Saturday, August 20, 2011

The scales have been kind...

My new dog, Spike.
I've been running with my dog Spike nearly every day since I got back from Bear Lake. We run from 24-36 minutes, and sometimes when I get back home I'll do three variations of mountain climbers, which are excellent for strengthening the core. My runs with Spike are different from my treadmill runs, because Spike is FAST. He pulls me along with him much of the time, making me sprint. I have no tools (like a nifty iPhone app) to tell me how many miles I run, but I always shoot for at least 24 minutes. I 'm always sweaty and gross when I get home, so I know it's productive. Also, my body is pretty sore the morning after. The knees, ankles, and feet. I'll take it as a good sign.

My friend Mumbledore beat me in the last 5K, but I've been training!
REDBOOK suggested that I "TWITTER [MY] WAY FITTER" in a blurb by Jamie Beckman on p.88 of the August issue. The blurb suggested that I set up a "Facebook fitness posse" or other networking sites. I have done the No Sugar May Facebook group, and I've been training for the BIG FOOT 5K in 2 weeks with at least 4 of my fb friends. I find talking, posting and blogging about my fitness is a huge help, so I know there's merit to RB's idea. Plus, random compliments from your fitness friends is a great confidence booster. (Apparently, I need confidence-boosters more than the average person. My friend Shan says I'm a poster-child for self-deprecation. I didn't think so, until I went clothes shopping with her and spewed my dissatisfaction of my body all over her. Is this better, Shan? "I'm good enough. I'm strong enough. And doggone it, people like me!" hehehehe)

The article also suggest following a weight loss blog. Any, hey! This is a weight loss blog! Take RB's advice and click that little "Join This Site" button to your left. =) And you can now follow my new twitter account: RenasProse
or my facebook: Rena Lesue-Smithey.
Looking forward to friending you. =) We can start a fitness group for September.

building sandcastles = burning cals
In an adjacent blurb on p. 88, there is a list of calories you burn per hour doing outdoor beachy activities. Since I went to the beach last week, I'd was excited to see that burned a lot more than I thought I had. For example: Jumping waves burns 300 cals per hour. Building sandcastles burns 200-300 cals an hour. Lane and I constructed lots of sandcastles, so I figure I prolly burned 600 cals doing this last week at Bear Lake.

And now the moment you've been waiting for...
How kind have the scales been to me this week?

The scale has stayed between 160-162 all week. Currently it's at 161, and I'll take it. Since school is starting up again and my stress levels have only tripled, I can only hope to maintain this until I get a chance to mellow out. I'm giving myself at least a week to get the teaching stress outta my system.

Plus, running with the dog REALLY helps relieve some stress at the end of a rough week. I really wish I could talk about what is happening in my life to cause such turmoil, but alas, I can't. Just know this...therapy is in the horizon.

I heart you, dieteers. Your support is like calorie-free comfort food.
Rena

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bear Lake = Stomach Virus = Missed My Last Weigh-in

I missed my last weigh-in with Xocai.

I got back from Bear Lake yesterday, and the whole drive home was awful. My stomach felt as if it were about to give birth to an extraterrestrial like Kane in Alien. Accompanied by nausea and shooting abdominal pains; the tight quarters of a little vehicle crammed with 4 days worth of camping gear, two adults, and three kids; and the disorienting roller coaster dips and dives of driving through canyons, I was pretty immobile by the time I got home, stuck in fetal position and grasping at my innards. Plus, we had to stop to drop off our rented kayak, then drop off the dog at my sister's house, then get gas, before we went back to my house. All that movement only exasperated the pain, and by the time I got home at 5pm, I chugged some Pepto and let Rick unload my sister's car so I could curl up on my bed and try not to hurl.
Trying not to hurl.

 I spent the next several hours taking trips to the bathroom in 15 minute rotations. The last thing I wanted to do was go anywhere that was away from my toilet. The hot and cold flashes started about an hour into the bathroom rotations. So in between my trips to the loo, I laid in bed with two blankets covering my shivering torso. I sipped some Sprite at around 9pm, but didn't dare eat a thing.

