Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lunch time walking at work- try it!

I work at mostly a desk job. Some of my job assignments have me up and running around a lot.

Most job assignments recently have my rear parked in a chair all day.

Here's how I get from 8,000-10,000 steps a day.

I eat a quick lunch and head out to walk 30 mins.

I grab my camera and photograph whatever strikes my fancy.

I check my pedometer when arriving home, then head out for an evening walk, as needed.
What works

1. Routine- I always go
2. Walking shoes at my desk
3. pedometer keeps my mind honest about my movement
4. I get Vitamin D most days
5. I get to take fantastic photos. I call these "Lunch time finds".

What Didn't work

1. Not walking for 45 mins when I was overweight
2. Not bringing walking shoes
3. Thinking I had done "a lot of walking" 4000-5000 used to be a lot for me.
4. Working through lunch.  What??? This made me less productive.
5. Letting bad weather get in my way- I walk inside the buildings on some days.

Does anyone else take a walking lunch?  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oven roasted chicken- easy, tasty, batch cooking

One great thing that my Whole30 adventure taught me is that I don't have to haul off and buy a rotisserie chicken as a short cut for batch cooking during the week.

The original recipe I used was at Everyday Paleo.  My photo is posted. I modified the recipe by rubbing the chicken with a little bit of coconut oil before roasting.

Rinse the bird, pull out neck and other parts, pat dry, rub with coconut oil, salt with sea salt. Roast at 450 for an hour or a bit more, until done.

The best things about roasting chicken myself
1. I avoid all the questionable ingredients injected into the store bought, rotisserie chicken
2. The whole house smells wonderful!
3. I have the bones left for bone broth (also makes the house smell good)
3.5 I save money on buying chicken broth, also avoids questionable ingredients.
3.75 The chicken broth no doubt provides a good source of bio-available calcium.
4. The left overs can be frozen into fast snack portions for daily errand running.
5. The chicken is a great protein source in my food template. Jr. Family member agrees.

The few down sides of roasting my own chicken

1. Little bit of prep, cook, and clean up time (worth it!)
2. Must guard the cats from having a meat fest  (they  circle like sharks)  while the chicken cools.
3. I still buy rotisserie chickens- mainly while traveling. Still a good choice by comparison. I  haven't tried borrowing a friend/family member's kitchen yet, or at a hotel with a kitchen, but it's on my list.  
Cats watching live birds

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It wasn't about the cinnamon roll, they do not talk

All I could think of was a cinnamon roll when I photographed this snail. Either that or Princess Leia hair from Star Wars. ;)

Anyhoo, one weekend in Nov, almost 10 months into maintenance, I ran into a Costco to buy some raspberries and a few vegetables. I was on vacation and it was about 10:30 am.

The smell of the cinnamon rolls hit me like a ton of bricks. Just over powering me. I gripped the cart tight, white knuckling it all the way, grabbed the raspberries and kept moving, away from that smell.

During my first year in maintenance, I had to stop and think- why do I want to eat this? Is this hunger? What steps do I need to take? BE HONEST.... slippery slope voice is always right there.

The self talk went like this:

1. I'm hungry, it is time to eat- choices are from my food template, that's it.

2. Something else is going on, my brain is sending signals to eat but I need to ______ (sleep, drink water, walk away, face a problem, or feel feelings. Maybe even feel hunger, but wait it out until I get to where my prepped food is stored.

In the cinnamon roll example- I was truly hungry. I had walked 23,000+ steps at a theme park the day before, woke up and walked a steep hill to the beach and back- and it was time to re-fuel. I had a salad, with veggies, serving of protein, some avocado.

I half shuddered at the thought that the old me would have picked up cinnamon rolls for my family for me because I could afford the WW points, or I had "earned it". Big huge red flag- that cinnamon roll smell called to me. The old slippery slope call. Had I eaten the cinnamon roll, I would be sick from the wheat, frosting, and sugar.

The new me: "Oh, hmm... I just walked a lot this morning- very active, so when I get home at 11am, I'll make myself a quick early lunch. I'm probably dehydrated, too. I'll make a big glass of ice water with early lunch" I'm not too tired or stressed. I'll be fine."

The whole experience made me glad I had given up the whole moderation scheme this time around. The roll is not in the food template and I will not give it that power. Cinnamon Rolls do not talk. That was my best clue! ;)  It's never about the food- always about something deeper. Soothing with food. Reliving a "pop-in-fresh" memory with food.

Those old neural pathways sure run deep. It's good to have some excellent skills that I practiced during the first year.  What a relief not to be triggered and to have it be my choice. Frosting on the.... oh, I don't eat cupcakes any more either. Ah, more relief!

Do foods talk? Are you able to figure out what the deal is before you choose?
Caramel coating on ice cream or shell on the beach?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Stress and weight- my 2 pound connection

Here's the 2 month outlook. And the details.

High weight: 187.4
Current Weight : 117.0
Goal Weight: 115.4

I finally have connected that certain stress seems to result a 2 pound gain during the work week. Both upward trends in Jan and Feb correlate to stress!

Hello, cortisol.

I've got a few relaxation apps and ways to relax.

What works

1. Taking my walk outdoors at lunch
2. Taking time to cook and pack my Paleo template foods.
3. Doing something fun, just for me- daily. Usually photography
4. Brewing some good, black coffee and savoring.
5. Getting good sleep.

What didn't work in the past

1. Telling myself "I'm too busy to walk today"
2. Buying lunch in the cafeteria, or buying frozen dinners because I was "too busy"
3. Not doing anything for myself.
4. Eating biscotti, cookies, candy to sooth myself
5. Staying up late trying to get "more done". I actually get less done this way!

