Back to reality from the Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope all my blogging buddies had a joyful holiday.
There was a ton of food but this year it was secondary. Just spending time with my friends was the primary reason for the day.
This years Thanksgiving was very special to me because my mind and body was in the right place. I was blessed to attend two Thanksgiving dinners this year. The first dinner was at 1 p.m. and the second was at 6 p.m. I ate very healthy at the dinner #1 and saved dinner #2 for dessert and wine.
On my way home I thought about how bless I was to share my Thanksgiving day with so many wonderful people new and old. I had just shared my day with over 50 people between the two houses. This year the meaning of Thanksgiving was about being with people that love and care about you. It was about sharing the years happenings and the future. This year I thank God for my family and friends.
Today was my first day working out since Tuesday. It felt really good to be back in the gym and I did not gain a pound. Tonight my plan is to make out my workout schedule for the month of December. My workout goal is to focus on agility training. I feel the need to run so most of my classes will include some form of cardio. I can see a ton of boot camp classes in my future :-).
Well, that is all for today. All of you please have a wonderful day.
I have been a lion for the past three days but not in a good way. Major cravings for dark chocolate. I ate 3 pieces of Dove dark chocolate promises but it did not work. These cravings are overwhelming especially when there is no reason for the cravings. Since the answer was not there, I decided to do 10 jumping jacks and 10 push-ups whenever the craving flamed up. Let me tell you the craving pass very fast when exercise is involve. I can not give in because I have done it so many times in the past. My life is different and I can afford to return to my old habits. Life is good and I don't want to mess things up.
I will not blame these cravings on hormone changes, emotions or that time of the month. If I did that I would be justifying why it is okay to eat the junk foods. The most important thing I have learn from this craving battle is that taking one bit will lead to 50 more bits. For me this is very dangerous. The Dove promise satisfied me for only 5 minute but after that I wanted more. I had to find a solution. Exercise will kill the cravings.
Clothes: This morning I put my size 16 pants and they fell right off. Unbelievable experience! Since I stop eating white rice and pasta over two months ago the weight has fallen off so fast. It's time to go shopping again. Wow! maybe a size 12/14. I have not seen those sizes since I was 14 years old. I have gone from a size 22 to 14 in 4 1/2 months. The average person would not believe me but I did it with better eating habits and exercise. It feels really good.
Hair: Yesterday I decided to cut my hair really short. I mean really really really short. Very close to the scalp. I wanted to be free from the hair and all that it stood for. 'I am not my hair!' As I watched my hair fall to the floor I thought to myself 'freedom at last!' What a weight lifted off my shoulders. As I walked to the mirror I could feel the cool air on my head and a big smile came to my face. The person that looked back in the mirror at me was new, fresh, happy, peaceful, light, bright, and full of love with self. It was a new day. My friends and coworkers love the new me and a few said 'I wish I had the guts to cut my hair'. Believe me it takes a strong person to do it. You have to believe in yourself and not worry about what others will think or say.
Pressure cooker: I used my pressure cooker for the first time yesterday and man is it fast. I was able to cook white beans in 20 minutes and beef cubes in 15 minutes. Very tender and yummy. Add to your Christmas gift list.
Nothing much going on with me just wanted to check in with my blogging friends. To all please stay strong during this Thanksgiving week. Continue to eat healthy and workout. We can and will do it. Good luck friends!
Eating: Review my boundary list and stick with it. Watch my portions, and drink plenty of water.
Exercise: Sunday - Wednesday all cardio workouts. More energy burns more fat.
Today I took a much needed rest from exercising. My body is in recovery mode now and it feels good.
Today the office was full of excitement because my director return from her 6 month maternity leave. All day I could hear chatter and laughter. Our boss is very smart and pretty hip. She is not a micro-manager and she allows us to be creative when it comes to our job. I really like that about her.
