Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year of Maintaining

For me this has been a milestone year; my first year EVER of losing weight, whereas, I didn't have a specific goal or event in mind, I just wanted to lose weight, keep it off, keep losing, maintain, and so on  and so forth.  I also did some other things this year that I said I would never do.
Lost 8 lbs

Lost 3 lbs

Lost 3 lbs
First time I ever ran 10 miles

Lost 2 lbs
First time I ever ran 12 miles

First time I ever ran 14 miles

Lost 2 lbs
Ran my first Half Marathon--Zooma Annapolis 
Weighed: 171 lbs
Time: 3:05

Lost 2 lbs

Lost 3 lbs


Lost 7 lbs
Ran my 2nd Half Marathon-Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank International
Weighed: 158 lbs
Time: 2:46

Lost 1 lb

Lost l lb

The months I maintained was where my weight started off from the previous month, gain a pound, lost a pound.  I am finally getting all my numbers together and putting on a chart for all to see.  I am happy with this past year and had no major crisis, but I am always aware.
My parents are getting older--they will be 79 & 82 in 2013 and they live on the West Coast and I live on the East Coast.  There were a few small episodes with their health this past year.  I am planning to visit this April as I did last year.  I am signed up for a half marathon in late February, so I will be putting in the miles again, starting off this weekend with 10 on Saturday.  
Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

**Update:  I must disclose that I interval run at a 3:1 pace.  It's somewhere on this blog but I wanted to make sure I divulged this.  I started at a 6:1 pace and started hating running again but the 3:1 pace--run 3 minutes and walk 1 minute works for me.  I must like what I am doing so that I will stick to it.  Notice I didn't mention anything about love or loving it; I like it and that's enough to get me out there on these cold mornings.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

By any means necessary...

6/09 200 lbs
I was talking to a friend yesterday about weight, weight loss, diets, gastric bypass, the lapband and she was expressing her displeasure with those who choose gastric bypass surgery.  This person has intimate knowledge of the procedure (read: a family member) indicating that it does not address the need for changed behavior to a level she feels is very necessary.  She indicated that she is for the lapband because it is adjusted with behavior which is better monitored--in her opinion.  I indicated that I am an equal opportunity person, whatever way an obese person needs to get the weight off and keep it off--then just do it.  I realized as I was typing that I may open myself up to ridicule.  I did type "obese person." So I am not advocating for an anorexic person to keep the weight off by any means necessary, just to be clear.

 I am passionate about this because over 30 years ago I was listening in on a conversation between my oldest sister who died of a heart attack due to obesity and my mother.  Back in the early 80s, pre-gastric bypass (or as we know it now) they did stomach stapling--basically cordoning off a part of the stomach to make it smaller with staples.  My sister who at the time was probably over 300 lbs was telling my mother that she was thinking about having this procedure.  She knew she was very large and wanted to do something about it--very courageous, as I look back on it.  Well, evidently this conversation had taken place before because my sister started crying because mother was SO against it.  My mother stated that this surgery was not safe and the staples were known to come out and so on and so forth.  My sisters and I always did what my mother said; her word was gospel, I say "was" because we now think for ourselves but back then our mother had a lot of influence over us.  So my sister is crying, probably even desperate about things we didn't find out until after her death but she thought this would solve all her problems.  My mother insisted that she not get the surgery citing the children and 2-3 years later she was dead of a heart attack due to obesity. Whew!!!! just typing this still takes my breath away.

 I was seventeen when she passed and as I have said before, the word obesity just stuck with me and I developed an internal monitor to always just try to keep my weight down!!!  It is a very long and winding road but with pure determination, it is possible. I always tell people that without that startling revelation at 17 of the word obesity, I probably would be 300 lbs myself.  I feel that, 300 is the new 200 when I watch The Biggest Loser.  Back in the day, 200 lbs was like taboo, no one and I mean no one ever wanted to reach 200 lbs, I remember my second oldest sister (Miss Size 6, 118 lbs) and my oldest sister (they were 17 months apart) arguing over the word "fat" and its use.  Many of you know where I am going with this.  It was a constant battle when I was a little girl and into my teens.  Fat sister, skinny sister.  When I was born they were 13 & 12 years old but I didn't understand their battles, they were my pretty older sisters, one was tall and statuesque, pretty skin and thick hair and one was petite, pretty with hazel eyes and thick hair.  They both married at 20 and my oldest sister had 2 children right away.

