Saturday, December 12, 2015

Restless, Tired Saturday Night

I'm back at 233! Yea me! I gained 2.5 lbs. The three pounds came back :). Of course, I ate a bigger meal and more fluid before this weigh-in than usual. Who knows. Who cares.

I feel somewhat irritated, but I don't need to feel depressed like I have at times. From my class, I know to love my body at whatever stage I am at. We had the body image course awhile ago, which has helped me love me.

We discussed how each person has intrinsic worth according to Howard's Law of "Unconditional Worth." Those are secular statements, but they are based in spirituality.

I believe that I have eternal worth and everyone has the same eternal worth as me because we are all sons and daughters of Heavenly Father. He loves us as we are and as we will become.

I don't have to compare myself to others because I am enough as me. I accept my body as it is. My skeleton will always be a size 8 no matter what. Maybe even a size 10.

For so long, I've wanted liposuction to remove my fat and put some extra on my chest. But that's always been too expensive. But that wouldn't solve my problem because my habits wouldn't change. I'd gain weight again. Only a lifestyle change will make me healthier.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How Much Exercise Do Adults Need a Week?

"Exhausted Woman" by Petr Kratochvil

Personal Progress First

I went to my psychiatrist six months ago and she suggested I join a weight loss program. I started a program at a local health organization two months later.

Today, I went to my psychiatrist's office and I weighed the same as six months ago. She said it was good I maintained my weight over Halloween and Thanksgiving. Yes, I have done well! In between those visits I had gained 3 or 4 lbs. which I lost.

Two weeks ago, I weighed in at 230 lbs. That was a 1/2 lb. gain from my previous class. I was wearing different clothes than usual. Clothes can weigh a lot!

How Much Exercise Do Adults Need a Week?

A month ago, the personal trainer taught the second class about exercise. She went over how much exercise it takes to maintain heart health, maintain weight, and lose weight. I've been shooting for more exercise ever since. These guidelines are for adults 18-64. Look here for other age guidelines.

Exercise to Maintain Health

  • 30 minutes a day five times a week -or-
  • 2 hours and 30 minutes throughout the week -or-
  • 75 minutes of intense aerobic exercise throughout the week
  • and 2-3 times of toning during the week

Exercise to Maintain Weight

  • 60 minutes a day five times a week -or-
  • 5 hours throughout the week -or-
  • 2 hours and 30 minutes of intense aerobic exercise throughout the week
  • and 2-3 times of toning during the week

 Source:  2015 CDC guidelines

Exercise to Lose Weight

  • 90 minutes a day five times a week
  • 7 hours and 30 minutes throughout the week (following the pattern above)
  • 5 hours of intense aerobic exercise throughout the week (following the pattern above)
  • and 2-3 times of toning during the week
Source: WebMD

Anyone can take exercise to an extreme, so be careful not to overexercise. Your body needs a few days of recovery between exercise. Otherwise, you will feel overtired and may cause injuries to your body. Moderation in all things.

Now I am shooting for 90 minutes of exercise several days of the week. Previously, I only tried for 30-60 minutes three times a week, which is why I haven't had much success losing weight.

I have worked on some of my other issues such as getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and eating more vegetables and fruit. Because of this and increasing exercise time, I hope I will lose weight instead of maintain my weight. Or heaven forbid--gain weight!

Have you ever had trouble losing weight even though you are exercising and eating right?

Friday, November 6, 2015

I Love My Body Because...

The presenter at my weight loss class suggested we write a list of why we love our bodies. She called them amazing machines that keep going despite how much we push them. But we need to appreciate our bodies at the present moment and not at some imaginary weight or figure. Besides, we can only control our actions and influence our weight.

I love my body NOW because...

I value the strength that my body has (under layers of fat). I can carry my toddler around, give piggy-back rides to my older boys, and carry heavy laundry loads. I have the strength within me to carry the burdens placed on my shoulders with divine help.

My hands, my mouth, my eyes, and my ears work together to communicate and listen. I can speak with all the speech organs--vocal chords, tongue, teeth, palate, nose, and more. My ears hear words from others that I can respond to. My eyes read written thoughts and sense body language. I can type and write my thoughts with my hands.

My body can walk several miles, can run for short spurts, and rest nicely. I have use of all my limbs with only some fat limiting my mobility. I'm reminded I'm lucky when some of my family members have limited use of their limbs.

I identify myself as a redhead. My hair may look more brown, but it still has red in it still! People dye their hair trying to achieve my hair color and highlights, but only I have this blend of shades sprouting from my head.

My body provides me with many opportunities that I would not have if I had remained only a spirit. The flesh brings new experiences and joys. I grow stronger emotionally, spiritually, and physically because of my body.

I imagine myself as a healthy, slender person. At times I feel my ideal self and forget that I have a few dozen extra pounds. I love my body because of its potential as I care for it. 

My Progress

I lost one pound over the last three weeks and am so happy I haven't gained weight! I made a small amount of progress besides maintaining my health. I enjoyed less candy on Halloween than usual. Yea me!

I am in bed most nights before 11 pm, which is a feat for me! That still remains one of my goals. I don't know what reward to use though.

I'm focusing on getting more vegetables and fruits in my diet. I try to add a little protein and fat to each meal to help me feel fuller longer. I still follow some of The Formula guidelines.

My exercise is spotty, but I was sick for almost two weeks. I do get one or two toning exercises in a week and some cardio (usually cleaning the house).

What do you love about your body? Are you able to appreciate your body before reaching your "ideal" body image? How are you doing on your goals?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Die Lawn Die!

"Lawn Mower" by Petr Kratochvil
I took more vitamin C on the first day of my cold. On Friday, I was completely dead. I was barely awake and could only watch TV and nap the entire day. I asked my husband to stay home from work.

My husband spent the last half of the day home and ensured everyone stayed alive. I watched HGTV shows on Netflix. Gave me too many ideas to change my house. Unfortunately, I got involved watching an undercover cop series in the evening. I watched it until almost midnight last night. Why torture myself willingly? And I ate more raisin bread than I needed so late into the night. Bad idea.

Today I have more energy. I've reached the third day of my cold where I go crazy and clean. I folded several loads of laundry and mowed our large backyard (on almost a quarter acre). Now my arms feel like jelly and I felt slightly dizzy right after. But it was all worth it! Plus, I burned calories and toned my arms.

This is the last time I'm mowing the lawn this year. Period.

In previous years, the grass just died really long. Made the first springtime mow more difficult.

I look at the rest of my yard. Let's needs weed whacking, edging along the sidewalk, bush trimming, and weeding. But at the end of the year, I don't want to touch the yard. I was done caring for the lawn in August.

This year, I planted gladiolus for the first time. The tall plants blocked the sprinklers and almost killed off my rose bush. Bad gladiolus--you don't make me glad. I want to move them to another section of the yard that doesn't get well-watered.

My calla lilies bloomed really well, but they're in a hidden spot. I want to move them where I had the gladiolus before. I had white calla lilies in my wedding bouquet.

