Friday, January 30, 2009
I also found a cereal bar made by South Beach Diet (Caramel Peanut) that has 19 grams of protein per bar. Yes it is 210 calories and is technically a meal replacement bar. Since some days the Fiber One bars (2g protein) were all I was eating for breakfast, I'm ok subbing out those for these new ones, especially on the days when I'm running too late to make a shake. I can keep a few in the console of the car and that will hopefully keep me out of the Chick-fil-A drive-thru.
But what about this miracle food everyone keeps talking about....28 grams of protein in one cup, low in fat, fairly inexpensive compared to a similar serving of meat....the elusive cottage cheese.
A couple of months ago I noticed that Google had updated their search tools and now when I start typing in my topic of interest a little box pops up below with suggestions for how I can finish out the wording of my desired topic. It has been quite helpful and usually very accurate. I Google alot. It has been very helpful with suggesting sites for calorie tracking (cancelled WW Online--now trying to decide between The Daily Plate or Fit Day--both free), playlist selections for the iPod, smoothie/shake recipes, nutritional info on specific foods. So, of course, when I set out on my search for cottage cheese recipes, I immediately turned to my helpful friend Google.
Ok, I start typing....cottage ch...up pops some suggestions....cottage cheese discharge...ewwww! this finding does not help with the icky texture issues I am already trying to overcome...no, not CCD....how about cottage cheese recipes....yes, thank you Google, you have redeemed yourself. I now have a few recipes to try out over the next few weeks.
My last trip to the grocery store I bought 2 of the Breakstone Doubles, cottage cheese with fruit servings. I ate the first one a few days ago. The first few bites I ate eagerly and totally blocked out all past objections to this "miracle" food. I kept telling myself, "I'm going to LOVE IT!" But by the 4th bite my gag reflex was ready to engage. Now what.
About 10+ years ago, my mom was on a diet and she told me about how she would blend cottage cheese with a little Sweet & Low and some strawberries. She said it was like a dessert. Being fresh out of college and not interested in any advice or knowledge that my mother wanted to share, I was all "whatEVER, that sounds disgusting...." So, this afternoon I get out my Magic Bullet blender with the small cup and the other Doubles from the fridge. I dumped all the cottage cheese and peaches into the mixing cup, and blended. Tasted it, pretty good, maybe a little Splenda (with Fiber) and a splash of skim milk to thin it, blend some more. Taste...oh, yeah, it's really good...I put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes and it was very good. Reminded me a lot of frozen yogurt...kinda like a dessert.
I am now on a mission to figure out as many ways to substitute blended cottage cheese in recipes. One of the first ones I want to try is Ranch dip/salad dressing. I don't have any Ranch mix powder on hand, so that one will have to wait until I can get to the grocery store again. I saw multiple recipes for using cottage cheese in mashed potatoes. I'll write an update on which recipes passed or failed in a few weeks.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Another part of the 12 week program is a one-on-one consultation with the 'wellness coach'. I had my consultation last week. After the normal line of questioning...how many other programs have you tried (all of them)....how much weight do you want to lose (all of it)....what are your problem areas (all of them)....when is the toughest time of day for cravings (all of it)...Then she used my height, weight, and % body fat to calculate some other values. First BMI, which was like 30.5 to which I freely and excitedly explained to her was just barely obese and in just a few more days I would only be overweight and not obese anymore. Isn't honesty with thyself great! Next she calculated my lean body mass which is 122 lbs. From that she calculated how many grams of protein I need each day to fuel my body. She said I need 128 grams of protein per day. I have never tracked protein as part of a 'diet'...total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, calories, fiber, cholesterol, sodium...all of these I have at one time or another tried to control, but never protein.
