Never Before Seen Number

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Recently, I have gone from “trying to lose weight” to “this is my lifestyle”. Now I struggle because I dont want to eat fast food or restaurant because I can cook way better quality food at home. I struggle to have a true “rest” day instead of forcing myself to go to the gym. When having to go to restaurants or social eating events, I eat what I can & dont even feel like eating the ice cream & pizza & nachos everyone else is gorging on. I know that those foods are not nourishing my body. Not only is exercising healthy for me physically, but also emotionally & mentally. If I’m feeling down or am worrying a lot, going to workout or taking a walk does wonders.
So…for the topic of this post. I weighed myself today. Even after letting myself eat a bit off of plan on Easter, I still lost weight this week. I am now 137! I have never seen this number on the scale before, in my entire life. Down from 160 since Jan 2nd. The only time I could have possibly been lower is when I was 13 & a vegetarian/ struggling anorexic….and my birth weight! Lol. Seriously, I have not been this low on my weight & I definitely have gained muscle as well. This week I ran 1.5 miles in 13 minutes & 3 miles in 26 minutes! I love seeing progress. Even if its little things that make me smile. That’s probably why I am typing this. I have no one to tell & I’m bursting with excitement, so here I am…proud of myself. For probably the first time in history. I’m proud of myself & actually dont completely hate my body right now!
For Easter, I did let myself have sweets, which I havent had since the end of December. I was triggered to binge, but I threw out everything & went for a walk instead. That is really good progress for me. Not only could I stop myself from eating, but for the first time, I recognized my trigger & was able to prevent major self sabotage.
Glad I could share some progress :)

