Thursday, March 24, 2011

Energy-In/Energy-Out - Skechers! - Rest

I got my new Skecher Shape-Ups today and the literature in the box was actually interesting. Have you ever heard of the Basal Energy Expenditure? It's the calculation of how many units of energy your body needs to function - this includes heart beating, breathing, digesting food, etc.  I googled it, and it's also known as Total Energy Expenditure (Basal was probably the guy who first came up with the equation or something).

Anywho, I did find this REALLY awesome Total Energery Expenditure calculator that will give you an idea of how many calories your body requires to function based on your sex, age, height and weight. Then, if you estimate your average daily activities, it will tell you how much you burn in addition to the energy it takes for involuntary functions of the body. It's pretty cool because it can help you figure out how you use your day - even down to sitting/sleeping.

The other calculator I found can be used as a second step. It's a Weight Loss calculator. Just enter the total energy expenditure from the first calculator, then enter the average number of calories you take in per day and it will give you a weekly and monthly approximate of what you can expect to lose.

This is the kind of information that I feel is good to know about your individual needs. And, for me, it helps me see that progress is possible and that there is a scientific method behind weight loss/gain. If you use the science to your advantage, then you you can help yourself set goals and tweak your routine and food plans to maximize your efforts. Granted, this energy-in/energy-out method for weight loss isn't the only factors. I think that some people are more affected by fat/carb in-take than others, so that is another thing to be mindful of. But, all-in-all, I think these are the best weight loss calculators I have found online! You should check them out.

My new shoes have arrived. My 11W Skecher Shape-Ups are the BOMB-diggity. I love them already. My poor little bruised toe is happy as a clam and has lots of room to wiggle around. They make me feel like an Amazon though - I tower over all my short co-workers when I add 2" (maybe 2.5"). But, for being a large shoe, both in size and in style, they really don't make my feet look too big. I think having the wide width helps. They really absorb the shock of walking too. I can't wait to try these puppies out!

I have taken the last 4 days off from the gym and I'm glad that I did. My body is started to unswell and feel better. My weight is going down again as well - back to what I was before I began my routine. Maybe I've been over-doing it? I a trying to find what works best for me and I think that maybe I need to think about low-impact and shorter durations until I loose some more weight. I think that I get all gung-ho and walk for 70 minutes and end up just hurting myself because I feel miserable. This morning was the first morning I've woken up feeling rested and without so many body aches! I think today I am ready to do something though...I'm not sure what. Maybe a walk with my new shoes, but I won't walk for more than 45 minutes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pensacola Beach - Clothes - Water Aerobics - Steam Room

Welcome to my new followers: Manda (who is new to the band and blogging so go check her out!) and Camille from over at Living Large in C.C.! Thanks for follwing!

Pensacola Beach
I just booked 2 nights in Pensacola for Memorial Day weekend and I am SO EXCITED. I have missed Pensacola and I'm ready to get back there this year. Last year's BP mess was a real downer and I'm ready to go back to PCB and help the economy a little. Granted, I booked the cheapest hotel room imaginable ($42 bucks a night!). We are budget beach-goers because well, we have to be. We stay in Pensacola and drive to the beach each day. I don't have to be ON the beach, I just gotta get there. We eat sandwiches and may have one nice dinner out, and then we can have a mini-vacation for like $300. I love living 4 hours from a fantastic beach. I'm SO pale right now, so unless I wanna get scorched out there, I've gotta be my tan on! I'm not really happy with my "beach body", but whatev. The great thing about PCB is that southern beaches are so non-judgmental. You see all kinds of things you wish you could "unsee" - folks let it all hang out. Memorial day weekend is a busy time in PCB, but we'll get there early and it'll all be good. Yippee!

I hope by the end of May I can be into an even smaller swimsuit even if that means I gotta buy another one. Changes sizes can be so expensive. I wish I could ditch the grandma suits, but my legs are awfully saggy :( I think that is my least favorite thing about the weight loss...the saggy inner thighs. I can deal with the sag in other places, but that one just...ugh. Very self-conscience about that one.

Spring/Summer Clothes
I have NO CLOTHES for spring/summer. It gets hot here FAST and I'm still wearing polyester black pants and boots. I've gotta do something, but I haven't been able to find anything cheap enough. I went to Ross yesterday and didn't see anything. I need some stuff in the $10 or less range. Some khaki capri pants and stuff like that. I do have some skirts that should still work, but I gotta hit the tanning bed up again. Then I gotta get a pedicure so I can put some nail polish over my ugly bruised toe! That way I can wear some sandals hahahaha. If anyone out there has some size 22 spring/summer pants they would like to get rid of, let me know!

I went to water aerobics on Monday night. It was a new routine from the last time I went. They have bought a water aerobics program that is choreographed and it is SO LAME.  It's slow and just lame. I didn't do anything last night except run errands - I'm trying to slow down a little so that I can feel better. This pain is seriously taking a toll on me. Tonight, I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe the lame water aerobics again or eliptical?

Steam Room
Omg. I wish I had one of these at my house. The main reason I might do lame water aerobics tonight is just so I can go to the steam room afterwards. I love it. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It makes you feel so good and healthy somehow! LOL And, between the saltwater pool and the steam, my skin is loving it. I wish I had my own steam room so I can steam for 15-20 minutes and then go straight to bed. It's the ultimate in relaxing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

When will the soreness end?

Last week's exercise
Monday: 70 minutes walking
Tuesday: 45 minutes walking
Wednesday: 15 minutes wii (Gold's Gym Dance Workout) / 45 minutes walking
Thursday: 40 minutes wii fit stepping
Friday: 35 minutes eliptical / 20 minutes walking / 3 weight stations
Saturday: rest day
Sunday: Spring cleaning training (did nothing but clean the house for like 10 hours straight!)
Total: 4.5 hours cardio (don't worry, I didn't count the cleaning, but I know it was worth something!)

When will the soreness end? My legs and feet are KILLING me. I had to take a rest day Saturday and Sunday I made myself clean the house even though I felt like crap...I just kept going because I thought that is what you are supposed to do: soldier on. However, I'd really like to know when I will feel better.

I am still all swollen and crappy feeling and I'm beginning to doubt the benefits of all this. It's really REALLY depressing. I am going to cancel my doctor's appointment on Wednesday because I can't go back to him if the scale hasn't moved. This is just stupid. All this hard work and nothing but weight gain. It's not like I've been training to be a body builder...this has all been cardio, so I don't buy the whole "muscle" thing...I've been writing down all my food and I know that I'm burning more than I'm consuming.

