Video: Despair is Useless!

I was swallowed up by despair during many half-assed attempts at getting fit. A small gain or no loss would break me. Not anymore. The only way to work at weight loss is rationally. She has lost 59.8 pounds in a healthy way. Congrats!

I'll be back with a proper post/progress report soon. Come and join the 'Getting Fit in 2009' group at!

Video: Keeping the Confidence-Lose the W.E.I.G.H.T

This may not be for everyone but I love this woman's confidence! Her weight loss story is very inspirational. Check out her YouTube channel here.

Video: Tips Eat Less Food w/out Hunger & Loss Weight, Nutrition

I eat out of boredom. My biggest meal is usually dinner (bad, I know). This is my only meal with my husband. It's our time to de-stress and talk about the day. I guess I associate dinner with comfort.

I usually have outrageous portion sizes for dinner. I need to start taking a doggie bag instead of finish my plate when eating out. At home, I need to practice portion control.

My biggest problem is skipping meals, usually breakfast and/or lunch. I am ravenous by dinner which is why I have the huge potion sizes.

Making Conscious Food Choices: Red Meat

I've taken an in-depth look at my food log. I notice I've only eaten red meat once in the last week. Thinking about it, our meat consumption has decreased tremendously in the last 5 years. I was raised on a very heavy, red meat diet. The first change I noticed after moving out on my own was I was buying pork very rarely. I now buy pork chops maybe 4 times a year. I consider pork a red meat even though it technically isn't. I don't like the taste as much as I used to and it upsets my stomach. The smell of pork roast makes me sick. I still eat it during holidays, but in very small amounts.

One reason I've cut down on buying meat is health reasons. I try to buy mainly organic products...with the exception of meat. The amount of hormones and other harmful chemicals in our meat (as well as other everyday products) is astonishing. I already feel bombarded by toxins from other means everyday of my life. I don't feel the need to eat toxins as well. There are many more benefits for eating organic meat besides the few I list here.

Another reason why we've lowered our consumption of red meat is the cost. It is still pretty expensive to buy organic, farm-raised meat...when I can find it. FYI: Just because the meat is organic doesn't necessarily mean it was treated humanely. The price of non-organic meat has been on the rise for years. I noticed small price increases until one day the price was over $2 more than I paid the previous year. I decided to start cooking less meat-based meals to save a few bucks. I used to think fish was more expensive until I compared prices. I now buy fish/seafood/poultry in family-sized packages. The price is usually less than or equal to a its equivalent of red meat.

Last but probably the most important reason to me is purely ethical. I've watched many videos showing the way animals are tortured. Don't even get me started on veal. I've eaten it once in my life. Never again. There is absolutely no reason to torture an animal that is already being sacrificed to feed us. We as Americans don't think about where our meat came from. We see a nicely butchered piece of meat but don't think of the animal it once was a part of. I'm far from being a vegetarian. I love poultry and don't think I can ever give up eating chicken or turkey. I can however make informed choices and develop healthy eating habits. I plan on being (almost) 100% organic when I have children.

EDIT-1/17/09: Today is my cheat day so I'm recording this morning's weigh-in (instead of tomorrow.) 1.2 pound loss!

Video: Healthy Fast Food Menu Item?

My healthy fast food of choice is a Subway sandwich on wheat bread with a vinaigrette dressing. Sometimes I go with a chicken salad or chili and baked potato from Wendy's.

Update and Reflection

I have to say, I'm really proud of myself. I haven't been so diligent about logging my food in...years...ever? You can check out my food log by clicking The Daily Plate button to the right. I had a few days of going over my calorie limit. In the past this would have thrown me into a spin but now it's a way to see my mistakes.

I think I might have finally taken the blindfold off. I hate looking in the mirror. HATE it. But I took a long look and see that I've really neglected my body. It's as if I didn't really know I was fat, I just ignored the situation. Well, it's time to like what I see in the mirror again.

