Thursday, December 20, 2007

12 Day Body Shaping Miracle

I read Michael Thurmond's 12 Day Body Shaping Miracle a few weeks ago and took some copious notes with the intention of trying out his plan. In a nutshell, he believes that:

  1. Less intense cardio performed consistently is the best way to burn fat.
  2. 50 to 65% of your maximum heart rate is the ideal fat burning zone.
  3. Walking or slow jogging for 45 to 60 minutes is the best way to burn fat.
  4. Step, kick boxing, and circuit workouts should be avoided in order to accelerate fat loss.
  5. One should eat a diet suited to their partcular body type. For my body type- ecto endo- he prescribes a diet of lean protein, veggies, high fiber fruits (always eaten with protein), and minimal "good" carbs.
  6. Weight training should be targeted to your specific problem areas.

My problem areas start at my navel and end a few inches above my knees. My arms are pretty toned but they don't look like it. I would love to get some more muscle definition in my arms. I don't consider them a problem area but they could definitely be improved. I decided to give his plan a try and invested in some walking workouts. I've never done a walking workout because I always thought they would be too easy. I was right. Still, it is a good break from my more strenuous cardio workouts. He uses a resistance band in the exercise demonstrations throughout his book so I decided to used Body Fusion for most of the strength work since it mainly uses a resistance band. Here is his 12 day workout schedule and the workouts I have chosen to do in an attempt to follow his plan.

Day 1- 45 minutes to 1 hour cardio/ Lower Body/ Mid Body--- Prevention Walk Yourself Fit for 45 minutes and Cathe's Body Fusion Lower Body and Stability Ball Abs. Total Workout time: 75 minutes

Day 2- 45 minutes to 1 hour cardio/ Upper Body-- Leslie Sansone 4 Mile Fat Burning Walk and Cathe's Body Fusion Upper Body. Total Workout time: 75 minutes

Day 3- Rest

Day 4- Lower Body/ Upper Body/ 45 to 60 min Cardio-- Leslie Super Challenge 4 mile (I only did about 3.5 miles or 50 minutes of the workout) and Tom Holland Total Body Workout. Total workout time: 92 minutes

Day 5- Upper Body- Cathe's Maximum Intensity Strength. Total Workout Time: 42 minutes

Day 6- Rest

Day 7- Lower/Mid Body- Cathe's Slow & Heavy Legs and Cathe's Body Fusion Stability Ball Abs. Total Workout time: 43 minutes

Day 8- Upper Body/ 45 to 60 minutes cardio- Leslie Walk Away the Pound Express Advanced 3 miles and Cathe's Body Fusion Upper Body. Total Workout time: 70 minutes

Day 9- Rest

Day 10- Lower/Mid Body- The Firm Standing Legs and a segment from The Firm 5 Day Abs. Total workout time: 49 minutes

Day 11- Upper Body / 45 to 60 minutes cardio- The Firm Upper Body and Leslie Walk Away the Pound Express Advanced 3 miles. Total Workout Time: 85 minutes

Day 12- Rest

Day 13- Measure and weigh yourself

I am on Day 4 and other than a few slips with my eating, I think I am doing pretty well. I'm trying to follow it as closely as I can. The walking workouts aren't as bad as I thought but I'm pretty sure I couldn't do them consistently over a long period of time. I find myself doing things to make them a little more intense but that takes me out of my target heart rate zone so I have to force myself to do the workouts as they are. I took my measurements on the first day and I'll report my results on Day 13 which should be around the end of the year.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Interviews

I'm back from my cruise and it has been nothing but chaos trying to catch up with everything. Well, I think both the phone interview and the in-person interview with this woman were disasters. The in-person interview included 4 other people who were just so much friendlier and easier to talk to. I think I did really well with those 4, but the one I had trouble with is the hiring manager, so all I can do is keep my fingers crossed. It is an exciting opportunity and I am really hopeful that I get the job. Wow, it's been a long time since I have actually looked forward to working somewhere. Usually, it's just a job to pay the bills but I can actually see a future and a career with this company. It's a good feeling.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Cookies

How many cookies does it take to stuff down the anxiety of a stressful job interview? I'm on cookie number 4 now. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sabotage

