My Weight Loss Progress

Friday, June 17, 2011

There is No Magic Pill

Several people I know, including myself, have done different fad diets that are supposed to take weight off quickly. These include the hCG diet, grapefruit and popcorn diet, lemonade/cayenne diet, cabbage soup diet, liquid juice diets, fasting cleanses, etc. The problem with these diets is that they usually restrict your calories to a very unhealthy amount such as 500 calories. These low calorie diets are very unhealthy and in the long run will make you gain more weight. Haven't you noticed that people that do these diets and lose weight fast almost always gain the weight back plus some?
Here is the reason why. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to maintain its lean muscle mass. When you go on these low calorie diets you DO lose weight but you are not only losing fat. You are losing fat and muscle. This is a big problem, because the more muscle you have the more fat you burn.

So lets say you go on this type of diet for 30 days. Most people can't stick to them for much longer than that. Lets say that best case scenario, you lose 30 pounds (5 pounds of water, 15 pounds of fat, and 10 pounds of lean tissue). Then you go off the diet and now you have 10 pounds less of lean tissue, which burns fat, you gain 10 pounds back almost immediately and those pounds are fat pounds. Now you are actually a higher percentage of fat then you were when you started. So while you might be a few pounds lighter, you are actually fatter! It is also virtually impossible to meet your nutritional needs for carbs, protein, fat and fiber while eating 500 calories. It is also highly likely that you will be deficient in your vitamins and minerals. These crash type diets lower your metabolism because it does not give your body enough calories to fuel it. Compare your body to a car; if you don't put gas in the engine then it won't be very efficient.

This article found on puts it well and explains the science in layman's terms:
"It’s easy to understand why this phenomenon occurs when you understand the science behind body fat. When you gain weight, your fat cells expand. A fat cell is able to grow to about three times its normal size before dividing. There is no limit to the amount of times a fat cell can divide; it is not able to swell greater than about three times its normal size so as long as you continue to gorge excess calories into your mouth, your fat cells will continue to grow in numbers. Once you have new fat cells, they are there for life. The only known way to get rid of the cells is through liposuction. That’s not to say that after you have these additional new fat cells taking residence in your body that you will forever be overweight. Weight loss is not the reduction of fat cells, but rather the shrinkage of them. Like taking water out of a water balloon, that is what happens when you create a caloric deficit (either through diet, exercise, or both). The body fat stored in the cells will be metabolized out of the body. (I am often asked what happens to the weight? Where does it go? Well, it is excreted through sweat, urine, and carbon dioxide that you expire from your breath). Like a water balloon shrinks down to a flat, flimsy piece of empty balloon when you open the hole and pour out the water, same thing happens with your fat cells when you lose weight. However, that balloon is still fully capable of expanding again if you put the opening back on a faucet and fill it up again. Same goes with your fat cells. They are still sitting in your body like limp balloons, ready and able to swell if you allow caloric intake to outnumber caloric expenditure. This gets me back to why yo-yo dieting makes it difficult to keep weight off permanently. The more fat cells you have, the greater potential you have for gaining weight: the cells already exist so all they need is the calories to plump themselves up again. It’s easier to lose weight and keep it off if the number of fat cells in your body is less. So, instead of jumping on the next fad diet to lose weight quick, and setting yourself up for a feast fest that is sure to fill up your fat cells, multiply them, and leave you in an uphill battle when it comes to achieving a healthy physique long-term."

Hate to break it to you but there is no magic pill, there is no magic diet! In the past I have tried these techniques only to fail miserably. Many of these diets have been around for over 50 years, if they worked...everyone would do them and we wouldn't all be so obese. The only way to lose weight and to do it in a healthy manner is to make lifestyle changes and reduce your calories and become more active. Trust me, I know how hard it is, I know how frustrating it can be when you look at the scale week after week with no results. I want there to be a magic pill; I do... and maybe someday there will be something but for now stay away from all these fad diets and crazy unhealthy low calorie plans. You'll just end up fatter later.

Not trying to offend anyone. These are just my opinions. If you are currently participating in any of the diets of luck to you...I truly do wish you the best :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Whole Package

Even though I was and still am overweight I always did pride myself on trying to continue to have a fun hair cut and good make up. I used to say that when all you had left was your face you better at least make sure that it looked good. We have all heard the saying "I'm fat, you're ugly...I can lose weight". I never really felt ugly I just felt disgusted with my body and thought that my weight was all that people could see. My face got rounder and it was harder to find hair styles that didn't accentuate it worse. Also there was someone on the inside. I have always been pretty confident about myself and I felt like I really couldn't shine in that shell.

