any of the classes that I love taking.  That’s because the ones that I can go to are in the evenings, and when I’m tired from working all week, and it’s dark outside, I am more than likely not going to be motivated enough to go out into the cold night and go to them.  If I decide to hit a class every now and then,  great, but I wanted to make a plan that would be very realistic for the way that I know my life is.

Since I won’t be going to my favorite classes on a regular basis, I want to make sure to fit them in these next two weeks, so here’s what I’ve come up with:

Monday, 12/19: 5:30pm – Zumba
Tuesday, 12/20: 10am – Yoga
Wednesday, 12/21: 6:30pm – Aqua Aerobics
Thursday, 12/22: 9am – Workout DVD/Wii  at home
Friday, 12/23: 10am – Yoga
Saturday, 12/24: 10am – Zumba

Monday, 12/26: 5:30pm – Workout DVD/Wii  at home
Tuesday, 12/27: 10am – Yoga
Wednesday, 12/28: 6:30pm – Aqua Aerobics
Thursday, 12/29: 9am – Workout DVD/Wii  at home
Friday, 12/30: 10am – Yoga
Saturday, 12/31: 10am – Zumba (w/Kim!)

I haven’t taken yoga at the gym before, but the teacher at 10am on Tuesdays/Fridays is my favorite Zumba teacher, and I’m sure she’ll make yoga just as fun.  She’s really good at giving directions and showing the moves, and that will be helpful in yoga, too. I’ve really enjoyed the bikram and yin yoga class I’ve taken at the studio, and since 24 Hour Fitness offers this yoga class as part of my membership, I might as well take advantage of it.  Yoga is a great de-stressor, and after the last month, I need all the help I can get in that area.  Look for a post about my thoughts on this yoga class later in the week.

This schedule works around plans that I’ve already made with friend, and I’ll make sure to work any new plans around this schedule. It’s just that important, and I want to look at my exercise time as MY time; a way for me to treat myself well and take care of myself.

Getting intense workouts in consistently is the final piece (and what has proven to be the most difficult aspect) of what it will take for me to lose the weight toward my goal(s).

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{Insert scratching record sound here}

Yesterday was a very bad day for me in terms of the HCG diet.  I was starving pretty much the entire day, and when I wasn’t so hungry that my stomach was almost sick, I felt really uncomfortable/constipated/full.  Not a nice combination.  Throughout the day I drank a ton of water, which was a great thing, but it didn’t seem to help the hunger very much or for very long.  Then I started to get sort of depressed, feeling as though there was nothing to look forward to at all.  At one point I even contemplated beginning to smoke again, but I quickly snapped myself out of that stupid thought.  When I got home I “cheated” by having 3 wasa crisps and a small handful of tomatoes.  Seriously?  It’s sad when less than 100 calories of healthy food is considered cheating.  And then I took the drops and 20 minutes later ate dinner and felt disgustingly full for about an hour or two.  And then I just lost my mind altogether and stopped by the drivethru on my way home from the play/film fest and got a double quarter pounder with cheese, fries and a diet coke.  Lovely.

The odd thing was that this morning when I got on the scale I was down another 2.4 pounds.  Maybe the McD’s hadn’t hit my system yet?  In any case, I had gone to bed last night feeling so lost and directionless.  I woke up this morning with a somewhat clearer head, but needed to talk a few things out with LC before I made any final decisions.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that I’m stopping the HCG – it was a desperate attempt to lose a ridiculous amount of weight way too quickly.  The biggest factor in my decision to stop is just the pure and simple fact that it made me feel miserable.  I was either starving or full/constipated, neither of which is a good feeling.  Not to mention that I was depressed and sort of felt like there was nothing to look forward to.  I know food shouldn’t be that big of a deal in my life, but let’s face it, part of life’s enjoyment is eating food that tastes good, and the food wasn’t tasting that good with HCG.  Not being able to use olive oil or most condiments (like Chaka’s MMMsauce, mustard, balsamic vinegar, etc.) made cooking so difficult. Or just the fact that the list of approved foods was so small and limited.  Why shouldn’t I be able to eat collard greens AND onions, for example? Plus the fact that I begged my sister not to tell my parents what I was doing because I didn’t want to worry them.  Any diet that is so controversial or potentially harmful that you have to hide it from your family is not a diet I should probably be doing, right?  And I never even mentioned the beauty restrictions – not using lotion (my poor, dry skin!!), not letting the conditioner sit on your hair (my poor, fried curls), not using liquid makeup (although that did help me rediscover my love of Bare Escentuals, so that’s not all bad). Some HCGers even avoid mascara because of the fear that any oils may be absorbed into the bloodstream.  Ok, now that’s just taking crazy diet to “a whole nother level,” isn’t it?