Builing sandcastles with Lane
So in the end, I missed my final weigh-in.

However, on Friday morning, I weighed myself on my scale and it blessed me with a happy 161!
I decided to forgive my stomach virus, since it did seem to come through in another way.
And since all of my Xocai weigh-ins are at night, I weighed myself that night too and it came up as 165. According to all the data, I lost a total of 6 lbs in 6 weeks. Not the 20 I was going for, but I'll take it.

Will I continue drinking Xocai now that the weight loss challenge is over?

popping fireworks on the beach
I don't know. I still have some left, so I'll probably use that. And since school is starting again, I like that idea of having something quick and easy to eat everyday for breakfast and lunch. Maybe I'll just see how it goes for a little while. When school starts again, I'll be really busy, and when I get busy like that I tend to forget to eat. This helps me drop some weight. I'll just have to see.
building sandcastles again

As far as my exercise plan, when I went to Bear Lake, I kayaked for about an hour for 3 days, and went swimming for about an hour for 3 days, plus setting up camp and cooking meals and doing dishes and walking in the sand and popping fireworks and building sandcastles and giving piggy-back rides and taking camp down. I'd say on average, I burned about 1,700 calories a day on my camping trip doing activities that I don't normally do. So yah. I'd say it went pretty well. I didn't count what calories I ate, but I tried not to over do it. I ate a few roasted marshmallows, a couple hot dogs, WAY too much homemade trail mix, but I tried to be good. Everytime I thought I had overeaten, a couple hours later, my body would get weak from low blood sugar, so I'd have to eat something quick.
Vin aiming a rocket launcher at my head. It's not loaded. Phew.

We played beach ball volleyball.


I don't know what I'll do next week. I have 4 days of teacher prep, so I'm sure whatever I do will be convenient. I do need to get ready for the Big Foot 5K over Labor Day weekend, so perhaps when I get off work, I'll run with the dog. I'll let you know.

Thanks for all your support, dieteers!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Getting ready for camping

Weight loss!

I went to my weigh-in on Thursday and had another success! Hizzah! Here's the recap of the last several weeks including Thursday's.

Thursday, June 30th
Starting Weight: 171.2 (This is always about 4-5 lbs more than what my scale says, b/c I weigh myself at the beginning of the day in my skivvies. The Xocai weigh-ins are at 8pm and I can't show up in my undies to weigh-in. That'd be AWKWARD.)
Starting Waist: 36" (This is different than where I was measuring for The Redbook Experiment. I had always measured at the smallest part of my waist, and the Xocai rep measures us around the bellybutton, which is slightly wider than where I measure.)

Thursday, July 7th
Weight: 169.4
Waist: 34 and 3/4"
Total Results: - 1.8 lbs and - 1.25" off the waist

Thursday, July14th
Weight: 170.4
Waist: Forgot to get this measured
Total Results: - .8 lbs.

Thursday July 21th
Skipped Weigh-in

Thursday July 28th
Weight: 169.2
Waist: 32 and 1/2"
Total Results: - 2 lbs. and - 3.5" off my waist.

Thursday, August 4th
Weight: 167.6
Waist: 32 and 1/2"
Total Results: - 3.6 lbs and -3.5" off my waist.

Next week is going to be a HUGE challenge, as I am leaving for a camping trip at Bear Lake. It's my last week before the final weigh-in in the Xocai Weight Loss Challenge, and I'm in for some trouble. Why? Because, I love camping food! LOVE IT. Hot dogs, s'mores, pancakes, dutch oven meals, s'mores, campfire popped popcorn, s'mores. YUM. I can feel myself gaining the weight right now. [sigh]

Fortunately, REDBOOK has given me some tips in their Aug. issue about healthier eating at summer BBQ's. Since BBQ's and camp food isn't that different, I'm going to try to apply some hints to my week.

One of my favorite foods is deviled eggs. I can scarf down a cool 5 without batting an eye. Since they are close to 70 cals a pop, that can add up quick. (Perhaps they call 'em deviled eggs because the amount of calories is sinful. har. har.)