I hate to admit it but my while I did my hair and make up I let other things go. I didn't really care how I dressed because I could never find any cute clothes and I didn't really want to shop at stores like Lane Byrant or Torrid; always in denial that I needed to go to those stores. I settled for clothes at Walmart and Target. Now don't get me wrong....I still love Target and I find really cute things at Walmart sometimes too. But seriously it was my whole wardrobe. I had friends that shopped at stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Down East Outfitters and other discount stores and found the cutest stuff. Yet as I scoured the clothing racks all the cute stuff was for thin people (mostly size 10 and under, some size 12 and under) and the only things in my size were huge moo-moo dresses and old lady grandma suits.

I was not good at taking care of my skin either. I washed my face with a baby wipe and rarely put lotion on my legs or arms. I didn't care that my legs looked like alligator skin; I was never going to be wearing a bathing suit or shorts anyway. Speaking of my legs, there were also points that I went weeks without shaving them. This is where you can all be like...yuck! I promise that I still shaved my pits every day. Lol. :) But seriously, I just didn't really care.

As I lose the weight it is interesting that subconsciously I have started to take better care of myself all together. I haven't even really thought about it, it just has happened. I think when you feel better about yourself you put in more effort. This summer I have been shaving my legs almost every day, applying my gradual tan lotion to my legs, soaking my skin up with moisturizers, and following my skin cleansing regimen on my face. I haven't been scared to put on my swim suit and lay out and get a little sun, yet I always wear 30 spf sunscreen to help prevent skin cancer, I have to brag that I am a pretty nice bronze color these days.

I am all together feeling better about me. Putting the whole package together. These are the things that other people may not notice, I know you weren't feeling my prickly, dry legs....but I notice. I am sure that Travis probably notices too. He truly is the greatest and knows how to love unconditionally . He loved me just as much when I was 252 pounds barefoot and pregnant with unshaved legs. He deserves more has been fun to get my gravy back! I have been discouraged a little that this journey has taken me a little longer than I thought. I have been working on it for a year now but today as I was getting ready I was grateful that it has been gradual. I think by losing weight this way it will be a permanent, lifestyle change. It has also allowed me to get in better shape and build muscle. I think that when I do get to my goal weight I will look a lot better than if I had just lost the weight quickly from starving myself and losing muscle in the process. It has helped prevent lots of extra sagging skin, so far I don't have that so I am hoping that my skin continues to shrink with me, thankfully it still has some elasticity to it.

Here is to feeling great and looking is a long journey, but I will see the finish!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Post Vacation Rebound

As soon as we got home from vacation I got very motivated to get serious. I started logging all my food on the weight watchers website; staying within my points value, drinking lots of water and continuing my workouts. I am feeling very confident and I know that I have not cheated at all. A weigh in will be coming very soon. Today when I got on the scale I saw some good progress and it really motivated me. I shows me that if you follow the plan, it really does work. Last night the baby didn't sleep well. She literally was up from 3-6AM. Then both kids were up for the morning by 7. I was exhausted, it was raining really hard and I could of easily ditched my workout. However, seeing the progress just helped seal the deal that I needed to go. I want results! I want good results! I need to be losing 2-3 pounds per week. A half a pound is pathetic. I had been hovering way too long.

Tonight's workout was 90 minutes and it was brutal. There was one point in the middle that there was a circuit of six different exercises. We did each exercise fast for 30 seconds, took 15 seconds to get to the next station and then repeated all 6 exercises three times. It was so hard. At one point I thought I might ralph but I just closed my eyes, got in the zone and endured the pain. Some of the exercises included sumo squats with jumps, jumping rope, sit-ups, running at 8.0 on the treadmill, assisted pull ups, and the elliptical at 250 rpm. This was only the cardio circuit; before all of this we did 8-10 weight bearing exercise and then after we did a bunch more stuff.

There is one exercise that I am going to have to work on. This is almost embarrassing to admit. When my trainer showed me the exercise I literally thought it was going to be the easiest of the night. To my surprise I couldn't get my fat butt off the ground. The move is called a roll up. You lay down on your back and roll back and then bring yourself into a standing position (don't cross your legs). Seriously? Looked so easy and this was really hard for me. Part of it was I felt stupid trying so I will be doing this at home so that one day I can make it look easy too. (Video to come).

I am feeling good about my progress and happy with my rebound. It is a rebound in the right direction! This summer is going to be huge for me. This is make it or break it time. 12 weeks till Labor Day, I will be 20 pounds thinner by then!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Outfit

In my post about Orlando I mentioned that I bought a new outfit. I thought you might want to see it. I am not sure why but for some reason we do not have a Macy's in Knoxville. There is one in Nashville and one in Atlanta but none in Knoxville. In the past I have never really cared but since losing weight I am starting to learn to love clothes again. I have this brand at Macy's that I really like. I can almost try on anything in the section and want to get it.

