It’s Not About The Number On The Scale

This woman’s story it the perfect example for everyone to NOT rely solely on how much you weigh. It isn’t just about your measurements or your clothing size, either. It is a combination of everything, including just how good you feel!

https://some.ly/FRNy7zC

“But You Will Look Like A Man!”

Brenda Nolen

Rachel McLish - The first woman I saw with muscles who still looked feminine. Rachel McLish – The first woman I saw with muscles who still looked feminine.

I do not hear this nearly as much as I did when I first looked into lifting weights. I hope it has something to do with people being more enlightened but I’m pretty sure they just don’t want to be accused of gay bashing (or whatever). There are too many people out there who are either trolls who relish in stirring up controversy or the “eternally offended” who actively search for something to protest. Either way, I am tired of them all. And, since I am a female, I am allowed to say a bunch of stuff that will probably be considered sexist (or whichever -ist you may choose to embrace today).

The book I am writing is how embracing 9 virtues will make me a whole, well-rounded human being. While I have the 9 virtues…

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A Year Today – Cancer and Life

It has been a year today since my husband’s surgery to remove a polyp that turned into a cancer diagnosis. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. I spend my days alone, while he is at work, yet when he was in the hospital I was like a little child, lonely and weepy, eating everything I could get my hands on, drowning my sorrows in food. It was awful!

Then, when he got home, it was time to play “What can he eat?” It has taken a year for him to be able to eat the fattier cuts of meat without pain or it running right through him. With that year of food uncertainty, I let myself go. It didn’t click how bad it was until I stepped on the scale and it lied to me, telling me I was 201 pounds. I tried it three more times before I realized it was correct. June 3, 2015 (15 days before his surgery) I weighed 176. That was the last time I weighed myself until this month.

I am happy to say that not only is he STILL cancer free but he has decided to begin exercising to build up his strength! So, while we slowly figure out how low carb/keto he can go, I am taking it slow. Very low/possibly keto during the day, then a normal dinner together (which is much better now that there are no children in the house again). And this is my current favorite exercise (which I have already posted on my Facebook page, so sorry about the duplicate):

Kettle Bell Swings

I actually read about them in the “4 Hour Body” by Tim Ferris. I knew what a kettlebell looked like. Heck, I even carried one into the house when my son was moving but I had never looked into exercising with it. So, I stole it from him (well, borrowed it). I began lowering my carbs and exercising March 29th. Day one, I managed to do 20 kettlebell swings. That was it for the week. I was wobbly and sore. The next week, I did 26 swings. This week, I have done 30 on Monday and 48 today. Since March 29th, I have lost a whopping 2 pounds according to the scale but I have lost 10 inches all over my body!!!! My goal is to work up to 3 times per week with as many as I can do while still keeping good form. I can truly feel this all over my body (in a good way) so this is the exercise I am having hubby do. Thanks to the work he currently does, it won’t be too long until we will have to purchase a heavier kettlebell (since his first day he did 50, which was Wednesday … I need to write that down).

This exercise has not aggravated my carpal tunnel (which decided to flare a bit, thanks to writing a book) or a gem of a gangleon cyst that formed at the base of my right middle finger (no, I didn’t get it from overuse) OR my still-slightly-tweaky shoulder. I am hoping to take almost-before pictures tomorrow (kinda hard when I am alone). Not sure if I will post those or hold onto them to include with “progress” pictures.

I do have an entire folder of recipes to go through and share here (313 at last count) but if you want to see anything more immediate, please join me on Facebook. It’s so much easier to share there (https://www.facebook.com/myatkinsjourney/).

The “After” Myth

Can Anybody Hear Me?

DURING

After.

It’s here.

In my first post, Before, 3 years ago, I said “I’m not to After yet, but I’m closer to After than to Before.”

I now weigh 117 – 120 pounds (depending on the day), and standing at 5-foot 6-inches, that measurement means that After is very, very here. But, before you congratulate me, dear readers…if I have any…and dear friends and family who I know follow this blog… I have to come clean with you: I don’t feel like I’m at After. I’m terrified of being at After. And, I don’t like that After is here.

