Saturday, August 25, 2012

Go Ask Alice

"One pill makes you larger, one pill makes you small. 
The ones that Mother gives you, don't do anything at all. 
Go ask Alice, when she was just as small."
(From Jefferson Airplane's song "White Rabbit")
So if there really was a magic pill to lose weight, what would that mean? Well, since most traditional magic is an illusion, the weight loss from that magic pill would end up being an illusion too. You have to change your lifestyle...THAT is where the real magic is found.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thanks, I Needed That

I came across the picture above and thought I'd share. You know there are a lot of web sites out there that talk about food. We are obsessed with food, aren't we? We want to know how it makes us fat, how it makes us healthy, which foods have the most calories, which foods are better for our [insert body part here], which foods are going to kill us faster, and on and on and on and ON!

The more I read about foods, the more I see the same theme come through.... "Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants" says Michael Pollan. "Eat like the thinner person you want to be"stated by Russ and Jeff of Fat 2 Fit fame. You don't have to eat like a caveman to eat right. You don't have to count calories for the rest of your life. You don't have to exercise till you drop, hour after hour, day after day. You can eat meat. You can have ice cream. You can eat lettuce or feed it to your pet rabbit. Living healthy and maintaining a proper weight really isn't rocket science.

I look at it this way; to weigh what I should weigh I needed to learn how to change my lifestyle. I needed to balance out my eat real foods, not processed ones. I needed to learn portion control. I needed to learn to plan for meals, and emergencies, and cheat days (that really are not cheat days). I needed to make it a point to build some sort of exercise into my daily life. It couldn't be just now and then, but real on purpose exercising every day. Some days were easier than others and some days dragged out. Some days I felt like going all out for a five mile hike and other days I could barely make myself get out of bed....but I did. Whatever I choose, I choose to DO it, not just think about it. 

I needed to accept that I would eat more than I should sometimes. I needed to allow for stressors in my life and to not use them for an excuse to pig out on chips and chocolate. I needed to realize that I needed a support mechanism to help keep me motivated. I needed to learn that because I had been obese for most all my life, that becoming a non-obese person would mean that I had to think about what I was choosing to eat on a daily basis. In other words, I would have to think about food more than thinner people did because it was not second nature for me to think thin. It has gotten easier but I still need my crutches. For now I need to count calories and step on the scale to be sure I am  thinking right in my head. Someday, I really do hope to have this all be more second nature. I think I can make that happen too.

It isn't just a lifestyle, it is the lifestyle I have chosen. It has become a lifestyle I rather enjoy! I am STILL amazed though, that this has happened...this massive weight fact, I am thrilled that it has! "Who IS that skinny lady in the mirror?" She's becoming one of my best friends.

I sure am glad I didn't have to rely on a magic pill. Most magic is an illusion. This new me, is very real and no one can take it away from me unless I let them. I don't plan to. I earned my diamonds. I am keeping every single one of them!

Till next time, walk on friends, walk on....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Shoes and Pet Peeves

Where do I start? I have a bunch of little things on my brain tonight. My weight is staying the same. I was able to get out on the trails twice this week so far! Oh my it felt good to get back but I am soooooo tired!!! I knew I would lose some muscle toning. I was still taken aback at how much in such a short period of time! So I am back on the trails again and my new shoes will be with me for the next couple hundred miles:
These are Asics and I just love their wild colors!
This past Sunday I had fun by taking a class that was an intro to belly dancing! Imagine this overweight (almost old) lady in a room with five or six young chickie-babes! Guess who showed her belly in class? It wasn't the chicks. hahahaha! What a workout it was though. It was two and a half hours of movement and movement in ways I hadn't thought of doing before! I have renewed respect for the art of belly dancing. I look forward to seeing some dancers at the next renfaire I go to!

One pet peeve I have about belly dancers is those that are obese and dance. Now I DO applaud them for going out and learning the craft. But I am a prude. I do not like seeing REALLY obese women doing belly dancing in public. It is a turnoff to me. I think belly dancing is exotic. I have no doubt that obese women are perfectly capable of doing beautiful dancing. I just think there is such a prejudice out there against the obese, that people won't be able to see the beauty for the fat. It embarrasses me.

If you ever want to waste time, go look at the photos that are taken of people in Walmart on a site that shows some of the worst customers you would ever see in public. Why do fat and obese people dress so horribly? I know I did not dress well when I was obese, but at least I had clean clothes on and covered up most of my rolls of fat. I wore sweatpants in public but not short shorts with my cheeks hanging out. I wore a shirt that covered my bra both in front and in back. My belly is not exposed. My butt is covered. Why do people go out in public looking so horrendous???

Here is another peeve of mine. Have you ever watched Extreme Makeover? It is one of those 'fat-to-thin-in-record-time' type of shows. One person is followed for a year. They are coached and helped along the way with a trainer. Of course there has to be as much drama in each show as they can make up to keep people watching. My peeve with this show happens on a lot of these 'let's make the fat person suffer while losing weight and maybe they can throw up in the process' shows. They push the person on the first day, by exercising them really really hard. This past Sunday the woman, who they were working with, was being pushed and pushed. She was straining and struggling and sweating up a storm. She had longer hair. WHY didn't they let her put her hair in a ponytail? No, they let it hang and get wringing wet and stringy. 

