Category Archives: weight

Pregnancy and Weight


Photo by Mercy McNab http://mercymcnab.com/

Photo by Mercy McNab http://mercymcnab.com/

Stats:

Age: 39

Pre-pregnancy weight: 157 lbs

Height: 5’2

Size: 12

1. When is your due date?

The doctor said August 20th and my midwife used a calendar of my actual cycles and came up with August 29th.

2. Before you got pregnant, were you worried about the weight gain involved with being pregnant?

I started out overweight.  I wanted to lose 15 pounds before I got pregnant but it happened much quicker than we had planned. I was very worried about the weight gain. My sister had put on a lot of weight during her pregnancy and had a hard time losing it after. She also had gestational diabetes so I worried about that too. But once I got pregnant my concerns were more on the health of the baby.

3. How much weight did you gain during your pregnancy?

So far I have gained about 25 pounds. The last three pounds I gained recently. I actually have been worried about not gaining enough weight. The first trimester I did not want to eat. I didn’t have morning sickness; I just couldn’t stand the idea of food, especially vegetables. I worried my baby wasn’t getting enough nutrition, but the doctor told me it was normal during the first trimester to have strange eating habits.

4. Did you have any secondary issues arise because of the weight gain?

I had health issues before getting pregnant which include arthritis and IBS. Doctors warned me that pregnancy would aggravate these issues, but I had no problems with either the first two trimesters.  Now my knees are really hurting me. I cannot kneel or bend down too much. It is painful to take stairs. I am having digestion issues because the baby is bigger and my stomach is being pushed up so high.  I also hit the borderline of gestational diabetes. I didn’t have it but I was close so I changed my diet. Now I try to avoid sugar and when I eat carbs I make sure I eat protein with them. I’m back in the safe zone now; I don’t have diabetes.

Aside from health issues I am uncomfortable with the extra weight. I can’t cross my legs, I get easily short of breath, and my feet are very swollen. I went up a whole shoe size, from a 7 ½ to an 8 ½.

5. Are you worried about losing the weight after the baby is born?

I am actually not too worried about losing the weight after birth. The pregnancy has forced some good eating habits on me. I gave up caffeine from the start of my pregnancy and that has actually made me more energetic and focused. Watching my sugar intake has helped me see how much sugar is in everything. Since I have cut back on sugar my moods have been more stabilized and I feel calmer. I plan to breastfeed and I hear that will help my metabolism and help burn off the extra weight. If I keep eating the way I do now I think I’ll probably end up better off than I was before pregnancy.

6. What kind of physical activity did you do during your pregnancy? Was it difficult?

I am embarrassed to say I did very little physical activity other than working (I am a kindergarten teacher). I joined a gym before I got pregnant and after I found out I was pregnant I had big plans to work out through out my pregnancy, but, I had no idea of the energy a growing baby would take. I was exhausted all of the time. I think if I had a habit before pregnancy it would have been fine.

A few weeks ago my husband and I joined a community swimming pool and I started swimming. I plan to have natural childbirth and I heard that you should work out in some way not so much to control weight but to have endurance. I wish I had started swimming sooner. It feels really great, especially on my joints.  I tried long walks earlier but the pressure my baby had on my bladder made it hard to go far without having to use a bathroom. Swimming is the ideal form of exercise for me. We try to go three days a week.

7. What were the most surprising changes your body went through?

I am from a family of seven, all girls and one boy, I’m the youngest. I’m the last to have a child so I knew very well my body would physically change. I think the most surprising changes my body went through were internal. I imagined when I got pregnant I would eat everything in sight and my change of appetite was surprising. I also expected to have problems with my IBS and arthritis, and not only did pregnancy not complicate these issues but I actually lived the first two trimesters as though they never existed. I have a skin condition on my face and my dermatologist warned me I’d get brown spots on my face known as “pregnancy mask” but I didn’t. I think pregnancy has made me a healthier person.  I am shocked because like I said I couldn’t eat as well as I had planned, got little exercise, and started off with health issues.

8. What does your husband think about your body changes?

My husband is beyond wonderful when it comes to the changes in my body. I think it is just natural for a woman to feel less attractive when she has an extra 25 pounds on her and her body is being reshaped.

First of all, my husband loves curves on a woman and is always telling me how great I look. That is so wonderful to hear. I’ll be blunt, my breasts are changing shape and just looking very different to me, but my husband has this great attitude that my breasts are for the baby now and are being shaped for what they are naturally intended to do.  He has helped me find a different view of my body. Up to this point I related to my body physically as a sexual part of me. Now I see it as functional-almost as an object detached from whom I am inside. It is a bit freeing. I am about to turn 40 in a few weeks and I think this helps, accepting my body is just going to change no matter what. My husband is more accepting of it than me.