After5 2

The tagline of my blog is “uncovering myself one pound at a time.” For most of this blog, I’ve spoken strongly about how my relationship with food and myself was what caused my weight struggles. I stand by that. The thing is, the symptoms have resolved faster than I’ve been able to…

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Four Things Nobody Tells You About Successful Weight Loss

I know I just told someone that this way of eating was like a marathon but I was wrong (and Dick Talens was right). You need to read this article.

Four Things Nobody Tells You About Successful Weight Loss

Strong, Fluid, Pain-Free Movement

I’m still having issues with my shoulder. I do basic stretches ever day and my range of motion has improved a lot. The pain, well, that comes and goes. It usually comes the worst when I’ve slept wrong, though it’s not even remotely as bad as it was in the beginning of this saga (when I could not lift my arm without using my other hand to assist).

So, here is an article with various movements to help with troublesome areas. Some of the shoulder exercises I had not seen before, so I thought I would share this article with all of you. It helps me having him demonstrate the movements on video!

http://www.fitocracy.com/knowledge/strong-fluid-and-pain-free-movement/

The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You Are Still Overfat

See, this guy … this is what I like to see. He is the kind of guy who doesn’t look for a politically correct or sensitive way to say things. He just says it. The meme he includes in the post pretty much sums up his way of thinking:

You really should read this post!

http://strengthcoachtaylor.ca/uncategorized/the-brutally-honest-6-reasons-you-are-still-overfat/

50 Fat Torching Tricks for 2015

Most of the time, I don’t like lists like this but since this one was from Bodybuilding.com, I thought I would give it a read.  I like it!  Obviously, there are some tips that don’t apply to those going low carb but too many of the others can help, especially if you have been low carbing for a while and/or exercising for a while.  We all can use a little variety in everything we do.  It keeps our journey fresh.

My favorite is #15: Add Some Caffeine but there really are too many great tips on here to list the ones I like (I will tell you this: I HATE green tea!  I’ve tried multiple times to like it but no matter how I prepare it, I can’t stand it.  So that one is definitely out for me).  There’s one tip that I think needs to be expanded on: #6: Start Your Day Off With A Balanced, Larger Breakfast. I really think this depends on you and your body. There are days when I’m fine with just my coffee until lunch time and others when I’m ravenous as soon as my feet touch the floor in the morning (these are the mornings when I’m thankful for the bacon I already cooked the day before or the salami all sliced up and waiting to be devoured).

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/50-fat-torching-tricks-fire-up-your-fat-loss.html

Secrets From Your Personal Trainer – Give It a Year to Lose Weight

This really is the secret to long-term success: give yourself time.  If you don’t see immediate progress, give it more time.  Some people (like I have mentioned before) see tons of weight come off immediately (or at least it seems that way) while others have bodies that are more stubborn than some.  See, my initial frustration at my lack of weight loss was why it was so easy for me to quit back in 2010.  Once I changed my focus from weight loss to better health, I developed the patience to persevere.  So, read this article for a bit of a true reality check.  🙂

http://exercise.about.com/od/gettingweightlossresults/fl/Secrets-From-Your-Personal-Trainer-What-We-Wish-We-Could-Say.htm

It takes more than a few tries to get through these stressful interruptions while still exercising, still eating right and still taking care of yourself. You’ve got years, decades, maybe even a lifetime of ingrained habits to contend with. Think about how long you’ve been:

Cleaning your plate
Stress or emotional eating
Sleeping until the last possible moment, rather than getting up and exercising
Stopping for fast food on the way home because you’re too tired and too hungry to make dinner
Eating out because you don’t have anything to make for a healthy dinner
Not even knowing how to make healthy dinners
Sitting for hours a day, leaving you with a stiff, achy body that feels too much pain or discomfort to exercise
Dealing with fatigue or lack of energy with caffeine or energy drinks rather than physical movement

How Your Body Responds To Exercise – The Oatmeal

I have wasted … I mean thoroughly enjoyed this man’s comic strips! http://theoatmeal.com/

The 2015 Version Of You – Setting Goals

And another fantastic bit of wisdom shared by Elliott Hulse. I’ve never really been a goal setter. No, that’s not true. I’ve never set big, life-altering specific goals for myself. I set small ones all the time (like finishing a project) but I have always found it difficult to not only figure out “what I want to be when I grow up” but how long it should take to get there and what specific steps I need to take.