I want to get this all done before winter, but it probably won't happen.

Now, why do I mow the lawn instead of my husband? I'm too impatient for him to mow it on the occasional Saturday he has time. Leaves more free time for us on the weekend too. My mom mowed our lawn and took out the trash while I grew up, so I copy that. She only did that because my dad has MS. I mow the lawn because I feel strong and physically fit afterward.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

2.5 Lbs. Gone and an Oncoming Cold

"Cold Winter Time" by Petr Kratochvil
I lost 2.5 lbs as of last Thursday. I haven't weighed myself today, but I may later tonight. My emotions stay more positive when I only weigh myself once a week--or every other week. What helped me lose those pounds? Honestly, I don't know. I ate okay, went to bed on time most nights, and toned two times a week. Only simple things. I stressed little over my weight.

In the stress management class, the dietitian mentioned a client that kept gaining weight because she stressed over her weight. When she stopped stressing over her weight, she lost the weight. It's like when infertile couples stop worrying about having a baby and they finally get pregnant. Simply control what I can do--exercise, eat right, and sleep--and not worry about what I can't control.

This morning I felt a cold coming on--the ache between my mouth and nose. My body feels slightly weaker and I feel tired. I probably have a cold because I stayed up until 1:30 am a few nights ago. It weakened my immune response. Now I'm taking steps to be rid of this cold faster.

Here are my tips to overcome a cold:

(You know you want to read them, even if they will do nothing.)

  • Take vitamin C on the hour, every hour the moment I feel the ache in my nasal cavity.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Nap, sleep.
  • Be lazy.
  • Disinfect like crazy (if I have the energy).
  • Ignore the messy house.
  • Send my husband out for pizza.
I believe the vitamin C, liquids, and rest help. For my sanity, I need to let some things slide. Usually, on the third or fourth day, I disinfect my entire house and clean. Probably too little too late :).

How do I prevent colds--if I bother?
  • Go to bed on time!
  • Relax from stress.
  • Avoid large amounts of sugar.
  • Remind my kids to wash their hands; happens on occasion.
  • Wash my own hands.
  • Disinfect the house.
  • Had surgery on my sinuses.
Inevitably, the cold comes. Getting sick is life and there's no way to avoid it. 

You could get the flu shot to prevent the flu. I hate flu shots and my husband bamboozled me into getting one this year. I felt achy for two days after. Instead, why not chance the flu? 

Unfortunately, there are no cold shots. I would get one of those! 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

History of my Weight Scales

"Scale for Weighing" by Lynn Greyling
I've gained a pound when I went into class last week. So I was at 233 lbs. I weigh myself on my home scale and I'm 226 to 227. So, my home scale is off by six pounds. I always thought I was so skinny at home and then I suddenly gained weight at the doctor's office. Really? Scales should all agree! Maybe if we hooked them up wirelessly.

It's just a regular scale without any electronic parts. We had bought electronic scales in the past, but they would break.

With the first one, the washer drain hose wasn't hooked up to the sink so it flooded the laundry room. The electronics fried on the scale. It sort of worked after that, but I think we bought a second digital scale and it broke too. Maybe it got flooded by laundry or my boys played with it too much. Anyway, it stopped working correctly. And we had to put in new batteries all the time.

So I bought a cheap, no electronic scale. No one can ruin it! It's tough; it's durable; I can toss it down the stairs and stomp on it. Okay, it would probably break then. Maybe I should try that.

Scales are not my best friend because they lie to me and because they break too easily. Technically, I can adjust my manual scale by six pounds. Then it would stop lying to me.

I'll just lie to myself...I weigh 300 pounds. Wait...that's too high. I weigh 125 pounds. Wait...that's too low. I weigh the magic goal weight of 145-155 pounds. Yes that's right. Honestly, it would be nice to weigh 199 pounds. I would be in Onederland!

I see people who complain about being 20 lbs overweight and I wish that were my problem! On the other hand, other people would love to be 233 lbs. instead of over 300 lbs. It's all a matter of perspective.

A number doesn't always matter. It is more the percentage of body fat compared to lean muscle mass. BMI isn't exactly that reliable either. If you weigh more because of muscle mass, but have a healthy body fat percentage, your BMI could be high, but you would be perfectly healthy.

It's just a matter of personal health that reduces risks of heart disease, diabetes, joint pain, and other overweight medical problems. You can be slender or slightly overweight, as long as you are healthy.

What does it really boil down to? Being happy wherever you are on the journey and progressing toward overall health.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

My Thoughts on Weight Loss Supplements

"Aluminum Pill Busters" by Lynn Greyling
In my weight loss class, we looked over a handout about what supplements work and don't work. Many products claim that they help you lose weight, but most have inconclusive evidence or can be dangerous. I've thought of listing all the supplements, but that's an exhaustive list. You can check out weight loss supplement facts here. I'll mention a few supplements.

Research Supplement from Credible Sources

If you have questions about a supplement, look at the scientific evidence and not the advertisements and anecdotal evidence. Find credible studies not funded by the seller. Second, make sure the supplement is safe. Find out more information about products on websites like the National Institute of HealthNSF International, or US Pharmocopeia. I tend to use WebMD. Use your best judgment.

One man I knew lost weight on fen-phen, but had a heart attack soon after. Fen-phen causes regurgitation in the heart valves for a small amount of people. Is that what happened to this man? Maybe. So, I'm wary about even FDA approved drugs because they may be pulled like Fen-phen.

Some Evidence Category

The some evidence category has capsaicin, green tea, and psyllium. I looked up capsaicin and it's naturally in hot peppers. Just eat chili peppers if you can stand the heartburn.

"White Cup of  a Green Tea" by Petr Kratochvil
When I taught English in China, I was occasionally served green tea and I tried a green tea popsicle (weird). But I was hesitant about green tea because of my religious health guide. Drinking tea is a sometimes fuzzy area among my congregation because we accept many herbal teas as beneficial, but most consider tea from the tea plant--white, black, oolong, and green--as against the health guide (see this article). The official religious website only mentions "tea" and "herbal tea" but not specific teas from the tea plant. Using my own judgment, I choose to avoid green tea.

After seeing psyllium on the list, I started taking psyllium fiber, just your regular fiber. I believe it may have helped me lose a pound or two, but I also reduced my stress those two weeks. It's supposed to help you feel fuller, but I still benefit from the regulating effects of fiber. (I refuse to take laxatives because I've seen a friend suffer from the aftereffects of anorexia/bulimia.)

Inconsistent Evidence

Under inconsistent evidence, I only recognize caffeine, ginseng, and St. John's Wort. The others are chromium, hydorxycitric acid, pyruvate, and linoleic acid.

I avoid large amounts of caffeine and only ingest some from chocolate and an occasional cola. It messes with my sleep rhythm and bipolar. The Mayo Clinic recommends under 500 mg a day for adults. Besides, energy drinks with high caffeine and other stimulants cause some teenagers heart palpitations, strokes, seizures, and sudden death (Source).