I went most of my pregnancy without stretch marks but recently they appeared and I was sad about it. My husband said “They will be there to remind you of this time when you carried the baby.” As I approach my last weeks of pregnancy I am beginning to feel a sense of loss, of not having the baby in me after all of this time. I love feeling the baby move and kick. It truly is a magical feeling for me, and seeing the stretch marks as a souvenir of this time puts a positive spin on things.

9. Any advice for women expecting, or wanting to become pregnant?

My advice to women who are expecting is, your body is going to change. Embrace it. I met a woman who told me she hit 300 pounds in her pregnancy and a friend talked her into having a photo shoot dressed as a belly dancer. She thought this was crazy but did it anyway and she loved it. Get a henna design put on your belly, wear clothes that show off your new breasts and belly, pose for a life drawing, or hire a professional photographer. Take pictures of your belly, your swollen feet and double chin, they are all part of having a baby.  Celebrate these changes.

To people around a pregnant woman, please be positive about our physical looks. We know we are “getting so big”. Tell us how great we look, that we glow, look happy, focus on the baby and not the extra weight.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

Thank you Rae for answering these questions so honestly! I think a lot of my readers can relate to this. Many gained weight with pregnancy and are trying to lose it, and I’m sure there are others like me who want to have kids someday and worry about the body changes.

QUESTION: Moms out there, do you have advice for new moms about losing weight?

Rewarding Yourself


One of my “secrets” to weight loss is a system of REWARDS.

As a way to keep myself motivated, I bought a packet of the little star stickers. I had a traditional calender that hung on the wall of my apartment. Every time I worked out, I put a little star sticker on that date.

It may seem really simple and silly, but it was a great motivator! At first I only saw one or two stars on my calender each week. Then it was three stars a week. Eventually it was 5 or 6 stars each week. It was really cool to SEE my efforts.

When I moved in with Michael last year, I got rid of the stickers and calender system. Now I use my Google Calender to record my workouts. While I don’t necessarily need to keep recording them now that I’ve lost the weight, I still do it because it makes me feel good.

In terms of types of rewards, it’s really whatever interests you. It could be small rewards like “a new pair of headphones for working out” after losing 10 pounds. Or bigger rewards for bigger losses. Whatever motivates you to keep trying!

Ways to Reward Your Weight Loss

1. Spa Day/Massages

A day of pampering is one of my favorite rewards. Nothing feels better than a massage or foot rub after working your body really hard at the gym! While massages and spa days can be expensive, there are ways to save money. Ask friends for referrals. Sometimes they may have a friend that does massage and is trying to start up their own business. Another trick is to find spas or chiropractic offices that offer cheaper introductory rates!

2. Travel/Vacation

Planning a vacation to celebrate your new body is a good motivator! Unless it will stress you out having a specific date in mind, try booking the trip ahead. Having a tangible goal with a SPECIFIC date REALLY helped me a lot. For example, I’m strongly considering signing up for the Las Vegas Half Marathon. If I decide to do it, I’m going to look at it as my reward for completing Hood to Coast (and for losing a few more pounds).

3. New clothes

A new wardrobe at a smaller size is often the biggest reward for losing weight! Buy something nice at Victoria’s Secret or go shopping in a section you could never fit in before.

4. Workout Machine

Have you been eyeing an elliptical machine for your home gym or something else? Splurge and reward your success with more success.

5. Girl’s Night Out

Invite your best friends out to help you celebrate. When I reached my goal of losing 100 pounds, Michael took me out to dinner at his favorite restaurant in Portland–Apizza Scholls. It had been 2 years since I ate pizza and we ordered a fantastic pizza and a bottle of wine that night. It was a fantastic way to celebrate reaching my goal!

6. Kitchen Gadget

Maybe you’ve always wanted a Kitchenaid Mixer, or a bread-maker…whatever the item is you’ve been putting off buying, splurge.

7. Mani/Pedi

Sometimes while losing weight, it’s easy to get discouraged and feel down about your body; especially if the progress has been slow. For me, getting a pedicure always relaxed me and made me feel pretty.

8. Enter a Competition

Another big motivator for weight loss is training for a goal like a triathlon or 5k Run. Start small if you’re new to working out; don’t expect to be able to run a marathon right away.

With the exception of the pizza dinner when reaching 100 pounds lost, I didn’t usually reward myself with food. I felt like that was a slippery-slope that I didn’t want to mess with.

