Here we go!

Here we go!

Hi readers! I have had thoughts on and off about writing a blog. So today I finally got the courage to do it. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to blog about. But today while I was on my elliptical trainer, it hit me. Why not blog about my journey to try and lose weight. I know there are many other people out there blogging about weight loss. But that’s OK. Everyone’s journey is different. And maybe, just maybe, I can inspire just one person to want to go on a weight loss journey with me.

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I Got A Surprise

The month of January was a very cold month. Cold enough to not want to go to work. But I did exercise. I don’t like wearing all those layers of clothes to keep warm, but I’m not a fan of freezing my ass off either. I made a surprising discovery at the end of this month. I’m down another five pounds. So now all together it’s 14 pounds. I had completely stopped eating fast food. There were no more chocolate chip cookies to be had, and I stopped eating the king-sized Crunch bars.

That’s not to say I didn’t think about those items. The one that bothered me the most was chocolate. I don’t think my love for it will go away. But I did find a remedy for my cravings for it. Someone at work had given me a few of those Hershey’s nuggets. These things here……. I had one and it completely soothed my craving for chocolate. I was really happy and surprised. I would always eat wayyyyy more chocolate than I needed when I craved it. So I got an idea. Since Valentine’s Day is coming up and of course, the candy is on display everywhere, why don’t I get some little pieces of chocolate. I ended up getting some Hershey’s kisses in one of those tube containers. Here’s a picture of them…… They work pretty well when I have a craving for chocolate. I’ll eat maybe two or three of them and I feel pretty satisfied.

I got trained on a different position at work about two weeks ago. It involves a lot of walking during my shift. I’m pretty sure that’s another reason I dropped some weight. I had been wanting to do something more physical at work besides just running a machine. I wanted to move around more. So now I’m doing that.

I went and got one of those good sized breakfast burritos from one of the local Mexican restaurants today. I hadn’t had one in a while. It was sooooo good. But I can tell that I’m not used to eating stuff like that anymore. I probably should have eaten only half of it and ate the rest later. But sometimes it’s hard to remember to not be greedy. I guess my stomach capacity is shrinking down a little because I’m still feeling really full some hours later. Old habits die hard. But I’m getting there.

I realized that I’m not an emotional eater like I’ve heard a lot of people who want to lose weight say. I eat things because of the taste. If something tastes really good to me, I’m eating a lot of it. When I’m emotional, I have no appetite. I can’t squeeze anything down my throat. Also when I go to a buffet, I need to realize just because I paid to eat all I can, it’s not a challenge to do so. That food tastes so good though. I love mashed potatoes smothered in butter and sometimes gravy (all gravy isn’t good). I like to dip pieces of meat in it. Ohhhhhhh it’s so good. I won’t drink much because I want to eat as much food as I can. It’s things like that I’m learning to stop doing. It’s not doing me any good. But like I said, I’m learning.

Rambling, Realizations, and Whatever…….

I know this flu bug and the cold virus is going around really bad. It jumped on me a couple of weeks ago. There were a few people at work who were sick but didn’t tell anyone. I felt it in the back of my throat as a tickle and was like……oh no. So when I got off work, I took my remedy for sickness and went to bed. When I got up, I took another dose and worked out like crazy. I did Zumba for 30 minutes and made sure I did routines that made me really sweaty. Then I got on the elliptical for 45 minutes and pumped my poor legs and created even more sweat. I was going to sweat that sickness out of me. And you know what? It kind of worked. I only had a mild headache for a day or two and the tickle in my throat went away. 

When I workout, I turn the heat off because the heating vents are in the ceiling and directly hit me. The people in my household were freaking out today because the place was getting noticeably colder as I was working out. I, of course, felt great. And also me being me, I found it to be quite hilarious that everyone else was getting cold. I told them to cover up and I’ll turn the heat back on when I get done. I guess it didn’t help that it was 52 degrees yesterday and a winter storm passed through and dropped the temp down to 9 degrees with the wind blowing at 22 mph. But the heat is back on now. 

