Going Vegan

My goal for 2016 was to go Vegan. Why? Because I’m already vegetarian and have bought into the propaganda concerning the dairy industry. Plus I already feel bad enough about the bees, and me eating all their honey. It’s a personal choice, and one that I’m hoping will lead me to a healthier lifestyle.

Of course, everyone thinks going vegan is expensive. However, that’s not the case. Going vegan and using convenience food is expensive. But there’s a lot that can be found at the Dollar Tree.

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Going Vegan means using substitutes in a lot of cases. I was happy to see that the bread I already use is Vegan. Score 1 for me!
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One of my most difficult substitutions has been with milk because I am a milk junkie. Milk is my coffee, my drug of choice, but I know it’s not that great for me. I love it in my tea, English style. So I’m found that using Coconut milk is just as yummy. Also, coconut milk is rich and creamy and can be used to make homemade vegan ice cream.

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I also love to snack. My “go to” snack has been cottage cheese with cherries or oatmeal with honey and chocolate chips. So this has been a bit more of a change. I found several vegan snack items at the Dollar Tree, all of which are yummy and filling. They also have Veggie chips, which need an entire post of their own. They taste like crunchy french fries.

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Finally, I just can’t go the Fish Oil capsules because they are gross, but I still need to get in those Omega 3s. So flax seed to the rescue! This is a whole pound of whole flax seed for a dollar! What do I do with  it? Put it in pasta, put it in a smoothie, make homemade bread with it.

The thing about being vegan is there’s convenience food out there, but it takes a bit more creativity to find. I can’t just pop into the local gas station and find what I need, even though I’ve found several nice treats that way. It takes some planning ahead, and it takes reading the labels. Last night, I got a snack mix from a vending machine. It looked Vegan, but the label said it contained “dried worcestershire sauce” which is anchovies. Gross. So steer clear of Gardetto’s original recipe snack mix. It is no beuno.

However, what is good is Skinny Pop white cheddar popcorn. It contains a non dairy cheddar cheese flavor and is so good I can seriously eat an entire bag in one sitting. Also, Pop Weaver’s light butter popcorn does not contain butter. If you are on the lookout for chemicals, though, be advised that microwave popcorn is not really a healthy treat. Go for air popped or pop some on the stove with coconut oil.

So, see? It can be done. You just have to dedicate yourself to it!

Hips Don’t Lie…And Neither Do Measurements

I hate weighing myself. My weight seriously fluctuates by anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds at any given time. I can weigh myself in the morning, step off the scale, step back on, and I’m a pound heavier. This doesn’t happen with the rest of my family members, which leaves me perplexed. It’s extremely frustrating, especially when I’m doing everything right! So I’ve decided to do something drastic.

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I’m going a month without the scales.

What does it matter anyway? It just tells you how much of a pull gravity has on your body right? You’d weigh something completely different if you were on Mars or the moon. So why do we fixate on such a changeable number based on something so difficult to see?

The answer, of course, is not to weigh, but to measure. Why? I’ll tell you.

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Even when you are bloated, measurements don’t change so radically from one minute to the next. Chances are, if your waist is 36″ at 8 am, it is the same at 10 pm. There’s not a radical change from second to second. Also, measurements work for other reasons as well.

You’ve heard ever since you started working out and thinking about weight that “a pound of fat weighs less than a pound of muscle.” That is wrong. A pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of rocks. However, rocks have more “density” so you need fewer rocks to equal the weight of a whole truckload of feathers. That’s how muscle and fat work.

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The muscle is heavier but takes up less room than the fat. So if you are lifting weight and losing fat at the same rate you are gaining muscle, you will notice a few things.

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You will start to shrink. Your clothes will fit better. Your measurements will go down. This will all happen because of muscle and how muscle works. Yes, you are “tightening” things up, but you are also losing the fat and replacing it with muscle.

Note that “fat” does not “turn into” muscle and muscle doesn’t turn into fat. They are both occupying space inside your body right now. As fat cells shrink, muscle cells have room to grow. As muscles grow, there’s less room for fat. But there’s an added bonus!

Muscle burns more calories than fat. While sitting still. While doing nothing. While sleeping. So if you gain more muscle mass, you will burn more calories while you sleep. But how will you know if you are gaining muscle? Your hips won’t lie. You’ve got to start by measuring.