 I didn't witness the anguish of weight (of course I knew the word fat) until overhearing that conversation at 14 or 15 years of age.  After my sister's death and reading the death certificate, I often wondered about that conversation and whether or not it could have saved her life.  I didn't get the courage to ask my mother about the conversation until 3 years ago, yes, 2009.  She took my sister's death really hard and we just didn't add insult to injury back then--no blame games, just grief.  She died on the 4th of July, 1983---so there were no more Fourth of July celebrations in my family, just grief. But in 2009 we were all in a different place, literally.  I was really getting tired of my struggle with 50 lbs, up and down, my mother had had knee replacement surgery but had needed to lose about 50 lbs and was in so much pain that I got angry.  I told her that doctor had no business doing the surgery and that she needed to lose some weight first.  She started crying and said that I hurt her feelings.  I apologized but I meant what I said.  When she was done with rehabilitation or almost done, I took her to Weight Watchers and she is still going and losing.  She says she went to her first few meetings still using a cane.  I was not apologetic about that.  I was feeling courageous and wanting to have the tough conversations and we did.  So one day we were driving and I just asked her if Trena (my sister's name was Trena Therese Marsh-Joiner) were alive now would you be OK with her getting gastric bypass surgery and she said absolutely.  She opened up about ignorance and how we didn't know the gravity of obesity and all it's complications--with something as small as stress(stress did not mean then what it me.  She complimented me on saving my own daughter's life--this felt good coming from my mother---but I felt her pain and heard the crack in her voice.  We continued talking about our processes of losing weight.  Weight Watchers was working for her and I had begun my journey, again, detoxing and trying everything, again with some success and I continue this right now--with much more success. The picture above is of me found on the Internet, good grief.  I attended a meeting at UCLA in June of 2009 and we took a picture  after the 2 day meeting.  I remember vividly standing on the end and trying to turn to make myself look smaller but it made me look worse, in my opinion.  The horror of finding this on the Web just added salt to the wound but I also thought to myself this morning that I should post this everywhere as a reminder.

 I know there are so many stories out there comparable to mine, my grief is not as heavy as it was because July 2013 will be 30 years, she would have turned 60 years old this past March.  I think about her all the time.  I also think about how far we have come with education about fat, calories, consumption and weight.  We are doing worse because there are so many obese children but our First Lady is doing something about this.  Many parents are being educated, something I felt alone with about 10 years ago.  I feel we just have to be vigilant when it comes to our numbers, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol and control them by any means necessary.

**by any means necessary (for me) refers to all the different people and different weight loss methods that are out there.  Everyone has to find their own path, what works for me, may not work for someone else but we have to keep trying!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Bookshelf

Not only do I have issues with food, I am also a closet foodie.  I call myself closeted because I am unable to dine in some of the places I read about.  I have loved cooking, food, restaurants, newspaper food sections, cooking and food magazines, and now blog forever.  I love when all my worlds collide and they did with Joe Bastianich article in Runner's World.  This article is from 2010, a year before I started running, but I had heard that he used to have a weight problem--here's another one of those moments for me---I just didn't believe it, so I start searching around and saw pictures and frankly, I still can't find his face now in the pictures when he was overweight.  Incredible!!!  So my searches led me to this article and when you read it, although it's in Runner's World, it's a foodie article, love it!!!
And then I found out that that he would have a book coming out, Restaurant Man.  I started reading it over a month ago and just finished it.  It's very revealing, in more ways than one.  He tells trade secrets, a lot of them, I was enthralled.  Now for the good part:  he devotes only about 6 pages to his chubby kid to marathon runner comeuppance.  "The doctor told me if I didn't stop I would have full-on type 2 diabetes in five to ten years and either die of a heart attack while I was sleeping or begin to go blind from glaucoma and start losing limbs.  It was a nice picture he painted for me.  He told me to take a look at my father--he had type 2 diabetes, which he did not control.  He had glaucoma.  He had poor circulation and neuropathy.  I knew I had to change my life.  The real aha moment is when I stopped looking at food as an indicator of social status or as a reward and started looking at it as fuel for my body." (Hardcover p. 228).
I love how his doctor painted him a picture, he got it and did something about it.  Sometimes this is the way is goes for some people.  But what I really wanted to note is that he doesn't seem as though he stresses out about gaining it all back.  And in his world of pasta and wine, that's saying a whole lot.  He states that running improved every part of his life.  I love that!!! " keeps my weight off..."  Again, I just find Maintainers so uplifting and encouraging.  To be reading something about food and to come across him was wonderful and enlightening.  I just wanted to share this.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Maintainer's World Wednesday