QUESTION: Do you reward yourself for reaching weight loss goals?

Is Walking a Workout?


There is nothing wrong with walking!

It’s okay to have small goals and work up to bigger goals. For people who are overweight or just beginning a weight-loss program, walking is an excellent choice. It’s low impact and with extra pounds adding strain to joints, walking is better than starting a running routine.

1. Walking is an easy workout to fit into the day. Walking during your breaks or lunch hour at work can be an easy thing to add to your daily routine.

2. Skip the elevators and walk the stairs. Stairs are a quick way to get your blood pumping.

3. Walk up and down hills to vary your workout and to also build your fitness level.

4. Try Nordic Walking. Nordic Walking is just walking with poles. It started as an off-season activity for skiers who wanted to build up their fitness. Nordic Walking works your upper body while just regular walking works the lower body only.

I walk on my Rest Days because I feel like I want to keep moving. I’ve noticed lately that my walking speed has increased a great deal. I’m just short of a jog at this point. I also walk almost every morning (time permitting) about two miles to my office.

I enjoy walking. It give me time to think and process things, compose blog posts, fantasize about tropical vacations…

You may have no intention of ever becoming a runner, but perhaps a steady routine of walking will change your mind.

  • Jogging works different muscles than walking, even at the same speeds.
  • Jogging gives a heavy body a reason to start becoming lean.
  • Jogging makes you more efficient at walking.
  • Jogging will contribute to bone density.

QUESTION: Do you consider walking a workout, or is it too “slow” to be a “real” workout?

Jump Rope Workout


Since I’m not swimming tonight, I went to the gym in my office during lunch. I didn’t feel like putting my body through another run this week after my pulled muscle on Wednesday. I decided it was okay to do a light workout instead of my usual balls-to-the-wall-burn-as-many-calories-as-you-can kind of workout.

I decided to skip the treadmill and do the Elliptical machine.

The Elliptical is a good choice for people who have joint pain, or can’t run.

Low-Impact Elliptical

I did about 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, but nothing too crazy like I usually do. Actually, the elliptical machine is the machine I used to use the most when I was trying to lose 100 pounds. I did a combo of swimming and then the elliptical. It wasn’t until much later that I tried doing the treadmill.

After the elliptical, I hopped on the exercise bike for about 5 minutes and decided to change things up a bit. I grabbed an Ab Ball and the jump rope.

The rest of my workout was sort of like a “Cross-fit” workout. I’d jump rope pretty briskly then jog to the weight machines and then back to the jump rope.

This:

Jump Rope

To this:

Then I added the Ab Balls to the routine. I did this a few times, back and forth, until I was dripping with sweat. Man! Jump rope workouts are sweaty!

Then I added free weights to the routine.

In hindsight I should have skipped the elliptical and exercise bike and JUST done the weights/ab/jump-rope combo. That was a much better workout in itself!

Before you dismiss the jump rope as just a kid’s game, try it! It’s hard work and it’s a great workout. My heart rate spiked with each jump and I tried to do the jump rope faster with each set.

Finally, I did a bunch of stretching and some yoga moves.

Stretching

It was a good workout, even if I didn’t burn a ton of calories. It felt good just to move. Not only that, it’s good to change up your workout routine once in awhile to avoid boredom and plateaus!

Today’s Stats:

Time: 36 minutes

Calories Burned: 275

Final Thought: Jump Ropes Rule

Tonight we start the kitchen remodel again and will be doing it all weekend. I will be burning plenty of calories this weekend!

QUESTION: Are you doing anything fun this weekend? And have you ever incorporated a jump rope to your workout routine?

Chaos and Disorder


You will not gain back everything you lost by taking an extra day off.

This is something I have to remind myself once in awhile. As you may remember, we are remodeling our kitchen and are in the process of laying tile.

It’s a really long, involved process which takes time–and we have a huge space too. This week we have been measuring tile to prep them for cutting this weekend. Because of the aggressive plan for this weekend, Michael asked me to take Friday off from swimming.

It’s a small sacrifice and in the grand scheme of things it makes no difference. I tell myself today “Would I rather have the kitchen done, or go swimming?” Of course I’d rather have the kitchen done! But when it comes to sacrificing my workouts, I tend to be a little irrational at times.

For example, I had surgery a few years ago to remove a non-cancerous lump from my breast. The doctor said I had to take a week off from swimming while I healed. I totally lost it at the idea of taking a week off! Of course it was needed, but I stubbornly tried to do other activities that weren’t swimming just to get my workout in. Why? Because my fear has always been that if I skip workouts I will start getting lazy about them which in turn will cause me to gain all my weight back. I know it makes no sense.

