Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week 20: Calorie Bank

Another week has come and gone. I'm tired and I'm busy, but I'm sticking to my own suggestions most of the time and it keeps working. :) For those of you who wonder about last week's Three Strikes game, I'm doing just fine. Since Thursday was my Anniversary, I traded eating sweets on Thursday with Saturday, so Saturday I was good. This week I've done ok, but I decided to permanently trade Tuesday for Saturday or Sunday because I attend a parenting class on Tuesday mornings and people always bring delicious muffins etc. If you're shocked, don't be, I just don't eat breakfast before class and I have a small salad for lunch and my calories end up balancing themselves out.

For those of you who don't really understand calories, let me see if I can explain by substituting $ for calories.

Let's pretend that every day you're given $2000 to spend on food. (This is only make believe.)
Breakfast: 2 bowls of Toasted Oats cereal (1 cup each) with Fat free milk (1 cup total) and 1 banana. -$460.
Lunch: A Turkey, Swiss Cheese, Avocado, and Tomato Sandwich on whole wheat bread with a couple of sliced carrots. -$550
Snack: A medium Apple with 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter for dipping. -$300.
Dinner: 2 slices of Pepperoni Pizza and 1 Breadstick. -$690.
Balance= $0
Dessert: 2 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream with Hot-Fudge Topping. -$350
Balance= -$350

Ideally we all want to keep our Calorie Bank Account balance at $0 every night.

If you think you're overweight then you're already in the (-) negative numbers.
For every extra pound you weigh, you owe $3500.
If you're 20 pounds overweight,
then your Calorie Bank Account balance is -$70,000.
(Starving yourself doesn't work because it freezes your account, and leads to fees.) The only way to bring the account to $0, is to steadily pay it down.
If you walk at a moderate pace for an hour, you earn $300, but if you continually choose that $350 Dessert, then you're slowly increasing your debt. The best way to look at the situation is to slightly reduce the amount of $ you spend each day, and work to add $ to your account.

I began this journey with an account balance of -$87,500 , and over the passed 20 weeks I've been able to pay it down to the point where I only owe $7,000. It's taken A LOT of hard work and self control, but I'm almost to the point where I can easily balance my account at $0 before bed every night. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Sweets- Dark Chocolate Applesauce Brownies

So, since my niece and I are doing the no sweets Monday - Friday thing, we decided we could make a yummy treat today before going without sugar tomorrow. I made the recipe a little healthier than it normally would be, but it's still delicious. However, since I'm feeling lazy, here's the link to her blog where the recipe is posted. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Week 19: Three Strikes

This week I've decided to try and up my healthy eating habits. I'm trying to see if I can limit my intake of sweets to the weekend alone. While discussing my strategy with my niece Emily, we came up with the three strikes policy. Basically here are the rules of our game:

-No sugary foods Monday- Friday. (Fruits, and yogurts don't count)
-If you slip and eat a sweet goody, then you get a strike.
-If you get 3 strikes, then you have to give up being able to eat sweets on either the following Saturday or Sunday.

Want to play with me?

I'm trying to conquer my sugar addiction because sugar really isn't good for you.

Sugar raises insulin levels which inhibits growth hormones and promotes fat storage (especially around your mid-section). Sugar also suppresses your immune system.

Here are a couple of links about sugar that I found interesting:
Ask Dr Sears
Sugar Addiction
Healing Daily

Healing Daily:
"It was only in the 1970's that researchers found out that vitamin C was needed by white blood cells so that they could phagocytize viruses and bacteria. White blood cells require a 50 times higher concentration inside the cell as outside so they have to accumulate vitamin C...

We know that glucose (sugar) and vitamin C have similar chemical structures, so what happens when the sugar levels go up? They compete for one another upon entering the cells. And the thing that mediates the entry of glucose into the cells is the same thing that mediates the entry of vitamin C into the cells. If there is more glucose around, there is going to be less vitamin C allowed into the cell. It doesn't take much: a blood sugar value of 120 reduces the phagocytic index by 75%. So when you eat sugar, think of your immune system slowing down to a crawl."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Tips: 9

I like to veg in front of the TV or read a good book after I've put my children to bed. A couple of years ago, I always kept naughty snacks like trail mix and chocolate chips handy. However, after I started ballooning out, I realized that I was eating way too much junk and calories that way, so I stopped. Now if I want a snack, I pop some popcorn, put the amount I want in a bowl and sit down. I leave the bag on the counter in the kitchen so if I really want more I have to physically get up and refill my bowl. I also find that keeping baby carrots, sliced cucumbers and/or celery sticks handy gives me more choices on guilt free snacks to fill my bowl.

DON'T keep junk food near the your lounging spot!

Keeping bad food within an arm's reach makes it way too easy to give in to a whim of indulgence and overeat. If you absolutely must have something naughty, put a little in a bowl, and limit yourself to that amount.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Week 18: WooHoo!

