Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Work Is Helping My Eating and Exercise Routine

Just a quick post today.  Have a lot of stuff going on, and I need to leave in about 15 minutes to get it all started.

So, Monday, I went back to work.  For a couple of hours.  Got in to my classroom and spent three hours sorting through all of my books and getting them set back up in the library.

Doesn't sound like much, but lifting that many boxes of books did something... cause I was hurting by the time I got home.  In my legs.  Which is good... I lifted with my legs and not my back.

Yesterday, I spent the entire day in my classroom.  I moved all of the furniture to where it needed to be. I started unpacking EVERYTHING... even stuff that didn't need to be unpacked, but I don't want clutter taking over my room.

I decided on a brand new start.  Out with the old.  If I didn't use it last year, it was gone... or at least it's going to be put in a place where I'd definitely use it this year.

This morning, I'm taking Jelly for her wellness check up and then heading straight back in to my classroom to start wading through the mess I've created for myself by unpacking everything.  I didn't start on putting anything away... I just emptied.  And made piles of stuff all over my room.

I'm only a couple days in on going back to work, but I feel pretty good about the effect it's having on my eating.  No more eating because I'm bored.  In fact, I have to remind myself to stop and eat... because I get so caught up in what's going on that I forget I haven't eaten anything all day.

That's no good... but I'd much rather be eating much less than overeating.

I'm also sweating my behind off while I'm working.  The lifting furniture and boxes helps... but also the fact that I don't have working AC in my classroom right now makes it easier to sweat when I'm not putting in too much effort.  

This time last year, I had the best AC in the building.  Now, I'm not so lucky.  Everyone else has AC and I don't.  

Oh well, it's helping me sweat... so I can't complain about that.

Welp. That's about it.  Told you it would be a quick one.  

I'm so excited about getting back in to the swing of things.. even though it means my time of waking up when I want and doing whatever I want all day is over.  But, if it normalizes my routine and helps me avoid mindless eating, and gives me more exercise... I have to be happy.

Till next time!!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Moving Furniture Constitutes as a Work-Out, Right?

So, the day has officially arrived that it's time for me to head back in to my classroom to prepare for the beginning of the school year.

It arrived way too quickly...and "officially" I don't go back until August 12th.  But there's way too much that needs to be done before the first day of school (Aug. 15th) to gamble waiting until the 12th.

Back to school classroom preparation is both a mental and physical work-out.

Mental in the sense that I worry and over-think and stress over what I need to get done, rather than just jumping in and doing it.  Or maybe making a to-do list to keep myself focused.

Physical because it's my job to unpack all of my furniture from the corner it's been stacked in to and get it to where it needs to be.  All by myself.

I know it probably doesn't sound too bad, but move around 22 student desks, a teacher's desk, several book shelves, a kidney table, and computer carts... and then once they've been moved, move them all over again and again until the layout is just right.  It can get pretty exhausting.  

Especially when it's just me.  And not even a dolly or equipment to help.

Who needs gym equipment when they can lug around classroom furniture?

That equates to a work-out, right?  Spending a couple of hours moving furniture around... which I know is how long it will take.  And that's just today.  No doubt I'll hate the arrangement by the time I go back tomorrow and will start from scratch.  Again.

Yesterday morning, I went and walked 5K.  It was close to mid-day, but the temps were only in the lower 70s by then...and it was just perfect.  I quickly got in to my zone, letting the beat of my music set the pace of my walking.  I may or may not have been singing out loud while doing it... but that's one of the fun parts about walking.  I love being able to sing along with my music and not have any idea how loud I actually am.

I walked down to the park.  Walked around the park a couple of times.  Walked down Main Street for a while.  Then, turned around and came home.  It was probably more than 5K being that it's a mile down to the park... so it's two miles just there and back.  But, 5K is pretty close.

It's amazing how good I feel after a walk.  Not just mentally, but physically as well.  For the past few days, my knees have been acting up.  Undoubtedly due to the weather changes.  By early evening, I've been feeling quite a bit of soreness in my knees that have to be babied and hobbled around on.  I knew that I ran the risk of further aggravating my knees with my walking, but I took the chance.  And it paid off.  I didn't have a bit of knee pain last night.

I've also been waking up with some back pain over the past week or so.  Probably from sleeping so hard and so long.  Well, I felt some twinges in my back while walking... but twinges like whatever was clogged up back there was getting untwined.  And, no back pain this morning.

I know that with body aches, I should air on the side of caution about how much physical activity I do... but it's different when those body aches come from a lack of use.  I know my knees get sore from sitting around too much.  I know my back aches from sleeping too long.  The only way to fix those issues is to put them both to work.  Which paid off, big time.

With the physical remedies, there's also the mental remedies.  Clearing my head.  Not thinking about anything except the music that's playing in my ears and the way my feet hit the ground.  Sure, thoughts come sneaking in to my mind... but they don't last long.  I'm too busy focusing on keeping my pace to the beat of the music.  I'm not talented enough to multi-task my brain.  It has to be thinking about one thing at a time... while I'm walking, anyway.

I just wish I could remember how great I feel after a walk each time I am mentally arguing with myself about whether I want to go and walk or not.  Making myself go is the hardest part.  I never regret going.  But, for some reason, my mind just fights with me to just get started.

My eating has been going pretty well.  I'm eating less.  I'm eating better foods.  I found some small onion bagels while grocery shopping on Friday and Greek yogurt cream cheese.  I had both after coming back from walking yesterday and they were SUPER yummy and filling.  And I didn't have any cravings after for something else.  

I guess there are carbs out there that can satisfy me without sending me on a binge.  It will just take a while to test and evaluate.  

Anyway, it's time for me to start thinking about heading to work.

That sounds weird.

But it is what it is.

Till next time!

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

I'm Sorry...Will You Repeat That Temperature Again?

Talking about the weather is probably one of the most boring topics to discuss.  It's a topic you go to when you have absolutely nothing else to talk about... and you're breaking an awkward silence.

"So, what do you think of the weather we're having?"

Which, can be a loaded question if you decide to break the silence with a complete stranger or someone that takes the weather WAY too seriously.

"What do I think?  I think it's hot, and miserable.... and I sweat in places that shouldn't sweat.  I just want to strip my clothes off and walk around naked, but even then I'll still sweat and stick to the furniture in my house and get my sweat funk on everything."

Urm... TMI?

And I kid you not, those actual words (more or less) were said to me when asking a complete stranger about the weather while I was waiting in line to go in somewhere.  Who tells complete strangers that stuff?

Anywho...that's neither here nor there about what I'm going to talk about this morning.

Everyone can attest that it's Sunday, July 28th..yes?  

At this time it is 10:39AM.

I woke up this morning around 10AM, grabbed my coffee, and walked out on to my patio....and felt a chill.

The temperature right now is 67 degrees Fahrenheit.


A number that doesn't usually exist in July in Arkansas... let alone at the end of the July approaching mid-day.

The high for today is only 82... and it's not supposed to get near that until much later this afternoon.

Which means, I didn't have to worry about getting out of bed too late this morning to go on my walk.  I can pretty much go anytime I want... because it's not going to get hot enough all day to even worry about it.

This has probably been one of the most mild summers I've ever been through in my life.  There has been a couple of weeks where I agreed with old sweaty butt about how hot it's been... but I'm pretty sure this entire summer, the temps haven't made it in to the three digits.  High 90s?  Sure.... but still not as many times as usual.  I just looked at the 10 day forecast...and three out of those ten days, the temps go in to the 90s.  Barely.  The rest is mid to high 80s.

