July 2014 Recap

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Well, I am another month further into my journey to get healthy.   Here is a recap of my successes and struggles:

I am pleased to say that I am continuing to make progress!!  I am learning a lot about myself and about health and nutrition in general.  I wish that my numbers were going down faster, but when I realize that I have seen this progress in less than 2 months and that I have had some “oops moments” during that time, I think I am doing pretty good!  I know that I am doing better than if I had never started at all!   Also, some of my clothes are getting baggy so I know that I am making progress!

Let’s start with the numbers:
6/11/2014        8/1/2014    Progress
Weight:                            217 lbs.        205 lbs.        -12 lbs.
Upper arm                        15″               14.5″            -0.5″
Abs (at fullest point)   45.5″              41”              -4.5″
Waist                               44″                42″              -2.0″
Hips                                 50.5″             48”              -2.5″
Thigh                               27.5″             26.5”            -1.0″

And here is my official picture for August 1, 2014


As far as successes and struggles, here’s what I know:

  1. It is important to keep the fridge stocked with healthy food!  If I don’t have healthy choices then I make really bad choices!  I think I am going to budget my grocery dollars a little differently so that I know I have cash on hand to make regular produce purchases!!
  2. When I eat too many carbs and/or sugar I just don’t feel well!  I used to eat so much of it before that I am surprised that I felt well at all.  I really don’t know how I survived so long eating crummy food!  I wish I had started this sooner and hope that I can be a good example for my kiddos!
  3. I LOVE MEAT!!  I just feel better when I eat meat!  Veggies are good, but veggies alone do not satisfy me.  Carbs and sugar are bad and they certainly do not satisfy me!  I feel satisfied and energized when I have had good meat for dinner!  I especially LOVE steak!
  4. I still struggle to get enough water to drink.  I am trying different strategies to drink enough, but I am still not drinking as much as I should!
  5. I have also found that I need to PLAN my exercise.  On days when I know that I will be busy in the evening, I need to plan to get my walk or other exercise in earlier in the day.

Well, that’s my recap for this month!  I am looking forward to seeing my numbers continue to drop.  :-)  My goal this month is to break through the 200 lb. barrier (I am shooting for 195 lbs. by the end of August).  You may have also seen that I have accepted a challenge from trainer Tiffani Allamon of Lubbock, TX to do 50 miles in August (see this blog post for the details).  You can follow my progress weekly on FB to see how I am doing on this challenge.  I would also love to have you join me!! 

Until next time… stay healthy my friends!!  :-)

June 2014 Recap

Here’s a recap of my progress and struggles for June 2014.  Overall it has been a good month.  I think I have a good momentum going and am enjoying the process.  I am also enjoying feeling healthier!!  My family is being encouraging each night when I take my walk as well as when I do my floor exercises (except the dogs who think I am on the floor to play with and pet them).  They are also patient with me when I can’t sit down with them at the start of a meal because I am weighing and measuring my food as well as when I sit at the table logging my food so that I don’t forget anything.  My sweet hubby, has even mentioned that he’s noticed that I am carrying myself differently (that I am standing straighter, walking taller).  I also feel very blessed by the encouragement I have received from all my friends.  Many, many thanks to all of you for making my journey that much nicer!!  :-)

So, here we go with the nitty gritty details (I still can’t believe I am sharing these facts on the internet for all to see)…  First, I am down a total of 5 lbs. for the month.  Here’s a summary of my measurements:

June 11, 2014   July 1, 2014    Net difference
Weight:                            217 lbs.         212 lbs.            -5 lbs.
Upper arm                        15″                    15″               none
Abs (at fullest point)   45.5″                  42″               – 3.5″
Waist                               44″                    43″               -1″
Hips                                 50.5″                 49″               -1.5″
Thigh                               27.5″                 27″               -0.5″

And here is my official picture for July 1, 2014:

I am the most amazed by the 3.5″ lost off my upper abdomen.  I know that I have been much more mindful of holding my abs in while walking (both just in general as well as when I am on my walks).  So, perhaps that is helping to tone up those muscles.  Also, my daily floor exercises focus on my core so that is likely helping as well.  I am going to keep working on this area because it is my biggest problem area in my opinion.  (I will feel a lot better in my clothes when this area is slimmed down!)