I took St. John's Wort in my late teens to relieve depression, but I didn't know it actually made my undiagnosed bipolar worse. It increased my hypomania and suicidal thoughts. St. John's Wort isn't for me.

UNSAFE But Effective

Bitter orange, ephedrine, Ma Huang (Ephedra) have strong evidence for weight loss, but are NOT recommended. Some people have had heart attacks, strokes, or died using weight loss supplements containing these ingredients. It's unclear if it may have been a combination of ingredients as the cause. Ma Huang causes mood problems. Why take the risk?

FDA Approved Supplements

There are a few FDA approved weight loss supplements, but most require a prescription. Essentially, they are a last resort if diet and exercise alone don't work. Orlistat blocks fat absorption and the others are appetite suppressants. Follow the links for more information. These drugs include:

Save Money--Don't Take Any

Weight loss supplements cost money and only some actually work or are safe. Might as well save money and work on other areas to improve weight loss first:

  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • Social support
  • Mental health
  • Food tracking
  • Portion control
  • Physical activity
If you've addressed all these areas, then your doctor or dietitian may recommend weight loss supplements. If you take a supplement like fiber or drink green tea anyway, then it doesn't cost you more money.

I sometimes feel desperate about losing weight, but I'm not addressing some of my other issues such as stress, sleep, and physical activity. Right now I'm concentrating on sleep, reducing stress, eating fruits and vegetables, and being more active. I'll see where my journey takes me.

Have you taken any supplements and what happened for you? Any other thoughts?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Two-ish Pounds Gone!

I started my program seven weeks ago at 232 lbs; the next week at 234 (heavy clothes and pizza binge?); then slightly above 232 two weeks ago. Last night I weighed in at 230.5! I had concentrated the past two weeks on reducing stress and thinking of 3 good things before night time. I wrote about the stress management class on my mental health blog here.

Since one of my stresses is my weight, I only weighed myself once between meetings. I wasn't perfect with eating, but better than usual. I only did two regular exercise sessions during the two weeks and housework (mowing, mopping, vacuuming). So this approach to reduce stress worked versus being strict about exercise and diet. Stress and lack of sleep are a large contributing factor to my current weight gain of 15 lbs this spring and summer.

As a result of my weight gain, I had to buy bigger clothes two weeks ago. Sometimes I enjoy shopping for new clothes, but not this last time. I flashed my plumber's crack because my shirts and pants were too small. I hope too many people haven't shunned me for this reason. My fat has stretched the sides of my bras to their breaking point. TMI. Okay, the bras are six years old.

I wandered through the clearance racks at Walmart for 2X shirts and pants. I made a big pile and whittled it down before trying some on. Then I whittled it further after trying them on. Then I tried several sizes of bras. Too tight or too big. Finally, I walked away with several shirts, one pair of capris, one pair of pants, one swim bottom, and two bras.When I lined up at the check out line, I saw more t-shirts. I grabbed two 3X shirts and put back one shirt. Each item cost $9 or less. Yea, I was being frugal, but I still spent over $50. Gaining weight is not cheap.

Now I'm happy I have clothes that fit--except the 3X shirts are too wide for my shoulders. They cover my backside!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Nervous Fish Husband Cook

"29 lb" by Simon Britton
I read about the benefits of eating fish, but I don't really like fish. Here's why: my brother caught fish growing up and they always stunk. The slime would stick to their skin--just gross. He caught an inedible carp and he gave it to his dog, Athens. Seeing that convinced me even more that I hate fish. Those strange scales like a palm tree scattered across the dirt. Cringe. I must have a texture issue.

Anyway, I asked my husband to buy fish at the store yesterday. I am going to try fish again (I'm okay with halibut). He was so nervous trying to pick out the fish--he had to pick the best so I'll like it. So now we have a slab of salmon, the most expensive fish at the store. My husband has been sweating over preparing the salmon right. He wants me to like it so much. I told him not to worry about whether or not I like it. I'm already biased against fish, but I'm trying something new! He's cooking the salmon right now. I'll report the results later.

I'm counting my servings for each category under the diabetic exchange system: fat, starch, protein, vegetables, fruit, and dairy. I tend to have 2-4 more servings of starches than I need, but I eat less than I did before. I've kept my goal of tracking food. Getting in the vegetables and fruit can be a little difficult, but I'm doing better than before. It doesn't help that my sons take my food.

About half the time, my two older boys eat the strawberries and raspberries within a day or two. I haven't even cracked the case open and it's almost gone. Last weekend, they left my fruit alone, but not this weekend. It's good for them to eat fruit, but let the other three people in the house have some too! Sometimes, my husband and I charge them a dollar when they eat something before we get any.

This reminds me of when the dietitian asks if I eat food in secret. The answer is complicated. I hide and eat food in secret from my children, but not my husband. My husband won't eat it all or beg for half of it. As long as you won't beg for my food, I'll binge eat in front of you.

My husband gets jealous when he sees me build my salads. He was talking about it so I described more what I put on my salad. It made him hungrier. Do you think the experiment will work on you? Mix spinach, mushrooms, sliced almonds, shredded cheese, a little dressing, and some croutons. I added cucumbers yesterday. The almonds, croutons, and cucumbers add some crunch. On occasion, I'll add avocado slices. Did it work?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Working on Goals

"Carrots for Sale" by Paul Brennan
I've been weighed twice now with the new community program. My weight is more than I want or thought it would be. I weigh in at 232-234 lbs; BMI is 39.4; and my body is 48.8% fat. How depressing, but it is only the beginning. It is about measuring progress, right?

Goal Progress

I successfully went to bed by 10ish two nights in a row. That's great for me! So that means I can get a professional massage on 9/8 if I keep this goal for 29 more days. I still feel somewhat tired, but I have sleep to catch up on. My oldest was in pain last night and he woke me around 1 am. I was so out of it. He was better in the morning, thank heaven.

I've been tracking my food intake since Friday. After my appointment with a dietitian last week, I chose the diabetic exchange system. I just count servings instead of writing down each food I eat or the calories. It's simpler for me, but I still have to measure my food.

My last goal was to exercise twice a week. I've sort of kept that goal. I walked around the grocery store and rode my bike to and from a meeting over the weekend. I need something more formal, in my opinion. It's just difficult because I'm still feeling rather tired. Need to catch up on my sleep. I'm also debating whether to work with a trainer or not. I could save around $1000 a year if I don't do group training. I could even drop my gym membership and save around $350 a year, but the cold months are coming.

Rethinking The Formula

I mentioned The Formula plan to the dietitian at the appointment. She looked over the book and commented that it asks for a little too much protein and fat. Instead of 40-30-30, she suggested 50-25-25. So just 5% less calories from both protein and fat. It's still pretty close to the 40-30-30 formula. The dietitian recommended modifying the recipes.

We talked about the glycemic index for carrots. She said it's the glycemic load that matters. So high glycemic foods like carrots and bananas are back on my radar because they have a low glycemic load. I may try the lower glycemic formula recipes in The Formula because it may help. For now, I'm keeping life simple.