Friday I tried something new for me, the eliptical. I was never quite coordinated enough before to get a handle on it, but I tried it Friday and's nice. I was always told how easy on the knees it is, but I never really knew until I tried it myself. It's like gliding! I really liked it and it burns some serious calories. I'll have to add that into my routine!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thank you, Lap Band

Dear Lapband,
Because of you, I could only eat 3/4 of a BBQ sandwich and a few bites of two unhealthy side-dishes before I was full. I am eternally grateful to your ability to keep me from eating all that and STILL wishing for another sandwich. Before I met you, LapBand, I could have eaten twice my meal's size in a blink of an eye. You keep me in check LapBand. You rock.

I'm kinda surprised you let me eat the bread, but you are quirky like that - sometimes you are in the mood for bread and sometimes not.

You and I have a special relationship - sometimes you let me eat fun stuff like I did before, but just in smaller amounts. You've introduced me to the kind of relationship I always wanted to have with food and I'm so happy that we met. You've made me more like a normal person instead of the human garbage disposal I was before. If you ever want to be more strict, I would certainly let you because I know now that I can survive on less. You even help me plan ahead - like making sure I ate a smaller breakfast because I knew I was going to have this special lunch today. You're the best personal assistant a gal could ever have.


New Habits - BYOC

New Habits
Poor little purple toe :(
Because blogbland can be boring without photographs, I present to you: My Toe. Yes, this is the bruised little piggy and it's been saying "Wee wee wee" for sure. See how he just sticks up there? He's too tall for his own good. I'm proud that between my purple toe and blisters I have continued on. I am trying to keep this up until finally it feels like habit and I can't stand NOT doing something. I already kind of feel that way. I feel like if I take a break, then I'm being lazy, which is a good way for me to feel. Last night I didn't go walking - instead I broke out the Wii fit and did 40 minutes of stepping. That was my "break". It was easier on my body than the walking, but I was still DOING something. Something that keeps my metabolism going and something that helps me stay in routine. I also went to bed at 9:30 and got a little extra sleep so today I am feeling better. I still need to take some Tylenol because my feet hurt today, but at least I'm not fall-over tired today!

1. Regardless of what stage you are in - in your weight loss, get healthy journey – do you still consider yourself “fat”? Was there a point when you stopped feeling that way?
Yes. Because I am. I don't know that I will ever not be "fat", but that is OK as long as I'm healthy. I still have a hard time seeing the loss when I look in the mirror. Everyone else sees it, but I don't.

2. Tell us about your first kiss.
I didn't kiss anyone until I was 20. Believe me, there was no one worth kissing in the school that I went to, so it was fine by me. He was from the Netherlands and I met him online in a Janet Jackson chat room (and no, I am NOT kidding lol *rolls eyes*). We were an "item" I guess you could say. We spent time chatting, writing emails, and talking on the phone until one day he came to visit me for a couple of weeks one summer. His flight came into town on my 20th birthday and he kissed me in the airport. It sounds all magical, but he turned out to be an immature moron who really cared more about himself than anything else. And I was immature too, for that matter because I didn't see how utterly silly the whole thing was and boy did I take it seriously at the time! Ugh.

3. Describe your parenting style (either current or what you hope to do or what you would do if you ever had kids)?
I have a step-son and we get along really well. We are more like friends because I don't get to see him a lot, but if I had my own children, I would try to be a relaxed parent. Not a permissive parent, but relaxed.

4. How would your best friend describe you?
Goofy, creative, & funny. I think those words would be in there somewhere for sure.

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in blog land and in real life.
Blog Land: I've been catching up on other folks blogs and making use of blogging as a tool to keep me motivated again. It really does help to write a little something every day and get feedback. Thanks to everyone that comments! It really means a lot to me!
 Real Life: As I've been writing on my blog, I've been trying to make exercise my new habit and it seems to be working so far. Out of the last 11 days (not counting today) I have done some kind of exercise 9 of those days! That's amazing for me. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I. Am. So. Tired.

Omagoodness. This is week 2, day 4 of trying to keep on track with exercising and my body is tired. It's good to know that others (like Dizzy!) understand. I read Dizzy's thread today and I could have copied it word for word, Aunt Flo and all. Today has just been crappy. I *might* leave a little early from work today if I can. I'll go get my walk (or whatever I do) started faster so I can get it over with. It's all I can do right now from putting my head on my desk and zonking out. I've been staring off into space for much of the day. LOL

Annoying things
So, You know how I reported a 5lb loss last week? Well, because of Aunt Flo and the working out, all 5lbs are currently back, which ticks me off to no end. It's so unfair to have to see that. I've been working my butt off and keeping track of each item I put in my mouth. I know I'm burning more than I'm consuming - no doubt about that. It's like when I was doing the wii fit I was losing and the walking has made me all swollen and achey and weight-gainy. It couldn't be muscle already, could it? In my legs? I don't know...I'm going to try to get past the frustration of it and give it more time, but dang-it...Just when I had weight loss as a motivator, it's been taken away from me.

More Shoes
I had a 40% off one item discount code for Jessica London and used it to buy a pair of those rocker-bottom Skecher Shape-Ups. They are not the most attractive shoe in the world, but I'm looking forward to getting them. I needed the 11 and I went ahead and got the Wide so I would be able to tie them extra tight. Hopefully these will have more space for my freakishly long bruised toes. hahahaha

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Exercise Upate - Sore Toe - Liquid Advil - Restriction!

Exercise Update
Walked for 45 minutes yesterday at the same track. I did four 100ft sprints where I ran a little. I felt so strange...I looked around to make sure no one was watching and took off as best as I could. No knee issues from it, so I guess it's ok! Granted, I feel like 100 tons of stupid because I don't know how I look when I run, but it feels nice to amp it up for just a little stretch because it gets my heart-rate up. I did see my shadow one time and I don't think I look as stupid as I feel.

Sore Toe
My 2nd toe on both feet is much longer than my other toes. On my right foot, my toe is SO bruised. My toenail is purple. My right foot is never fit it the same way as my left. I think my toe actually scrapes the front of my size ELEVEN shoe and that is causing the bruising. I hate having long feet. I'm only 5'5"... I hate how I look with shorts/capris and bulky sneakers on. It's total clown shoes. Maybe I need <--- these for my freakishly long toes? :)

Liquid Advil
Do any of you take liquid advil (childrens) or Advil Liqui-gels on a regular basis? Cramps and soreness pulled me over the edge and I bought some Children's liquid advil. Tylenol just doesn't work as well. I would only need it a few times during one week a month and I follow it with quite a lot of water to wash it down. Surely this couldn't be a problem. For every other ache/pain I use tylenol. I know some doctors allow the liqui-gel tablets...I'll have to inquire on my next appointment.

