Monday, February 23, 2009

Behavior modification and guilt by association

We tend to derive anticipated emotion, pleasure or pain, from previous experience and we also experience or relive those emotions each time we think of the stimulous again.  The trick is to understand that is what is going on and to decided whether or not our intrinsic response is fair or just guilt by association.  In other words prejuidice can be held against anything not just people.  If you have had negative experiences with exercise and have developed an association of feeling bad with going to the gym the very thought of going to the gym may cause those sensations or feelings to bubble up again in your brain.  This is a very real phenomena and does have a very real effect on the body with the release of stress hormones which make you fat btw.  Adrenalin makes you fat.  Cortisol makes you fat.  Even testosterone, especially in women, makes you fat.  And estrogen does too, just in a different place/way on the body.  Learning to reprogram your response and expectation is a very powerful tool.  I highly recommend recognizing how you feel about the behaviors which produce physical fitness and if the idea of exercise makes you cringe consider reprogramming yourself to smile when you think of sweat.  Challenge the icky feelings, they may just be left over feelings that are not serving you anymore.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A new workout to me!

Woo hoo.  Tomorrow is Cathe's Low Impact Circuit WO.  I'm stoked.  I'm already set up.  I will be doing the cardio timesaver and then in the evening it will be a Leslie Sansone dvd with the resistance bands followed by 15 minutes of yoga.  

Step 1: Water- I've had most of my water.  I have one more glass to do.
Step 2: Walk- Did my wog this AM.
Step 3: Clean out a drawer- I tidied my desk.  I will attack the kitchen silverware drawer tomorrow.
Step 4: Save 2$ a day- I'm doing this with my coupons and switching to using a refillable bottle instead of buying the half liter bottles.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I have an over abundance of insulin which when not absorbed behaves like testosterone and androgenizes my body.  I had increased my sugar intake a couple of weeks ago and I am paying the price, facial hair.  Ugh.  I had also decreased my testosterone blocker, saw palmetto, to an every other day dosage because it slows down my bowels.  I am going to use an increase in fiber to deal with my bowels and I will up my saw palmetto dosage.  I do recall that my doctors had told me that hormones are not dosed based upon one's body weight.  I had thought I could lower the dosage because my body weight is down 80 pounds.  Boy, was I wrong.  I hate facial hair.  That is the worst part of this condition.  Its the being mistaken for a dude or a transgendered individual (I don't have a problem with them.)  So, back to what I know works: Cardio 6x a week, Yoga 3x a week, Testosterone blocker, Psyllium fiber, only having my carbohydrate post workout because that is when my insulin receptors are wide open, and eliminating wheat.  I like to favor other sources for carbohydrate that carry more nutrients with them.  Lately, I have been trying grapefruit for its mood elevating properties.   

Continuing:   cardio, yoga, 
Adding: more saw palmetto, psyllium fiber, daily dose of fish oil, increasing evening primrose oil.
Subtracting: Wheat (I have 6 slices of the sourdough walnut bread left.) 

Monday, February 16, 2009

One more thing

I did add the yoga back in, I've removed the dried fruit from my diet, cut down my peanut butter and banana sandwich to just half, and starting tomorrow I will only have one slice of bread post workout.  Not two.  

I'm experiencing winter blahs.

Treading water

This week is another one of data entry and staying on top of my mental outlook.  I've been reviewing the book "Simple Steps" and I liked it a few years ago and I like it now.  I don't practice all of the steps.  Maybe I should.   

They recommend using four steps each week.  Luckily, I already do some of these simple steps anyway.  So for me, adding these onto my add list should be easy.

Step 1: Drink 8 glasses of water a day (I do this already)
Step 2: 20 min walk a day (Leslie Sansone here I come!)
Step 3: Clean out a drawer- For me this will be the silverware drawer, its filthy.
Step 4: Save 2$ a day.  I don't have a paying gig right now, so I will have to be creative with coupons.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Its over!

The hold that food has had on me in the past has well, passed.  I had a brownie this morning, home made, and then had a second one.  Not a huge deal.  This is my high calorie day.  And guess what, I just felt blah.  It was not a romance anymore.  I think removing the sense of naughtiness has removed some of its appeal.  Try that.  Tell yourself you can have anything you want.  And tell yourself that you get to choose how you want to feel.  You know what food does do you.  You know how each food makes you feel.  Before, during and after.  So try that experiment.  No restrictions.  None.  Just honest choosing.  I am choosing to have this sweet taste in my mouth.  I am choosing the stomach ache that comes second.  I am choosing the headache.  I am choosing the growing waistline OR I am choosing something which both tastes good satiates and does not cause gastronomic upset and or weight gain.  The choice is yours.  And if the brownie is the choice own the consequences too.  Choose the consequence first and the taste second.  After all, its not like you've never had it before, is it?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Adjust focus

