Thursday, November 28, 2013

Solving the Mystery

I've been thinking this post over for a while.  For the past year I have not made the progress I've wanted.  It's been frustrating as can be.

I've starved myself, subsisting on 900 calories a day.  And gained weight.

I brought my calories up after advice from a trainer.  The weight just came on faster.

I've eaten "clean."  And gained weight. Gave up and ate junk - with predictable results.

I've worked out 5 or 6 days a week, cardio plus weights, HIIT traning, worked with trainers, attended boot camp....and gained weight.

For at least four years, I've felt like a cell phone with a faulty charger.  I did all the right things, but just couldn't get enough energy to make it through the day.  Thank God I work at home, because by 2pm every day, I was all but passing out.  I was exhausted. All. The. Time.  I would sleep 10 hours at night, avoided early meetings like the plague, and still needed a 2 hour nap in the afternoon.

And I couldn't figure it out.  I'm healthy, I ate right, I worked out, why was I so tired and why was it so difficult for me to lose weight?

20-something mothers like Maria Kang were all like "No excuses!  If I can do it, you can do it!"

Well, you stupid woman, I COULD lose weight at the drop of hat when I was twenty-something with three kids.  Duh. When I was 33, I was starting to look into competitive fitness training or bodybuilding competitions.  All you young women, STFU and come talk to me when you're in your mid-40s and your hormones are out of whack.

I notice there are very few women in their mid-40s bragging about their fitness and weight. 


Because it's so much harder!  I was gaining if I freaking breathed!  I was in tears day after day because I couldn't get my body to do what it had done so easily before.  It shouldn't have been a problem - I remember being told over and over that I had "a glandular problem - salivary glands work too much and sweat glands not enough!"


I finally coughed up the money for some lab work.  I found a clinic that specializes in bio-identical hormone therapy.  And the lab work showed that my thyroid was too low, my iron levels were in the basement (I was seriously and dangerously anemic),  my testosterone was low (yes, women need testosterone), and I was insulin-resistant. My insulin levels were high and my blood glucose levels were at the very bottom of the "normal" scale.  On top of all that, my cortisol levels were elevated and I was estrogen dominant.

I couldn't have lost fat no matter what I did. 

And untreated, it would have led to diabetes in a few years.    

Now that I'm on the proper medications, I feel a ton better.  Today is Thanksgiving, and for the first time in a very long time, I've been cleaning, organizing, cooking - and I'm not exhausted after a few minutes.

I have drive and energy again. 

I'm excited to see what this year brings in body changes. 

No one should have to spend hours at the gym or monitor every morsel that goes into their mouths to be fit, slim, and healthy.  I am so thankful that I have found out what was causing my weight gain.  Going to the gym is becoming a pleasure again.  And I feel like I can enjoy my meals instead of worrying about how much I'm going to gain.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Excuses, excuses

I recently had the opportunity to read Tim Ferriss's The Four Hour Body.  His book is worth a look - quite an interesting viewpoint.  The diet he promotes is low carb, but he encourages beans or lentils - a lot of them. 

What interested me, though, was the excuses I read:

"This is obviously written for a bachelor/young man who eats out twice a day."
"I can't follow this because I'm a woman and this was written for a man."
"I can't do this because I'm a mother with young children at home and I'd have to prepare two meals."
"I can't....
"I can't....

See the pattern?

Honestly, darn near any weight loss program you choose to follow will work over time.  Watch your calories, up your protein (ladies especially), eat lots of vegetables, easy on the fruit, no processed foods.

If you want something, you will find a way.  If not, you will find an excuse.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Working Out

I've posted before about exercise being a key to fat loss.  With the warm weather, I've begun interval training outdoors again (I just couldn't manage treadmill running over the winter - I was overwhelmed).  Running is wonderful for those with little time - you can accomplish a lot, and you get started just by putting on some shoes and heading outdoors. 

Even just an easy walk is a great way to start.  Work up to 30 minutes of walking, and then start adding in some interval running.  Right now (and I'm still just a beginner myself) I do a 5 minute walk to warm up, then I run for 1 minute and walk for 2 minutes for 6 rounds, and then walk for 5 minutes to cool down.  That's 28 minutes, 6 of which are running.  I'll do that until it begins to be easy, and then I'll adjust the rest time down and increase the rounds, or adjust the running time up.  You really can fiddle with it anyway you want, so long as you increase the time you're actually running. 

I'll also stay on a 1:2 interval, but push harder during the runs - I'll try sprinting for a minute, or at least going faster. 