Why do I sabotage myself? I spend so much time exercising and waste those efforts eating all the wrong things. It's this cycle I go through. A period of perfect eating and then another period of eating absolutely crappy. This current period of crappy eating is going on 2 weeks now. I have to stop this. I spend so much time online researching and acquiring fitness DVD's. For what? I've put back on 13 pounds of the 40 that I lost. Exercise alone is not going to get it off. I MUST MATCH MY EATING WITH MY FITNESS HABITS. Today is the last day of this two week hell. I call it hell because I really don't like eating this way. It makes me feel yucky. So, then why do I do it? I feel so much better when I eat healthy. Why do I eat badly for such prolonged periods? I've lost track of how many 3 mile runs I've accumulated over the past 2 weeks because of all the crap I keep putting in my mouth. I am disgusted with myself. Tomorrow is a new day. We'll see if I can do better.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Taste of Atlanta

So, the hubby and I went to Taste of Atlanta this weekend. There were lots of vendors with what looked like some really good food. Overall, there were only a few things that I could find fault with. First, the website does not make it clear how the "taste coupon" thing works. I was under the impression that my 10 taste coupons that came with my very expensive ticket would be good at 10 different vendors. No. Some vendors required 2 and 3 taste coupons for some of their dishes. In turn, my husband and I were very selective about what we used our coupons on. We also combined our coupons so we had 20 taste coupons together and just split the samples between us. So, we got around that minor annoyance pretty easily.

Second, we got an email from Ticket Alternative encouraging us to take MARTA to the event and catch the shuttle to Atlantic Station from the Arts Center MARTA Station. Since parking at Atlantic Station would probably be scarce, we decided that this would be a good idea. Wrong! In typical MARTA fashion, they chose this weekend of all weekends to perform track maintenance. So, the trains were running every 24 minutes (according to them) and there was single tracking between certain stations which means there was a risk we could be put off a train and sent to the other side of the track to await another train. We were supposed to meet our meetup group at 4:00. We left the house at 2:15 and did not get to the event until about 4:20. Thanks MARTA for your usual bad service! Of course, we missed our group but we still enjoyed the event.

Of all the food we tried, there were a few stand outs, most were mediocre and a few were really bad. The standouts were Six Feet Under and Thrive. The seafood gazpacho and "rat toe" from Six Feet Under were the best dishes we sampled. The Chicken Ginger pot stickers from Thrive came in a close second. The Dr. Beeks salad from Doc Greens was pretty good too. The worst was the Lamb Lollipop from Sambuca...absolutely no taste whatsoever and the sauce was pretty gross and the duck tacos from a restaurant I can't remember. They were really awful. The taco shell tasted like soap and it completely overpowered the duck.

Overall, a great experience followed by a bit of shopping afterward. The ride home on MARTA was a lot smoother than the ride to the event.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Firming Up

Wow...two entries in a week...I'm on fire. So, I started a new lower body rotation to firm up my thighs and butt. I am going on a cruise in November and bought 2 bikinis to keep me motivated. Depending on the results, I will either take my bikinis or my one piece. It is based on Cathe's Fat Loss and Shaping Legs & Glutes Rotation. This is my first week. I made a few substitutions for the workouts I did not have. I'm beginning to think that following a pre-determined workout schedule is just not for me. I did a circuit and interval rotation earlier this year and I enjoyed it a lot more than I am enjoying this.

I did Imax for the first time on Tuesday and I think I hate it. It just seemed so choppy and all the stepping got to be tedious. And, why in the world did we need to do each step combo 6 TIMES before moving on to the interval? It's on the schedule again for next Thursday and I just don't think I can do it. I've inserted a 3 mile run in it's place because I allowed my co-worker to sabotage me this week. She brought me 2 Dove dark chocolates and I ate them. Well, she meant well and it was only 2 of the mini chocolates but cheating is cheating. That was my only indiscretion this week too. Otherwise, my eating has been excellent. Believe it or not, I am looking forward to the run more than I was looking forward to IMAX and I hate to run!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Focus

I keep thinking that I need a focus for this blog. I see so many others that are dedicated to some topic or another...politics, gardening, diets, nutrition, etc... I don't know if I want to this blog to be about a specific topic. I want it to be about a person...me...and my struggles with being fit, being happy, accepting myself and my currently crappy life. I'm sure it sounds selfish but I really think that I am my biggest project right now. My life is not the way I envisioned it in high school and I have to do something about it. I cannot continue this miserable existence forever. The first thing on my list is to get an esthetician license so I can leave this waste of time job. So, hopefully, I will be starting that in the next few months.