Focusing on what you need in your diet and then deciding (as Sandra suggests) what would also satisfy you can be a very effective diet strategy.  The good doctors Oz and Roizen want me to eat 5 servings of vegetables a day.  So, if I start my fitday planning (not just to make note of what I have eaten but what I plan to eat) by entering what I have available to me (most of the time I do know where I need to be during the day.) For example today is what I call a low calorie day.  I cycle my calories.  Some people may see this as extreme, but I never dip below the absolute necessities on any of my macronutrients and it really does work.  It got me out of a nasty 8 month plateau and then another four week plateau.  I keep my carbs to about 60 grams on a low day, calories at least 1200 but up to 1300 and protein at about 120 grams.  I start my calculations with my protein because that tends to provide the most calories.  Then, I add in my favorite good fat sources, olive oil and avocado.  I like to use leafy greens for vegetables because they are inexpensive, pack a nutritional wallop, and are very low in carbohydrate.  I am sensitive to sugars they tend to interfere with my endocrine system.  A serving of leafy greens is a half cup.  I like to make a large salad with 2 cups of greens (spinach or red leaf lettuce) 1/2 an avocado, a tablespoon of cheese and a tablespoon of nuts.  I stick to olive oil and vinegar as dressing, its the cleanest way to make it tasty.  Then with the rest of the calories for my day I add in what treats I really want.  For me that was 1/2 a banana and a home made brownie.  Just one.  Some folks can't do the "just one." but I don't use food to make me feel better or to satisfy hunger.  I use a little bit for enjoyment and 'the party in my mouth' (an idea from IOWL.)  Sweet foods can never satisfy hunger, fix sadness, or really offer comfort.  For me, comfort comes from hot tea, my blankie (still have it! Its huge btw, not little, and I call it my furry because it is furry) and either a good book or an episode of Martha Stewart.  I like crafting.  I find comfort in warm sweaters, new sox, and soft sweat pants.  The problem with using sweets to give yourself comfort is that its like going up to someone getting a hug and then they haul off and knock you down.  For me sweet foods always have a terrible price attached if not eaten with moderation.

Next time you are selecting your comfort food of choice, ask yourself is the dosage going to salve your soul or knock you down the stairs.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Not the tv show, but rather what numbers on the scale mean to me.  We all have important numbers on the scale.  There are ones that make us smile.  There are ones that make us cry.  And some do both.  There are numbers that I saw as a teen that made me cry out of frustration and embarrasement.  But, now, those same numbers would be something to celebrate.   

As of today I'm holding my own at 176.2.  I have officially lost 80 pounds.  My goal is 46.2 pounds away.  I also have intermediate goals.  

175 would be the 25 pounds below the 200 pound mark.  This is a momentous number for me.
171 would be 85 pounds lost!
170 is the weight I was as a dancer in my teens.  That was me in 9th grade.
168 The weight that made me so very embarrassed at the age of 14.  I had been working so terribly hard at improving my body and it fought me the whole way.  I had not discovered what worked yet.  It also happens to be the weight that drops me below the obesity line.  I have been obese my entire adult life.  It would be nice to change that.  It is also my goal for my birthday on March 14 of this year.
166 would be 90 pounds lost!
161 would be 95 pounds down!
156 would be 100 pounds down.  This is a big deal for me!  I had not realized how long this would take when I started.  What I knew was that I was not willing to get any sicker than I already was, the laughable part is I set out to prove it could not be done.
141 This would be the demarcation from overweight into a healthy weight.  I have not been a healthy weight since I was an undersized toddler.  
130 pounds This is my ultimate goal.  I hope to see this by the end of this year.  And since I plan on continuing at the same rate I have established (even with my plateaus behind me) for the past two years, I know I can do it.  I have the tools, the motivation, and the desire.  That is all it takes to see this goal.  

I suggest creating both long term and interim goals to help pull you along your journey.  I set little goals such as I can get 60 minutes in my target heart range today or I can burn 500 calories on average in all of my workouts today.  Or I set dietary goals like, I can get 120 grams of protein in my diet today to support my muscles repairing themselves.  The treat for me is knowing I set and completed a goal.  It isn't some thing I eat or something I wear (although I have those goals too.) its how I feel about me and how I feel about honoring my commitments.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Real Age

I have enjoyed Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen's books.  I have watched them on Oprah and on their own television shows, as well.  On Feb. 4 I received in my email box the Real Age newsletter and the topic was "This year, Make a new you happen."  They suggested 5 goals.

1. Trimming your waist.  
I am already working on that, however it does remind me to do my abdominal work.
2. Looking younger.  
For me that means watching the dairy intake because I get shiners and look like someone hit me in the face when I have dairy.
3. Stopping smoking.
I have never done this.  I was exposed to second hand smoke in college.  I do my best to avoid it.
4. Turning back the clock.
I don't know exactly which action to take to meet this goal.  I will have to consult their books again to find something new to add to my daily regimen.
5. Getting fit and firm.
I'm working on it, but if you read this blog, then you already know that about me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The AIM idea

My aim has been to lose over 100 pounds.  My starting weight was very high.  I have 47 pounds to go.  I started in February of 2007 with Sandra Ahten's podcast The Reasonable Diet.  The point is that I started in February with a broken foot, I started with minor adjustments to my food intake (measuring/weighing) and doing 15 minutes of walking three times a week and 15 minutes of rapid breath of fire (yoga) once a week.  I have encountered plateaus along the way but I always turn to information to help me out of those.  One plateau was over 8 months.  I finally decided I was going to be the fittest fat person you ever saw.  I bought a heart rate monitor and I discovered Cathe Friedrich.  She is the best fitness instructor that I know(not personally).  I also decided to give a different technique a try.  That technique is calorie cycling.  It seems to work for me.  