128 grams of protein is a lot! She broke it down for me and one example is that I need about 25 grams of protein at breakfast (I'll get another 17g for a mid-morning snack, so this 25g is just breakfast). Ugh, I don't really like breakfast. When I make breakfast for myself at home it is usually a carb-fest, waffles or pancakes or cereal. Breakfast on the go usually has more protein, but it comes wrapped in a Chick-fil-A or Sonic greasy wrapper, not really a better choice. Don't panic DeAnn, here are some suggestions...7 egg whites (WTHell?? SEVEN??) or 1 cup of nonfat cottage cheese (gag!)...or 1 quick and easy to make Protein shake with some fruit...
Quick list of my recommended protein break-down...
16g Mid-Morning Snack
16g Afternoon Snack
Quick list of some of my breakfast stand-bys...
Fiber One cereal bars---2g (only 2 measly grams) and many days that is ALL I eat for breakfast
Instant Oatmeal---4g, this is what I would eat when I was trying to be 'good' and I usually can't finish one serving
Corn Flakes cereal--2g per serving (sometimes as a snack)
Kashi Go-Lean cereal---9g per cup...yea! finally getting closer to the goal...problem is I can't eat more than 1 cup...at our house we changed the name to Kashi Go-Poop.
A few weeks ago, before I starting going to the nutrition classes, I picked up a few smoothie packets at the grocery store just to have on hand for a snack or quick breakfast...guess how much protein....ZERO!
I've decided not to obsess over the protein counting thing. Yes I am going to try to be mindful of eating more protein and looking at protein values on packages. I am even going to look into creative ways to eat the cottage cheese (at 28g per cup, it may be worth it). And I did go ahead and order the smallest size container of miracle protein shake powder to try to work in at breakfast. It was either that or naw on a turkey leg from the Renaissance festival in the carpool line......
Monday, January 19, 2009
Fiber One cereal bars (or generic brand from Kroger)---Oats & Chocolate is enough to satisfy my chocolate craving, and the warning about 35% of total daily fiber is enough to keep me from eating more than one.
Diet Dr. Pepper (usually Caffeine Free)---one per day has really helped me kick my Coke habit. I also find that if I keep the case in the pantry, or back of the car (not in current weather!), i.e. out of sight, then it is really easy to just have 1 per day. I used to keep cans in the fridge and would drink 3-4 a day. Every time I opened the fridge door I would grab a Coke, thirsty or not.
Splenda (or Splenda with Fiber)---I can not tell the difference between Splenda (or generic) and sugar when I make my sweet tea. And I like it real sweet, like syrup sweet.
Lean Cuisine---Husband asked a few days ago, "Are those any good?" Well, they're ok. But they are tasting better and better each time I pull out clothes from my closet that I haven't been able to wear in 3 to 5 years. They are great when you open the fridge and have no idea what you are planning to eat. They are great to have in mind when the kids want corn dogs or chicken nuggets, or a Happy Meal. Beware that there are a lot of varieties available and they are not all that healthy. I try to stay below 400 calories and below 4 grams of fat. I'm not watching sodium right now, but some are really high.
Having a "Smaller Size" Drawer---I picked a couple of items that do not fit and put them in a drawer of my dresser. About once a week or 10 days, I try them on. It is so exciting when they start to fit and then when they fit good enough to wear in public! I have been buying workout clothes on clearance in a smaller size and I look forward to being able to wear them.
Getting rid of the safety net---Twice since October, I have gone through my closet and drawers and pulled out clothes that were too big, and yes some were still maternity clothes! Maternity t-shirts make great workout shirts! Some I have been able to give to a friend, some I took to a consignment store, and some went to Goodwill. My closet is still overfilled because I had acquired complete wardrobes in multiple sizes, plus a maternity wardrobe.
Keeping a snack bag in the car---Here's what's in my on-the-go snack supply...