After my last fill, I didn't feel much, but now it's like it's starting to finally kick in. Thank goodness. I was told and ready several times that good restriction doesn't normally come until around 6 months. I know that's just how it goes, but when you go for so long not having much and then you have it, you almost have to re-teach yourself some things. I have had to slow down more lately because I'll fill up quicker than I used to and end up being all slimey. Yuck. But, I'm SO glad to have the limitations again. I "pigged out" yesterday because I went to Earth Fare to try to find whole wheat orzo and ended up buying some snacks instead. Ugh. 1/2 scoop of dark chocolate covered raisins from the bulk bin and these Valdosta Pecans are HEAVEN. I ate all the raisins and half the bag of Peacans yesterday and still my daily calorie count was only 1,650. Thank you, band!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Exercise Update

Walking maniac!
Last night I walked for 70 minutes. I did 11.5 laps around the outside track at our gym. I wish I could get an accurate distance for the track. I got two different answers from gym employees and my GPS says something different too. But, I think the time spent walking is more important than the distance. I'm not really all that sore today and my feet don't hurt! That's amazing.

New Shoes
The new shoes were really comfortable! I still want the other type with the rocker-bottom though. I think that having both kind and switching it up would be a good idea! 

I might walk again, but maybe a light night of Wii fit or I might go to the gym and try some indoor activities. Depends on the weather. Right now its pretty gloomy and wet out there!

Shame Doesn't Change People

On my way back from Savannah, GA. last weekend, I saw a childhood obesity billboard in Macon, GA. that featured a little girl who was overweight and the caption said "It's hard to be a little girl when you aren't Little". Farther on down the road, I saw another billboard with a little boy's image and some other tagline. My husband and I were both pretty shocked.

When I got home, I found out that these billboards are a Georgia campaign that has been drawing nation-wide attention. From what I can tell, people seem to be split on the appropriateness of these billboards. I checked out the campaign's website ( and I find that extremely inappropriate as well.

Why feature the children? Notice how they are all scowling? I don't know if they were trying to show them unhappy, but to me, they don't look unhappy - they look mean and that is another stereotype of overweight children. And believe me, I work in the advertising field, and they chose these images for a reason - scowling children will be more attention grabbing than happy children. I guarantee that they directed the children's facial expressions during the photo shoots as well.

The videos on the campaign's website are also demeaning...One little boy (Bobby) talks about how he likes donuts and puts chips under his bed to eat later. In another video a little girl (Tina) talks about how she gets picked on at school - guess what? All of Georgia is now picking on you. Shame on the parents of these children for letting them be a part of this.

My point is that this is not the children's fault, so why bring even MORE shame to them? It may not effect all children in the same way, but there are more positive approaches to this problem that would bring better results. I feel like this campaign is talking about the problem, but what are they DOING about it? The real target is parents. In either case, shame is not what is going to bring about change. Shame causes anger and more denial. If the purpose of this campaign was to make Georgia residents realize that their children are obese, then I think they are causing more problems for themselves.

Another little boy (Carlos) talks about how after school he is alone at home and plays video games rather than going outside to play.

BINGO! We are finally at the heart of part of this problem. Carlos' parents both have to work, therefore, he is at home alone and his parents probably tell him not to go outside and play when they aren't home in order to keep him safe. Personally, I feel like the biggest contributor to childhood obesity is the "new American lifestyle". If a child is lucky enough to have a two-parent household, usually both parents are working and when those parents are home, they don't have time to cook, so children are preparing easy meals for themselves which are typically unhealthy - and their eating habits go unmonitored.  Also, I'm sure there is some kind of link between low-income households and childhood obesity. Unhealthy food is cheap...peanut butter, bread, mac & cheese, pasta, etc... All affordable ways to feed a family. I feel like this "new American lifestyle" is not one that we purposefully choose, but one that many are forced into out of necessity during the economic downturn that we've been experiencing over the last 10 years.

OK, Georgia (and the rest of the nation) time to stop picking on little kids and outing their shortcomings to the world and it's time to start finding solutions. I would love to know what kind of foods are being served in rural Georgia school systems.

Your thoughts?

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Exercise Plan Report: Days 4-6

Amy W - you are badass all on your own! :) And you commented on my blog...I might faint ;) hahaha 

Thanks to everyone who keeps reading my updates and supporting me with comments-I wish there was a way to directly reply to each of you. I'm so glad to have a community of folks who understand! You all rock!

This is really working. I did 5 days of some kind of exercise (workouts varied from 25 min - 1 hour) and I lost 5lbs this week. I was/am flabbergasted. It's about time I saw that scale move again. I'm REALLY excited! I know I can't expect this much every week, but man, it really is a motivator!

My Weekend/Shoe Review
Over the weekend I had one really good workout and the rest of the weekend was spent catching up and running errands. Saturday I walked about 2 or 2.5 miles with my new, rocker-bottom shoes on. I LOVED the shape of those shoes - makes a BIG difference. At first, it was hard to get used to walking in them and my feet were cramping a little, but after the first mile, I didn't even notice the difference. The sole absorbs a lot of the shock in each step not only because the sole is so thick, but the shape helps that too. However, I do not recommend the Wal*mart Danskin version - I am going to return mine. They are already falling apart. The eyelets are almost completely stretched out/broken from having tied my shoes. I didn't even tie them that tight. I wasn't expecting them to be that good, but I thought they'd be a little better than that!

These shoes rock!

On Sunday I went out to get a pair of Sketcher Shape-Ups, but I couldn't find them in my size! I have to have an 11, Wide if possible, but lately Mediums seem to fit just fine. So, I was bummed that I couldn't find any! I did find another pair of Sketchers fitness shoes though. They are called Sketchers Ultra fit Shape-ups Toners and they are the most comfortable shoe I've ever put on my feet. They have little balance balls on the bottom of the shoe so that you are constantly having to use your muscles to control your balance. But, it's SO comfortable. I highly recommend them. They are pretty too! Black with silver and hot pink - just my style!

I am still planning on buying myself some of the rocker-bottom Sketchers though - they really do improve your walk. They make you feel like you can walk faster and they really are good on the knees. AND, I can they they really WORK because muscles that are not normally sore were really sore. My butt and the muscles right under my butt on my leg in the back were really sore the next day. They do what they say they do!

The Week Ahead
Tonight I'm going on my first walk with the new shoes. I'm so excited! I can't wait to see how far I can do. It feels so effortless with the right shoes! Aunt flo is in town, so water aerobics will have to wait. I know the commercials show you how women can do everything they normally do when Aunt F. is in town (and do it with White pants on), but I just don't roll that way - too much hassle. I think while the weather is so awesome, I'll take a break from my wii and walk until I get bored with it!

Next week I've set up a walking buddy schedule so that some of the girls from work and I will walk right after work on Monday. The campus around here is very hilly and will be a good workout!

