On a Journey to Wellness

Come with me on my journey to losing weight, getting healthy and going out to meet the world head-on!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Update!... tomorrow

Just came back from a weekend away in San Francisco to visit a friend or two or three and attend a friends wedding.

Extremely exhausted. I will do a quick update tomorrow.

Goodnight everyone!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Weigh In: When Sweets Attack= Set Backs

Happy Monday! Last weekend was pretty hot. I had a lot of trouble staying away from sweets last week and my weigh in this morning definitely showed it.

Current Weight: 204.2 lbs (+0.4 lbs)

Boo setbacks. But can you see determination in those eyes?
I gained half a pound. Honestly it's not anything to scream about but I'm glad it wasn't more than that. This really sets me back on my losing streak this month. I was hoping to lose 4 lbs this month and by the looks of it I've only lost 1 pound so far! I really need to get my act together so that I can at least lose one more pound before the end of the month. If I can do that and then continue my streak I would at least reach my 50 lbs loss mark by my birthday in mid August. Sigh.. I was hoping to reach ONE-derland by then but that's how the cookie crumbles, and the chocolate chips, and the reese's, and the honey, and the trail mix! At least my measurements showed I hadn't changed. That's good news.


I definitely wasn't being careful about counting calories this week. It showed in my results. Let's see what we got.
Mon: 1637
Tues: 2682
Wed: 1545
Fri: 1664
Sun: 1790

As you can see I was going crazy last week. I would eat somewhat ok one day and go crazy the next day. There's actually a pattern. Eat ok one day, pig out the next day, rinse-repeat. THIS is what I call self-sabotaging behavior. I always do this when I get close to a new threshold. I was getting close to my 50 lbs loss mark and what do I do? I start craving sugar and start snacking like mad. I NEED to work on this. It's the same old story and I'm tired of it. Sigh

Now to work outs:
Mon: not much
Tues: 2 mile hike
Wed: 3.2 mile hike/jog
Thurs: ~4 mile hike
Fri: 2.6 mile walk
Sat: short hikes with mammal group aka not much
Sun: 30 minute swim, and 3 mile bike ride.

Also in my results I can see that I was being lazy with work outs. It all adds up. I ate way too much and didn't work out as well as I should have. I woke up more than once last week with a stomach ache and feeling bloated. I can't do that again.

I need to continue to drink more water. The weather is getting really warm. I need to stay hydrated.
I need to go back to my toning exercises. It's been two weeks since I've done them. Eeek!
I need to have a specific schedule on what and when I do my cardio. I'm slacking and it needs to stop.
I want to swim more. It felt great. I need to do it more before the weather turns colder. That lake is freezing as it is.
I need to go back to strict calorie counting and make absolutely sure I stay within 1200-1600 calories.

These weeks happen. It's up to me to make sure they don't become the norm. Good luck everyone and let's have a better week!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

I was a model this weekend

I've had a very lazy weekend. On Friday I finished work really early and ended up doing nothing until I got fed up and went for a walk. On Saturday I went out with a group of older outdoor enthusiasts looking for small mammals. It was awesome seeing people so in to nature and of course I was able to reminisce on my old job of being a small mammal trapper. That night I also got to be a "model".

This was my outfit.
I am a fashionable bushy-tailed wood rat. 

I, and my coworkers, dressed up in silly costumes as part of a fundraiser for the Outdoor Education program I am a part of. It was called "Trail Chic" and representatives of Barefoot wine and Patagonia were silent auctioning wine and gear to support our program. People sampled wine and food from the local market, sat and enjoyed the modeling runway. All of the "models" were volunteers and staff of the committee I work for. From 8 year olds to 60 year olds, everyone had a wacky costume. My favorite was a couple with a collection of committee shirts they'd collected in 30 years. They stripped each shirt as they walked the little strip. My roommates were representing the local thrift store, one girl was a badger. I was a fashionable and misunderstood wood rat. LOL

One thing I definitely had to do was feel incredibly comfortable in my outfit. The dress I found was a very tight, short, black dress. It showed ALL my curves. But I was happy to see that I didn't feel too horrible in it. I pretended I looked good and I got a lot of compliments for it. I guess the "fake it til you make it" strategy still works. 

Unfortunately I sampled a lot of food (and wine) both during the fundraiser and also while hanging out with small mammal enthusiasts yesterday. Eeek!

Today, I had planned to do a long hike but decided to attempt swimming in the lake again. I haven't gone back in almost a month I realized and I only have a month left before the weather starts getting colder. The swim was shorter than I thought but I got farther out. I definitely have to jump in more often. That lake is cold enough that it takes a while of shallow breathing before I can get comfortable. 

I'm not enthusiastic about my weight results for tomorrow morning but I'll do my best!