On a more positive note, for the first time in a long time, I feel like I am back on track with my eating and exercise. I exercised every day last week which I have not had the strength to do for some time. I've also been eating much better this week. I've decided that I need some kind punishment and reward system for myself to keep me on track with my eating. If I stick to my diet each week, I'll reward myself. If I don't, I'll have to penalize myself by doing something I really hate. Since I hate to run, I've chosen that as my penalty. The rewards change every week so this week, my reward is two scoops of sugar free ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. Yes, I know you shouldn't reward yourself with food, but I really want some. The penalty will be to run 3 miles. Of course I have to define what I consider cheating...anything with sugar or white flour, over eating fruits or whole grains, or any sugar free foods...except diet soda. Diet soda, I can moderate so I still drink it. I'm doing good so far. The idea of finally eating some ice cream is keeping me on track.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bad Dreams

Have you ever had one of those dreams that haunt you for a long time afterward? I rarely remember my dreams but I had one the other night that was so vivid, I am still thinking about it. I dreamt that I had a baby. I was actually in the delivery room and when the baby popped out, I just got up and walked out of the room. I didn't look at my baby, I didn't touch my baby. I didn't cuddle my baby. I didn't cry tears of joy. I got up and went back to work as though I had never had a baby. The rest of the dream was alternating flashes of me at work acting like there was no baby and my baby laying alone in the nursery at the hospital just waiting for someone to come and care for it....to love it. This went on over several days because I was wearing different outfits in the parts where I was at work. My baby was abandoned for days! The people in the hospital were taking care of all the other babies and ignoring my baby!

I woke up feeling absolutely awful about that dream and started crying. I still want to cry when I think of it. What kind of person am I to have a baby and act like it doesn't exist? Where was my husband? I just feel so awful when I think about it! What does it mean?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Anxiety

I've discovered something. I eat when I am anxious. Food is calming, soothing, a distraction. I guess I've had anxious feelings for a long time. Why it took me so long to figure out that usually when I feel anxious, there is food in my hand, I don't know. When I was getting my ticket back in January, I reached for a candy bar as the officer was writing the ticket. Yesterday, when I encountered some unexpected traffic on my drive in to work, I reached for a Kashi bar and ended up eating two. I would have probably eaten more if the rest of the stuff in my lunch bag didn't need reheating.

Living in the Atlanta area, I encounter traffic every day almost so the only reason I can think of for that particular traffic jam making me anxious is that I was not expecting it. I drive that several mornings a week and rarely ever encounter significant traffic at that time of the morning. So, I guess a lot of my anxiety is brought on by the unexpected. What can I do about the unexpected? Nothing. I honestly think that exercise is the only reason I have not gained back all the weight I lost and then some because I am a pretty healthy eater and now I understand that much of that eating is not related to hunger.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A bargain??

I am the kind of person who hates to spend too much money on anything. I wanted to take a trip to Alaska to visit my family. Of course, the cheapest ticket I could find was $589 round trip which was way too much. My husband has a friend who works for Delta and he got me a "buddy pass". I paid substantially less for my ticket but the catch is I have to fly standby. I have never flown standby before but figured it wouldn't be too bad because how many people are going to Alaska anyway.

My flight was scheduled to leave at 8:20 this past Tuesday morning and I arrive at the gate to find that I am number 30 on the standby list with about 20 extra seats available. WTF!!!?? Of course I get bumped from the flight and moved to the flight that leaves an hour later. My husband has his friend pull a few strings and I actually get on the next flight although there are quite a few people ahead of me. I get to my first stop and the kicker is that Delta only has two daily flights to Alaska from that location. Since I missed my connection I have to wait 8 hours for the next flight.

I wait patiently in the airport...walking around, eating like a pig ( I eat when I'm bored), updating my web sites, etc... Finally, I am able to check in and I am on the standby list again for the LAST FLIGHT to Alaska. When they finally post the stand-by priority list, I see that I am number 15 and there are like 20 available seats. That is a little too close for me so I walk up to the ticket agent, Jamie B, and proceed to tell her my plight of having been bumped from my original flight, missing my connection and thus, spending all day at the airport. I told her I just could not spend the night at the airport and I had to be on that flight. I don't know what I was expecting her to say but Jamie made it clear, without saying it, that she did not give a damn what I had been through and it was of no consequence to her whether I spent the night in the airport or not. All I got was an "it's going to be tight" and "that's the perils of the buddy pass I guess". That damned hussy better not let me see her on the street. It was all I could do not to kick her ass right there. They really wouldn't have put me on the flight if I kicked her ass. I think she sensed my hostility because even though there were 5 people behind me on the list, I was the last person to get a seat assignment.