  • Lost weight two weeks in a row!
  • Logged my food for two weeks in a row.
  • Taking vitamins (just about) every day.
  • Only exercised once in the last two weeks. I've been sick with bronchitis. I'm finally on the mend and will workout at home for now.
  • Still not drinking enough water. I want to buy a reusable 1/2 gallon container to fill nightly.
Lessons Learned
  • Logging food right before or soon after allows me to see how many calories I'm allowed for the rest day. The days I've gone over are partly because I logged my whole day at once. If I would have known I was close to my limit, I probably would've cooked a lighter dinner or skipped dessert.
  • Planning a daily menu is far easier than trying to plan for a week or longer at a time. I list my meals for the following day on my dry erase board in the evening.

Video: Hungry? Hunger Control, Cravings, Weight Loss, Nutrition

This is a long video but worth the time. I am very guilty of confusing thirst with hunger. I didn't think I was on a sugar cycle. I was hyperglycemic as a teenager and still suffer from horrible fatigue. I know this was directly related to my eating habits. I still have the habit of not eating until the afternoon but I'm trying to break this habit.

How I Fight Cravings

I've scoured the internet and read many magazine articles and books on how to fight cravings. Usually once a craving hits, it's all I can think of. I'm still at the beginning of this food journey. Here are a few tips that are keeping me sane.

I do not keep non-healthy treats at home. I don't even walk down the junk food isle. Ok, I speed walk past to grab the popcorn but you get the point. I just don't buy it! I also make sure I eat before I shop so I don't pick up that barrel-sized ice cream. On the flip side, I try to have healthy snacks on hand.

I have one cheat day a week. I actually skipped my first 'cheat day' to try and get my cravings in check. I'm not sure if I'll make it a cheat day or meal. I'm leaning more toward a cheat meal for the first month to get into the habit of eating healthy.

I've also come up with alternatives to my favorite junk foods. Here are my favorites:

Dairy/Ice cream: Edy's Slow Churned Light Ice Cream or Rice Pudding
Ice cream is my all-time favorite dessert (even though I'd eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could.) I'm very picky about ice cream and have tried quite a few low fat varieties. This brand is very close to the real thing with no yucky after taste. My favs are Vanilla Bean and Butter Pecan. I also love rice pudding and have found a 1/2 cup with cinnamon and light whipped cream to be just as satisfying as a full serving of ice cream.

Salty/Chips: Smart Foods White Cheddar Popcorn
This is what I reach for when I'm in the mood for a salty, crunchy snack.

Soda: Sparkling Water
I love flavored sparkling water. No calories, fat, or sugar. The perfect drink.

Candy: Gum or Hard Candy
I keep trident in my bag at all times. Hard candies are long lasting (don't chew, let it melt!) and pack lots of flavor. I also like Werther's or Nips caramel candies. One goes a long way.

Savory/Crunchy: Hummus with Veggies
I love Trader Joe's kalamata hummus with celery slices or baby carrots.

If you feel that you absolutely need that one. Savor it. Pretend it's the last cookie on the planet. Usually a few bites is all your brain needs to be satisfied. Don't beat yourself up for it. Enjoy it and move on.

Video: Nutrition and Your Mental Health

I have been a bit more conscious of how I feel in relation to what I eat lately. My allergies are usually worse after I eat dairy products. I feel sluggish and my nose is stuffed when I wake up after eating a high sodium meal. I am tired after a huge meal or not drinking enough water during the day.

Oprah's Best Life Week: 5 Questions to Consider

Oprah had a great show today on her experience with weight gain in 2008. This is the start of her Best Life series. I highly suggest that you watch this week. Here are a 5 questions her trainer, Bob Greene, have asked us to answer.

Why am I overweight?
The easy answer in overeating. But my reality is that I have major food issues. I realized recently that I began to overeat when my parents divorced. You'd think it would have been obvious, but it took me almost two decades to see the connection. I used food as a way to escape my reality. I also picked up bad eating habits as a child. I lost about 50 pounds during my teenage years due to stress, excessive cigarette and marijuana use and depression.