I'm optimistic that maybe I can at least shed 3 more lbs this week! I'm ready for it! BRING IT! ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Exercise Plan Report: Day 3

Btw: I was SO stoked when I saw that THE Amy W. was now following me. She's like a celebrity to me or something. *SQUEEE* :)

Trying so Hard but Life gets in the Way
It is SO hard to exercise every day. My house is a WRECK because I've been exercising when I normally would be cleaning. Last night I had to stop by the grocery on the way home to get milk and a few other odds & ends. By the time I got home, put it all away, and changed clothes, my husband was home. Last night was the first night this week he got home on time, so I wanted to spend time with him. So, I did a quick little Gold's Gym thing where I mostly just tried to learn some of the routine and made some dinner so I could hang out with him.

2am Ideas
Then, in the middle of the night last night I had a GENIUS plan. Tonight I have to go see my mom and I wasn't going to have time to do my exercise routine, so I thought "at lunch, I'll take a walk...a really long walk. I'll grab my headphones and listen to music on my android and walk for 30 minutes and then turn around and come back."... It's a BEAUTIFUL day and it would have been awesome. I was going to leave early to avoid getting talked into lunch with everyone else, but I got tied up in this incredibly hectic day and I ended up getting talked into going with my cooworkers to have the $5 special at the pizza joint. I only ate like 2/3 of my slice but, I felt so guilty every time I put a greasy piece of pizza in my mouth.

I have to pick my husband up from work because his car died. He's 1 hour away, so I've got 2 hours of car time to look forward to rather than exercise. THEN, I have to go to my moms. Ugh.

This weekend
Hopefully with the nice sunny weather and mild temps continuing, I can pull out those walking shoes. I have been dying to do that! This would be a perfect weekend too - the pine pollen has not yet begun to coat everything is a yellow-green dust!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Exercise Plan Report: Day 2

Quick Update
Just a quicky update about my exercise plan so far. It was so rainy last night I just opted to Wii again. I did 30 minutes on the low step with the hand weights the entire time. Then I got out my Gold's Gym Dance Workout game and tried a bit of that again. It's hard, but the tutorials are good, so I can practice. Maybe that'll even get me coordinated enough for Zumba one day.

I bought myself a new swimsuit. It was so weird to be able to go in Kmart and grab a size 22, it fit and looked good and I paid and left with it. Normally I have to order them in the LB/Romans Catalog and hoped that it would work.  After-the-fact, I realize I should have tried a size 20 - if it were comfortable enough, that would last me longer. I'm still not used to not grabbing the largest sizes they have! I still hunt for 28 or larger - it's surreal sometimes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Exercise Plan Report: Day 1

Thanks for all the support and commentary on my post yesterday. As promised, here is an update!

My test run with Zumba
I haven't gone to a class yet, but I went home last night and used the wii to bring up this YouTube video of an acutal Zumba class to see if I could follow along. Talk about discouraging. I could have cried. I suck. I just stood there with my jaw open trying to figure out what the hell to do. I couldn't get what was going on fast enough before they switched and some of the moves are just too hoppy for me and my knees. Plus, my feet don't slide across the floor with shoes on like these people's feet do. I guess it's because of the weight? But, I don't want to exercise in sock-feet. So, I brought up another video on YouTube that must be from the at home instructional DVD or something. It shows you a few moves slowly. I did better, but I still wasn't getting it. Maybe it was just because I was already feeling so defeated. Never-the-less, I really could have cried. Ugh. I wanna do the Zumba tho! It looks like fun, but I suck. :(

Back to Wii Fit
So, after sitting there feeling totally defeated for a while I got up  finally made it through 46 minutes of stepping. Only 10 of those were on the high step because my legs were all crampy yesterday for some reason.

Some New Gear
After my Wal*Mart Vision Center© appointment this morning, I found myself some new workout pants to replace all my old giant ones that don't fit anymore.  It's so hot here that I have to have capri-style. They only had those in the Misses sizes, but I held up a XL and it looked larger than an XL, tried it on and Lo & Behold they fit better than the 1X womens sized Danskins pants I tried on. Strange, huh? I also got these Danskin shoes for $25. I had been wanting to try the Sketchers, but they are so expensive! These fit really well and even though they are made with cheaper materials, they will last as long as I need them too. They are super cushioned and I like the way they just roll through when you step. Looking forward to trying them out on a walk! I got two pairs of capris, one shirt, and some shoes - I feel like it was $58.32 well spent. The next thing I need is a new water aerobics bathing suit!

Today's Plan
Since it's raining today, it'll have to be Wii at home or maybe a venture back to the gym if it's not stormy! If I stay at home with the wii, I plan to get out my Gold's Gym Dance game and give that another try too.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Trying to Formulate an Exercise Plan

Unused Resources
After yesterday's post, I looked at my gym's website and realized that I am not utilizing the best resource I have. I have many classes that I could participate in including water aerobics and Zumba. There is also a steam room, all kinds of machines, weights, and TVs hooked to everything. I should be using that to incorporate some variety despite the inconvenience.

I used to do water aerobics and really did enjoy it until, believe it or not, it began to hurt my knees. I should try the Zumba class too - I hear it's really crowded, but I just need to deal with it and get in there!

I think before I even think about a personal trainer (which is pretty expensive at my gym) I need to figure out how to make moving around fun for me. Maybe down the road, when I am a few pounds lighter, I can think about a trainer who can help me make sure I'm taking care of more than just my cardio.

My Plan
Over the next 2 weeks, I'm going to experiment with some different fun things like water aerobics, zumba, the gold's Gym dance workout for the wii that I have, and whenever daylight savings kicks in the park, and outdoor things. I'm going to try different activities and different routines (like taking workout clothes to work and walking around campus immediately after work). Maybe even see if I can wrangle up a buddy at work to do it too.

This is also going to help me find my "zone"- the place where I am pushing myself to work hard, but not pushing my knees so hard that I'm in pain. It's been so long since my knees have felt this good that I don't know what I am capable of anymore. I know I feel MUCH better, but I need to use these knees now that they have had a load taken off them.

After my experimental 2 week period, I'll formulate a weekly plan that includes 2 days where I do something other than the Wii workout at home. And my wii workout can vary to include the stepping and the Gold's Gym dance game I have. The good thing is, on rainy days or days when a plan falls through, I have a backup of the Wii at home.

I'll report my findings here! Thanks for everyone's input on my last post! Wish me luck ;) !

Monday, March 7, 2011

Being Sick - Restriction Changes - Exercise

Being Sick
After two solid weeks of sickness I am finally feeling more normal! Talk about miserable. Coughing non-stop can really, really make the band difficult. I was really tight and it's hard to eat slow (or at all) when you have a clogged and/or runny nose. So, I was eating a lot of things that go down easily.