Tips

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So I am not an expert on fitness or health, but I have done my research. Not only have I read numerous sources, but I have also used myself as a test subject. So this is some of the principles & resources that have helped me to get started and stay on track. 1. Write down everything you eat. Even if you haven’t changed what you are eating, it gives you a start to be more mindful of what you are eating. When you don’t care about your fitness or just don’t know the best choices to make to be healthy, this is the way to become aware. If you don’t consciously think that there are 550 calories in a Big Mac or that there are 230 calories in the fries, your calories can add up. Not to mention the pressures of getting a soda. And also ignoring the fact of how much fat and sugar and non-nutritional food you are eating. And when you sit down in front of the TV and mindlessly eat oreos, ignoring the calories and fat and sugar. So you can write it down with pen & paper or use the free apps available on your phone. My favorite is Myfitnesspal. It tracks your fat & carbs & protein & sugars. My only drawback is that it doesnt differentiate between whole, real food & portion control of non-nutritional food. You can try any of the other ones out there. Just make sure you become more aware of what you are putting into your body. 2. Keep motivated. It’s easy to get discouraged in this society & around so many people that just don’t care. It makes you look obsessive, but for myself, I have to constantly be reading or watching other people living a healthy lifestyle so I can make it possible for myself. If I start thinking I’m the only one trying to be healthy, then I get very discouraged. I like to know that there are others out there that are actually trying to be healthy. I subscribe to a lot of pages on Facebook so I can see little inspirational quotes. I use Reddit also. Constantly on r/fitness & r/getmotivated & r/loseit. They are real people with motivating weight loss stories. There is so much info out there, that it can also get you discouraged because of the confusion. But whatever motivates you to move more & eat more veggies, fruits, & lean meats is what you should follow. Just tell yourself “I can do it!” 3. Eat mostly whole, real foods. In our day & age, its easy to confuse what we should be eating with what manufacturers tell us is healthy. Just a word to the wise: companies that produce manufactured foods do not care about your health. They want you to buy it & keep buying their products. So if they put on the front of their box that its natural or fat free or sugar free, they are hoping you wont read the ingredients. Then you would find a list of a lot of ingredients, most you have no idea what they are, & a lot of different names for sugar & salt in foods you never would think needs that. I like to stick to as many veggies as possible, some fruit, & lean meats, & good healthy fats like avocado & nut butter with 1 ingredient. If I am getting a manufactured product, I try to see if I could make it myself or if it has a minimal amount of ingredients, I know exactly what it is. I used to go months without ever eating veggies; now I dont go a day without eating at least 5. I put them in my smoothies, in my eggs, in anything I cook. I try to experiment with different veggies every week. Recently I started to try out the BountifulBaskets @ bountifulbaskets.com. Its a local co-op that gets fresh, whole foods & sales it cheaper. You get so much for a minimal amount & it lasts about 2 weeks for me. Some places dont have volunteers to do them but you can start one. You just never know what you will get in the basket because its local, in season foods. I cant wait for spring so the Farmers Markets can open again! And if you cant afford organic or local, its better to get fruits & veggies that you can try to wash really well than eat fast food & not know at all what you are eating! 4. Move! Be active! Most articles say fitness is 80% what you eat & then a small amount of working out. It might ring true for losing weight & initially starting a fitness journey, but if your goals are to hike or play with your kids or run a 5k or actually have muscles, then you need to look into working out. I love working out. Afterwards, I’m so exhausted & I’m usually sore the next couple of days but it does so much for me emotionally. When I’m working out, I can tune everything else out & focus on my fitness goals. When you are benching the highest you have ever done & you want to get to a certain number, its hard to focus on anything other than counting & breathing & not dropping the weights on yourself! It makes me feel alive! Makes me feel grateful that I can actually move & push myself. And when you want to be active with friends to go hiking or biking or swimming or rock climbing or snowboarding, you have the endurance to keep going & not hold everyone else back. Some people like music to workout to, others dont. For me, different songs elicit different emotions & responses. Dance songs make me want to move more & go as hard & fast as I can. Rock music makes me feel like a badass bodybuilder. Running is one of the most challenging activities for me, so I need to listen to music to keep my mind off of the arduous task of running. Sometimes I feel like dancing to some of the music but then I just start to do squats instead so it feels like I’m just “dropping it low”. A really cool music app is Fit Radio. It is a mix of different songs that are compiled by a DJ so they flow together like 1 big continuous song. Its always been hard for me to go to gyms because of my self defeating thoughts about what others are thinking of me. They probably dont even notice me but I think they are thinking “what is this fat girl thinking shes doing in the weights” or “she thinks thats how you’re supposed to workout”. There are so many different schools of thought on women & working out. I’ve done the mindless cardio, the heavy weights & wait in between, and the I have no idea what I am doing so I walk around & just do random stuff. This time around is the first time I have stuck to an actual workout plan. And I can definitely tell a difference. My body reacts quicker & builds better muscle when I’m consistent. I am also able to gauge the development of my fitness by pushing myself further this week than last week. Its just hard for me starting a new fitness routine when I’m doing things I have never done before in front of people. I love the workout routines from leansecrets.com & she also has her own youtube channel that rocks. Just remember to be true to yourself. In the end, you are the one you should be answering to so have a clear conscious.