Today is the day I am scheduled to go back home and I get to the gate and see a number of people hovering around the gate agent. This is not a good sign. Since they don't have any screens I walk up to her and ask her what my chances are of making this flight. Again, I hear "it's going to be tight". They start boarding and eventually start seating the standby passengers. At about 5 minutes to departure I accepted that I was not going to be on that flight. There were two seats left and about 10 people, not including me, at the desk fighting for them. One lady said that she had been trying to leave for the past 3 days. How can I compete with that? I'd only been at the airport 3 hours and buddy passes are always at the bottom of Delta's priority list. So, I just sat there and watched them squabble over the seats. One lady was going to send her minor children on the plane without her but the agent managed to talk some sense into her.

I call Delta to get rebooked on the next flight and they tell me it is not scheduled until 1:00 tomorrow morning. I have no idea why I am taking this all so well because I am really ready to go off on somebody. This is just ridiculous. I ask the agent if there is anyway I can get out of here earlier and he says there is a direct flight that leaves at 8:30 tonight. I ask to be booked on that one and here I sit. I arrived at the airport at 7:45 this morning. So that means I will be spending about 12 hours just sitting here with no guarantee that I will even be on the 8:30 flight. It's a good thing I have my laptop with me and the airport has free wifi. I am still bored to death and have already gone through much of the snacks I packed with 6 hours to go. I was told by a Delta employee who works at this airport that the direct flight is "never full". He also told me that this is the height of the Alaska fishing season. Based on that, how confident should I be that I will be on this flight tonight? I found myself wishing several times throughout all this that I had just went ahead and paid for a full priced ticket. Yes, the ticket was a bargain but is it really worth the hassle and uncertainty?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Why Didn't I Notice This Before?

It's amazing what you find when you Google your name. Neal Boortz felt the need to respond on his website to the letter to the editor from little ole moi:

RIGHT TO VOTE? SORRY ... IT JUST ISN'T THERE

"(My name here), Michael J. Breaux, Ron Gooden, Randy Jent and Debra Stephens. Sorry ... but every single one of you are dead wrong.
OK .. .so who are those people. All five of them had letters published in yesterday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution stating adamantly that there is actually a right to vote engrained in the U.S. Constitution. These letter writers were responding to an earlier letter from someone who was proposing restrictions on who can and cannot vote, a position I support.
Let's look at some of the claims made by the fantastic five:
"The question is not whether voting is a privilege or a right. That fact has been established." (My name here)
"A letter writer tries to make a case for limiting the ability of citizens to vote. But one can't make that case, based on the 15th Amendment to the Constitution." Michael J. Breaux
"But what of the essential right of each citizen to be secure in the one-man, one-vote principle?" Ron Gooden
"Even if one ignores the fact that the phrases "right to vote" (Amendment 14) and "right of the citizens of the United States to vote" (Amendments 15 and 19) appear in the Constitution, the letter writer's logic is flawed." Debra Stephens
"Nowhere does the Constitution say that voting is a 'privilege.' It states that there is a right to vote, and it is sacred." Randy Jent
Well, as luck would have it, this is one of the very issues I've addressed in my next book "Somebody's Gotta Say It!" I hate to be the one to break this to you (My name here), Ron, Mike, Randy and Debra. But you're all wrong. There is no right to vote, at least not in a federal election..
Oh, it may be true that your state's constitution contains some sort of a guarantee of your right to vote in an election, but that's really as far as it goes.
Now I'm not going to give this entire chapter away right here. I'll just give you enough to whet your appetite for the publication of the book come next Spring.
In December of 2000 a law professor by the name of Michael C. Dorf wrote a column entitled "We Need a Constitutional Right to Vote in Presidential Elections." Professor Dorf, a law professor at Columbia University, by the way, was bitterly upset with the results of the 2000 election and the puddin' storm that erupted in Florida after the vote.
Here: Let me just share one paragraph from Dorf's column. Now (My name here), Mike, Ron, Randy and Debra ... I want all of you in particular to read this. Remember .. .this is a learned law professor writing this, not just someone sitting down to write a letter to the editor:
"Amidst the divisiveness of the United States Supreme Court's second foray into the 2000 Presidential election, it is easy to overlook the significance of the Court's earlier, unanimous ruling of December 4, 2000. A close reading of the decision in that case, Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, reveals a clear consensus for what will strike many Americans as an outrageous proposition: there is no constitutional right to vote in a Presidential election. The fact that the state in which you reside even permits you to vote for electors is purely a matter of legislative grace."
So ... there you have it. There's that, and more. I'm not going to give away this entire chapter here, but my research clearly shows that the founding fathers in no way intended to grant a universal right to vote in federal elections in the Constitution. As for the states ... well, it's pretty much up to them. What the Constitution does do, by virtue of the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments, is set forth some parameters upon which a state cannot limit the voting franchise IF that state decides to offer a right to vote in its state constitution. In other words, a state can't formulate a constitution which says you can vote in a state or local election unless you're black, or a woman, etc. The same rule would apply to any federal elections as well.
It would seem that the evil "letter write" had a valid point after all, and our letter-writing gang of five needs to do just a bit more research.
Oh well ... back to the ole drawing board!"