I like to see those who are setting goals and making plans for the coming year; the year recaps are also great.  I am learning a lot for myself; I have been journaling for while now and I set goals in my head but I have never set out with intention to actually write them down. Also, I am noticing a little bit of beating ones self up out there.  What I want to say is that the New Year will come and you will get back on the wagon.  I just take one day at a time and not take on the entire season.  You are talking from October 31st to January 1st, why, why, why put that much pressure on yourself.  My mother is a very pragmatic woman (just deal with it, it's going to come around whether you want it to or not).  Yes, I am turning into my mother (this can be good and bad), because we know the Holiday season is coming around each year just like Girl Scout Cookie time (which used to be worse for me than the Holidays!!!), seriously.  I mentally prepare for these seasons. I actually gave up Girl Scout Cookies at least 8 years ago (not sure of the exact date).  I said that next year I would not buy any cookies (if I did, they would stay there with the Girl Scouts) and I didn't.  It happens when you consciously make a choice, stick with it and then you just forget about it.  I hadn't thought about Girl Scout Cookies until I needed an analogy to go with the Holiday Season.  And no you don't have to give up Girl Scout Cookies or the Holiday Season but I think for those of us who have issues with food, giving up something and/or paying attention to what goes in our mouths is important. Dr. Berkeley (Refuse to Regain) in her last week post said this:  " trigger foods which are so ubiquitous at this time of year set off the body's addiction pathways.  Sugar gets into your system and it stages a take over.  Before you know it, there's been a coup and you are no longer in control of your eating..."
I know this to be true for ME and I own it.  Sugar may not be the root of all evil for all but during this coming year, explore your triggers, know them and prepare for the seasons because they'll be coming around again!!!

110 Pounds and Counting – Lovely Lebanese
Debby Weighs In – A Bit on This 'n That

Fit to the Finish – The Diets Do Not Work Myth Exposed

Fixing Myself Happy -- A Quick Post

Garden Girl – Narrow carb window in weight maintenance

Half Size Me -- Tune in for the Latest Podcast

Happy Weight After - Just the Sporadic Weight Update...

Hungry Girl -- Chew the Right Thing

It Sux To Be Fat -- Managing Holiday Treats -- Chose, Lose

Keeping the Pounds Off! – I Dropped to Fifty, As Suggested

Lap Band Gal! -- What Day is Today?

Myra's Journey -- It's All In Your Mind

Poonapalooza -- Tis the season to treat your body like the temple it is

Prior Fat Girl -- Reflecting.

Refuse to Regain – Food, Violence and How we Fool Ourselves:  Just My Opinion

Roni’s Weigh -- Which Came First, the Fat or the Crap?

The Fit Bee -- Busy Season

The Anti-Jared -- Because People Will Hate You

Tracy Reifkind's Training Food and Thought -- Stop it! And then Put Something Different  Into Action

Weight Off My Shoulders -- My 30s Freakin Rock So Far...

Welcome to my World - Stop Acting Stupid

Monday, December 17, 2012

Heavy Heart....Weight of the Nation

My heart is very heavy from the senseless loss of lives in Newtown, CT.  My heart goes out to all the families and to the community.
These kind of times makes an emotional eater, eat.  That being said, I was very conscious this weekend, because I can sit up, watch 24 hour coverage and eat.  This is what emotional eaters do.  I did get some popcorn and crunched on that---it helped, I wanted more but just drank water.
"Weight of the Nation" is free on Amazon instant video and probably on Hulu, I just haven't checked.
This is a good  because so many people missed it and the HBO streaming was difficult, just didn't work on many browsers, in my opinion.  I have watched it twice.  I recommend it to everyone.  If you just want to understand the urgency of why we need to keep our weight under control, watch "Weight of the Nation."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Maintainer's World Wednesday

I have been a blog stalker (there is a better word I could of used) for a very long time.  I read many of the popular blogs (hint: one made into a movie) from the beginning.  I have always been fascinated by what makes a person this, or what makes a person that, or how did she do this or that, hence my fascination with blogs.  It's been very hard for me to start one because I wanted to first be consistent and second, authentic.  I wanted to know what I wanted and what I didn't want.  I love when I am compiling this post and reading what's going on in the Maintaining World, it truly gives me strength.  My favorite is to read everyone's story, where they came from,  how much they have lost, and how they are Maintaining.  I love that everyone has come to this juncture from different paths.  I am for all different diet plans and weight loss regimens (the path) and there are plenty; but Maintaining is truly where my heart is.  It's so hard to be out here (and we're not famous people) and lose weight, gain it all back, lose weight, gain it all back....  We have to start promoting Weight Maintenance, yes, we have lost that 40, 50, 60+ lbs and we want to keep going or just stay the same and we want to do it within the same context of weight loss, with enthusiasm and encouragement.  I think the thing about maintaining is that for the most part it's invisible.  Many people are maintainers and don't even know it or think of themselves that way.  I am always amazed, astonished when I have been around a person for a while and say something like, "Oh you're skinny, you haven't had to ever worry about your weight" and they retort that they used to heavy and offer pictures.  Again, it's invisible, I would have never known this (btw over the summer I had peaked at this person's blazer and the tag said Size 0, wowza!!!) 

