Thirty-One Gifts

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Z is for Zipper!

The one that went up on my smaller pants!  After thirty days of blogging A to Z, eating clean and healthy, and exercising, I can say I've made the most progress in this month than any other one so far.  I've taken better care of myself, watched every bite going in, and I am exercising on a better schedule.

I'm trying hard.

Zipping up my favorite knock-around-pants was the best feeling, so it helped me make decision at an impromptu dinner last night.  I was surprised by a family member wanting to take us to the local steak place.  Could not pass up 2 bites with bread of the seafood fondue appetizer.  Then, I ate a salad with balsamic vinegar, and some salmon with rice and veggies.  I brought half home for lunch tomorrow.  No dessert, no alcohol, and unsweetened ice tea.  Wow.  I can't believe I was able to do that.  Anyone who knows me would not have guessed I would order that and not eat it all.

It was the pants. :)  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Y is for Younger

After four weeks of eating as clean as possible and exercising, I feel younger!  I feel more energetic, more rested, and generally happier.  I didn't expect these kind of results, to feel better when I'm still in pain from exercising, but I do.  I will have some bloodwork done again next week, and I wonder if there will be any difference from October.  Probably not in just this short time, but I am hopeful.

My daughter has gotten into working out now.  She's 23.  She doesn't want to end up with a weight problem either, in fact, she wants to be very strong.  Her Dad has had severe heart problems, and I have high blood pressure, so she is staying slim and working out.  She makes me feel younger, so I suppose that darn commercial is right: a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest.  I can tell you honestly, and it hurts me to say this: I feel better on the days I exercise, and it improves my mood ten-fold.

Ugh.  I like exercise.

Hubby Visits the Gym

My husband came with me to the gym, and after the elliptical, he said his legs felt like jelly.  I won't say how long that took, but it was as about as much as I did last week, and for a few minutes he went backwards.  I said, "You're backwards," and after he went forward, he said, "Oohhh.  Yep.  That's it."  He learned some new machines, and I felt all smart telling him about them, and impressed him in the ab section.  I love those.  I feel my core getting stronger.

We've got the 5K this Saturday, the 4th, so we will need to walk a LOT this week.  I did the treadmill today, but not long.  The trainer told me to start with cardio, the treadmill, elliptical, etc..., but I didn't listen.  I did the circuit and the elliptical, and then I thought I would be on the treadmill forever.  Uh.  No.  I need to start with that.  By the time I made it there, I was exhausted from everything else.

Tip:  Listen to your trainer.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for X-Ray

Had some x-rays done recently, and since this is not just a weight blog, but a Journey To Health, then I should mention to all women to make sure to get their annual exams.  I had a small problem, very fixable, but it was a little scary.  I still have one more biopsy to be done, but it all looks good.

I know many women who don't go every year after they turn 40 for their mammograms, pap smears, and a general physical.  Even without insurance, you can go to the health department.  I didn't even know that - when I was without insurance for a bit.  Just know, the older we get, the more little things can turn into big things very quickly.  Do yourself a favor, and make an appointment for your lady business.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Planet Fitness Redeemed

Since I am a day early on my A to Z posts, I did a regular post today.

I went back to the gym today after almost a week.  I didn't want to go back, because I felt judged and ignored.  I was.  All is forgiven.  I had an appointment with a trainer today to be able to show me the machines and build a program for me.  That was awesome.  I even made a friend, who was taking the tour with me, and we worked out and encouraged each other.  That was calming, and it made me feel very comfortable.  She was nervous, too!

Today, there were people of all ages and all sizes, which helped my state of mind.  I couldn't believe one dude looked about 70 or so, and he was killing it on the elliptical.  I envied him, and at the same time, I was thinking, Go Dude!  Here's a good article on elliptical versus stationary bikes.

I think I have taken on the biggest project of my life: me.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

W is for Walking!

Walking 2 miles today, that is!  I have a 5K coming up, and I will have to get my walking in every day now, as the race is just about ten days away.  I need to build some stamina.  Going to the gym today for strength and cardio, but since I can only do the elliptical for a very little bit, I will do the walk - on the way to play basketball!  I think I'm going to be very sore for the next couple of weeks.  I hope my muscles get used to this pretty soon, because getting through the pain is keeping me from pushing myself.

There, I said it.

Plus, being afraid of success.  I don't know why I feel a little afraid to be thin again, as I was a skinny kid, and a good figure 8 in a size 5 at 118 pounds - far, far, away!  I want that again, I have to acclimate myself to the weather (it's pretty hot here already), and I need to get those old feet in shape.  I can do it.  Just a part of the journey...

