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!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Late Weigh In

I weighed in today. I was so nervous after eating bread and dairy all last week. I honestly didn't want to weigh in.

But here it is:

Current Weight: 207.2 lbs (-0.2 lbs)

I lost the little I must have gained during my binge. I'm so happy to see that it didn't get too bad.

To double check my weight loss I measured my hips and waist.

I lost 1/4 inch on my hips (finally!) and lost 3/4 of an inch on my waist.

That's a total of 1/4 inch off my hips and 1 1/4 inches off my waist since I started my calorie counting streak. I'm thrilled I'm seeing results no matter how snail pace it is.

It's time for work now. I hope that getting back in to the swing of things will help give me some energy. I'm emotionally drained right now.

I'll continue my calorie counting streak and try to stay closer to 1500 calories.

The start of the week hasn't been any better. I'll check in again later.

Have a great week everyone!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Sum up of Week 4 Calorie Counting Streak

It was a hard week for weight loss. I ate relatively well this weekend with a few hiccups. However I don't think I've recovered from last weeks binge eating. My stomach was rumbling all weekend.

Here are Day 5-7 calorie totals.

Friday: 1580 calories

Saturday: 1798 calories

Sunday: 1723 calories

I ate naan, ice cream and heavy seafood. I also ate salads, greens, avocado, carrots, farmers market fruit and other healthy delicious food.

I didn't exercise much unless it was a short walk here or there. The point is that my stomach still hates me from eating carbs and too much sugar.

I had a protein shake with fruit for breakfast. Going to take it easy this week. It's back to work anyway.

I don't have a scale near me and I am not looking forward to it. I'll check in again when I finally weigh in on Wednesday.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Week 4's Calorie Counting Streak Day 1-4

It's been a busy and very quick week.

There was a family emergency. I was on the road before 6 am on Monday morning to the Mexican border (about 450 miles) after getting some bad news over a text Sunday afternoon.

I ate bread. I ate sugar. I cried. I laughed and I've driven over 1,000 miles just in these last 4 days.

I still tracked everything I put in my mouth. I would cringe at the number I was left with. Not a good week so far. Time to fix it.

Here's the damage:

Monday: 2,130 calories

Tuesday: 2,052 calories

Wednesday: 2,818 calories (totally felt sick this day)

Thursday: 1,188 calories (taking a break and not feeling well anyway)

This weekend is going to be for complete recovery. I don't want to think about another Starbucks frappuccino or oreo cookies. Ugh just thinking about it makes me cringe and my stomach grumble.

I haven't weighed myself and I'm not looking forward to it. All I can do now is to take it easy with the food and go for walks and strength training.

I'll check in again at the end of the weekend. Have a good one.


Monday, September 15, 2014

When gaining weight during a weight loss journey makes me happy.

Quick early morning check in.

I woke up at 5 am today to get ready for my big drive.

Hoped on the scale and saw this:

Current Weight: 207.4 (gained 1.4 lbs from last Monday)

I've been feeling better somedays and like the fattest pig other days. I decided to measure my middle.

I've lost one inch above my waist.
3/4 of an inch on my waist
1/2 of an inch on my hips.

Would you look at that. Last year I lost 15 lbs and maybe 1/2 an inch all around. This time I'm gaining weight and losing inches. This is great news for a PCOS woman. Losing inches off my middle is like taking years back from my life.

I hope this tiny win can help keep me going today. I'm going to need my energy tonight during the wake/family reunion.

Have a good Monday.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Last day of Week 3's Calorie Counting Streak: Quick Post

Today started out well. I said goodbye to an amazing group of young ladies after doing an epic hike with them yesterday of which I am still sore.

I was eating pretty healthy and even second attempted making cauliflower crust pizza. It ends up tasting delicious but the wax paper I use keeps getting stuck to the cauliflower crust. Next time I'm going to ditch the wax paper.

The only problem is that I couldn't ditch the strong urge to want to eat chocolate and ice cream. I finally told myself I'd go for a bike ride and then head over to the ice cream shop and get a small soft serve ice cream.

The second I started my ride I got a text and I eventually checked it. It was from my mom explaining that my aunt had died. Stop Everything. I turned around and on my way back found a bake sale. As I text my mom back and forth I bought a cupcake and a small cookie, donated an extra $5 to the sixth graders cause and went home. The cupcake didn't satisfy and I actually felt worse for eating bread. I don't even like cupcakes.

I was so upset over the news and over my immediate 'find dessert NOW' reaction that I eventually got myself to the gym and worked my arms and my already sore legs. I spent over an hour in the gym just trying to undo the dumb over eating I did and try to numb myself from the shock of hearing the news about my aunt.

I'm still in a bit of shock but I've been busy. I'm packed and nearly ready to drive 450 miles to the Mexico border to go to the viewing/wake tomorrow evening and the funeral on Tuesday morning.

Mexico doesn't hesitate when it comes to funerals. I had to act quickly.

I'll be out of town for most of the week. Here's the last day of week 3's calorie counting challenge.

Total calories: 1,880

Total burned calories: 501

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Calorie Counting Streak Week 3 Day 6!

I'm so happy to see that I'm almost done with week 3 of my calorie counting streak.

I admit I couldn't sleep last night wondering what I was doing wrong and not losing weight this week. I can't believe it kept me up most of the night. But what helped was looking back at my patterns in MyFitnessPal and seeing how much I was eating, when I ate the most, what I ate the most etc. That helped me be mindful of the little things you don't think are a big deal but turn out to be.

For instance, this whole week I over ate and under worked out. I realized that I would always log what I ate after I indulged and then get upset over how many calories I ended up consuming.

Today I decided to log what I planned to eat before I ate it and adjust accordingly. It worked! I hope I can continue this simple but game changing habit.

Breakfast: 471 calories

Snack: 187 calories (individually wrapped trail mix)

Lunch: 287 calories

Dinner: 470 calories

TOTAL: 1415 calories (woo! Under 1500 FINALLY!)

I probably burned as many calories as I consumed since we did one of the steepest hikes I've ever done with a group. I also went really, really slowly because I stayed back with one of the students that was having a hard time making it up the mountain. We still made it. I still sweated like crazy.

Good times.

I hope I can continue to plan my meals ahead of time so that I can anticipate when I'm about to go over in calories and then figure out a way to fill myself up without over indulging.

One day at a time.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Hunger, Hunger (CCS Week 3 Days 3,4, &5)

Work has kept me busy this week.

I am still keeping my Calorie Counting Streak for Week 3.

Here are the numbers for the last three days

Wednesday: 1717 calories total and walking as exercise

Thursday: 1757 calories total and easy hiking as exercise

Friday: 1806 calories total and vigorous elliptical as exercise

It's becoming harder and harder to stay under 1500 calories. I know a lot of it is the snacks I eat rather than the meals themselves. However I am so hungry at the end of the day I eat dinner and go over because I already ate too much in the afternoon.

I haven't been able to go to the gym as much and it took me days to recover from my crazy hike. My calves have been sore ever since Tuesday.

I'm happy that I at least I'm consistent with the amount I've been eating. Hopefully by the end of the week I can get the numbers down.

That's all for now.

Happy counting!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Getting lost on a hike.. kinda sorta (CCS Week 3 Day 2)

I woke up this morning feeling ok but with a huge sense of guilt that I over ate yesterday and didn't work out. So I told myself I would go on a hike today. A good one.