Restriction Changes
I feel like my restriction from my last fill has "kicked in" after I was sick? I got sick a week and a half after my last fill. At first I didn't really feel anything, but now I actually feel restriction again like I haven't had in a long time. Certain items like bread which I ate before in small portions, are becoming harder and harder to deal with and I've been avoiding them all-together. I think I'm at around 6cc in a 14cc band - my surgeon doesn't like to be specific about it because he says that he doesn't want us to get stuck on a number, it's not about the number, it's about how it's working. I totally agree, but it's annoying not knowing. LOL

Exercise/Personal Trainers
I really don't like the venue of a gym for exercise - I've been making expensive monthly donations for quite some time now and not going. I don't completely hate exercise,  I just need to find things that are both fun and easily scheduled into my life. For instance,  I really enjoy my wii fit because I can do it at home (which saves me time and wardrobe changes) and because I can watch my own TV while I step and the time just flies. I just bought a lift kit that makes the board higher and sometimes I add some 3 lb hand weights to tone my arms.

I don't hate the gym for normal reasons. I hate dumb things like the smell, the environment, the sound, the time it takes to get ready and go... I dread it. When I can just come home and exercise, I don't dread it. I thought about getting a treadmill, but my home is too small - there is NOwhere to put one!

But, I can't do wii step forever and I need to be doing more. I need to either use my gym membership or get rid of it and do my own thing. I'm not sure what I should do. I'm torn... I thought that maybe a personal trainer would give me some direction, accountability, and motivation. My husband would probably not like the idea simply because he'd be like "But, we can go together", but it's not the same thing. I need an outside party to be accountable to. I can't quite articulate why, but it's just not the same when you go with a spouse and I would just end up feeling inadequate to him and annoyed with myself, ya know? But, I don't know that a personal trainer would make me like it any better.

Now that the weather is getting better, I'm looking forward to going to the park and trying out a little slow jogging. The park here has a dirt trail where I can kind of drag my feet a little and do a sort of scuff-along jog that I can't do indoors. Does that make sense to anyone else but me? That method allows me to get more cardio and it doesn't hurt my knees so bad because it's not as much impact on them. Now that daylight savings time is almost back, it'll still be daylight after work and I can go out there while others are around.

Have any of you ever hired a personal trainer? What was your experience like?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Being Sick Sucks

So, I've been coughing and hacking since Wednesday night and my band NO LIKEY. I haven't been able to eat solid things very well at ALL and I'm regretting that I did not bring some soup for lunch today because I just haven't been able to get anything to go down like normal. It's all slow and yucky.

I think all the drainage doesn't help and I've been coughing SO HARD my stomach is sore. It feels like I have a colony of hummingbirds living in my lungs...I feel so exhausted from coughing and nose-blowing!

I'm definitely going home early today. I took care of things from my two days out and I'm outta here soon so that I can find some soup! Grrrr....stupid sickness!

I hope all is well with you guys!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review of Popchips - I am in LOVE with this great new product!

I was in Kroger one day and saw this little bin of chips for $1.00. Looked like a new product and honestly, the nice graphic design lured me over there too. I picked up a couple of individual bags of these because I saw that each bag was only 100 calories and I thought it would be a great little snack if they were tasty!

Let me tell you...I am in LOVE. Mostly with the BBQ ones because BBQ chips are always my favorites. I never have been a big fan of regular potato chips because I find them too greasy. When baked chips came out, I was so excited, but these are even better! They are super light and very crunchy. They are potatoes that have literally been popped like popcorn.

They are low fat (4-5g per serving) and low calorie (100-120c per serving depending on the packaging). They come in single serving bags or multiple serving bags lots of flavors as you can see from the image. I have tried the BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion, and Sea Salt & Vinegar chips! I liked them all!

The great thing about the small single serving bags is that they are exactly 100 calories and you can't eat the entire bag like you could if you bought the multiple serving bags. The large bags only have 3 to 3.5 servings in them for about $3.50 at my local Kroger. The serving size in the multiple serving bags is a little larger making that serving 120 calories.

In my opinion, buying the individual bags is slightly more expensive, but it curbs my desire to eat ALL of them. Which is a problem we are all obviously trying to overcome and sometimes solutions to that problem can come in the form of convenience at a bit of a cost. Which is OK. I'm seriously thinking of purchasing a 24 pack of the BBQ ones on Amazon for $20 thus saving $4 and right now I have free shipping because of an Amazon Prime membership trial.

I feel silly buying in bulk off the internet, but I guess it's no different than going to Sams or Costco!

You guys should seriously try these if you see them in your stores! Check out their website for more info!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What I did to Feel Better

So, yesterday, I was having one of those "Ugh" kind of days where I feel bloated and fat and like I'm not accomplishing anything anymore. My clothes are beginning to look crappy and I just feel blah. I'm sure that my TOM has a lot to do with this, so thanks Mother Nature.

Anyways, all my pants are a size 24, except for my best-fitting jeans that are 22s. So, I went to the store and tried on A BUNCH of 22s to prove to myself that I am, indeed, a solid size 22 now and that it wasn't some fluke thing that the ONE pair of jeans happen to fit.

I didn't buy anything, but it sure made me feel good to be able to do it :)

...and to think that I used to wear a size 32.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Weighing in AFTER Excercise - Bloodwork - HEAVY

Weigh-ins AFTER Workouts
Have you ever weighed yourself AFTER a workout and it be like 2lbs lighter? It seems to be like that for me EVERY time. I guess it's fluid loss from sweating? I mean, because my knees are still in "recovery", I've been doing Wii Fit stepping, I'm sweating, sure, but not like TONS.

Last night after 45 minutes of stepping, I re-weighed in and saw 269 and even though it was probably a "false" weight because I had dehydrated a little from the excercise, it was AWESOME to see that 70's go away. So, I use it as a motivation method even if it's not totally accurate! Wrong? Maybe, but whatever floats my fat boat down the river...ya gotta do what ya gotta do to play with your own mind sometimes, right? hahaha

I had my surgery in August and I haven't had any bloodwork done to check my vitamin levels or anything like that. Isn't it pretty standard? I have been a BAD girl about taking vitamins. I feel OK. I might need to get back on my Vitamin B's...that could help with fatigue, but I've been busy lately too, so it could be natural. I need to ask my surgeon about it tomorrow when I go for my check-in with him.

I have watched two episodes of A&E's new series "HEAVY". I am not a fan of The Biggest Loser, but enjoyed "Too Fat for Fifteen" very much. I like the shows that show realistic goals and help. A&E's show is pretty good. They don't yell TOO much and there isn't TOO much drama. I watch episodes on my cable's on-demand feature while I do my Wii Fit stepping and I find it motivating.  And, maybe it's crazy, but seeing a 500lb person on TV helps me see the thinner person I have become in the mirror. Not that I was ever 500lbs, but I sometimes saw myself as just as big as those people and now I see that I never could have looked like that and that I don't look like that now. It puts things into perspective for me.