But trouble was brewing: For the first 2 hours of the excitement all I could think about was eating something. So, I grab a cheese stick, next I grabbed a slice of multigrain bread and after that I was thinking about going out to eat something really yummy, you all know what that is like. Yeah! comfort food. No! I said to myself get a grip on yourself. I set back in my chair and ask myself, "why are you behaving this way?" It was the excitement in the air. In the past I have associated happiness with food so because I was happy to see my boss I wanted to celebrate her return by eating. I was in the the danger zone of letting my food boundaries down. Man, my boss stirred up my dormant emotions. She was on leave when I decided back in July to get the weight off again for the last time. It's weird but I have an emotional attachment with her. It's time to get it under control.
The confrontation:After I confronted myself with this behavior all my cravings went away. I realized that it is okay to celebrate without eating. This is a huge awareness for me. So for lunch I ate my homemade sandwich with turkey, spinach, cheese, shredded carrots on multigrain bread. My coworker has named my sandwich the "orange slider" because I like carrots on my sandwich. My lunch was really good because I made it and I enjoyed the rest of my day. Just call me "crazyemotionalgirl".
Emotions: I must be in control of my emotions at all times because they will make trouble for me. Being happy and eating was always partners in the past. I never turned to food when I was sad. Now that I look back, I guess I was always happy because I am/was obese. No more eating on emotions for me. Asking questions is the key to success.
I am/was obese?-That is the question. I don't see myself as obese now. My friends don't see me as obese now. My doctor don't see me as obese now. So, who am I now? I have to say that I don't look fat anymore but I do have the belly rolls when I sit down. For sure there is still more to work to be done. My dress size is 16 and pants 18 as of 4 weeks ago. This is not the end for. This topic is still in the air so I will revisit it in a few weeks.
Questions of the day (emotions vs. food): What emotions do you associate food with? What do you do to control it?
Thanks for your feedback. It's nice to know that I am not alone.
Hey guys I survived my weight lifting class this morning. I realized why the class has been so hard these past two weeks. With the addition of Capoiera and step aerobics I am not giving myself time to recover for my weight lifting class on Tuesday. My legs felt fatigue from my Capoiera class last night. I could not get them to work this morning for the weight lifting class. You talking about jello legs. I was showing signs of frustration during class because I was so tried. I even contemplated walking out but I did not want to give in to the fatigue. As I tuned out the instructor I thought about why my body was so tried. I turned to my 29 year old friend and said "no more step aerobics on Mondays", it's time for me to make a choice. Capoeira and weight lifting takes priority because the benefits are better for my body this month. I realized today that I am not superwoman.
Doctor's check-up: Today when my doctor saw me she almost fainted because of the my weight. She said "you look so skinny and much taller". She ask for my secret. I told her no secret just food boundaries and exercise. She wanted to know more about my food boundaries and I told her that I cut out all the junk, fat, and processed foods. After checking my ears she told me not to deprive myself of all the bad stuff. According to her, it's okay to eat a small bit of pie or ice cream every once in awhile. I assured her that I was not depriving myself of those things I just had no desire to eat them anymore. It was funny to hear her give me permission to eat junk food. She is very sweet but no junk for me.
Permission to eat: For the past few days I have heard so many people giving themselves and others permission to eat any and everything because of the holidays. This is how it sounds "it's okay to eat that because it's the holidays". The media loves to give us permission but later tell us how wrong it was for us to do it. Sadly, I have read that a few bloggers are giving up on their health journey because of the holidays. They are writing about how hard it is to stick with their health plans during the holidays. I just want to tell them to stay strong this will pass. My instructor told us 2 months ago that the average American will gain between 8 - 15 pounds (give and take a few) between Halloween and New Years. Those numbers are disturbing for the obese community. I don't want to go down that road again so I will give myself permission not to overeat and stay away from the foods with no nutritional value. I am looking forward to the holidays and all that comes with it.
Exercise: rest and relax tomorrow
Question of the day: Will you give yourself permission to eat any and everything? Why?
I would like to send you all that commented on my last blog a big thank you!