People have been asking me when I was going to put a picture of myself on my blog. I’m not. At least not right now. I mean I don’t really have a following and I don’t have any before and after pictures because…….well I’m still looking like before. I lost another two pounds so that puts me at losing about nine pounds all together. I’m happy about it because it is some sort of progress. I’m still not eating like I should (my sister’s chocolate chip cookies just wouldn’t shut up). But the holidays are over with and my cravings for such things are slowly going away too. I’m finding that I’m starting to crave healthy stuff ( what’s wrong with me) instead of a candy bar or fast food. That, right there, is progress for me. 

There are a few things that make this weight loss journey a bit hard for me. Every injury I’ve ever had in my life wants to start hurting for some reason. Mostly in my feet and knees and occasionally my tailbone. I have conversations with my body to let it know, we are going to exercise no matter what. I found out about a year and a half ago I’m allergic to chicken. While it’s a great relief to finally know what the hell was making me so sick over the years, it also sucks. I happen to love chicken. There are just so many ways to eat it. And it goes so well with everything. Now that I can’t eat it, I see it everywhere. Salads, casseroles, as a light snack, great to use on your weight loss journey.  I also have to be careful when it comes to meat fillers. For example, hot dogs and baloney. They are made with pork and chicken. If a place is serving hot dogs, I now have to ask if they are beef hot dogs. I have to be careful with sausage because it too can be made with chicken. So my food choices have been cut down because of chicken.  I feel like that’s what chicken does to me.

Another thing that makes my weight loss a bit of a challenge is that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). There’s a lot of things this disease (there’s no known cure for it) can do to a person. But one of the biggest challenges it creates it that it is hard to lose weight. It seems that sugar and anything that can turn into sugar (starches) affect it. And there are other complications that would take too long to explain that go along with this syndrome. The bottom line is that at least I understand what it I’m dealing with when it comes to my body and I’m slowly working it out.

PCOS is an endocrine disorder affecting 5% to 10% of reproductive age women. PCOS is characterized by high levels of androgens (male hormones such as testosterone) from the ovary and is associated with insulin resistance. Tiny cysts, hence, poly cysts, usually but not always, surround the ovaries appearing upon an ultrasound as a strand of pearls. The cysts are actually a result of hormonal imbalances not the cause of them.

I was thinking about getting a gym membership so that I can get a personal trainer. I want to tone up my body as I am losing the weight. The biggest thing that bothers me about losing weight is having a lot of loose skin hanging on me (vain, I know). I know that skin loses elasticity the older a person gets. Plus I’ve been this size for about 24 years. I read about things that can help with loose skin so I want to try and get a handle on it now if I can. I don’t want to get anything surgically removed. I’ve read about that too. 

Well, I’m sure I’ll think of other things to ramble about later, but this post is long enough. Let me get back to finding good things to eat and better ways to exercise. There were just some things that had been running around in my head. Until next time.

Workout Gear

I’ve been seeing different posts from people who workout talking about their workout gear. I’ve never thought about it because I just wear whatever. I put on a pair of shorts that are loose so have I moving room. A loose shirt that’s not going to cling to me. Ankle biter socks so that they aren’t bothering me (socks suck). I wear Sketcher shoes because I have flat feet and no arches in my feet. My whole foot touches the floor. Sketchers are the one shoes I’ve found that doesn’t bother my feet as much.

When I first started working out on the elliptical, I wore flip flops because I really didn’t like shoes. But when I started doing Zumba, I had to start wearing shoes. I tried doing Zumba without shoes………and……..yeah. That didn’t work well. I only wore shoes when I went to work or something because my feet were swollen most of the time. Now since I’ve been exercising, my feet have gone down to make shoes tolerable.

So here are my one of my shirts and shorts …… It’s a cheap Hanes shirt from Walmart that I got for maybe $5 or so. And the shorts are DANSKIN NOW and they were about $7.

 My shoes are a bit worn but they get the job done. I had gotten them from the Sketcher’s outlet mall for about $22 or so a couple of years ago. I asked a few people what they wear to workout and I got some of the same responses. Shorts, a loose shirt, and cross trainer shoes.