So for my diabetic exchange system, I can have 8 starches, 6 proteins, 4 non-starchy vegetables, 4 fruits, 3 fat, and 2 dairy. This is according to my weight, height, gender and age, so it's different for everyone. Here's an online calculator, but a dietitian is a better expert to determine number of servings. The dietitian handed me a booklet to show servings in the diabetic exchange system. (Here's an online list.) Looking through it, the vegetable and fruit servings are larger than I thought and the protein, fat, and starch servings are smaller than I thought. Of course that would be the case.

So now to keep moving forward. The day-in day-out seems really difficult. I just want a magic surgery for weight loss (that isn't expensive or risky in any way).

So how are you coming along on your goals?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Setting Goals

Yesterday I attended the orientation meeting for the community weight loss program. There were four people there, including me. We have homework assignments now: choose a food tracking method, a menu planning method, and three goals.

I will track by pen and paper because it is what I'm willing to do most consistently. The dietitian stressed we should choose only what we are willing to do.

I have three choices for a menu planning method: counting calories, diabetic exchange system, or the plate method. Counting calories stresses me. It isn't quite as stressful using an app like MyFitnessPal, but I don't have a smart phone to have easy access. The diabetic exchange seems a little complicated, but I'm considering it. The plate method may better fit my lifestyle. I may blend the diabetic exchange system and plate method.

For the goal setting, the dietitian had a worksheet to make specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-sensitive, engaging, and rewarding goals (SMARTER). I'm considering what my goals should be. Here's a stab at it:

1. Go to bed between 9:30-10 pm five nights a week for one month. My reward will be a professional massage.

2. Tracking food every day for a week. My reward will be one late night reading.

3. Exercising 3-4 times a week (including toning) for 20 minutes. My reward will be an outing with my sister and mother (no kids!).

I've done better going to bed earlier. In fact, I had energy today to clean my three bathrooms, sort papers, and put some stuff away.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Feel Stressed

Sometimes I feel like I think about too many things. I'm worried about this cause and that cause and my brain runs in circles. Maybe I'm spreading myself intellectually and emotionally thin. The stress affects my weight loss goals, but then I've tried to chill about my obsession over that for the past two weeks. I need to just breathe. It doesn't matter if the world goes to pot. What can I do to change it? Only a little bit.

My mental and physical health need to come first. Causes can come in long after. I'm afraid I posted on my Facebook page for a discussion and I already feel stressed from the first response. I don't want to think anymore! But I do. I want to be heard amid the billions of voices out there. I want others to validate what I say. And I want sanity.

It's been a crazy week so far where I'm just eating to survive and maybe too stressed to sleep well. My husband's car broke down on Sunday when we were visiting family. While his car has been in the shop, he's been using the family van to commute to work (mine!). Today we drove 20 miles to pick up the car from a mechanic my husband trusts during his lunch hour. I didn't get my usual 30 minute lunch nap because of that. The toddler didn't get his nap either. (Maybe that's why I'm so grumpy.) Then my husband had to go into work tonight, which has rarely happened in the past four years. He's my support with the boys.

I get frustrated when I can't write as often as I'd like to. My toddler bangs against the keyboard and plays with our multiple monitors (yes, we have more than one monitor hooked up to each computer; my husband is a computer gamer and software developer). I want my toddler to just sit calmly in my lap while I type. That's the antithesis of what toddlers are.

Tomorrow I begin an educational and nutritional counseling program for the next six months. I hope this helps me. I felt good about signing up for it. Everything just takes so much effort. Let me sleep for a century, please.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Been Awhile

I've gone off the bandwagon probably the last week. Last Wednesday I had an ingrown toenail removed, so I stopped doing my walking. I gave up on the clean eating challenge, though the coach kept encouraging me. I stayed up late for several nights in a row and ate some junk food. I kept my life in survival mode.

So far this week, I've gone to bed about 11 pm each night. It's an improvement, but I'm still not at full working capacity. My mind keeps going for awhile after I crawl into bed.

After last week, I realized I set too many goals for myself. I felt discouraged because I couldn't do it all. I need to concentrate on one goal. That one goal should be going to bed on time for myself. My doctor thinks that is the main reason why I've gained weight. Right now I'm trying to keep life simple.

I signed up for a weight loss program through my doctor's office. I got 40% off by paying it all at once before I start the program. It's a cost-saving measure.

So now to encourage myself to go to bed on time: my only goal!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Boys' Secret

Did well eating clean for a day and a half. We had run out of cottage cheese, celery, and some fruit, so I felt my options were limited. I stayed up late Monday night, so Tuesday I had less energy. Had pizza for dinner. It was healthier than major fast food pizza chains. It has less grease from a local pizza restaurant. I walked for 30 minutes in the morning and biked for 20 minutes in the evening.

Last night, I went to bed by 10:30!! But my oldest has followed my bad example. He has this secret with his brother:

My oldest revealed that he and his brother had a secret on Monday night. I guessed the secret: they sneak down to watch TV after Mom and Dad go to sleep. My oldest wanted to know how I guessed. The clues: he's on the couch instead of in bed when I come down for breakfast; he is asleep on the couch all morning and some of the afternoon; and the TV is still on.

Last night, my husband and I were in bed and had said our prayers. A minute later, I heard a door open and close. I jumped out of bed and called in the dark: "Get to bed!" I saw a second silhouette of my middle son. We told the boys they need their sleep.

Back in bed, I heard the door open and close again. I went out and caught my oldest without his brother. This kids sleeping on the couch. Verdict: they stayed in bed.

I need to be a good example for my kids and go to bed on time.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Trying a Clean Eating Challenge

"Strawberry Splash" by Petr Kratochvil
A friend from high school days is hosting a clean eating challenge this week and I joined. I committed for five days to eating natural foods, exercising 30 minutes a day, and some other things.

So today I ate oatmeal, raspberries, almonds, and cottage cheese for breakfast. I chose regular oats instead of the apple-cinnamon packs my kids eat. Fewer additives, right?

For lunch, I ate a peach, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, strawberries and a salad. I thought about how to keep my salad "clean," so I left out the light ranch dressing and croutons. Instead, I put Parmesan cheese to try and give the spinach, mushrooms, and almond salad taste. It was okay. Thinking I may have to look at some "clean" recipes for salad dressing, but I only like ranch dressing. I hate all the other types of salad dressings.

I ate celery and peanut butter for a snack, but I left out the protein powder. I sometimes add protein powder.

I made a chicken, mushroom, and brown rice entree for dinner. As I added lemon pepper, I wondered if it was "clean." I know what the ingredients are. I made some peach, blueberry crisp too. For the vegetable, I grabbed the frozen mixed veggies. I looked at the shrunk, mutilated veggies and threw the freezer burn mess away. Luckily, we had a second bag of mixed veggies.