110 Pounds and Counting – Healthier Holiday Snacking
Debby Weighs In – Single Minded

Fit to the Finish – Have You Taken the Time to Measure Lately?

Fixing Myself Happy -- Mid Week and Moving Day

Garden Girl – 10 Months Weight Maintenance update

Half Size Me -- Tune in for the Latest Podcast

Happy Weight After - Just the Sporadic Weight Update...

hopfulandfree -- of fairy tales, thin privilege and dominant social discourses (part two)

Hungry Girl -- Chew the Right Thing

It Sux To Be Fat -- Pack a Snack - Weekly Weigh In

Keeping it Off -- Whole 30: Week 1

Keeping the Pounds Off! – Process This Part II

Poonapalooza -- Tis the season for burning quads

Prior Fat Girl -- Finding relaxation.

Refuse to Regain – Drop and Give Me Fifty!

Roni’s Weigh -- Do You Ask for the Support You Need?

Tracy Reifkind's Training Food and Thought -- The Day I Stopped Being a Compulsive Overeater (part one)

Weight Off My Shoulders -- Girls on the Run and Walter's Run 5K

Welcome to my World - The Weight of the World Off My Shoulders

Monday, December 10, 2012


 I have a cute story about time management that I learned at my daughter's college orientation.  In summer of 2006 we traveled to Washington DC for my daughter's 2 1/2 day freshman orientation at GWU.  The first day late morning session we enter the auditorium and there is a flip chart with the number 168 written on it, the only thing on the stage.  It was a prop for the Dean of Students' talk with students and parents.  So he comes out asking us what the number represented and there was all kinds of answers; he told us that everyone had it and even Oprah.  I guess in 2006 no one knew what he was talking about and I am wondering if many people know about it now.  Anyway this goes on for about 5 or 10 minutes but no one in the audience guessed.  Then he stated that this is the number of hours everyone had in a week.  Yep, we all have 168 hours a week, 24x7.  Then he breaks down the numbers and I start writing on my piece of paper also and when he was done the students still had about 52 hours left to do whatever; classes, sleep, studying and a few other things were covered. I found this fascinating because if we break down the hours in a day, it doesn't seem like we have any time left.  I learned a lot from this session and I had taken a few time management classes just for me as a young wife and mother and it helped tremendously but this was 15 years later and I learned something new.
I know a lot of people who really don't want to hear this but it's true and I think every one should seriously look at how they are spending their time.  My one day that I don't worry about time is Sunday, unless I am working on a project.  So even on Saturday, because I kept running out of time on Saturdays and it was getting frustrating to me, I manage my time.  I get up very early to get my runs in usually somewhere between 3-10 miles or more if a race is close.  I also try real hard to get 7 hours of sleep a night.
I really feel sad when I hear a person is overwhelmed and do not have time for themselves.  I am sure everyone does the best they can but we can all do just a little bit more with figuring out our 168.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Maintainer's World Wednesday

If you are like me, just needing some inspiration to make it through the Month of December (MOD), take a look at this edition of A Maintainer's World Wednesday.  The following links are full of just what we are all needing at this time.  This is my therapy putting these links together each week.  I don't do a lot of commentary but I do make comments on some individual blogs.  As usual this is a work in progress, if I am missing a maintainer that should be on this list, then feel free to let me know.  I also have a To Watch list that I am working on.

110 Pounds and Counting – Skirt's Too Tight
Debby Weighs In – Taking One Hat Off, Putting the Next One On

Fit to the Finish – Monday Morning Restarts

Fixing Myself Happy -- More Than A Week Gone By

Garden Girl – My transition from weight loss to weight maintenance

Half Size Me -- Tune in for the Latest Podcast

hopfulandfree -- of fairy tales, thin privilege and dominant social discourses (part one)

Hungry Girl -- Chew the Right Thing

It Sux To Be Fat -- Day at a Time December – 360, and go!

Keeping it Off -- Whole 30, Day 1/30

Keeping the Pounds Off! – Process This Part One

Myra's Journey -- Back To School

No Celery Please -- I Feel Pretty

Poonapalooza -- Concave arm pits and skinny butts

Prior Fat Girl -- The Day My Life Changed...

Refuse to Regain – The Calm Before the Serious Holiday Storm

Roni’s Weigh -- Tough Mudder Florida 2012

The Fit Bee -- Where My Heart Belongs

Tracy Reifkind's Training Food and Thought -- Namaste

Weight Off My Shoulders -- 2012 Road Races

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What's new in weight maintenance research?