I watch with a heavy heart though because some of these folks have a lot of issues. I find that the parts where they deal with a therapist is helpful to watch as well. When they talk more about the emotions and why they eat, I can identify with them to some degree.

It's worth a watch! Check out some full episodes on A&E's website.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

PB2 - A Great Peanut Butter Alternative!

When I decided to break it off with Nutella, I told you guys that I had ordered some PB2 to fill the Peanut Butter void in my life.

What is PB2?
PB2 is a product of Bell Plantation in Tifton, Georgia (If there is one thing Georgia knows, it's Peanuts! Just ask Jimmy Carter). PB2 is made by removing 85% of the oil from dry roasted peanuts and creating a powder. The product comes in powder form and the consumer reconstitutes with a little water.  There are no chemicals involved, so you can rest assured that your PB2 is still all-natural peanuts.

Nutritionally how does PB2 stack up against regular peanut butter?
Jif Creamy (2 Tbs Serving) - 190 Calories • 16g Fat • 8g Protein
PB2 (2 Tbs Serving) - 45 Calories • 1.5g Fat • 5g Protein

You can see that there is a BIG difference in the Calories and Fat department, but you still maintain quite a bit of protein for such a small serving size. This is the kind of snack that is beneficial for WLS patients. Even reduced fat versions of regular peanut butter do not offer much relief from the burden of fat content in peanut butter (reduced fat Jif has 12g fat vs. 16g with the regular). And the reduced fat versions don't offer any reduction in calories.

Does it taste like peanut butter? What does it look like after adding water?
Yes. I was happily surprised by how good it was. It reminds me of the peanut butter you get in an organic grocery store where you grind your own. It has a very nutty flavor without all the sugar that you find in popular store brands.

After reconstituting the powder, it has a thick consistency. You can add a touch more water if you'd rather have it a bit smoother, but I was agreeable with the directions on the jar. Without all the fat, of course, the mixture is dryer than normal peanut butter, but I didn't find it off-putting.

I tried PB2 on celery and just ate little bites off the spoon and I was VERY satisfied with the taste. It would taste great on toast and I even think you could make a good PB&J sandwich with it!

What about the chocoate PB2? What's that all about?
It's no substitute for Nutella. However, it also tastes good. When I mixed it up, I noticed it was much thinner than the regular PB2. I tried it with strawberries and it was good. It was not like Nutella, but it was still satisfying. Over-all, it still had mostly a peanut butter flavor and the chocolate was MUCH more subtle than the flavor of Nutella. Some of the serving suggestions on the PB2 website are to eat chocolate PB2 as a fruit dip, as cupcake icing, with graham crackers... all of those things would be a good snack. With the exception of 1g less of protein per serving, Chocolate PB2 has essentially the same nutritionally values as the regular PB2.

Will I buy again?
YES. I will certainly be buying this product again. I'm not sure how often I will be the chocolate variety, but, I know that the regular PB2 will become something that I will enjoy. I believe this is one of the best-tasting low-fat, low-calorie substitution products on the market.

Where can I buy?
Don't buy this product on Amazon! It's highway robbery at over $11 per jar when the suggested retail value is $3.99. I bought my PB2 at because I only wanted one jar of each so that I could try the product, but you can get a much better deal directly from the PB2 website's store. At the Bell Plantation store you can get 4 jars for $15.98, plus around $6 shipping. PB2 might also be available in your area - you can check the website for stores that carry their products.

Try it out for $3.99!
Everyone's tastebuds are different. You can get a sample of regular PB2 and chocolate PB2 for only $3.99 (which includes the shipping). The samples are 1 serving packets.

PB2 Recipes
Check out the Bell Plantation website for more information and to see several recipes that use the PB2 products. There are lots of ways to use these products other than traditional peanut butter snacks! I'll be trying this recipe for PB2 french toast this weekend. With the low-calorie products I keep in my kitchen, I can make this for 165 calories per serving, easily!

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Perception of Me - Am I too Happy Where I am?

My Perception of Me
I have read that many of you have had that feeling where you KNOW you've lost weight and you look different, but you just don't SEE it when you look in the mirror. I totally understand this. I have lost 5 sizes since I began my journey, yet, when I look in the mirror, I see the same person I've always seen. Either I had a really good self-image before I started this, or I've got a bad self-image now! LOL Actually, I'd like to think that I had a good self-image before. I've never HATED the way I looked. The biggest reason I wanted to lose weight is so that I could be healthier and more active. I wanted to do it for my future, so I could live a longer, healthier life and be more independent when I got older. When I look at my size 22 jeans, I don't see the different between those and the size 32s that I used to wear. That's just wrong! I try on something that is old and it swallows me and it becomes more real, but then I don't SEE it in the mirror.

Every once in a while I'll catch a glimpse of myself - a reflection in a store window - and I'll think "Wow, I can see it!". The other day, I was looking at my face in the mirror and I could see my jawbone so much more clearly and I had a moment of clarity. But, it's few and far between. I think I need to do some comparison photos (which I have not been doing) just to prove to myself that this is working.

Which brings me to my other topic...

Am I too happy where I am?
I am a size 22 right now, which is smaller than I've been in a very long time. I don't even remember buying this size in HS. The last size I remember buying in HS was a 26 (which was probably smaller back then due to so much "vanity sizing" now).

Sometimes I think that I am so amazed at how awesome being a 22 is, that I am not trying as hard as I should because I'm so happy where I am. The upside is that I don't hate myself. The downside is that I hope it's not putting up some kind of subconscious block that puts me in "maintain" mode when I need to get into "lets lose 60 more lbs mode"!

My goal is to be around a size 14. Smaller if I can, but I want to be able to maintain a size 14. That's about as realistic as I can get with myself because anything else seems illogical. I can change my goal one day if I want to and need to, but for now, 14 is where I would gladly be happy to stay.

Have any of you ever felt this way on "the way down"?
Could my positive outlook on my body and my appearance be hindering me? LOL

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

An open letter to Nutella..

Dear Nutella,
I remember the day my husband brought you home. The next morning he smoothed you out across his morning toast and I thought "Oh, gross". I did NOT want to like you. I told myself that I did not like you...I didn't try you for years because let's face it, I do not need a NEW thing to like. I like too many things already...that's my problem. I wish I was a little pickier about what I like, but I'm not... I like BBQ sandwiches from gas stations and Little Debbies...I like low-end nacho corn chips like Tom's and Lance brand...If it's junk food, typically, I like it.

But, back to you, Nutella...I rue the day I put you all over a strawberry. You are TOO GOOD. I told a coworker about you, and their reaction was "Oh, but Nutella is good for you." and I was like "Yeah, if you don't have an eating problem like I do, it's better than Peanut Butter, but I can't inhale the entire jar like I want to!"....