Whole almonds---count out 20 and put in ziploc bag
60 calorie packs of (3) prunes---I was "yuck" at first, but not too bad now
100 calorie packs of Quaker mini rice cakes with chocolate drizzle
yogurt covered or plain raisins
try to keep a case of bottled water in the back of the car
Wearing my Heart Rate Monitor---I have almost become obsessive about wearing my HRM. I am in the process of tracking my "calories burned" values for several days and then plan to set a daily minimum that I want to achieve each day. One day last week the value was just over 2000 calories from about 8am to 9pm and I had worked with the trainer and done cardio that day. So I'm guessing 2000 is a good target for work out days and probably around 1500 for off days. Once I set my goal, I may find myself "running the stairs" in our house at 11pm before I will let myself go to bed.
But probably the best Strategery of all, is having a wonderful support team, not just in this endeavor, but in all things.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Running late, didn't eat at home, didn't grab a cereal bar...fast food drive-thru
It's so cold, I hate to wear a coat, wind too strong for the baby...skip the gym
Didn't make a menu, have random groceries in fridge....order a pizza
Personal trainer company at gym closed....save money & don't renew
Car needs oil changed today or engine falls out tomorrow....skip the gym
Peanut needs more at-home potty training attention....skip the gym
Peanut needs more at-home potty training attention....I need a Coke & a donut
The biggest mental speed bump for me had to be on Wednesday when the trainer called to say that the company was closing their office at my gym location. We could finish out the sessions paid for from the last credit card draft, but after that I could be finished or sign-up on a new contract at a different location....farther from home & school....where I would have to pay a visitor's fee....and pay for on-site childcare. I had a session with him on Friday and we still have 3 left to go. But then what? It would be so easy to go back to just walking on the treadmill 2 or 3 times a week or slowly letting other things become more important, again. No, this time I'm ready to keep going and I think (I hope) I have learned so much about full body exercise and I am really enjoying the results. I no longer feel like a visitor at the gym, I feel like I (sorta) know what I'm doing. I'm pretty sure I can get over this speed bump.
So here's what it takes to get over those speed bumps....a little more energy. Tuesday night when Husband came home from work he brought me roses from Sam's. We have a pact to never send each other flowers from a florist, so a bouquet from Sam's is perfect in our house. I was removing the plastic cover to put the flowers in a vase and I saw the name of the striking hot pink color...Energy...I kid not. I cut out and saved the label, maybe I'll remember to take a picture, maybe I'll figure out how to post a picture. That same night I attended a women's evening at out church and felt Energized as well. Thursday night I had a meeting (that was anticipated with a bit of anxiety) and it went wonderfully well, full of positive energy. This week, I had a doctor's appt where my blood pressure was 110/60, the best it has ever been. My package from Kohl's arrived on Friday with a pair of smaller jeans and a smaller bra (band--not cup--not yet) and they both fit great.
It would have been easy this week to self sabotage. But when looking at the big picture and the big goal, these obstacles are just little speed bumps and I'm driving a Mack truck.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The carpool line starts at moving at 8:55 and if we are near the front I can get to the gym, get the kids to childcare, and be ready for a 9:30 class with about 4 minutes to spare. We made it to the school and cheered because we were almost first! I stepped out the car to get something from the back and realized I still had on my clogs...oh, maybe I should go ahead and change shoes...I did pick up my shoes didn't I? Nope, no tennis shoes. Could I make it back home and then to the gym in time to make the class? Yeah, I might be a few minutes late, but that would be ok.
As I'm pulling away from the carpool drop-off, the Low Fuel light comes on. I'll get gas after the gym, Husband always say you have 3 or 4 gallons left, right? Get home, yep, there's my tennis shoes on the front porch where I must have dropped them when scooping up McQueen. Back to the car, out of the driveway, wind through the neighborhood...I might be able to make the class. Now Low Fuel Bell starts dinging. Ok, this is just not going to happen today. So I turn into the gas station to filler-up.
It was about 9:20 by now. I decided to call my mom. My mom has been helping her youngest sister who has cancer. She goes to her house every day and stays with her some nights. My mom tells me that she was about to leave her house to go back to my aunt's house to meet with Hospice for their first visit. My mom tells me that my aunt decided on Monday (with input from her doctor and family) to stop her chemo and only seek comfort measures. We only talked 2 or 3 minutes. I felt very deeply that this phone call was the reason my plan for this morning fell apart. I needed to make this phone call and if MY plan had been the one followed, then I wouldn't have been able to live HIS plan.