Food: Yesterday I added pork ribs to my boundary list. I cooked a small slab in the oven and after eating them I had to ask myself "why did I eat that?" I hate that question! I put them on the list because after eating (3 ribs) I felt stuffed, bloated, tried, and greasy. My body did not like them so they made the list. My system has changed over the past 4 months so that is why these types foods are being added to my list. I also believe that listening to my body is really causing me to stop eating these foods.
The other day I saw a heartburn commercial and the actor was holding her stomach because her belly was upset and on fire. The commercial was recommending a heartburn pill that will help stop the burn and allow her to continue eating. Well, I thought "okay take this pill that is a chemical because it will solve my problem." This is silly information. My body is rejecting this food for a reason so why continue to eat it even with the heartburn pill. No, thank you Mr. Heartburn Pill! For me I had to laugh because people will do any and everything to continue to eat the foods that the body is rejecting. One thing I have notice since I started listening to my body is that it never rejects fresh veggies, fruits, lean meats, and whole grain foods. I think my body is the smart one in the house!
Exercise: I did a 45 minute step class and 1:40 minute Capoeira class. My balance and strength has improved so much over the past month. I have to give it up to my Capoeira class. This class has been a wonderful addition to my workout program. Tomorrow I have "crackgirl" weight lifting-class in the morning. I think she will go for blood because next week is Thanksgiving. It will be a kick butt class.
Question of the day: What foods have your body rejected?
I want to dedicate my blog to the passing of one of my dearest friends of 15 years Dwight. He passed away Thursday evening from heart and kidney failure at the age of 53.
He was my Dboy aka Bigboy. Dboy was a victim or causality of what we are all blogging about "obesity". I met him in the Cardiology office were I worked in 1994. I remember that first day well because I was ordered to bring two scales in the exam room because Dwight was coming in that day. I ask "why two scales?" and the doctor said because he is big boy. I could not wait to see him because I had never seen a person that needed to be weighed on two scales. So he arrived and the only thing I noticed about him was his huge smile. Not his big body but his smile. This guy weighed 650 pounds but his smiled weighed 1000. He was the most polite man I had ever met. I had no idea that day we would become the best of friends.
Over the years he struggled with his weight and always wanted to reduce it but he had no idea how to. He was on all kinds of programs but they all failed in the end. He was not a good candidate for the gastric bypass because his heart was so bad. I encouraged him to join the YMCA and take water aerobics which he enjoyed but he would always have health set backs that would take him away from exercising. Dwight always told me how much he loved me and appreciated my help. He would joke about our friendship stating "I never thought I could love a girl that I have never kissed or held hands with" but that was our relationship. He was like a big brother to and I enjoyed talking with him.
Dwight stopped living life on July 16, 2007 when he left his house for the last time to go into the hospital because of kidney failure. His hope was always to go back home but that was not going to happen. He was being keep alive but he was not living life. According to all his doctors obesity was the cause of his health problems that lead up to his death on Thursday. Dwight was a fighter because he was not ready to go. He had big dreams like traveling, seeing his son's graduate from college, attending their weddings, meeting his grandchildren. He even wanted to get married and have more kids of his own. Well, he will have to watch all of that from above now.
This is my message to you friend: Thank you for being my friend and brother. I am so happy that you can rest in peace now because you deserve it. Peace and love always my friend.
In loving memory June 17, 1956 - November 12, 2009
I would like to say thanks to all of you for commenting on my post yesterday. I cherish you all so much. I forgot to share how much I have lost so far. As of today-4 months later:
Weight loss: 28 pounds Fat lost: 15% Dress size: down from size 22 to 18/16-belly 18/legs 16. Yes, I have a neck now according to one of my coworkers. I still like her!
This is a wonderful accomplishment for me because I have struggle for so many years not knowing what to do. In the end it was my job to do the research and design the plan that was right for me and my life. That is why it is working.
One of my set backs in the past was going back to my same bad health habits thinking I could maintain the weight that was loss. This is why it so important to look at weight lose as a life change not a diet.
