Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflection before the New Year

Laying in bed last night I started to reflect on all that I have done and gone through these past few years...

And I wonder...and think about...

Why was I so successful at losing the weight and keeping it off when others struggle?
Why do some people who struggle with weight all their life (like I did) have to undergo bariatric surgery to have successful weight loss?

Is it because I overhauled my diet?
Is it because I started exercising slowly and worked my way into more strenuous exercise?
Was it because of the Healthe Trim supplement that kicked off my metabolism and curbed my appetite?
Was it because I controlled my portion sizes?
Was it because I didnt deprive myself of the food that I wanted and craved?

Or was it simply because once I saw results, I was determined to get to my goal?

I always could lose weight- but I never kept it off. And when I gained it back, it was always the weight I lost plus some. And I always dieted because I was always doing it for someone else. Either for my family who thought I was getting overweight and was worried about my health, or for my doctor for the same reason. This time it was a whole different trigger. It was me. I saw my picture with my eyes wide open and didnt recognize myself in the picture.

"They" say that you have a self-image and even though I was a size 24, I saw myself as a size 14 when I looked in the mirror. It wasnt until my sisters baby shower pictures that my eyes were opened as I stood next to my sister and my cousin who were both pregnant and I matched them in size and shape.

"They" say everything happens for a reason. Maybe my reason for being successful at weight loss without having surgery is to help others see that it is possible too.

Things to think about....

Happy New Year!

*Tip of the day: I bought some organic cold ground flax seed oil and added it to my smoothies that I have been making. It was tasteless and is a great source of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is the one fat that has been found to help break down belly fat. It is also great for your coronary arteries.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Overhauling the diet...again

When I first started trying to lose weight, I found an excellent app for my phone to use as a guideline and tracker to what I ate: how many calories, fat grams, protein, sugar, carbs, etc were consumed each day. It was free and I still use it. I mentioned it before in a previous blog, but in case you missed it, it is called My Fitness Pal. As a perk, you can also add exercise types done each day and it will keep track of the calories burned. I learned a LOT about food that way. You just scan the UPC of what you are going to eat and it automatically keeps track of the totals each day. You can also enter and save your own recipes that you use frequently or do a search of the online database to find the food you are going to eat.

A funny thing happened when I started using it regularly...I started reading labels at the store. Looking for low fat, low cal, low sodium and high protein foods. My diet subsequently changed for the better. I was always looking to stay at the recommended dietary numbers for the day.

I also started planning my meals. Pre-entering the food I was going to eat for the day so I could make sure I had enough calories available.

Lunch for me became a whole wheat english muffin with either almond butter or peanut butter, 2 hard boiled eggs (great source of protein!), some veggies like baby carrots and hot tea with honey.

Snack became nuts (like almonds) or low fat popcorn or dried fruit like cranberries.

Dinner was whatever I was cooking for the family...spaghetti, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup...but I started buying whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread and the healthier options of groceries.

One thing I have to mention- I never deprived myself. If I wanted lasagna with oozing cheese, I ate it. If I wanted a cookie, I ate it. It was all about moderation for me. I feel that if you deprive yourself, you are only going to want it worse and you wont be successful in keeping your weight off.

When I had my assessment recently at the gym, I had to write down a typical daily menu. My trainer noticed that I havent been eating breakfast. I told him it was because when I got up in the morning, I took Healthe Trim. After that, you need to wait 2-3 hours to eat and with the appetite suppression from the pills and getting busy with the kids, by the time I got hungry it was lunch.

He then gave me this example and suggested that to get body results I want, I should overhaul how much and how frequently I eat:

When a bear gets up in the morning what does it do? It goes and catches fish and gorges itself for the day. What kind of animal is a bear? It is a huge animal. Lots of bulk. Typically pretty slow moving.

What does a Gazelle do? It grazes all day...What kind of animal is it? Powerful and lean and fast.

This was kind of a reality check for me. You always hear that you should eat 5-6 smaller meals a day. "Yeah yeah" I would say...It never really made sense until Eric put it that way to me. 3 fist sized meals with 2 snacks between is what he suggested.

So today I trekked out with the kids to Meijer to get supplies for my diet overhaul. I picked up one of my favorite snacks: Emerald cocoa roasted almonds. A great source of protein and gives me the chocolate that I sometimes crave.

I found a recipe on Pinterest for a "shrek" shake. It is supposed to help your hair, skin and also help you lose weight. It is fresh spinach, banana, frozen mango and frozen peaches. It gets its name because the spinach turned the shake bright green! I plan on having one of those for breakfast. Its also a great way to sneak spinach to the kids too. They love the shake!

I also picked up flaxseed oil to add to some of the Flat Belly shake recipes I found.

I am going to try really hard to graze instead of eating just 2 meals a day and also incorporate breakfast back into my daily routine. I will be very interested to see if it impacts my toning and weight loss goals. My trainer seemed to think it will. We want to keep my metabolism going to eventually get me completely off the Healthe Trim.

So in ending todays blog entry, I decided that I want to try to include fun tips, tricks and recipes I find along the way...