My co-workers suggested a while ago that I should go to Gem lake. A 6.2 mile round trip hike, pretty strenuous they said. I had all day. I finally decided to go. It started out great.

It was a beautiful day. I started a little after 11:30 am. I'd had a good breakfast of fruit with yogurt and trail mix. It was 3 miles and a total of 1,800 ft elevation gain. No biggie right?

The trail ran a long Silver Lake first. A gorgeous lake.

Here's where the trail turned and I got a good look at Horsetail Falls and an old train track I knew I'd catch up to soon.

The trail crossed the tracks twice and then the trail was the tracks.

By the time the trail turned in to the tracks I was still feeling well but hoping I'd make it to the first lake already. I definitely had to push it to make it up this hill. But I wasn't done. Oh no. lol.

This is where things went wrong. I made it to the top of that hill and saw that there was an old power plant. I thought it'd be deserted but there were people working a long the tracks. I saw this trail to the left of this building and took it. It must be the right trail if the tracks were a work site, right?

I crossed this dam and kept going. I'd made it over 2 miles at this point and stopped to take a break. I had one of those electrolyte gels athletes use during marathons. I'd never had one before so I figured I'd try it. It didn't taste bad, but it was literally sugar and carbs; exactly what I shouldn't be eating. I knew I had another uphill mile to go though so I figured I'd burn those 150 calories quickly.

The trail was rocky and kept going up and up and up. I was so high I could see a lake I knew was 15 miles away. 

I got so high that I finally saw the lake I was supposed to be at by now. I was much higher and far away from it. Damn. I kept hoping the trail I was on would eventually lead me there so I kept going up.

4.5 miles in to my hike I finally gave up and turned around. I admit I would have kept going just to see where my trail led but I realized that my water would run low and I didn't have any more food. I turned back hoping I could get back to the power plant. However, this rocky trail took time to cross. I kept reminding myself that my phone was dying and that I wasn't allowed to die, because I wouldn't be able to call anyone if I did hurt myself. 

At some point my head started hurting and I got dizzy. I needed to drink more water and have something to eat. I usually keep a piece of fruit in my bag and hoped I'd still have an orange. I drank and nearly finished my water bottle. I knew I still had half of another and 2.5 miles to go. I found a bag of nuts (thank god!) and gobbled it up. 

All I wanted to do at this point is make it back to my car and go home. The hike was beautiful but I was bummed I took the wrong course and I also ended up going 800 ft higher in elevation. I was tired and hungry and feeling the starts of blisters. It's not that I hadn't hiked this much before. I just didn't prepare for this detour.

My phone had been tracking my miles and died 30 minutes and one mile before I made it back to my car. But I made it back. I drank the rest of my water. I drove home and immediately took a shower. Dinner was the same as last night; soup and chicken.I had cottage cheese, grapes and honey as dessert.

I was dehydrated so I currently have a headache that I'm trying to drown with water. The reason I did this hike was in part to make up for my lack of exercise from yesterday and part of it was to remind myself that I can do strenuous hikes again. I was happy I did so well despite not having enough food. My feet are ok. The warm spots on the balls of my feet are already feeling better and I'm not that tired. Just disappointed that I didn't make it to my destination. I guess I'm going to have to try again.


Now the numbers.

Breakfast: 598 calories

Lunch: 250 calories (the gel and 100 calorie bag of nuts)

Dinner: 766 calories (chicken and soup mainly. delicious)

TOTAL: 1614 calories

5 hours of hiking: 1800 calories burned

No wonder I got dizzy. I used up so many calories going up over 2,000 ft in elevation and sweat off so much of the water I drank I never peed.

LOL. Now it's time for me to lie down, drink a bunch of water and watch a movie. Believe it or not it was a good day.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Why you shouldn't wait so long to eat (CCS Week 3 Day 1)

Monday is my day off this week.

I got up late, had bean soup for breakfast and went in to town. There I had a latte and started writing my initial brainstorm on how to improve the outdoor education program I'm currently hired to coordinate. 

I was hungry and for the life of me I was craving roasted chicken and a creamy tomato soup. That's all I wanted. I went in to the grocery deli and they didn't have the soup I wanted! I was saddened and decided to go to the library to send emails and try not to think of creamy tomato soup.

Well I worked for hours, wrote my last entry about coconut oil moisturizer, and started starving. Finally by 5:30pm I went back to the grocery store. Bought fruit, yogurt, trail mix, a roasted chicken, and found two different kinds of creamy tomato soup on sale!! Woo! I just had to drive home, heat up the soup and eat!

However, the drive home takes 30 minutes. The smell of roasted chicken filled the car. I had half a mind to stop in the middle of the road and grab a drumstick.

But I made it. I heated up a cup of soup. I ate almost half the chicken in one go. It was AMAZING. I wasn't done though. I then grabbed some fruit, some trail mix and a lot of greek yogurt and had a huge fruit parfait as dessert. 

By the time I was done I was.so.full.

Here's the run down on calories:

Breakfast: 480 calories

Afternoon snack: 255 calories (the latte at 1pm)

Dinner: 1,163 calories (at 6:20pm)

TOTAL: 1898 calories

Exercise was simple calisthenics: push ups, inner thigh work outs, leg stretches and supermans
Burned: 125 calories

Lessons of the day: 

1.Getting the food you really crave is amazing. 
2. DO NOT wait so long to eat or else you go insane and eat too much!

That is all.


How to Make Your Own Coconut Oil Moisturizer Bar! (Weekly weigh in)

Happy Monday all!

I have been keeping my calorie counting streak for two weeks now and still going strong. It's amazing how logging everything you eat helps you lose weight.

Current weight: 206.0 lbs (-1 lb from last week and -4 lbs from last month)

Not bad, not bad. The more exciting news is that I've lost 0.5 inch from my waist. That's a HUGE deal for a woman dealing with PCOS and that dreaded apple shaped figure.

Enough of that though because what I wanted to focus on in this post is how I've come up with making my own moisturizer using coconut oil. This moisturizer doesn't make you smell like last nights dinner and best of all, it's NOT MESSY! yay!

Background info:
When I developed eczema last year I broke down. The only thing I've been consistent about is taking care of my already sensitive skin. Suddenly getting a splotchy, itchy, burning and red face and arms was killing me.

I was already reading about the importance of taking harmful chemicals away from toiletry items and learned how coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer. Now I had already converted to using coconut oil for my food so when I tried to put the oil on my hair as a conditioner, or on my skin as a moisturizer, it was messy and I could not take going to bed smelling like the dinner I had just eaten a few hours ago.

I looked up different ways of making your own moisturizer and learned how using essential oils can help. I also learned the hard way that you can't use tea tree oil by itself. It irritated my skin soo much when I tried that. I read that you're supposed to diffuse it using another oil, like olive oil etc.

For a while last year I converted to jojoba oil. It was awesome but really expensive. When I finally talked to a nutritionist about it they convinced me to use coconut oil again. More nutrients apparently. This time I had a plan though.

Fiddling with it I finally created a great coconut oil bar, that smells amazing, slides through my skin without making a mess or uses too much oil. In the end my skin is silky smooth. Mmmmm...

Here's how I do it:

First off I bought these great little round containers from REI. The plastic top pops off so the plastic is flexible. I'll explain how that's useful later.
First, fill the container with coconut oil.
I bought this huge thing of coconut oil from Costco. It's lasted me over a year for cooking and moisturizing.