I did go to the gym and I did have an awesome work out.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Weight is now down 17.5 lbs. from October 1 and 27.5 lbs. from May 2008 :o)
Body fat percentage is now 38.2%, down from 41%.
BMI is now 30.8 down from a high of 34 (just 0.9 less and I am no longer obese, just overweight).
I sorta got the feeling that my trainer was expecting more, or maybe he thought I was expecting more. It seemed like he thought I was somewhat disappointed. But I'm not. I'm not doing this for a special occasion. I don't have a deadline. The changes I make have to be ones that I can live with and that fit fairly easily into my life with family and kids. One day he was looking through my food journal and there were multiple fast food entries (it was a bad week, actually it was a bad month). He commented that Subway would be a better choice. Yep, and if they had a drive-thru, I'd be there every other day. But if I'm dragging 3 kids out of the car and into Subway to get lunch then I'm also swinging by the bakery for an entire cake to calm my nerves (my nearest Subway is in a Wal-Mart).
But that's ok, I'm losin' it, no matter how fast or slow.
Actually, I knew I was losin' it before I stepped on the scale this morning. My angry tooth was throbbing and that is always a sure sign. Angry tooth??? A year or so ago I went to the dentist with a very sore and sensitive canine tooth. After several x-rays and an exam, the dentist informed me that my tooth was completely healthy, but maybe a little bruised from clenching my teeth together. At that time, we didn't carry dental insurance, so this was a pricey little lesson that I was yelling and growling way too much.
This morning was a typical Monday morning, mostly because I failed to prepare better the night before (spent too much time surfing instead of packing a lunch and picking out clothes). Then the constant noise and demands for my attention. The two older kids starting every sentence with "Mommy" and requiring a response before continuing with a statement or question that then needs another response, usually at the same time...the baby fussing that he didn't want to be in the car seat again or maybe he wanted something else to eat...the radio on with that blasted cartoon music...the voice in my head running through the to-do list, the forgotten list, the grocery list....I just wanted to grit my teeth together and yell SHUT UP!
Yep, this morning, I definitely felt like I was losin' it.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
When I reactivated my gym membership in September, I of course started with the treadmill. Because walking in place on a flat surface is the best use of a paid gym membership, I mean where else can you walk??? I started at 0.0 incline and about 3.0 mph and I watched every minute tick by til I made it to 20 mins in constant fear that the nylon athletic pants were going to ignite from the friction. After a few days I started playing around with the programs on the treadmill. Stayed at about 3.0 mph but got up to about 3.0 incline and about 30 mins depending on which TV show was on. Never really broke a sweat and had to hold on most of the time in order to get my heart rate reading (since I couldn't find the parts to my 3 year old Polar HRM that had been used less than 5 times).
In October when I started with the trainer, he told me that walking at an incline would burn more calories than running on a flat surface. So one of my new goals was to increase my incline as well as speed and duration. I now walk comfortably at about 3.3 mph and easily 7.0 incline. When I push myself I can usually stay between 8.5 and 10.0 incline for 10-15 mins. The fear of ignition has greatly lessened. So I'm feeling really good about the walking. Now what...
Well, no one was chasing me, but I figured I might as well try to run. It just seems like something you are supposed to do when you are at the gym. Side note: I had found my HRM and was now wearing it religiously. I think this was sometime near the end of November. I was walking along on the treadmill at about 3.5 mph and I was ready for more. At this point it was either run or speed walk, and me speed walking would have looked even more stupid than me running. So I looked around to make sure everyone around me is wearing headsets of some sort-- Good, hopefully they won't hear the thunder. And she's off....for about 15 seconds. I eventually worked up to running 1 min and walking 2-3 min intervals. But I still didn't like it, I watched every second tick by. I had to talk myself through it. If I was wearing earphones I was usually listening to a TV show. I would try to cheer myself to make it through an entire commercial...ok, now 2 commercials...but I just couldn't seem to get motivated enough. I still hated running, I still wasn't being chased.