Here is a funny story that happen today: My friend that I will call "Tgirl" invited me to lunch. As we set waiting for our meal she told me about this new diet that her friend was on. She explained how her friend loss 40 pounds without exercising. So, being curious I ask "Wow! how did she do that?" She said her new diet included foods like grilled chicken, salads, oatmeal, veggies, no fats, or sweets. And not eating after 5 p.m. I said "Oh! she is eating healthy" and my friend said (this is the funny part) "No! she is on a diet." I said is she planning to go back to her old bad eating habits? and my friend said "Yes!". So I said "well I think your friend should hold on to her larger pant sizes because she will gain all that weight back and maybe more". My friend looked at me with confusion and said "well I am going to try it her way for awhile." I realized at that point she was not ready to her what really need to be done. So, our food came and we talked more and laughed even more. I love me friend but now I can understand why she struggles so much with losing weight.
Just from that conversation I learned why obese people struggle with weight. It's because we think eating healthy is a diet and it is something to do when we want to lose weight for a special event or to fit in a smaller jean size. We don't think long term and a diet of healthier eating should be our standard diet for life. I will call it the Healthy Life Diet that includes: healthy carbs, proteins, fruits, veggies, and less sugar/fats/salt. Eating this way will keep the weight off for life with a few needed changes and exercises. It blows my mind to hear that someone would go back to their old ways of eating and risk the chance of gaining the weight back. We have to look at healthy eating, portion control and exercise as a way of life. But as my friend said "it's a diet".
Exercise today: Weight lifting-my regular instructor went to London for 2 weeks so we had a new lady. She was really good but not as crazy and hard as the regular instructor. This lady worked us out soft but we still kicked up a sweat. My body is still trying to recover from my Tuesday slam class so having it a little soft was okay with me. I have Capoeira tonight so I am sure my body will be needing a well deserve rest tomorrow. I will be in the bed until noon.
Over four months ago I set out on a mission to eat healthier, lose weight and blog about it. It has been an incredible journey with many highs, few lows, plans, changes, and rewards. Before this journey started I took a week to find out why it has been a struggle for me to lose weight. So, I came up with a few reasons for my 20 year struggle: 1. I was not committed 100% to losing the weight. 2. I did not have a weight lose plan. 3. I did not have a weight lose goal. 4. I did not understand the connection between food and living a healthy life. 5. I did not understand which exercise plan was needed to lose weight.
I reviewed my struggles and decided to go deeper inside: It hit me, I needed my own weight lose and exercise plan. It was important for me to take time to research the health benefits of eating healthier and exercising. There are many diet plans that have been designed by others and geared towards their needs. It's so easy to pay someone else to plan my health goals but will it really work for me long term. No is my answer. It has been proven that "what works for you might not work for me". I realized that this is my body and I know it better than anyone out there. It was time for me to take ownership of my health and believe in it. My goal was to make my own plan and stick with it.
It was time for me to do the work so I started the research: My plan was to find the benefits of eating healthy and exercising. My focus was to learn how protein, carbs, cholesterol, sugar, fats, and salt affected the body. During my research I learn to listen to my body to find out how my body react to food. After eating I waited for my body show signs of bloating or other not so nice sounds. So I had to focused on my burping/gas action. Don't laugh but this is how your body tells you what it like or dislike. Now I eat foods that my system likes. No gas or burping on this plan.
My next goal was to educate myself on how to be active but have fun as well: During my research of different types of exercises I found that obese people must lift weights and do cardio to reduce body fat. Muscle relaxation is important as well. I had to design my exercise plan in a way that included: cardio, strength, toning, balance, and relaxation. The design needed to include exercises that would take me out of my comfort zone. My plan was to take classes that build my confidence as well as relax my mind.
The best of all is the benefits of pampering myself. This is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. I had to find ways to reward my mind and body for all the work. Pampering myself is like giving myself a paycheck but in the form of a massage or body treatment.
My advice is to come up with your own plan by listening to our body and researching the benefits of living a healthier life. Make a decision to write your own diet plan that includes good food, exercise, pampering, and goals. Planning it requires living it!