Excited

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Today I signed up for my first race! It isn’t until June & it’s not so much competitive, but I’m excited it’s promoting being active & having fun. The race is The Dirty Dash. We are either going to do 3.5 or 5.5 miles. Usually I have been turned off by public races because 1) the price & 2) no one to do it with. So the fact is, I’m cheap. My thinking is, why would I pay money to run? I can run outside for free! But running through mud & obstacles with friends is something that you don’t get the opportunity to do every day! So even though its more of a fun race than a competition, I still want to be strong & fit to not be the one slowing down my team. I’m so excited to have a specific goal!
I have been doing great on eating. My motivation is to eat whole, real food. I’m tired of seeing processed foods & all of this “food” that people eat, not realizing what it is they are actually putting in their bodies. Its quite funny when we go out with friends lately. I’m not even tempted to eat their pizzas & ice cream & french fries & burgers & sodas. They try to defend themselves, that they eat healthy at home but splurge when they go out or that this is their cheat meal or they eat whatever they want on the weekend. I am not a judgmental person. I don’t judge people for not eating healthy. I hope people didn’t judge me on my binges or on my not caring what I put in to my body. Everyone has struggles. Everyone is at different phases in their lives. My personal struggle is my relationship with food, so for me, I need to conquer this. Not for anyone else, but for myself. I dont eat healthy to impress others or to make others feel guilty or even to lose weight. Its for my sanity & for my health. I try to be healthy for me. Sometimes it frustrates my husband that he wants Chinese food or fried chicken & I am not tempted & would rather not put those things in my body. But he actually told me today that this time around of “trying to be healthy” is great for me. That he doesnt want to encourage my cheat meals, because my binges were horrible & he felt so bad for me & how much I would eat at these times. I am an all or nothing kind of person, but I’m trying to change that. I am not tempted but sometimes you just want to see if you are missing out. I am at the point where I can have 1 bite of my husbands gelato & be ok with no more. Thankfully I am learning portions & being able to control my temptations. I actually want veggies & try to get as much as I can in a day.
People say they are on a “diet” like vegetarianism, & then eat everything but meat. They eat ice cream & chips & twinkies & tons of pasta, but no meat. So technically they are following the “diet”. But is it “healthy”? What’s healthy? Processed low fat foods? Foods that say they are healthy, but just so you will buy them because they are “good for you”? When anyone talks about truly healthy food, it involves real whole foods. Real as in the least amount of ingredients possible. For instance, an apple is made up of an apple. Other “foods” have so many ingredients that you can’t even pronounce them or explain what they are. I am excited about real foods.
Anyways, thats what I have been thinking about lately. Thanks for letting me share!

A study about Artificial Sweeteners

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The following is a study about regular & diet soda. I thought it was interesting about how artificial sweeteners are finally being brought to light. They basically cause hunger & make you crave sweeter foods. The study about the chances of Type 2 Diabetes increasing is also an eyeopener.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/02/15/artificial-sweetners-diet-nutrition.html

I’m Proud!

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Since January 2, 2013, I have been eating healthy and exercising. I feel great! No matter that I have lost weight, I feel way better, my pants fit better, my mind feels better, and I honestly don’t want to not eat healthy. I dont feel deprived. I dont see ice cream & bacon cheeseburgers and think “I CANT have that.”, I think “I dont WANT that!” I was basically forced to have one “cheat” meal this whole time. Other times I just try to find something that I would cook myself or wait until I can cook for myself. I have never felt so satisfied and proud of myself. Its a miracle that someone who regularly binged on “bad” foods & who could go weeks without a single vegetable can be eating so healthy. I love eating whole foods. Its not about following a mainstream diet, its about following what makes sense & works with your body. Fortunately I have not been challenged too much on what I am eating or why, but it just makes sense to me. I think I could defend my beliefs. There are so many different schools of thought on nutrition & even exercising that it’s easy to go from one idea to the other & end up being confused & frustrated. I have decided that instead of being confused, frustrated, & just give up, I would rather be healthy & fit & feel good about myself. I like myself being healthy way more than being unhealthy. My confidence is there, my pants fit better, I am stronger & more active. I notice little changes in my body that others wouldnt notice but it makes me happy. What if I keep on going strong? What if my body continues to get healthy & strong? What if veggies & fruits are the best foods for me? I have learned to love and crave veggies & fruits & those foods that have minimal ingredients & are minimally processed. I am even bringing my husband into my journey by cooking different meals each week to try out. I tried Spaghetti Squash this week with ground chicken & tomato sauce with spices & turns out it pretty much is our substitute for spaghetti now!
This weekend I am trying out the local co-op. I dont have a big fridge & it doesnt tell me what it is I amĀ  actually paying for, so I convinced a friend to go half in with me so we can check it out the first time. If its things that I can use for a manageable amount, then it would be very sensible to use this local co-op. I can’t wait for the Farmers markets to open up again in the Spring.
I am even thinking ahead to when we go camping. We like to camp about every other weekend or so. In the past the foods I eat is what everyone else does, chips, sandwhiches, hot dogs, smores..its hard to think of things to eat when you want to eat healthily but have limited space. I think some of my ideas will work though. Like using fruits & veggies that dont have to be refrigerated. I wont be able to use my blender or microwave, so I need to figure out how to get the maximum amount of veggies, but raw. I am not a fan of salads so maybe dipping raw food in hummus or something? I’m still working on it, but I have a couple of months still.
What keeps me motivated is knowing other people are eating healthy & exercise & have been doing it longer than I have. I love reading blogs and articles and facebook pages and Reddit. I feel obsessed sometimes, but it helps me realize that I am not by myself in this. There are other people that want to be healthy; people who don’t want to go with the mainstream love of McDonalds; people who resist temptation & are looked at as weird & people who feel wonderful because of it!
Happy Valentines Day! Spread love to everyone; we all need it ;) Stay strong & if you “slip up”, don’t ever give up! You can do it!