If anyone has a favorite meditation source, relaxation source, or any other tips- feel free to discuss. You can believe that I'll be sleeping, batch cooking, and messing around with photos this weekend. I know the scale will go back down soon. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Low inflammation, low CRP, my real valentine gift

 One of the best things about my weight loss (Take Shape for Life- Medifast) and my year of Paleo style eating is the decreased inflammation. Decreasing my body inflammation should help in decreasing my heart attack, diabetes risk, and help protect my body in general.   Read more about highly sensitive CRP here.  I'm a lab geek!

My CRP went from

Overweight 70 pounds    6.8 mg/L
Medifast,                         2.8 mg/L
Paleo Template                 0.8 mg/L

Normal range is <3.0 mg/L

I can wear red, pink or any color of shirt on heart awareness day. I can send Valentine's Day cards to many, but I know one  of the best ways to decrease my risk for cardiovascular events is to keep eating foods that are low inflammatory, get enough rest, and manage stress.

No little conversation hearts, no pound of See's Candy, and no little cinnamon red hots. I gave those up for weight maintenance and to dial in my best health. I like my clear mind, low inflammation. It's the best Valentine I've given myself.

Flowers left over from my 1 year maintenance celebration are nice, too!!   My body doesn't know that it is Valentine's Day, but I'll bet my heart - physical and emotional appreciate my new normal.

Happy Valentine's Day. Keep it low inflammatory. Your heart will thank you!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Remember- your body keeps track 24/7

If I could bottle warm beach weather and send it from So. Cal- I would!

Remember. Your body keeps track 24/7. The blizzard will be done and over in 1-2 weeks. Maybe 3 at the most ( I remember the blizzard of '78- one whole week off 6th grade, igloos in the snow drifts).

In 8-12 weeks you'll be thinking of summer, shorts, and other things. Make sure that you don't use the blizzard or anything to drive comfort eating. Right this moment- your blood sugar, blood pressure, insulin and glucose will react to the comfort food you choose. Make good choices for your body & mind.

Play in the snow, play a game, make coffee or tea, or sleep.  Eating will not make the snow better and summer will come.

Safe travels friends. You will make it through this. The choices you make will effect how you feel now and in a few weeks.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

First Year weight maintenance photos- Feb 2013

One Year Weight graph
I celebrated my first year of weight maintenance on Feb 3, 2013.

Here are the Details. I stayed +/- 2 pounds around my 115.4 goal weight. Remember, I'm short- 5'1".  Middle of my BMI or so.

I weighed about 1-2 pounds less the first seven months. I weigh around a pound higher than goal the last 4 months. However, my clothes fit just as well, or maybe better.

Feb 3, 2013

Feb 3, 2013
 I still have curves. In a good way.

I'm still rocking the Dansko's, too. Just not in this photo.

I applied to the National Weight Control Registry.
I got my $30 a month insurance discount.
Long term goals met.

The photo below is  1 year before I started my weight loss. Wearing black. Hoping it made me look slim.

 So upset when I saw this photo that I deleted it.  I and had to ask the person who sent it to me to dig it out of his computer. Glad to have transformed. It's worth the work.

May 20, 2010

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Thank you's for the first year of weight maintenance- Link Love

Okay, the sun is setting on my first year of weight maintenance. I surfed through 2012 and rode that wave.  The year went better than I thought it would go. For a lot of reasons. Choosing the right food template was the most important- then using the other tools as frame work made the year a success.

I love Mark's Daily Apple Sunday "Link Love"- so like any good award show, I'm going to thank everyone.

In no particular order

1. Refuse to Regain- Barbara Berkeley, MD - This book was ground zero for me. I fully utilized the rules to make the main frame of my year. 

2. Paleo & Primal eating, - Robb Wolf's The Paleo Solution and Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo Family Cook book.  Had I not converted over to a paleo template, I suspect that it would have been harder to maintain, and I would not be as healthy. I feel so young. It's pretty awesome. I had no idea how much better I would feel by going grain, and processed sugar free would effect me physically and emotionally.  Such a powerful tool. If you've not tried it, keep an open mind about testing it out for yourself.

3. My health coach for Take Shape for Life. Emailing Erin my weight every week for a year kept me accountable.

4. My favorite bloggers- listed in this link . It really helped to see what worked for others so I could borrow from you. Let me know if you've gotten to maintenance and are blogging. No matter how you lost- WW, Medifast, calorie counting, weight loss surgery, abstaining from certain foods, or eating clean and working out like a beast - there are many overlapping behaviors, habits, and challenges that we all face in weight maintenance. 

5. My weight maintainer friends in real life and at WW. While I no longer count points or even subscribe to the WW way of eating, weighing in on a public scale and visiting with other maintainers in real life is very helpful to me. Lifetime membership offers me free access to a group of maintainers I can see face to face. 

6. My podcasts favorites. Because when I'm facing a few hours of food prep (Abel James), dish washing (Dean Dwyer) and general house work Every Day Paleo (Sarah Fragoso & Jason Seib)- this motivates me to remove any barrier I have in my mind to get up and get moving and stay positive.  I learn while I work. 

7. My friends & family- who will eat the paleo food that I serve up (most of the time!) and are totally on board with support for my first year. I'd still do this without their approval but it's so much easier with supportive people around.

It was a good and challenging first year. I plan on crushing 2013.

Oh- and the things that didn't work - I kicked to the curb ( like a few people who said I couldn't do it- that only certain people could)  M-Kay.... I decide what I do. After all, the doubters could be right.......  That's for me to determine. I don't drink their Kool-aide. Future post coming up on sabotage and food pushers.

 I left the doubters on the curb and left dust in the wake. ;)  They don't ride in my weight maintenance car.