I received the following citations in my inbox this morning from PubMed.  I found 3 of them interesting, my notes are below in red. #s 2, 3 & 5; my search is keyword and pertains to "weight maintenance." What is good about the 3 articles that I like is that they are also freely available to read full-text.

1.Inactivation of Socs3 in the Hypothalamus Enhances the Hindbrain Response to Endogenous Satiety Signals via Oxytocin Signaling.
Matarazzo V, Schaller F, Nédélec E, Benani A, Pénicaud L, Muscatelli F, Moyse E, Bauer S.
J Neurosci. 2012 Nov 28;32(48):17097-107. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1669-12.2012.
PMID: 23197703 [PubMed - in process]
Related citations
2.Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women.
Klempel MC, Kroeger CM, Bhutani S, Trepanowski JF, Varady KA.
Nutr J. 2012 Nov 21;11(1):98. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 23171320 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] Free Article
Related citations --the focus here is on Cardio Protection, so the severity of a one day fasting/week is understandable.  I am sure many will disagree with me because it's been said that not eating will throw off a person's metabolism.  They said the same about low calorie or high fat diets for years also.  I feel every body is different and if this helps to protect an obese woman's heart and possibly jump start weight loss, well....again, this is only my opinion. (my Disclaimer is above)
3.Group dialectical behavior therapy adapted for obese emotional eaters: a pilot study.
Roosen MA, Safer D, Adler S, Cebolla A, van Strien T.
Nutr Hosp. 2012 Aug;27(4):1141-7. doi: 10.3305/nh.2012.27.4.5843.
PMID: 23165554 [PubMed - in process] Free Article
Related citations--found this abstract to be fascinating and hope to have the time soon to read the entire article, I read up a little on dialectical behavior therapy and thought it makes perfectly good sense to apply this to obese emotional eaters, I like these results: "The ability of DBT to limit the upward trajectory of weight gain in obese patients with high degrees of emotional eating suggests that DBT may also help limit the increase or even prevent onset of obesity related morbidity in these patients."
4.Developing and Piloting the Journey to Native Youth Health Program in Northern Plains Indian Communities.
Brown B, Noonan C, Harris KJ, Parker M, Gaskill S, Ricci C, Cobbs G, Gress S.
Diabetes Educ. 2012 Nov 13. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 23150531 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Related citations 
5.Body weight changes and outpatient medical care utilisation: Results of the MONICA/KORA cohorts S3/F3 and S4/F4.
Wolfenstetter SB, Menn P, Holle R, Mielck A, Meisinger C, von Lengerke T.
Psychosoc Med. 2012;9:Doc09. doi: 10.3205/psm000087. Epub 2012 Oct 25.
PMID: 23133503 [PubMed] Free PMC Article
Related citations--I think there are a lot of things going on in this study done in Germany according to the abstract.  I do feel that there is a ton of data to be lifted from this study with respect to whether those who seek outpatient medical care and if they gain or lose weight.  I think maybe they even have data on whether or not they sought more or less outpatient treatment because of co-morbidity's like diabetes, heart/circulation problems or breathing/asthma problems. I would love to find out what they mean in their conclusions of "weight development."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off...

and start all over again; I love the version of Pick Yourself Up by Diana Krall, it's on the 1998 album.  Anyway, I always sing this song when I am down or when I just need to get going again and today is that day for some people, the Monday following Thanksgiving.  There are many people who just try to get through the holidays and start after the New Year.  Well, I tried this for years and it just made me more depressed, especially competing with all the other people who were trying to keep their resolutions.  It made me very sad when in January I would have to wait in line at the gym for a bike or treadmill or if I wanted to get into that spinning class---I would lose out to the volumes of others trying to get in the same class.  It all became very frustrating to me.  I started figuring that it has to be a better way, so a few years ago when I was trying to kick start my journey, I decided to start after Thanksgiving.  I have to say that although I had one false start, 2009, (meaning I lost the weight and gained it back); I feel really good about starting the day after Thanksgiving.  I feel like I get a jumpstart on everything and it's working for me.  I am sure many people would say, why not give yourself a chance to get through the holidays.  Again, I just figured that if I can get through the holidays; then I can do this.
On another note, I saw this article today and it just made me very sad.  Not sure whom is to blame but it is just sad none the less.