Second, I put the container with coconut oil in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to make the oil in to a liquid. If the thought of microwaving plastic freaks you out you can heat the oil in a pan just long enough to melt it, and then pour it in to your container. 
Third, I add essential oils to nourish the moisturizer and make it smell amazing. I learned that you need to have a base (coconut oil) and then use essential oils to add to it. One essential oil will be the main ingredient and any others are add ons. You don't need to add much. I added 
15 drops of lavender, (I LOVE lavender.)
5 drops of tea tree oil,
 and 3 drops of rosemary oil.

 Do not underestimate the power of these oils. It ended up smelling a lot more like tea tree than one would expect. Because you don't need much of these oils those little expensive bottles can actually go a long way. I bought these bottles slowly and they've lasted me for almost a year, still relatively full.

Fourth, pop the top on the container and stick it in the fridge! Yup, you heard that right. In order to make the coconut oil in to a bar it needs to be cold. 

Fifth, wait until the oil cools long enough to turn completely solid again. I usually wait over night. 

Sixth, pop your new moisturizer bar out of it's container (this is why having flexible plastic is so useful) and you can slide the bar a long your body. The oil melts with your body heat and doesn't use too much of the bar at once. I usually just swipe it a long my arms, legs, neck and middle. I put the bar down and then rub in the oil with my hands. 

Stick the bar back in the container, the container back in the fridge and there you go! I usually use it right after I shower. It makes my skin feel soooo smooth. :) The bar usually lasts me quite a while. It just depends how often you use it. I use it a few times a week. I learned that I don't have to use it daily. The moisturizing power lasts a couple of days for me.


It doesn't irritate your skin. 
It smells great because you used your favorite essential oil smells. 
You don't use up too much of the oil at once.
It's not messy because the cold keeps the bar compacted together. 
You can use any kind of container because the melted coconut oil can be molded. Just make sure you can take it out of the container so you can actually use the bar!


You have to keep it refrigerated so it's cold when you put it on your skin. Brrr!
It's hard to travel with it because you have to keep it cool most of the time. However if it melts you can just stick it back in the fridge, later and wait until it hardens again.

So there you go. How to make a coconut oil bar. It's not hard and it's fun to make your own smell.

I admit I've gotten some good feedback on how smooth my skin feels. Try it. 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Calorie Counting Streak Week 2 Day 7: I made it for two weeks!

It's the last day of Week 2's calorie counting streak. You best believe I'm going to keep going to Week 3.

Today was a bit better. I didn't feel too stressed out, probably because I volunteered for the annual race. Races always bring out the best in people; supportive, active, excited, determined. I love races. I tried my hardest to keep my calories down. I did really well up until a half hour ago when I suddenly got really hungry and decided to eat a spoonful of peanut butter.

Here's how the cookie crumbled:

Breakfast: 537 calories

Lunch: 720 calories (fish tacos!)

Dinner: 55 calories (salad)

Snacks: 311 calories (again, my 'snacks' should be my actual meals)

TOTAL: 1623 calories

Calories burned: 566 calories (hiking!)

Tomorrow is weigh in and waist measurement day. May the weight-loss fairies decide to be in my favor.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

How calorie counting helped me realize my emotions (CCS Week 2 day 6)

Today was another over eating day.

The total calories for today: 1982 calories

I got a chance to go to town and ended up eating almost the same thing I did a few days ago:

I got another sugary latte, ordered sweet potato fries with a side of chipotle mayo as a dip. Those three things ended up being over 1,000 calories!

I realized that my over eating was all emotionally triggered. I've been tired and stressed and worried for the last two weeks due to work transitions and loved ones. Today I spent 3 hours applying to a job and almost 2 hours on the phone trying (and failing) to convince a loved one that they are worth it and not to give up on themselves. I was so drained and have been this whole week that I ate my feelings.

Will this horrible pattern ever end? I didn't get a chance to work out either. Five hours of emotionally draining activities literally took all the free time I had before I had to go back to work... and work with troubled youth going through drug rehab.

Tough week. I hope this mini binge won't keep me from my weight loss goals. I have one day left of week 2's calorie counting streak and I will make it!!


Friday, September 5, 2014

CCS Week 2 Days 4 & 5

Summing up two days of calorie counting. First off yes I'm still at it and I'm very happy to say that it's getting easier to do. I hope I can finish the week and move on to week 3!

Yesterdays calories ended up being a bit of a disaster. I had my food prepared but ended up eating from the group so I ate double at most meals.

Day 4 calories:

Breakfast: 699 calories (breakfast sausage can do that)

Lunch: 548 calories (who knew drinking a gatorade with lunch would add so many calories?)

Dinner: 528 calories (it was hamburger day. I ate two patties.)

Snacks: 232 calories (banana, peanut butter and honey, my "dessert" and a price to pay)

TOTAL: 2007 calories!

What a mess.

The good news is that yesterday I also got a chance to swim again! I waited a while to swim again because I had this nasty burn/scab that was healing around my ankle. It hurt to kick while I swam so I stopped. It's almost completely healed so I finally decided to go back to the pool!

Day 5 calories:

Breakfast: 467 calories

snack: 200 calories (granola bars that had some not-so-great ingredients in it)

Lunch: 408 calories

snack: 343 calories (I guess all this grazing could be considered dinner but it just wasn't)

Dinner: 171 calories

I had a break this evening and I admit instead of going to the gym I ended up watching 2 hours of Once Upon a Time on Netflix. I love this show mainly because the main character is a strong female lead. I also love fairy tales and am intrigued in how this shows mixes them together without making it seem too silly.

A part of me kept reminding me to get up and go to the gym but I kept convincing myself that I would just work out at home. I had dumbbells and a bike. I didn't need to go to the gym, right?

After I finished the last episoe I got up and looked at my profile in the mirror. It was a good day for self image and I felt like I LOOKED better. I even grabbed the measuring tape and measured my middle quickly. It showed a smaller waist. I checked the time and saw it was 7:30pm. I quickly decided that I would go to the gym anyway.

By 8pm. I was at the gym one hour before closing, and immediately jumped on the elliptical and did 35 hard minutes on it. It felt great. I realized that although I didn't NEED to go to the gym the routine of going was more of the point. That getting off my ass and driving 10 miles to the gym and jumping on a machine, diving in to a pool or snatching a couple of dumbbells there felt more like a sense of commitment and accomplishment than just doing simple stretches at home. I had to keep it up in order to tell myself that I'm doing something for my health. It was the act of getting my gym bag and deciding health over laziness. It felt great.

Sense of dedication and accomplishment

So I'm really hoping that despite my pig out on Thursday I can continue to lose some pounds this weekend and get closer to 205 lbs by Monday.

I'm so happy this calorie count streak is still going strong.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

CCS Week 2 Day 3: late and short

Back at work and limited wifi. I ate most of my calories before 2pm and ate dinner with the new group that arrived.

TOTAL: 1635 calories

Elliptical for 20 minutes = 210 calories burned.

Let's hope today is better. I'll log in tonight or early tomorrow for Day 4.

- w0rld

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

That frustrations of the 'peek-a-boo' towel (CCS Week 2 Day 2)

It's been a good day so far today.

I ended up getting up pretty late but that's ok. I decided I was really craving a Starbucks frappucino. I was day dreaming about a venti something a ruther with whip cream and chocolate syrup. Sugar, sugar, sugar. The closest Starbucks to me is 30 miles away so I packed my computer bag, my gym bag and wore some comfy shoes and told myself I was taking a trip to 'town'.