I take several body measurements once a week or every two weeks. I measure:

  • neck
  • bust (right below my bust actually because boobs are hard to measure)
  • Upper abs (about three inches above my belly button)
  • Waist (across my belly button)
  • Lower abs (about an inch below my belly button)
  • Hips (right below my butt)
  • Thighs (where my palm rests on my thigh when I’m standing up and have my arms straight)
  • Calves (center of the lower leg)
  • Upper arm (right where my bicep “dips”)

So if I lose an inch from each, I count it as a 9 inch loss. I track each of these using My Fitness Pal, which makes it very easy to see what is going on and where my gains and losses are. I’m hoping to gain in the bicep and calf area and lose everywhere else for now. But you will probably lose before you gain.

This is by far the best way to tell if what you are doing is working. So join me, and toss out your scale for a month, and see what happens! But be sure you measure first.

You can look at the awesome tape measure I have here: Health O Meter or you can use the kind you would use for sewing. I prefer the digital one because it’s easier to use with no second guessing.

Questions? Comments? Let me know!

2016 is my year to be better at Forgiving Myself

We are our own worst enemies. That’s no lie at all. Today I’m having a bad day. I started the day with a brownie and it all went down hill from there. I couldn’t get over the fact that “once again,” I had let myself down.

I beat myself up a lot about a lot of things I should be doing and things I shouldn’t be doing. I work a full time job, am raising kids, have pets, volunteer at my kid’s school, have a part time job, write novels, take care of a house, the list is endless. But I can’t seem to let go of the little things, the small disappointments, the way I sabotage myself.

I am a dandelion, a weed in the garden of life that is beautiful, functional and in touch with nature.

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But I’m easily stressed, easily scattered, just like the flower I love.

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I can morph from “totally together” romance novelist to scattered and fragmented woman trying to do it all. And I have no sense of self forgiveness. Had a brownie? Must suffer eternal punishment for it. I don’t deserve love, don’t deserve to be healthy, don’t deserve to eat dinner. It’s a vicious cycle.

I’ve always said I had an eating disorder, but it’s not the kind that is readily diagnosed. I have a love/hate relationship with food. I eat and don’t enjoy it then I overeat trying to feel SOMETHING. Then I feel nothing but bad. Or I feel like I don’t deserve to eat because I can’t do anything in moderation. This is poison. It’s poison to my soul, to my family and to my well being.

So in 2016, I will forgive myself for my brownies. I’ll forgive myself for the second helping of totally healthy eggplant lasagna. I’ll forgive myself for half-assing that workout I did today.

I won’t think of my stress as something that scatters me. Instead, I’ll think of it as something that helps me spread myself to others, reaching out to those in need.

I may be a dandelion, but even when I’m broken, I’ll reach out to others, infect their gardens with my energy, inspire others. But most of all, I’ll inspire myself.

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There is beauty in fragments. I will be better in 2016.

Feeling Defeated

I started my workout/weight loss journey over the summer and I managed to lose 40 pounds in about 2 months. Then I went lax and gained about 20 back. Today, I’m feeling defeated.

I know I need to get up and work out. I weighed myself this morning, and it wasn’t good. That 20 pounds is making a difference in how I feel about myself and how I feel in general.

It’s raining outside today, so all I want to do is watch Netflix and eat popcorn.

I had a healthy breakfast and lunch, and I’m making eggplant lasagna for dinner. But I know I need to workout today. But every time I go to do it, my anxiety takes hold. I don’t have a “just do it” attitude. I have a “why bother?” attitude. I see that 20 pounds gained and think “see? You couldn’t do it. How is one workout going to help?” So I feel defeated because in my mind, one workout won’t help. One brownie, however, will destroy everything. Are you following this mindset?

I defeat myself regularly. I let my anxiety take over. I feel like I can’t do it, I’m not worth it, I’m not good enough, I’ll never be successful. And this stops me from doing so much.

I started this blog to show you the good, bad and ugly, and right now, it’s ugly and bad. My excuses today:

  • my back hurts. I deal with chronic pain, and today it’s bad.
  • my phone isn’t charged up, and I can’t workout without music
  • I need to do the laundry for the kids’ school uniforms
  • Now I have to cook
  • Now someone needs something

I always have an excuse at the ready.

Today is a bad day. I can hope tomorrow will be better, but the mindset I’m in right now makes it tough. Everyone around me is succeeding in their journeys, and I feel like I’m failing. So I’m giving in to the defeat I feel, at least for now. I think sometimes you just need to hide under a blanket and let the world pass you by.

Who’s with me?