Things that appear to be working for me:
1.  As you may have read on my FB page, I have been eating more good protein, healthy fats and more veggies.  I have found that I feel better when I limit my carbs and sugars.  (I have also learned a lot about insulin and hormone-sensitive lipase, but I will share that in more detail later in a whole separate post.)
2.  I have been walking and exercising more.  Thanks to the MapMyWalk app on my phone, I have been logging all of my walking and exercising.  Since June 14th I have logged 21.25 miles walked (11 walks) and 2 hrs, 41 minutes of exercising (10 workouts).  Funny, I really do feel better since exercising more.  I never would have thought that.
3.  My sugar cravings are down.  It has been 5 weeks since I’ve had any pop/soda!  That is amazing for me!!  This has been a continual struggle for me; I was always craving sugar and pop.  I had a hard time making it through lunch time and the afternoon without a glass of pop (or two).  I have tried a variety of things in the past without success.  This time I did one thing differently:  each day I drink 1 ounce of Young Living’s Ningxia Red and take 2 drops of Ocotea essential oil.  The Ningxia Red is made from wolfberry puree from China’s Ningxia province as well as other super fruits and is good for a variety of health issues. (If you want to know more, click here. ) As far as the ocotea essential oil, it comes from a tree in Ecuador and is beneficial in maintaining blood sugar levels.  (You can read more about it here, if you are interested.)  Can I prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these two things are what has cured my sugar addiction?  No, I most certainly cannot; but this is the only thing I have done differently regarding sugar and it seems to be working… and I am going to keep doing it!!

But, all isn’t rosy, there are still some things I struggle with:
1.  I have a hard time getting enough water.  I have tried a variety of things but I am still falling short of 107 oz. per day (that is half my body weight in ounces).  I know that I need more water, I am just having a hard time with it.  I’ll keep trying though!!
2.  The other day we had a family afternoon at the beach and on the way home we stopped for an ice cream cone.  I had a luscious scoop of double chocolate almond  (yum!), however, since then I am craving that ice cream; not all sweets, just this particular ice cream (there are other kinds in the freezer for the kids and I have no temptation for any of those  – go figure!).
3.  I need to work on finding local, affordable sources for grass-fed/pastured meat. I know that grocery-store meat is full of lots of hormones and other yuck that is not good for us, so I need to get better quality meat… that actually fits my budget.  I also need to commit to shopping more at the local farmers’ markets, especially for produce that is grown organically and not sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
4.   I’m having a hard time getting to sleep at night.  I wonder if my nightly walk is too late in the day and my body is having a hard time settling in.  I need to do some research on this.

Well, that’s my update!!  I am making progress and that feels great!! Thanks again for all the wonderful encouragement; it means the world to me!!!

Stay healthy my friends…

Food and exercise journal already paying off!

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Well, I have only been logging my food and exercise for a couple of days but have already noticed something… I’m not drinking enough water.  Although I have increased from what I was drinking before, I am still not getting enough water.  I have read that you need half of your body weight in ounces; so, in my case, I would need 109 ounces per day (217 x 50% = 109).  That is almost a full gallon a day – WOW!!  I think that part of the issue is that I have been drinking some distilled water which I like a lot better than our tap water but I have run out of distilled water.  We have well water but our water is hard and I have noticed that it leaves a metal-y taste in my mouth (never noticed it until I started drinking distilled water… go figure!).  I just have a weird “thing” about BUYING water at the store… I know, weird!

I think my other struggle with not getting enough water is that I used to drink a LOT with my meals.  However, I have recently learned that drinking too much (water, milk, etc.) with your meals is bad for your digestion.  “The general rule of thumb is to avoid drinking water from about 15 minutes before you eat until at least one hour after you eat.”  (You can read the full article here.)  My problem is that I am forgetting to drink water while I am cooking; that would probably help me a lot.  Old dogs can learn new tricks… it just takes a while!  :-)

I still need to get my exercise done today.  Better get that done before the USA v. Ghana World Cup soccer game tonight!!  I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!!!  (Here is a video where you can chant along!)

Stay healthy my friends…