The bottom line is to wear what’s going to work out for you. It’s already a challenge to just get moving. It shouldn’t be a challenge to figure out what to wear. Unless you really need motivation, then, by all means, go out like this……….. hahahahahahaha.

Realization

I’ve talked about my love of the king-sized Nestle Crunch bars I eat. I took one to work a couple of weeks ago. I was at my machine opening the candy bar up when one of my co-workers spoke. Him: Hey, what’s that you got? Me (happily): It’s a king-sized Nestle Crunch Bar. Him: What, candy? Me: Yeah a candy bar, chocolate. Him: Can I have a piece? Me: Sure. Here you go.

Now keep in mind this is a young guy who is from Nepal. I gave him a small square of my candy bar. I think he almost went into a diabetic coma because he wasn’t used to the amount of sugar that one little square had in it. He wanted to know how I could eat something so sweet. I said because I was used to it. But it got me thinking. I am used to eating that much sugar and that’s not good. This is, after all, a king-sized Crunch bar. So let’s break down what I was eating. Here’s what it looks like…….

The king-sized Nestle Crunch bar that I love so much is a net weight of 4.4 oz. or 124.7 g. That is 3 serving sizes. One serving has 23 g of sugar in it. Depending on which website you go to, the average amount of sugar a woman should get in a day is either 20 g or 25 g. That comes out to about six teaspoons of sugar. Men should have about 37.9 g or about 9 teaspoons of sugar a day. Nutritional value…….

Now, I will eat a Crunch bar that size in one sitting and think nothing of it. But after seeing how much sugar a person should have in a day, I was like……..WOW!!! So here I am eating 75 grams of sugar that comes out to about 18 teaspoons. Most people would not eat 18 teaspoons of sugar in one sitting. Or even in a whole day. Yet technically that’s what I’m doing every time I eat one of those candy bars. It never occurred to me to read the nutritional value on the back of the bar because……..well, it’s a candy bar. It’s supposed to be bad for you. I just didn’t realize how bad.

After reading how much sugar was in my favorite candy bar, I started looking at other stuff. I was going to get a small box of Jello and thought maybe it wouldn’t have too much sugar in it. The box can fit in the palm of my hand (granted I do have big hands, but still). Here’s a picture…… The box is 3 oz or 85 g and it has four servings in it. It also has 19 g of sugar per serving. This box only makes about two cups of Jello once it’s done. That isn’t a lot. Well, to me that isn’t a lot.

Now I’ve been looking at different things that I eat to see what the hell is actually in there. I mean I would read the backs of boxes and stuff but not thoroughly. Usually, I would look for calories, fiber content and maybe sodium but not sugar. I’ve taken a couple nutrition classes when I went to college and remember quite a bit of stuff from the classes. But it’s a different thing to actually apply what I’ve learned. I’ve only half-ass done things the right way. Like I’ve said before, I’m slowly getting better. Now I just have to get past Christmas and my sister’s chocolate chips cookies. I AM going to eat them………hahahahahaha.

Flexibility

I’ve been working out since August of this year. I work out every other day (or try to) and I can feel myself slowly getting stronger. It’s a wonderful feeling. I’ve also started to do Zumba at least one day a week. I have found that yeah, I can’t really do Zumba more than once a week. But I will get better. What I discovered today to my dismay, is that I’m not very flexible.

Flexibility: is specific to a particular movement or joints, and the degree of flexibility can vary around the body. That is the Sports Definition of flexibility. I realized today at work that I don’t have much of it. When my log sheet decided to slip out of my hand and slide under the machine I run, I just stood there. My mind kept saying, “You need that paper”. My body, on the other hand, wanted to know how I was going to get it. I needed to get down on the floor, look under the machine and then reach under there and get it.