On my way there I started thinking about how unhealthy it would be to drink such a sugary drink. Right before I entered town I took a detour to a short trail called Inyo craters. I said I'd go on a short hike before I ended up at *$ and 'make some room' for the calories I was going to consume.

The day was gorgeous for it. :)
Nice breeze and great sun.
The sun made the crater pool sparkle.

I hiked 1.2 miles and burned 205 calories according to my Runkeeper app.

I went to town and stopped at the deli. I ordered sweet potato fries and a chicken caesar salad. I ate half the fries and picked at the salad. I took the rest for left overs and headed to the coffee shop. By this time I wasn't really interested in the sugary drink anymore. I was still a little hungry and I knew that if I didn't order it now I would start craving it again later. I ended up ordering a grande salt-caramel-mocha-frap-light-no-whip-cream-please.

I drank it slowly while having a phone conversation. It was glorious. I was satisfied. I knew I wouldn't crave one again for a good long while.

I then, of course, felt guilty. Once I was done with my drink I drove away and straight to the gym!

I spent 35 minutes elliptical-dancing to Pandora's "Latin Workout Mix" ( you should try listening to it if you like Zumba music). If you've never danced while on the elliptical it's harder than you think. Or maybe it's easier than you think. It depends on your perspective. Either way my core and quads were burning a lot more than you would expect on the elliptical machine. Best part of all I was having fun AND my feet didn't fall asleep!

I was feeling great. That is until I showered and wrapped the complimentary towel the fancy-shmancy fitness center provides their members. (Yes, the closest gym is also a spa and apart from every toiletry item you could imagine being available in the locker rooms they also give you a towel to use. I take advantage of it.)

Every time I put on that towel I have the ultimate FAT girl struggle. It.won't. wrap.all.the.way.around!!

I call it the peek-a-boo towel and it frustrates me to no end.

So annoying!!

You might be asking why I don't bring my own towel if it bothers me so much. The reason is because although it bugs me knowing I still can't get a 'regular' towel to go around my round body it gives me a goal. If I can shrink enough to get a towel like that to wrap around without worrying I'm going to flash someone that would be a glorious triumph! Ha, ha!

So I keep using the towel. And I'll keep going to the gym. I'll also keep going on my hikes and bring out the dumbbells. Not just because I want to lose weight but because I'm slowly developing healthy habits. I can't wait to see what Elina looks like under all the flab. I want to know what my body is like at a healthy BMI. I'm intrigued. I want to see it so badly. So I'll continue working on it until she shows herself. And you best believe that towel is going to wrap around. LOL

Calories consumed today:

Breakfast: 471 calories (fruit salad with cottage cheese!)

Snack: 223 calories (egg frittata) 

Lunch: 594 calories (deli food)

Dinner: 170 calories (grande-salt-caramel-mocha-frap-light-no-whip-cream-please)

TOTAL: 1458 calories

Calories burned: 
Elliptical dancing: 343 calories in 35 minutes 

1.2 mile hike: 205 calories in 30 minutes

Have a good day everyone.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Calorie Counting Streak Week 2 Day 1

I ended up being so tired that after work I ended up taking an hour nap. My calories weren't so bad today.

Breakfast: 358 calories

Morning snack: 120 calories

Lunch: 526 calories

Afternoon snack: 97 calories

Dinner: 383 calories

TOTAL: 1565 calories

I knew that although I was tired I needed to do some sort of exercise so I went for a 25 minute walk.

I hope I can gain some energy tomorrow so that I can start swimming again.

Have a great week everyone

September Weigh In

It's September. Happy Labor Day everyone. It's Monday AND the start of the month. It's time to weigh in. I woke up feeling light and well. I weighed in soon after waking up and measured my waist and hips.

Current Weight: 207.0 lbs

I've lost 3 pounds since the beginning of August. I wish I would have lost one or two more pounds but I'm glad I am back on track after so many months of being in a stand still.

My measurements have stayed pretty much the same. 

Above waist: 38.75 inches
Waist: 44 inches
Hips: 48 inches

I was working this weekend so I didn't get a chance to post some of the pictures of my cooking.
I was able to make a simple vegetable chili. I put it away and now that I'm back from work I can start eating it again. 
I also got a chance to make my favorite pre-made breakfast. Egg frittata! 
I made it using my cupcake pan so I have small servings I can quickly heat up on the microwave. Every time I heat one up I start to salivate. They smell really good. LOL

I've been keeping my calorie counting streak and managed to go to the gym 5 days out of the week. I feel a bit tired today but I'll do my best to go again today. I did manage to go to the grocery store. While waiting in line I managed to take a picture of what I was planning to buy. 

In this picture there are: two cases of broth, ground turkey, eggs, 3 cans of beans, 4 cans of tuna, 3 red plums, 4 dark plums, 2 cucumbers, 1 zucchini, box of quinoa, 3 bags of frozen vegetables, cauliflower, green onions, bananas, cottage cheese, sweet potato cut in to fries, tomato sauce, and 2 onions. 

Most of this is becoming the usual things I buy. Every once in a while I switch the vegetables and change up the fruit. I buy almond milk and yogurt. But this was it for the week or so.

Hopefully I can continue working on eating healthier I'll log in again tonight when I finish counting calories for the night. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Calorie Count Steak Day 7!!

Sadly this will be a quick post. Work went all the way to 11:15 pm and I wasn't able to post until just now.

But I'm so happy to say I made it to day 7 of calorie counting!

Breakfast: 618 calories

Lunch: 450 calories

Dinner: 289 calories

Snacks: 188 calories

TOTAL: 1545 calories

I tried to do my best to stay under 1500 calories. I ate a bunch today during my hike with the students so that by the time I started eating randomly and realized I needed to check in to see how many calories I had left.

Thankfully I was able to stop eating and stayed pretty satisfied the rest of the day. My stomach didn't rumble until 10 pm tonight. Not bad!

I'll continue this streak for week 2. I'm so glad I made it this far!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Calorie Count Streak Day 6: Bananas and ice cream

I'm back for Saturday's calorie count.

I have to say that I thought it would be easier to stay within 1500 calories but looking at my trends I can do 1700-1800 calories pretty well. Today was one example.

Breakfast: 482 caloies

Afternoon snack: 275 calories

Lunch: 594 calories

Evening snack: 100 calories

Dinner: 285 calories (dinner was ice cream btw)

TOTAL: 1737 calories

First of all having ice cream for 'dinner' was a last minute decision. I had been somewhat craving ice cream after lunch. It started off as a half-joke  (Elina loooves ice cream ha ha) but then this evening I got off work with enough time to catch the local town concert with a "sundae social after" . I had just finished eating a 100 calorie pack of nuts and figured that would be it by the end of the night. But suddenly being presented with what I was craving the most I decided to get a small amount, really enjoy it, and move on with my life. I admit it didn't drive me to a sugar binge like it has before. I had a small bowl with some fun toppings. Talked a bit with some of the women there and had no appetite for more. It was such a nice feeling.

The rest of the day was just badly planned. I ate two bananas early in the morning and left to have a talk with my director. He wasn't there and so I got caught up with emails and etc. I found myself at 10:30 am starving. I ate a proper breakfast and went to the gym.