We've had quite a bit of rain. The grass in my front and back yards is still green... rather than the dead brown it should be by this time of year.  I still have flowers blooming on some of my plants.  My surroundings are more conducive to late spring than late summer.

Of course, we did get snow in May for the first time EVER.  So, I suppose that was a precursor to what  was in store.  And if this is global warming?  I'm OK with it.

It's been hot enough to swim.  It's been cool enough to walk (minus the past two weeks).  But, if two weeks out of an entire summer is all I have to deal with... WOO HOO FOR ME!

I'll admit that I'm pretty lazy in the summer.  I don't like to set an alarm, and I want to roll my big behind out of bed whenever the heck I feel like it.  Maybe it's 8am, maybe it's 10am.  When I get up, I like to write my blog and drink my coffee before I even think about what I'm going to do in terms of exercise or daily plans.

And having that routine during the summer usually equates to no form of outdoor exercise, other than the pool... unless I decide to go walk right before dark. 

I'm really hoping that this mild summer is going to lead in to a harsh winter.  Call me crazy, but we've had such mild winters the past two years... I'm ready for a good snow.  Now that I live in town, of course.  

And while we're at calling me crazy... I wonder if Mother Nature is testing me.  Summer brings about my most favorite go-to excuse about not getting out to exercise... and now she's throwing that back in my face and saying "What now?"

I don't remember a single summer of my weight loss trying adult life where I could sit at the end of July and feel not just comfortable, but cool.  Sitting outside and enjoying the refreshing breeze... there's no such thing as a refreshing breeze in July.  It usually feels like someone turned on the heat outside and adjusted the thermostat up full blast.  

Which now I'm sitting here wondering what on earth I'm doing sitting here... when I should be in my walking clothes and sneakers pounding pavement.

And that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Thanks, Weather!! Please stick around...I could really get used to this!

Till next time!

a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Who Picks This Stuff?

As a person that has been blogging for over 3 years... I become fascinated with the traffic sources of my readers.  Meaning, I constantly check my stats to see what websites or keywords people have used to find me.

Back when I was using this domain name before, I had 200 followers and several hundred hits per day.  Then, when I changed my blog domain and moved everything over to my other blog (, it moved all of my followers with it.

So, I basically started from scratch again when I resurrected this blog domain.

Since starting back up, I've accumulated 8 followers.  That's fine with me... even if I didn't have any followers, I'd still write.  But, one thing that caught my eye this morning was the amount of page hits I've had since starting over.  There has been over 6000 page hits to my 40 blog posts.  That means I've been posting for little over a month, and I'm averaging over 150 hits per day.

Something didn't sound right with that.

What on earth is sending people my way in those kinds of droves?

Well, a quick review of the stats revealed this as the top source of my hits...

A couple of things don't add up.  The date located with this article is July 25th, 2013.  That can't be right, because I've had over 1300 hits from this site in the last month, and only 150 of them being from the last week... how is that possible when it was supposedly published a couple of days ago?

Regardless, I know for a fact that the article is older than that, because I was first notified of the article a few years ago...back when I really did the stuff it said (like lose 60lbs).  Back then it was located in the weight loss motivation section... now it's been moved to the fitness inspiration section.  Maybe July 25th was when it was moved to the new section..and people were still visiting from the old section.

I've gone to Shape Magazine's site a few times... looking for tips and information.  But, now I'm a little miffed.

Why on earth would they use my site for a motivation source?  

If the article's writer had spent any amount of time reading my blog, she would definitely reconsider that title.  Maybe, back in the day, when I really was having a ton of success and losing a ton of weight... but certainly not anymore.  If anything, I should be showcased in a "success stories gone bad" section.

Back when this article was first written (three years ago), I felt honored.  I found out about it through Twitter.  Nobody from Shape magazine contacted me and asked my permission to even publish my website on theirs... but it didn't bother me.  To be considered one of the most motivational sites out there for weight loss was a humbling honor.  Even back then, I could have named off 30 more blogs much more worthy of a place on that list before mine.

Where do they even get their information?  That's my biggest question.

I didn't nominate myself.  I didn't really have that many followers that would nominate me.  So, what?  Did the author just do a quick search of weight loss blogs and found the first few that looked somewhat interesting?  Still don't know if that's possible.. because I'm quite sure that my blog wouldn't show up in the first 100 pages on a Google search for Weight Loss Blogs.

And now, it's just been regurgitated on to the site once again.  No check of updates or if the owners of the blogs (myself only being the point in this) is still worthy of being known as "motivational".  I did a quick check of the other sites listed...and besides Yum Yucky (who is one of my favorite bloggers) the others aren't really all that terms of fitness.  Of course, I suppose you could look at them that way if you wanted.

Looking at my other traffic sources has also left me a little puzzled.  I mean, I know how people get here from weight loss blogs... but there are websites listed as traffic sources that in no way, shape, or form list anything about my site or are even associated with weight loss.

I've had 408 hits originating through a site called  Looking at the site doesn't give me the slightest clue how traffic was directed to me.

I've had over 1000 hits from Google.  Those come from the keyword searches like "fat women" or "diary of fat woman".  Not sure who searches for stuff like that, but they get to come see me when they do.

The rest originate from Twitter and Facebook... which makes total sense because I publish my blog to Twitter and Facebook each day.

It's all so puzzling and confusing.  Maybe it's best if I don't bother looking at the stats anymore.  Maybe I just focus on who's reading and commenting... and just keep writing what I write.

Anyone else get puzzled by checking their stats?  I'd love to hear about it.

But, that's enough for me for one day... need to get my butt in gear to do something productive.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

In Case You Noticed...

If you've paid some attention, you'll notice that there is now a "2lbs Lost" on my Fitness Pal badge.  I updated this morning, even though I swore that I was going to hold off until August 1st to do my weigh-in.

And, I will admit, I changed the starting weight a little over a week ago... before I started doing Sally's suggestions... because I noticed I had gained a few pounds since I last reported my weight.

So, technically, I haven't really lost any weight from when I first started in June... but I have lost weight since I started really focusing on my food and following my new plan.

I plan on weighing in again on August 1st, just to see if there's any change...and to do my "official" one month weight loss.  The plan is to then weigh in on the first of the month from there on out.  

Can I stay off the scale for an entire month?  No.  But, I will only be using my weigh-ins from the first of each month to log my progress.

I've done a really good job of staying off the scale, actually.  When I vowed to stay off the scale a few weeks ago, I didn't get back on it until I started my new plan.  I was upset when I saw how much I'd gained since being off the scale - but it wasn't like I was really gung-ho on doing much with my eating before that.

It's nice to see that even though I haven't been very active since focusing on my food, the pounds are slowly coming off.

I haven't gone swimming in a couple of days, and because of the heat I haven't done much walking.  Today, it's pouring down rain...and plans on staying that way all day.  It would be the perfect opportunity for a refreshing walk (rain doesn't bother me), but I have friends coming over to spend the day with me.

Thankfully, I've chosen healthy snacks to feed to my friends.  Not sure they'll be thrilled, but the crackers I've picked out are super, I don't see why there should be any problems.

That's all I'm going to share today... being that I have to get in my social state of mind.

Have a great Friday!