Darn you Nutella for being the first thing on my mind the morning after I first met you. Darn you for making me stand in the kitchen and eat at least 5 strawberries dipped into your scrumptiousness while I waiting for dinner to simmer on the stove. DARN YOU! You came into my life during a time when I really was craving peanut butter. You knew my weakness and you took advantage of me. I won't let you get away with it.

I'm seeing someone new now. His name is PB2. He'll be on his way in 3-4 business days and in a few more mornings, my husband will have consumed the last of you. Your days are numbered as PB2 is also bringing his chocolate friend along.

So, hello and goodbye, Nutella. It's been fun. You're good, but not TOO good for me. I'm too good for you. We're over. I'm sorry.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Back on Track - Things I've learned - Counting Calories

Back on Track
Wowee! Truly, I have been off track since Halloween. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are like my "sabotage Trifecta" for the year. No real damage done, but no progress either. I've finally gotten those bad habits shaken from my system and moving past them! I finally had enough of the "cheating" mindset and I am ready to continue my journey. A HUGE part of my sabotage is all the time off that I get during holidays. It's like Halloween wet my appetite for bad things then Thanksgiving/Christmas were so un-structured that I got back into bad habits again...Being back at work in full swing has helped. It's January 28th and I have just finished my first 5-day work-week since mid-december! I was sick, we had ice/snow days added into's been crazy!

Things I've Learned
  • Well, I just now learned that pears do NOT go down well at all...I've had pear slowly moving down my pouch for about 10 minutes now and it's getting really annoying.
  • I've learned that often times I over-eat out of boredom. That is how I know that structure is important to me.
  • I've learned that "boredom" for me is sometimes created by my inability to focus and get things done and that my ADHD medication helps me organize my thoughts, get things done, and therefore kick "boredom" to the curb. And my ADHD medication is very important to my journey and my life.
  • I've learned that it's really easy to eat things that I shouldn't. Lots of "bad for you" foods (not like pasta...think MM&Ms and King Size Kit-Kat bars) go down very easily in large quantities.
  • I've learned that this band really is working for me. I had my doubts for a while...I was afraid I was going to fail, but if I made it from Halloween to mid-January without gaining insane amounts of weight, this thing is WORKING. I can no longer eat the amount of food I used to be able to and that is helping considerably. I may not have "rocked the band" for the last couple of months, but it was still there standing guard.
  • I've learned that even when I'm "off-track", I still have the willpower to do this right and it has been the best decision I've ever made.
  • I've learned that the 60lbs I've lost so far have made a HUGE difference in my life! I feel so much better now and I have so much more to look forward to.

Counting Calories
I've been back into the habit of writing everything down, setting calories goals and all that good stuff. I have to estimate calories sometimes because I'm just not the kind of person who is going to figure out how many calories the pot of homemade Vegetable Beef Soup I just made has in it and how many calories are in 1 cup of it. I also can't go into my small-town sandwich shop and expect them to be able to tell me how many calories their 1/2 wrap has in it. So, I have to estimate based on ingredients. I think I'm doing a pretty good job, but I wish I knew exactly so I could have a better idea where my inabilities to estimate are. I usually look up each ingredient online and then guess about how much of that ingredient was in my portion. I had 1/2 of a whole wheat wrap, so I look up whole wheat wraps, find the largest one that has the most calories, and half that number. At least if I'm fudging numbers, I know that I'm picking the highest number of calories, so that gives me a little wiggle room. Then I look up bacon and estimate that there may have been 2 entire pieces on my wrap...then the turkey...which I know was Boar's Head brand...but there wasn't much on there, so I figure it was about 3/4th of a serving... Very little mayo, so I guessed 1Tbs...Spicey Mustard was so low that it goes into the category of the lettuce & tomato that don't count!

I hope my logic of calorie estimating is reasonable because I have to do an awful lot of it sometimes. How do you guys "estimate" calories?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Can tears dehydrate you?

...Because I am so thirsty right now.

I've have a craptacular day. My mom's beloved cat began acting poorly yesterday and we found out today that he was terminally ill (likely cancer among other things), so we had to make the decision to have him put to sleep. Buddy was a cute little orange and white cat with a manx tail. He was super sweet and part of our family for 12 years. He has been mom's best little companion since my dad died 4 years ago.

I feel horrible. I LOVE animals and I hate to see them suffer. I hate to see how they don't feel well, but they still take the time to rub their little head across your hand for affection. It was heart-breaking to have to say it was time to let him go. I know it was the right decision. He will not suffer any longer and he will go peacefully, but It's just so sad.

I feel bad for my mom. She is very upset. I have been crying off and on all dang day. I hate crying. I really do. I hate for others to see me cry. I do have to say that my veterinarians are awfully nice and Dr. K even gave me a hug today before I had to go. They are very kind.

Now I'm really thirsty, but almost too "full" feeling to drink as much as I want...UGH.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

FLOURISH - My Word for 2011

Develop • Grow • Mature • Progress • Prosper • Succeed • Thrive

This is what I want to do in 2011. I want to conquer the part of me that still reverts to bad eating habits when given the chance and I want to pull the veil off from over my eyes and more clearly see the opportunity that I have given myself to flourish. I went through a lot to give myself this chance and I cannot let myself fail.

I hate how human nature can allow us to fail ourselves so easily. Some folks have better willpower than others, but we ALL fall off the wagon sometimes.

The holidays were tough for me. I was off-schedule and very busy and surrounded by bad choices. Luckily, the band prevents you from eating TOO much, but it doesn't prevent you from making poor choices and eating more than you really ought to.

This year I want to tackle that little demon in my head that cannot resist temptations. That is how I will flourish.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

51 Fastest Fat Burners

Some of this is no-brainer stuff for LB folks, but reminders never hurt! There are some good tips here. I got this from today - via Enjoy!