Within the next couple of months, I plan to head back to the gym and start lifting weights again, but for now, I'm just creating a routine of starting the day with exercise.  That will help keep the weight off long term.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Running and Meal Planning

I have managed to end the week on a high note, having consistently run every morning (interval sprints, 6 rounds).  If you know me, you know that I am not a runner - it's just not something I care for, probably because I always end up sounding like I'm about to have a heart attack at any moment.

I've also gone back to planning my meals better now that my round is over.  See, with kids at home, I find it challenging to come up with healthy meals that are really conducive to weight loss.  I just think that cooking good, homemade meals (as opposed to processed foods) is just better for you than junk foods.

So last week I sat down and came up with a menu for over a week.  I created "planned over" meals (for example, planning a beef soup using the broth from a pot roast I made the previous day), and ended up with delicious meals for almost two weeks.

I really think that putting thought and planning - including planning dessert - into mealtimes will get you a lot further than doing things at the spur of the moment.  We were having too many evenings where I would just grab a pizza because I could not face planning, shopping, cooking..... and then I'd have "just a slice" and there went my diet for the day.

Plan ahead - you'll eat better, feel better, and save money too!  It makes it so much easier to stick to the protocol!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Too Cold to Run

You gotta love Utah weather.  We went from 75 degrees yesterday, to cold today.  I am sensitive to cold, so I chose to postpone my run till tomorrow.  (It should warm up.) 

I'm also thinking that I should switch the time of my run to mornings rather than evenings.  I get too tired and overwhelmed in the evening. 

We'll see how it goes....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Breaking Plateaus

Well, 23 days into a 40 day round and I've been on a plateau for a week and a half.  I've lost 7 pounds overall, but the scale is now stubbornly refusing to budge.  What to do, what to do?

1. I am going to add exercise back in, slowly and gently.  I haven't been going to the gym because of mental and emotional overload, I'd prefer to work out outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.  So, now that the warm weather seems to be coming to stay, I plan to do interval walking/running for 30 minutes every evening before bed.

2. A more fun way to spike the metabolism is the cheat day.  On HCG, we take our "cheats" at the beginning in the three load days.  I have heard doctors and health professionals say that one "cheat" day a week helps boost the metabolism and break a plateau.  I believe I can hold out and have a Saturday cheat day this week and see if that works.  (And by "cheat," it will be a full-on eat-till-I-want-to-puke load day.)  That's if I don't break the plateau before then.  Sometimes, too, we just can't take dieting anymore.  I'm hoping the "re-load" will help. 

3.  Add breakfast.  Something as simple as a protein shake in the morning may help.  A scoop of vanilla protein, a double handful of frozen strawberries, and water, and whirl in the blender.  The nice thing is that it almost feels like a cheat in and of itself.  Another good breakfast if you're in a hurry would be simply to hard-boil some eggs the night before and eat them in the morning. What you want in the morning is protein - it keeps the hungries away.

I can see some differences, however - jeans fitting a bit looser, tummy feeling a bit more toned - but not the differences I had expected this far into the round.  Evidently I'm not doing what I need to do  So....hopefully these tweaks will help me stay on protocol, and break the plateau.  I'll keep ya posted!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Plateaus - and the Walmart HHCG

Well, first off, I need to adjust my review of WalMart's homeopathic HCG.  It does work, but it tastes nasty, until you get used to it.  (It's chocolate mint flavored.  I didn't think anything could make me dislike chocolate mint.  Eww.)  Once you get used to it, it's not bad.

It does work.  Did I mention that?  Works just fine. 

So, I've been plateaued for a week.  It's been driving me crazy.  Apple day helped some, but then I stalled again the next day.  So I went back to that old standby that always helps me.


Now, Dr Simeons does not prescribe exercise in his protocol, but I suggest that you include it in your regimen if you are physically able to do so.  Even if it's just a stroll around the block.  Your body was designed to move, not to veg out in front of a screen.  So start walking.  Just gentle walking, you don't need to run or do power walks! 

I would not suggest starting an Olympic training protocol while on the HCG protocol, but you do need to move. 

My routine will be a run around the block.  I do interval training - a 5 minute warm up, then 1 minute running and 2 minutes walking for six rounds, then a five minute cool down.  However, I am used to training!  I've been working out all my life on some level or another.  I've worked with Olympic trainers and done boot camps, I've done a lot of weight training, and I will say this over and over.....

Listen to your body! 

You may not be able to do what I do.  Find something that is gentle enough for you to stick with, and then stick with it! 

I'm kind of weird about working out these days, I'm so busy that I just can't stand to go to the gym and add another thing to my list.  But I can manage a quick run around the block (and I do this just before bedtime, by the way).  Somehow getting in the car to drive to the gym is just that one more thing I don't want to do. 

So get out and move.  There is so much to do! 

Oh, and I dropped 2 pounds overnight after my first little run.  It will work.