Thursday, May 1, 2008

You Are What You Eat

I have my eye on the prize. Fast food commercials torture me while I snack on water, greens, and wheat toast. I'm currently reading, "The Four-Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferriss. Chapter 1 is really about changing our perspective on reality, what we are truly required to do as human beings. Our entire lives we are fed the idea we are to grow up, finish school, either go to college or work, work for 40 years, save money, and retire. We are expected to stay put most of the time, settle down and get comfortable, play it safe and avoid risk. Every day that we follow our routines we are reinforcing the validity of our environment.

It's important to take some time to really think outside of the box for a moment. Think about what your true capabilities are, then think larger. We are all simply human beings, people from different backgrounds, cultures, races, religions, ideas, and dreams with this one amazing consciousness in common. One beautiful and miraculous reality we analyze with more than a billion different perspectives. What if I don't have to look this way? What if I could wear what I want to wear? What if I could speak to any person I want to speak to without worry about how they will react to me? What if I could be confident and happy? Why not? We are taught to be humble and fair, whoever works the hardest reaps the most reward and most of us probably unconsciously think we
deserve our lot in life. We must stop thinking about our so-called limitations and focus on our unbelievable human potential.

Let's have the audacity to contest the status quo. By transforming my body I'm breaking down the walls that have held me in for 22 years, I'm undoing the learned fear of trying. It's okay to start, it's okay to look stupid, it's okay to feel exhausted and embarrassed. All of these experiences are making me stronger and it's becoming the framework that support my future successes.

I visited Ferriss' blog
Experiments in Lifestyle Design and discovered his article on "How to Lose 20lbs of Fat in 30 days...Without Doing Any Exercise". It gave me an idea for a spin-off recipe using things you might already have at home, stepping outside of the example menu a bit and calculated the calories based on Weight Watcher points.

Skinny Shrimp

2oz shrimp, frozen or fresh

- or -

2oz lean chicken strips, cooked
1/2 can peas and carrots w/o salt added (drained)
1/2 can italian cut green beans (drained)

A few pinches of:

Onion powder
Black pepper

Splash Lemon juice
Olive oil

Heat pan on high and add 1 tsp olive oil. Add shrimp and lower heat until partially cooked. Add 1/2 can peas and carrots and 1/2 can green beans. Sprinkle over the seasoning, splashing lemon juice over top of the shrimp and veggie mix. Toss ingredients around in pan gently and cook until the moisture is evaporated and the green beans are firm. Serve. You can add Parmesan cheese on top if you want, the entire meal is only 3.5 points!


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Temptation and 8 Glasses Water

This morning I woke up with every intention of being disciplined. I got up at 7am, cleaned up the house, showered, made a some scrambled egg whites for breakfast. I was already paranoid because I knew I had a potluck at work today. I just thought of my urge to pig out and eat everything on the table. Luckily, my coworkers have also been more health conscious and I had some pretty good options (which gave me lots of ideas). I ended up sampling a tiny portion of everything, one deviled egg plus one meatball plus a tiny bit of lasagna, and *gasp* cheesecake. Before the little event was over I had annihilated my point bank. This is a bad thing.

I was stressed about it all day, not eating another thing, and drinking water constantly to curb my appetite. I got on my bike for 30 minutes, did 50 crunches, and tried to stay moving as much as possible. I'm still new to this. I am not a professional. Most things I've started in life, I've given up on:

I quit softball when I was 6 years old. I wasn't a fat kid back then, in fact I was pretty lean, but I couldn't figure out the game. It was too much for my uncoordinated motor skills, and therefore it began, my long running bad habit of quitting. I played clarinet, took piano lessons, acting classes, and dance - never lasting in any particular field for more than a few months at a time and never giving myself enough time to get really great at anything. I never took a senior picture in high school, quit while pledging in a sorority, and dropped out of college. Now that I think about it, I never really made myself do anything I didn't want to. I never allowed myself to be disciplined or truly measured. It's a cancer that will ruin my entire life if I don't change it. I'll always be too afraid to start something for fear that I won't finish. Everything worthwhile will seem like a waste of time.

This blog, my focus on eating better, and exercise are going to get me over the 100lbs, and once I finally get there -- who knows what else I could do?

I'm starting now, gritting through the hunger pangs and trying to cover them up with water for now until my stomach finally adjusts to my decreased food volume. Water has helped immensely, after just a few days of drinking 8 glasses of water a day has made my body feel more awake. A few weeks ago I could have gone through an entire day fighting yawns and dragging my bones around work until it was all over and I could climb back into bed to sleep. I never seemed to have any energy. Now I feel so alive and the reason is so completely obvious.

Drinking 8 Glasses of Water:

  • Allows your body to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients.
  • Detoxifies the liver and kidneys
  • Flushes bacteria away from your urinary tract, avoiding infection
  • Reduces headaches
  • Improves mental clarity
  • Protects you from illness
  • Is necessary for better weight loss
  • Keeps your skin glowing and healthy
  • Can reduce your risk of heart attack

If you're drinking soda you're actually dehydrating yourself due to the amount of sodium in most sodas. If you're not replacing the soda you drink with water, you're causing your blood to be thicker ( our blood is mostly water). Dehydrated bodies have problems circulating, and as a result the brain becomes tired and it is difficult to focus, the body shuts down, aches and pains agitate the kidneys and lower back. You can become constipated and experience discomfort. Who wants to eat right and exercise when they're achy and lethargic?