Killing Me Softly…

It’s been 2 weeks since my last soda. Two. Weeks. Two looooooong weeks. I crave soda like some people crave heroin or a good night’s sleep. It’s in my blood, part of who I am. When I was teaching college, I drank two route 44 diet cokes per day and then a couple of 20 ounces for good measure. About a gallon of soda. I was swimming in it. I was drowning in it.

Our bodies have been hardwired for it, I think. The media tells us we need it. Tells us it’s fun and friendly. And nostalgic.

Who doesn’t remember images of Santa with the Coca Cola and the images of the soda shop?

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Sodas were once a social event. Now, they are the fuel that helps us run when we are sleep deprived, dehydrated and hungry. And they are dangerous, killing us slowly, ounce by ounce.

How did I quit this time? I say this time because I’ve quit many times before. I am an addict. I quit this time by going cold turkey. I’ve discovered that my love affair with soda won’t allow me to take “just one sip.” One sip leads to one can leads to a 2 liter and to a 12 pack. I can’t stop at just one. It keeps me up at night, thinking about my next fix. And when it hits me that first sip after a long drought, my entire body wakes up to the burn. It feels and tastes like I imagine heaven to feel and taste.

Nothing else compares.

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As with all addictions, we have to meet them head on and find what is going to work. I couldn’t deal with the caffeine headaches, so I switched to caffeinated tea instead of decaf. I am drinking a gallon of tea a day instead of a gallon of soda. While this is far from a perfect situation, it does help. It’s helping me get through the tough times and helping me deal with the cravings. And I’m staying hydrated, which is important.

On the road to being healthy, you need to be able to be in touch with your body and the signs it is sending to you. We are all chronically dehydrated and fatigued. Filling yourself with water or tea will help with that.

Have I won this battle? No. At any given second, I could backslide. I was at a convenience store the other day and there was no carbonated water and no “diet” tea that didn’t contain aspartame. I was weak. I picked up a diet coke and held it lovingly in my hand, stroking it, knowing that “just one sip” wouldn’t be enough and “just one bottle” wouldn’t get me through.

I put it back and got a green tea with sugar. Sugar is better than aspartame and is better than high fructose corn syrup. So I dealt with those calories and kept going. I didn’t want to choose the worse evil (the soda) over the lesser evil (the sugar).

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Like any drug, soda makes me “feel” good. It understands me. It listens to me. It is very dangerous for me. This is not something that everyone needs to do. I am doing it for my health. I know the soda is bad for me. The best option is plain water, but I really hate plain water. So I’m compromising. I’m finding sparkling water with flavors, iced tea with splenda (which I know is not perfect) and working on a plan so I can eventually go “sweetener free.”

I am not there yet. I still stand looking at the soda displays, the happy bubbles, the pretty bottles, and I wonder why I’m supposed to be giving it up.

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Some days, it’s hard to remember why they are bad for me. But then I know. It’s got me by the throat just like any addiction. And I know I can’t let it win.

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Equipment that Works

Getting in shape is expensive. Everyone will tell you that. It costs a lot for a gym membership, a personal trainer (which is often not included), workout clothes, a meal plan, everything else that goes into it. You’re looking at several hundred dollars a month. And there are no guarantees. It’s not like buying a $1 candy bar and getting instant gratification.

However, you have the perfect workout equipment already. It’s really the only thing you need to get healthy. Now, if you want to look like a muscle bound body builder, you may need those other things. However, for general health and overall fitness, you just need your body.

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I’m not suggesting you use rubber bands to work out, but what I am going to suggest is not too far from that. How does a rubber band work? Put one between two fingers and then pull the fingers apart slightly. Do you feel that “pull” to get back together? That’s called “resistance.” When you pull back apart, you feel another tug on your fingers. That’s your body. That’s your body’s resistance at work. That’s the muscles of your fingers working against the strength of the rubber band.

Now stand up and put your hands flat against the wall or a door. Step back so you’re not right up against it. Now lean forward so your chest is flat against the door, but stand with your legs slightly apart. Now push against the door until you are away from it, using only the muscles in your arms to do the motion. That’s resistance as well.

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Your entire body is made up of muscles that, when tested and stretched, will offer a certain amount of resistance.

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That resistance, no matter how out of shape you are or what level you are beginning at, will offer you some muscle growth. Again, you won’t become a body builder this way, but you will be able to gain some muscle tone and help your overall health and fitness. Once you have mastered the art of resistance, you can move up to other things, like resistance bands, which are a lot like big rubber bands and work just the same.