Before I hurt myself running last month, I wouldn’t have minded too much because I would have just added an extra run to the week and called it good. Now, however, I am trying to take it easy with the running for fear of re-injuring myself.

Michael was very sweet and as a compromise he said he’d walk with me for an hour every night–even if it was 10pm–to make up for the missing workout. He’s such a sweetie and today I feel silly for being upset about a WORKOUT.

QUESTION: Do you get upset when your workouts are thwarted?

Since the kitchen was in complete disarray, I went to Subway to pick up dinner. I got a foot-long Spicy Italian (my favorite) and some Sun-chips.

We split the sandwich for dinner.

I could make better choices at Subway but what I got was about 520 calories and that’s alright for dinner.

I’m excited for this weekend. I feel positive that we can finish all the tile and finally have a nice kitchen! And I’m looking forward to having less stress and chaos. The kitties are starting to show signs of stress too. We’ve had to move their litter box and food many, many times in the last few weeks. They look at me with a “What is going on, Mom?” kind of look!

Poor kitties!

QUESTION: Do you like Subway? What do you usually get?

Beat Summer Weight Gain


Summer is actually the perfect time of year to LOSE weight. Especially for me–the heat really does a number on my appetite. Sure it’s fun to splurge. But if you are trying to stay healthy, or trying to lose weight, you have to be smarter than your cravings!

1. Stick to a schedule. Schedule your workouts like you would schedule fun stuff. I always plan some kind of workout even on vacation. For example, on our anniversary trip we brought our bikes and hiking boots and used them!

2. Make goals. Set small goals for yourself so you can track the progress. I goal I usually make for summer time is to just not GAIN. 🙂

3. Beat the heat. Sure it’s hot and comfortable and not fun to workout in 100 degree weather…be creative. Go swimming, bowling (thank you AC!), try the REI rockclimbing wall which is inside.

4. Control what you eat. At BBQ’s and picnics: Always start with the salad and wait to get seconds. Eat a lot of fruit. If it’s a potluck, bring something healthy that YOU can enjoy too!

5. Don’t drink your calories. That includes the lovely Starbucks iced coffees! Order something lighter than the 300+ calorie iced mocha. Check out my previous post on Alcohol.

Top 5 best drinks:
1. Rum and Diet Coke (1 oz. rum) – 65 calories
Tip:
Use diet sodas as mixers, such as gin and diet tonic, diet 7Up and Seagrams 7, diet ginger ale and Jack Daniels, and so on.
2. Vodka and Soda (1 oz. vodka) – 65 calories
3. White Wine Spritzer (4 oz. white wine topped with club soda) – 80 calories

6. Drink water! Not only do we need to be drinking more water, it also fills up your stomach and curbs hunger. (I need to be doing this more.)

QUESTION: What are your tips for beating summer weight gain?

Healthy Snacking


What do you snack on? I’m a snacker during the week only. I rarely snack on the weekends because I’m usually too busy doing stuff to get hungry!

I used to bring snacks like this:

Lots of processed food!!

It was never filling and I didn’t really feel that great eating them. When I started running, my diet changed drastically. I quickly learned what food to eat as FUEL for my body. Instead of wasteful filler food like those snacks, I switched to fruit and veggies.

So instead of the food with bar-codes, I eat these things for snacks:

Medium sized apple: 80 calories.

String Cheese: 80 calories

Cup of Rainier Cherries: 90 calories

Serving of Cottage Cheese: 90 calories

Baby carrots: less than 50 calories

Cup of cauliflower: less than 50 calories

QUESTION: What are your snacking habits? How can they be improved?

Last night was another Twitter #fitblog Chat. I participated in the first part of the chat and then got distracted with dinner.

Here are a few of my thoughts about the questions last night:

Q1 Follow Up 1: how did the dietary/fitness change effect you in ways you weren’t expecting?

For me, the biggest surprise/change in losing weight was that I became an athlete. I NEVER would have imagined I’d be so athletic and so into fitness. I’ve come  a long way from being a lazy, 250 pound person that ate poorly and hated my body. Another surprise was that I became a RUNNER. Who would have thought that?!?!

Q1 Follow Up 2: what tips do you have now that you wish you could have given yourself when you first decided to make the change?