Did I mention I hate Neal Boortz! Another stupid and specious argument.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Disappointed, again

It's been a while. I've been dealing with some personal issues...namely finding out that someone very important to me is not the person I thought they were. I've written before about how deep my disappointment in people runs and this situation is no different. In a lot of ways, its worse since this is someone I care about deeply. Why do people put up these false fronts? Why? It is such a colossal waste of time. Why has my entire life, from childhood to now, been filled with people who do nothing but disappoint me? Well, I'm not the type to put my personal business out there on the internet so maybe at some point I will reach a point where I can write about it here but, not right now.

I haven't been exercising like I should have since this happened a month ago. I really want to get back to that because I miss it but exercise takes so much mental energy and I just don't have it right now. On a more positive note, I've lost about 5 pounds because I just haven't had an appetite.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Procrastination

Why is it that there are some things that I never seem to get done or take forever to do? I have a long list of things that I need to do and somehow always find a way to put them off. Remember that CASA application that I talked about last year? It's still not done! There are two questions that I just don't know how to answer. I know that procrastination is fear so what am I afraid of?

1. The CASA application- I'm a perfectionist which is why I hate essay type applications. I will pore over every question longer than I need to and over think every word. I'm also afraid that it will be too much of a time commitment on top of everything else that I already have to do.

2. Baby basket for a friend of mine- I was supposed to meet her last week to deliver it but somehow rationalized my way out of confirming the time and place. The baby is due early next week! What was I thinking? Deep down I really have many fears of whether people really like me or if they're just being polite by pretending to be interested in me and I'm just not a social person. But, this occasion should have trumped my own personal issues. I'm really annoyed with myself.

3. Preparing for the Inman Park Festival- this is a no brainer. Over the past few years, I've gotten really tired trying to run my business and work full time. I'm burnt out. I'm not looking forward to the Inman Park Festival and have serious doubts about whether I should even be doing it so I just avoid all preparation for it.

4. Setting up life insurance- although I know this is necessary, all I can think of is that it's another bill. Bills and owing money make me anxious.

5. Finish reading "The Energy of Money"- it's a great book that has been very helpful to me but I just really find all the exercises draining. I really don't want to have to think that hard. Why must every self help book require that you write things down? I've been stuck on the "Treasure Map" section for 6 months now.

6. Implement marketing ideas- All of the marketing ideas that I had for the business at the beginning of the year have yet to be implemented. Marketing is not my thing and I can't afford to hire someone to do it. So I guess the procrastination here is a practical matter and just my lack of expertise in the area.

7. Email one of my farmer's markets and tell them I won't be coming back this season- Even though this market is not a money maker for me, I still feel like I will be making a mistake if I bow out now. With my luck, this will be the year the market finally becomes successful.

8. Call my dentist- I love my dentist but I hate the hygienist he has assigned to me. She is a very critical person. I've been going there for about 8 years and I don't think she has ever had anything positive to say about my teeth. They're not perfect I know, but I don't think they're that bad. She has no bedside manner whatsoever and never smiles. I realized why I dislike her at one of my recent cleanings. In some ways, we have similar personalities. That realization did not make me happy. I dread my routine teeth cleanings so I have been putting this off for a while now.

9. Update my blog more regularly- I find I can only write when inspiration strikes. I don't want to write something just for the sake of updating every day. Then again, maybe I'm just not that interesting.