Hope everyone had a good weekend.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Late Weigh In: I need to wake up

Hello Everyone,

I usually update on Mondays but I didn't get a chance to get it in before starting work. I worked all Monday from noon until today (Wednesday) afternoon. Yes, my job is fun but working non-stop and even sleeping where you work adds up a bit. I'm ok with it (right now) but there is no internet at headquarters so now that I have a break I can update everyone.

Current Weight: 203.8 lbs (-1.2 lbs)

I lost another pound! I even lost a tiny extra which I'm happy about.

Let's see how I did last week.


Calories first.

Mon: 1442
Tues: 2390
Wed: 1718
Thur: 1974
Fri: 1362
Sat: 1474
Sun: 1408

So I stayed under 1500 calories most of the week but had a bit of a hiatus right in the middle. I am going through a bit of a sugar craving phase. I am noticing that I start over eating to try and get that sugar fix. I guess you could consider Tuesday as a binge day. :(  It looks like it might be something of a cycle/ re-occurrence because yesterday (also Tuesday) I did it again. I just kept eating trail mix in search for the chocolate-sugar factor. Tsk, tsk. I need to snip this in the bud.

Now work outs.

Mon: zilch
Tues: bicycling for 6 miles
Wed: 3 mile hike with group
Thurs: 2 hour off trail hike miles unknown
Fri: 2.5 mile walk/hike
Sat: 8 mile hike :)
Sun: 2.5 mile walk

I admit that by the end of last week I've gotten really lazy/sleepy. I also admit that's one of the reasons why I didn't get to do my weigh in on time on Monday. I spent most of the morning in bed, watching youtube videos of Ellen DeGeneres (I'm currently obsessed with her. Don't worry. It's a phase. It'll pass.) and when I started functioning it was time to go to work. However I still managed to work out most of last week. Saturday was my epic hike and I'll share a couple of pictures of that.

I live by the entrance to Yosemite National Park. A wonderful person gifted me a seasonal pass to the park and I figured it would be blasphemy if I didn't use it. So I went to a hike called "Mono Pass". It was a gradual 8 mile out and back hike that I was told had a gorgeous view of the lake where I live at the end of the trail. I had a great time, and even spent time fooling around in one of the smaller lakes along the trail but in the end I got a major head ache. I didn't drink enough water and my dehydration/elevation gain got to me. I spent the rest of the night chugging bottles of water and nursing some major migraines. Remember to drink your water!

My hike to Mono Pass in pictures. Enjoy!

I made it to Mono Pass! But the view I was promised wasn't there. So I hiked another quarter mile.

I found what I was looking for. :)

I saw this lake that looked like it was at the end of the world. I scrambled down and hung out there before heading back. 

The wildflowers are beautiful right now. 

I need to start swimming again! I stopped and I need to take advantage of this warmer weather.
I need to continue drinking at least 2 bottles of water a day. ~60 oz.
I need to re-start my toning work out. I only did an abbreviated version of it last week once.
I will continue going on my hikes and walks and keep it up for 6x/week
I need to stop these sugar mini binges. I need to get stricter and try to stay within 1200-1600 calories.

That's all for now. I hope the rest of this week will get better. I've been lazy like I said. It's 7pm and I haven't worked out yet. My skin is still a dry, cracky, irritated mess and I wait until sunset, dusk to go outside if I can help it. Yes, I'm hiding from the strong sun.

Good luck everyone and happy Wednesday. The bellybutton of the week!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Opening myself to the magic of the Glycemic Load

So when I was reading more about my PCOS disorder in desperate attempts at treating myself better, many of the books I read talked about how a low glycemic diet is the best way to go. The reason being that overweight and obese PCOS women have a hard time losing weight and most of the food we eat automatically gets converted to sugar (bad for our insulin resistance) and therefore all that excess sugar gets stored to fat. Yes, there's more to it but over all that's what I got from it.

So I've been trying to make small changes toward low GI foods (foods that don't spike up your blood sugar as much). One of the big things is changing to whole grain foods. Whole grains take longer to digest and therefore don't go through my system so quickly. I've been eating whole grain bread, whole grain pancake mix, less bread, and less cheese and sugar all together. I've become addicted to whole grain tortilla chips with flax. I am starting to learn how to cook quinoa, and barley; things I didn't know existed up until a couple of years ago.

My latest purchase is multi-grain oats from Trader Joe's.

I tried it for the first time this morning with a dollop of honey and a handful of blue berries. It tastes great. Slowly but surely I think I'm getting the hang of this stuff.

A part of the glycemic index is the glycemic load. I still have a hard time explaining it myself but the way one of my cookbooks explains it is:
 "The GI ranks food according to their effect on blood sugar levels in comparison to glucose...the glycemic load number gives you a truer picture of what effect a typical serving of a food will have on blood sugar. It is calculated by multiplying the amount of available carbohydrate in a typical serving of food by the GI number and then dividing it by 100." -Glycemic Index Cookbook

So in other words the GI number tells you how one type of food affects your blood sugar compared to how glucose affects it. The GL tells you how a specific portion of that food will affect your blood sugar. So even though watermelon can spike up your blood sugar, if you only eat a sensible portion of it, that melon won't actually do much. 