Till next time!

a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Creating My Own Diet Plan - Part V.... The Actual Plan


For the past five days, I've been sharing a bunch of stuff that I've been discussing with a new found friend...who just happens to be a nutritionist.  Unlike other nutritionists I've spoken to in the past, she doesn't tell me I need to eat less than 1800 calories a day, cut out certain foods from my diet, or log every single morsel of food I eat in to a little journal or online planner.

I love her.

For someone that's just starting out with the weight loss thing, it can be very overwhelming at the amount of information there is out there about different things one should or shouldn't do while trying to lose weight, countless diet programs, and health gurus around every corner that wants you to believe that the way they lost weight is the best and only way to lose weight.

For someone that's been trying for years and years?  It's exactly the same.  Except I'm still overweight and trying to find something that works.

I expected for Sally to refer me to the other information I'd been given already, tell me which diet plan is the best, and leave it at that.

But, she didn't.

She told me how different each person is.  Why certain diets don't work for everyone.  And basically the information I'd already been given by so many... but how to combine it all together to trial and error my way in to finding a diet plan that works for ME.

Over the course of the past five days, I've shared health reasons that can be caused from eliminating certain foods.  I've shared information on why just counting calories won't work for me.  I've shared the information on the most popular diet plans I've been told to try.... with the reasons I just don't think they'll work for me.  And I've shared the food groups that I should be filling my pantry and refrigerator up with.

All of it is well known information.  All of it I double checked and Googled and researched.  All of it made sense - even though I'd heard it before - probably because it was delivered to me in a way that I'm not used to.  And that's with the understanding that I don't need to follow the rules of some strict diet plan, that I can basically make my own.

So, after discussing everything I've shared in great length with Sally... I wanted to know the answer to the main questions that had been playing on my mind...

What do I eat, when, and how often?

What I expected was a plan of action.  Eat this much for breakfast at this time, eat these foods for lunch at this time, eat this for dinner at this time, and then eat a snack or two at these times of day.

But, I didn't get that.

Sally asked me what my normal eating habits were like.  I laughed and shared that there aren't any habits when it comes to my eating.  

Some days I go all day without eating anything until dinner time comes around, and then I eat an enormous dinner because I realize I haven't eaten all day...and make up for it.

Other days, I start off right with a good, large breakfast, then stop in at McDonald's to grab something for lunch, then eat an enormous dinner... followed up with late night snacks and treats.

On occasion I get up and eat a Greek yogurt, maybe a sandwich for lunch, eat a few nuts or some trail mix for a snack, and then eat a light dinner... like a salad or chicken with veggies.

Rather than criticizing me on my poor eating habits, or proclaiming a well deserved "Duh, no wonder you're overweight", she simply shared that I need to figure out a way to create eating habits.  A routine.  Something I can stick with and get used to.

If I made myself get up and grab a Greek yogurt with my coffee each and every morning...maybe a piece of toast with a poached egg on the weekends... I can start a breakfast routine.  One thing I don't suffer from is getting bored eating the same things.  I could eat a Greek yogurt every single day, and probably never get bored with it.

Working in the environment I do, there really is no room for a mid-morning snack, so I just wait until lunch.  Lunch comes early enough.  At lunch, I eat a cooked meal prepared by the cafeteria ladies.  During my plan time in the afternoon, eat a snack.  

Then, at dinner what I eat, but focus on my portion sizes.  

If all of my foods are coming from the selections of food groups I've been given, and I eat at regular times each and every day.... I will lose weight and keep it off.

One thing I've been told for years is that I have to have a schedule for my eating.  I need to eat breakfast before 9am, lunch at noon, snack at 2pm, and dinner around 5.  No eating after 6pm.  (Times vary).  I've been told to eat a big breakfast, light lunch, and healthy portioned dinner.  With snacks that may or may not be needed.  Each with their own set of calorie guidelines.  Three hundred calories for breakfast and lunch, five to six hundred calories for dinner, and one hundred calorie snacks. (As an example)

Sally says that while I do need some form of structure in the way I eat, it's more about a regular routine that will just become second nature.  Not by which foods to eat, simply by when I eat and how much.  If I'm only selecting foods from the "healthy food list", then I shouldn't have to use specific ratios or whatever with each meal.

OK, I'm starting to get a little shady and confusing with my explanation...sounding like I'm negating everything...let's break it down a little.

Take breakfast.  By just about every health professional and weight loss success story I've ever heard tells me that I should eat a large breakfast.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  A good serving of carbs and protein to kick off my energy and help me feel full longer.

Part of that is true.  Eating in the morning does awaken the system and gets the body in calorie burning mode, versus the calorie store mode it was in for the past seven hours.  

But Sally says if I feel satisfied with a Greek yogurt and a cup of coffee as my breakfast, then that's all I need to eat.  I don't need to force anymore food in if it's not what I want to do.  If I get up early and feel pretty energized after just eating a yogurt...then fine.  Greek yogurt has the same protein as two eggs and even though it has sugar.. it doesn't give me that quick desire to eat more and make me hungry a lot faster (unlike my other simple carb friends).  

Lunch while I'm working is a lot easier - because it happens the same time each and every day.  The teachers in my school have the privilege of a "teacher's menu"... which can be good and bad.  The cooks often prepare foods that the kids can't have because of the strict restrictions they have on what they can and can't feed to the children and then feed it to the teachers.  However, every day there is always a beautiful salad bar.  My routine will be making sure I opt for the foods that are incorporated in my healthy food guidelines, and making sure I pay attention to the portion sizes.  

If I've eaten a pretty good lunch, I shouldn't really need an afternoon snack.. but if the snack monster rears it's head, I need to take little baggies that are already broke in to serving sizes.  Whole wheat pretzels, crackers, veggies, or trail mix are good choices.  However, I shouldn't be eating the snack just because it's available... only if I start to feel hungry or sluggish.

Then, for dinner, just remember my portion sizes.  Only eat what's on my plate.  If I start to get full...stop eating.  Don't eat dinner too early if I have trouble with feeling hungry before bed... try to eat between 6pm and 7pm (if possible) so the need for a late snack won't be so likely.  If the need for a snack does come up, then slice up a few slices of cucumber and snack on those.  They are mostly water, won't devastate my daily eating, and will satisfy the craving for something sweet or salty.

What it really comes down to, and the piece of information that Sally provided that I will probably cherish forever is this...

It's not about the "rules" of healthy eating.  It's about the willpower to eat healthy.  You have to train your mind and body to only eat what's good for you, and only eat as much of it to keep it good for you.  When you eat it or how you eat it isn't near as important.  Even healthy foods can be overeaten and become bad.  It's all about the strength to commit to eating the right portion sizes selected from the right food groups at regular times throughout the day....and the rest will just happen.

So, even if everything I've said this past few days has been nothing more than one jumbled up pile of stank... confusing, contradictory, or everything everyone has already told me.  It all comes down to just what Sally says.

I know what good and bad foods are.  I know how to tell.  I know what constitutes a healthy portion size.  I know, yet I'm still fat.

If I don't have the power to use my knowledge... in a way that fits me... in a smart, and healthy way... then I'm my own worst enemy.  

Which I am...or have been.

I've always had this knowledge.  I've always known what foods I should be eating.  I've always known that it's so much more than counting calories and avoiding fat and sugar.  I've always known that my eating shouldn't revolve around my feelings, but revolve around the needs of my body.

There's just always been one ingredient missing.  The willpower.