It drives me nuts to have strands of stray hair in my face. I cannot workout with hair in my eyes. It was really bugging me to watch that woman suffer so much in the first place and then to have her not be able to have her hair up and pulled away from her face. Geesh!

Okay, I have ranted and raved about trivial stuff. I won't go into how that woman was saying she was so old and doing all this exercising and life changing stuff. Piffle. She was in her mid forties. She's just a youngster! Peeves are unique to oneself. We are all allowed to have them! This is my blog. I shall have my peeves and cake if I want to. So there!

FOODIE IDEA: Speaking of cake...if you don't mind fat free, sugar free pudding mix, get some cheesecake flavored mix. Take your fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt of choice and add a teaspoon of pudding mix to about a cup of the yogurt. Stir. It tastes so good! I add a little fresh lemon zest to mine. Ultra decadent! I have experimented with chocolate, vanilla, and banana flavors. I did not care for them as much. I think it is because the yogurt is tart and lends itself to the cheesecake basic flavor. I've added strawberries to it and it just took it to another level. Anyway, give it a try. You can add more than a teaspoon to adjust the flavor level too.

The weather has turned and I can feel my body coming back to life! I am looking forward to walking the trails and roads more and getting back into a better routine for myself and my body.

That's it for today! Till next time, Walk On!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Did you slip up today? Here are great words of wisdom:

"Today not possible. 
Tomorrow possible." 
H. U. Lee

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

One Size Fits All

Many of you have seen those articles of clothing that say "One size fits All" or the more politically correct phrase, "One size fits Most." I like how SparkPeople's Coach Tanya says:
"Weight loss is not 
a one-size-fits-all activity!"
I was listening to a podcast today that talked about a blog called The Token Fat Girl. The blogger was giving up on blogging for a while. Her blog is about her battles with losing weight. She was tired of all the things that come with blogging about her struggles with her weight control. She's tired of counting calories day after day without seeing the weight drop. In the podcast the narrator said she shows pictures of what she eats. He says, "For breakfast she had a breakfast cookie." The voice inflection was one of shock. Granted a cookie for breakfast sounds odd, it seemed to be a healthy recipe though, and she doesn't do it every day. I didn't see 'guilt' or 'sinful' in the list of ingredients either.

When I went to her blog I glanced at some of the content. She has a lot of interesting recipes for low-cal stuff. I may look at her blog more in depth. A lot of what she seems to be doing is real similar to what I eat or strive to eat on a daily basis.

The podcast was going on and on about how it is wrong that we should count calories so religiously. The example given was that we don't have to think about breathing or pumping blood throughout our systems, so eating should be the same. The guest being interviewed on the podcast says that this is a calorie myth...calorie counting should not be the main way or method to our weight control. The guest was a proponent of the 'set-point' theory. This is where your body has a set point that it will fight to stay at, no matter what you do. It is in your genes to be fat, no matter what you try. He says that we need to know what our hormone balance is to reset our set-point. He says that the hormones we had as teenagers and the hormones after menopause, were of course, different. All those hormones caused us to gain or lose weight.

(Ack, this all gives me a headache. I don't like blogging all the time either. However it keeps me motivated. I've said before that it is hard to admit when things don't go right but it keeps me more honest with myself.)

Anyway, back to the podcast. It is yet another one that says you need to eat MORE, not less, to lose weight. However, the MORE you need to eat is more 'real foods' more vegetables, more whole grains, etc. We all know what we are supposed to eat more of. So why don't we? I know, I know!!!! Because the fake foods taste so damn good! The guest on this podcast is also saying that eating healthy and keeping ourselves healthy should be second nature to us. We shouldn't have to make such a big deal out of it. Our ancestors didn't count calories. Most of our Grandmothers or Grandfathers did not count calories. Why do we have to count calories to live healthy? How do we measure without counting calories? I guess we magically can do it by eating only natural foods and avoiding starchy ones. That is what I am getting out of this person's take on weight control anyway.

The guest basically says to eat this way and don't count calories: 
  1. Fill up on fluffy foods like salads, non-starchy veggies, and foods with lots of fiber.
  2. Remember what your ancestors ate and try to match that. If it is advertised on television, you can bet this food is not good for you or even considered a REAL food.
  3. Buy in bulk when you can so that you have plenty of real food available.
  4. Drink lots of water or green tea.
  5. Do what works best for you. Start with a 33/33/33 division of fats, proteins, and carbs. If that doesn't work for you, eat more of one type and less than the other type. 
Real food is called "sane food" by the guest. It infers that manufactured foods are insane, right? Now I kinda like that way of thinking!

All in all, I am sure this food plan works just fine. I am even more sure I won't be following it. I like being able to check my calories. Like the scale, it is a nice tool for learning how to eat and live healthier. Perhaps I will think differently someday. I know I get tired of checking calories but I am still working to be sure I am eating a true portion and knowing what is in that portion. It takes time to retrain the eye.

