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.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Apple Day

Pounds and Inches says that when you stall for a few days, you're to do an "apple day."  Today, for this round, is that day.

For an apple day, you eat 6 apples.  And that's it.  Simeons says to cut back on fluids, too, but that's folly - I drink more liquids on an apple day to keep me from being hungry all day.

The interesting thing is that by eating just apples (even though it's the same calories!) I will drop about 2 pounds overnight.

The reason for my stall this time, is that lovely Aunt Flo has come to visit, and she has a habit of stalling things for me.  So, ladies, be aware that this is a reason for a stall.  (Sorry, guys, I know it's TMI, but it's also a fact of female life.)

This morning I had my water and Diet Coke.  For the rest of the day, I will have my six apples.  Tomorrow morning, I'll be back on the regular protocol.

Still stuck at 165.2.  I'm looking forward to progress in the morning!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Weekends are hard for me when I'm dieting.  See, I'm single.  So I date a little.  Which means....restaurants. 

I very seldom eat at restaurants in any case... I like my own cooking.  But, it's so hard to resist all those extras when someone else is cooking!  However, I stuck to grilled chicken breast, salads with dressing on the side, vegetables, and steaks. 

This weekend, I am up about a pound and a half.  Not too bad, really, and I'm satisfied that I can get right back on track and start releasing again. 

Stats: 165.8, down 4.2 overall.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Just some random things I was thinking of this morning:

I keep being told that if I go on a crash diet/HCG/whatever I'm going to gain the weight back.  Well, DUH.  If I start eating junk, I'm going to gain weight.  On the other hand, I don't want to live on nothing but salad and grilled chicken for the rest of my life.  How boring would it be without delicious food and dessert?  Can I really never have spaghetti again?  Do I even want to live like that? I don't think so.  I think I should be able to have my favorite foods, being careful not to overdo it.

I love cooking.  I love dessert, and feasts, and baking, pies, cheese, ice cream, Popcicles.  Let's face it.  Food is the center of our celebrations.  I do not want to sit out of feasts.  That feels like sitting out of life.

Why do so many people think they can tell me what to eat?  Why is it that as soon as someone makes an innocent statement ("I like Diet Coke better than regular Coke") there are dozens of people shrieking "OMG that will make you fat!"  Really?  Who can tell with all the hype and nonsense?  How on earth can anyone figure anything out any more between the crap that the food companies put out and the crap that the hysterical average person puts out?

It happens that I really do prefer Diet Coke to regular Coke, or even Coke Zero.  I also like to drink a lot of water.  

Oh, and generally, when I post here, or on Facebook, it is to offer support and tell people what I am doing that works for me.  It's not a plea for help.  I've paid for help before, and figured out that the so-called experts really don't know any more than I do.

So I am now following my body, doing what I know from experience works well for me, and even though I sometimes have "forbidden" foods, I am much happier and healthier than I would be trying to follow someone else's regimen.  I think you have to find what works for you.

Eat mindfully, and ignore everyone else.  Your body knows what it needs.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dealing with Cravings

I thought the first three days would be the hardest, but I would kill someone for a piece of cake.  Or a box of Nilla wafers.  I hope this eases up!

We had a Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts last night, and some sick person brought a chocolate cake.  With chocolate icing.  I adore chocolate.  My ex came since our Jared was receiving awards (the religious square knot and his 5th Arrow Point on the Wolf Trail) and kept offering that cake to me.

Or a hamburger.  With french fries. And fry sauce.  Or onion rings. 

Oh, well, I will hold strong.  I'm drinking lots and lots of water, some with Crystal Light, so I don't feel hungry.  I'm really not hungry, I just want to eat.  Since I can recognize the difference, I can tap on it and hold strong through it.  Sometimes it's just a matter of staying busy.  Sometimes it's a matter of just looking at the photo I have of when I was thin, and knowing that I just have 35 more days to go, and then I'll be at my goal weight. 

The thing to remember is that this is all worth it....

So: Lots of water, green tea, coffee, diet soda (or whatever other liquids work for you), and hold out just a little longer.  Reach out for support.  Hang in there.  Sometimes just getting busy for 15 minutes at a time will help.  EFT helps.

Stats: Weight this morning, 165.4, down 4.6 pounds in 4 days from start weight of 170.0.  Consistent loss of a pound a day.  GOAL: 135.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 3 VLCD

I weighed in this morning at 166.4.  That is down 3.6 pounds from my start weight of 170.  I'm pretty hopeful now that a 40 day round will see me to my goal weight of 135.  I am already seeing my tummy start to "deflate." It's exciting to see the changes so quickly!

