Friday, December 14, 2007

I need a better pick-me-up

I've been feeling on the down and hopeless side since my weigh-in, I'm really trying to fight this feeling of disappointment but it doesn't help that alot of things in life right now seem to be going wrong. I need a pick-me-up but I just can't think of anything exciting to do or get that I have time for or that I can afford.

Books usually do it for me but I'm already 3 days late in handing in my research review paper I really don't need the distraction of a book right now (finished the fear and loathing book). I haven't been in the mood to socialize or hang out except with my best friend whose having a worse time than me right now with her killer first semester of grad school. I'd like to have a spa day or at least get a massage for my aching body but I know I shouldn't spend that kind of money-I already have to buy a couple of graduation gifts.

So I resorted to the easy and dangerous comforting thing to do the last 2 nights, pigging out. I haven't had an all out binge fest or anything. The night of my weigh-in I hate half of a cheeseburger (it was a big burger) and some jack in the box macaroni bites. Last night I gave into to some fritos and rice with fried potatos (my mom's cooking), then a mini twix bar. This is all post-dinner. My mom has been noticing my pigging out lately and hasn't spared me of her comments "aren't you on a diet or something?"

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

1 pound down, Reavaluating goals

I kicked my ass this week and the scale went down a pound. I don't feel bloated and I don't think I put on muscle mass because I've just been doing cardio (occasional situps). I was looking at my chart today at the clinic and have realized that I've been in the 160s for the past 2 and a half months, the lowest being 164 (166 today). I think it's safe to say that after 25 pounds lost I'm going through my plateau stage; I'd like to think I've been making alot of changes the past couple of weeks, but I'm still stuck in place.

I vented this to the counselor and she suggested that I should think about doing the NO-NO diet for one week which is something they recommend to clients at the plateau. It's pretty much not eat carbs for a week. Sometimes it takes something that drastic to "shock" my body and get things moving again. She wasn't being pushy about it and said it's completely up to me if I feel like I'm up for something like this. I need some advice, what did you guys to get out of your plateau (if you have had one)?

As I was staring at the weight ticker I realized that perhaps I was not realistic in setting my goal weight to be 105 which is a weight I reached when I went on a summer starvation diet when I was 16. I think I would be more than happy to be 115 and considering I'm 5"1 it is a realistic goal to reach. So instead of staring at 61 lbs to lose I can stare at 51 lbs to lose, sounds so much better!

Monday, December 10, 2007

I feel good!

This is a random post about nothing in particular except to say that I'm feeling good! My weigh-in is wednesday at 11 AM and although I know it's not great to obsess about the numbers it's still a "rough" way to assess my progress. Last month I had a net loss of zero on the scale so no matter how you feel about "the numbers" that just can't be a good thing. Water and muscle weight can't account for weekly discrepancies but not an entire month! That means I have to step it up.

Actually the month before I belive I even put on 2 pounds. Thus it's safe to say I'm going through my plateau stage. December is going to be different, I'll make sure of that because it IS in my control!

I've been doing great with the gym, I've gone 3 out of the 5 days thus far (since my last weigh-in) and the two days I missed were planned missed days so that I can allocate more time to work on my research edits (due tomorrow). I've been eating alot better, yesterday I bought this amazing turkey-apple-brie wrap from the fresh market and ate half of it for lunch-I ate the other half this morning for breakfast. I'm trying to get as many raw fruits and veggies in my day as possible. I've eaten quite a few tomatos, cucumbers, and apples and you know what, I actually like them! Especially fat dark green cucumbers when they're really crunchy. Keep in mind this is coming from a fast food junkie.

I admit it hasn't been a perfect week, but honestly what week has been perfect? It's all part of the challenge, the little mistakes here and there just give you more room for improvement and kinda keeps things fun anyway. I've been taking littles bites here and there well after 8 PM. I've also been getting more servings of carbs than I would like to. That just gives me something else to improve next week!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My current workout playlist!