I’m sure that some of the diehard HCG people might say that I didn’t give it enough of a chance, since I only had two VLCDs, but my response to that would be that I’m smart enough, and know my body/mind/heart well enough, to know when to say ENOUGH!  So I’m out $60, but I feel like I’ve gained a huge amount of clarity and focus in the process, so it’s well worth the tradeoff.

I know that some of you are thinking that I’ve being quite manic lately.  I’m jumping from one “solution” to the next without really thinking about what I’m doing.  And I would agree. I’ve been feeling so desperate to just lose this weight and qualify for Lap Band surgery that I was willing to try almost anything, which is not a healthy mindset to take. I guess I needed to go through it to realize what I was doing and sort of reset myself and my priorities.

But I’ve come to my senses and figured out a plan that makes sense, and is healthy and satisfying:

  • Take a break today and tomorrow.  My body has been beaten and battered (figuratively), and I need to give it a chance to recover.  My “issues” haven’t really resolved themselves completely (in terms of the bathroom) and I need to just take it easy for the weekend.  So I’ll eat 3 full meals of real food.  I won’t go crazy or go into “last supper” mode, but just eat like a normal person would. For example, today’s menu plan includes:
    • Breakfast: 2 light string cheese, 2 wasa crisps, 1 cup strawberries, coffee
    • Lunch: 4 oz shrimp with fresh-squeezed lemon and garlic powder on a bed of fresh spinach, 2 wasa crisps, Tazo Passion iced tea (which I was thrilled to find out is caffeine free)
    • Dinner: fish soft tacos – grilled tilapia seasoned with Chaka’s MMM sauce, cabbage, tomatoes, on 1 flour tortilla, Tazo Passion iced tea (and maybe 1 glass of wine)
  • Beginning Monday, I’m going back on Medifast and using up the remaining food I have, which should last about 2-3 weeks.  It’s a lot easier because it requires little preparation for breakfast and lunch, and going into my final weeks of school that’s what I’m looking for.  Dinners will continue to be Lean & Green meals.  Calories per day = 800-900.
    • For those two/three weeks, the only exercise will be walking, as per Medifast guidelines.
  • Once the Medifast food is done, I’m going to start doing the South Beach Diet (SBD), Phase 1 for two weeks and then Phase 2 until I get to the goal weight.
    • Once I start SBD I’ll begin working out again.  Taking classes, elliptical, weight training, swimming, biking, and of course walking.

I know that I may not see a loss at first when I begin SBD because I’ll be eating more than 900 calories, but I’m not going to let that deter me.  I’m not going to jump ship and try some other weird fad diet.  SBD is basically the way the nutritionist at Kaiser recommended I eat to lose the weight (keeping it to 1200 calories), and it’s the way I’ll be eating after Lap Band surgery, too.

The interesting thing is that I began this blog 3 years ago following the SBD.  That’s where “Bella on The Beach” started.  So in many ways, this is coming full circle, although, I’ve learned so much about myself and my body/mind/spirit since that first blog entry.  In a cosmic sense, this seems like it is what’s meant to happen.

My mindset has changed for the better, too.  I no longer feel that the “by whatever means necessary/the ends justify the means” mode applies.  Yes, I’m going to do my best to lose as much weight as I can as quickly as I can, but I’m not going to kill myself.  I’ll get to the 266 goal in due time.  I’m done putting so much pressure on myself.  I’m not giving up by any means, but I just realized that I was starting to get a bit too obsessed.

I want to enjoy myself this summer as I lose weight.  I’m going to be getting Sofi, celebrating my 40th birthday, spending time with friends and family, and just living life.  I want the weight loss plan I’m following to be flexible enough to let the “real life” situations in.  Which means a glass or two of wine, or a Skinnygirl Margarita now and then.  It means riding bikes with my sister and my nieces to go get a frozen yogurt on a hot summer night.