10. Clean my bathroom- I really hate doing this anyway but I am still a stickler for neatness and cleanliness. Unfortunately, my bathroom has not seen a sponge or a mop in weeks!

I really need to get myself together. I can't allow my fear of failure and perfectionism to turn me into a slacker!

Friday, March 23, 2007

What's worse?


Knowing that your child was killed or knowing that they were tortured emotionally and sexually before being strangled? I can accept death. I just can't accept violent death....especially when the victims are children. What kind of mind assaults and kills a child? How can this person be called human? I have always felt that to kill another human being (unless in self defense), you have to see them as less than human. I think that explains how a lot of people have no problem killing others but will fight to the end to avoid the death penalty for themselves. Because somehow, in their mind, their life is more valuable. When I read stories like this, I wonder how destiny factors into all of this. To a certain extent, some events in our lives are destined to occur. Death is one of them. From the day we are born, our death is determined and everything will align itself to ensure that it is carried out. It was no coincidence that this family of pedophiles moved across the street from this child that they were destined to kill. When its your time, its your time. I just hate how this child suffered.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070322/ap_on_re_us/missing_boy_9

I guess the larger question is what should society do with pedophiles? To kill a child 3 days after you're placed on probation shows a clear lack of self control and concern for others. If they don't understand what a danger they are to others and honestly feel like they can successfully assimilate back into society, there are many cases that prove them wrong. I am against the death penalty but somehow, I want a front row seat to the exectution of these 3.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sacrifices

So, I started this Lent Challenge with some of my Low Carb Friends. I'm not even Catholic but, for the 40 to 45 days of Lent, I've chosen to give up anything that is artificially sweetened and my beloved fruit. I chose them because the artificial sweetener at least is something that I have wanted to give up for a long time and I just couldn't bring myself to do. The fruit I threw in because Lent is about sacrificing and as much as I love fruit, I have serious portion control issues with it. I did this to give myself some perspective.

Imagine my surprise when I hopped on the scale last Friday and saw that I had lost 3 pounds. Could it be just because I gave up artificial sweetener? I have been going through my Fitday to try and figure out what I did because I was actually eating more (at least it felt like it) because I couldn't snack. It's really a shame that all of my snacks are either artificially sweetened or fruit. I've since substituted with nuts and cheese, soy flaxseed tortillas from Trader Joes, or hummus and raw veggies. The week that I lost the 3 pounds was the week I ate macadamia nuts. They're the fattiest nuts ever but it's good fat so I wonder if eating more fat helped me lose those pounds.

We started this on Feb. 21 and I still can't believe how well I've been doing. I have been eating the occasional piece of dark chocolate but since it's not artificially sweetened, technically I am allowed to eat it. I've been using stevia to sweeten and drinking Yerba Mate instead of coffee. I still have the occasional cup of coffee but not every day like I did before. Since I can't really sweeten it the way I'd like, I just don't drink it. The fruit has been more of a challenge because I love it so much. I haven't had one bite though. It kills me to walk through the produce section at the grocery store but I just pick up my veggies and keep going. I also took my sugar free stash out of the pantry and placed it on the dining room table. I did not realize how much of that stuff I had until I separated it from my real food. Almost halfway through this and I realize that I will have to make some changes when this is over. Most of my sugar free stuff is not even nutritious food. It's junk food that I don't need anyway. I really want to develop some healthier habits when this is over.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Aaaargggghhhhh!

Well,

I've officially stopped the Quaker plan. I was just too hungry on 1500 calories and I found myself overeating on the weekends to compensate. In the end I lost 2 pounds...pretty much a pound a week which the "experts" think is a healthy loss. Personally, I don't like being hungry so, damn the weight loss if I have to be hungry. The world stops when I am hungry or cold. It is literally all I think about until I fix it. The funny thing is if I moved up to their 1800 calorie meal plan, I doubt that I would lose weight. I've been tracking my diet in Fitday for quite a while now and it seems that I lose better when I stay in the 1300 to 1400 calorie range. The times when I have exceeded 1600 calories (and there have been many), I actually gain weight. I don't understand why this is. 1600 calories is not a lot of food! I know that I have a sedentary job. I can barely get 5,000 steps on my pedometer on most days but, I get home and exercise 5 to 7 days a week for 40 to 60 minutes What else should I be doing? I eat well and I exercise regularly. Shouldn't that be enough? How active does one have to be to actually lose weight with diet and exercise?