That’s where I find myself now. I am now, at the age of 46, truly looking at my life and, by attempting to define who I am at this moment, doing my best to figure out what direction I want my life to take (basically, who and what I want to be when I grow up). I’m going much deeper than the typical New Year’s resolution (which I don’t do).

So, this blog post by Elliott has come at the most opportune time!

http://elliotthulse.com/2015-version/?gl=240479148

Update: January 3, 2015

Well, before the recipe post-fest commences, I thought I would give everyone a proper update. My stats have been updated, reflecting my weight and size gains since August.

In case anyone is unaware, I injured my shoulder when I re-started this journey in August of 2013. I hadn’t lifted weights since high school and immediately envisioned myself becoming Arnold Schwarzenegger (wow … I spelled his last name correctly the first time) at his prime. I lifted too heavy, improperly, and tweaked my shoulder. I tried working around it but eventually (August of last year) it became so painful I could barely move my arm. So, as I always do, I self medicated. I stopped moving my arm as much as possible, took ibuprofen, and learned to knit (even knitting for extended periods of time was hurting the dang shoulder).

About a month ago, I realized I was no longer waking up every morning with shoulder pain (only roughly 4 times per week), so I started slowly trying to test the waters. That’s when I realized I had greatly decreased my range of motion. I could not lift my elbow to shoulder height and forget bringing my hand around to my back (I had switched to bras that hook in the front … tried wearing my old one and the pain in my shoulder was excruciating). So, I have spent the past month slowly working my shoulder. I move it just enough so I have mild pain, making sure I don’t go past that point (August was when I got frustrated and impatient so I just grabbed the pull up bar and hung from it, sending a shooting hot pain through my shoulder). As of yesterday, I have actually been able to lift some weights AND almost assume a full-blown push-up position with little discomfort!

So, this quite possibly will be a New Year for me! My weight machine has been so lonely. 🙂

Sciatica – “Old People Issue”

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Only old people get sciatica. Then, one day a few years ago, I got this shooting pain that started at my rear end and ran down my thigh. By the time it had gotten unbearable, I looked to Google. When I discovered what it was, I told my mom and she giggled, “You are getting old”. Well, I fought back. I found some stretches on my own that, a few weeks into them, relieved the pain. After about 6 weeks, the pain was gone completely and I never had an issue with it again. That is, until two weeks ago.

Just after I started exercising again, I noticed that if I sat too long, my lower legs would almost fall asleep (I didn’t realize that’s what it was … I was just not able to fully walk properly. Then, I felt my calf, and it was numb). I thought, maybe it’s just lack of circulation, so I started rotating my ankles, getting up more often, bouncing my legs up and down like I was nervous, hoping that keeping the blood flowing would rid me of this annoyance. Well, yesterday was a banner day. Instead of numbness, both legs were tingling, like they had been asleep but were waking back up. So, back to Google.

It turns out THIS is sciatica, too! I had thought sciatica was just the pain but no. There’s a muscle in your rear end called a piriformis (to read more about this check out this article: http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/stretches-and-exercise-sciatic-pain-piriformis-syndrome). It runs from your tailbone across to your hip and if it gets tight, it can pinch the sciatic nerve and cause numbness. What the heck? So, I get to add another set of stretches to my ever-growing arsenal of stretches.

One that I used to do before … I don’t know if I came up with it on my own or saw it somewhere but I stand in front of a wall. I keep one leg straight, lift the other foot off the ground, then, using the wall, I turn my body, stretching my straight leg at the hip. Then I repeat for the other side.

The other one was standing with both feet on the ground, legs straight, then slowly push my hip out to the side just to the point where I feel tightness up the side of my hip, hold, then repeat on the other side.