One of the things I noticed before, is that if I allow myself a cheat -- even one -- it opens everything up and I might as well hang up the round.  I have to be really, super careful.  I'm like that in a lot of ways in my life - if I leave my savings account alone, I'm fine, but once I dip into it, it's open season.  If I allow myself a day to sleep in, pretty soon I'm sleeping in all the time.  It's like, once I cross that boundary, it becomes very difficult to re-establish that boundary.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Results from Day 1, how Day 2 is going

I began loading at a weight of 170.0.  After load, my weight was 172.4.  This morning, my weight was 167.4!  That's down 5 pounds from yesterdays, weight, and 2.6 pounds from my start weight. 

THIS is why I love this diet plan so much.  The hunger isn't too bad, and the results are outstanding - and immediate!

I'm preparing my lunch right now.  Salad with Waldon Farms dressing, grilled chicken, apple dusted with a bit of cinnamon.  Dinner will be the same, but with asparagus instead of salad.

Incidentally, for the "You'll gain it back" crowd, I began this in 2010 at a high weight of 189.  I have kept most of the weight off for 2 years.   Once this weight comes off it is staying off for good.  Part of the program is to weigh daily, so you can adjust your food intake, which I did.  Most of the time when the weight is re-gained, it is because the habit of weighing in is lost.  You can't manage what you don't measure!

Tips and tricks:
Weigh every day, whether you're on protocol or not. Then you can adjust your regimen if the weight begins to creep back on.

Waldon Farms dressing has no carbs, no fat, no sugar, no gluten, no calories.  If you can't stand to skip dressing, try it and see if it stalls you.

If you don't like/can't find Waldon Farms, try putting your salad dressing on the side.  Dip the fork into it before taking a bite of salad, you get just a bit of the salad dressing taste without the calories.

Have a mint if you are craving foods.  Even water tastes nasty after a mint.

Water, water, water!  Dr Simeon recommends a high fluid intake.  Pure water is best, but Crystal Lite, or lemon in your water, green tea, herbal teas, or black coffee will do as well.  I drink Diet Coke throughout, with lots of water, and that helps with the hunger.  The carbonation helps me feel fuller as well.

The first 3 days are the hardest.  HCG doesn't do much for hunger for me, it helps release the fat in the body.  The first 3 days, the stomach is getting accustomed to the reduced food intake.  After that, you'll be used to it and it will become easier.  My first round, I almost didn't want to quit because I was used to it!

If you're going to an event, plan in advance (if you can) how you will handle food.  For example, my son's Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts is tomorrow.  I'd forgotten it when I began the protocol.  We're having tacos.  So I will enjoy the seasoned ground beef with lots of shredded lettuce.  Voila!  Taco salad!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

So far, so good!

Today was the first day of the very low calorie diet after 2 days of loading.  There is an evil, evil cupcake sitting on my kitchen counter absolutely calling me to eat it.  However, I am holding strong, reminding myself why I'm doing this, and eating an apple dusted with cinnamon.  Yum!  I'm looking forward to weighing myself tomorrow to see what the first day brings!

I did gain 2 pounds during loading.  However, that is perfectly normal on the HCG diet.  I'm a little hungry today, but then again I only ate 1 meal instead of the 2 I am allowed - I wasn't hungry at dinnertime!  Lunch was a chicken breast grilled on my George Foreman grill.  I bought it because it's too cold to use the outdoor grill.  And romaine lettuce, an apple, and the croutons from a Caesar Salad kit.  It's a very filling lunch, and then at dinnertime I just wasn't hungry. 

A cheat that I use to get some dressing taste (no dressings allowed except for balsamic vinegar), is to put the dressing in a cup on the side, dip my fork into it, then spear the lettuce.  I get just a hint of dressing as opposed to a salad swimming in it, still get the taste, and don't stall my diet. 

The absolute wonderful thing about this program is that it works, it works very quickly, and that I am able to easily keep the weight off once it's gone.  Even the "approved" weight loss protocols don't do that.  When I work out and eat well, I can only maintain.  HCG is the only thing that has worked for me for weight loss.

I'm still nursing that sore shoulder - the pain isn't as bad, but my arm still goes to sleep at inopportune times, like when my kids are leaning against me and want affection.  It's irritating as can be. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reviewing HCG

I am beginning a new round of HCG (today was my 2nd load day) and realized that not only am I nearly out, I don't know if I can get more from my supplier in time.  So I've been  looking at other brands of homeopathic HCG to see what my alternatives are.

I've been getting some good laughs reading the reviews.  Remember - Homeopathic HCG has a vibrational fingerprint of HCG, so everyone who is used to the shots is screaming "Oh my hell, there's no HCG in that!"  Of course not.  And I don't care!  I want to know one thing, and one thing only.

Does it work in conjunction with the Simeons Pounds and Inches protocol?  

