Thursday, August 5, 2010

Scales can be deceiving

I have had two weigh-ins since my last post and while I'm still losing weight, I did not have a massive drop of four pounds in one week again.

In the last two weeks I lost one pound off of my total weight, that's deceiving though. The scale I am weighed on is not your typical scale that you'd buy in a department store, but rather is a massive device. The InBody is a scale that I step onto barefoot while holding metal arms attached to the machine. Electric pulses are sent through my body (no, I can't feel them) to determine how much of my weight is muscle, fat and water. It's an extremely cool device.

Keeping up with the diet and exercise (I still have to do the ridiculous routine of hopping from one exercise to the next) resulted in the loss of four pounds of fat and the gain of three pounds of muscle! That's not bad, however I was expecting bigger results since I was working extra hard the last two weeks. I'll take what I can get though!

I think a lesson I've learned from this, which everyone should learn, is not to put too much stock into that number staring back at me on a scale - there is a lot behind that number that's not explained.

The closer I come to my goal weight the harder it is to shed a pound or two, which can become frustrating. However, I have to remember this is normal and that this is a good thing because it means I am closer to where I only dreamed of being seven months ago.

Total weight loss since the beginning of January: 40 lbs. That's not half bad :) However, I'm officially done with this diet next Tuesday, and I'm going to have to make sure I don't gorge myself on all the things I've craved in the past 24 days or I'll gain half of the weight back in a week.

Wish me luck on my last four days through the "sprint phase"! I'm going to need it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Droppin' it like it's hot (the weight that is)

This past Thursday I went for my weekly weigh in and to my great surprise I lost 1...2...3...4 pounds! It made feel me great :)

I should have lost that much, though, considering the cardboard diet I'm on. Those fiber "crackers" just don't get tasty no matter what you do to them - I tried mashing them into my oh so delicious plain oatmeal, using them as croutons on my filling two cups of lettuce, dipping it in my "rich chocolate" protein shake and force feeding it to myself with big gulps of water. But hey, at least it's doing its job, even if it tastes like saw dust.

I'm not hungry on the diet, but I still have cravings. It gets a little old eating the same thing for breakfast, am snack, lunch, pm snack and dinner. I was flipping through a magazine with delicious pictures of pasta, steak and cheesecake. My mouth started watering for the flavorful food so much that I felt like my dog begging for chicken at the dinner table. I was ready to eat the picture, BUT that would be a calorie that I can't afford.

This week is the "tone up" phase in which I am to start strength training. I was ready to be using weight machines, but little did I know that strength training was considered timing myself doing jumping jacks and wall sits in my living room. The dog watches me like I'm an idiot while I jump around the room from one exercise to the next - the dog can judge me all it wants as long as these pounds keep melting off.

Even though the diet is not the most tantalizing taste wise, I am so thankful that I am participating in it. I had plateaued and didn't know how to continue my hike downward with my weight. Sometimes I feel frustrated that the weight has taken so long to come off, but when I sit back and look at it, 36.5 lbs lost in six and a half months is not bad. 6.5 of those lbs being in ten days on this diet - that really is incredible. Going through this program helps me realize that I really can accomplish anything that I put mind to.

"Be not afraid of going slowly, be only afraid of standing still." - Chinese Proverb

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A new adventure for me

Lately I've been receiving a lot of crap e-mail so when I got one titled "Congrats" I rolled my eyes and pondered what I possibly could have won now. A million dollars? A free iPod? An all inclusive trip to Thailand?

I opened it up and woo hoo! I actually won something REAL! I had previously entered a drawing at my gym to receive their weight loss program for free (a $250 value) and my name was on the lucky piece of paper drawn! I honestly have never won a drawing my life so I am quite excited.

I need this help because since I've lost 30 lbs. I've been on a plateau, unable to dent into the next 20 I need to lose.

I started the program Monday and for three days had to do a "jump start" (aka eat fiber crackers that taste like tree bark and drink shakes.) I went in this morning for my weigh-in and low and behold I've lost 2.4 lbs. since Monday.

I now move into the "shake up" phase for seven days. More calories and real food have been added to my diet as well as exercise.  I'll update my weight loss as I continue through the 28-day program.

I guess good things really do come to those who don't give up.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The deadly craving

One minute you're going about your day, minding your own business, and the next your mind is consumed by the thought of some delicious food: chocolate, ice cream, french fries, a burrito, pasta or maybe a cup cake. It takes over your mind and you feel like you won't be able to think straight again until you get your hands on whatever food you're craving. I've been there and sometimes given in - haven't we all?

Here are a few things I did to get control:
  • Raid your cabinets, pull out the foods that are bad for you and give them or throw them away
  • Tell yourself to wait it out 10 - 15 minutes. A lot of times cravings will pass
  • Distract yourself - pick up the phone and call a friend, Facebook stalk people, put on some music and sing along, make plans for the weekend, or anything else that will actively engage your mind. Eventually, you'll stop thinking about food.
  • Eat a healthy snack that has qualities of the food you are craving. For example if you want Doritos find a healthy salty food or if you're craving chocolate grab a chocolate flavored light yogurt.
  • And finally, if you just can't seem to calm that craving, give in, but only A LITTLE. If you want ice cream take a BITE and the same with all other food. Most of the time just getting the satisfaction of tasting the food can finally cure the craving.
This is a good article on how to battle emotional eating:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Food addictions

Cutting back on the fattening food was probably one of the most difficult challenges I faced and still face. I come from an extremely Italian family and food holds great importance for us. A lot of family time was centered around decadent meals with things like baked ziti, chicken cacciatore, lasagna, and my favorite, chicken parmesan - mmmm mmmm good.