All these stretches must be very gentle and you must ease yourself into them. So, my conclusion from all of this? I’m either really working my glutes deeply or I’m not positioning my feet correctly when performing my cable exercises. Either way, if I ever want to be able to sit for longer than 5 minutes stretches of time, I will be stretching every day. I need to finish reading the book, ”
Becoming A Supple Leopard“. My brain is so disjointed it’s like I don’t have enough time in the day for everything.

Fitness Is A Skill article and another mini-update

So, after a month of inactivity and a week of stretching/strengthening my shoulder, I did my first weight training this morning. I feel great, though my muscles already are a bit upset that I did more than sit in the chair all day. My shoulder isn’t sore at all and I think that’s because I altered my training to cable/machine only. I’m putting all free weights aside until I’m sure my shoulder is fully recovered. I’ve updated my Physical Training page to reflect the cable versions of the exercises. My weight is up (I think … can’t remember what I logged last time) but I’m bound and determined to bring that back down. I’ve been a scarfing fool and, after really thinking about it, I think I would consider myself a binge eater. When I like something, that’s all I eat until it’s gone (or I want to puke just thinking about eating it again). Both hubby and I are that way. When we discovered Del Real Chile Verde, that’s all we ate for 4 days straight. That’s just one example. Another was pre-made hamburger patties. They were so easy and we could make our own Mc Doubles, so we did, they tasted great, and that’s pretty much what I lived on when I started this in August of last year. Now? I have 5 patties in the freezer, taunting me to eat them before they get freezer burn, but the thought turns my stomach! AND that’s where I come to Russel Stover Sugar-Free candies. I bought some because I wanted an occasional sweet treat. Well, as of yesterday, I was averaging 4-5 per day PLUS all my food. Of course, I didn’t log them in My Fitness Pal, because “I was only eating a few”. Well, that few sure totaled up! 110 calories and 13 total carbs EACH. So, obviously, if you multiply that by 4 or 5 then add that to all the other “real” food I was eating … I’m surprised I’ve only gained a few pounds! I’ll go grab the tape measure as soon as I post this and update my stats (since it’s been forever since I have). All I know is I weighed 172.2 this morning and size 14 jeans are still a little loose.

And that brings me to this article. Though he’s speaking of fitness and training, this also goes for what we choose to put in our mouths. It’s not about motivation or willpower. It’s me, sitting here, listening to the call of the candy (which is within arms reach) and telling it no. That’s a conscious decision I’ve made, since yesterday I started my day with willpower and became depressed and paced around the house like a caged lion until I binged on candy (and just about anything else I could get my hands on).

http://dicktalens.com/fitness-is-a-skill/

A Month Of No Training

It’s been approximately one month since I stopped all training (weight and otherwise). Once Spring sprung, it was like getting slammed into a wall. So, I had decided today was the day. Of course, I was up at 12:30 AM due to my allergies but I digress. I went back to bed with the intention of beginning fresh once I got some sleep. Well, one lift of the weights and my dang shoulder tweaked like anything. So, for at least a week, I’m solely focusing on my shoulder.

In addition to these movements, I stumbled onto two more videos today that I will incorporate into my daily routine. Hopefully, a week will be enough to regain some pain-free mobility in my shoulder.

Now, this one requires the use of an exercise band. I don’t have one but have quite a few heavy duty bungee cords.

http://www.ehow.com/video_6561838_treat-tendonitis-shoulder.html

And this one is simply stretches for the neck. As I was sitting here, watching the video and doing the stretches sitting up, there was slight discomfort, so I guess that means these need to be done also.

http://www.ehow.com/videos-on_11638_physical-therapy-neck.html

Although I’m happy I began this journey to better health, there are times I wish I would have done it sooner. Sometimes, I just feel like an old fart.

Not Quite O.T. – “The Fat Drug – How humankind unwittingly joined an experiment on antibiotics and weight gain.”