Cleaned out ice cream bowl.
By 2pm I was starving again. But lunch wasn't ready so I ate another banana and some yogurt. It didn't fill me up much because when lunch was ready I went a little crazy with two burger patties (no buns of course) and hummus. If you haven't tried a burger with hummus please do. It tastes super yummy!

Of course by the time dinner rolled around I wasn't too hungry. I ate nuts and decided to go to the community church to listen to the beautiful sounds of piano with cello. The ice cream was a plus.

I felt a bit guilty of course so once I walked home from the concert I decided to go for a good power walk to try and use up some of those calories right away and hopefully convince my body it should burn that sugar rather than add it to the spare tire I've been carrying. I walked 1.3 miles and came home.

Tomorrow is the last day of my calorie counting week challenge! I'm sure I'll make it. I'll do my best to stay under 1500 calories and on Monday it's time to weigh in again. Eeeek! I hope I can get some motivating news!

Good luck everyone.


Calorie Count Day 5: Late post but still here!

I didn't get a chance to log in yesterday. Work didn't end until 11:30 pm and by then I didn't have the energy to walk out to the middle of a random field to try and get enough data on my phone to post an entry.

I DID count calories though!

I also need to make a correction on Day 4's post. I ended up eating more after all. I ate soy sausage and salad with marinara sauce. That brought my Day 4's calories to 1301. I only ate because I felt I should. I felt really heavy afterwards.

Yesterday I had a weird vibe. I wasn't hungry but out of nowhere I'd suddenly get a craving for food. I would eat a little and soon become completely full so I would stop. Once I counted up all those random grazings I was surprised at how much I ate.

Breakfast : 220 calories

Afternoon snack: 340 calories (granola bars are calorie pricey!)

Lunch: 286 calories

Evening snack: 200 calories

Dinner: 675 calories (I guess I got my appetite back)

After dinner snack: 41 calories

TOTAL: 1762 calories

It's really interesting how you think you're not eating very much at all but WHAT you munch on makes a difference. Granola bars, bananas and peanut butter are high calorie foods.

My stomach's been rumbling a little lately. I don't need to go to the bathroom more often than usual but when I do I feel like my body is getting rid of everything and the kitchen sink. Is this my body cleansing itself? I sure hope so.

I'll log in tonight to show the results of tonights calorie count. I'm so happy I'm almost done with my own Week Calorie Counting Challenge. I don't think I'm going to stop there. I think I'll make it a month. We'll see.

Ta ta for now.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Calorie Count Streak Day 4: Quick post

Really quick update.
Back at work and  there is little wi fi.

I actually had a big breakfast do two eggs and avocado. Lunch was chili. And tonight is the last of the veggie soup.  So not hungry.

TOTAL calories: 894 calories.

I know that's not enough calories so I might eat something later but I have no appetite.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Calorie Count Streak Day 3: So Close but No Cigar

It's day 3 of the calorie counting streak. I was doing sooo well in keeping my calories under 1500, but then I messed up by having a mixed drink at a goodbye get together for one of my co-workers. Why, oh why does alcohol have to be so calorie costly!!

Here goes:

Breakfast: 585 calories

Lunch: 529 calories

Dinner: 355 calories

Snacks: 350 calories

TOTAL: 1819 calories!

Grrr! I was doing so well by the end of the day. I was under my calorie goal and I even didn't touch the mountain of pastries that were in the goodbye get together. But then there were drinks. I figured one drink with rum and juice wouldn't hurt. Omg it wasn't even the rum it was the juice! 240 calories for a glass of pineapple juice. So not worth it!

But I admit my meals were delicious.

I had the left over almond flour pancakes for breakfast. This picture shows you a lot better what they look like.

I also woke up early to try my crockpot for the first time! I was so excited to finally try it. I loosely remembered a recipe for slow cooked beef shank I found on a paleo website. Instead of cabbage I had collared greens so I put in the greens with baby carrots and onion. I then lightly salted the beef and added a little rosemary and turned the cooker on low before going to the morning work meeting.

I'm so thankful work is just a five minute walk from my house because 4 hours in I realized I missed major ingredients. I quickly added garlic and broth to the recipe. I then added some sun dried tomatoes just for kicks. A few hours later it was done. The meat easily came off the bone and it smelled so good in my place. When I tasted it, it needed salt so I added a bit more and some pepper and that made the dish!

So good for my first slow cooker recipe. Next time go heavy on the salt!

I was done with my meals and I went to the gym. Burned a few calories and came back. That's when I immediately met with pastries. First fresh baked cookies and then amazing looking pastries from a local bakery. I easily resisted the bread. (I will reveal what has been working to keep me away from most breads later). However the thought of having one drink seemed like an ok idea. I knew I shouldn't have but didn't realize how much over I would go. I regret it but it's too late now.

I still managed to stay under 2000 calories and that is ok.

Yay for resisting baked goods!

Hope all is well with you.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Calorie Count Streak Day 2: Almond flour pancakes and giant zucchini

Day 2 of calorie counting. Again the goal was 1500 calories and I think I did it this time!

Breakfast: 581 calories

Lunch: 403 calories

Dinner: 279 calories

Snacks: 190 calories

TOTAL: 1453 calories

Burned calories: 761 calories from hiking and elliptical machine.

A messy but delicious breakfast.
It started pretty heavy. I got excited to try a new recipe again. I tried almond flour pancakes. I had tried a different recipe with many more ingredients. This one was much easier to do but was a little bland and needed a topping. I had left over pumpkin puree and most of an apple. I baked them together with brown sugar. It was delicious.

I ate too much sugar. Honey for the pancake recipe and brown sugar for the topping, so I took advantage of my day off and went for a hike.

I decided to finally go to my favorite lake. I hadn't been there all year. It was a great work out and it was a great meditation.

Beautiful right?
I was out of shape but it still felt great.

Lunch was the leftover cauliflower pizza and homemade vegetable soup. It wasn't enough food though and I was starving two hours later. I ate a few nuts, craisins, and carrots and hummus. I needed enough food because I still planned to go to the gym. 

Still sore from my hike I grudgingly went to the gym.

Dinner was amazing. I managed to get a hold of the biggest zucchini I'd ever seen in my life from the local community garden. I cut up half of it and grilled it with spices and balsamic vinegar.
Biggest zucchini EVER. My comp has a 17" screen fyi.
Chopped and ready to grill. 

 I only went through 1/3 of the zucchini I cooked though. I was so full after I ate zucchini and fish. I had cottage cheese and cinnamon for dessert to make sure I had enough protein. I hate getting hungry soon after dinner. 
I'm incredibly full right now and hope I can continue this streak for the rest of the week! 

Good luck everyone!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Calorie Count Streak Day 1-- Cauliflower Pizza!

I decided I'm going to count calories again. In order to keep myself accountable I am going to log my calories at the end of the day.

I was hoping to stay under 1500 calories but day 1 is always a bit tricky.

Calories consumed:

Breakfast: 424 calories

Lunch: 330 calories

Dinner: 839 calories

Snacks: 215 calories

TOTAL: 1808 calories

Dinner is what really did it. (Although eating dark chocolate in the  middle of the day probably didn't help either)

I was looking up healthy recipes all morning and I found this amazing looking recipe for a cauliflower pizza crust!

I had to make it.