V is for Victory

I feel better than I did four weeks ago, when I got really serious about the intake of food, water, and completing exercise.  My fingers and feet are not swollen anymore, and they don't tingle.  I knew that was a bad sign.  My fingers don't look like sausages anymore, and I can even type with ease!  My body has gone through a cleanse, with all the fresh roughage, and I couldn't be happier.  I feel thinner, even if I haven't lost much.  I'm making a doc appt. for next week, so we'll see if I have dropped some more weight.  I sure hope so!  I also feel stronger and have more stamina.  I'd call all that a good victory for fighting the fat.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

U is for Understanding

That is, the understanding of how I got fat and how others can be more understanding of those that are larger.  I am obese for many reasons: the way I ate and how much, the lack of eating, choosing the wrong foods, and medications that kept me craving carbs.  I also realize that the fat me is an internal thing.  I feel thinner on the outside, probably because I was always a thin kid, and when I look in the mirror, I'm shocked.  When I see a pic of myself, I am surprised.  That's not me, I scream inside my head.  I didn't plan on being obese.  It happened, so now let's fix it.

The other kind of understanding I'm talking about is the kind you should have towards the obese - they make up more than half the U.S.  Is it right that I am obese?  No, it's not healthy.  However, I don't want to be mocked for it...  Try compassion.  I'm frustrated by being heavy and not being bale to lose it right away, because my mind is ready to be thin.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

T is for Tracking

Tracking food, water, and exercise.  I used to pay to use the tracker on Jillian's site, but Live Strong's is FREE.  I track my water for the day - 8 oz glasses, you know.  I love putting in the food, because so many have amazed me that their calories were higher or lower than expected.  Live Strong's food journal also comes with all of your intakes for the day: protein, cholesterol, fat, and such, and totals for you at the bottom, so you know what you ate or are going to eat.  I've put snacks back because they would put me over the edge.

I also track exercise, because it will add calories to your daily intake, too.  Then, you can decide if that extra whatever is going to fit in your day.  You simply put in the exercise and it gives you options for what is was, elliptical, jogging, etc..., and then gives you how many calories you've burned.  I love these features.  Plus, the site has tons of recipes, tips, and articles about food and exercise, including the latest research.

Track your food!  It makes a difference! :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Ready, Set, Go!

After having my two whiny days of pain, I'm better now.  My body is not killing me this morning, only slightly sore.  It will feel good to work out today. Not sure what I'm going to do yet, but I'm ready.  I can feel my body changing already, even if it will take time to see it.

That's the problem with being this overweight: it will take a while to see it, so I have to depend on clothes and other people to show and see a difference.  I can't believe how my body was screaming at me for the other day.  Be careful, people, get the experts to show you how to do everything in a gym - that you're unsure of, or even if you have done it for years... sometimes a refresher is good, as there are exercises in the gym now that are not as beneficial as originally thought.  But, I'm ready for today! 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quitting

No, I'm not quitting - you silly!  But, I really worked out in probably the wrong way the other day, because I'm so sore.  My thighs are the worst.  I guess that elliptical was harder than I already thought it was!  I do want to quit.  No, my body wants to quit.  My head doesn't.  It's something I struggle with in every bite I take, and in every decision to work out or not.  I've played with my calorie count this week, and now I may not be eating enough, but I do want to get the weight off now ... now that I've decided, now that I'm ready, simply now.

I've always been impatient, and I always want the result now.  However, I know, I know, you're saying - You didn't put this weight on overnight - as everyone says that, but it doesn't keep me from be impatient, besides, it feeds my motivation.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

P is for Planet Fitness

I joined Planet Fitness online last night, to save the sales pitch, and it was easier. I went in today, and I was disappointed that someone was not there to show me around, make sure I know how to use everything, etc...  They say they have unlimited training, so I had to make an appt. for that.  I get it, a trainer's time is money, but they advertise training like it's always available.  I was surprised.

Since no one showed me around, I took a tour with my free t-shirt they gave me, and put that on in the spacious locker room.  I have a bit of a bum ankle, so I opted for the elliptical over the treadmill.  I could only do a minute and a half before my legs were like water.  That was going 2.5 miles an hour.  So, I got off that, thinking that tomorrow I'll do three minutes, and just double it every day.  Before I know it, I'll be up there.

Since I don't know how to do all the newer stuff, because the last time I was in a gym was a long time ago, I just did four machines: 2 for legs and 2 for arms at 3 sets of ten reps with 30 seconds in between.  That took about fifteen minutes.  I was sweating pretty good, had dipped my toes in the gym water, and I left.  Since I was craving a real workout for much longer, I went and played basketball with the hubby after he got off work.