Really Mesmerized…

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As the Title of this post indicates, I am really mesmerized. Its been a bit since my last post but its a good thing. This Blog is more like a journal or diary to sort through my thoughts, feelings, and frustrations with this journey of becoming healthy. So when I dont Blog for a bit, its because all is pretty well. I am continuing to lose weight steadily but slowly. Its so mesmerizing how fast I can put on weight but how painfully slow it comes off. Every time I read something about “It didnt take you a week to put on the weight so its not going to take a week to get it off” makes me think “well you don’t know me at all!” I have been able to gain 15 pounds in a week, but take almost 2 months to lose it! With this realization, it is perfect motivation to make me not want those foods & sedentary life to put that weight back on. I was actually at a decent weight before I got discouraged & started eating whatever I want & not being as consistent with working out. Now I have to struggle just to lose a pound or two each week.
I am mesmerized at how every person that I come in contact with thinks they know everything about what we should be eating but doesnt follow it. Or they think diet soda is good for them because it says diet. My biggest kicks come from people that know how hard it is to be healthy, & instead of offering support, want to sabotage you. They say things like “its not good to deprive yourself.” “one cheat meal wont hurt.” “it says wheat on the package so it’s the healthiest thing you could eat.” People around you seem to be more temptation than ads on tv or even your own mind sometimes. I’m not someone that is argumentative or confrontational, thus the need for a blog; so I just let them speak their minds & I keep an openmind & research anything that I’m not familiar with. But why do people in America have to be so critical of those trying to better themselves? Why can’t I just like veggies & fruit? Just because I dont want to put crap in my body anymore, makes me feel like the odd one out.
And its not a diet! I’m not doing this just to lose weight…yes, that is a side effect that I am looking forward to! But I want this to be a lifestyle. I’m tired of yoyo-ing through life. Going through times of exercise & eating healthy and then times of being stressed & depressed & eating crap because its convenient. Right now in my life, my biggest cravings are apples! How many people do you know say that?
Since January 2nd of 2013, I have been eating healthy consistently. And I feel great! I love eating healthy. I dread having to go out to eat. I would rather cook at home! I know where my food came from & what I am putting into it. My healthy eating is a cross between clean eating, gluten free, paleo, & vegetarian. LOL! That mixture is hilarious, I have to admit. But its because I dont want to be on a “diet”. I want to do what works for me. Clean eating because I am doing lots of veggies & lean meats. Gluten free because carbs have been too big in my diet for my life & I wanted to see if they were as necessary as everyone says they are. Paleo for veggies, fruit, nuts & no procesed foods & minimal ingredients. I do however eat beans because I feel they have more benefits to my health than not. Also, I’m not into the fatty cuts of meat like beef & pork. So vegetarian because I have never been a big meat eater but I want to choose where my meat comes from rather than as a staple. Like fish being wild caught over farmed or free range chickens with no antibiotics or growth hormones over whatever it is they serve at McDonalds or Subway. My main part of my “diet” is getting plenty of veggies throughout the day. You can’t go wrong with veggies. They have way more stuff good with them than wrong. Even the ones that get a bad rap like potatoes or sweet potatoes can be used as your carbs. If you worked out that day, then you can have those starchy veggies because they are gonna be way better than the chemical riddled bread any day. There was a time when I could go weeks without a single veggie in my “diet”, but now I make sure I have at least 5 veggies each day. I limit my fruit to 2, just because I dont want as much sugar in my “diet” as I am used to having. Then leat meats or beans or eggs. The only dairy I get is probably 2 times a week I eat organic greek yogurt. I switched to almond milk & have just cut out cheese. I thought I wasnt gluten free, but when I paid attention to ingredients, I realized I basically am! That was funny to realize that I am basically gluten free when I wasnt even trying! And with every fruit that I have I make sure to have a protein with it. Its a basic blood sugar stabilization method that I often teach to Diabetic patients. But incorporating blood sugar stabilization methods actually helps all of us to have less blood sugar spikes & drops. I have always dealt with low blood sugar or the symptoms of it. I would have horrible mood swings when I needed to eat & have passed out several times from it. I also was very hungry all the time. My whole life I have had a constant hunger that nothing less than a buffet could satisfy. But since doing the blood sugar stabilization & gluten free, I have changed dramatically in this area. I contribute those two changes to this positive change in my life. With excessive carbs, it does not fill you up very well & can even have addictive properties. I believe this is what has contributed to my success this time around!
Thanks for all of the support & positive vibes! Keep going strong on your own journey…