I make excuses about how I'm bombarded with suggestions and diet plans and not knowing what the heck I should do.  But the truth?  Yes I do.  I've known all along.  

I know that at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what plan I chose to or not chose to follow.  I can pick at diet plans and find the flaws about what I can't do or what I'm not willing to give up.  But even those are excuses.  If I would just commit and do...I would succeed.

But, I feel empowered.  I feel like I don't have a rule book I need to follow.  I know that I just need to train my mind to only be open to the foods that do a body good, and avoid those that harm.  It really is that simple.

But without willpower... it's impossible.

So, now, my pantry and cabinets and refrigerator and freezer are full of only the foods that I can eat.  That's the easy part.  Now it's creating my routine to love myself, love my body, and treat it right.  

Excuses are like assholes... everyone has one and they all stink!

So, with the help of Sally, I'm going to battle my inner demons.  I'm going to feed my motivation.  I'm going to focus on the changes that are in store.

And, now, the Mad, Fat Woman is going back to doing what I do... with a new game plan.

Till next time!

a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Creating My Diet Plan - Part IV (Food Selection)


So, it appears that my post caused a little confusion yesterday.  After re-reading my post, I can see where I messed up...and that it's confusing trying to decipher the message I was sending.

I started out saying that calories are all the same - and that they can come from anywhere.  Then, I go on and say that the source of the calories play a MAJOR role in weight loss and need to be selected carefully.

Well, if that's the case...then calories aren't all the same and DO matter...right?

No.  What I meant by yesterday's post was simply just like fat doesn't magically turn in to muscle, there aren't certain calories that turn in to fat and some that don't.  I did a really lousy job of explaining that there's a big difference between calories and food.  

A 200 calorie candy bar and a 200 calorie salad both provide the same 200 calories of energy that's measured.  However, the food itself is what plays havoc on your body.  The candy bar is chocked full of simple carbs and bad fats that will leave you feeling hungry a lot faster and help add to the "padding" that's located under the skin.  The 200 calorie salad will digest slower, provide more nutrients, and help absorb some of the "padding" under the skin.  Both foods doing different things, but both containing the SAME calories.  

When I just count calories, and eat whatever I want... I go for a while doing great.  I log everything.  Count everything.  And I start seeing some decrease on the scale.  Then, I get lazy, stop logging and start guessing.  Still continue to eat what I want - but sometimes forgetting about something I've eaten during the day...and wonder why on earth I'm not losing weight or I'm gaining it back again.

Point:  People tend to use food choices and calories as the same thing.  Almost intertwined.  Rather than just counting calories, opt for foods that do good things for the body than bad.  Train the mind to understand correct portion sizes, and relying solely on the numbers will become obsolete.  Does that make sense?

Hopefully it does... but, I'm no professional at this.  I get what I'm saying, but maybe it's coming out like gibberish.  I probably sound like I am negating everything I say, but I don't know a better way to say it.. so it is what it is.

Sally and I have been devising an eating plan that will work for me, not relying on counting calories but choosing foods that will give me the best bang for my buck while helping to repair the damage that I've done to my body.

Counting calories works wonders when I'm trying to figure out how much I'm burning while exercising compared to how much I eat.. but I don't know the correct way to accurately determine how many calories I'm burning.  So, rather than doing that, we're coming up with a life-long plan full of foods I can eat and enjoy forever...that will help me lose the weight now, works with the exercise I'm doing to get an even bigger payout, and can stay with me forever so that I don't lose it all and gain it right back again.

So, let's go back a second to why I'm doing this in the first place.  

I was bombarded with suggestions of "diet plans" I should try out.  The main contenders were Clean Eating, Paleo, Vegan Before 6, and Atkins.

All great programs with great success stories.  The Clean Eating plan was the one I preferred the most, being that it's the only one that doesn't really cut anything out...except for anything and everything that's prepackaged.

Paleo cuts out dairy and legumes.  Vegan Before 6 cuts out meat before 6.  Atkins cuts out carbs.

But I like dairy.  I like meat before six.  I like carbs.  And realistically, I can't buy ALL of my meat, produce, and grains directly from a farmer or butcher.  

So, right from the get-go, I have some issues with each one.

Sally says that I shouldn't feel bad finding the issues I'd have with these plans... because knowing the issues up front means that I know they probably won't work, and it's not worth wasting my time trying.  

However, they all share one common theme:  Selecting foods that are better for you and with the ultimate goal of losing weight and keeping it off.

Meaning that picking and selecting certain components of the plans and mashing them together with other components CAN work.

Sally also cautioned me that unless I have the willpower and motivation to stick with whatever eating plan I choose - it doesn't matter anyway.  Because I will fail.  Period.  I either have to commit to a life-long change or accept the fact that I'll be overweight forever.  One or the other - there's no wiggle room.

So what are the rules when it comes to selecting my foods?

First, eliminating the majority of white flour and sugar.  It's great to say that I would eliminate them completely, but there are a few foods that I can eat that will contain either.  Mostly sugar.  For example, my Greek yogurt.  While I could opt for plain, non-fat Greek yogurt...I don't like it.  No matter how much fruit I mix in to it.  I prefer flavored Greek yogurt.  That comes with sugar.  But the health benefits of the Greek yogurt makes the sugar long as I know that it's in a very strict, limited amount.  So, if I opt for something to eat later in the day that contains sugar, I should probably hold off until some other time.

Second, only buying and eating whole grains.  And really only buying whole grains.  Checking ingredients on packages to make sure that no hidden white flour or sugar has been added.  Buy 100% whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown or wild rice.  

Find other healthy grains that I could use... couscous, quinoa, etc.  There are a plethora of grains out there that are good for me, good for weight loss, and that I've never even heard of.  Be willing to try new things.

Don't buy low-fat or non-fat dairy.  Low-fat and non-fat dairy don't have the fat, but it's replaced with sugar.  And pretty much all of the nutrition is taken out.  PLUS, there have been countless studies done that show that full-fat dairy (in small doses) actually have good health results... including less body fat.  Dairy contains saturated fats, but I've read several studies and articles over the past couple of days that prove that saturated fats found in dairy are NOT the devil...and can actually ward off certain health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and clogged arteries.  Fascinating stuff.  Google:  Saturated Fats.

**Just want to point out that this negates my non-fat Greek yogurt, but I LOVE my yogurt and won't be giving it up.  

Eat lots more veggies... preferably from fresh, but steamed is OK.  Avoid canned veggies, but if that can't be avoided make sure to buy low sodium cans that have basically nothing more than veg and water as the ingredients.  

Eat more fruit...but not too much.  Fruit is a great alternative to a sweet treat, but still needs to be eaten in moderation.  Any and all fruits are good for you - in some way.  But some pack more natural sugars than others.  

Select lean cuts of meat.  Any and all meats are OK, as long as they aren't fried or covered with sugary sauces or oils.  

Use more fish.  Fish is a great source of nutrients you just can't get anywhere else...and it's yummy.  Cod, talapia, salmon, and haddock are all good selections for cooked fish... but canned tuna is good, too!  As long as it's in water...and not loaded with mayo.

I could list ALL of the foods that Sally suggests, but that would make this post WAY longer than it needs to be.  

But, the food selection is the easy part.  How many people don't know that these are the foods a healthy eater should be eating? Yeah... not many.  

However, even stocking my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer with all of these wonderful products...and eating too many of them.. still won't blast my weight away.

The real science comes with how much to eat and when to eat it.