1. Catch the running bug. You'll continue to burn fat after your jog: People who run for at least four hours a week melt more calories than non-runners, even when they're not running, a Yale University School of Medicine study reports.
2. Crank it up early. Working out harder during the first half of your workout and taking it easier during the second burns up to 23 percent more fat than doing the opposite, according to a study from The College of New Jersey.
3 & 4. Go hard -- and make it quick. Staying at 80 percent of your max heart rate for 40 minutes can amp your metabolism for 19 hours afterward, research published in Obesity notes. And doing a shorter workout at 75 percent of your max aerobic capacity will give you a greater metabolic boost than sweating longer at 50 percent, a Colorado State University reveals.
5 to 7. Lift dumbbells ... slowly. More muscle equals mega metabolism boost. Strength training can help you trim major fat, research reveals -- and doing super-slow (versus normal speed) reps increases strength by 50 percent.
Plus, using dumbbells activates more muscle fibers than using machines, explains Gregory Haff, Ph.D., an associate professor in the exercise physiology department at West Virginia University.
8. Speed up, slow down. Alternating bouts of high-intensity and low-intensity cardio has been shown to torch pounds.
9. Put on weight (literally). Wearing a weighted vest (about 10 percent of your body weight) while walking can boost your calorie burn by 8 percent.
10. Download Rihanna, not Brahms. Listening to up-tempo songs actually makes you run faster and harder than listening to slower-paced music, British scientists say.
11. Let kettlebells ring. Not only does working out with kettlebells build muscle, but doing it for 20 minutes burns as many calories as running at a 6-minute-mile pace for the same amount of time.
12. Keep it up. As few as 80 minutes a week of aerobic or weight training helps keep you from regaining belly fat after losing weight, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
13. Add poles. Use Nordic poles while you walk, and you'll burn 20 percent more calories, says research from The Cooper Institute in Dallas.
14 & 15. Lift first, nix the rest. Doing strength training before cardio can torch more fat than cardio alone. And if you do one move after another without pausing, "you'll see more gains in strength and muscle mass," says Dr. Pierre Manfroy, M.D., consultant for the book "100 Ways to Supercharge Your Metabolism."
16. Add pounds. Lift heavier weights for fewer reps to make your workout more intense -- and burn more fat -- Manfroy says.
17. Try aromatherapy. Exercisers who inhaled strawberry and buttered-popcorn scents torched more calories than those who sniffed neutral odors, according to research from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.
18. Box yourself in. Wii boxing knocks out nearly twice as many calories as some other games, like Wii golf.
19. Kick it. Playing soccer not only torches more fat and builds more muscle than jogging, but it feels less tiring, Danish research reveals.
20. Stay in shape. Fit people have more fat-burning metabolites in their blood than couch potatoes do, scientists say.

22. Get more protein. Eating a protein-packed breakfast and lunch helps you burn more post-meal fat than if you eat lower-protein meals, according to Australian research.
23 & 24. Guzzle green tea -- or coffee. Downing five 5-ounce cups of green tea a day boosts metabolism, says Lyssie Lakatos, R.D., author of "Fire Up Your Metabolism." Two cups of coffee will also do the trick, one study shows.
25. Have an omelet. Eating two eggs for breakfast while dieting will help you trim more weight and body fat than if you ate the same amount of calories noshing on a bagel, scientists say.
26. Stay above 1,200 calories... "The average person's body goes into starvation mode if she eats fewer than 1,200 calories a day," says Eric Berg, author of "The 7 Principles of Fat Burning." "That's stress, and stress creates more belly fat."
27. ... and cut calories gradually. If you diet, don't trim more than 250 calories a day. Cutting calories too quickly slows your metabolism down, Dr. Manfroy says.
28 to 33. Munch on these. Almonds, cherries, yogurt, grapefruit, whole grains, and spicy foods have all been shown to torch fat.
34. Fuel up right. Eating a low-glycemic-index breakfast (such as muesli and peaches) will help you burn more fat during a subsequent workout than eating a high-glycemic-index meal (like waffles), researchers from the University of Nottingham reveal.
35. Think before you drink. Sipping as few as 90 calories' worth of vodka can slow your metabolism by 73 percent, one study shows.
36. Graze. Women who go without eating for long periods are more likely to have higher body-fat percentages than women who nosh more regularly, one study notes.
37. Dine like a Greek. Eating a diet rich in monounsaturated fat (think olive oil, avocados) can help trim both weight and fat, research published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows.
38. Stop gorging. Your body can only handle so much food at a time, so stick to 600 calories or less per meal to maximize fat-burning, says Leslie Cooper, co-author of "Flip the Switch: Proven Strategies to Fuel Your Metabolism and Burn Fat 24 Hours a Day."
39. Skip juice. Reaching for an apple instead of apple juice is not only better calorie-wise, but it'll also do a better job of boosting your metabolism, Dr. Manfroy explains.

41 & 42. Get C and D. Vitamin C can help you burn more fat, and D may help you lose fat, research notes. Aim for 400 to 500 mg of C and 800 mg of D a day.
43 & 44. Walk more (in denim). Researchers found that fitness-friendly offices (think treadmill desks, mobile headsets) helped people trim pounds and fat, as did wearing jeans to work, since dressing casual encourages you to move more. Wear comfy clothes when you can, pace while on the phone, and stand while chatting with co-workers.
45. Add fish oil (And work out). Taking 6 grams of fish oil per day and hitting the gym three times a week can help nix body fat, an Australian study reveals.
46. Work the day shift. Keeping nontraditional hours lowers levels of hormones that trigger satiety, increases blood glucose and insulin levels, and raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which can drive you to eat more), scientists say.
47. Nix the boob tube. Cut your TV time in half, and you'll burn more calories each day, research from the University of Vermont suggests.
48. Go mental. People who visualized themselves training a specific muscle boosted the strength in that muscle group, researchers found.
49. Eat a smaller dinner. Your body may not digest food -- and burn fat -- as efficiently if you down a huge meal right before bedtime, especially because your metabolism is slower while you sleep, Dr. Manfroy says.
50. Jump-start your morning. Wake up your metabolism -- and get fat-burning started -- by doing some sort of exercise within the first few hours of being awake, Cooper suggests.
51. Get your snooze on. Sleep for a solid 81D 2 hours instead of 51D 2, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and you'll lose more fat. Sweet dreams!

Copyright Health Magazine 2010

A New Year

One of my goals for the year is to keep up with the LB blogging world again. I got side-tracked during the holidays, but I am going to do my best to not only blog again, but to read blogs again. I get the most out of keeping up with you guys and commenting. Even if I only get to contribute to my own blog once a week, I want to keep up with everyone else, because it keeps me focused and reminds me of what I am trying to do with my life.

Over the holidays, I did not lose anything. But, I did not gain, so I am actually pretty pleased about this. In my job, I get a LOT of time off for holidays during this time of year. I have been out of work since Dec. 15th and today is my first day back. It really KILLS eating routines. I am a creature of routine and normally would have been on a better non-work routine, but I was so incredibly sick over the holidays. If I wasn't running around and traveling, I was sick. I had the cold from hell and I am just now feeling like a normal person.

All the coughing and nose-blowing has my port area irritated...has that every happened to any of you? It's just a little sore from using that muscle, I guess.

While I was congested, I barely ate a thing. I couldn't taste, and besides that, I think the band was much tighter than normal because I couldn't get much to go down. Our lovely Christmas dinner was wasted on me. However, I ate enough homemade peanut brittle to make up for that later. So many goodies this time of year! But, I think in a weird sort of way, I got it out of my system and I am so ready for getting back on track now.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season and I am looking forward to catching up with everyone's journey while looking ahead to a great 2011! Happy New Year, everyone! :)