My workout today was a total beat down. The instructor -aka- crack girl kicked our butts. OMG! it was so hard that I had to call "cut" before the end of class. Crack girl had us go from lunges to squats, to jumping jacks, to skips, to around the world and back all in 3 minutes. We did that for the first 45 minutes of the class. It was so hard that even the best of the best had to step out the room for a few minutes.
Even my 100% girl was out of breath and dizzy. She ask the instructor "hey what are you trying to do to us?" crack girl just gave her a smile and said "next move". Lazy girl was in the class as well trying to keep up. She thinks the instructor is crazy but she loves the class. She is working out and enjoying every bit of it.
My body is still smothering and very sore. Between this class twice a week and my Capoeira class three times a week my body is asking for rest. These are some demanding classes because every part of the body is being used. I am very happy to report that I did 7 girl push-ups today without taking a break. That is a milestone for me because I have not had the upper body strength. Capoeira is helping me gain upper body strength.
Speaking of Capoeira: in class we worked on our defense moves. We did a ton of stooping, squatting, blocking, and grabbing. From what I can tell "women fight dirty" and the guys let us know it too. I practiced with the guys because they appeared to be sweeter. Every class is pushing me further and further out of my c-zone. This class really builds confidence.
This is it for today! I need rest. Enjoy your day.
Tomorrow exercise: Yoga
Tomorrow post will be: Making your own health plan
Old Eating Conditions: I was thinking about how Americans have been conditioned to eat: We have been encourage to eat 1 meat, 1 veggie, 1 starch all at one meal. I was looking through a few magazines and noticed how all the plates had the same theme as the one I talked about above. Even our holiday plates have the theme which is pushed on us by the media and grocery stores. They tell us it's tradition so don't break it. And right after the holidays the media that has told us for 2 months to eat start showing the half shots of fat folks walking down the street asking "why are Americans so fat?" It's all crazy to me!
Let's take the typical American Thanksgiving plate: Turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes, green beans, and cranberry sauce. Okay, this is my question: "Why is all that food encouraged at one setting?" It's the holidays I am aware of that so let's exclude the holidays. What about all the other days. Can a person just eat veggies one night and the next night eat meat? Why do we need to eat 3 to 4 types of food on one plate? I understand balancing it all out but it's a lot of food being consumed in one setting. Can we spread it out over the day?
The plate above was taken about a year ago before I saw the light. It was a typical plate for me and most of my friends. As I look back at that plate I think to myself, why! Too much food for one person and that is why I weighed 285 pounds and walked in a size 22 pair of jeans. Know that plate would look totally different. I would eat the salad and the meatballs only. So for the past 2 days I decided to eat 1-2 foods per meal. Here is my example:
New way: Breakfast: 1/3 cup Rolled -Oatmeal w/milk Lunch: Grilled chicken w/banana Snack: Cheese stick Dinner: Broccoli
Old way: Breakfast: 1 boiled egg, 1 slice multi-grain toast, banana Lunch: Grilled chicken, 2 red potatoes, spinach Snack: Fruit w/ cheese stick Dinner: Meat, starch, veggie
I don't like the condition of the American plate and I will not feel guilty for turning my back on it. They want us to eat to much food even if it is good for us. According to one of the food pyramid websites we should consume 6-11 serving of grains, 3-5 servings of veggies, 2-4 servings of fruit, 2-3 servings of milk/cheese and 3-2 servings of meat/beans. So much food for one person in one day.
The new way works for me. It looks like I am starving myself but my belly is very happy. I believe in making it simple and healthy. My food theme this month was Mediterranean dishes but I decided to ax it because the recipes called for a lot olive oil and spices. I really want to stay away from all the oils. So I will try this style of eating for the rest of the month and write about it often. It should be about quality not quantity when it comes to the American plate. This is just my rant for the week so please forgive me.