Since all of the weight was lost very fast, I gained the weight back once my life became a little more balanced. I soon surpassed a healthy weight because I had not learned to eat healthy or exercised. On top of this, my weight and appearance in general was far down on priority list. I told myself once I am "where I want to be" in life, I'll focus on my health. This is really unrealistic since there will always be a "reason" to spin out of control. Well, I'm done with school (for the time being), my finances are in control, my marriage is stable...there are no other excuses!

What am I really hungry for?
I was hungry for success. It sounds positive but I now see it as a negative. I am very afraid of failure, so afraid that it hinders me. I have to keep telling myself: perfection is not a realistic option. Success in my eyes was really all about preconceptions. I have the horrible trait of being a people pleaser. It's now time to learn to be happy with myself.

Why have I been unable to maintain weight loss in the past?
I haven't learned to love myself regardless of my weight, affluence, or any other superficial trait. I also haven't learned to take the time to focus on my health. My health has been on the back burner for far too long. For a long time, I felt I wasn't worth the time, or it was selfish to do so. I've put everything from school to my job before me.

What in your life is not working?
My level of stress. I stress out just to stress out. It's like it's embedded in my DNA. I have some family issues I need to work out. The truth is, in comparison to so many people in this world, my life is fabulous. I need to remind myself of this every day.

Why do I want to lose weight?
I want to feel healthy again! Some of the health problems I've experienced in the past year are: asthma, frequent allergy attacks, fertility issues, depression and knee, foot and back pain. I also want to have a child and be able to play with him or her without getting winded. I want to live a long and healthy life and be more active.

Video: Eat Healthy Food on a Budget Tips

I began transitioning to a more organic diet in '08. Most of my reasons are ethical, others are nutritional. We know organic doesn't necessarily mean healthy but there are still tons of benefits. The price of organic food has been dropping in the last couple of years. Even so, it can still be a drain on the wallet.

In my case, I take a monthly trip to Trader Joe's to stock up on organic foods and healthy staples. I haven't tried Whole Foods only because I know the prices on most items are a little higher and I don't have a store near my home.

Other ways I stock up on healthy foods on a budget is shopping at "ethnic" supermarkets. There is a large Asian supermarket near my home that sells fresh fish and tons of fruit and vegetables year-round. I can't find most of these items at any other conventional food mart.

A Cold is No Excuse for Failure

I've been able to ignore the fact that I'm sick...until today. I woke up with a stuffy nose, sneezing, dry throat, and a congested/phlegmy chest. I don't think it's anything worse than a cold but I know I'll have to skip the gym today. A few sites I read advise against working out while sick. It really sucks because I actually want to go. I worked out for the first time in a very long time on new years day. I forgot how much I enjoy the treadmill. I had a serious self-pep talk and pumped up the house music. I hope my symptoms will subside by Monday. I don't like to take medicine unless absolutely necessary. I'll be plugging in my humidifier and drinking lots of lemony green tea (I still have loads of lemons from my master cleanse debacle.) I'll also do some floor exercises and deep stretching in loo of the gym.

I've been following a 1700 calorie limit since jan. 1. You can see my daily plate by clicking the link in the side bar. So far, so good. The hardest part is eating in regular increments and planning meals. Eating under 1700 cals is not so bad. I feel like I'm eating more food than ever before. I'll definitely fall off of the wagon if I don't eat every 3-4 hours. We just stocked up o groceries to avoid last-minute take-out orders. I've also placed my vitamins in plain sight in my bathroom. I'm currently taking a daily vitamin, complete EFA and folic acid.

In short, I refuse to let a microscopic pest throw me off course.

And if you're wondering, I've changed the blog title to Getting Fit in 2009. No excuses this year.

Video: Top 10 Motivational Tips

I will post videos every couple of days for the month of January to help start us out right for the new year. I'll share how they relate to me.

This video is purely to get our motivational juices flowing. Her tips are excellent and can be applied to many different situations and goals in our lives. Setting up reminders and reinforcing my health goals throughout all aspects of my life is something I am working hard at.

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