In random order here's my preferred gym playlist at the moment:

1) Two Step (remix version)-DJ UNK
2) Living on a prayer - Bon Jovi
3) Tipsy - J-Kwon
4) Shot Through the Heart - Bon Jovi
5) Hanging by a Moment - Lifehouse
6) Bombs over Baghdad - Outkast + Rage against the machine
7) Encore (remix) - Linkin Park + Jay Z
8) Shake Shake - Pitbull
9) Place for my head - Linkin Park
10) I just wanna live - Good Charlotte
11) Desperately wanting - Better than ezra
12) Lose Control - Missy Elliot
13) We Run This - Missy Elliot
14) Come to me - P.Diddy + Nicole
15) The saints are coming - U2 + Green Day
16) King without a crown - Matisyahu
17) Do you know - Enrique Iglesias
18) Get By - Talib Kweli
19) Nookie - Limp Bizkit
20) Pour some sugar on me - Def Leppard

21) I'm open to your awesome recommendations ;)

P.S. I've been doing great with the gym, today I spent an hour and 15 minutes doing different workouts. The food has been more of a struggle, I haven't broken the no fried food rule but I'm finding it hard to not eat after 8PM especially these stressful days (the final research review paper for my masters is due tuesday). I've also been consuming a significant amount of sugar. Yesterday I absent mindedly had 4 chocolate chip cookies and today I ate half a cheesecake slice. I wouldn't normally stress over these little indulgences if it wasn't for the fact that I mysteriously put on 3 pounds last week so I'm feeling the need to step it up.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Macaroni and Cheese Please!

Oh my god people, I'm having like the most intense craving for some macaroni and cheese. I found a box in the pantry but I decided to be smart and give it some time before I do something irrational. Well, I've waited over an hour and I still really really want the mac and cheese!

I can't deprive myself of it, that's counterproductive. It won't be too bad because it doesn't violate my rules for the week. I am allowed 2 servings of carbs a day and the forbidden food of the week is fried food. I'm going to have some, with a plan.

The plan:

a) Make sure I take my supplements first

b) Take a fiber pill 15 minutes before

c) Eat a vegetable beforehand

d) Serve myself HALF of the recommended serving (I've learned to get satisfied on small portions)

e) Serve along with a veggie burger patty (no bun since I'm having macaroni) + turkey and cheese roll ups

f) If not full (I'm almost certain I'll be more than satisfied by then), then I can have the other serving half


Thursday, December 6, 2007

My rockstar dancer personal trainer!

Today I had the first of 3 scheduled 45 minutes personal training appointments after it had to be canceled and rescheduled twice (well 3 times considering I was late today and we had to reschedule it after her next client). When I scheduled the appointments I told my gym to hook me up with the "hard core trainer". I'm on a budget and I was only able to afford the 3 session package thus I want to make the absolute most of it.

Well I was waiting to meet I read her biography posted on the community bulletin and I was pleasantly surprised to find out she's a famous rock star! Well, sort of........

She plays in an indie band that released an album last year and hit the top 20 on college radio stations. They've also gone on a few US tours and have opened for more famous bands. I am a fan of some indie groups and I got excited that I'm going to be working closely with such a person. When I came home I googled them and wathed their performances on youtube, she still looked quite feminine and classy while screaming into the mic and bopping her head.

Aside from being a rockstar, she's also a professional dancer and even attended some dance academy in chicago. She's been teaching dance classes for 8 years now and I was excited to know that she teaches the hip hop classes at my gym and will be starting adult beginner ballet and jazz classes as well. My experience with dance classes at my gym is that they're taught by amateur gymnast college girls who watched some instructional dance DVDs, but I will definitely start attending her classes!

The first session was more of an assessment of where I am and where I want to be. One thing that was really discouraging is when we did the bike test we discovered that I may be overestimating my abilities given my heart condition, we actually had to stop it short. The only thing my cardiologist told me with regards to activity restriction is "just don't train for the olympics". Apparently, when my heart rate is in the 160s, which is very moderate cardio, my blood pressure spiked to 190 which isn't healthy. She strongly advised me not to go over a heart rate in the 150s range when doing cardio; I'm normally in the 170s so I don't understand how I'm supposed to be getting an effective workout with that limitation.

I'm having this renewed motivation and excitement to get in shape now that I have all of these opportunities with such a professional, especially because I felt like she was really listening to me and knew what she was talking about. The next session is in a week but I plan on going to hip hop class tuesday!

What I'll be doing different this week Part2

Fourth, for the next 7 days I should really eliminate one thing problematic out of my diet. I realize that such restriction can be sabotoging and counterprodutive but it's only 7 days; I think the discipline will be good for my morale. I've been thinking about what it should be for the last 5 minutes and I realize it needs to be something effective yet realistic.