Friday, November 23, 2012

An Anniversary...of sorts

Well, one year ago today (sort of, because the Thanksgiving holiday rotates), I started on my current journey by walking into this place the day after Thanksgiving.  I actually made the appointment over a week before; I didn't want to go through the holiday season, gain more weight and have more to work off.  I was very sad because I had gained back the 40 lbs I had lost AGAIN!!!! I had started running and was trying to make smart decisions and I thought starting the day after Thanksgiving would be good for me.  For me, and I can say this honestly, the journey to maintenance is a long and winding one but the light bulbs continue to go off.  First I let go of white sugar and high fructose corn syrup and then caffeine.  I felt that it was time for me to take charge of me.  I am sure I have said before that I would never give up coffee; but I have.  I think so many people on the journey always think they are going to miss something; but you don't and it's always something else.  I just wanted to reflect on where I was and how I felt a year ago.  Always good to see progress.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Maintainer's World Wednesday

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!  I will be getting up in the morning to run the Alexandria Turkey Trot, my second year doing this, 5 miles, not bad for Thanksgiving morning.

110 Pounds and Counting – Weekend, Interrupted
Debby Weighs In – What are YOU doing for Thanksgiving this year?

Fit to the Finish – Are You Mentally Prepared for the Holidays?

Fixing Myself Happy -- A little of everything

Garden Girl – Power to the graph and pedometer-Maintenance Tools

Half Size Me -- Tune in for the Latest Podcast

Happy Weight After -- 180.2...178.6

Hungry Healthy Happy -- Healthy Holiday Gift Options

It Sux To Be Fat -- The Missing Link – Troubled Waters

Keeping the Pounds Off! – The Voice of my Bullsh*t Meter

Lap Band Gal - After Spending Thousands of Dollars on my Lap Band...

Losing 147 -- Revelation that most of you knew

Myra's Journey -- Start Over

Poonapalooza -- A Mountain run, free coffee, winter vegetables

Prior Fat Girl -- November Runnin'

Refuse to Regain – Meatless Fruitless Mondays

Roni’s Weigh -- Keep Track of your Weigh with Google Docs

The Anti-Jared -- BREAKING NEWS!!! Fat People Can Inspire!

The Fit Bee -- ...My Second Philadelphia Marathon

Weight Off My Shoulders -- My Back Vs. Pure Barre

Hopefully I am getting better at this; I have great plans for this page, please stay tuned!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Bookshelf

I meant to publish this post last Friday and forgot and then things go hectic at work today; please excuse the references to yesterday...thanks

I have read so many "diet" books and countless other motivational, inspirational or as we used to call them at Borders (worked there for 9 years part-time), "self-help."  Anyway, I was getting overwhelmed at how I wanted to present this here.  On Tuesday evening I stopped by my local public library.  I live in a wonderful village, so stepping off the bus after 6pm (it's dark outside) and seeing the library open, I was excited.  I walked in to peruse the new bookshelf.  I picked up "Lose it Fast, Lose it Forever" by Pete Thomas. He is a The Biggest Loser alum from Season 2.  I remember his story so well.  And he is definitely a Maintainer.  I want to also include The Biggest Loser alums here on my blog and had been researching if the winners had blogs.  Pete Thomas was not the winner of Season 2 but he was the at home $100,000 winner.  He is now the brand LIF2.  I mentioned here that each of the diet, weight loss books I read, I look for a section or chapter on Maintenance.  Some of my thoughts with bullet points are below:

  • "To me this was not the end of the journey but rather the beginning.  I had lost a ton of weight, and now it was time to start the next step of life: maintenance."  Love, love, love this!!!  You have to read this to know what another contestant said to him right after the finale.
  • Pete totally recommends to read all of his Steps, 1-4, a process.
  • The 5 Rs of Maintenance: Review, Revise, Repeat, Reward, Reach Back--for me this is doable.  I actually did the review part last night--reading over some of my materials and just regrouping.
  • In his Introduction he states that there are types of dieters who should not read his book; The Perpetual Dieter, The You-Do-It-for-Me Dieter; The Pie-in-the-Sky Dieter and The Do-It-Tomorrow Dieter.  His point:  This book is not for these dieters because "diets are made to be followed.  Life is made to be lived.  Wow!!!...he does indicate that at some point in his life, he had been all these types at one time or another.  I saw myself here: I am the Perpetual Dieter.  I do agree with not using the "d-i-e-t" word and living, but I feel we are who we are and all of our experiences are unique. I have been changing my thought processes and being on my journey.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

how am I feeling...