Well……..I finally maneuvered myself to the floor. And I was able to look under the machine to see where my paper was. It was slightly out of reach. I stretched my arm out and was able to snag it. It that hurt like hell to do that. My next problem was getting off the floor. I was on my knees which is something I avoid like the plague. It’s pretty painful to get up because my knees are not very friendly to me. Lucky for me, there was a table right next to my machine that I could use for leverage. After what seemed like 50 years I was standing straight.

That was a very defining moment for me. I stretch before I do my exercises but apparently, there’s something lacking. A few days ago I had purchased a workout mat and a jump rope. I’ve been seeing all kinds of stretching videos and stuff on Facebook and figured I’d eventually get to it. It looks like I’ll be getting to it sooner than later. Here’s the jump rope I got…….

The mat is just your standard mat that one person can fit on. So it looks like I’ll be using that mat sometime this week. I’ll have to go slowly just like everything else. I can’t just jump in full speed and expect great things. I still have problems getting up off the floor. I’ll find some nice videos on YouTube to help me along.

It’s been a couple of weeks……

I haven’t posted in a minute because I’ve been trying to get my blog organized. There’s so much to learn about writing a blog, my gosh. What I have done in the working out department is Zumba. And I got my butt handed to me. But that’s ok. I did Zuma on the Wii for 20 minutes and it felt like I had never done it in my life. I’ve gotten different Zumba games for the Wii since about 2010 or so. Back then it didn’t seem like it was so hard to do. It’s amazing how out of shape you can get over time.

I started messing with the settings on the elliptical trainer. Again, I got my butt handed to me. I think I put it up on the highest settings and thought I could just do it! Yeah right. My legs were screaming at me, demanding to know what was I doing. I went from gliding along on flat land to hiking in the Himalayas. I changed the settings back and calmed my legs down. It’s not always good to jump into things because you are feeling good. The body don’t like……hahahahahaha

My favorite pair of workout earbud headphones died on me. I had them for 10 years and I loved them. I, of course, have a backup pair. But there’s nothing like having your favorite thing that you can depend on. I’ll just have to see what’s on sale for the Black Friday sales. Maybe I can come across something good.

I’ve been looking at some more chair exercise videos on YouTube. There are so many to choose from. But I tend to stick with ones that are four to eight minutes long. I want a pre-workout before I get on the elliptical. Something that will help me stretch my muscles. I also stumbled across a video that uses these hand weights that are 2 lb balls. So what did I do? I went to Walmart and found them. The ones I found are purple and they are made by Gold’s Gym. They are made of rubber and I think are filled with sand.  Here it is in my hand.  It’s funny to think that 2lbs isn’t really heavy until you actually use it. They were about $5 each. They must have been waiting for me because there were only two left on the shelf. So now I’m slowly working weights into my workout also.

Going Slow…..Daily Prompt: Simmer

Getting my self to exercise has been simmering in the back of my head for a long time. Sometimes you may want to do sometime but put it on a back burner in your mind and it simmers. Well, it finally boiled over and I got off my arse and started doing something about it.

I’ve been exercising since August of this year. That may not sound like a long time but it works for me. It works for me because this time around I’m going slow. The last 500 times I started exercising, I jumped right in and tried to go from zero to sixty. I kept burning myself out even if I had shown progress. It started to feel like a huge chore that I couldn’t stand doing. So I switched things up.

What I did differently this time was not really set too much of a goal as to what I wanted. I know the fundamentals of what it takes to lose weight; eating healthier, exercising more, drinking more water, etc. But this time I’m focusing on one thing at a time. First I’m exercising more. I started off with ten minutes of some sort of exercise every other day. Then I gradually increased it. I finally admitted to myself what I would and would not do as far as exercising.

I used to really like walking. I don’t anymore. Maybe it’s the time of the year when my allergies are really bad. Or maybe there are too many bugs flying around. I don’t know. I just know, I don’t want to do it. And I realized that’s ok. Just because I liked doing something at one time doesn’t mean I’m going to like it forever. At this point in my life, I’m all about exercising at home.

