Friday, July 29, 2011
You would figure most friends and family would be celebrating, right? They know hubby and I want to have children someday, so wouldn't they be supportive of a healthier me?
I guess not. I've gotten more than one comment about what I eat (my co worker offered another friend a piece of bread in the break room because she figured I "wouldn't eat it." It was almost as if I had to remind her that I eat bread. My mother expressed concern about me exercising when she found out that I biked in the morning, walked at lunch and walked after work. (that day only, the third walk wasn't planned) "you're not going to be one of those are you?" One of what? Those healthy, fit, moms or moms-to-be? HELL YES I AM. I love weight training, feeling sweaty after a workout, and being in (better) control of what goes in my mouth.
It seems that my weight loss has an effect on everyone around me. I get plenty of "you look awesome!" "wow! you look great!" But I also get "do you eat?" "You're having cake- it must be a cheat day!" (I DON'T HAVE CHEAT DAYS. I EAT WHAT I WANT AND EXERCISEEEEE!) "Don't get too skinny, you'll look silly because you're so tall. "
Evidently she meant the skinny, gaunt, I-eat-nothing-but-egg-whites-and-ride-the-stairmaster-for-3-hours people. (I reminded her that the condition to which she's referring is MEDICAL and called A-N-O-R-E-X-I-A)
It's important to remember that everyone has their own set of problems, and currently mine include being too heavy. So therefore, I'm trying to weigh less. I have a good amount of weight to loose, and I'm doing it step by step, slow and steady, AND I EAT ALL THE TIME. I stuff my face at least 6 times A DAY.
So this is just an announcement for the masses to quit making assumptions about people who watch what they eat and exercise.
I'm done with the soapbox, feeling frustrated, and I'm moving on to this weekend much more positive. Promise.
And for the record, I eat plenty of junk. Ask my MFP pals that have seen my diary. PSSSSSH.
Friday, July 22, 2011
[It's over 100 right now, right outside my office. blllllleh.]
Yesterday morning I was able to get 40 minutes of running/ walking intervals in with Rocky, and this morning Mom joined me (as well as BOTH puppies!) to walk before I left for work. Even at 6:30 A.M., it was over 80 degrees at my house.
This is the heat index for the Eastern half of the country:
photo from http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/H/bo3641018.html
A phenomenal read, this book covers research the author conducted to determine why the week of heat in Chicago was so deadly. The most shocking things are that most of the victims died at home, and the number dead was "more than twice the number that died in the Chicago Fire of 1871, twenty times the number of those struck by Hurricane Andrew in 1992." Unbelievable.
There are weather tragedies that don't involve hurricanes and tornadoes, people!
Stay hydrated and be safe!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The article below was written for Men's Health. I did not write any of it. I've only appreciated the work, and decided to share with friends.
15 Biggest Nutrition Myths
MYTH #1: High fructose corn syrup is worse than table sugar
Whether or not added sugar is bad for you has never been in dispute. The less sugar you eat, the better. But whether HFCS is worse than plain ol' table sugar has long been a contentious issue. Here’s what you need to know: Both HFCS and table sugar, or sucrose, are built with roughly a 50-50 blend of two sugars, fructose, and glucose. That means in all likelihood that your body can’t tell one from the other—they’re both just sugar. HFCS’s real sin is that it’s supercheap, and as a result, it’s added to everything from cereal to ketchup to salad dressing. Plus it may be affecting your health in ways not yet fully understood by the scientific community. Is it a good idea to minimize the HFCS in your diet? Absolutely. It’s best to cut out all unnecessary sugars. But HFCS’s role as nutritional enemy #1 has been exaggerated.
MYTH #2: Sea salt is a healthier version of regular salt
Everyday table salt comes from a mine and contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon. Sea salt comes from evaporated seawater, and it also contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium. That makes them, well, roughly identical. Advocates point to the fact that sea salt also contains other compounds like magnesium and iron, but in truth, these minerals exist in trace amounts. To obtain a meaningful dose, you’d have to take in extremely high and potentially dangerous levels of sodium. What’s more, traditional table salt is regularly fortified with iodine, which plays an important role in regulating the hormones in your body. Sea salt, on the other hand, gives you virtually zero iodine. The bottom line is this: If switching from table salt to sea salt causes you to consume even one extra granule, then you’ve just completely snuffed out whatever elusive health boon you hope to receive. Plus you’ve wasted a few bucks.