MyFitnessPal.com

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So since I started my fitness journey January 2, 2013, I have been using the app My Fitness Pal. I have previously used it last year, on & off again while trying to be healthy. But this time I am consistent. I use it solely to make sure I get enough calories. My problem is that most days I dont get enough calories, so I keep track to get in enough. Apparently if you eat less than 1200, its bad for your body & metabolism.
Before I started eating healthy consistently, I was ravenous. I could never get satisfied. I was hungry constantly. The only thing that could possibly fill me up was eating at a buffet. My mood swings from severe hunger was atrocious. I have passed out from low blood sugar in the past. My running joke is that I am constantly hungry, all the time, so no worries when anyone around me wants to eat, I’m down to eat as well!
But since the beginning of January, something has changed. For the first time, ever, in my life, I am not binging & craving to binge. In fact, in 34 days, I have had only 1 cheat meal. When I tried eating healthy previously, I would give myself a cheat day a week & would look forward to it so much. Planning & thinking about all the foods I was depriving myself of. Then I would binge & binge & binge that day. When we go on vacation I would try to be good, but either peoples comments & judgements would get to me or the pure inconvenience of eating healthy would get to me. And in a week, I would gain 15 pounds. If I was stressed out, I would want something easy & fast & make myself feel better with comfort food.
My husband made the comment “I think you are doing way better this time around.” This time around, as in all my yo-yo diets. And I am doing better with cravings & staying consistent. I have always known I am a binge eater. I am either all in or all out. When I have a cheat meal, I take it overboard. When I eat unhealthy, I take it to the extreme. So I want to stay healthy this time, not on the fence. So why am I doing so well this time around? Maybe my determination mentally or limiting carbs to veggies & fruits to limit my cravings & blood sugar roller coaster or the willpower of trying to combat my sickness with nutrition. Maybe I have more invested knowing that others have cured themselves by eating healthy.
So this leads me to my original question. I have been reading blogs and Reddit and info about people adding others to their myfitnesspal app. Is it the motivational comments from others that inspires this? Or is it the challenge of competition from seeing others working out & burning lots more calories than you? Why do you add other people on this app? Just wondering….your opinions would be appreciated!