The biggest suggestion I have for people first starting out is to sign up for one or two sessions with a personal trainer to get a GOOD routine down and be trained on how to lift weights and use the machines properly. Injuries can be avoided! Another suggestion would be to get fitted for good running shoes BEFORE you start running! I waited way too long to do that. And finally:

STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH and STRETCH some more!!!

I will leave you all with another 100 calorie treat that I enjoyed this morning:

ICED COFFEE…..perfect for 90 degree weather! I added my own sweetener to save calories:

QUESTION: Did you participate in last night’s #fitblog chat? What were your thoughts?

Hating Your Body


Do you ever hate your body?

When I was 250 I went through weird stages where I’d love my body and flaunt it, then I’d go through stages where I hated my body. The stomach rolls. The thighs rubbing. The big arms. The double chin.

I lost weight because I became stuck in that “I hate my body” phase and realized there was a different way of living out there. I lost weight because my body HURT all the time.

Well last week I was hating my body again. I was so damn MAD at my body. Thoughts like “I didn’t lose 110 pounds to still hurt!” My injury deflated me. I felt betrayed, I felt broken. I felt really pissed off at my body like it was the ENEMY.

Many times in my weight loss journey I looked at my “fat” as the demon I was trying exorcise. I wanted to get rid of that and never see it again.

Last week was the first time since I was “fat” that I felt like my body was the Enemy. I kept thinking, “How could I lose so much weight and be soooo healthy and still get injured?” And I thought, “How can so many other people run and not get injured?”

I did everything right. I didn’t increase my speed or distance too fast. I gradually increased my speed over MONTHS of training. Yes I added stairs to my routine recently, but I had been doing that damn stair-master all winter long. Doesn’t that count for something? Sheesh!

I still can’t answer any of these questions. My hope is that I am healing and healed soon. I don’t want to injure myself further. But I also don’t want to be sidelined for the entire summer season. I have Hood to Coast in 2 months and I want to be 100% for that!

I woke up this morning wondering if I would be in pain from yesterday’s run. I wasn’t! There were no twinges, no aches, no strains. I felt okay but I wanted to take it easy anyhow.

Today is my Rest Day and I’m taking it easy.  I want to be able to heal. So far today I’ve been pretty upbeat and happy. Not being in pain changes your outlook drastically and I am crossing my fingers that the healing has begun!

July Weigh-In

This month’s weigh in isn’t very exciting. I haven’t lost much of anything…maybe about half a pound. I was disappointed when I got on the scale and saw no change. 😦

No change could be from a lot of things…getting into an exercise rut, being injured and taking it easy, over-indulging at events and vacations, and…..

…..drinking more alcohol (why is it that summertime = alcohol?).

I measured and saw a change, however. I lost about 1/2 an inch around everywhere except my waist where I lost a whole inch! Sweet! I’ll take it. My hope is that I heal quickly and can get back to training. Maybe next month I will see a change!

QUESTION: How do you change your thinking when it goes to the negative side?

Hello New Readers!


I’ve been seeing a lot of new people visiting my blog lately and I wanted to say “hello” and give new readers a short recap of what’s been going on and who I am.

First, the basics. I’m Lisa, 30 years old. I live in Portland, Oregon with my boyfriend Michael and my two kitties (Maya and Fat Kitty–not his real name, of course).

April 2009

I grew up in Seattle and when I was 19 I moved to Portland, Oregon. I’ve been here ever since.

Seattle, stock photo

Oregon is a pretty good place to live if you enjoy the outdoors. We are an hours drive from the desert, the mountains, farmlands, wine country, and 2 hours from the Oregon Coast. There are always fun outdoorsy things like hiking, biking, camping, etc.

Portland, stock photo

I also have a younger brother, Andrew. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and their cat. One of the motivating factors for my weight loss was the fact that I was going to be in my brother’s wedding. I did not want to be 250 pounds in those wedding pictures! I lost 50 pounds before his wedding.

My Fat History Page has more history on my weight gain and How I Lost 100 Pounds details how I lost the weight.

My weight loss journey took me just under two years. I lost 110 pounds and was 143 pounds at my lowest. Then I started taking Celexa. In the 10 months I took it, I managed to gain about 15 pounds! I decided in January of this year to stop taking the drugs and since February, I’ve lost almost 9 of those 15 pounds.

On May 15th, Michael and I participated in the Reach the Beach bike ride for the American Lung Association. We’d raised money for the charity and had been training for months. Many weekends were spent biking all day long–30, 40, and finally 50 miles. Michael rode 80 miles in Reach the Beach and I rode 55. Check out the recaps for the full story. It was quite the exciting adventure and I’d do again in a heartbeat!