Not only do I workout but, I think I workout pretty strenuously..at least more strenuously than I would like. I would much prefer to do Pilates or yoga every day because they don't require much effort. As it stands right now, I do a full body workout once a week. Usually Cathe's Power Hour. I then alternate circuit and interval workouts for the rest of the week with additional weight work tacked on to the interval workouts. So far this week, my workout schedule has been:

Sun: Low Impact Step and Chest, Back, Shoulders & Abs from MIS
Mon: Power Hour
Tues: Blast Only Premix from Low Max and Abs
Wed: The Firm's Tough Aerobic Mix
Thurs: NAC Interval Challenge and Chest, Back, Shoulders & Abs from MIS
Fri: Low Impact Circuit
Sat: Hi/Lo to the Max and Biceps, Triceps, & Abs from MIS
Sun: not sure yet but it will probably be Crunch's Burn & Firm Pilates.

This is really getting frustrating that my body is so resistant. I am not trying to kill myself with exercise because quite frankly, I hate it. My goal is to tone up and lose a little weight, not to become a fitness competitor. I am not one of those people who are fanatic about fitness. I like the results but I don't enjoy the activity.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Still Hungry!

Update on the Quaker diet: Yesterday was Day 7 and the last day of the meal plan (I was mistaken when I said it was a 5 day meal plan). I am down 1.5 pounds this morning. 1.5 pounds lost in 7 days isn't bad. So, my weight is unchanged from Friday morning and I pigged out on hot wings on Sunday so, I am glad that I at least didn't gain anything. I am going to stick it out for a few more days. The hunger is still an issue for me. It is not a starving type of hunger. Just a feeling of not being really satisfied and I really hate that my belly is growling at 5:30 in the morning when I wake up since I don't plan to eat until around 8 or so. We'll see how this week goes. I'm off to plan another week's worth of meals.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'm Hungry!

It wasn't enough for me to make a commitment to exercise more efficiently. Noooooo. I want to lose weight too. 2007 has got to be the year that I lose these 15 pounds that I have packed on since 2002 and the 5 that I didn't lose from the first time. When you get to the maintenance part of a diet plan, you become a little spoiled. You can relax the rules a bit and eat a little bit more than you did while losing weight. I have been wanting to have my cake and eat it too. I want to continue to eat like I am on maintenance but still lose weight. Apparently, this is not going to happen. I have tried many things over the past few years and always lose a few pounds initially but when I see progress, I tend to start eating more and of course the weight loss stops or my weight goes back up.

My latest attempt is to try a 1500 calorie meal plan from the Quaker oats website. After all, I eat the Weight Control Oatmeal for Breakfast every morning and love it. With a little butter and cream, it is absolute heaven. At first glance, it seemed like quite a bit of food and I guess, relatively, it is.

Here is a typical menu:
DAY 1

Breakfast
1 packet Cinnamon Weight Control Instant Oatmeal
1 cup Lowfat 1% Milk
2 Tbsp Raisins
1 oz Any Other Nut

Lunch
1 serving Chinese Chicken Salad

Snack 1
1 small Apple

Dinner
4 oz Rosemary Chicken
2 cups Broccoli (2cups) & 1 carrot
1/3 cup Brown Rice

Snack 2
1 cup Lowfat 1% Yogurt
1 cup Honeydew Melon

This menu is a close replica of the way I would like to eat. I have a few problems with this menu and I've had to make a few modifications to suit my tastes. Firstly, unless I'm eating cereal or cookies, I don't drink milk so the 1 cup of milk for breakfast is a problem. I've been using 1 cup of Calorie Countdown "milk" to make my Yerba Mate in the morning instead. Much tastier than making my Yerba Mate with just hot water. The breakfast is also seriously lacking in extra protein and fat. Yes, there is protein powder in the oatmeal but, not enough to sustain you for the 3 to 5 hours until lunch. The protein in the nuts won't sustain you until lunch either. Before, I started eating by this plan, I would always add 1 or 2 sausage patties to the oatmeal and it helped keep me full until at least 1:00. Because of the lack of protein in the breakfast, I am struggling to make it to lunch. I was in a meeting on Tuesday and my stomach starting growling at about 11:00. I try not to eat lunch before 1:00 because if I eat much earlier, I'll be grazing in the late afternoon to stave off hunger. Which brings me to my next complaint.