I did it! I haven't reached my 'Ideal' body image, and I probably never will, but I'm sooooo happy today because I've officially lost 20 lbs! While I didn't really care about how much weight I lost, I did want to get to a BMI of 22 or below and when I used the calculator on my side bar, I got 22.15....soooo.... WOOHOO! I haven't been this light since 2005 and I'm loving it. :)

In other news.... I was thinking about how to mix up my regular exercise program and I've decided to make sure I add swimming once a week. Yesterday I swam 1500 and it felt WONDERFUL, I was actually able to do a butterfly without hurting my shoulders and it's been 10 years since I was able to do that. I'm feeling myself getting stronger and although I still have to watch out for asthma flare ups, everything seems to be getting easier for me to do. I can't wait to see how I continue to change over the next 9 + months while my husband's away.

Progress to date:
- Starting Weight: 170 lbs........ Today: 150 lbs,
- Chest: 44 in............. 40 1/2 in.
- Waist: 33 in............. 29 in.
- Hips: 39 in............. 37 in.
- Thighs: 22 in............ 19 1/2 in.

= 20 lbs. lost and 12 inches!

(If I were 5' 5" I'd only weigh 133! :D )

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tips: 8

Before you eat, drink a GIANT glass of water! My friend Jenni reminded me of this lovely tip the other day, and I wanted to refresh the memories of others too. If you haven't heard it before, you should give it a try, it does make it easier to watch your portion size. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Meals: Homemade Pizza

I love my pizza! It's not bad for you and very tasty. Perhaps you'll like it too!

Prepare your favorite whole-wheat pizza crusts.

To make pizza, top the prepared crusts with pizza sauce and top with your favorite sliced veggies and other toppings. I like mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, pineapple, ham, and lowfat turkey pepperoni. Sprinkle a small amount of cheese over the top and then bake pizzas at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are slightly golden and the cheese has completely melted. (Adjust baking temperature and time as needed, just keep checking your pizza.)


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Week 17: Back on the Horse

Have you ever fallen off a horse? I have, it hurts. However, my Mom always used to say "Are you okay? Great, well dust off, and get back on" and I always did. Last week was a little bit of a reality slap where my overindulgent eating halted my progress and I fell off my healthy horse. I decided that I needed to dust off and get back on, so here I am and it feels good.

I love the way I feel and I'm liking the way I look, so I'm glad that I've made the decision to be 'mostly' healthy. Like I've said before, I'm not perfect, but I succeed about 90% of the time, and that's good enough. Honestly, my life would not be as happy if I didn't enjoy a Gigantic Cinnamon Roll once in a while, or a yummy slice of Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake occasionally. I just can't do it more than once a week! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Week 16: the Wall

Everyone hits a wall to their weight loss eventually; I hit mine. For the first time since I began this journey I wasn't able to lose any weight this week but that's okay because I celebrated my birthday and enjoyed indulging in Oreo's, Ice-cream, Brownies, Pizza, and Chocolate Lucky Charms, not in that order, but you get the idea. Also, last night the Blue Star Card organization (a club for spouses of deployed soldiers) took me and my niece out to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner, and then we got to see 'Eat. Pray. Love.' There was also free childcare provided.... anyway, I'm certain I ate too many calories and woke up fatter this morning, but that's okay... everyone needs to celebrate once in a while; as long as it's not everyday.
To help feel a little less guilty about last night I attended a 90 minute Kickboxing class and I ran 2 miles this morning. I've also been watching my food again today.

If you want to make sure you're burning fat in your workouts there are some simple rules to follow:
-Find your target heart rate (THR)
-Exercise for at least 20 minutes within that THR.

To figure out what your target heart rate is, here's a calculator. that gives you a rough idea,
or use the Karvonen Formula:
206.9 - (0.67 x 23 (age)) = 191
191 - 65 Resting heart rate (rhr) = 126
126 * 65% (low end of heart rate zone) OR 85% (high end) = 82 OR 107
82 + 65 (rhr) = 147
107 + 65 (rhr) = 172
The target heart rate zone for this person would be 147 to 172

206.9 - (0.67 x (age)) = A
A - Resting Heart Rate (rhr) = B
B x 65% (low end of heart rate zone) OR 85% (high end) = L or H
L + (rhr) = X
H + (rhr) = Y
Your target heart rate zone= X-Y

If you stick toward the lower end of your THR then a higher % of calories you burn will come from fat, about 50 %. The high-end THR will result in more calories burned all together, but the percentage of calories from fat drops to about 30 %. So, a nice brisk walk for a long time is ideal, but if you only have a small amount of time, exercising for at least 20 minutes will help raise your metabolism for the rest of the day. I make sure I do at least 30 minutes in my THR at least 4 x's a week besides my weight/resistance training.

I'm going to try mixing it up with more intervals of fast and slow and more muscle confusion from a greater variety in the type of exercising I do. With any luck, this will help me knock down the wall. Wish me luck!