I’ve previously mentioned that I am now training for Hood to Coast. I am really excited and nervous about the endeavor. It takes place at the end of August. Basically, each team has 12 members on it and we rent 2 vans and the vans leap-frog each other during the course. The first runner in the first van will run their FIRST leg of the course–between 4 and 8 miles, then they get back in the van and the next person (I think in Van #2) takes over and does their first leg and so on. By the end of the 200 miles, I will have run 3 separate legs of the course for about a total of 15-18 miles.

*Not My Pic

My team captain, Leslie, is a very experienced runner and she’s done Hood to Coast for 8 years. I’m confident in her abilities to lead the team. She’s given me pointers and tried to tell me what to expect. But still, I really have no idea what to expect. I know that my first leg is somewhere in Portland. My second leg will be in the middle of the night — in the middle of NOWHERE–and my last leg will be towards the end of the course. The course goes from Mt. Hood to Seaside (200 miles).

Most of my summer will be training for Hood to Coast. After that, I hope to participate in another bike ride–possibly a Century.

Another goal I have been toying with is the Las Vegas Half Marathon in December. I haven’t fully decided yet if I’m going to do it. I want to. But I’m also apprehensive about whether or not I can actually run 13 miles at once! I decided that I’d make the decision after Hood to Coast.

So that’s the recap of what’s been going on lately. Thanks for reading!

Vanity Sizing


“Size Zero is the new Size 6!”

Have you ever heard of something called “Vanity Sizing”?

Times Online has a good article about Vanity sizing here. Basically, manufacturers mislabel their clothes to make us shoppers think we can fit into a size we really AREN’T. “Vanity sizing” [is] defined as “a ploy in which stores flatter women by making clothes bigger so they think they are buying a smaller size.”

There is no way I can walk into any store and just pick up “my size” and walk out. I have to try on everything. Recently, I had to buy a new pair of jeans. I went to Kohl’s and grabbed a bunch of different brands off their clearance rack and tried them on. With many of the brands–including the Kohl’s brand–I was a size 4! Size 4! I was surprised. Then I tried on a pair of Levi’s jeans. In those I was a size 6 and it was a tad snug. How does that happen?

There is no consistency between stores. I remember when I was overweight and I’d shop for clothes I kept thinking “This XXL is really small!” At Target it was an XL, at Wa-lmart a similar short was a L. Now if I go to a Wal-mart and pick up a Small or Extra Small I’m swimming in it. So what size am I? I have no idea.

We shouldn’t care about the number, or be influenced by the number. Instead, we should care if they fit right. But we are obsessed as a culture with the numbers. The number on the scale, the size on the tag, it’s what we focus on. A tip my aunt gave me once: cut out all the tags after you buy them.

So does vanity sizing work? Do you find that you shop at the stores where you’re a size 8 as opposed to the store where you’re a size 10? Is your self-esteem attached to the number on the tag? And even though the Size 6 Levi’s fit the same as the Kohl’s Size 4, why didn’t I buy the Levi’s? I admit, I bought the Kohl’s ’cause it was a size 4. I am guilty of buying into vanity sizing.

Especially when it comes to SPANDEX. Can we all let out a collective groan please? Spandex bike shorts are an evil necessity. I want the support. I want the extra padding for my butt. But dammit why are they in European sizes? For months I refused to buy a Large in bike shorts. Michael nagged me and told me I’d be more comfortable and not to pay attention to the size because it’s “Italian Sizing” blah blah blah. In my mind I kept thinking, “I did NOT lose 100 pounds to wear a LARGE in anything!” I just couldn’t do it.

I now have that pair of Sugoi bike shorts that was sent to me. They are a large and YES they are more comfortable and bit more flattering than my mediums. I admit it.

QUESTION: So how do you shop? Do you buy the size or the fit?

Why Losing Weight is Healthy


Seems pretty self-explanatory, right? We lose weight to look and feel better. But there are other reasons to lose weight too. 

I’ve mentioned in my page My Fat History that when I was 250, I had high blood pressure and I was pre-diabetic. I also had high cholestrol. 

*Not My Pic

 

Blood Pressure (aka Hyper Tension) 

Don’t let the numbers confuse you. There are two numbers, the one on top and the one on the bottom. For example: 120/90. 

*The top number is your systolic pressure, the pressure created when your heart beats. It is considered high if it is consistently over 140. 

*The bottom number is your diastolic pressure, the pressure inside blood vessels when the heart is at rest. It is considered high if it is consistently over 90. 