In other news, I feel great. Not only have I resisted cigarettes still, I was able to go out for a walk this morning. I am not back to the trails yet as it is still a bit too hot and my son is still on summer break from school. (I don't like leaving him home alone too long) Even though it was just a mile and a quarter around the neighborhood, I feel so much better! I think my self doubts about my muscles atrophying and my weight coming back on and all those things I worried about, will be for naught. When I mentioned, to my sometimes too wise husband, that I was worried the weight would all come back on, he pointed out to me that in the past...when I have had the weight come back on, I would just give up and let it happen. He doesn't see this happening this time. That boost of confidence by him, for me, really helped!

So, let's all go for a walk or three this week and boost ourselves up! Walk On!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Rock On or Walk On?

Oh it was hard to admit that weight gain of half a pound yesterday. But the more honest I am with you the more honest I am with me! It is totally due to lack of exercising which is very much related to excess heat here in Arkansas. There is light on the horizon. Next week shows some temps down in the nineties for daytime and maybe even in the upper sixties in the early mornings. Also, it is August, which means cooler temps will be here in a few weeks. At least that is what I am telling myself!!!

I've been busy reading and listening to podcasts about a lot of new diets coming out and of course the 'sugar is the devil' stuff. Once I wrap my head around each new thing though, it comes back again and again that just eating sensibly, eating as close to real foods as you can, minding portion sizes, and avoiding too many sweets or fast food joints, is really what it is all about.

When you read or listen to these folks, their information sounds so real! They sound like they have found the true answers to losing weight and keeping it off. They have research to prove their points. When you get to the main points they are touting you come to realize it is a low-carb diet, revisited. Or it is a high protein diet, re-purposed. Or it is a variation of Atkins, South Beach, and others. Since we all want to be told that if we eat exactly one way our poundage will melt right off...forever...we buy into these newest-latest-greatest diet plans, try them, and eventually, usually, we fall off the diet and feel like failures again.

If I were to eat differently, I might try being a vegetarian or vegan. I doubt I would miss meat that much. I would miss my yogurt though, so vegan might not be for me. As long as I live with my husband, I will probably not be a vegetarian either. (just musing out loud here)

Today I am off to the shoe store. In anticipation of cooler weather, Momma needs a new pair of shoes! I've been looking and oh my, the choices I have out there! AND you should see the wild colors they come in! No more just plain white or black for me. No more cheap ill-fitting shoes for me either!

Keep cool out there!
Until next time, rock on walk on.......

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Get yer behinder OUT there!

I can hardly write about much of anything because I have been in hibernation! Too bad it wasn't a typical hibernation in the middle of winter though. No, this is caused by relentless 100° plus weather! Yuck. The heat isn't the only thing rising, so is my weight. I can only think that I need to get back to more regular exercising. I am not really worried about the weight gain. I know I will lose it again and we are still only talking a pound up or down, here or there. I do, I WILL be working to be sure I don't slack off anymore. I might be walking at the local mall in their AC, but I will do something a little more 'on purpose'.

In other news I just finished reading this book:
It was a hard read for me. It wasn't that the material was hard, but her writing style doesn't agree with my reading style. It is a story of a 30-ish woman who loses a lot of weight. It includes her ups and downs as it goes on. It sounded like she might have been on the 12 Step program "Over Eaters Anonymous". One thing that struck me with her story was her renditions about becoming a girlie girl. I too, never thought about what I was wearing before. It had to be lose to hide all the bulges.

The story also touched on how her attitudes towards dating and men and even other women had to change. The way she looked at herself and the way she thought others looked at her, were based on how she used to be when she weighed over 200 pounds. Now that she'd lost the weight she had to change the way she interacted with others.

I know this has happened to me at times. One of the most noticeable has been men opening the door for me. Sometimes they seem to go out of their way to do so. I am not used to being treated with respect. I love it! I also feel sad that I was getting treated worse than I even knew. Is ignorance bliss? I wonder.

The more books I read, the more and more clear all this diet stuff becomes. Time and time again I am proving to myself that it isn't how many carbs or fat grams are in your food so much. The types of foods you get your calories from make a difference though. Think of it this way...would you be more full after eating a 250 calorie candy bar (which isn't much) or a huge plate of salad with chopped chicken and a healthy low cal dressing? The satiety factor is what makes one type of calorie source better than another.

All this recent sugar talk has me thinking it is just the latest craze to make a buck, to get a grant for research, or some such. Just like fat in the 70's being the devil in the food, now sugar is. When fat was declared Food War I, the manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon and made a bunch of food like food that was low fat or no fat. Now it will be sugar. You wait and see!

I went to Yoga today and then came home and grabbed the child and we went shopping for three hours. Tomorrow I have more indoor fun plans and if they don't workout, we will go to the pool. Friday my staples come out and my kid and I will hunt for rummage and estate sales for exercise. On Saturday I think I will work out at the center in some way. I am not going to give up my diamonds!

After the frenzy

Abby is still around and about.  I know she's been pretty quiet though.  She kinda over celebrated the new year's arrival. A souther...