While in Orlando, the girls made a quick stop and I quickly pulled 10 items off the racks to try on. Dresses, shirts with capris, etc. Man...everything I tried on...I liked. I have really been into dresses lately and I tried on some really cute ones. My favorite was all white and I talked myself out of it since I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old. It was bound to be ruined. Then I spotted another outfit I liked. The capris were not on sale but I liked them and they went perfect with the shirt. They had some embroidery stitching on them and were a little fancier than just what you'd wear day to day.

My friend Amanda was with me. At first I decided the pants were too expensive so I would only try on the shirt but then I asked Amanda to grab the size 12 and size 14 pants just so I could see how it looked. She brought them to me and I put them in the dressing room and then I told her..."Here are the 14s back, if the 12s fit, I deserve these pants; if they don't I'm not getting them"...but here they are in this picture, so you know what that means, right? The 12s fit! I was pretty excited. Now I just can't wait for a size 10 to fit! I'll be keeping you posted. I am actually regretting that I didn't try on a size medium shirt. I would of never guessed that it would have fit but as I write this and my straps are trying to fall off, I am thinking it probably would have fit and that makes me happy :) I know...that was a bad run-on sentence.

We got back on Wednesday and I went and worked out with Tammye on Thursday. I could really tell that I took a week off. I am still sore. It felt good to be back though. I am still trying to work on incorporating my cardio intervals into my week at home. Today I am meeting up with some of my workout girls and seeing the movie "Bridesmaids". My childhood best friend told me that it is a must see. I decided to put on the new outfit and take a quick pic so you all could see. I also flipped my hair instead of wearing it under. What do you think? Should I stick with it just under or can I pull of the flip. I am still undecided.

Poor Sissy got a Boo Boo

I know this has nothing to do with weight loss but I figured it better be noted. I think I still have a little bit of post traumatic stress from the whole event.

We came home from Orlando and it was still super hot here so we decided it would be fun to quickly clean up from our trip and head to the mountains for a little camp out. We packed up our pop up trailer for the first time this year and headed to the hills.

As we were setting up the camper we noticed that the small bungee cord that holds the canvas to the beds and stretched from time and was no longer holding the canvas tight. Didn't really think too much about it just thought that we would be careful and have the baby sleep between us cause the worst thing that could happen is that she would roll of the edge and even though the canvas was secure, since it wasn't tight she might slip right through. We all went to bed and Hudson asked to be snuggled so Travis went into his bed and accidentally fell asleep. The baby and I on the other side also were asleep. I was sleeping on edge as I usually have to get up and go to the bathroom so the baby was in the middle but Travis was not there to block her from rolling. I didn't know though that Travis wasn't in bed with us since I fell asleep before him.

All night sissy snuggled very close to me and I felt like she was safe. The sad thing is that I predicted this whole thing and that is why I think I feel so guilty. At around 7AM, the baby moved so that her feet were up by my head now and her head was below. At this time I thought about the potential for her to fall through but she was still close by so I grabbed her foot and thought I'd take in another 30 minutes of sleep.

That is when the worst thing in the world happened. While I was still asleep, all of a sudden I heard the baby screaming. I immediately knew what had happened! Oh no. She had rolled from the bed onto the asphalt. I looked quickly and saw her laying on the ground bleeding from her head. I yelled for Travis to go get her. Thankfully I am a first aid instructor and had brought a kit. I held some pressure till the bleeding stopped, attempted to ice (she hated it) and then cleaned it out and stuck a butterfly bandage on it. We quickly broke down camp and decided we better take her to the doctor just to make sure it didn't need stitched.

The baby really took it better than me. I was in a state of "fight or flight" mode and felt very anxious and I felt very guilty. How could this of happened...just minutes before we would of all woke up. Damn it! The doctor said that it was on the fence and may not need to be stitched but since it was on her face, for cosmetic reasons we may want to stitch it. Two stitches later and we are all better. She had no signs of a concussion. Really she was laughing within a few minutes of it happening and really didn't cry for long. Even at the doctors office she was posing for the camera and playing peek-a-boo.

Accidents happen but this was preventable and never should have. I feel really bad but I am just glad that she is okay. It could have been so much worse. She is a trooper. I think I definitely could of used some chocolate or something yesterday. I felt stressed and exhausted all day. Last night I couldn't barely sleep cause the event just kept replaying in my mind and I could just see her laying outside the trailer on the pavement. When I was a kid, I ran into the corner of a wall and had to get five stitches down the middle of my forehead....I guess we will be twins. At least hers is smaller and higher but I am sure she will have a little scar. Darn it!