Resistance bands come in many different styles and types. For working out, I prefer the ones with cushioning and handles, which will run you about $10. You can do a lot of different exercises with this and can even use them for the HIIT cardio I talked about in another post. You can do leg work, abs, glutes, arms and general stretching with them. There are also bands that look a lot more like rubber bands and don’t have a handle. They come in different colors and different elasticity. Some are very stretchy and offer little resistance while others are not as stretchy and offer more. You can usually get a set of 5 for around $15.

So I told you exercise wouldn’t cost you anything right? You don’t have to use resistance bands. Try this: Lie on your back and slowly raise your legs from the hip. However, as you raise them, “fight against it” and try to tense up your muscles so you don’t just raise them straight up. You should feel some resistance there. This is the same basic idea. It’s isometrics, which isolates certain muscle groups and provides resistance to those muscles. If you are just starting out, this is a great way to start because it’s not likely to cause any injuries, and you are using your own body weight for resistance.

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There are about a million other types of stretches you can do that will help you gain strength. Once you have increased your strength based on your body’s own resistance, you will know if you have the “sticktoitness” that will justify spending money on the resistance bands, an exercise ball, dumbbells, a gym membership, etc. But start slow. Remember that saying:

You are beating everyone who is sitting on the couch.

Happy Strengthening!

HIIT Me, Baby, One More Time…

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a while now, but I wanted to wait until I got everything up and going before I did. Working out is definitely one of the keys to weight loss and to getting in shape and being healthy. We all have different goals. Once you have defined your goals, you will know what you need to do. My goals are:

  • Size 10 again because it’s healthier for my frame (I’m 5′ tall)
  • Have more energy. I am battling chronic pain and fatigue as well as anxiety and depression. If you’ve heard of the “spoon theory,” I need more “spoons” each day.
  • Be able to do things with my family and not be so self conscious. This is both a mental thing as well as a physical one
  • Build muscle/lose fat
  • not spend my life doing cardio

I hate cardio. Hate it. But it is necessary for overall health. Why? Lifting weights builds muscle and muscle helps burn calories. Muscle does not “weigh more” than fat. However it is denser, so a pound of muscle takes up less room than a pound of fat.

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There are so many muscles in the human body, and the more you have working to your advantage, the more calories you will burn with less work. So weights are necessary. I love weights because even though they burn fewer calories initially, they burn more while you are just walking around or sleeping.

To lose a pound, you need to burn 3500 calories. Lifting weights will burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes depending on your size and fitness level, how hard you work and how much you are lifting. Cardio will burn about twice that depending on all the same elements. The difference is, cardio usually stops burning about an hour or so after your workout, but lifting continues to burn because when you build muscle, it burns faster than not having muscle.

All this is to tell you about HIIT Cardio. Again, I HATE cardio and can’t stress that enough. Nothing is more boring than an hour on a treadmill or bike or whatever. Hate. It. My brother has been working out for about a year now and he was telling me about HIIT cardio, High Intensity Interval Training Cardio.

The way HIIT works is you set up an interval timer and you rotate between a minute or so of “normal” cardio and a minute or so of “high intensity,” which is pushing yourself as hard as you possibly can. You switch back and forth between the two having “intervals” of low and high intensity until the cool down. The punch with HIIT is that it continues to burn calories for an additional 24 hours or so AFTER the workout ends. Unlike cardio which brings your heart rate to a certain level and keeps it at that level, HIIT takes your heart rate up, brings it back down, brings it back up, and keeps the cycle going. This is part of the reason programs like Curves fitness work when done correctly.

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HIIT also helps you build muscle while doing cardio because it pushes your body to the max. One HIIT session will last 30 minutes and should not last longer than that. You should shoot for 3-4 of these sessions per week. Have you got time for that? LOL. Now, this is not for everyone and is not for beginners. You need to have some level of fitness before starting or you have to remind yourself to start of SLOWLY.

There are several interval timers out there and several different programs you can use. I’m going to walk you through one of my “typical” programs and tell you what I’m listening to as I work.