And that's the part of my journey that I'm discovering right now.  The when and how much.  Portion sizes aren't the only factor.  I know what my portion sizes should be... but do I eat six times a day?  Three?  Only when I'm hungry?  What foods should I eat for each meal?  Does it matter?

And that leaves me open for tomorrow's post....What foods I should eat at certain periods of the day, and how much.

I really apologize if my posts sound...well... "duh-ish".  I've said it before and I'll say it again... I know you all know this stuff.  I know it's stuff I've probably said before.  I don't know why it's different now.. heck, I don't even know if it's different now.  I do know that I'm excited to have a friend that's helping me out and sending me information and ideas and how-to instructions.  

Tomorrow's post will be the last in this "series".  I will get out everything that Sally advised me on from the get-go and will get back to my regular scheduled programming.  That will mainly consist on how I'm doing following all of these guidelines.  I've been going at it for well over a week now..which isn't very long, but I'm starting to feel pretty good about it.

If you're bored...just bare with me for one last post...then the Mad, Fat Woman will be back in full swing.  

Till next time!

a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Creating My Diet Plan Recipe - Part III (Calories vs. Calories)

OK, so I have to admit, I'm really liking writing these posts.  I've really felt a boost in my motivation level by soaking in everything that's being shared with me, and then getting the opportunity to share it with all of you.

Sally sent me a message yesterday saying that I shouldn't be giving her all the credit for coming up with this stuff...that it's information that's out there for everyone to get their hands on.  Well, just like I'd write a citation to share information I've found in a book or online or from some other source, Sally gets to be my citation.  She's the one that I'm getting my information from, and she's even passed on websites and medical articles where I can further read about the stuff.  It's good stuff!

One conversation I had with Sally was the conversation about the importance of calorie counting.  After writing my post about my 1,2,3 temptation plan I was trying, I received a few comments of concern about the effects eating the "temptation" would have on my calorie count.  I assured people that I wouldn't eat more than one temptation in a given day, and that I wouldn't allow it to put me more than 200 calories over my allotted calorie amount for the day.  I received a few complaints that the calories I ate in my temptation were worse than not eating the temptation and opting for something a lot more healthier...with the same number of calories.

I have always held on to the belief that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.  No matter where it comes from.  Eating a candy bar with 200 calories gives me the same calories as eating a 200 calorie salad.  Sure, I'd get more bang for my buck with a 200 calorie salad... but it would do nothing to my calorie counting by opting for the 200 calorie candy bar instead.

Come to find out, I'm absolutely RIGHT!

A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.  Regardless of where it came from.  Calories are calories.  Period.  There aren't different types or "more healthy" calories.  

Calories are units of energy that the body stores and burns.  Period.  If I eat a 200 calorie candy bar, I have to work those calories off the exact same way I'd have to burn off the salad.  There's not a calorie sorting plant in my body that sorts good calories to one side and bad calories to the next.  

I received several suggestions to just count calories.  It doesn't matter what I eat, as long as I stay under my allotted amount.  Sally says that a person that's just counting calories can obtain their calories from any source.  If the allotment is 1800 calories a day, the calories can come from anywhere.  If you burn off 2000 calories a day, you're still in a deficit of 200 calories...and weight will eventually start to come off.

However, the sources of those calories (not the calories themselves) play a factor in how quickly fat is burned, how much stronger muscles get, what starts to happen to your body, etc.

But, now we get to the good part.

Just counting calories is fine, but to optimize faster weight loss and then keept it off, it isn't calories that should be the only concern but the ingredients in food that should be the concern.  

Certain foods do certain things to the body...regardless of the calorie count.

Protein helps build muscle.

Complex carbs break down slowly and supply the body with a steady flow of energy and digest a lot slower helping you feel full longer and more energetic longer.

Simple carbs send sugars straight in to the bloodstream and digest very quickly, causing quicker hunger pangs and energy crashes.

Healthy fats carry nutrients and vitamins through your body, lower cholesterol, and keep your skin soft and beautiful.

Bad fats clog up your arteries, store under the skin's surface, and cause...well....fat.

I knew this.  All of it.  

I honestly don't know anyone that insists on just counting calories and uses all of the their calories eating fried food or candy bars.  Especially since a 1800 calorie diet would only earn them maybe one meal a day.  Most people that are counting calories are doing so for health reasons, weight loss reasons, etc. and tend to opt for looking for healthier foods.

In fact, every doctor or health professional I've ever spoken to about my weight has given me the same information.  It's really one of the main reasons I don't want a food plan that eliminates anything but the simple carbs and bad fats from my diet... because the other stuff is kinda important.

My problem has always been the balance.  Choosing the right amounts of the good stuff or the right kinds of good stuff.  I end up falling right back into just relying on the counting calories thing... opting to choose calories from the "better stuff".  But, even then, I end up noticing weight gain or a plateau of weight loss.  Regardless of how much I work out.

Sally assures me that there is a formula.  There is a way to calculate what to eat and when to have the best benefits and the best chances of the food being burned quickly.

And I wasn't that surprised when she told me.  

Focus on complex carbs earlier on in the day.  Being that they release energy over a longer period of time, the best way to get the best complex carb "burnage" is to eat them early and in small doses over the earlier parts of the day.  So breakfast, morning snack and lunch should focus on the complex carbs.  That doesn't mean not eating complex carbs later in the day, just less of them.  

Protein should be eaten at least three times a day, but in small portions.  No more than 3ozs at a time (if eating three times a day).  If only two meals include a protein, opt for 4ozs each time.  

Don't eat anything but water based veggies 4 hours before bed.  That's because it takes the body about 4 hours to break down complex carbs and protein...and it has the best chance of being broke down and not storing once the body shuts down for sleep.

Now that sounds pretty simple, right?  Yeah.  No.

Again, information I've been given before.  I've been given meal plans and ratios and formulas to try.  I won't deny that I have had success doing it that way.  And it works if I was to just do that... but there's more.  Oh, so much more!

There are certain foods and grains and veggies that are best to eat when trying to lose a large amount of weight and ones that should be avoided until later in the weight loss process.  All healthy by definition, but doing different things to the body that can either speed up weight loss or slow it down.  Depending on activity level, body structure, and health related issues...there are foods that fall in to the "healthy" category that I still need to stay away from until I've gotten closer to my goal weight.

Another argument I just LOVE to have with people is the "Fat will turn in to muscle" statement.  Urm, no it won't.  Fat does NOT turn in to muscle.  Fat AROUND the muscle decreases.  Muscles get bigger and stronger.  But, not a single ounce of the fat stored in my body will ever magically turn in to muscle and help me sport a Arnie type physique.  

There are, however, foods that help break the fats down that are stored around the muscle, and foods that will optimize muscle growth and stability.  

Now, that I was interested in hearing about.  

But, you know what's coming next...right?

Yep...another cliffhanger.  

Tomorrow, I will discuss what foods are best for someone that wants to break down fat and build up muscle.  

You know, again, a lot of this stuff I already knew...and it's stuff a lot of weight loss bloggers already know.. but it's still fun and educational to hear it again, or find out a few things here and there I didn't know.  So, if you're sitting there wondering why on earth I'm writing this stuff... because it's basically plastered on every weight loss website out there...there's stuff in here that I didn't know, and maybe something someone else doesn't.