I have been asking myself this question a lot lately, it's a part of my living consciously.  Last week was really rough for me.  The election, especially filled me with angst and I really wanted to eat more bread, more carbohydrates (popcorn).  I gave up white sugar and high fructose corn syrup (hfcs) about a year ago for the last time.  I have also given up caffeine.  For me this was a personal choice.  I inferred when I started writing here last month that it has taken me over 10 years to figure it all out (it's not really all figured out, but I started losing weight again).  It took many of the books I read and just started trying things.  Sugar makes me crave more sugar and one might say, so what, it makes me do this too.  Well, I liken food addiction to any other (insert addiction here).  Now I am not a scientist but this is what I know for me, when I eat the white sugar and/or hfcs, I do not lose weight.  It is simple math for me.  I want to live at a healthy weight subtract the white sugar and hfcs.  Again, it's a decision made by me for me.  The caffeine part was a little more trickier.  In the year 2000, I began consistently exercising and cutting back on the calories, generally trying all my old tricks to stay away from 200 lbs.  Nothing serious happened for a while and I consistently drank about 2 Venti Americanos per day, 3x3x2 shots of espresso, a habit that I had gotten into during graduate school, 1994-96. Anyway, I knew that someday I would have to give this up because I was going to get older and the heart and such.  I wasn't so much worried about the heart as I was the weight not coming off, at all!!!
Fast forward, 2011, I had to have major abdominal surgery and before the surgery my doctor asked me to give up caffeine and so I did and I have not touched a cup of coffee or espresso since March 2011, yep, cold turkey and for the last time.  I had given it up for lent a few times and when I felt the heart go extra beats but it never stuck.  I think it sort of scared me that she had to ask me to give it up before major surgery because of anesthesia and the uncertainty that comes along with that.  I willingly didn't give it a second thought.  Sometimes I drink a diet soda when I am out.  I don't fret over it because sometimes I crave the carbonation and I can find a caffeine-free type, except when out with friends.  This has maybe been 3 times over the last year and a half.  I do still love the smell of coffee and when I smell it, I acknowledge it and think about something else.  Giving up sugar, is not hard or difficult; I just have to be aware and ask questions.  I decided that white sugar and hfcs are my triggers--so none of that, but if an iced tea needs an equal or the pink packet then it's OK.  I also use natural sugar for baking, turbinado is working for me, if I do any baking, which I try not to.  I also use fresh fruit as a dessert whenever needed.  I learned this summer and I am sure that many know this, but all fresh fruit is not created equally.  The high sugar content fruits (watermelon and pineapple for me) also interfere like white sugar for my progress.  I found out this past summer when my progress stalled around the 7 month mark.  My doctor decided to have me do blood work since it had been over 6 months since beginning the program.  Sure enough, my glucose was 102, up from 82.  I admitted to eating much more pineapple and watermelon than I should but it was a hot.  I should have known something was amiss when I was craving it all the time.  It wasn't that I was gaining weight but it was that I was not losing weight, which should be a sign for people.  If you are doing most of things that you know are correct to do; you should be losing weight--if not something is off.  I don't drink coffee or tea and only drink iced tea or a diet soda at restaurants so I don't really need a sugar substitute that often.  I have been experimenting with baked goods but would like to keep this to a minimum while still on my journey.  I tend to be the type of person who listens to her body, especially weight wise.  I think being aware of triggers and letting go of things that don't allow you have successful weight maintenance is the way to go, again, I cannot stress enough, everyone is different.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Better Way....IMHO

I was just thinking that there has to be a better way to approach and write about a public figure on their weight loss journey.  I was reading the Bret Baier article in the Washington Post on Friday and was just struck by the way he talked about how he decided and how he told his wife and assistant to keep it secret; and it's only been 3 months and a 45 lb loss so far.  Now for sure this is quick (gluten free and "Eat Right for your Type"), he is a man, though and highly noticeable but there just has to be a better way to continue the journey and gracefully say, "Come back and talk to me in a year."  I read a great post by Barbara at Refuse to Regain about two months ago discussing Governor Mike Huckabee and how she was flipping channels during the Republican Convention and saw him being interviewed on FOX and she noticed that he had appeared to have gained his weight back.  She goes on to talk about his motivation and weight loss in 2003 and then an article in the Washington Post last February whereas the author observes the Governor basically stuffing his face and indicating that he had written a book about weight loss and should be more responsible...I loved how Barbara summed it up:  "I'd say he's acting like someone with an addiction.  An addiction that has re-established itself. "  This is why I think I  cringed when I was reading the article about Baier--although he is not a politician--he does live his life in the public eye on FOX.  I just feel that there has to be a better way and maybe public people would also benefit from research about behavior while maintaining or going to talk to someone; everyone is different.  I think about my own journey(s); I think I am now on my 99th (an exaggeration) attempt at losing weight and keeping it off.  You get to a certain point and others get inquisitive and you want to appear gracious and answer their questions---then the next thing you know, all eyes are on you, the pressure gets insurmountable and the pounds are coming back.  Insert whatever you want between those commas but it's all the same, for sure.  For me I am working on this one day at a time.  My colleagues are just starting to notice, I have currently lost 42 lbs since November 2011.  I graciously answer their questions but at this time I don't offer anything else.  They know I also started running last year and just completed my 2nd half-marathon, but at this time I am not offering more.  I realized that it may have been me saying too much that brings on all the attention and so on, and so forth.  I am being very conscious and aware; if a comment is made, I am grateful and say thank you; if a question is asked, I answer it, nothing more.  If more is asked of me, I indicate that I am on a journey and maybe I will share some things eventually.  People seem content with that answer and they have to be, because this is all I am able to give at this time.  We all should write a weight loss autobiography.  I am in the process of rewriting mine due to a mishap with a flashdrive a few weeks ago--so into the cloud I go.  A weight loss autobiography, I feel, helps with the events and when we gain back the weight.  I think we all are treated like a public figures when we lose weight and we have to learn to develop a maintainer's attitude.  Feel free to leave the me the "Cliffs Notes"  or "Sparknotes" of your weight loss autobiography.
We will all get through this, together!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Anatomy of an Abstract