I beat his booty.  :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

O is for Oranges

Did you know that oranges have calories and are loaded with sugar?  When a friend called oranges a sugar bomb recently, I had to check it out.  From the table below, you can see that there are 12.2 grams of sugar in one orange.

The American Heart Association recommends 37 grams of sugar per day for men and 25 grams per day for women.  So, one piece of fruit can be half your sugar intake for the day - now that is the recommendation for those wanting to lose weight.  Don't go over 25 grams.  Crap.  I've gone over that with the fruit I eat, so I'll slow that down.  I don't need blood sugar spikes.

There are also 15.4 grams of carbs in one.   Live Strong's site suggests no more than 50-100 grams of carbs for moderate weight loss, and 50 or less for faster results.  I've got planning to do, as I'm pretty good with balancing it all, but I am just getting used to it.

N is for Now I've Lost Weight

In three weeks, both on the doctor's scale, I've lost eight pounds!  I do feel better.  The water weight is gone, and now the fat pounds can begin dropping.  How did I do it?  I've written it all here, but I stayed within my Live Strong calorie limit for the last week and was careful the other two, exercised most every day: a walk, basketball, and yoga - not all every day, but at least one.  No fast food.  No sugared tea, only water and tea.  No fried food.  I think I had two fried things, and my fingers got swollen when I did eat them, so I quit that right quick.  Absolutely no soda.

More fruits and veggies have hit my plate in the last three weeks than I've eaten all year, and they are nature's cleanse...  I see these cleanses all the time, but all you need is a big pile of veggies and dark greens, and you'll feel better.  I've taken to smoothies lately for breakfast.  I make them myself, and it takes only a moment, and I feel full till lunch.  Sometimes I have one for dessert, but it's definitely a once-a-day thing.

So that's that.  Eight pounds - I can finally shout some success with pounds!  I've made a lot of changes, which have all led to this, but the biggest change is mental.  It's all in the way you think about yourself.

Smoothie recipe: Pinterest
(Tastes like an apple pie!)

Serves 2 - but 1 for a meal like breakfast.

5 raw almonds 
1 red apple (chunks)
1 banana 
3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt 
1/2 cup nonfat milk 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend all in a blender until desired consistency is reached.  Add a little ice to chill it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

M is for Market

Farmer's Market, that is.  I finally went to our local Saturday farmer's market, just a mile down the road, and it was great!  There was everything I could have wanted there, at lower than grocery store prices.  We believe we saved 30% on our produce bill, and with going to a local butcher, also only a mile away, we've got groceries for a week for less than $75.  We will only need a few staples.

We spent $32 on produce, and we bought:  two bunches of bananas, spinach, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, squash, two pints of blueberries, two pints of strawberries, broccoli, potatoes, onions, and mushrooms.  Our loot is pictured below.  Pointer:  Take your own bags!  We forgot ours, and we ended up scrounging for boxes at the market.  Then, there's carrying it.  It would have been loads easier if we had our "green" bags.  Go to the market near you.  Toot sweet!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fat is Not Funny

You know, Jonathan Winters died on Friday, and it got me thinking... we still think fat is funny.  It really isn't.  You wouldn't laugh at an alcoholic would you?  Okay, maybe when they are in the jovial, joke-telling phase, but even drunk all the time isn't funny.  Fat people have been making money off their rotund figures for centuries, everyone from actors to carnival fat ladies.  There have been hysterical obese people, but it seems they all have a problem: they tend to die young.

Now, Mr. Winters was 87, but let's look at John Candy, John Belushi, Fatty Arbuckle, and more.  Fat made them famous, but in the end, they were gone before their time.  Why?  Not just drugs are to blame, as we don't always look at the depression being overweight can cause, thus the drugs, then death.  Obese people don't want your pity, stares, or laughter.  They just want to fit in and not be judged.  I didn't get to be 320 pounds by saying, "Oh, I'd love to be over 300 pounds."  It wasn't my life's goal.

It's not anybody's goal.  However, you and I can change that.  Make small changes... cut out sugar, cut out soda.  Don't think you can do it?  I did.  If I can, anyone can...

Doc weigh-in tomorrow.  Nervous.

Friday, April 12, 2013

L is for Live Strong

Live Strong's web site is perfect for the person who needs to lose weight or just stay healthy.  You can make a profile, and then go from there to calorie counters, diet plans, exercise goals, and more.  It's a site full of information on such health topics as water versus coke, finding motivation, and best breakfasts for weight loss.  There's so much more to it.  It's also FREE for the stuff you need.  Guess what?