Plus, I like writing about this stuff... because it's motivating me.  That's the main point.  I feel empowered and charged to put it all to the test, experiment, find something that works for once.  And, I just have this feeling in my blood that I'm on to something.  Even if it appears to be stuff I've said before or done before.  The key is in here, somewhere.  And I'm just unlocking the door to the possibilities.

OK, Till Next Time!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Creating My Own Diet Plan - Part II (Fad Diet Syndrome)

So, yesterday I told you about "Sally".  A nutritionist that has come in to my life after reading one of my posts and giving me some great information.  Don't ask me where I got the name Sally from...she thought it was rather amusing when she read my post.  It was just the first name that popped in to my head when thinking of a code name.

Sally has shared with me her background, growing up without any weight issues, then having weight issues, then finding a solution to them.  After she received the help she was looking for, she became a nutritionist herself and then found a job working along side a homeopathic doctor.

I'll admit.  I didn't know what a homeopathic doctor really did until I Googled it.  I always thought it was a doctor that specialized in alternative medicines...natural medicines.  I was wrong.  But, it happens, on occasion.

I asked Sally what the doctor and she did for their patients, and she told me.

Basically, they run all kinds of tests on a person to determine the best and worst foods for weight loss.  They look at the possibility of weight related health issues such as diabetes, thyroid issues, digestive issues, etc.  They also run allergy tests to make sure that a person isn't allergic to certain foods.

What fascinated me the most about some of the things she's told me is the huge number of patients that visit their office and start with "I've been doing *BLANK* diet, and it's not working!  My friend lost a gazillion pounds doing this diet, and it's not doing anything for me.  I don't understand why".  And, after a few tests, it's determined that there's a medical reason why a certain diet program isn't working for that particular person.  

She told me that one of the biggest misconceptions in the weight loss community is that there is a particular diet plan that will work for anyone.  Or that a person could use just about any weight loss plan out there that's "tried and true".  What happens, however, is that they do the program and still not lose weight, because their body isn't made for that particular program.  Even worse, some of the more recent, popular diets can actually cause medical issues for some people.

I told her that I had received several suggestions about trying the following diets:  Clean Eating Diet, Vegan Before 6, Atkins, and Paleo.  There have been others, but they are the most popular suggestions, and the ones that I've looked in to the most.

Quick run down:

Clean Eating Diet:  Eat foods that are the closest to their natural state.  Meaning no processed food.  No white flour or sugar.  Picking organic produce and grass fed proteins.  Using only healthy oils.

Vegan Before 6:  A vegan diet all day long, consisting of healthy grains, fruits, and veg.  Then pretty much whatever you want to eat after 6.

Atkins:  Low carb eating.  Basically a step diet that starts by almost eliminating carbs from your diet except for veg, and then slowly introduces carbs back in phases.

Paleo:  Pretty much an extension of Clean Eating, except you eliminate diary, grains, and legumes from your diet.  You eat lean proteins, veg, fruits, seeds, nuts, and healthy oils only.
One thing they all basically have in common is a more healthier approach to eating.  More healthier foods.  There's just some haggle over what foods are considered more healthier than others.

I have openly admitted several times that I know where my hole is: Carbs.  Carbs that come in the form of breads and pastas.  Regardless of whether it's whole grains or processed...I I eat WAY too many carbs and not enough veg and fruit.  

I also don't like the idea of cutting stuff out of my diet.  I love dairy.  I love meat.  Anything that tells me I can't eat those things - when I know that there are healthy versions of both out there - is a quandary for me.  I just don't think I could live without my Greek yogurt or chicken breasts. 

So, it was nice when I heard Sally give me the statement I was kinda waiting for... GET RID OF THE FAD DIET SYNDROME!  

Meaning, don't get overwhelmed about what program I should be using.  Focus on what I can do that works for me, by maybe incorporating a little of one with a little of another.

Now, she stated and I wholeheartedly agree, these diet plans do work for lots of people.  I've read countless reviews and success stories from people that use each of these programs.  But, there are just as many people out there that these plans don't work for.  Not just because of a willpower factor, but also because of medical reasons.

The list of health issues that people can have and do have that are irritated by these diet plans are mind blowing.  What is praised and hailed as the "only way to eat" by many people can be an almost death sentence to someone that suffers from a certain allergy or digestive issue or even someone that has diabetes.  

As she shared with me, and I shared yesterday, she discovered a plethora of health issues she was having after switching to what she believed was a healthy diet.  

Take the current crazy of Gluten Free as an example.

She explains that there are lots of people out there that have a digestive issue when it comes to gluten.  That's a valid issue that is resolved by taking gluten out of their diets.  Then a craze emerged that gluten was basically a food devil - and gluten free became something that everyone feared.  So, many people jumped on the gluten free bandwagon, even though there was no real rhyme or reason to - except that everyone else was doing it.

Then, people started appearing in their clinic after doing so and reported upset stomach, cramps, rash, diarrhea, bloating, and headaches.  A few tests later found out that some people that were perfectly fine eating gluten their entire lives had gone gluten free and were now having reactions to the replacement gluten being used in gluten free products.  Many gluten free products are made with a "natural" gluten replacement.  Some are made with a chemical gluten replacement.  Either way, the ingredients used in these replacements can cause havoc on someone that has an allergy or sensitivity to those products.  Lesson being?  If you're not having issues related to gluten, there's no real reason to stop eating it.

The same can be said about the Soy Milk craze.

Many diets call for the elimination of dairy.  Dairy is the devil, is way too processed, etc. etc.  So, the best way to deal with that is eliminate it from your diet and replace it with a soy based product.  That's all well and good, except to someone that's highly allergic to soy, or even a mild allergy to soy.  Sally recounted one tale of a patient that had an allergic reaction to soy that resembled an allergy to a bee sting - the patient's throat swelled up, she got hives on her face, and had to be sent to the hospital.  I didn't know, either, that people who are not lactose intolerant can be soy intolerant.  Meaning soy could cause diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting to someone who's stomach reacts towards it.  And that's just soy...that's not even mentioning the nut allergy that can spark from using something like Almond Milk as another dairy replacement.

The point is, what I'm discovering is that losing weight isn't just mind over matter.  It isn't just about avoiding junk food and replacing it with all natural, healthy ingredients.  There really is a biological science behind it.  Each person's body works differently, functions differently, and reacts differently to certain foods.

I, unfortunately, can't go through all the tests that Sally and her doctor performs on a person.  I do know, however, that I'm allergic to avocados and bananas.  I have a mild allergy to eggs, but not enough to irritate me unless I eat several eggs.  That's a start...something that can be used to build a starting plan.  I've never had any digestive problems in terms of constipation or bloating or cramps after eating certain foods... that I can recollect anyhow.  So, it's a start.  Information that Sally and I can use to get me in the right direction...or should I say started me in the right direction, because I'm already doing it.  

But, that's for another day.  

Tomorrow, I'm going to share information on the calorie versus calorie debate.  Is a calorie the same in all foods?  That was one of my first questions.  If I eat a 200 calorie candy bar, is it really that much different than eating a 200 calorie salad?  

And her answer was quite surprising.'ll have to come back tomorrow for the answer.

Don't you love cliffhangers?

Till next time!

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Creating My Own Diet Plan Recipe - Part I

One thing that I am never in short supply of around here is fantastic support and feedback.  If I share a certain dilemma I'm having with any aspect of my weight loss progress, in no time I'm getting advice, opinions, and ideas from friends and complete strangers.