It actually took me two hours to make the whole pizza. It would have taken me sooner if I had a Cuisinart. I had to use my blender and shred the cauliflower in small batches to make it small enough.I also missed a step and ended up wasting time trying to ring out the cauliflower before the initial bake. Anyway,  because of these little things I ended up snacking on carrots and hummus and a little on the chicken I planned on adding to the pizza.
The cauliflower crust pre-baked

I think in the end I used too much cheese in the pizza.

The topping ingredients: sun dried tomatoes, sauteed chicken, bbq sauce, cheese, tomato and onion

I also ended up eating too much of it in one go. I ate 3/4 of the whole pizza. It was 6 inches long not too big but I could have stopped earlier. I didn't even take an after picture after I cooked it. I was so hungry I just dove in.
Toppings on and ready to bake.  

So in the end I got too excited about the prospect of having pizza again without having to eat bread. It was good but maybe next time, less cheese and use tomato sauce instead of bbq sauce to make it less sweet. 

I also spent an hour in the gym working my legs. I haven't done that many squats in months. I'm going to be sore tomorrow.

Til then,


Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Goal Collage!!

Ok, post-pity party from my last post, I got a chance to talk to my beloved and really communicate and  contemplate what the problem was and why I was feeling so depressed. I'm not 100% better but my mind is much clearer and my road is easy to see. Who said it was going to be easy to walk though? But do not worry I've FINALLY created a map!

I've always wanted to create a 'vision map' or goal collage. I've made collages before of my dreams and wishes; things I wish I could be or do. This time though I created my goal map/collage and I have to say I'm VERY proud of it. It's a  "Look what I did ma!" sort of feeling. LOL

It actually didn't take me that long to do. I have been cutting out and collecting pictures, words and phrases from magazines for a while now. Now that I knew what I wanted to put in the collage I was able to find the perfect words and images I wanted to add to it. I guess I've always known what I wanted it so say and show. I just finally had the drive to do it. 

The rough draft once I decided on the layout.

Once I figured out the right words I actually went online to find the right colors to make the background. I literally googled "color of confidence" and found some interesting articles. I chose one I agreed with and used it as a rough guide to the different colors to add: 
Dark blue for POWER.
Light blue for FREEDOM.
Orange for PURPOSE.
Yellow/Gold for VALUE.

You can decide what these color meanings mean to you. They were the perfect mix for me and I actually took my time deciding where in the collage I would paint each color. Once I did I finished the collage and immediately figured out how to rig it up to post on my fridge.. just like a little kid showing off their art project. LOL. More importantly it's in the perfect place to remind me of my weight loss and life goals. 

Immediately went on the fridge. LOL

I'll eventually laminate it. But I really am so elated that I FINALLY created this collage. It will be a constant reminder and it's great that I have it now as an empowering tool to keep me going when this journey gets tough, like right now.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me keep going. I will make it!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Have you ever cried while doing crunches?

Last night was one of the roughest nights I'd had in over a year. When depression hits it hits hard. Have you ever had one of those moments when you feel absolutely hopeless in your weight loss efforts?

 After years of yo-yoing and being stuck in the same weight it's bound to get to you. Last night it got to me. It's the same struggle I've had before about trying to love my body while trying to change it and look 'better'.

I've also noticed that the very little amount of self esteem I've gained started to dwindle after finding out that the person I love does not love my body. Knowing that he doesn't find me as attractive as thinner women really hurts. I understand it. Of course I do. Fit women are beautiful and ooze confidence. I can understand that he is naturally attracted to them. But can you understand that although he tries to reassure me that he loves me while asking me to lose weight, I can't help but feel self conscious and ashamed of my body?

I want to lose weight for myself and feel good about my body. I want to feel attractive and stop feeling ashamed of my body. Feeling horrible and ashamed has never helped me lose weight. It's this feeling that made me gain weight in the first place.

It's a mess and I'm sad. However last night, although I felt horrible, I showered, fixed my nails and worked out before going to bed. I figured that if I at least took care of my body, even though it was already 10pm, I would at least sleep better knowing I did something about my situation. Have you ever cried while doing crunches and giving yourself a pedicure?

Today I decided that I needed to 'fake it til I make it' and told myself that being sad and acting pathetic wasn't going to help. I acted amiable during my job. I ate semi-well and worked out. I now feel a bit better, a bit calmer, and have a little bit of hope restored. I hope I can get over my self consciousness and regain some self esteem while I continue my weight loss struggle.

I hope your weekend is happy and confident.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Realizing the (horrible) power of starches

Work and birthday weekend took up literally all of my time last week. Part of being in charge of an outdoor ed. group is being there 24/7 literally. Definitely NOT one of my favorite parts of my job.

The good thing I did last week was that I pre-prepared my food so that I can take part in a 4 day cleanse. It worked great and I lost 4 lbs in those four days.

The bad thing is that on the fifth day I went home to my family to celebrate my and my grandmothers birthday. I ate starches and sugar galore! When I weighed myself on the 8th day not only had I regained the 4 lbs from earlier that week I also gained 3 more!!

My poor body yo-yoed so much in one week it was no wonder I felt horrible all yesterday and spent most of my day huddled in a corner (after work of course).

Here's what I noticed though:

1. After I ate all that bread: pizza, brownies, hot dogs, and potatoes too, I saw that my energy was really low

2. My infections immediately came back.

3. My skin started getting a rash.

4. My hands and feet were slightly swollen.

5. I kept forgetting things. I couldn't find something for two days and it was staring me in the face the whole time.

6. Scariest of all: My libido is so low I feel like a forgotten refrigerator.

The thought of how just three days of bad eating habits affected me really scared me. I have never noticed so much go wrong so quickly. I'm sure there might be other factors (not exercising well during those binge days didn't help either and budget is tight so stress levels are up) but the fact of the matter is that eating starches really affects me in the worst of ways.

I'm back at work now and I'm going to loosely follow another cleanse. From there I think I'm going to move to a very strict eating menu for 30 days.

I also bought Joe Cross's book The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet

I really get inspired by his documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I tried juicing before but didn't make it.

One of the problems I had was that I didn't know what to juice. I also tried to do it while I had my community house glaring at me disapprovingly. Finally I just missed eating so much I couldn't stand it.

When I saw his book I was thrilled to see recipes for juicing but also a selection of different meal plans for different interests. There are 3 day cleanses, 10, 15, 30 day cleanses. But there are also meal plans mixed in with juicing so you don't have to go juicing cold turkey! I was thrilled. I bought the book.

I'm going to have to invest in a new juicer but I definitely want to make it a part of my life. Not just juice 100% of the time but add it to a healthy life style and healthy meals.

I'm excited to do it but before I do I'll do a different cleanse first and then a 30 day challenge.

Why am I doing so much one right after the other? Because I'm trying to form healthy habits and I need to start getting results. I realized that the second I plateaued I gave up. No results means it's not worth it to continue. It's a bad mentality but I admit I do it and I want to get results again. I want to form good habits and hopefully start working toward a better, healthier life style.

Thanks everyone for reading. I promise I'll update more often.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

The secret to weightloss

I got a cold on Monday. I haven't gotten a cold this badly in a while. My appetite has suppressed and my water intake has tripled. The secret to weight loss everyone. Get sick! LOL

But in reality despite this cold I have been counting calories again and going on short bike rides (before I realize I should be resting in bed).

I expect if I keep going like this I might actually see a change in the scale and the tape measure.
Sick and losing weight(?)