Why is there no snack between breakfast and lunch? I would much prefer to have a snack between breakfast and lunch than after dinner. If I eat after dinner, I'll be eating for the rest of the night. Dinner and my cup of dessert tea/coffee is my signal that eating is done for the day. So, I put the after dinner snack between breakfast and lunch. This meal plan also requires that you portion things out which I don't intend to be doing for the rest of my life. I didn't lose my weight the first time by measuring my food and I still managed to lose 40 pounds. It's not a habit I want to form. I can see myself getting obsessed with it just like I'm obsessed with avoiding sugar and the carb counts of what I eat. I don't need anything else to obsess about.

I've also been modifying some of the meals. Quaker's Chinese Chicken salad has become a regular chicken salad. I don't have any grilled chicken breast (besides that, I hate white meat chicken) prepared, so I've been substituting 2 boiled eggs and shredding the meat from a baked chicken leg or thigh so I can have some protein on my salad. I'm also sacrificing by using vinaigrette when I really prefer creamy dressings like ranch. Hey, it's a five day meal plan (you're supposed to go back after the initial 5 days and create a new 5 day plan). I can make some sacrifices for 5 days. Why make rosemary chicken when I've got a chicken and chick pea stew already cooked in the fridge? I just put everything into Fitday to make sure I stay within the 1500 calories. I also don't eat the rice that they have planned for dinner. As a rule, I don't eat carbs with my last meal. The second day's menu called for a grilled chicken breast sandwich for lunch. I don't have any grilled chicken breasts but, I've got plenty of veggie burgers in my freezer. So, I am working this meal plan around what I already have in the house. Of course, I tend to eat healthy anyway so this was not a big challenge for me.

I am not hungry at night because the dinner is pretty big when you count all those veggies. I've only been able to eat 1 cup because there is just no room on my plate for two cups of veggies. 1 cup takes up about half the plate. In the morning though, my stomach is growling before I leave the house. I am used to eating breakfast at 8:30. A later breakfast means I can hold out longer for lunch. I have been drinking my Yerba and eating a piece of fruit when I get to work at 7:00 so I can wait until 8:30 to eat breakfast. On the plus side, I have lost a pound a day and today is day 3. It really is a healthier eating plan and I am so glad they didn't load it up with carby and sugary foods. It also allows for substitutions which is nice. If I do decide to follow it for a longer period of time, I will definitely need to make some tweaks like finding a way to put my sausage patties back into breakfast and still stay within my alloted calories.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

New Fitness Plan

I've been working out for several years now and just really started to see quick results when I incorporated step aerobics back in September. I've been obsessed with step workouts since then and have started doing lots more cardio than I did before. I did cardio maybe once or twice a week before and focused on weight training the rest of the time. Now I do cardio about 3 to 4 times a week and lift weights 1 to 2 times a week. I frequent the Low Carb Friends forum and there are quite a few people there who are really into fitness. They look like body builders. I've decided to try some of their advice and see if I notice any difference in my results. According to them I should:

1. Cut back on cardio and focus more on weight training.
2. On the days when I do cardio, do it after my weight work.
3. Don't do cardio for more than 20 minutes. Use it as a complement to weight work, not the other way around.

I already eat pretty healthy so I will cut back on the calories a little bit and see how this works for the next 30 days. So, I am going to cut the cardio to once or twice a week and focus on weights the rest of the time with a little yoga/pilates thrown in for good measure. I'm going to have to take some pics so I can see if this works. Will post those as soon as I work up the nerve. :-) And, I will not be wearing a two piece or my underwear!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Well, it's 12 days into the new year and I managed to get a ticket. 79 mph in a 55. I don't think that I am the only person who is not angry that they were speeding but angry that they got a ticket in the first place. I am one of those people who has to resist the urge to ask the officer if no one is being murdered or robbed right now. The fact that there are officers whose sole purpose is to write tickets and generate revenue for the city/county irks me. As a society, I don't think speeding is at the top of the list of dangerous crimes. Now people who speed excessively should get some kind of reprimand. The vast majority of us speed but, the vast majority of us do not speed excessively nor drive recklessly. A speed limit of 55 on an interstate is also ridiculous. But only in Georgia (metro Atlanta specifically) can an interstate speed limit be set that low. And the governor is talking about lowering speed limits, confirming once again that he is a dumb ass. As she handed me the ticket, the officer told me to slow down. Yeah, stick your advice up your ass and go solve some crimes.