While I love all the support, getting so many ideas can get a little overwhelming.  I try my best to look in to whatever suggestion is sent to me, and often try and see if the idea works for me.

Then, after I wrote my article on food addictions, moderation, etc. I received an email from a complete stranger that has become somewhat of my knight(ess) in shining armor.  She first contacted me as a reader.  Nothing more.  She read what I had to say about my take on food addictions, how I perceive moderation, and could sense my overwhelming feelings of self doubt and worry about how I was going to continue with my eating.  Or more appropriately, my the sense of what I eat, rather than a way of eating.

She offered kind words of encouragement, and told me that I would eventually find my way... if I was determined enough to find it.

I emailed her back, thanking her for the support.  I let it slide that I was feeling super overwhelmed, because I had received several suggestions about which diet plan I should try, which ones were the best, which would offer me the most flexibility in my eating, etc.

She then emailed me back and let on a little secret about herself.  She is a licensed nutritionist.  She used to be close to 300lbs, took on the help of another nutritionist and a homeopathic doctor and within a year had dropped 100lbs.  She entered in to a loving relationship with looking at the body's reactions to certain foods, went to school, and became a nutritionist.  She now works with a different homeopathic doctor, and they both specialize in finding ways for their patients to lose weight based on how certain foods react with the body.

Hearing her story, I was fascinated.  She shared that one of the biggest problems that the dieting world shares is their love to jump on the bandwagon of certain diet programs.  When, the harsh reality is, everyone's body is different.  What may be healthy and helpful to one person could be disastrous for another.  While cutting gluten out of a diet may be necessary for one person, it could be a digestive nightmare for someone else.  By not eating any processed sugar or flour may be the only way to go for many healthy eaters, it can also be the difference between life and death for certain medical conditions.  And so on and so on.

Since then, we've been emailing back and forth several times a day.  I share with her a suggestion I'm given, and she gives me her feedback.  One thing that I've learned in the last couple of weeks is that a one sized fits all diet may not be the answer for me.  Nor the answer for lots of people out there.

I emailed her yesterday asking if I could share our conversations, and what I have learned since speaking with her.  She obliged, with the condition that I keep her anonymity.  So, from now on we will call her "Sally".  Being that she has given me such invaluable information and advice, I couldn't possibly fit it in to one post.  So, I'm going to just start at the beginning and share each day until I get it all out.  

So, here's Part 1:  Sally's Story

One thing that really grabbed my undivided attention was her recount of her childhood.  Her parents were both "good eaters".  Her mother stayed at home, and her father was the breadwinner.  Her mother cooked and prepared three meals a day.  Breakfast was always the full kind... eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast, etc.  Lunch was some kind of grilled sandwich, or a bowl of macaroni and cheese, or a bowl of some kind of soup that her mother prepared with leftovers, served with some form of bread or rolls.  Dinner was ALWAYS some kind of meat and potatoes.  There was often a salad or veggies served with dinner, but the main attraction was the meat.  Either a steak, fried chicken, meatloaf, pork chops, etc., etc.  Then served with a mound of fried potatoes, or mashed potatoes, or potatoes au gratin, or baked potatoes.  You get the picture.

Three cooked meals a day.  Seven days a week.  

No one counted calories or hunted down "healthier options".  They ate big hearty meals three times a day, and the kicker?  Not a single one of the household was overweight.

She went on to explain that her mother ALWAYS kept a trim figure.  She spent some of her time each day moving along to some work-out VHS tapes, and the other parts of the day cleaning or working out in the garden.  Her father worked hard on a construction site and was never considered to be an overweight man.  He was tall and lean his whole life.  Her brother followed in her father's footsteps shooting up to be over 6' tall and has always held on to a muscular physique.  He was a football player, and a basketball player, and a baseball player.  The only person to ever have any weight issues was Sally.  Sally then explained that up until she was 18, however, she was never overweight.  She was a cheerleader, a runner on the track team, and also a competitive swimmer.  It wasn't until she left home, started working herself (choosing to hold off on college for a while), and moved in with some friends that she began to pack on the pounds.  She left home at 18 weighing 137lbs.  By her 21st birthday, she weighed in at 304lbs.  Three years and a gain of 167lbs.

What astounded me more was her recollection of why she packed on so many pounds in such a short time.  She lived with two other women after leaving home.  Both were self proclaimed "fitness gurus".  One ate nothing but fruit, veggies, whole grains, chicken, and fish.  She steered away from any and all processed foods, white sugar and flour, and red meats.  The other was vegan.  No meat, dairy, eggs, or anything made with them.  The two women had strict diets and strict work-out schedules.  They ran several miles a day.  They did yoga.  They performed body cleanses and detoxes on a regular basis, sometimes going days with eating nothing but salad and drinking weird concoctions to rid the body of chemicals and toxins.  

Of course, Sally became intrigued and jumped head first in trying to eliminate everything she'd done growing up and jump on the health conscious lifestyle. 

She started with eliminating red meat.  Then she participated in the detoxes.  Then she cut out all sources of white flour and sugar.  She chose to eat whole grains, lots and lots of veggies, and only ate fish and chicken as her meat sources.  She ran with the girls every day, participated in their other fitness routines, and continued to swim several times a week.

She did lose weight at a rapid speed...going from her 137lbs frame to hovering around 110lbs.  But, she also noticed a change in her energy level.  She was tired all of the time.  She had constant cramps.  She often felt light headed and nauseous.

A quick trip to the doctor discovered a plethora of problems.  She found out she was anemic. She had endogastrititus.  She had a bowel obstruction.  And she was underweight... unhealthily so.

Cutting out the red meat kept her iron levels dangerously low, causing the dizziness and fatigue associated with her anemia.

She had an allergy to a certain grain that had caused the irritation to her stomach, causing the cramps and aching sensations that ended with the endogastrititus.

Her rapid change in diet had also caused her digestive issues, requiring an enema to remove her bowel obstruction.  It also led to the drastic weight loss, because her body was being starved of the required nutrients she wasn't getting by "detoxing".

What she thought was a healthy switch to her lifestyle was actually causing disastrous effects, that could have possibly killed her had she not sought out medical help.

When she received all the information, her eating style took a complete 180...and she went off in a tirade of eating anything and everything she wanted.  When she started to gain her weight back, it just kept going and going and going.  

She noticed her weight gain and decided to try several diet plans.  They would work for a while, she'd drop a few pounds, but it didn't take long to gain it back and then some.  Whatever plan she chose ended up causing her some form of "issues", and she'd give up and try something else.

After a few years and an almost 200lb weight gain, she just couldn't figure out what the heck to do...and that's when she tracked down the support she needed from the nutritionist and homeopathic doctor.  

Once they got her fixed up with a livable diet plan, and exercise routine, she dropped 100lbs in a year, then an additional 40lbs the next year...and now maintains her 160lb-ish frame, and has maintained for the past 10 years.

Like I said before, she decided to go to school to become a nutritionist and now makes her living working side by side with a homeopathic doctor helping people with weight issues.

For some reason, she managed to find me.  She wants to help me.  And just the past couple of days, the information she's shared has been astounding.  I just couldn't keep it to myself.  I want to share it with others, too.  

And she's OK with that.  As long as I'm the one sharing. Fine by me!

So, for the next few days, I'm going to share what she's shared with me.  Over the next few weeks, I'm going to put in to practice what she's advised.  She's advised me about how to approach my eating rather than telling me what I should eat.  She's already shared what foods are better for certain weight issues.  She's explained what types of exercise will give me the best bang for my buck, and how simple some of the exercises are.