Hopefully when this cold goes away I'll still be able to suppress my cravings. This week I was able to stay away from chocolate, pancakes, eggs benedict and ice cream. It was easy. I hope it continues.


Monday, August 4, 2014

I've been in a fog for 5 months

It's been almost five months since I last posted. I can't really believe it myself. The reason I've been gone so long is because I had given up.. I think. I hate, hate to admit that I gave up but I have no other excuse. I think that the news I got from the nutritionist back in February started a chain reaction of depression.

The idea that despite all my blood test results coming back fine and great didn't matter because  I was still unhealthy and still incredibly obese really got to me. The realization that almost everything I ate turned in to sugar which then turned in to fat that I was storing frustrated me. The fact that I wasn't losing weight even though I was going to the gym almost everyday really depressed me. Even though I had gotten stronger I wasn't seeing the results and although it shouldn't have gotten to me it really did.

I haven't lost any weight since I last posted. I'm still at 210-ish pounds and have yo-yoed up to 213 lbs and back to 210 lbs.

I spent way too much time pretending to change my diet but would cheat. I also later realized that I hadn't been eating well at all. I stopped eating most bread, rice and potatoes. It wasn't that hard. Every once in a while I would have  slice of bread and I would eat rice a little more often. However sugar was a huge problem.

Ice cream, peanut butter, chocolate, ripe fruit, bbq sauce; I would eat these things constantly. It was no wonder that I wasn't losing any weight.

In April I was asked to move out of the apartment I was staying at and move back with my parents. Soon afterwards I got a mild case of shingles. I completely stopped working out and felt horrible. By the time I moved back to the Eastern Sierra a month later I was completely out of shape and felt heavy every morning.

I was so lucky to have the love of my life move in with me this summer. I had a lot of fun thinking of different things to cook that I indulged too much with butter and etc. Eating out was also a problem. We did too much of it and I was always the one to suggest eating out. The only thing he ever asks me to do is to get healthy and lose weight. It's the only thing that I haven't been able to do and instead of motivate me to get back in shape it depresses me. The only thing I could do was force myself not to gain anymore weight. It's probably the only reason why I didn't gain more.

Now the love of my life has moved away. He started a new job and I feel a little lost and even more sad. However I have always worked better at losing weight by myself. He's helped give me tools to work out again and I've been re-watching inspirational health videos to try and get myself in the right mind set.

I watched one video today that had a lot of information on the addictive qualities of sugar and how vegetables can help detox your body and help you lose weight. This wasn't news to me but there was one quote that really hit me. To paraphrase:

"Many times when you start changing your food habits you think 'I really want this but I CAN'T' and that CAN'T is the problem that prevents people from succeeding. You have to change your mindset and say "I can eat this but I don't want to.'"

That's exactly what the problem has been for me. I felt so deprived in not being able to eat what I wanted that I cheated all the time. I need to get in the right mind set and remind myself all the time WHY I'm doing this.

To get healthy and lose weight.

One good thing out off all this depressing mood is that my skin infections have subsided quite a bit. It's not completely gone but I have noticed that eating less bread/sugar has prevented it from getting worse.

I'm going to start again. I'm going to start a streak. I won't announce it right now. I hate when I announce something and then give up. I want to see if I can do it for 3 days straight before I announce it. Hopefully that'll give me a boost.

I think it's time to let this fog I've been in subside and let some sunshine back in to my life. I don't want to feel this low for my birthday and it's coming up really soon.

New beginning measurements:

Current Weight: 210 lbs
Hips: 48 inches
Waist: 44 inches
higher waist: 39 inches


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Today was a hard day

I have been trying to avoid the truth; I have been gaining weight. Despite all the doctor visits, all the personal trainer sessions and the food-diet change I have been gaining weight.

It says so on the scale, by measuring tape and the way I feel in the mornings. I had to own up and admit that I've been over eating and spending most of my time sitting down all day staring at a computer screen. A recipe for disaster.

I told myself that it's time to stop these shenanigans and get back on the wagon for good. Today I wrote down my weight loss goals for the next 6 weeks and decided to seriously start tracking my food. I decided to focus on calories but also the amount of carbs and sugar I eat since that was what I was supposed to look after this whole time anyway.

I did some easy balance/ strength training exercises early in the morning and went for a 2.3 mile walk this afternoon.

The goal was to keep my calories at or under 1500 and I was close. I ended up consuming 1610. The food consumption was the absolute hardest part. I had cravings almost every hour on the hour. I knew half the time I wasn't really hungry but I had become so used to constantly eating that it was soooo hard not to walk to the fridge and find the nearest thing to munch on.

I did eat chocolate. I did manage to go over on my carbs and sugar but slightly (I went over 12 grams on sugar and 45 grams on carbs). It's not bad considering it's my first day really tracking. But boy was it hard not to get a second helping of this or that. Or to mindlessly eat some chips or other random thing. After dinner my body was screaming for more. But I knew I didn't need any more food. I was just craving random things.

Today was day 1... again. Better to start now than never. I'm going to bed slightly hungry, and that's ok.

Until tomorrow,

Friday, March 7, 2014

Second Blood Test Results are In

On Wednesday I went to a diagnostics lab to get my final blood tests done. I had to wait a month because I had to get off Metformin to see how my body regulates blood sugar and insulin and I had to wait until I reached the ovulation phase of my cycle to see if I was ovulating. (One of the major problems with women with PCOS is infertility and I admit although I'm not looking to get preggers anytime in the near future it's scary to think I can't.)

This morning I was woken up by a ringing phone and an unknown number. It turned out to be the doctors office. The technician happily told me that they'd received my results and all was normal and I'm not pre-diabetic. If you know me by now that was not enough information. I asked about my ovulation results. She said that the doctor had just told her that all was normal and she assumed that meant my ovulation test too.

My immediate reaction:

When you ASSUME You make an ASS out of U and ME. 

I asked if I could get a copy of my results and if I could speak to my doctor about an upcoming "now what" appointment. I left a voicemail.

I went about my business for the day, which consisted of me wearing a hard hat while on a tour of a water recycling plant (who knew recycled water could taste so good!)
This is how we roll.

This place was huge! Like Disneyland for plants.

and later went to set up my table for an environmental fair, hosted in this beautiful arboretum east of Pasadena.

When I finally returned home I saw that I had an email from the doctors office. The technician had sent me my lab results and told me my doctor had gotten my voicemail.

My ovulation test results were normal. I'm ovulating on my own. My glucose/ insulin tests were normal too. She then said I can book an appointment with her partner (in crime) because she's about to start maternity leave. *Hashtag pregnant doctor*

Things are finally getting revealed and I'm finally getting closure on my disorder. Now I need to make an appointment to talk about what I can do now to help my PCOS.

Final thoughts:
Again, I had the same impression as my last results--- if everything is so freaken normal and fine than why do I still have trouble losing weight and having PCOS symptoms? What more can I do besides what I've been doing to try and better my life?

But I am very happy to find out I'm not pre-diabetic. I'm going to continue to work on a meal plan that has less starches and sugars. Even if I'm not insulin resistant (and we haven't ruled out that I'm not) it's still a good idea to balance blood sugar.

I guess I should be happy about my test results, and I am. I just don't know where to go from here. Hopefully one more doctor visit will help me solve this feeling of hopelessness.