I'm wondering where all this energy came from to make dinner: I went to bed by 10:30 two nights in a row! I also walked for 30 minutes today, fell on a few yoga poses, and skipped around. All this with pushing, holding, or avoiding a toddler. All in a day's work.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Nose Job--Sinus Job, Really Improved My Exercise

"Woman with a Cold or Allergy" by Vera Kratochvil
I'm telling this story because breathing while exercising had been difficult my whole life. I was always congested and had colds go on for weeks. I took decongestant from the time I was 12, but it didn't solve all the problems.  I always thought I had severe allergies for 30 years. I wanted to breath better to improve my ability to exercise.

A year and a half ago, I had surgery in my nasal cavity and sinuses. If I get the terms wrong, I am no medical expert on noses. I finally had an allergy test and I was allergic to nothing! What was causing congestion my whole life? The doctor said I had large turbinates and ordered an MRI of my face.

The results came back and I had a Haller cell--an extra sinus--that was catching extra gunk, making it harder to empty my sinuses. So we set up surgery after a fiasco with insurance (the fiasco continued for six months afterward). The ENT doctor closed up the Haller cell and reduced my turbinates.

Several weeks after the surgery, I could breathe! It was the first time of clear breathing in my life--no decongestants! Since then, my ability to exercise has increased significantly and my colds only last a couple weeks. I haven't had any sinus infections either. I'm still paying off the surgery, but my quality of life has improved greatly.

So is your body stopping you from exercising in some way? Maybe a doctor can help you figure out a solution. Take care of the problem soon! It's worth it to be able to exercise better.

Sunburn Funburn

"The Sun" by Maliz Ong
Yesterday I went to the doctor about my ingrown toenails. I asked her if obesity can make them worse. She said yes. Well, I just need to lose 50+ pounds now. She referred me to a nutritionist. I called the nutritionist, but only got the voicemail.

In an attempt to be more active, I went to the pool with my boys. I was spraying on sunscreen when the bottle ran out. Only my arms got covered. I found an old tube of sunscreen and tried rubbing it on me. Well, I'd find out later the results on my skin.

The two oldest played while my toddler clung to me. My toddler ventured out for ten minutes in the splash pool. He smiled at me. Then he toppled off two steps and fell all the way in the water. I caught him and just held him while he recovered emotionally. He was fine otherwise. I hate when this type of thing happens because my toddler gets nervous around water again. He takes a long time to venture in the water on his own.

I didn't swim during the entire time, but I lugged a toddler from the big pool to the kiddie pool several times while chasing my two older boys. I also exercised taking the stroller back and forth.

Last night when I got ready for bed, I saw a sunburn outline of my swimsuit across my back. I guess that other sunscreen was out of date. Sunburns make me exhausted too (or sun exhaustion).

Today I vacuumed the upstairs bedrooms, cleaned the tub, swept the kitchen floor, cleaned the counters, did a load of dishes, couple loads of laundry, folded one load of laundry, took out trash, and told my husband about it. I want to brag to somebody. He appreciates the clean house. He then vacuumed the downstairs. Yea for clean floors! Lots more to clean, but the house is livable and I am exhausted.

I tried out Greek yogurt today. I had some a long time ago, but it was a strange apple pie flavor. I mixed some plain Greek yogurt with raspberries and a couple squirts of agave syrup. It had a strong flavor, but tasted okay. Greek yogurt is the rage because it has more protein in it than regular yogurt, but it is an acquired taste. Does the extra protein make it taste funky?

Tonight I made homemade pizza. I'm wondering if it has fewer calories than take-out pizza. It must. I make wheat/white flour dough and pile on the veggies. I used Canadian bacon too. It has very little grease, so that's a positive. I don't know. My problem is portion control.

Such is life.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Why Stay Up Late?

"Sleeping Child" by George Hodan
This weekend was a tiring weekend, but that was my own fault. I stayed up until 1 am Friday night, 12:30 am Saturday night, and 11 pm last night. Each night I went to bed a little bit earlier. So that means tonight I'll go to bed by 10 pm, if I follow the pattern.

Going to bed on time is one of my greatest weaknesses concerning my health. I like reading my book, trolling blogs, or watching Netflix late into the night. It is my escape from a busy day with kids. Other moms fall into this trap too. Lack of sleep causes weight gain. For this reason, I need to go to bed on time!

Lack of sleep causes irritability (I'm never upset with my boys or husband the next day!). It reduces productivity. It has a huge domino effect into the next day too. This is all trying to tell myself to go to bed on time tonight! If my husband says to go to bed, I often snap at him.

The benefits of enough sleep are wonderful: happiness, energy, more time in the morning, higher metabolism, and more. So why do I stay up late at night? Ask me at 10 pm tonight. That's when I justify it.

So hold me to a commitment: in bed by 10 pm. I'll hold you to 10 pm (or enough sleep too). Let's do this together!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Missing Birthday Cupcakes

"American Stars and Stripes Cupcakes" by Linnaea Mallete
Yesterday we bought cupcakes for two birthdays in the family. My two oldest argued over which cupcakes to buy. My word. We wanted to just walk away. The middle one wanted the cupcakes as soon as we got home. No, they're for tomorrow.

This morning I walked downstairs to cupcake wrappers and an open present. Two boys ate 5 cupcakes and cut open their brother's present. We charged them money for it.

My husband and I went on a date and figured we would celebrate birthdays when we came back. There were still some cupcakes left. Well, they sneaked cupcakes into their mouths even with Grandma there. All the cupcakes were gone! There goes lighting candles.

We went for ice cream tonight, but one boy hated his ice cream and the rest was melting all over. We rushed home amid complaints.

So I'm fed up with birthdays today. My boys really rained on the parade. I suppose I ate fewer cupcake calories. I only had two half-eaten cupcakes. I'm going to have to hide cakes better, or just ban the practice all together.

On their birthdays, I should eat their entire birthday cakes and open their presents and play with them before the boys can play with them. Think they would learn their lesson?

Birthdays are overrated anyway. Holidays are overrated. I like holidays, but we spend too much money on them. I'm averse to the grand gift-giving. Gift-giving should come naturally without any prescribed birthday or holiday. It is a heartfelt year-round gesture. The pressure is too great for Valentine's Day gifts, Mother's and Father's Days gifts. Christmas has too many gifts involved. Then we add Easter to the mix. Really, why so many presents? Take the pressure off and give the gift of time.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Early Morning Body Fat Test

"Anatomy Hight-tech" by Виталий Смолыгин
Before 7 am, I went in for body fat testing. I couldn't sleep all night because I was nervous about making it on time, not the testing. It's hard getting of the house before 9:30 am. I got about half the sleep I usually do even though I was in bed by 10 pm. Before I left, my husband decided he should exercise. Suppose it was good I was awake earlier.

So 39.1% of my body is fat. That's very encouraging. Yea right. The fitness instructor pointed out that I have 14% of fat to lose and then I would be in the healthy range. The healthy range for women is 18-26% body fat for women. Some fat is a good thing!

