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