Thanks everyone for supporting me!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My meeting with Susan; the registered dietician/nutritionist

Susan Dopart
I walk in to a fancy office building, head to the second floor, find her suite number and open the door to a very zen and cleaning looking office space... which was empty. Two seconds later this woman with curly hair comes up behind me, before I close the front door and there is Susan Dopart; the woman I'm hoping will answer my questions, give me solutions in exchange for a big chunk of money. She seemed warm. I felt safe.

We walked in to her office and she asked me about what I'm worrying about and what I want from this meeting. I told her that I have PCOS. I have been dealing with excess weight most of my life. That I lost 40-50 lbs but I've been stuck for years. That one of my biggest problems is my skin and it's my biggest worry apart from (maybe more importantly than) losing weight. I told her I don't want to live with pills if I could help it and I needed help.

We went back and forth about what I ate, my family history, my exercise routines, how I feel when I don't eat vs. eat too much, cravings, being in touch with my body, the vitamins and supplements I take (I brought the bottles to the office), my PCOS symptoms and background, taking Metformin, and my blood test results.

She kept looking at me after I explained something to her and she kept saying things like "You're very aware of your body aren't you?" "You've done everything you could to figure this out." "That's a good question. You're a smart woman." Ego boost aside I was happy to hear that my efforts haven't been silly and that someone appreciated all the trouble I've gone through so far to get healthier.

------Now to the real stuff---------

Early in the meeting, after I talked about my symptoms with skin and food, we figured out my problem. Insulin resistance and carbohydrate intolerance.

Seems obvious? Maybe but she broke it down for me.

A regular person:
Eat a starchy carb like bread --->body turns it in to sugar/glucose---> pancreas makes insulin---> insulin takes glucose to cells---> body is happy

Insulin resistant person:
Eat starch carb like bread--->body turns it in to glucose---> pancreas makes insulin---> cells don't respond well to insulin---> glucose doesn't get processed---> pancreas makes more insulin---> extra insulin stores itself as fat--->extra glucose is sucked up by liver---> liver makes more cholesterol--->obesity, high cholesterol, and unhappy body

Most of this I already knew but then she brought it back to my body. My test results came back normal except for cholesterol. I have unstable blood sugar spikes like super cravings soon after breakfast and super energy lows in the middle of the day. My body is refusing to let go of the excess fat. It makes sense that this is happening to my body.

The solution?
NO Starchy Carbs. 
S:"Starch carbs are your nemesis." 

She explained to me that my recent lactose intolerance, my skin irritations and some sensitivity to some fruits was due to carbohydrate intolerance. "Your body can't process carbs due to insulin resistance. You keep putting carbs in and your body turns chaotic. It takes it out on your skin and later it starts not being able to tolerate different foods, like lactose." Well, shit.

---------Now the scary stuff-------------
She asked me to take off my boots, complimented my colorful socks, weighed me, checked my height and asked me to lay down on a futon and take off my left sock. She then brought out a very fancy looking contraption to check my body fat percentage.

She put pads on my left foot and pads on my left hand. She then used the machine to run an electric current around my body to see how much body fat and muscle and water I had. I told her about the hand-held devices they use at the gym and she said those were useless and cost $50 while hers was much more accurate and cost close to $3,000.

Her response to my results,
S:"Huh, you must have a lot of internal fat because you don't look that fat." 
me: *paled face* "Uh, thank you..."
S continues: "You have plenty of muscle. About 120 lbs of it."***
me: "That's good."
S: "Yes, but you have around 43% body fat." *slightly bewildered face
me:  *inwardly appalled and trying not to show it* "Wow. That's crazy."
*** She later explained that because of the excess androgen (male hormones) I have I can easily gain muscle.

-----------Now the good stuff---------------
We sit back down and start talking about the kinds of foods I should be eating.

-5-6 oz of protein per meal
-vegetables and salad as desired
-good fats like avocado, olive oil and coconut oil
She then gave me different examples of meals and snacks I can have. Avocado and nuts kept popping up.

We talked about Omega 3's and Omega 6's. I need a lot more Omega 3's and stay away from 6's. She gave me a list of supplements I need to get:

-1 tbsp of ground flax seed/day (I asked why ground vs. whole seed and she said the whole seed passes right through you and you don't absorb the nutrients. Whole seeds only give you fiber and not omega's.)
-Liquid fish oil (Liquid gets absorbed quicker)
-Grass feed meat (She explained that if they eat grass their bodies turn it in to omega 3 but if they eat corn/soy they turn it in to omega 6 and in turn we absorb it when we eat it)
-Vitamin D3 (Helps regulate insulin levels)

Throughout the whole session we talked about things I should avoid:

-Starchy and/or 'human made' carbs like potatoes or bread (I need to eat things like yams, squash and quinoa)
-sugars (artificial sweeteners like what they use in Starbucks drinks is an example)
-Omega 6's (corn, soy, soy bean oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, canela oil)
-not eating longer than 4 hrs between meals (I need to make sure I don't wait too long between meals)
-ripe bananas, or too many grapes (too much sugar)
-intense exercise (too much cortisol. My body can't take it. Daily, moderate exercise is key)

-------------A note on exercise------------------

I asked Susan about what I should do about exercise. I explained how I read that 20 minute intense interval sessions were best with women with PCOS, but that I also read that just as long as you move and stay active you'll be fine.

She told me that I really have to worry about diet first but being active is still very important. She said moderate, daily exercise is best for me. To mix moderate cardio with light strength training.

She was very adamant about me not over exerting myself saying my cortisol and other hormone levels get agitated very easily when I have PCOS and that I shouldn't make it worse.

She suggested I do yoga as a supplement exercise.

----------Now the bottom line stuff-------

I can't eat (starchy) carbs. We all know that vegetables have carbs, carbs are needed etc etc. My body just can't process all the glucose I'm making when I eat starch and sugar. It disrupts my hormones, stores fat, makes me lactose intolerant, gives me rashes and skin infections, and I can't have that when my body is dealing with PCOS. I don't want to depend on an insulin regulating pill like Metformin so changing my eating habits and my lifestyle are required for me to get better.

S: "It's not going to be easy. You're going to have days when you curse you ever came to see me."

I'm going to make this experience a good one. Instead of complaining I can't eat toast anymore I'm going to get excited in learning how to cook new things. Instead of wondering if I can eat that piece of candy or pizza I'm going to focus on what new workout classes I can take at the gym. I'm going to treat it as an experiment. A good challenge like, when I go out how can I make this menu work for me? or see how eating differently affects my skin, my mood, my routine.

In the end she gave me a folder with her notes and sheets of food suggestions. She thanked me for coming to her and that she was very happy to see someone so in tune with her body and really cared about getting better. She then asked me if I liked to read. I said yes. Next thing I know she brought out a copy of her book, personalized it and gave it to me saying "I don't usually do this but you splurged today."

She asked me to call her in a week and check in, hugged me and I was on my way. I felt like I had been listened to. I felt like I got answers and a rough guideline to where I should go next. I also left wondering if I had the discipline to do it. The 43% body fat was such a blow of information. I woke up this morning still thinking about it. 

I went back to work and at night I was asked to join a group of new colleagues for a drink. I didn't discuss beer with Susan but I know that it's probably not on the list of good carbs. I decided I was going to say goodbye to carbs, sleasy style. I ordered a Guiness, french fries and a turkey burger with mushroom. I ate it all and sweet potato fries. I finished my beer and I went home, knowing it was going to be a looooong time until I did that again.