I’m using a free interval timer I found in the Apple App Store. It allows for using different intervals for different workouts. I have a 30 minute weights timer and a 30 minute bike timer. The weights timer is set for 45 seconds of high intensity and 1 minute of low intensity. The bike timer (for recumbent bike) is set for 1 1/2 minutes of high intensity and 1 minute of low. I like this because I can push myself to maximum reps and then rest or push myself to maximum speed and rest. For the bike, my “normal” speed is 10 mph. My “intense” or “high” speed ranges from 15 to 22 mph depending on the day and how I’m feeling. The goal is not to beat yesterday’s time. It’s to beat what you are feeling RIGHT NOW. So if my normal is lingering around 8 mph, I know my “high” is going to be closer to 15. And that’s ok. You want to work at the maximum you can do RIGHT NOW.

The concept behind HIIT is to push yourself a little more each day and to end each workout with a cool down that makes you feel accomplished. You will get more out of HIIT if you do more. You can go super slow then work up to your “normal” speed and treat it as if it were your “high” speed, but you won’t be getting anywhere with that. You have to push yourself, like with anything else.

So what kind of music gets you pumped?

My HIIT list includes:

  • Five Finger Death Punch “Mama Said Knock You Out”
  • Kid Rock “Bawidaba”
  • Marilyn Manson “Disposable Teens” “Kaboom Kaboom” “Doll-Dagga-Buzz-Buzz”
  • Anthrax “Bring the Noise”
  • Limp Bizkit “Nookie” “Rollin”
  • Family Force 5 “Bulletproof”

These songs have the right intensity I need for my bike. For the weights, I have a slightly different mix.

  • Fergie/Slash “Beautiful/Dangerous”
  • Fall Out Boy “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark”
  • Kid Rock “Jackson, Mississippi”
  • My Darkest Days “Pornstar Dancing”
  • Maroon 5 “This Summer”
  • Atom Smash “Do Her Wrong”
  • Black Stone Cherry “Blame it on the Boom Boom”

It doesn’t matter what your list is, but it needs to be something that can keep up with the level of intensity you are using. My weight lifting songs are not as intense as my bike songs because the weight lifting HIIT is not as intense as the bike weight lifting sessions.

When you do a weight lifting HIIT session, you are lifting as much weight with as many reps as you can in that space you have. Mine is 45 seconds. I focus on one muscle group. Then I switch to the next muscle group for the low intensity and then go back to muscle group 1 for my high intensity. My weight workout will look like this:

  • Low: glutes
  • High: abs
  • Low: Biceps
  • High: glutes
  • Low: abs
  • High: Biceps
  • Low: Triceps
  • High: abs
  • Low: shoulders
  • High glutes

I don’t have a set routine, but I typically do “floor” work then “sitting up” then “standing” and I try to rotate this each time, so I hit all the major groups I’m hoping to hit. I end each session with push ups for both a low and a high. I also use my exercise ball because it rocks!

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There are so many things you can do with an exercise ball, and I’ll document those later. For now, just know that it helps for a lot of the major exercises and it helps relieve stress on your back!

So, get ready to HIIT it, then HIIT it again. If you want to read more about HIIT cardio, there’s a lot of info out there. If you have any questions or comments, “Hit” me up. See what I did there? Ok. I’ll go now. :-)

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H2O and the Mysteries of the Human Body

Everyone says to lose weight one of the main keys is to drink more water. I think that’s crap. How is water supposed to help me lose weight? I mean, yeah, it’s filling (I guess) but it doesn’t “do” anything right?

When I started this weight loss journey, I was probably chronically dehydrated. It wasn’t surprising to drink about four Diet Cokes in a day. However, I always felt thirsty, particularly at bedtime, which is the worst possible time to want to drink. So when my brother (who is also my diet plan guru) said to drink a gallon of water a day, I was like “there’s no way I can do that.” So I did what any “normal” person would do. I bought a cup. If I refill the cup X times per day, it means I’ve had X ounces of water. That was no fun though. So I did something a little different.

I review items for Amazon sellers, and one of the recent items I found was the fruit water infusers. The idea is to fill these little “cavities” up with fruit of your choice and then fill with water.

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I like fruit, but I can’t seem to find the right “mix” in order to make the water taste better and not bitter. Putting lemon in the water is great until it’s not. If you’ve tried this, you know what I’m talking about. So I use the infuser part as a fancy straw holder. I have about four or five of these bottles now thanks to the review program. I’ll be honest here. I still HATE water.

So I’m drinking tea, which I love. Yeah, I’m using Splenda, but this is a process, not an overnight deal. I drink a mix of green tea and black tea and am making it to the gallon a day. It turns out that I only need to refill my 32 ounce cup 4 times a day to make it to the 128 ounces I need to have a gallon. That’s not as bad as carrying around a gallon jug of water like so many people do.