It means the Lap Band surgery will happen when it’s meant to happen.  Hopefully it’s over the summer break, but if it’s not, so be it.  My principal has already given me her support and said it would be fine for me to have the surgery during the school year, knowing that I’d be taking 2 weeks off for recovery.  As much as I’d love to start the school year with the Lap Band in place, it may make more sense to have the surgery sometime in September, after school has started.  But like I said, whatever is meant to be.

As of today, with all of the off days, loading days, and VLCDs, I’ve lost 24 pounds.  I have 21 pounds to go.  I WILL get there.  I just need to remember that this is for better health, so it’s important to approach my weight loss efforts in the healthiest way possible, both mentally and physically. And I’m feeling very calm and confident in my decision, which lets me know it was the absolute right one to make.

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Today is the beginning of my 30-ish day journey on HCG.  The goal?  Lose 25 pounds (or more!) and reach the goal weight set up by Kaiser.  I did see quite a jump on the scale this morning compared to my last weigh in, but I know that’s just the “loading days” weight and it will quickly come off.

I have the feeling that I’m going to be writing several short blog posts in that time period.  First, to keep a record of how it’s going.  And then just to “keep busy” so that I’m doing things I enjoy rather than thinking about food.

That’s one of the things I hope to get out of this diet – less reliance on my love of food.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m ever going to stop enjoying food because it’s part of who I am.  Culturally, food is an important part of life, and that’s not going to change (nor would I want it to).  But what I can try to change is my dependence on food and the disordered eating I engage in.

Scale Warfare wrote a very poignant post yesterday that you should read if you have time.  In it she discuss her concerns about the Lap Band surgery, but also about her own view on food in general.  She used the term disordered eating, and that was so clear to me; it was as if I had written the post myself.  I’ve had a distorted view of food and its role in my life since middle school.  I’ve been a disordered eater since that time, which by no coincidence is when I started to have more independence regarding my access to food that my mom didn’t prepare for me (it was much easier to use some of my Christmas money to buy chips at 7-11 when I was able to walk or ride my bike there myself).  Since then my problem has ebbed and flowed, but the fact remains that no diet or surgery is going to “cure” me of disordered eating or a distorted view of food.

What HCG can help me with is putting food in a less important place in my life.  The protocol not only takes away physical hunger, but because of the major restriction in what types of foods I’m able to eat, it also limits the amount of time that I need to spend thinking about food.  Which is so freeing.  Because up to this point, even on Medifast, I am the type of person who is always thinking about my next meal.  Part of that is because I want to make sure I have a plan in place in order to stay on track with my weight loss, but the negative side of so much planning is that food is on my mind at all times while I’m awake.  I’m really hoping to break that cycle over the next 30 days, and I’m confident I can do it, because I know that it’s time to.

Which doesn’t mean that I’m going to enjoy cooking and eating food any less once I have Lap Band surgery and I’m in my “new life.”  It just means that I’ll be able to have a healthier relationship with food by then.  At least I’m hoping to.

But back to the diet.  So far this morning (it’s 11:04am) I haven’t had one single thing to eat and I’m not hungry at all.  Which means these drops are working!  Here’s what my day looks like:

Morningonly black coffee, sweetened with Stevia.  This is different for me, because usually I have sugar free hazelnut Coffeemate in my coffee.  Breaking my dependence on that chemically-laden non-dairy creamer is going to be a huge side benefit of this HCG protocol.

Lunch – spinach with 100 grams (3.5 oz) of steamed chicken breast, 2 melba snacks, and an apple.    I am so happy that I know about the Ziploc Zip ‘n’ Steam bags, because cooking the chicken breasts was so simple and easy last night.  I just popped it in the bag and 3 minutes later I had lunch.  I was surprised by how little 100 grams of meat really is.  It’s less than half of a chicken breast fillet (which is already smaller than a normal chicken breast).  Since spices and vinegar are “free,” my dressing for the salad will be pure red wine vinegar along with  garlic powder and fresh-ground pepper. Not very exciting, but not terrible.

Dinner100 grams of grilled tri-tip steak, a “handful” of strawberries, 2 melba round snacks, and collard greens. The protocol directions stress that it’s important to vary the protein, veg, and fruit so that you’re not eating the same thing for both meals of the day.  