The candidates are:

sugar this one might be too difficult especially because lots of my 'healthy snacks' contain some sugar and also I would have to decide whether to include fruit or not

fried food not a bad idea except for the fact that fries are my absolute weakness and I take comfort in the fact that I can have a couple of fries here and there which satisfy me just fine. The same goes for lo mein noodles (yes, they are fried), onion rings, and mini samosas.

butter I'm not sure how effective this one would be considering I don't really consume that much butter anyway. I guess I was just thinking about that delicious buttery omelet I had in the hospital when I put this one down.

white carbs I think this one might be too difficult since I am living with the family and pretty much everything my mom cooks/picks up contains some rice or dough. I eat these things in small portions, but if I was going to completely eliminate the white carbs I'd have to do more of my own cooking/food prep.

high sodium foods not a bad idea and it would help with the feeling of being bloated and water weight, but I'm not sure how effective it would be in terms of fat loss.

carbonated drinks again, not sure about the effectiveness considering I'm doing a good job of staying away from the carbonated drinks as is (I don't drink sugary sodas AT ALL). I only drink the diet sodas when I'm eating out or at a friend's place so it wouldn't be too muh effort on my part to cuth it out for 7 days. I think I need something more challenging.

And the winner is.......... FRIED FOOD!

I'll be having not one bite of fried food until my weigh in next wednesday, I'll let you know how it goes!

What I'll be doing different this week

Ok so I still don't think my 3lb gain for the week makes any sense but the fact is I DID GAIN 3 POUNDS! It wasn't half a pound, or a pound, but an entire 3 pounds and it wasn't water weight either.

If I think back it's easy to see that I was far from perfect; I had lots of late dinners and most of my meals actually consisted of "bad food" despite the fact that my portions were small. So I learned tthat the portion control only goes so far and it's important to balance out what I'm eating.

I'm determined to make this a successful week ( I said the same thing last week), so I have to do things differently and it helps that I'm thinking in terms of one week at a time. First of all, there's a correlation between stress and the way I eat so I need to work on keeping my stress level low which means I should make an extra effort to be on time to my appointments and meetings so that things don't keep getting canceled/rescheduled (my first personal training appointment has already been rescheduled twice), I need to stop putting off my necessary errands for the last minute, and I should really pace myself when doing work (my research) and not wait until 10 PM to start working on edits that my advisor wants to see in the morning. I should also do a better job of getting back to people in a timely fashion, returning phone calls, replying to emails, etc. Putting off all of those things adds to stress.

Second of all, I need to cut out the late dinners. My goal is to not eat after 8PM. If I get antsy there's water, sugar free juices, coffee, and a fiber pill. It's going to be challening to do this but it won't kill me!

Third of all, I need to make some clear-cut rules for me this 7 days regarding food so that I can get back on track and then I can go back to "listening to my body" and being intuitive (which is a great thing), but right now I need this kind of discipline:
a) I will eat at least 4 servings of fruits and veggies a day. I've already got one down so far.
b) I will eat no more than 2 servings of carbs (with the exception of friut) a day. I've already had one.
c) I will drink a minimum of 6 glasses of water a day. I've already had 2.
d) I will have at least 2 snacks day which will be the following items in rotation: fruit that's already in my fridge, string cheese, turkey slices, kashi bar, kashi crackers, almonds, activia yogurt, protein shake. I've already had one.

There's wisdom in part D, it's a list of everything I already have so that way I don't have to keep throwing away food for going stale or bad (contributes to stress) and also I won't spend so much money on food on the go (contributes to stress).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My 3lb Gain Makes No Sense!

I got weighed in at the clinic today and to my complete surprise the scale went up an entire 3 pounds!!!

When on any weight loss plan it's natural to have setback and plateaus but usually you know it's coming, this was totally unexpected. I felt great and I was confident I was going to have a loss this week. My activity level was high, yesterday at the gym alone I did about an hour and 15 minutes of cardio. Although my last post was about some bad food I ate in the hospital I still felt it was going to be a good week because I ate in moderation and generally speaking I didn't eat very much food. In all honesty, I felt like I ate more "bad food" thanksgiving week and I lost 4.75 lbs that week. It's just not making sense.