*Not My Pic

At my heaviest, my blood pressure was about 140/100. That’s very high. The lower number is the dangerous number. I had my yearly physical yesterday and my blood pressure is now 110/60. I no longer have high blood pressure because I lost weight. 

My resting pulse yesterday was also 68. A “normal” resting rate is between 60-100. Lance Armstrong’s resting heart rate is rumored to be 37. 37!! 

High Cholesterol 

High Cholesterol can lead to stroke, heart attack and death. A high range is 200–239 mg/dL, which is Borderline-High Risk. Less than Less than 200 mg/dL is desired. It was well over 200 when I weighed 250. My current Cholesterol level is 160

*Not My Pic

 

Have I convinced you yet? Losing weight DOES improve your health, whether you can see it or not. 

I also talked to my doctor about my seemingly constant hunger. She said it was probably a combination of high metabolism and also eating refined sugars. She said that eating refined sugars spikes my insulin level and that creates hunger in the body. I know I eat too many refined sugars. That’s something I struggle with every day. But I had no idea it spiked my insulin like that. 

She also recommended learning about the low-glycemic diet. My goal is to get a book on it and learn more. When I first read a book about it last year, I dismissed the concept because counting calories was working for me. Why fix what isn’t broken? But now that I’ve lost the weight and I’m training for things, I feel like I need to know these things.  

Low Glycemic Index food (less than 55) 
Foods with GI index between 55 and 70 are consider intermediate
High Glycemic Index food GI (more than 70)
 

An example of some foods by glycemic index: 

Waffles: 76 (high) 

Carrot Juice: 45 (low) 

Cheese Pizza: 60 (medium) 

Porridge: 49 (low) 

Cornflakes: 83 (high) 

Whole Milk: 27 (low) 

Cherries: 22 (low) 

Apples: 38 (low) 

Peanuts: 15 (low) 

Asparagus: 15 (low) 

QUESTION: Why do you want to lose weight? And do you follow the Low-Glycemic diet?

Body Image Stuggles


My post yesterday seemed to touch a nerve with a lot of readers. I got a lot of really great comments and private emails:

Lori at Finding Radiance said:  “I really struggle with body image. Sometimes I see myself as size 8, other times I think I look closer to the old me at 250 pounds. It does seem to be getting better with time, but not sure if that will ever go away. You have to shift your focus to the positive. If you dwell on the negative, then it breeds upon itself.”

And one of my favorites from Lisa at Bike, Bake Blog: “What a refreshing post……it can be so easy to focus on the negative sometimes – but I consciously try to turn it around and focus on the positives instead. Such as – instead of “argh I have put on weight” – I remind myself that “I have done 10 races in 6 months and have never been fitter”. A little extra weight is not the end of the world?!

I took Kelly’s advice from My Healthy Passion: “I allow myself to wallow for a few days. I almost think it is healthy to allow myself to be in a bad mood. Then after some good wallowing (and usually a few tears…crying ALWAYS makes me feel better) I make myself focus on the positive things.”

I wallowed a bit and feel MUCH better today. I think having a great run yesterday helped that. It reminded me that my body does great things.

So why ARE we so hard on ourselves? Upbringing, media, poor parenting, blah blah blah…

I plan on changing that. As I stated in my post about June Goals, I’m going to think positive thoughts.

Some other things we can all do:

1. Be realistic. My body type/genetics is never going to be a size Zero.

2. Appreciate what my body can do at it’s current weight and size.

3. Don’t punish myself for overeating by overexercising.

4. I only weigh myself once a month for a reason: it’s to NOT obsess about the number on the scale.

5. Test yourself. Try something new. Be impressed with your abilities.

QUESTION: Did I miss anything? How do you think positive thoughts?

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Lastly, I want to profile another weight loss success story. Please email me at 110pounds at gmail dot com.

The Naked Post


I’ve been a bad blogger. I’ve been in a funk lately. This weekend was a bit of an emotional roller coaster and I’m trying to dig myself out of the hole I dug. There’s nothing beneficial about having a pity party!

I don’t want my blog to just be a “diary” of the food I eat.  I don’t think that’s interesting and I want this blog to be of more value to people who are struggling to lose weight and be healthy. Because of the blahs lately, my blog has become a “food diary.” It was easy.

Lately I’ve had a touch of the Post Race Blues. Reach the Beach was awesome and fun. I had a great time training for it. Every weekend revolved around long bike rides.  I’ve had nothing to train for since May 15th. The easy, logical solution would be to pick some event that’s sooner than Hood To Coast (end of August) and train for that. Unfortunately, our schedule is pretty packed for the summer. We have weddings, family reunions, our anniversary weekend, friends visiting from out of town, and family visiting. There’s just no time!