Throughout the day I’ll be drinking tons of water to help stave off hunger (and stay hydrated).  Since I’m not able to use Crystal Light (too many chemicals) and plain water can get boring, I decided to add two Tazo tea bags to my water container last night.  I filled it with ice cubes and water and then added 2 stevia packets.  I just tasted it and it is delicious!  Another “discovery” that will help me curb my use of artificial products.

The drops themselves are taken 3 times a day, with nothing to eat/drink 20 min. prior to taking drops, and nothing to eat/drink 20 min. after taking the drops.  You take the drops sublingually (under the tongue) and are supposed to keep them there for about 30 seconds before swallowing.  They’re tasteless, which is good.  I’m very thankful that they’re not bitter or otherwise bad-tasting.  The main thing is, they’re working.

I just realized that the portions that I’ll be consuming on HCG will be more in line with the way I’ll be eating after surgery (although I think post- surgery calories are around 1000-1200).  Knowing that makes me feel that this really is meant to be because it will fit right in line with my new life.

I’m not sure that I’ll be writing daily posts, but when I do, I will include my food log.  Not because I want to emphasize the food (because I just wrote 800 words all about how I don’t want food to be the center of my life anymore), but just so that I can have a public record of it.

So far, so good on VLCD 1.  This might just work.

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Right now I’m stuck in a sort of Limbo – I’m not fully committed to Medifast anymore, but I’m not quite on the HCG protocol either.  Until those drops arrive I’m sort of in this strange in-between place where I feel sort of free and lost, all at the same time.

I can eat whatever I want, which is very freeing, but when I try to meal plan, I’m drawing a blank.  I feel like every choice is “cheating,” and even though I know that’s not true, it’s strange.  After following Medifast strictly for 3 1/2 months, it’s sort of hard to think that it’s ok to have fruit and some carbs again. And then there’s the other side of my brain telling me that I “deserve to live a little” and I should have pizza and fast food, since it’s been so long.  I just keep telling that fat girl side that the loading days are coming, and until then, I’m sticking to healthy choices.

And that’s just it.  I’m going to look at this little Limbo period as a dress rehearsal for the rest of my life.  Sure, once I have the LapBand surgery, I’ll be eating much smaller portions, but I can still pretend that I’m at my goal weight and now that I’m just living life.  I’m going to buy the healthy foods that I love that I haven’t been allowed in a while, like berries and brown rice.  And I think I may even get a bottle of SkinnyGirl Margarita, which I’ve been dying to try,  because it’s the weekend and the weather is gorgeous and it’s time to relax and enjoy.

And Limbo isn’t going to be just about the food choices I make – I’m going to make sure to get in the activities I love, too.  I want to take some long walks outside in the fresh air, a bike ride on the beach cruiser, and also a class at the gym or two.  I enjoy being active, and since I know HCG, like Medifast, doesn’t recommend “high-intensity” workouts (anything over long walks), I’m going to take advantage of this time to get in some satisfying, calorie-burning workouts.

So really, this Limbo time is something that I’m going to take full advantage of.   I’m going to make great choices, live life, and just enjoy each moment.  I’m really looking forward to it!

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It’s good to be back this week. As you guys remember, last week I didn’t write a weigh-in post because I was having issues and the scale was way, way up. Looking back, I sort of wish I would’ve just snapped a quick photo, so that I had an official record of it. I will tell you that the scale was up to 289.8 last week, so I’d “gained” almost 9 pounds because of the situation.

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Tina, new mauve toes, just for you. :)

Which means I lost 6 lbs this week, for a total loss of 27.2 pounds in 14 weeks.  Now normally I’d be jumping for joy with a 6 pound loss, but due to the circumstances, I’m sort of bummed because in actuality, I’m up 2 pounds.  I know that it wasn’t really under my control, but damn if it isn’t frustrating to spin my wheels like this.  I know that this is another week and another opportunity for success, so my outlook is positive, but I have decided that it’s time for a few changes.

One thing I’ve learned in this weight loss journey is that I need to shake things up from time to time.  It helps me, mentally and physically if I don’t get too complacent or to “used to” doing something.  You’ll notice in the title of this blog post that I’ve removed the “Medifast” from it.  That’s because I’m going to try something new in about a week or so.