Afterwards I made the counselor weigh me on the body composition machine thinking this is probably muscle mass. Also, I'll be getting a period within the week but still I no longer feel bloated. According to the machine I had actually lost 1.5lbs of muscle since 2 weeks ago (too much cardio and no strength training can do that), I had 1.5 lbs of LESS water weight, and the fat composition actually stayed the same from 2 weeks ago (that was the last time I stepped on the body composition machine).

If I want to be optimistic the fact is I do have a net loss of 1.75 lbs the last 2 weeks but I can't help it, I am really disappointed. I have my first session with a personal trainer in an hour, I'll post later today on what I think I did wrong and what I'll do differently this week. First, I must clear my head from all this pessimism.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Getting rid of water weight

Yesterday I woke up uncomfortably bloated and couldn't stop poking at my tummy in the hopes that it might deflate. I tend to retain water weight easily although I take water pills regularly. I'm determined to have a good weigh-in this wednesday despite my hospital setback so I laid off on the carbs for the day and tried to cut come back on the sodium.

When I got back from the gym around 9PM I still felt like the good year blimp so I googled "getting rid of water weight". I knew there was some kind of quick short-term solution that had to do with eating something or some kind of exercise and I was determined to find it. I browsed the links and to my pleasant surprise I found that cucumbers is a natural remedy, I eat lots of cucumbers and after reading that I went to the kitchen and sliced up another cucumber to consume.

Then I found this article titled how to lose 1 to 5 pounds in 30 minutes. The intructions simply stated to weigh yourself, take a water pill, then sit in an "extremely hot bath" for 30 minutes where you're expected to sweat out water weight as it seeps out of your tissues. After that you dry off and immediately weigh yourself to note the amount of lost water weight.

I grabbed a book and a fizz ball and I believe I followed those directions quite well. The only problem was that I don't have a good tolerance for high temperatures, I don't do well with saunas and hot tubs, so I had to gradually increase the water temperature; however, I do sweat easily so I didn't think that was a big deal and sure enough I was sweating like crazy.

When I dried myself off I got back on the scale and the result was ZERO DIFFERENCE (it's precise to the half pound). The scale was in the exact same position and I got on and off a few times but the numbers didn't budge. I guess my "sweating like crazy" just wasn't enough.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Possible Hospital Setback

I'm now back home, I've spent 3 nights and 4 days in the hospital with my friend.

During that time period I didn't go to the gym but I'm not worried because I got a good bit of physical activity; however, the exhaustion and frustration of the whole scene took over my mind the last 2 days and I wasn't too conscious about what I ate. It's just not the most important thing when your friend next to you is in chronic pain and you can't figure out how to shush a screaming baby. I didn't have that much of an appetite but when I did eat it was whatever I felt like at the moment, and usually later in the day, even late at night. I felt like it was a good idea to make a list of all of the "bad food" I can recall consuming the last couple of day because that helps keep me aware and get me back on track. Here it is:

2 cheeseburgers
3 musketeer
2 french toast
Gyro Sandwich
Cheese omelet (lots of fatteny cheese + butter)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hospital Visit

I've spent the last 2 nights and 2 days in the hospital helping out a friend whose having surgery. That's where I'm blogging from at the moment and I'll be here for another day. I actually had scheduled my first appointment with a personal trainer at the gym yesterday in an effort to ensure I get in shape, but I had to reschedule it to Wednesday I'll let you all know how it went.

I knew that I was coming here to be of service so I've taken some steps to make sure my energy level is at its maximum and this includes eating healthy! I've made sure to take all my meds and supplements at the regular time. I also know that when I eat big meals or greasy heavy stuff I get lethargic so to ensure I don't get really hungry to the point of craving bad stuff I've packed a whole bunch of string cheeses and kashi bars; I've also been popping a lot of fiber pills which do an awesome job of making me full on small amounts. I've been eating a lot of soup since it's conveniently available in the hospital. I'm basically not making a big deal of food, I'm just eating little bites of whatever is readily available throughout the day since I feel I'm here for a more important purpose.

During this hospital stay I obviously won't be going to the gym, so that would be a total of 4 days absent from the gym but my activity level has been relatively high here in the hospital. I've been running lots of errands for my friend that I'm helping out so I walk a lot, and there was a day where I was responsible for her 3 week old baby and I was on my feet for the majority of the time. I have a feeling this wednesday's weigh-in will also be another successful one!