I was able to put in my weight, height, and weight loss goal, and it gave me not only the amount of calories I should eat per day, but fat grams, carbs, protein, and more.  It even counts it down as you put in your food for the day.  You can also keep track of your exercise, and it will give you the calories you burned.  Basketball burns a LOT of calories.  Awesome.

You'll have to go there and see for yourself!  Here's one of their videos from You Tube!  Ab Blaster!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

K is for Poatassium

On the periodic table!  My hubby has had leg cramps and was told he had low potassium, so we started eating more of the foods listed below, and wah-la!  Leg cramps are gone.  Food really can heal you.  Enjoy the table and the food!

World's Healthiest Foods ranked as quality sources of
Foods Rating
Swiss Chard1 cup cooked35.0960.7527.414.1excellent
Spinach1 cup cooked41.4838.8024.010.4excellent
Mushrooms - Crimini1 cup19.1389.7611.110.5excellent
Papaya1 each118.6781.2822.33.4very good
Beets1 cup raw58.5442.0012.63.9very good
Cantaloupe1 cup54.4427.2012.24.0very good
Tomatoes1 cup raw32.4426.6012.26.8very good
Carrots1 cup50.0390.4011.24.0very good
Fennel1 cup raw27.0360.1810.36.9very good
Brussels Sprouts1 cup raw37.8342.329.84.7very good
Blackstrap Molasses2 tsp32.1340.669.75.5very good
Cauliflower1 cup raw26.8319.939.16.2very good
Kale1 cup cooked36.4296.408.54.2very good
Summer Squash1 cup raw18.1296.068.58.4very good
Turnip Greens1 cup cooked28.8292.328.45.2very good
Broccoli1 cup raw30.9287.568.24.8very good
Mustard Greens1 cup cooked21.0282.808.16.9very good
Asparagus1 cup raw26.8270.687.75.2very good
Mushrooms, Shiitake87 g29.6264.487.64.6very good
Celery1 cup16.2262.607.58.4very good
Romaine Lettuce2 cups16.0232.186.67.5very good
Green Beans1 cup raw31.0211.006.03.5very good
Bell Peppers1 cup raw28.5194.125.53.5very good
Eggplant1 cup raw19.7188.605.44.9very good
Lima Beans1 cup cooked216.2955.0427.32.3good
Potatoes1 each baked160.9925.5526.43.0good
Yam1 cup baked157.8911.2026.03.0good
Soybeans1 cup cooked297.6885.8025.31.5good
Pinto Beans1 cup cooked244.5745.5621.31.6good
Lentils1 cup cooked229.7730.6220.91.6good
Kidney Beans1 cup cooked224.8716.8520.51.6good
Dried Peas1 cup cooked231.3709.5220.31.6good
Avocado1 cup233.6708.1020.21.6good
Halibut4 oz-wt158.8653.1718.72.1good
Tuna4 oz-wt157.6645.2418.42.1good
Cod4 oz-wt119.1586.2716.82.5good
Yogurt1 cup154.3573.3016.41.9good
Sweet Potato1 cup baked102.6541.5015.52.7good
Scallops4 oz-wt127.0539.7715.42.2good
Milk - Goat1 cup168.4497.7614.21.5good
Winter Squash1 cup baked75.8494.0514.13.3good
Banana1 each105.0422.4412.12.1good
Green Peas1 cup raw115.7373.3010.71.7good
Prunes0.25 cup104.4318.429.11.6good
Oranges1 each61.6237.116.82.0good
Onions1 cup raw64.0233.606.71.9good
Kiwifruit1 each45.0225.006.42.6good
Collard Greens1 cup cooked49.4220.406.32.3good
Strawberries1 cup46.1220.326.32.5good
Raspberries1 cup64.0185.735.31.5good
Grapefruit0.50 each41.0177.925.12.2good
Grapes1 cup61.6175.725.01.5good
Watermelon1 cup45.6170.244.91.9good
Leeks1 cup raw54.3160.204.61.5good
Cucumber1 cup15.6152.884.45.0good
Cabbage1 cup raw17.5119.003.43.5good
Figs8 oz-wt37.0116.003.31.6good
Turmeric2 tsp15.6111.103.23.7good
Plum1 each30.4103.623.01.8good
Basil2 tsp7.
Apricot1 each16.890.652.62.8good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
excellentDV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very goodDV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
goodDV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%