MYTH #3: Energy drinks are less harmful than soda
Energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Full Throttle attempt to boost your energy with a cache of B vitamins, herbal extracts, and amino acids. But what your body’s going to remember most (especially around your waistline) is the sugar in these concoctions; a 16-ounce can delivers as much as 280 calories of pure sugar, which is about 80 calories more than you’d find in a 16-ounce cup of Pepsi. What’s more, a University of Maryland study found energy drinks to be 11 percent more corrosive to your teeth than regular soda. So here’s the secret that energy drink companies don’t want you to know: The only proven, significant energy boost comes from caffeine. If you want an energy boost, save yourself the sugar spike and drink a cup of coffee.
MYTH #4: Diet soda is harmless
The obesity-research community is becoming increasingly aware that the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda—aspartame and sucralose, for instance—lead to hard-to-control food urges later in the day. One Purdue study discovered that rats took in more calories if they'd been fed artificial sweeteners prior to mealtime, and a University of Texas study found that people who consume just three diet sodas per week were more than 40 percent more likely to be obese. Try weaning yourself off by switching to carbonated water and flavoring with lemon, cucumber, and fresh herbs.
MYTH #5: Low-fat foods are better for you
As it applies to food marketing, the term “low fat” is synonymous with “loaded with salt and cheap carbohydrates.” For instance, look at Smucker’s Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. To replace the fat it skimmed out, Smucker’s added a fast-digesting carbohydrate called maltodextrin. That’s not going to help you lose weight. A 2008 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that over a 2-year span, people on low-carb diets lost 62 percent more body weight than those trying to cut fat. (Plus, the fat in peanut butter is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat—you’d be better off eating more of it, not less!)
MYTH #6: “Trans-fat free” foods are actually trans-fat free
The FDA’s guidelines allow companies to claim 0 grams of trans fat—even broadcast it on the front of their packages—as long as the food in question contains no more than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. But here’s the deal: Due to an inextricable link to heart disease, the World Health Organization advises people to keep trans fat intake as low as possible, maxing out at about 1 gram per 2,000 calories consumed. If your cupboard’s full of foods with almost half a gram per serving, you might be blowing past that number every single day. The American Journal of Health Promotion recently published an article urging the FDA to rethink its lax regulations, but until that happens, you should avoid all foods with “partially hydrogenated oil” (meaning, trans fats) on their ingredients statements.
MYTH #7: Foods labeled “natural” are healthier
The FDA makes no serious effort to control the use of the word "natural" on nutrition labels. Case in point: 7UP boasts that it’s made with “100% Natural Flavors” when, in fact, the soda is sweetened with a decidedly un-natural dose of high fructose corn syrup. “Corn” is natural, but “high fructose corn syrup” is produced using a centrifuge and a series of chemical reactions. Other "natural" abusers include Natural Cheetos, which are made with maltodextrin and disodium phosphate, and “natural advantage” Post Raisin Bran, which bathes its raisins in both sugar and corn syrup. The worst part is, you're likely paying a premium price for common junk food.
MYTH #8: Egg yolks raise your cholesterol
Egg yolks contain dietary cholesterol; this much is true. But research has proven that dietary cholesterol has almost nothing to do with serum cholesterol, the stuff in your blood. Wake Forest University researchers reviewed more than 30 egg studies and found no link between egg consumption and heart disease, and a study in Saint Louis found that eating eggs for breakfast could decrease your calorie intake for the remainder of the day.
MYTH #9: Eating junk food helps battle stress
You’ve been there: Stressed out and sprawled across your sofa with one arm elbow deep in a bag of cheese puffs. In the moment, it can be comforting, but a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that people who consumed the most highly processed foods were 58 percent more likely to be depressed than those who ate the least. Your move: Find a healthy stress snack. Peanut butter and Triscuits do the trick, or check out the next myth …
MYTH #10: Chocolate is bad for you
Cocoa is a plant-based food replete with flavonoids that increase blood flow and release feel-good endorphins. Plus, it contains a healthy kind of saturated fat called stearic acid, which research has shown can increase your good HDL cholesterol. But here’s the rub: When most people think of chocolate, their minds jump immediately to milk chocolate, which contains far more sugar than actual cocoa. Instead, look for dark chocolate, specifically those versions that tell you exactly how much cocoa they contain. A bar with 60% cocoa is good, but the more cocoa it contains, the greater the health effects.