I was talking to one of my co-workers, an older healthy man who has learned to calculate the glycemic load in his head. Something I'll probably have to learn to do. 
We were looking at different sugary cereals our group of high schoolers brought to feed everyone for breakfast. He looked at each and calculated the glycemic load of each one. The results were surprising to everyone, even him!
From worst to best:
Worst was Raisin Bran, then Grape Nuts, Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, and the best one:
Honey Nut Cheerios!
Amazing! You would think that the "healthiest one" would be Grape Nuts and Raisin Bran but when it comes to the amount of carbohydrates and the portion size, their glycemic load was pretty horrible. The others were just lower enough to make them "healthier" in the GL sense. Crazy.

I also look at calories and that's what I usually use to judge whether I get one type of item versus another. But now that I have glycemic load I need to think of both GL and calories and buy the lesser of two evils. Not that I had much trouble eating Honey Nut Cheerios. I love that cereal. LOL

Tomorrow is my weigh in. I'm super hopeful the scale and the measurement tape gives me good news. I went on an epic hike yesterday and I'll update everyone on that tomorrow too.



Monday, July 8, 2013

Weigh In: Indulgence Week

Happy Monday everyone,

I had a great and very elongated 4th of July weekend. I had a guest visit all last week and I took advantage of him being there to take him to all the eateries I hadn't touched since I moved here and probably won't touch again now that he left. So when I weighed myself this morning I was actually relieved by the number.

Current Weight: 205.0 lbs (-0 lbs)

I maintained perfectly! I am sorry that I wasn't able to keep my streak of losing 1 pound a week but with the food I ate last week maintaining was an amazing feat.

Better news is that I also measured myself and I lost 1 inch on my hips, my waist and my bust! I lost fractions of inches on my thighs and calves. My arms stayed relatively the same. That's wonderful! It just shows that the scale isn't everything.

I didn't count calories last week. I was very mindful of what I was eating since I was eating out almost every day. I tried to balance it out with my other meals and I made sure to stay active all week. I managed to maintain and that's ok. Just to show you what I ate last week here's a nice review:
Two Saturdays ago I enjoyed a quiche with made- from- scratch  spicy hot chocolate

Last Monday I had a wonderful portobello mushroom sandwich and a beer tasting

Last Friday we shared a buffalo meatloaf (amazing!) and delicious fish tacos

That night we also indulged in a super duper chocolate cake. I still have left overs!

Things I didn't take a picture of; an In n Out burger, baby back ribs (I hadn't eaten ribs in years!), an ortega chile burger and sweet potato fries, and delicious ice cream shake that lasted me days, and gelato.

So yes, I indulged. I tried out all the foods I wanted and we shared most of it. I almost always had leftovers that turned out to be lunch for the next day. The ice cream and cake ended up in my freezer. I was actually thrilled that I not only didn't want to finish all my food but COULDN'T! I am definitely learning to pace myself. 

Now to work outs:
Mon: 2 mile walk
Tues: hike up a volcano and traversed the thing
Wed: toning work out and short walk
Thurs: 3 mile hike
Fri: Yosemite! 2 steep 3 mile hikes= 6 miles
Sat: canoeing
Sun: 4.5 mile walk/hike

I definitely stayed relatively active last week. Wednesday and Saturday seemed to be the laziest days and they were still active. 

Time to keep going.

Vacation is over. I need to get back to my lose 1 pound a week goal. I lost a week but I can still reach my long term goals if I start now. 
I need to continue to drink at least 2 nalgenes of water a day.
I need to start calorie counting immediately.
I need to stay active and work out at least 30 minutes 5x/week
I only managed to do my toning workout once last week. I need to up that to 3x/week this week.
Any of the leftover decadence foods need to be getting rid of. I got rid of the left over ice cream. I still have a portion of the cake left and I have a loaf of cheesy onion bread I bought last week. They need to be thrown away, given away or eaten only after a hard work out. 

That's all for now. Hope everyone had a great weekend last weekend and let's get started!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Quick and Dirty Weigh In

Last week I didn't end up spending much time hiking with kids. However I DID end up doing the hike with the group. Six hour day hike going from 9,600 ft in elevation and climbing up to 11,400 ft to a beautiful peak. That made up for the laziness of the rest of the week. Because of it I got good news from the scale yesterday morning.

Current Weight: 205.0 lbs

I lost exactly one pound again! I'm so glad I was able to keep my 1 lb/week streak!


I did calorie count last week but I don't have the information on me. I know I over ate twice last week. Same with work outs. I was lazy but that epic hike on Thursday was amazing.


I've been indulging this week so far. I need to make sure I stay within the calorie limits this week.
It's been a hot week so far so I'm having no trouble drinking water.
The main goal is to keep my one pound loss/ week streak.

Good luck and happy 4th of July!