I can't wait to start seeing the results from this information.  I sense a feeling that she found me for a reason.  She may be the answer to everything I was having problems with.

I guess we shall see.

Stay tuned, cause it gets awesome up in here over the next few days!

Till next time!

a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Stairs Are a Fun Workout!

Yesterday was a fun day.  I went to a water park with my family.  I blogged about the whole experience today on my other if you want all the deats about being flushed down a toilet, riding a slide that ends in an enema, and being the best and worst mom all in a matter of a few hours - go read over there.

Today, here, I am going to talk about only one aspect of the water park:

The Stairs.

Holy mother of workouts.

When most people visit a water park, they think that the slides are the best, or the pools, or the splash parks, or the slides that resemble a giant toilet.

The one thing people complain about?  The stairs up to all of those fantastic rides.

I know, because it's basically all I heard while out and about at the pool yesterday.  

Standing in line, I heard countless people make statements like "I sure wish they had thought about installing an elevator" or "These slides would be a lot more fun if you didn't have to climb up so many stairs" or "I don't care if you're scared, you're only going down one way...and it doesn't involve me walking all the way back down those terrible stairs".

And, yeah, I actually heard a parent say that to their poor, terrified little child.  Sad.

But, anywho, while I listened to all the complaining.. I'm happy to report that none of that complaining came from me.

What came out of my mouth?  

"I'm getting my workout in today!"

"These stairs are killing my legs, and I'm loving it!"

"I wish I wasn't so afraid of heights, cause I'd love to just walk up and down those stairs a few times to really get my sweat on."

"I think I'm going to jog up this time and see how far I get before I have to walk!"

Yes.  My banters earned me a few crazy looks, and even a few sniggers from kids that were probably wondering how on earth I was getting my big behind to jog up the stairs... but I did it.  Not near as many times as I wanted, because my fear of heights tends to get in the way when I'm going up higher and higher... but I enjoyed the times I did walk (and jog) up the stairs.

I woke up this morning with a few pangs of soreness in my legs.  I was happy about that.  It didn't last very long, but it was enough to tell me that the stairs did something... even if it was a little more than going for a walk up to the park and back.

That's one great aspect of being fat and wanting to lose weight.  Stuff like walking up a bazillion stairs becomes a challenge, an enjoyable task...just in order to get in some exercise.  I was winded and hurting a little by the third time up (which was the time I chose to jog), but I liked the pain.  I wanted the pain.  I wanted to feel like I was walking up with a purpose other than just getting to ride down a terrifying slide.

Besides swimming, I haven't gotten in much exercise over the past couple of days.  My walks have been interrupted with either getting up too late or being out until late at night.  Going to the water park and walking up those stairs made me feel a little less guilty...and feel like I accomplished something that was better than nothing.

Today, I passed up the offer of going to a family barbecue.  Not because I didn't want to go.. but because, well, I didn't want to go.  I've been out and about so much, lately, that I honestly want to get one day at home where I don't have to do anything.

And, because I actually want to get in some good exercise today.  

On the agenda is swimming.  Duh.  That's always on the agenda.  But, real swimming.  Not just playing in the pool with the kids.  Laps.  And water aerobics (that I actually looked in to).  And more laps.  And then some racing with the kids.

Once I'm all done with that, I want to go for an evening walk.  A nice, long one.  Up to the park.  Around the park.  Music in ears....just me and the music and the sidewalk.  

That's my idea of a wonderful day off from everything.  And that's exactly what I'm going to do.  

I mentioned in my quick Ten Things Thursday, yesterday, that I'm planning on doing a low carb eating plan.  Not Atkins.  Not any "plan" really.  Just cutting out carbs like pasta and bread.  I'll be eating more veggies... lots more.  I'll still be eating my Greek Yogurt, and other dairy, just not the bread or pasta stuff.

Not sure how it will pan out, but I feel like the carbs are my biggest nemesis.  I over eat when I eat carbs.  I feel satisfied if I just eat a meat and load up on the veggies.  So much better for me.

It's a mindful plan.  Meaning I have to be mindful when I'm making my meal plan and actually sticking with it.  I'm not telling myself that I'm forbidding certain foods, just not including them in my plan.  I'm perfectly content eating cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.  I'm perfectly happy eating a vegetable medley instead of rice.  I'm avoiding pasta dishes right now, because it's really hard for me to make spaghetti for my whole family - but me not eating it. 

We'll see how it goes.  I'll be standing on the scale again in a couple of weeks to see how it's going.  Fingers crossed is all I have to say.  I've enjoyed not standing on the scale, and I have noticed a slight difference in how some of my clothes are fitting.  Hopefully that's a good sign and not just my imagination.

Guess we'll have to wait and find out.

Right now though, I'm thinking it's about time for me to eat lunch and then think about getting in the pool.

Till next time!

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Ten Things Thursday!

I haven't done one of these in a while.  And I noticed my Ten Things Thursday creator did one this morning:  Draz.  So, I'm gonna do it, too.

1.  I'm going to the water park today.  Which means I'm going to be wearing my bathing suit out in public.  I've realized I just have to suck it up - or just suck it in - and do it for the sake of my kids.  I may not be comfortable with it... but I can still have a good time and not let it bother me.

2.  I ate quite a bit of Indian food yesterday.  Mostly sampling different types of vegetarian dishes.. that I don't think offer too many calories... but the think is the key word in that statement.  The food was tasty...most of it... but I probably ate more than I should have.

3.  I have been offered the chance to take boxing classes... for free!  Yep.  An old friend of mine has decided to teach some boxing classes, and if my schedule can align up I might actually do it.  

4.  I don't know why I bother trying to write blog posts like this when I'm crunched for time.  Trying to think of ten random things to share is extremely hard when I know that I have to be walking out of the door in 45 minutes...and I'm still not dressed.

5.  I haven't heard anything else from my "anonymous" friend.  Not sure if he or she saw my post or not, but if he/she did...I didn't hear about it.

6.  Oikos has started making the YUMMIEST new flavors.  Latte, Orange Creme, and Coconut are just some of the new flavors I've sampled and loved!!  I have a thing for Greek yogurt, but Oikos is taking the front running spot right now...because the flavors are to DIE FOR!

7.  I only have three more things to come up with.  Nope.  Only two because I'm using this one to say what I'm saying right now.

8.  I've been reading a lot about summer running.  I envy those people.  I have had to really fight to do any form of walking in this heat...and there are people out running 5Ks and running miles each day regardless of the heat.  One day I'll be one of those people.  Today?  I'll be one of those people that thinks I'm brave and bold for walking when it's 90+ degrees outside.

9.  I've decided to start really cutting back on carbs.  Not completely Atkins version of carb cutting, but decreasing a large portion out of my diet.  By that, I mean getting more carbs from veggies instead of bread or pasta.  I'm being conscious when planning out my meals so that I'm watching how many carbs I'm getting in...and doing my best to take out carbs when they aren't necessary.  If that even makes sense.

10.  I need to go get my butt ready.  I have done this so many times that you'd think I'd learn my lesson about trying to write posts like this when I'm in a hurry.  But it satisfied my craving for writing... and now my anxiety level has decreased.  Anxiety about being out in public in my bathing suit.  Now I'm going to get ready and not think about it again.  Until I walk out of the changing rooms.  Gulp!

Have a great Friday!!

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