I’ve said this a million times before, but my main mini goal right now is to lose ~50 lbs so that I can meet the requirements Kaiser’s bariatric surgery team has set forth for me.  I’m single-minded in this goal.  I’ve sacrificed and restricted my diet in order to reach this goal.  And I’m a little over halfway there.  In 3 1/2 months.  And I don’t want it to take another 3 1/2 months to lose the other 25 pounds.  Time is of the essence because I want to make sure I have the surgery in the summer, to avoid missing time from work.

So, I’m going to begin a somewhat controversial method of quick weight loss.  I’ve done a ton of research about it, and while it may or not work for long term success, I’m willing to give it a try in the short term to reach the mini goal.  Ends justify the means, and all of that.

I’ve decided to begin HCG drops.  If all goes as it should, I will be able to lose around 25-30 pounds in a month. I’ve come to this decision for a variety of reasons:

  1. I’m getting burnt out on Medifast.  I’m just tired of the food, tired of the routine, tired of it altogether.
  2. Medifast costs about $300/month, plus the cost of the food I’m eating for my Lean & Green meal.  It’s expensive.  HCG costs $60 for a 30-40 day supply.  The only other costs will be the food, which can be done inexpensively.  Chicken, beef, apples, and spinach aren’t wildly expensive.
  3. It’s faster.  I can lose the 25-30 pounds in 30 days as opposed to 105 days on Medifast.
  4. Variety is the spice of life and it’s time to switch things up.

The diet is very simple and very restrictive, but I’m used to restrictive.  Basically, I begin Phase 1 by taking 10 drops of HCG a day and having two “loading” days where I eat as much fattening food as possible without getting ill.  The whole point of the HCG protocol is to reset the metabolism. It sounds strange, but apparently the body needs a major calorie boost in order to feel the “shock” of the next part of the diet and then reset itself.  Phase 2, aka VeryLowCalorieDays (VLCD), is where I take 10 drops of HCG, drink a ton of water, and eat 500 calories of very specific foods for 21-40 days.  Here’s how the Phase 2 meal plan works:

Breakfast: Tea or coffee in any quantity without sugar. Only one tablespoonful of milk allowed in 24 hours. Only Saccharin (Sweet ‘n’ Low) or stevia may be used for sweetener.

Lunch:(choose one item from each of the following categories)
  • 3.5 oz (or 100 grams) of veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab, or shrimp. All visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking, and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without additional fat (no butter or oil). Salmon, eel, herring, dried or pickled fish are not allowed. The chicken breast must be off the bone.
  • One type of vegetable only to be chosen from the following: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage.
  • One grissini breadstick, one Melba toast, or 2 Melba “snacks” (original, garlic, whole grain, or sesame flavored)
  • An apple or a handful of strawberries or one-half grapefruit or one orange.
Dinner: The same four choices as lunch. (for best results choose a different food item for lunch and dinner, ex: if you had chicken for lunch, choose fish or steak for dinner. If you had an apple for lunch choose strawberries or an orange for dinner, same for the veg.)

Is it something that I could do for a long period of time?  No, probably not.  Is it something I can do for 30 days?  Absolutely.  The risks outweigh the rewards, in my opinion.

Phase 3 is considered a “maintenance” phase where you eat “anything you’d like except starches and sugars, but the amount that is eaten is controlled by your morning weight” for about 6 weeks.  In other words, it’s low carb.  The calories per day increase to about 1500, and you begin eating 3 meals a day.  All of which would work for me in the 6-week period I have to wait between qualifying for surgery and actually having it done.

I’ve followed several people on YouTube who have been using the HHCG (Homeopathic HCG, as opposed to the injection of HCG), and they have been successful.  They followed it EXACTLY, and that’s what I will do, too.  In a lot of ways this is going to be easier than Medifast because instead of eating 5 meal replacements, I’ll be eating real food.  Not a ton of it, but still, real food as opposed to puffs and pretzels and bars.  I’m actually looking forward to it.

Some people feel that the HHCG is pure placebo and that anyone would lose weight eating only 500 calories a day.  And that’s may be true.  But it’s still worth a shot.  And if it is real and it does work in the short term (because that’s all I need it for), perfect.  And if it doesn’t work, then I go back to Medifast.