REDBOOK's solution? Hungry Girl suggests that you dump the fatty yoke and replace with a cauliflower recipe to stuff the boiled egg whites with. It seems simple enough. Microwave cauliflower, add light mayo, swiss cheese, relish, yellow mustard, and salt and pepper. Chill for an hour and then spoon into halfed boiled egg whites. This reduces the caloric intake to 99 calories for 5! Score! (for exact measurements and ingredients see p. 186 of the August REDBOOK).

One other thing that I'm doing to try to keep my calories down is baking my own sugar free and oil-free snacks. I made blueberry muffins with Splenda and cornbread with Splenda and applesauce. I'm also bringing fresh fruits to snack on and I'll watch my portion sizes.

Wish me luck!
Bye, dieteers. See you next week. I'll be the one with the tan who DIDN'T put on vacation weight. =)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cortisol, Stress, and Buried Alive

Picking up the pieces of my life...
I can't really go into the details, but I've been under a lot of stress over the last several months. So much so that I started biting my nails again, a habit I gave up more than a year ago. It is, of course, the reason why I have been unable to get the weight off. Why is that you ask? The reasons are twofold:

1. I am a stress eater. When I'm stressed out, I self-medicate with food. I didn't actually realize that I had been doing this until it was the middle of June and I had put back on 8 of the 10 lbs that I lost since starting the Redbook Experiment. My workouts were just as intense and frequent, but my stress eating was out of control.

2. Stress effects cortisol levels. This is something that my friend Shan reminded me of. I was griping about how hard I was working and how I was counting every calorie to try to fix the mess I made from stress-eating in June only to have minimal to no results, when she pointed out that I was/am stressed out. I felt kinda stupid and had one of those "duh" moments.

It's the truth.
I'm very stressed out. I'm dealing with something right now that I can't give details on, but can be compared to being buried. I feel like I have been living life buried underground, only I had grown accustomed to it and adapted. Recently, I discovered that I don't have to buried. I caught  glimpse of my life above ground, and now have to begin working to dig out of this grave. Hopefully with this new revelation, some of the stress I feel of the "unknown" will be lifted. One can only hope. (sorry for being so cryptic)

Meanwhile my cortisol levels are off the chart, therefore making it more difficult for me to focus, my blood sugar is all wonky, and [sigh] I gain weight (especially in the belly).

Perhaps you're one of those who thinks I'm making up excuses for my laziness and lack of self-control, but to you I say, "Screw you. You don't know what I'm dealing with. And as far as laziness is concerned, if you could see how hard I work--for the past few weeks I've been running stairs for 45 minutes 3x a week  (a workout provided by Padma Lakshmi via the Jan. issue REDBOOK, which is workout that is the bane of my existence, yet showed the most results) and training for another 5K too."

Whew. What a mouthful. In anycase, here are the results of my weigh-ins over the last several weeks. (Remember how I'm still in the Xocai weight loss challenge? Two weeks left.)


Thursday, June 30th
Weight: 171.2 (This is always about 4-5 lbs more than what my scale says, b/c I weigh myself at the beginning of the day in my skivvies. The Xocai weigh-ins are at 8pm and I can't show up in my undies to weigh-in. That'd be AWKWARD.)
Waist: 36" (This is different than where I was measuring for The Redbook Experiment. I had always measured at the smallest part of my waist, and the Xocai rep measures us around the bellybutton, which is slightly wider than where I measure.)

Thursday, July 7th
Weight: 169.4
Waist: 34 and 3/4"
Total Results: - 1.8 lbs and - 1.25" off the waist

Thursday, July14th
Weight: 170.4
Waist: Forgot to get this measured
Total Results: - .8 lbs.

Thursday July 21th
Skipped Weigh-in

Thursday July 28th
Weight: 169.2
Waist: 32 and 1/2"
Total Results: - 2 lbs. and - 3.5" off my waist.

It seems as though I'm losing way more in inches than lbs. I'm sort of OK with that.
I'd rather have both. =)
I have 2 more weigh-ins. I hope to lose at least another 5 lbs and 2-3 more inches. We'll see. I'm reigning in the stress-eating. I just hope the cortisol cooperates too. 
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