I’ve been looking at YouTube videos to help me get the most out of my at home routines when it comes to exercise. As I posted before, I use my elliptical. But I need stretching in there too. And like I’ve said before, I’m also lazy……..hahahahahaha. So I do the chair exercises that involve eight or so minutes of stretching before hopping on the elliptical. Man, do I feel good after doing them.

I know I said my goal was to lose five pounds a month. I’m fine if I don’t because I can feel an improvement in my body. I used to feel so tired all the time. And I was having problems sleeping. My feet would hurt so bad just being on them. I also felt that wearing shoes was evil (shoes actually are evil….lol). Well, slowly things got better. It’s funny because it was gradual. I didn’t notice anything at first.

One day I was walking around at work and realized my feet didn’t hurt as much as they usually do. I also noticed that I wasn’t walking as slow and hunched up like before. I was actually feeling pretty good. I kind of wanted to jump around and make a lot of noise of happiness. But common sense prevailed because my body warned me it wasn’t at that point yet.

I’m not eating the greatest. Those king size Nestle Crunch bars still call me every time I go to Walmart. I don’t always answer the call but sometimes I do. But that’s ok. I take things one day at a time. I try to make sure I get something positive out of every day. Even if it’s something really little. The people at work think I’m a bit crazy because I smile and wave at people a lot more. I can’t help it. I’m just feeling so good now.

via Daily Prompt: Simmer

I Prefer……

I prefer not to get stabbed in my finger with a knife. Whether or not I wanted it, it happened anyway. I was happily cutting my tomato when the next thing I know the knife goes through it and into my finger. I was holding the tomato in the air in one hand and cutting from the top to the bottom in the other.  Food safety tip: If you are going to cut something, lay it down on a cutting board or something solid.

I ran cold water on my finger until it stopped bleeding. I thought I heard a little laughter coming from my tomato or even the knife. But that’s ok, lesson learned. I saw just how easy it is to get hurt on a simple act. But the tomato was very good along with my cottage cheese. When I move on to cucumbers, I’ll remember to go slow and easy with a knife.     via Daily Prompt: Prefer

Hydration

I’ll admit, I’m not the greatest at keeping myself hydrated. I’ll work out, take a few sips of water and be done. That’s not good, the body needs to be hydrated to stay healthy. We’ve all heard that drinking 8 glasses of water is the recommended amount per day. The only problem with that is everybody is different.

I don’t drink eight glasses of water a day. I drink maybe a cup of juice in the morning, a few swigs of water from my water jug throughout the day, and 22 oz of water at work. If I feel thirsty I’ll slam another 22 oz of water. But you can also get your hydration from foods.

Celery is 96% water and provides sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Watermelon is 95% water and rich in vitamin C. Cucumbers are 95% water and provides calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Strawberries are 92% water and rich in potassium. Bell Peppers are 92% water and rich in vitamin C.

The human body is made up of over 60% of water. Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Yeah, that sounds like a really good reason to drink water.

I know people say they don’t like water. Or they have to have some type of flavor in it (usually lemon). It’s understandable that people may not like water. After all, there are so many types of drinks to choose from. It will do your body good to slowly introduce water to it.  Try drinking a cup of water a day as a way getting to know it (hahahahahahaha). Over time you’ll get used to it and may even want more water.

The bottom line is this; when it comes to getting healthy, there are going to be a lot of changes that are going to happen. I want to lose weight so besides working out I have to up my intake of water. Why? Because the body is getting rid of it when I sweat. I do feel better when I drink it. The best advice I can give when it comes to drinking water is find out what works for you. Your body will let you know.

Pouring glass of water from plastic bottle on blue background

I didn’t Expect this…..

I did my work out today and thought it would be like any other workout. Maybe I would get half an hour in on my elliptical. Since I found the chair exercises on YouTube, I did the stretches for eight minutes. I guess my body really needed it because I felt them. I started my regular workout and didn’t think I would make it even 20 minutes. I was getting tired. But not only did I make it to 48 minutes, I had actually felt pretty good afterward. Sometimes things happen in a way you just don’t expect. Sometimes things are even better.  via Daily Prompt: Expect