I ordered the drops today, and once they arrive I’ll begin.  And of course I’ll keep you updated on my progress along the way.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

You know how they say that no one knows your body better than you do?  It’s so true! At least, that’s become the case for me, now that I’ve been dieting for years and know what works for me and my own unique  body chemistry. This fact has been proven time and again to me over the past few weeks.
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You may have noticed a lack of posts about my “adventures in fitness” lately.  Some of you may have figured that I’ve just been doing the same old routines, so there was nothing new to report.  Others of you might have guessed that I was focusing on food.  The truth is, I haven’t been doing any activity for the past 9 weeks, other than walking my sister’s dog.

Now before you get up in arms and tell me the importance of exercise in combination with a sensible food plan, let me explain.  There is most definitely a method to my madness.  You see, before I started Medifast I was really on a roll with working out, and especially going to the group exercises classes, although I’d throw in a bit of weight training into the routine, too.  I enjoy those activities, especially if I have the time for them.  I know all about how important it is to make this a lifestyle and not just a “diet.”

Then I decided to start Medifast as a means to an end; the end being that I need to get to a certain weight in order to qualify for Lap Band surgery.  Medifast is a diet, pure and simple.  It is not (for me) a lifestyle.  I’ve done it before and gained all the weight I lost back and then some. But I know that if I follow it strictly and only eat the 5 meal replacements and the 1 Lean & Green meal, I will lose weight.

What I have also learned over the past 11 weeks is that when I exercise, my body holds onto the weight.  As counter-intuitive as that may sound, it’s true.  For me.  At least in the short term, and that’s what I’m focusing on right now – getting those 45 pounds off.

When I started Medifast 11 weeks ago, I was going to the gym and working out in addition to taking Lulu (at the time) and Minnie on walks.  I wasn’t working out excessively, but I was active.  And after the first week (when I dropped 10 lbs!) I didn’t lose as much weight as I could have, due in part to my body holding on to the weight.

In all the years that I’ve been trying to lose weight, I’ve noticed the distinct pattern that I don’t lose as much when I work out.  At least at first.  When I was working with a trainer it was even more true.  I wouldn’t lose very much, if any, weight when I worked out hard.  It was like my body was holding it for some reason. And perhaps eventually I would lose the weight once my body regulated, but by that time I would become so frustrated that I would go off my meal plan and then have to start over again.

And so I have stopped working out at the gym.  For now.  And it’s working for me, in the short term. But I do miss exercising at the gym.  I loved taking those group exercise classes, and I’m looking forward to continuing them.  My plan is that once I get the Lap Band in, I’ll start working out again.  At that point there won’t be the same sense of urgency to lose weight that I feel right now.  The Lap Band will be in place and that will be my life.  For the rest of my life.  And at that point I won’t care if it takes me 2 years to lose the rest of the weight, because I know that it will come off and stay off.  (The staying off part is why I’m getting the Lap Band.  I can lose weight, but I have never, ever been able to keep it off.  The Lab Band is the tool for me to finally be able to do that).

I was talking to my mom about all of this the other day and she reminded me of something that I’d forgotten.  In 6th grade I went on my first diet, Diet Center.  In addition to following their meal plan (which included snacks that looked more like rabbit poop), they told us we should exercise.  And so my parents bought a mini trampoline for us to jump on, thinking it would be more fun than just doing jumping jacks.  I spent lots of time that summer using the trampoline and riding my bike.  And then we’d go to the center and weigh in and I would hardly lose any weight and I’d be so frustrated that I would start crying.  My mom said that she knew I had followed everything to a T because she was home and knew what I was eating. So even back then it was difficult for me to lose weight, especially with exercise. I had completely forgotten about the trampoline and the crying until my mom reminded me of it.  It offers me some comfort to know that this has always been the way my body operates.

This point was driven home even more this morning.  As you know, I decided to eat in moderation at my family’s Easter brunch on Sunday.  I didn’t eat large portions, but I did have a bit of everything, including carb-heavy potatoes and fruit.  And just as I thought it would, the scale showed it the next day when I was “up” several pounds.  So in an effort to curb the effects of the carbs, yesterday afternoon I went to the gym and worked out on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes.  And as if I had written the script myself, this morning the scale was up even more than it was on Monday.  Because I had worked out.

So while I know that exercise is important, and I plan to eventually get back to exercising, for now I need to do what works. Which also means no more straying from the Medifast plan, no matter what holiday there is.  It’s just not worth it, because going off the plan puts me behind.