After reviewing several sites and brands, I have decided that nearly any brand will work.  Don't freak out if it says "hormone free" - homeopathic does not contain anything but water.  And that's OK, because it still works.  I don't care if it's a placebo effect, I care if the scales are going down and my clothes are getting too big - and if I still feel good through the process.

Tomorrow I begin the diet itself.  I've got chicken breast, apples, cucumbers, and lettuce waiting for me.  After gorging for two days, I'm looking forward to eating what I know will work.  Cucumbers are delicious sliced up with salt and maybe some hot sauce - just as good as chips!  Apples with a dusting of cinnamon, perhaps a dip of stevia, strawberries dipped in a little stevia for a treat.... I am never hungry on HCG, in fact often the salad and protein are plenty.

I'd tried to do a few more rounds before, but just could not stick to the diet, mostly for emotional reasons,  and ended up quitting within a couple of days.  This time I have firmly decided that the last 40 pounds are coming off.  I should reach that by Easter.

So far as the running, I'm struggling to get that done.  I have come to enjoy running, but the added step of getting to the rec center seems to be more than I want to do right now.  I did go yesterday, and I plan to go today.  Last week I was so exhausted for some reason that I was sleeping 12 hours or more a day and just felt like I couldn't function.  I don't know what the challenge was - last time that happened I was on vacation in Central America and fell asleep every time I was in the car, in addition to nights and siesta.  I must have been pushing myself way too hard (which would also explain the shoulder injury).

I will report back tomorrow!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

No running today....

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with me.  And I've been exhausted all day.  Ugh.  Tomorrow, I will go to the city rec center and run there.  (I hope they have treadmills.)  At least it will be warm. 

I noticed yesterday that I was a lot more winded than I had been after running.  It will take some time to build up conditioning and shock my body into releasing the weight.

I also plan to do a salt water flush in the morning.  Sounds pretty nasty, but if it helps me lose weight, I'm all for it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Getting back to workouts....

I injured my shoulder about 6 weeks ago.  After 3 weeks of trying to work through/around it, I finally had to let it rest.  It was bad enough that working was agony - and I work at the computer!

It's starting to get better, so I decided to start running again.  I do interval runs only, 5 minutes of warm up walking, then 6 rounds of running for one minute, walking for 2.  Then a 5 minute cool down.

Interval running burns more fat than "steady state" cardio does, and gets you into shape faster. I don't know if it's desirable to do the hard, hard, intense workouts - I know trainers who promote them, but I believe I can reach my goals with a much gentler approach.  What good does it do me to work out hard if I keep hurting myself?

My plan is to maintain my nutrition, plenty of vegetables and fruit, lean protein,  a gallon of water a day, and stay off the Diet Coke.  I'm using this weekend to start easing myself into it.  Then I'll do the "hard core" dieting during Lent, appropriately enough.  :)  Actually, 40 days ought to be enough time to take the bulk of the weight off and get used to a new eating plan.  I will also do the interval runs every day except Sunday.  I may run tomorrow anyway to establish the habit.  (There is a major winter storm supposed to be coming in tonight, so the weather will be a factor in running tomorrow.)

So, anyway, I just finished my run, and it was very difficult this time.  I was winded - I hadn't been winded during an interval run in ages.  The lack of exercise has been showing up in a tighter (almost uncomfortable) fit to my jeans, not just on the scales.  But since I know what to do, I'll keep up the hard work and know it will come back off.  Then it will be a matter of working off the rest of the extra weight....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Headed the wrong way....

My weight is edging back up, partly due to a shoulder injury (can't work out without re-injuring myself) and eating too many processed foods.  Evidently cheddar-jalapeno Cheetos are not good for weight loss, lol!  I am finding myself unable to stick to my diet plan - any diet plan. Too much emotional eating....

 I'm still anxious to reach my goal weight of 125, though.

I did get my interval run in this morning and last night.  I run intervals because I hate running, and because spiking the heart rate burns more fat.  I think for me, activity is almost more important than nutrition - partly because when you're more active (at least for me) there's less tendency to eat junk.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Changing tactics

Well, it seems that I have to be very careful about exercise.  I have injured my shoulder trying to do heavy workouts requiring a lot of focus early in the morning (when I'm honestly not yet awake).  I have decided to stick to interval training in the evenings for now.  I'm also watching what I eat very carefully.  The weight is coming off more slowly, but it is coming off, and that is what counts!

Tips?  Guess what, there's an app for almost anything you want to do!

The top thing I've found for weight loss is water.  Lots and lots of water.  Temperature doesn't seem to matter.  I found a "Drinking Water" app for my android phone that allows me to keep track of how much water I'm drinking. 

I'm also using "Lose It" for tracking food and exercise.  I don't know how accurate it is, but it does help keep track of approximate values, so I'm not scarfing down everything in sight and wondering why I don't lose weight!