After my second child, I met a tall 120-lb. woman who tried hard to gain weight. No matter how much she ate, she couldn't gain. I proposed I give her some of my fat. If only it worked that way. I would love to give 14% of my fat to someone who wants it!

I wish I had done a body fat test when I first started with a trainer last October. I had lost inches, but stayed the same weight. My body fat must have been lower. However, I became discouraged around March and April and gained weight again. My psychiatrist said it was from lack of sleep. She said, "Go to bed on time!" Maybe seeing a lower percentage of body fat would've encouraged me. I had to stop going to group training sessions for the summer.

Today I did some toning while watching Love It or List It. Who else likes home improvement shows? My toddler held up his arms for me to hold him. He becomes my weights when I do squats and calf raises.

So far, I've eaten better today. I had cereal with strawberries and sausage (my protein). I felt full for four hours and then I ate the remaining two slices of pizza from last night. (Last night I binged on fruit leather and had three slices of pizza. Good on pizza, but not so much fruit leather.) Had some natural peanut butter mixed with protein powder on celery. I like doing this to get in my vegetables.
Dinner tonight is a toss-up. I have leftover chicken taco soup or I could make something else. Order pizza, anyone? I am not a big fan of cooking for five every day. Occasionally I love to cook. If I let my husband cook dinner, it will be spaghetti. No more spaghetti!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Does Lemon Water Make You Feel Full?

"Close-up of Cut Lemon" by Marina Shemish
About a month ago, my visit teacher suggested I try lemon water to create a feeling of fullness at night. I've tried lemon water now for a few days. I think it has helped. Last night, I didn't feel hungry right before bedtime. There was a two hour gap between eating and sleep. That's a novelty for me these days. So does it really work or is this only anecdotal evidence?

It has multiple health benefits that aid in weight loss, but also in overall health. It helps in digestion by creating more bile. Lemons have vitamin C for the immune system and other benefits. There are more benefits. There was a study done in 2008 by the Sugiyama Jogakuen University in Japan. The polyphenols aid in weight loss. I don't understand it completely, but here's a link to the study.

Adding sugar to the water negates the weight loss benefits because it's not wise to drink your calories. Lemon water is aa good replacement for juice, soda, and coffee (I don't drink coffee).

Tomorrow I go in for a body fat test. How much of me is muscle? (Focus on the positive, instead of fat percentage. :)

Last night I went to bed by 11 pm. An hour later than I should. Still feel tired this morning.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Too Many Late Nights

I've broken a cardinal rule too many nights in a row. I went to be at 12 am, 12:30 am, and 11 am for several nights. That has messed up my schedule and writing. My eating has been off, but I have eaten less. I'm still at 220ish pounds. I want it gone. I was also emotionally upset last week because of seeing friends struggle and others showing passive-aggressive rudeness.

Today I'm still recovering from staying up too late, but I got in exercise--vacuuming the TV room. There's so much housework to do. Yesterday, I cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed the front room. Really, any cleaning the floor includes putting dozens of toys away, dishes, and trash. I still want to vacuum the couch, office, upstairs bedrooms and mow the lawn. I have to pace myself. Three boys can make such a mess!

So, what has helped you get over emotional stress and eat right?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Day 14, ?: What Day Is It?

I had cheerios and milk for breakfast. Went back to bed. I even went to bed before 10:30 pm. My toddler woke my husband and me at 2 am. When do they stop waking in the middle of the night? Ate an orange and string cheese as a snack. For lunch, I had a peach-berry smoothie from The Formula book. It adds a few almonds and protein powder to it. My toddler likes these smoothies for some reason. My other kids hate it. Had a snack of watermelon and cheddar cheese. I'm tiding over until dinner time. I think I'll eat some leftover chicken and zucchini soup with some bread. I don't know if it will fill me up. I usually eat a snack before bed too.

Um, I don't know what day I'm on anymore, but I do know the actual date, just not the log. Tuesday night I stayed up too late because I was sad over a friend's crisis. I was upset yesterday too after someone made a passive-aggressive put down about me. It doesn't matter if other people are rude, but put it in a socially acceptable way.

I can't remember what I ate yesterday, only that survival was my goal. My house is a mess. Today I went to my parents. I didn't eat any M&Ms or Silvermint ice cream bars at my parents. That's like...a first! I had a flavored apple pop, but so much less than I sometimes pig out at home with. I don't keep treats as a rule in my house. Maybe because I eat it so fast :).

My older boys have been on a whine fest today. We didn't get donuts, didn't get Sour Patch kids candy, the oldest was forced to go to Grandma's. It was a rough day, but going swimming with cousins was fun for them. But if we had stayed home, we never would have gone swimming with cousins. My oldest hates leaving the computer, but has so much fun other places he doesn't want to come home. If only it didn't come with scream fests!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Day 13: To the Movies

"Popcorn" by Cristie Guevara
I kept track of what I ate on My Fitness Pal today. I ate one of the suggested 40-30-30 breakfasts: oatmeal, cottage cheese, almonds, 1 teaspoon of milk and low glycemic sweetener. (The Formula suggests fructose, or fruit sugar, but blue agave is easier to find. My former trainer suggested it.) I got in some upper body toning this morning and walking around running errands.

For lunch, I ate watermelon, string cheese, chicken & barley soup. I still felt hungry after eating, so I probably didn't have enough protein. I don't know. My stomach felt upset. I was at my husband's computer desk when I found a gold nugget--a mini chocolate gold nugget! That seemed to help. I grazed on more watermelon during the afternoon. Watermelon is a high glycemic fruit, so it doesn't keep me full very long.

For dinner, I had three pieces of combo pizza. I feel better because we get it from a local store that makes it healthier than some of the chains--it's not very greasy. Also half of a pizza was left after the whole family ate. Usually I would have eaten that half of the pizza by now. Progress.

We went to see Inside Out at the theater tonight. My preschooler was scared during some of the scenes. It seems to be more of a preteen, teen, and adult movie. Little kids have a much simpler understanding of feelings. My kids screamed at some parts and cheered at others. A movie about emotions brought a lot of emotions to my children...more than normal for a movie.

Of course I had to have popcorn and one candy. Only one candy! I had diet soda, but I've heard that some sugar substitutes actually mess more with metabolism. WebMD discusses artificial sweeteners here. However, I didn't want sugar filled soda. Don't want to drink my calories. I got buttered popcorn because it provides a little more balance with the fat from the high glycemic popcorn.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Day 12 & 13: Yard Sale, Sunburn, and New Glasses!

"Corn, Oats, Rice, Wheat" by Petr Kratochvil
Breakfast: cheerios, milk
Snack: something
Lunch: Mushroom burger, orange soda, avoided the fries :)
Snack: something
Dinner: Orange chicken, lo mein, string cheese, maybe cereal.
Snack: Red vines!!! I gave some to my son to rot his teeth. I saved about a third of the package vs. eating it all in one setting. My husband should never buy me treats, but then I buy him treats. He got me the big package and I wish he'd gotten the smaller package...less to eat.