And I just don’t have time to wait for my body  to accept the workouts.  I want to get the Lap Band done and begin the rest of my life.  To some of you that my be faulty thinking, but for me it makes sense.  And since this is my journey, it’s my choice.  For now.

I have a feeling there are going to be plenty of opinions/comments on today’s post, but I’m ready for ‘em.  ;)

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday (evening), Everyone!

A quick note before I get to the main topic: I always try to have my posts up in the morning so that more of you get a chance to read them, but I’m sorry to say that for the next 7 weeks or so I’m not going to be able to do that.  On the days that I don’t have a prep period AND I’m teaching the extra class after school from 3-5pm, I won’t be able to get a post up until the late afternoon early evening.  (Unless I’m really on top of things and write the post on Monday evening, but I have a feeling THAT won’t happen too often).  It’s not a big deal, but I wanted to make sure that everyone knew why my posts were a bit later than normal.

So I thought a timely topic for today (like that alliteration?  That happened without even trying!) would be how I’m planning to handle eating on Easter.  Easter isn’t one of the food holidays that I really worry about, unlike say Christmas, but it is a holiday that my family and I gather around a table for, so it does bring up some concern, especially in terms of weight loss.

For the last several years my family and I have been having an Easter brunch at my parents’ house.  Usually we have some sort of egg, sausage, cheese, & potato casserole along with a baked ham, a fruit salad, and french toast.  My mom’s holiday menus are always packed with food, that’s for sure.

The other day my mom asked me how I was going to handle all the food on Easter since I was doing Medifast.  I thought it was really supportive of her to ask, and I appreciated the fact that she wanted to make sure I had some sort of plan in place.

I figured I could  go one of two ways:

  1. Make myself a green salad or some other veggie and eat it along with the ham.        OR…
  2. Enjoy small portions of most of the food without guilt.

I’m planning on option #2, which may surprise some of you.  But here’s my thought process:

  • I’ve been sticking to “strict Medifast” for almost a week, seeing great success.  There’s no way that I’m going to let one day of eating anything throw me off my game.
  • Easter is the only holiday from now through the beginning of July where eating will be an issue.  If I am invited to a bbq for Memorial Day, that’s an easy one to work into my Lean &  Green plan.
  • Because of this, I want to enjoy the food for this holiday; I’m not going to be distracted by anything else in the next 2-3 months.
  • We’re not talking about any overly caloric food here:
    • I’m going to avoid the french toast, because that doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value.
    • I’m going to eat the fruit salad even though it has carbs because I’ve been craving fruit.  In fact, I told my mom I’d make it.  I’m planning on doing all berries – strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.  Nothing else on it but a bit of Truvia.
    • The egg, sausage, potato, and cheese casserole might be a bit heavier than I would normally eat (because of the potatoes), but it’s all good food.  My mom doesn’t use a lot of fat when she cooks anyway, so I know she won’t be using tons of oil/butter to prepare it.
    • Ham is perfectly lean and acceptable.
  • I can control my portions.  As I saw when I had my mishap last week, my stomach has shrunk in the last 10 weeks – both in terms of the way my clothes fit and in the amount of food I can comfortably consume.
  • I will eat Medifast meals the rest of the day, as needed.  And come Monday morning, I’ll be right back on to my normal 5 and 1 plan.

I’m comfortable with this decision because it makes sense to me.  I’m not worried about going overboard and overeating because I know I won’t.  I’ll just enjoy a lovely brunch with my family and have a good time eating “normally” for the day.

In many ways I’m going to approach Sunday as if I already have the Lap Band in – protein first, small portions and small bites, and stop before I feel full. I think the key is moderation and being a bit stricter the rest of the week.  Treating the day as just that – one day, and in fact ONE MEAL – and not an excuse to go completely off plan.

What’s your plan for Easter Eating?  Will you give yourself the day off or will you be following your weight loss plan?

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I’ve been making videos on YouTube infrequently for the last 10 months or so in order to document my journey to Lap Band Land.  I also thought that the videos would be good for anyone else who was using Kaiser to have their surgery.  I hadn’t found much information about Kaiser and Lap Band on YouTube, and it would’ve been helpful for me, so I figured it would be nice for me to make the videos and pay it forward to someone else.

With that said, it had been over 2 months between videos.  Life got hectic, stuff happened, and I’d much rather write on this blog than make videos.  Anyway, one thing that struck me was that I’d lost quite a bit of weight in between videos.  So I did a quick screen capture of each one, and I definitely see a difference.