Myth #11: Granola is good for you
Oats are good for you, and the same goes for oatmeal. But granola takes those good-for-you hunks of flattened oat, blankets them in sugar, and bakes them in oil to give them crunch. The amount of fat and sugar added to each oat is at the discretion of food processors, but you can bet your last cup of milk it’s going to far sweeter and more fatty than a bowl of regular cereal. Take this example: A single cup of Quaker Natural Granola, Nuts & Raisins has 420 calories, 30 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of fat. Switch to a humble cup of Kix and you drop down about 90 calories, 2.5 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of fat.
MYTH #12: Bananas are the best source of potassium
Your body uses potassium to keep your nerves and muscles firing efficiently, and an adequate intake can blunt sodium’s effect on blood pressure. One 2009 study found that a 2:1 ratio of potassium to sodium could halve your risk of heart disease, and since the average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, your goal should be 6,800 milligrams of daily potassium. You’re extremely unlikely to ever reach that mark—and never with bananas alone. One medium banana has 422 milligrams and 105 calories. Here are the sources that earn you roughly the same amount of potassium in fewer calories: * Potato, half a medium spud, 80 calories * Apricots, 5 whole fruit, 80 calories * Cantaloupe, 1 cup cubes, 55 calories * Broccoli, 1 full stalk, 50 calories * Sun-dried tomatoes, a quarter cup, 35 calories
MYTH #13: Oranges are the best source of vitamin C
Far more than a simple immune booster, vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a host of important roles in your body. It strengthens skin by helping to build collagen, improves mood by increasing the flow of norepinephrine, and bolsters metabolic efficiency by helping transport fat cells into the body’s energy-burning mitochondria. But since your body can neither store nor create the wonder vitamin, you need to provide a constant supply. An orange is the most famous vitamin-C food, and although it’s a good source, it’s by no means the best. For 70 calories, one orange gives you about 70 micrograms of vitamin C. Here are five sources with just as much vitamin C and even fewer calories: * Papaya, ¾ cup, 50 calories * Brussel’s sprouts, 1 cup, 40 calories * Strawberries, 7 large fruit, 40 calories * Broccoli, ½ stalk, 25 calories * Red Bell Pepper, ½ medium pepper, 20 calories
MYTH #14: Organic is always better
Often, but not in every case. Organic produce is almost nutritionally identical to its conventional counterpart. The issue is pesticide exposure—pesticides have been linked to an increased risk of obesity in some studies. But many conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are very low in pesticides. Take, for example, the conventional onion: It’s got the lowest pesticide load of 45 fruits and vegetables tested by the Environmental Working Group. Also in the safe-to-eat-conventional group are avocados, sweet corn, and pineapple. In general, fruits and vegetables with impermeable skins are safe to buy conventional, while produce like celery, peaches, apples, and blueberries are better purchased organic.
MYTH #15: Meat is bad for you
Pork, beef, and lamb are among the world’s best sources of complete protein, and a Danish study found that dieting with 25 percent of calories from protein can help you lose twice as much weight as dieting with 12 percent protein. Then there’s vitamin B12, which is prevalent only in animal-based foods. B12 is essential to your body’s ability to decode DNA and build red blood cells, and British researchers found that adequate intakes protect against age-related brain shrinkage. Now, if you’re worried that meat will increase your risk for heart disease, don’t be. A Harvard review last year looked at 20 studies and found that meat’s link to heart disease exists only with processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli cuts. Unprocessed meats, those that hadn’t been smoked, cured, or chemically preserved, presented absolutely zero risk.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Saturday, Rocky & I did 3 miles on the bike trail behind our house. It wasn't my best time so far (44 min) but pup was happy, regardless.
Later, I went grocery/new clothes shopping with Mom while hubby & my visiting father in law went for a 10 mile bike ride. You read that right. First, the boys visited WHILE EXERCISING. So proud of them!!! Second, I voluntarily went clothes shopping. My mother, in her infinite wisdom, decided that my "old faithful" jeans I've been sporting since...FOREVER, were hideous. (Hubby agreed, and here's photographic proof)
Unless I belt them where they belong, they're, well...hanging off me. I have to butts in these pants. My own, and the space for the extra one I used to have. Long story short, I'm down TWO jeans sizes, and my extra long "Sweetheart" jeans from Old Navy suit me just fine! We had a lot of fun browsing the clearance.
We had steaks on the grill at Mom's, with fresh asparagus and romaine salads, so gorgeous that I would love to share a photo, but... I ate it before I thought of that. :) I'll get better at this blogging business, I swear!
To add even more to a full day, after dinner hubby, two friends and my father in law set out for night golf, while said friends wife & I had girl time. (Frozen yogurt! YUM!)