Exercise: Yesterday I attended my second Capoiera class and it was very challenging. There was a different instructor teaching and I have to say his style is tough but fun. The first hour-half was all warm up with a few tricks. I did mini cartwheels (Au'), back-crawls, side slides, and back kicks. All of these brought me completely out of my comfort zone. I had the biggest smile on my face because I could not believe I was doing these moves. We did a ton of core and arm work. I had to stop to catch me breath a few times during a few of the exercises but I got right back into it. The class is amazing. I have another class tomorrow with the focus being on the spiritual side of the art.
This morning I woke up feeling compact. It was a feeling because I did not see it in the mirror. My (obliques) and lower front part of my bell is almost gone. I still have the middle part so that is why I have the feeling of being compact.
I also noticed that the clothes I bought almost 3 weeks ago are getting a little baggy around the waist and inner thighs. This weight reduction is really happen and it coming off pretty fast. My body transition to a new shape about every three weeks. This Capoeira class is going to take a chuck of weight off of me before the end of the month.
Yoga was not as hard as in the past. Those dog-downs and planks use to take me out. The class was a breeze and my flexibility has improved about 60%. I need to work on balancing but that will come with time and practice.
For me working out is like practicing. I'm more eager to do the exercise if I think of it as practice and not work. As the old folks say "practice makes prefect". It's my rehearsal to becoming a better me.
Food: Today for lunch I ordered out which is very rare but I had a taste for some grilled chicken from a local spot called L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. It came with three grilled chicken thighs, two scoops of rice and raw cabbage. I shared this meal with my friend so I ended up eating 1 1/2 pieces of chicken, 2 tablespoons of white rice and cabbage. The meat was good but my body went into complete shock. My belly was so bloated and my tongue felt so greasy. It was to heavy for my new system and the rice was not the same as before. I'm so over rice and my life would be just fine without it. So I decided to put that restaurant on my boundary list because I never want to feel that way again. I did recover but it took me about 7 hours. That was total abuse to my body. It was not worth it at all!
My new word today is "Agility" because it means the ability to change the body's position efficiently, and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength, endurance, and stamina.
This word kept coming up during my Capoiera position research. So I decided to divert a moment and look up the meaning. Once again the meaning shocked me because this is the true balance of exercising. Building agility should be the foundation for putting a workout routine together. To have a well balanced workout routine there must be balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength, endurance, and stamina.
I believe my routine this month covers all 7 of these agility essentials. Capoiera for sure covers them all. Yoga - covers balance. Step - covers coordination/reflexes. Cycling - covers speed. Weight lifting - covers strength. Putting them all the together helps improve endurance and stamina.
Yesterday was my first Capoiera class and it was so amazing. The first thing the Capoiera instructor said to us was "you will work muscles that you never knew you had." OMG! he did not lie.
Okay, I knew this class was no joke when the warm-up took 40 minutes long with none stop movements. Even the cool down was 15 minutes and that was after the warm-up.
The warm-up movement was called "Ginga" according to wikipedia the movement consist of rocking back and forth, and swinging the arms. "Ginga" is done to prepare the body for other movements: hiding, dodging, feinting and attacking. It puts a capoeiristas in constant motion making them a frustrating target for an opponent. It's all about the core during this exercise.
For me this move is a total body workout. It worked my back, obliques, abs, upper and lower butt, thighs, arms, and even the feet. After doing this move for 20 minutes my pelvic area start to feel very loose and easier to transition from one foot to the other.
The next move was called "Bencao" meaning a "blessing" in disguise. It's a straight forward frontal push kick. It is commonly aimed at the abdominal or chest area, and the capoeirista hits with either the whole sole of the foot or with the heel. This is a great move for the butt and legs.
I have to say that this class just with the first visit has pulled me completely out of my comfort zone and bumped my exercise level to a new high. I needed this class. My body is sore but it's happy because of all the new muscles being targeted. This class is a true enhancement to my workout routine and life.
Capoiera has over 50 moves and I plan on mastering them all. Even the flips.
This blog is about my life as a selfish traveler. My plan is to travel the world before I leave this world. Traveling is my life and my passion. This is my place to enjoy and explore. Let's have some fun!