Taken February 5th, at 311 lbs:

 

April 10th, at 286 lbs:

I can see my dimples a lot better in the second shot, and my double chin is smaller.  Also, my face just looks less puffy than it did in the first shot.

What do you think? Can you see the 25-pound weight loss between the two images?

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It’s hard to believe that my life has been changed so dramatically in one week’s time, but it has. As I mentioned yesterday, even though this past week was one of the worst in my life, I stayed on plan. That in itself is a major NSV, but today it’s time to celebrate some victories ON the scale.

Which means I lost 3 lbs this week, for a total weight loss of 22.6 pounds in 7 weeks. Woot!

Today is also Day 30 of my quest for the #30daychip! With great results on the scale like this, plus a sunny forecast outside, I know today is going to be a good day.

So I’ve officially hit the 20+ pound lost weight loss milestone! And I have my 10% (-31 lbs) in my sights. This also marks the halfway point towards the 45 pounds needed to qualify for the lap band surgery. And it can’t come soon enough.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy  Tuesday, everyone!! It’s a thrill to know that I’ve almost (like 0.6 lbs away) earned this new badge.  :)  My official weigh-in day is tomorrow, so check back then to see exactly how much I’ve lost in 6 weeks.

As I mentioned on Sunday, it’s now officially the spring season, yet the weather forecast for my area is rain, rain, and more rain all week.  And not just a little drizzle, but huge downpours.  It  can be depressing, especially when we’re all ready for the sunny, warmer weather.

But just as “all clouds have a silver lining,” all rainy days eventually lead to sun, and that was true yesterday when I look Lulu on a walk during a break in the weather.  It was actually a really long break, and the sun shone brightly.  It was so nice to feel the warmth after a cold, rainy day that I took a few photos.  Walking along and noticing all the beauty around me made me feel so lucky to be in that moment.  I wasn’t worried about what the weather would be like later, I just wanted to enjoy the sunshine and the walk.

A sure sign of spring if I've ever seen one.

Cala Lillies are one of my favorite flowers, and they're so prolific this time of year.

And sometimes all you need in order to lift your spirits is to simply look up.

Living in the moment and enjoying the here and now has never come easily to me.  I’m a planner, as you may have guessed.  I like having a goal to strive towards, and I’m always looking at how I can improve my life/myself.  The risk in looking too far ahead is that I miss all the joy that I have NOW.  So this has been something I have been working on for a couple of years now.  And I have written before about how much better I’ve become at enjoying today once Lulu came into my life.  Dogs just force you to enjoy the moment, because that’s how they live.  And it’s been great.

Lately I’ve been trying to apply this “live in the moment” philosophy to my weight loss journey.  Of course I have an overall goal – losing over 150 pounds.  And I also have a short term goal – losing the 45 pounds necessary to qualify for surgery (less than 25 lbs to go!).  In between those two, I have all the weight loss milestones that will come my way.

But today, right now, I want to appreciate all that I’ve done up to this point.

  • I’ve lost over 20 lbs in 6 weeks.
  • I’m feeling lighter in my own  skin.
  • I’m on Day 22 of my #30daychip challenge.
  • My clothes are fitting looser.
  • I can notice my face getting thinner.

And because of all of this, I’m taking more time to put outfits together.  I’m having fun exploring my closet and pulling out garments that have been too tight for too long.  It’s fun to figure out each day’s “look” now that I have a little less of me to work with.  ;)

Today’s Outfit:

Sorry for the bad lighting, it was early in the morning when I took this.

A closer shot, to show the colors.

This pride in TODAY isn’t going unnoticed by others; many people are commenting on my outfits, happiness, and my overall attitude.  I’m usually positive, but they’re picking up on what I’m feeling – pride in this moment.  Pride that I am accomplishing what I set out to do.  Pride that I can stick to a goal and not become distracted by temptations.

I’m trying not to concern myself with how long it will take to lose the remaining weight.  Or how soon I’ll be able to get the Lap Band surgery.  I’m focusing my efforts on today, Day 22.  And before I know it, I’ll have accomplished each and every goal I intended.  I know this just as assuredly as I know my own name.

I have a clarity that I haven’t felt for so long, and that’s amazing!

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