Not to mention that dinner was almost always followed with a delicious, hard to resist dessert such as red velvet cake or cookie dough ice cream. It was such a catch-22 with my family as well - we'd be eating dinner and mid-meal someone would nonchalantly announce, "Gee you're puttin' on the pounds there chunky." Obviously that would quell my appetite and I'd put down my fork which would be met with the inquiry of, "Oh, you're done, do you want some dessert?" Excuse me? No I don't want dessert now! As you can probably guess based on this story, dieting was never met with much success in my house

Since January, I have revamped my eating patterns and decisions and trained my stomach to fill up on smaller portions than what I was used to. This was NOT easy though. One thing you need to be prepared for is that you aren't always going to get support from people. I can't count the number of times someone said to me, "Oh come on, don't follow your diet just this one time eat the (insert high calorie, not good for you, food here)." And oh is it tempting to listen to the other person's pleas for you to join their eat-a-thon of crap food - I'd be lying if I said I didn't give in sometimes.

The point of this post
When you start a diet it is going to be rough - especially if you are addicted to food the way I am or it is engrained in you to eat big meals. Remember though, you are not alone - there are thousands and thousands of others out there struggling to diet as well. 

Taking the time to think of the reasons you love food and have a hard time keeping a diet is very important though. If you can address these issues, then when you are faced with a challenge and feel like you're going to break your diet you can understand your emotions towards food and battle them better. 

If you do falter and make a bad choice one time, for a whole day or even for an entire week, this does not mean you should give up. We are human - taking a step backwards is normal - so just get back on the diet with your next food decision and eventually eating healthy will become a habit.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting back on that really big horse

Finding motivation to get back on track can be one of the hardest challenges.

It took a few months for me to realize that not everything was just going to be magically fixed by medication. Towards the end of December I sat contemplating how things in my life were going and I decided that I just couldn't live like this anymore. So I began by confronting one of my biggest problems: being overweight.  

How do you make yourself do something you have no desire to do?
The same technique may not work for everyone but here's how I tackled the problem.

I signed up for an aerobics class - this way it wasn't an option of whether or not I exercise since you have to attend a class you sign up for. Feeling that you are not doing the exercise alone also helps.

On the days I did not have aerobics I scheduled in a specific time to go to the gym and I viewed it as a class. Look at it in the grand scheme of things as well: when I hit that point on the treadmill/elliptical when I felt I couldn't go any longer I thought to myself this is only 45 minutes out of 16 hours that I am awake, I think I can stand physical work for 4.6% of the time I'm awake today. Besides these techniques, tell people that you're exercising 5 times (or however much) a week and tell them about your routine. I found this to be motivation in itself because now I had a standard to live up since other people believe I am going to the gym all the time and I didn't want to look like a liar or fool for not going.

Eventually I began to love the gym and it wasn't such a chore. In fact, I came to crave going to the gym as exercise was a release to all the stress I would have and it gave me alone time to just think. Not to mention, when you begin to feel healthy, your confidence goes up.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


My name is Kendra and I was born and raised in Denver, CO.  After high school I attended Syracuse University majoring in public relations and minoring in economics. While I was there I was lucky enough to spend a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain and traveled Europe - it was the experience of a lifetime. I graduated from SU a month ago and am now looking for a job in PR!

Why I chose the topic of health:
In high school and for the first two years of college I had always been pretty thin, in good shape and healthy. It didn't take much effort for me to maintain my weight and while I was active in sports and the gym, I didn't have to watch what I ate. In fact I one time had a huge piece of cake for breakfast and didn't think much of it since my weight never seemed to fluctuate no matter what my habits were. That all changed though.

In October 2008 I began to put on weight at a rapid speed. By mid-January 2009 I had put on 40 lbs. For a period of time I was running four miles 3x a week, but was still putting on weight. It was one of the most frustrating experiences I've ever had. Besides the weight gain I also had developed dry skin, an insatiable appetite, constant fatigue, severe anxiety and depression.

I saw five doctors who each gave me a different diagnosis - none of which were correct. It wasn't until exactly one year later in October 2009 that I finally saw a doctor with brains and figured out my problem. I had a serious chemical and hormonal imbalance that was causing all of my problems. I was put on medication - but meds weren't going to fix everything. I was going to have to work to lose the 50 lbs I had gained, learn to eat healthy and learn to balance my life.

I found that it takes a lot of work for me to stay healthy. I need to exercise at least five times a week, I have to eat mostly fruits and vegetables and control my desire for sweets, I have to try to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, I need to take time to myself to have some mental relaxation, but I also have to take time for friends and family. 

Balancing all of these things properly can be a real challenge at times - but keeping up with it is how I've lost 30lbs since January 2010. It has helped me to become a very happy person who feels, and knows, I can now handle anything that life throws my way.