  • Carrying a bottle of water around and refilling it as needed.
    • Its better to sit at your desk and sip than snack.
  • Drink a glass of water before every meal
    • It will curb your appetite and help with portion control.
  • Don't wait until you're thirsty
    • By the time your brain tells your you're thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.

The best part is, there are 0 calories in water, so drink up. I'll be throwing back glasses all night as I burn off the rest of those calories.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

6 Things You Can Do Now to Burn Calories:

There are a lot of excuses as to why we can't get off the couch, out of bed, or out of the house. Here are some things that we can do right now to get motivated and lose weight. Of course, these suggestions are just the beginning. Discovery Health created a activity calculator that can calculate approximately the number of calories you've burned using activity, duration, and your current weight. The calorie figures below are based on 243lbs, my current weight.

6 Things You Can Do Now to Burn Calories
(I'll be doing them too.) :
  • Walking
    • Start out by going 10 minutes out and 10 minutes back. Do this a few times a week and add 2-3 minutes each trip. Soon enough you'll be walking 30 mins per session, burning approximately 138 calories at a slow pace.
  • Dancing
    • Hook up the iPod and dance for 30 minutes, do it alone and it doesn't matter what you look like. Dancing can burn 248 calories per 30 minutes if you do it continuously and keep your heart rate up. Your mood will be elevated and it can keep you motivated if you have an off day.
  • Cleaning
    • Get up and make your bed. When was the last time you did that (It's been awhile for me)? Vacuum, mop, sweep, open up the blinds and windows and let the fresh air in. You're making changes to your life, so your environment should reflect your new discipline and order. As an added bonus, you can burn 192 calories in 30 minutes of vigorous cleaning.
  • Cooking
    • Not only is it better for you than fast food, but taking time to think about and prepare what you're putting into your body is an opportunity to improve your eating habits. Count the calories, or points depending on your method. When you see the calorie value foods carry it will keep you from overeating. Being on your feet alone for 30 minutes can help you burn 108 calories, prepping food will burn approximately 136 calories.
  • Having Sex
    • Losing weight to improve your sex life? Why not improve your sex life to lose weight? Having sex for 30 minutes can burn 70.75 calories. So focus on looking better naked while embracing your body no matter what you look like. If you have someone you love, it will make your connection better. Turn up the heat as your body starts to transform.
  • Shopping
    • Looking at sexy new fashions in sizes too small to fit over my left ass cheek has been an excellent motivator for me to lose weight. The mall is an excellent place to lose yourself and just move around endlessly. Just 30 minutes can burn around 125 calories (I can shop for hours!). Get ideas on what you plan on wearing when you hit your goal. Self-conscious? Go on a Sunday as soon as the mall opens, there will be fewer people there so you won't have to worry about how you look.
Use these simple activities as a stepping stone to more vigorous and rewarding physical activity in the future and start feeling good about yourself.

Want more ideas or have some of your own? You can visit Discovery Health for the calorie calculator used in this article.

Tasty Recipe for Success

I've been a normal weight before. When I was in high school I was in a perpetual yo-yo diet, at 5'7 I weighed in my freshman year at 160lbs, by my Junior year I was nearly 200lbs, returning back the next year as a senior at 170lbs.

Now I'm 22 years old, turning 23 in a few months. My most recent weigh in was 243.6lbs. At 22, I should feel comfortable in my body. I'm a pretty woman, I have nice features. Lately I can't see them through the fat on my now round chubby face. I miss cheekbones and firm jawline, my eyes look older and more tired weighed down with puffy chubb. I have a desperate need to be sexy and slender.

So, on Sunday, April 27, 2008 I decided to make a change. I was tired of feeling like I was living someone else's life, wearing what I didn't want to wear or staying home when I really want to go out. The goal: to lose 100lbs in one year or less. I want to do this the healthy way, and I want to keep if off for good.

I started doing Weight Watchers Flex Program. They started me off with 31 points, so now I'm trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be eating without going over or under. I didn't want to just eat better, I'll be exercising to expedite the process and stay motivated by consistently seeing results. Many of my friends have had successful results with Weight Watchers, so I'm sticking to it, and getting extra credit.

Here is a recipe I created for a satisfying 11-12 point lunch:

4 oz chicken breasts, skinless, boneless (sliced into 4 strips)
1/8 cup Italian bread crumbs
Lemon juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Marinara sauce

(Sprinkle to Taste):
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Crushed Black Pepper

Put your chicken in a bowl, add squirt of lemon juice until each piece is covered. Sprinkle listed seasonings, DON'T ADD SALT YET. Salt will suck the moisture out of your chicken, so add it after the chicken is fully cooked. Mixed chicken and seasoning in bowl until evenly covered.

Lightly bread the chicken with Italian bread crumbs. I use a paper towel, lay it out of the counter and pour bread crumbs into the center. I put the chicken strip in the middle of the bread crumbs, pick up both ends of the paper towel and roll the chicken back and forth until its completely covered. After I'm done the left over soggy crumbs can be tossed with the towel with no mess.

Heat up a large or medium frying pan on a stove, when hot, add a tbsp of olive oil and swirl it around for even cooking area. Place chicken strips on pan and brown each side until golden. Make sure it's cooked thoroughly.

You can dip the chicken in a shotglass size of marinara sauce. Sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese over the top. Buon appetito!

I hope that if you're reading this and are faced with a big challenge, that you can join me and be inspired to mold your life into exactly what you want it to be.