Shrek Shake-
1-2 bananas
1/2 cp frozen mangos
1/2 cp frozen peaches
approx. 2 handfuls fresh spinach
water (just a smidge to help it blend)
ice (if desired)

Really yummy and really filling. I have a small "Bullet" blender so I used 1 banana, 1 handful of spinach, 4 pcs mango and 4 pcs of peach. ENJOY!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Starting Statistics

Recently I had the opportunity to have a Personal Profile done at the gym. I thought I would post the results on here so I have something to compare them to at the end of the 6 months. Now one thing I have to add here is that the scheduling of my assessment was messed up. Generally you have the profile done prior to working out so the fitness trainer can take your blood pressure and resting heart rate. Mine was done after working out for approximately 2.5 hrs. Ha ha. SO the results are not 100% accurate.

Blood Pressure:
125/72 mmHg is in the Acceptable range, however, it is not within the ideal range.
*Mine was elevated due to having just worked out about 15 min prior, so this is not my true blood pressure.

Bicep Strength:
This was taken by pulling a handle that was attached to a scale. You were to pull as hard as you could. At the beginning I didnt, and my trainer knew I was holding back. Ha. I finished by pulling as hard as I could without affecting my posture. It ranked me at 51 lbs which falls in the Average category of 37-56 lbs.

Flexibility: This was measured by sitting on the ground with my feet straight in front of me. I was given a handle on a string (think row machine) and asked to lean as far over as possible. My sit and reach measurement was assessed at 16.6 inches. This falls into the Good category of 15.9-16.7 in. I missed the excellent category by .10 of an inch!

Body Composition:
Standing on a scale. Usually this takes into account your resting heart rate and your blood pressure. Because my blood pressure was a little high from exercising and because we didnt take my resting heart rate, this measurement is probably a little off too but it is a good starting point.

Total Body water: 84lbs, 49.1%, 38.1 Liters
Fat: 55.9 lbs, 32.7%

Body weight: 171 lbs
Lean body mass: 115.1 lbs
Fat mass: 55.9 lbs
Basal Metabolic Rate: 1631

The basal metabolic rate is the number of calories your lean tissue uses each day.

The percentage of fat (32.7%) has me fall into the high catagory of 29.1-34.0. Reducing my body fat to the good range of 19.1-24.0 percent will reduce my weight to 142.3-151.6 lbs.

HOWEVER, my trainer told me (and this was a no duh to me) that this may not be accurate. This measurement really doesnt take into account body type. 151 lbs may make me look too skinny. It is just a computer measurement that is good to refer back to.

Body Age:
My body age is 36 compared to my chronological age of 33. Body age is calculated from the results of my assessment and how I compare with others of my same age and sex. Ideally, Body Age should be at least the same as my chronological age. My obtainable body age is what I can realistically reach with a well rounded wellness program.

My obtainable body age is 26.

The following are the ways that I can lower my body age to my obtainable body age:
  • Improving my body composition from 32.7% to 24.09% will imporve my body age by 6 years
  • Lowering my systolic blood pressure from 125 to below 120 will improve my body age by 1 year
  • improving my strength ranking from average to excellent will improve my body age by 2 years
  • improving my flexibility ranking from good to excellent will improve my body age by 1 year

My trainer suggested to me that next time I go to Meijer that I take my blood pressure in one of the free machines so that we can have an accurate measurement.

Also, we both said that we would have loved to have had this assessment before I lost the initial 100 lbs. Just to see the improvement. It would have been very interesting!

My plan is in June to have another assessment done to see what (if any) improvements have been made. It will be another indicator to go along with photographic evidence...Ha.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Here goes nothing...

After quite a journey thus far of weight loss, I have had so many people ask me how I have lost 100 lbs, what I am eating, what exercise I am doing, etc that I decided that it would be best to chronicle my newest venture in a blog.

A bit about me and my previous experience...

August 2010 I threw my sister a baby shower and after seeing the pictures, it looked like I was the one that was pregnant. After having two kids and reaching my highest weight of 268, I decided enough was enough and I wasn't willing to live the rest of my life overweight.

I started off have to when you are that weight...I heard about a supplement on the radio (Healthe Trim) and ordered it. It had a 30 day money back guarantee and Mojo in the Morning had success with it so I thought "what do I have to lose?" Also, I ordered the Zumba dvds off of the television infomercial. I figured if I could make working out fun, I would stick with it and my mother in law Andi was a huge fan of Zumba. Another helpful tool was "My fitness pal" app that I got for my phone. I could track what I ate, my exercising, and my weight loss.

I cut out alcohol (except wine) and pop and caffeine. I didnt want the empty calories from the alcohol and the healthy trim supplement requires that you stop the artificial sweeteners and caffeine in order for it to work.

9 months later (that April) after adding running into the routine, I was 100 lbs lighter! It was something I never thought was possible! I went from a size 24 to a size 8. For the first time, I weighed less than my husband and could fit into his jeans.

Now I move to my new goal of avoiding a tummy tuck. I have a lot of excess skin from the weight loss in my stomach and thighs and it itches constantly. I looked into having a tummy tuck done and actually scheduled the surgery for Jan 19th, 2012, but financially I just didnt want to put us in a bind. SO I am going back to the old fashioned way and have set a New Years goal of toning and tightening my body as best as I can by June- the start of swimsuit season. The hard part of losing the weight is done. Now is the fun part of working out with friends.

This blog is to help track my progress, keep me on track and to help provide a guide for those who are curious as to what I did. Also it will provide me with photographic timeline of the progress I make.

Thanks for following along! The three pictures of me in my swimsuit are my new "beginning" photos. Also I posted a picture of me at my sisters baby shower. The photo that started it all!