I am trying to find a ways to incorporate what I do for a living with reconciling my weight maintenance goals.Please bear with me and I hope this post doesn't come off hokey and gives good information.  I understand more than anyone in the age of Google how easy it is to pinpoint and find information; for me I deal mostly with scholarly peer-reviewed articles.  I am not a snob; but as a librarian it bothers me when I read an article from a news source and they reference this and that (some with hyperlinks) and it still doesn’t lead you to the correct source.  This is because they receive news feeds and don’t bother with tracking down the original source.  I will try my best here to deliver the original source.  I use PubMed which is the online version of the former MEDLINE, explanations about them can be found here.  I have saved searches for “weight maintenance” and “obesity and African-American women,” that I have been tracking for about 2 years.  The newest article in my queue is the one below.  The abstract is interesting because it focuses on college women (for many, including yours truly, this is where the wheels begin to fall of the wagon).  Also I will start to keep a list of scholarly journals dealing with weight maintenance and control.  Also many universities are establishing centers for obesity which can be great sources of information.  I will also update these types of posts when I read the full-text of the article.  Right now, my institution does not subscribe to this journal electronically but I have ordered the article.  Also of note, I did get my hands on the “Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire.”  I learned the three factors are: (1) cognitive restraint of eating; (2) disinhibition; and (3) hunger. Below I have given some information of what to note when reading a scholarly abstract in PubMed. (I am experimenting with text boxes and Blogger; I think i am losing, sorry if it's really bad)

Text Box: The title of the journal is very important; mouse over for correct title—guessing will waste a lot of time. Also beware (highlighted); this means electronic format for this journal, could be a conference paper in another journal
Eat Weight Disord. 2012 Sep;17(3):e157-63.

Text Box: The “Source” is usually the lead author and grant information.  I like this one because we can email questions or concerns to this Center

The current study examined healthy weight control practices among a sample of college women enrolled at an urban university (N=715; age=19.87±1.16; 77.2% Caucasian; 13.4% African American, 7.2% Asian, 2.2% other races). Participants completed measures as part of an on-line study about health habits, behaviors, and attitudes. Items from the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire were selected and evaluated with exploratory factor analysis to create a healthy weight control practices scale. Results revealed that college women, regardless of weight status, used a comparable number (four of eight) of practices. Examination of racial differences between Caucasian and African American women revealed that normal weight African American women used significantly fewer strategies than Caucasian women. Of note, greater use of healthy weight control practices was associated with higher cognitive restraint, drive for thinness, minutes of physical activity, and more frequent use of compensatory strategies. Higher scores on measures of binge and disinhibited eating, body dissatisfaction, negative affect, and depressive symptoms were associated with greater use of healthy weight control practices by underweight/normal weight but not by overweight/obese college women. Results suggest that among a sample of college females, a combination of healthy and potentially unhealthy weight control practices occurs. Implications of the findings suggest the need for effective weight management and eating disorder prevention programs for this critical developmental life stage. Such programs should be designed to help students learn how to appropriately use healthy weight control practices, as motivations for use may vary by weight status.
PMID: 23086250 [PubMed - in process] 
Text Box: PMID is very good to note; if you go to your library and you want them to find an article that you are asking them to find this is the easiest reference to pull the article up quickly—every article has one—like a VIN for a car; this number shows that there are over 23 million articles indexed in PubMed.  Also the PubMed-in process is scary; if a library has the e-subscription the article is available but PubMed bases its citation on the Print version, so until it has Volume, Number, Pages it will be in process—and your librarian will probably groan