Reach the Beach

Another factor has been the weather. It’s been solid rain since May 15th. Seriously–the most depressing weather! This is the time of year we start hiking on a regular basis, plan camping trips, and BBQ. I am so sick of this weather!

My body image issues of late are stupid, I know. I shouldn’t be down on myself. I’ve come a LONG way and I should be proud of what I’ve accomplished. I should focus on the positive things and loving my body the way it is.

-Loving the few extra pounds because they are a part of me.

-Loving the layer of fat on my stomach because it protects my vital organs.

-Loving my curves because that makes me a woman.

-Loving my large hips and breasts because some day when I had kids, I’ll need them!

-Loving my big thighs because they are strong and powerful and as a result I swim a mile in 40 minutes.

A lot of “I shoulds”. Despite reminding myself of these things and trying to think positive, it’s been really hard lately.

QUESTION: How do you get out of a “funk”? And how is your body/self image right now?

Gym Pet Peeves


I had a great work out at the gym! I did 45 minutes on the stair-master.

I felt energized and not slow at all. I got sucked into “Flip This House” on A&E (I’m addicted to those HGTV type house shows!). Before I knew it,  2 episodes and almost an hour later I got off the stair-master and headed over to the treadmill to give my new shoes a try. I did about a mile on the treadmill at a medium pace and finished up with a bunch of weights.

New Shoes

I don’t want to give a review of my new shoes until later. I will see how I feel tomorrow and then hopefully I can get a real run in this week.

Gym Stats:

Calories Burned: 713

Time: 1 hour 18 minutes

Activities: Stair-master, treadmill, weights, triceps/deltoids, abs, hip abductors, leg presses, stretching

Gym Annoyances

About half way through my workout, a girl got on the stair-master next to me. I almost got off and left because she smelled so bad. Seriously! It smelled like she’d eaten a gallon of garlic and was sweating it out of her pores–oh and to hide the smell she was chewing watermelon bubblegum. It was so gross. Who does that? Note to all gym members: please don’t smell weird if you can avoid it. Thanks so much!

Around the same time, another chick got on the elliptical on my right side. She was wearing a dress and stripper boots! No joke! They were knee high boots with stiletto heels. I own a pair. And she wore that to the gym to work out? I was so baffled and I was also tempted to ask her if I could take her picture just to PROVE it happen. 🙂 But I didn’t.

Finally, the last annoyance was how very few people clean off the machine after they use it. I watched person after person sweat on and touch the machines and then just walk away. I wanted to yell, “Oh my god you are so vile!” But I didn’t. I always spray down machines BEFORE (and after) I use them because I’m so skeeved out.

QUESTION: What are your gym pet peeves?

Workout over and feeling pretty good, I drove home and decided to do some gardening before I hopped in the shower. I ended up doing almost 45 minutes of weeding! Our yard is completely out of control. The weeds have taken over.

Weeds Taller Than Me!

I filled the bin with weeds and blackberries.

Weeding burned almost 250 calories. I was shocked! I cleaned the house, showered, and fixed lunch.

Lunch was leftovers from yesterday – Indian food, couscous and steamed brocolli.

Added a little of this:

Lunch was the perfect size.

Now to do the Foam Roller and then I’m off to return the Asics shoes!

Monthly Weigh-In


This morning I did my monthly weigh-in and measurements.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stepped on the scale. It’s a about a week before I’d normally weigh-in but the timing for this month fell that way.

I thought for sure I’d be down quite a bit since last month’s weight in. Michael and I had been biking an insane amount in preparation for Reach the Beach. Every weekend for over a month we biked. Saturdays were our long bike ride days.

April 2010

But I also didn’t factor in that because of all the intense training and the Reach the Beach ride, I was also eating a lot more to fuel my body.

The result? I did not lose inches this month. I think I lost about 1/2 an inch around my waist but everything else measured the same as last month.

I did, however, lose 2.6 pounds! A loss is a loss. I don’t mind that it wasn’t a massive loss this month. I felt great during Reach the Beach, I recovered amazingly fast, and my running has become faster! Those are all Non-Scale Victories that I can celebrate!

Monthly Weigh-In: 151.2 pounds

Check out my Current Weigh In and Measurements Page.

December 2009

Since I stopped taking those pills in March, I’ve lost a total of 8.3 pounds. And not only that, I had to buy a new pair of jeans on Sunday. I’m down from a size 6 to a size 4! I’ll take it!