In my husband's family, we do a name exchange between the adults for Christmas, and we also submit a wish list. I had decided a few weeks before that I really wanted an MP3 player of some sort. All I needed was music, nothing fancy with phone or video. So I put an iPod Shuffle on my wish list with a few other things. I told myself that if I didn't get one as a gift that I was definitely getting one after Christmas. So of course I was very excited to unwrap a hot pink Shuffle and $15 iTunes card. As soon as we got home from traveling, I wanted to load music on it. I am an iVirgin and am iClueless. I knew nothing about iTunes. I figured it out and loaded 15 songs. I searched for hours to find high energy, 130+ bpm songs. I loaded stuff from Katie Perry (Hot N Cold--great!), Beyonce (Single Ladies--love it!), Christina Aquilera (Keeps Gettin' Better--superbitch!), and Flo Rida (Low---who???). After listening to the soundtrack from the Aladdin movie and the Dora CD 800,000 times in the car, I was soooo ready for some "adult" music. One day I had it on when the kids were napping (I think they were napping, I couldn't hear them...), and I folded and put away more laundry in 30 minutes than I usually can in 2 hours.
I'm still struggling with where to put the cords, inside the shirt sleeve, outside down my back, I don't know. But I am really enjoying having it on while I do my cardio. I have to keep reminding myself not to sing out loud. It makes the time go by easier and usually faster. Having the constant supply of high energy songs really keeps me going. Trying to walk, bike or use the elliptical to the beat keeps the pace up.
One day last week I was on the treadmill doing intervals of high incline walking with flat incline running. Alternating about 2 mins walk with 1 min run. I kept trying to increase the run to 2 mins, but it seemed like there was a wall around 1:40 that I couldn't get over. I LOVE the song So What by P!nk. I selected it on the player...this is the last run interval...I'll go as long as I can. Then it hit me, I AM being chased....by my big ass! And so many other things in my life...the never-ending laundry, the daily last minute what-are-we-having-for-dinner question, the morning rush because I didn't prepare enough the night before, the constant intention vs. perception communication struggle.....Run, Forest, Run. So I dropped my shoulders, lifted my chin, picked up my heels, and ran. It was almost effortless. I was mouthing the words to the song like I was on stage and never looked down at the timer. The song ended and I dropped back down to a walk. No stitch, no gasping for breath. Yes, I was out of breath and needed a drink, but it was controllable. I now know that I ran for 3 min 34 secs. I was as proud as if it had been my first marathon.
My dear friend, who is doing an incredible job in her personal fight, told me the other day that she can now run 10 mins straight. So that is my new goal. I guess, in a way, I'm chasing her big ass!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I'll start with the easy and not-so-embarrassing stuff...
I am 34 years old.
I am almost 5'7" tall.
I have 3 children: First Born Son is 5 years old. Peanut is 2.5 years old and potty training. And McQueen (so named because his older brother really wanted to name him Lightening McQueen) is almost 11 months old.
I have been married 8 years to High School Sweetheart. Dated 8.5 years before 1 year engagement, so we have been together a total of 18 years.
This experience is a little like getting into a swimming pool with cold water. Stepping in up to your hips is not so bad. Then the water hits your belly, and even with enough blubber to weather a winter in the North Atlantic, you catch your breath and think "do I keep going, or get out now?"
I'll go in a little deeper...
I joined Weight Watchers online in May 2008 when McQueen was 3 months old. I'm pretty sure that day was my heaviest non-pregnant day. I'm not ready to write that number down. But BMI was 34, that qualifies for that horrible word---obese.
Reactivated my gym membership on September 1, 2008. I had been doing WW sporadically since May but not exercising at all. Decided to take 1 month to recommit my mind and schedule to making exercise a priority.