Saturday I hauled items from my garage to my lawn. After a few things sold and a sunburn later, I heaved the leftovers to my car or garage. Most of the items I donated to a thrift store. I had to get the crap out of my house! Yet I still look in my garage and I kept a bin of holey jeans. One day they'll become a quilt :). I offered them for free! One person took free cutoffs for her son. No one bought the hundreds of jean squares. I had toning exercise hauling heavy boxes!

I crashed for a nap and my husband woke me after only an hour. Mean man. But then he had great news: my new glasses came in! They came a week earlier than I expected. I can now see clearly...better than with the glasses I lost. My husband and I went to bed by 11 pm.

Breakfast: The rest of the Red Vines! cheerios, milk
Snack at church: grapes, string cheese. Everyone can see my family chowing down during services.
Lunch: cheerios, milk, cracklin oat bran, milk
Dinner: string cheese, cereal? I don't know. I'm not sure I ate a full dinner. Probably will have more cereal.

Exercise: going up and down the stairs to take a nap.

Proposed bed time: before 11 pm. Should be 10 pm, but today is the longest day of the year! I have to wait so late to stare at the stars. I remember all those times looking at stars when I lived in rural Utah versus suburban Utah as an adult. I miss seeing every star under the Southeastern Utah sky.

I need to rethink my weight loss strategy. My goal is to function during the day. (My toddler is playing with his belly button right now.) Summer and kids out of school upsets my schedule, but then I'm not a schedule person. I looked at the Shakeology stuff, but that's super expensive. I know what I need to do: eat healthy, exercise, and go to sleep on time. Surely it's not that difficult :). I have maintained my weight over the last month instead of gaining. That's good.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Day 10 and 11: Dentist

Breakfast: cheerios, milk
Snack: raspberries, cheese
Lunch: tamale
Dinner: orange, corn bread, chicken zucchini soup, zone bars
Other food I can't remember
Bedtime: Midnight :(

I spent time making a 40-30-30 soup with chicken, barley, zucchini, celery, spices, onions, tomato paste. Should have had mushrooms and other veggies, but I pulled out rotten mushrooms and pepper. Mushrooms get this weird white mold.

My eyeballs hurt all yesterday because I had on fifteen year old glasses. I found eight-yr-old glasses while looking for yard sale stuff today! Maybe I won't get a headache from wearing a weak prescription. Only a week more and I should have my new glasses!


Breakfast: Cheerios, milk, almonds
Snack: zone bars
Lunch: chicken zucchini soup, cornbread
Snack: zone bars
Dinner: 2 chocolate chip cookies, and other crap I'll eat tonight. Probably will eat some tic-tacs, soup, or hot dogs, maybe some cornbread.

Bedtime: should be 10 pm :)

I've worn my contacts all day and had a headache from lack of sleep. My eyes are not hurting like yesterday. So nice. Went to the dentist this afternoon and I have one cavity. Considering I only brush my teeth every once in a while, it's pretty good. I heard a hygienist talking to someone else about periodontal disease in the gums. Yea, I may have had that being pregnant with my last child. I'm just thankful I only have one cavity today. I prepared for a yard sale tonight. Hope it goes well tomorrow.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Day 8 and 9: Goodbye Glasses!

Lost my glasses yesterday. You can read about it here. I spent the whole day getting eyeglasses and frustrated with insurance. I can't remember much of what I ate. I don't think I got in much exercise. I went to bed at almost midnight. It had been a rough day without my regular eyesight and finances. But I have to have eyeglasses to see. No choice about it. I had fruit, maybe one veggie. Just a crazy day on Tuesday.

Yesterday, I ate cheerios, strawberries, string cheese, zone bars, raspberries, cottage cheese, M&Ms, mint chocolate ice cream bar, bacon, tortilla, lettuce, and cheese. I had the candy and ice cream visiting at my parents' house. They tend to have goodies at their house, but I ate far less of what I usually eat at their house! I chased my kids around and hauled yard sale items to my car. That was exercise.

When I got home I ate zone bars, grapes, string cheese. I attended a potluck and ate more fruit than cookies :). I believe I had two veggies and 3+ servings of fruit. I rode my bike to get to the potluck. It was fun because I talked with other neighborhood ladies. I went to bed by 11:30 pm. So I earned 4/10 points. I need to redo my points.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Day 8: Busy Morning

"Ham and Cheese and Fruit" by Petr Kratochvil
I was up early this morning and wanted to go back to bed. A little too nervous with the schedule of the busy week ahead. I ate multi-grain cheerios and milk. While I was running errands, I brought along veggie straws, strawberries, and string cheese. Made for a healthier snack :). I might have gotten a donut like my son did. I saved a dollar!

Fruit and cheese is a good combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in a snack. It's recommended in The Formula. (My snack was not as pretty as the picture.)

Had spaghetti for dinner. Two zone bars (40-30-30) and strawberries and cheese for an evening snack. It was healthier and less than some of my other snacks. I can't remember my afternoon snacks. Had a couple jelly beans left lying around the house. I love when I find candy around the house! It's a treasure hunt. It's almost better than finding money.

I did go to bed before 11 pm last night. Back to more sleep after three nights of going to bed too late. I feel like I need to go to bed by 10 pm instead. Later: I retired at 11 pm. I was reading a book and I didn't stay up late!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Day 7: Sore Butt

"Flower Power" by Lode Van de Veld
I went to bed around midnight last night. Not so great, but I've functioned today since I can sleep in. My poor hubby. I rode my new bike around the neighborhood today. Now my butt hurts. We switched my standard seat to a padded seat from my old bike. My gluteus maximus thanks me. My husband attached the bike trailer to my back and I tested it. Of course, the boys had to take turns riding in it. An extra fifty pounds is a lot to drag behind me. My middle child screamed when I stopped giving rides.

Food today has been so-so. I ate pizza for breakfast. Had jelly beans and string cheese for lunch. Dinner was a pear, veggie straws, potato chips, and probably something else. So you could stretch that I've had one vegetable and maybe two fruits (Hawaiian pizza!). One point for exercise!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Day 6: Saturday Is a Special Day at 3 AM

"Baby with Toys" by Piotr Siedlecki
My toddler woke my husband at 3 am. I woke later because I heard loud banging. I went downstairs to find my husband watching a movie and the toddler hitting things. He likes to make noise. I went to bed on time, but was sleep deprived after the banging this morning. Spent much of the day recovering. Now my toddler babbles innocently.

I had cereal and milk for breakfast. Ate some stir-fry for lunch. With my husband and me so tired, we bought candy and pizza and watched a movie. Yea, downhill. My problem is how much I've eaten, not having a little candy. All things in moderation. I haven't stuffed myself on pizza and candy like I have in the past. There's still two half bags of candy and cookies. The candy belongs to my sons, so I need to leave it for them. But they know that Mommy eats whatever is left over. For some reason, they don't trust me to leave them any candy. On the other hand, they eat all the raspberries and strawberries before my husband and I have any. All is fair in love and war.