I’ve also found a cool carafe through the review program. It holds 1300 grams of water or 45 ounces. So three of these a day will just about do it.

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This is helping with the water intake. However, let me get back to my main point here. Hydration and the fact that so many weight loss gurus say that water is the miracle drug. I’ve found that it is a key. It truly is. I’m not talking about helping you feel full or anything like that. I’m talking about “flushing” out your system. Let’s look at it.

Your body is a toilet. It contains all kinds of crap inside it. And your blood moves the essential pieces from one part of the body to another. It “flows” which is a movement like water, you know? So water does help things “flow” in your body because, hey, your body is mostly water remember? Let’s say you have a dirty bucket. You fill it with water, but instead of stopping when it’s full, you leave the hose running and you overflow the bucket. What happens? Water flows out of it, but the dirt inside the bucket flows out as well. You don’t end up with more water than the bucket can hold. A gallon bucket will only hold a gallon of water. But if you stopped filling it when it was full, you would have a gallon of dirty water. If you continue to fill it until it’s overfull, the excess will pour out and so will the dirt. You will eventually have a bucket of clean water. Go ahead and try it…I’ll wait.

Science proves that this works. Also, my overall weight loss proves it. This week, I’ve been back on my eating plan. (I’ll talk more about that later.) As part of this plan, I have to drink at least a gallon of water a day, as I said before. I’m really aiming for a gallon and a half or six of my cups filled up. This week, just eating right and drinking the water, I’ve lost five pounds already. I think most of it is the water. Yes, I’m up peeing every few hours, which is very frustrating. However, I know I’m flushing all those toxins out of my body. By the way, do you know what happens to the fat you lose when you lose weight?

It is “secreted” out of your body. Sweat, pee, breath, all of those things are made up of the fat you are losing. You literally turn the fat to liquid or to a gas and get rid of it that way. It doesn’t magically disappear. It has to be changed into a different form and excreted from the body.

Now, don’t you want to go and drink some water?

Your goal for this week:

  • Find a cup you like
  • Figure out how many ounces it holds
  • Do the math to find out how many of those cups will equal 128 ounces
  • Keep a chart on your fridge or a ticker on your phone so you will know how many times you’ve filled it up each day
  • Reach your gallon
  • Pee a lot

 

 

Welcome and have a seat. You’re gonna be here a while…

This is me…

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Well, it was me about 11 years and another kid ago. And about 70 pounds. *Sigh* We all have that weight we want to get back to. My middle kid was 2 and I was around a size 8 here. This is me now:

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I’m the one in black. My cousin who is standing next to me is one of the skinny ones who has recently lost about a billion pounds. (Not really. More about her later.)

And this is my progress as of a few weeks ago, before I started to down slide:

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I’m using this blog to talk about my weight loss efforts, success, etc and to pass that on to all those who are interested and want to know how this is all going. I’ll be honest. Today, it sucks. Halloween 2014, my family was going through something pretty awful, losing my step mom to cancer. I was around 222 pounds and I am 5 feet tall. On the right, this Halloween, I had made it to about 185. I never thought I’d be there again. Now, today, as I’m sitting here typing this, I’m at 200 again.

What happened? I’ll tell you what happened. Ice cream happened. And Snickers bars. And getting off my eating plan. And starting a new job. And not getting enough sleep. And panic attacks. And more excuses than you can shake a stick at. I’m not going to take a “today” picture. Just trust me when I say I’m disappointed.

One of my favorite movies from the 80s is Willow. You know the one, when Val Kilmer was still completely hot and hadn’t “let himself go” like so many of us do. There’s a scene where the main wizard asks Willow which finger has the most magic in it. Willow chooses incorrectly. He later tells the wizard he wanted to choose his own finger because we all have the magic inside us. The wizard says that was the correct answer. We have magic. I have lost mine somehow.

So how do I get it back? I have the keys to the kingdom. I have a plan that I know works. It worked before, and it worked for so many others who you will meet later on. Why hasn’t it worked for me? I keep telling myself it needs some modifying, and I just don’t have the time or tools to do that. Then I tell myself, no, it just needs to wait until Monday. You know that feeling?

Waiting until Monday or the first of the month or whatever the thing is you are waiting for. This is a journey, not a destination, to quote Aerosmith. My journey sucks so far. Lots of lows, a few highs. And I’m right back where I started. So here I am…looking for my magic. And I’m hoping along the way I can help you find yours as well.

Drop me an email or leave a comment if you feel this too.