Once I actually have a golf game, I'd love to go on one of these night outings. Sports + glow sticks?! I'm in. I've been told I have great form, I just need more patience. Patience? Who me?!? At the end, (midnight!!) one friend spent the night, my father in law had a great time, and both hubby & myself were spent. Bedtime!
Thankfully, Sunday was much more low key. We headed out to the boat after a late breakfast so hubby and our buddy who spent the night could fish. I was happy just to be on the water and curled up with a great read, Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult. It was nice to enjoy the gorgeous weather. When Bob (our house guest) needed to head home, I took Mackenzie out for some exercise. Just after we started on the bike trail, a bicyclist stopped me and asked if our dogs could hang out. For most dog owners, this "puppy play date" exchange may be normal, especially when you exercise on a dog friendly bike trail like we do, but she has a MINIATURE BULL TERRIER. We're talking about a pint size (27lb) version of my baby girl, Mackenzie. My little lady doesn't like running, evidently, and we only did 2.5 miles, but we made a new friend!
This is a photo from Thanksgiving weekend of my two babies (Rocky in the foreground, with his white side kick Mackenzie, and our furniece Lexi cuddled up in Rocky's crate.)After our run, Mackenzie and I joined Rocky & hubby on the boat for some quiet "family" R&R.
Lucky for us we have a great navigator!
I had an awesome weekend. I made some awesome choices (like two runs, and frozen yogurt @ our favorite ice cream shop).
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday night I came home just before 11pm and found this:Who has the sweetest hubby!?!?! I guess he noticed that I was pretty downtrodden from working two jobs (21+ days without a day off, people!) and set up these sweet flowers for me in the kitchen. With an equally adorable card that featured two frogs: on the front it said: "I'll love you..." and on the inside? : "Til I CROAK."
It's little moments like this that make my heart smile :) I am so lucky, so blessed and in loveeeeeeeeee.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Lately I've had some frustration in my daily life, and while I cannot pin point the exact cause of said frustration, it has been AMAZING for my exercise habits. Saturday I took my bull terrier pup, Mackenzie, for a modified C25K workout to test out my new heart rate monitor. While she wasn't pleased with the last .5 mile, we completed 2.5 miles in 42 minutes (breaks for pup included :oP) I averaged the calories burned from my gps cardio application with the read from my new Polar FT40 and came out with an awesome 400+ calorie workout. Today my frustration peaked and during my lunch break I ran further and faster than I have ever run before. 3.4 miles in 41 minutes. For someone who has never been a runner, a 12:00 mile feels so goooood! The best part is I'm so much less frustrated than when I left for lunch! :)
To top off my now glowing mood, I returned from lunch and logged into Myfitnesspal (super awesome site I use to track calories!) and someone on my friends list posted this topic:
Big Girls Doing Big ThingsAre you a girl with a lot to lose?
Do you get up every day looking forward to working out HARD?
Are you dreaming of a goal, or are you making it happen???
You won’t find us chitchatting at curves or leisurely moving at water aerobics. You will see us jogging, lifting weights, sweating it out at kickboxing, keeping up with the masses.
If you can answer YES! To the above, then I’m looking for you!
Are you a big girl doing big things?
!! Yes I am!! I felt like someone sitting home watching an infomercial. yes, yes Y-E-S! A big thank you to Katie for giving me a pure "feel good" moment this afternoon. You can find Katie's blog about her journey to lose half of her body weight here.
Super awesome day. Super awesome workout. Just what I needed to get amped up before my shift tonight at my waitress job! :o)
Thursday, July 7, 2011
The old me is rolling around in her grave. I'm definitely considering running the Goofy Marathon and Half Sponsored by Walt Disney World.
A little back story, please!
I hate to run. Well, I used to hate it. Now I actually like it. I'm slowly but surely shaving my time down on my 2 mile runs I take at lunch.
Why Disney? My little sister is doing an internship for her bachelor's at Johnson & Wales at WDW from this June-January 2012. She loves everything Disney, and I obviously love her, so I'm thinking I need a fitness goal...
and the rest is history. I didn't sign up yet (mostly because it's $350 to enter...) but I'm making a serious consideration :o)
Friday, July 1, 2011
50 short days of focus and commitment have obliterated 18 pounds of me.
I FEEL AWESOME. Not only is the extra exercise boosting my mood, my loose clothes are making me smile. I feel awesome about this weekend, awesome about my weight loss, awesome to be alive. I feel strong, happy and independent.
How perfect that I feel independence from all the things that have held me back on the eve of Independence Day. :)