I got some exercise while I went grocery shopping. Dragged around several kids on a cart. I also bought healthy food. I bought a bike that works! My old one has the brakes stuck while I ride. It's also rusted from being out in Idaho weather the first few years of my marriage. Time to go riding.

So when will I go to sleep tonight? Take a guess. My husband needs to recuperate from 3 am. He rarely can take a nap. This drives me nuts because he'll get cranky but can't fall back asleep. On the other hand, I can nap quite easily. Maybe we're a match made in heaven.

Day 5: Tackling the Lawn

"Lawn with Dandelions Background" by Andrew Schmidt
Breakfast: Cheerios, milk
Lunch: cottage cheese, peach, spinach, mushroom, almonds, ranch, croutons
Snack: olives, jam, bread, cheese
Dinner: box macaroni and cheese
Snack: macaroni and cheese

Exercise: Mowing .21 acre lawn, weed whacking, replanting bulbs, carrying edgers

This is the time I wish that lawns were smaller. I want to build a retaining wall in the backyard to put in a garden area. This way I have less to mow! And put in a sand box underneath the playset. That's a real pain whacking grass under the slide area. I don't like weed whacking, but I like how the yard looks after I'm done :). I've proposed to my husband we put in easier landscaping. Maybe just weeds. Would save on mowing.

I went to bed before 11 pm. Got all my points today with mowing! 10/10.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Day 4: Out and About

"Rice" by Daniele Pellati
Yesterday I did some free exercise. I went walking for about an hour. My kids got some exercise in the process too.

I can't remember much of what I ate yesterday. I should keep track better. I had strawberry awake and turkey sausage for breakfast. I figure the sausage gives me lean protein for the morning and milk with my cereal. (My toddler is dripping juice from his sippy cup around the computer.) Ate a peach on my walk. Can't remember lunch.

I had brown rice with chicken stir-fry for dinner. I substituted white rice with brown rice. Brown rice has more vitamins and protein, is a whole grain, and has a lower glycemic level than rice. It keeps you full longer. I had only white rice when I taught in China and I always felt hungry. I bet brown rice would have made a difference. I made guacamole with an avocado and salsa and had it with chips. I figure homemade guacamole is healthier.

I went to bed before eleven last night! That's always a big accomplishment for me :).

So my points would be 8/10 (no toning). I probably need to revamp my point system. I don't know.

Did you do well yesterday? Did you save money in the process?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 3: Much Better!

Yesterday, I ate lots of corn for dinner. I had a salad, strawberries, yogurt, cereal, and more stuff I can't remember. I got in 2 vegetable servings and 2 fruit servings. And I went to bed before 11 pm! I did some toning and jumping on the trampoline. So yesterday I earned 8/10 points.

This morning I woke up at 4:30 and went back to sleep. My body needs to sleep in!

I saved money yesterday because I ate food from home and no take-out. I get take-out too often or go to a fast food restaurant. So I save at least $10 not buying a pizza like the Tuesday night.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day 2: I am beautiful as me

"Plus Size Model Silhouette" by K Whiteford
A friend reminded me yesterday we are all beautiful in our own way. What we look like is not our true beauty. The world has set patterns of beauty, especially for women. I don't fit the ideal like I used to, but she reminded of the beauty I have. I have red hair that so many people dye for. I am a caring and talented person.

But I still want to lose weight!!! I also am learning I don't need to compare myself with others. I especially can't compare myself to the media's portrayal of a flat stomach, large chest, and wide hips. How many pictures are photo-shopped? Or how much surgery did someone get for that body? We live in reality with imperfections.

God loves me for who I am. He only wants me to be as healthy as I can--not a model. He also wants me to be happy wherever I am in life. Life is a process that takes time. Healthy living is a process that takes time.

So yesterday I ate one vegetable on pizza and two or three servings of watermelon. I also enjoyed Reese's pieces in the morning. I had less candy than I had the day before. I went to bed at almost midnight. Didn't get exercise in. So what positive thing can I do tonight? Go to bed by 10! My points would be 2/10.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day 1: Good Until Nighttime

"Cat" by Veronica Andre VeronicAndre
I got in three vegetable servings and three fruit servings. I had a craving for sweets in the evening after some stressful tussles with kids. We realized our toddler had ruined the network card on my computer. I went to the store and bought fruit, vegetables, and some candy. I ate some of the candy right before bed. I know that's the worst time to eat sugar. Wait until morning! I don't believe in abstaining from foods, just having it in moderation.

I exercised in the morning and tuckered myself out for the rest of the day. (I was still recovering from a cold. Think I'm finally over it.) I did some toning and hula hooping (?). Went up and down the stairs carrying my toddler. In the evening, I vacuumed and mopped the floor. But this was all before the candy at 11:00 pm.

I have been going to bed before 11 pm for almost two weeks. Unfortunately, I stayed up until almost midnight last night. My head is feeling it today. Staying up too late, I ate more food than usual. Now I want to sleep the day away like a cat. Going to bed on time previously has made today better than multiple late nights in a row.

I need to endorse myself for the progress I have made. I ate my allotted fruits and vegetables and exercised yesterday! That's 8/10 points.

How have you done?

Monday, June 8, 2015

My Challenge for You and Me

I'm struggling losing weight, but I want to keep the cost low. This is a personal challenge and I would like others to join me on this journey. So I have some criteria to keep track of while we strive to be more healthy. The focus will be more on what we can control than what we can't control. We can't control our exact weight, but we can control other aspects of our lives.

What Can We Control?

We can control what we eat. No matter how little or much money we have, most of us can control what food we eat, or at least the portions of what we eat. Grocery bills don't have to be high on special weight loss food. Simple foods work.

We can control how active we are. Almost everyone has the ability to move around and get cardio workouts in. You can get moving anywhere. No need for an expensive gym. Toning is another aspect of activity. We need to strengthen muscles, but we don't need a lot of equipment to do so--maybe a resistance band, a couple weights, chair, and space.

We can control when and how long we sleep. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. It's better to get more sleep during the night than the morning. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain! I'm working on being in bed before 11 pm every night. My goal should be 10 pm. Protect your sleep as much as possible. Sometimes we have to adjust sleeping schedules for various reasons.

What We'll Keep Track Of

We can keep track of what we eat, but the focus will be on number of vegetable and fruit servings. We'll report what we eat each day in the comments. We can eat whatever, but try and keep it balanced. My former trainer suggested the Zone diet 40-30-30. Some of my food will come from that. No calorie tracking! That only stresses me out. 

We will report cardio and toning. The goal will be 20 minutes of cardio three times a week and two sessions of toning. Remember to stretch!

Finally, we will track when we go to bed and how long we sleep. You determine a healthy time for you to go to bed. We want at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

We'll keep track of each other in the comments or you are welcome to email me your report. You may report anonymously--just have some type of pseudonym to keep track of you.

10 Point System

3+ veggies                                     2 points
2+ fruits                                         2 points
20 minutes aerobic exercise          2 points
Toning                                           2 points
Sleep                                              2 points

Anyone up for the challenge?