Sandra uses aim to describe the three aspects of weight loss.  Aim stands for accountability, information and motivation.  I use fitday, spark, and a paper journal as well as my blog for accountability.  For information, I use magazines, podcasts, books, and television for source material. For emotional support I turned to Eckhart Tolle's A new Earth and I took up yoga.  I also experiment and take detailed notes on what does and does not work.  I weigh and measure my food so I really know what is going on.   Not just a guess.  I also use my heart rate monitor for accountability with my workouts.  It keeps me honest about the duration in my target heart range. For motivation I primarily use the podcasts.  First it was Sandra Ahten's Reasonable Diet, then it was Inside Out Weight loss, and now its The Daily Boost.  I also use Podrunner, and Podrunner intervals as well as "Podcast for Running."  I am not a true runner yet, I wog.  But, someday I would like to be a true runner.  I am really looking forward to that. I even enjoyed listening to The Two Gomers run a half marathon.  They were hilarious, especially in the beginning when they didn't know what they were doing.   They could have named themselves the two goobers.


What I am not willing to do.

I always learn things from my experience.  And over the past four weeks I have learned that these behaviors or things do not support my quest towards physical fitness.  

What I don't do:

Skip yoga.
Go too low on my carbs.  This lead to inappropriate food choices that back fired and resulted in a net weight gain of one pound.
Tell myself, No you can't ever have that!
Eat simple carbs.  This tends to make me hungry, irritable, and put on weight.
Use caffiene.  This gives me headaches and upsets my blood sugar.
Eat HFCS.  I know that people say if you control your portions that you can have this food stuff, the problem is that for my brain, it seems to disconnect that vital message from the stomach telling my brain that I have had enough.  I avoid this to avoid that over stuffed feeling.
Sweetened nuts/peanut butter lead to excessive eating and do not satisfy my hunger.
Eat hydrogenated oils.  This induces insulin resistance.  Over all, a bad idea.
Weigh in once a week.  I need more feed back because I waisted a week with a plan that didn't work and was really bummed out about it.
I tend to gain weight when I eat white foods, corn chips, potato chips, buttery crackers, biscuits, peanut butter cookies, and ice cream.  I only eat these foods when I want to feel hungry more, unsatisfied and I want to put on body fat.
I don't over train.  This just makes my life painful.  Ouchie!!!
Rest days are key.
Milk chocolate.  I mean seriously, why mess around with kid candy?  Go for the real stuff, the dark chocolate is for us grown up girls.

I highly suggest keeping a journal and tracking how foods and behaviors effect how you feel over time.  This is golden information.  Once you know what is going on with your mind, your body and your metabolism you then have the ability to make an informed choice.  There is nothing wrong with choosing a food for the sheer pleasure of it.  But, don't pick chips because you are hungry.  They won't satisfy you.  You will still be hungry 160 calories and about 20 grams of carbs later.  Pick something to solve the desire in you.  Is it a need for food?  Fill that with vegetables, protein and good fats.  Is it a need for entertainment?  Is it a need for comfort?  What would (as Sandra says) satisfy that?

What am I willing to do?

I just listened to Sandra Ahten's latest podcast on The Reasonable Diet.  I always enjoy her podcast and I thought now would be a good time to review and revive some ideas I have had while listening to her and reading her blog.  One of the questions she asks is, what are you willing to do? Here is my answer:
1. Plan my daily menu/workout.
2. Carry printouts of local restaurants nutrition facts in my car with my printed out directions. (I have a binder for this.)
3. Journal my food and workouts.
4. Workout 5 to 6 times a week, for about 60 minutes in my THR , Circuit workouts 2x a week.
5. Practice yoga three nights a week.
6. Drink water
7. Take my supplements on time every day.
8. Weigh in once a day.  No less, no more.
9. Eat at least 35 grams of protein three times a day.
10. Cycle my calories by 500 to 800 calories every other day.
Keep my carbs complex.  Use organic dairy (better lipid profile.)  Use olive oil, unsweetened peanut butter, dark chocolate, and coconut oil.  
11. Control my carbohydrate intake.
12. Cook and carry my meals as much as is possible.
13. Bake my own bread.
14. Save treats for my treat day.
15. I ask myself the following questions when considering what I want to eat:
Is the 7 minutes of pleasure going to out last my displeasure if I eat this?
What will happen if I choose this fuel versus another fuel?
Can I satisfy my need for comfort or pleasure in another way? (that is a Sandra Ahten idea btw.)