Signed-up with a personal trainer at the gym on October 1, 2008. Sign here, here, and here...need your credit card, thank you...our first exercise will be one in humility, now please step on the scale and we will also calculate your body fat percentage. Ugh. Weight was 10 pounds less than when I joined WW in May, body fat percentage was 41%.
Between October 1, 2008 and January 7, 2009, I have had 18 sessions with the trainer. I am down almost 15 pounds and we will calculate body fat % again next week. BMI is now 31, almost out of the obese (I physically shudder to type that word) category.
But my clothes feel like more than 15 pounds gone. I was wearing a snug 18W, fitting like a glove in that size ain't pretty. I am now comfortably fitting into most of my size 16 pants. My go-to shirts were 1X or XL, or a cami under a button down shirt left open, because I was bustin' out of it buttoned. And not sexy, cleavage bustin', I mean tummy roll bustin'. I'm pulling "new" stuff out of my closet every couple of days. Probably my proudest clothing victory is a pair of workout pants that I bought on clearance about 2 years ago. They didn't fit from day 1, I mean wouldn't-go-over-the hips, not just tight. Now I have to use the drawstring to keep them up.
Ok, so I waded in a little deeper and the cold water was even more shocking as it creeped up. Now I have to decide, do I get out or just dive in. Getting out would mean deleting this post and keeping this private info in my head. Diving in would mean posting this....Here goes...
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
When I graduated from high school I was a very average size 8/10, I think. Then in 8 years of college, work, graduate school, and work again, I gradually grew to about a size 16. I started and stopped countless diets and "healthy lifestyle changes", but never enjoyed exercise (i.e. sweat) and have always been an emotional and celebratory eater. Things are going good...let's eat...Things are going bad...let's eat...alot.
Here is a brief history of the significant battles in my private war, 2000 to today:
There was the Matrimonial Battle of 2000 in preparation for the wedding---as the 11 months of preparation flew by, my goal became to simply fit into the dress size that was ordered, no lofty goals of losing, just please please don't gain.
Then the Equestrian Skirmish of 2002 when, while making plans for a surprise trip for my husband's birthday, I learned that the horses on our horseback riding expedition had a weight limit. I had nightmares of being asked to step on a scale before Mr. Ed would let me on board.
Along comes Baby #1 in September 2003. The most embarrassing moment I had ever experienced in front of my husband was being checked into the hospital and having the nurse ask me my weight. Did she purposely stand on the other side of the room and wait for an answer? And don't blame it all on baby, because she needed to know my starting weight as well. Thankfully that moment was replaced 10 hours later with 1.5 hours of pushing, so now I have a new most embarrassing moment.
Battle of the Baby Bulge #1--Ok, May 2005, decide to stay at home with Baby #1, finally away from the constant temptation of working in an office setting with 2 vending machines and a refrigerator within smelling range. Decide to join a gym, with childcare--doing great--lost 28 pounds in about 4 months--feeling great... Hello! Pregnant with Baby #2. Gym membership on hold.
Brief Battle of the Baby Bulge #2--Baby #2 born in May 2006, sweet baby girl...that likes to be held...alot. Tried to start back at the gym Spring of 2007. After being called out of 4 consecutive classes because Sweet baby girl was "inconsolable", gym membership back on hold. I'll give her a few months to grow out of her separation/stranger anxiety and then start back. I'll still wear the work-out clothes though, because they are stylish and oh so comfy!
Surprise it's a BOY! Baby #3 born February 2008.
Battle of the Baby Bulge #3--Ok, I'm done. No more pregnancies for this body. I'm ready to reclaim it for me. I'm ready to have more energy and less rolls. I'm ready to be better than I was before. I'm ready to have a closet with no "X"s or "W"s in the sizes. I'm ready to be a Missy not a Woman. I'm ready to win the War, not just the battle. I'm ready to want to do things with the lights ON....
This time I'm ready!
(That reminds me...I still need to make that Dr.'s appt for my husband...)