You really should read this. It’s listed as an opinion piece from the New York Times but the fact that “we” have been experimenting with antibiotics causing weight gain in animals AND humans since the 1950’s is interesting, to say the least. I have been seeing article after article bashing the “Paleo diet” for this and that. The one thing I always loved about it (though I don’t follow it due to lack of resources) is the push toward natural meats. This, right here, would be a fantastic reason to do our best to lessen our reliance on factory farmed meats.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/opinion/sunday/the-fat-drug.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

New Weight Training Program

I’ve added a new weight training program to my Physical Training page. So, why am I doing this? Well, because I’m bored. I’m bored and tired of having to remove exercises from my training because of my shoulders. So, while I was trying to work myself into training mode this morning, I stumbled on an article posted on Fitocracy. I have enjoyed every article I have read on T Nation but this one got me really excited. Why? Well, let me tell you. 🙂

Bodybuilders have always held a special place in my heart. I have never sat there, looking at Arnold, thinking, “I want a man like that”. I have always thought, “I want to look like that!” Not really (I LIKE looking like a female) but I love muscles. I always have. I read Muscle and Fitness, watched Pumping Iron (and Pumping Iron 2), read up on supplements, etc. and that was all in high school, when women in the weight room were frowned upon by all those manly football/P.E. coaches (fast forward 30+ years and almost 100+ pounds and I finally began weight training). So, when I started seriously thinking (that’s the key term) about implementing weight training, I ran across Arnold’s book, “Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding” at a thrift store. What luck! I paid $4 for this massive book! I read it cover to cover, then wrote down all the exercises I needed to do, … that was in August of 2012 (remember, I didn’t actually start any weight training until August of 2013)!

In August of 2013, I took another look at the exercises and training schedule and knew I would burn myself out (or hurt myself) if I went from absolutely no movement whatsoever to that. That’s when I found Omar Isuf on You Tube. His basic program was perfect, and still is despite my shoulders. I am much stronger and more fit than I can remember being. Now I feel like I need to step it up a notch.

So, I found this article today: Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program. So, who is Reg Park, you may ask? Well, not only was he the hunky Hercules throughout the 1960’s (check out this picture from Hercules In The Haunted World from 1961)

BUT he was Arnold’s inspiration for becoming a bodybuilder. AND, if I can’t yet workout like Arnold, then why not work out like his mentor? So, beginning today, I am beginning Phase One of Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program (if you are interested in reading the article or checking out phases two and three, please visit this link).

Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program

Phase One

45-degree back extension 3×10
Back squat 5×5
Bench press 5×5
Deadlift 5×5

Rest 3-5 minutes between the last 3 sets of each exercise.

Train three days per week for three months.

The only special equipment I do not have is anything to do the 45-degree back extension on but I will! Remember that first video I posted regarding my shoulder stretches/exercises? Remember the stool he made? I will use that and hook my feet underneath either the drawers or bottom of the desk we have in the garage (It’s a big, metal, heavy 1960’s behemoth). So, now that I’ve spent the entire morning on this, it’s time to get busy! I’ll post updated stats tomorrow morning.

Shoulder Injuries

Well, I think I have to accept that my shoulder issues are not going to go away on their own.  As I mentioned before, this week’s second weight training session went fine, with normal muscular pain which morphed into tendon pain in my right shoulder, then (since my left shoulder felt left out) the pain switched to my left shoulder and is still there.  I’ve known for a while that it was tendonitis but thought that if I just went easy with my range of motion (don’t do anything heavy over my head, basically) that it would improve over time.  I was wrong, so now I have to do something about it if I ever want to gain the strength I envision.

Disclaimer: This doesn’t surprise me, though it does irritate me.  I am, after all, 45 years old and have pretty much lived in front of a computer since I purchased my first one in 1998 (well, before that, when I would do whatever I could to learn about them.  Heck, I learned typing on the first incarnation of a Macintosh computer).

So, now, I’m sitting here, with my horrible desk posture, trying to figure out how to fix this NOW (I wish it could be that quick).  Before today’s workout, I did this stretch.  Now, I didn’t have the stool setup so I just leaned over the arm of the couch (the bungee cords were in the garage, where my weights are).  They all just about killed my shoulder!  I lifted my arms above my head as far as I could without excruciating pain.  So, I’ll either hold off on doing this or just NOT raise my arms so high.

I’m going to do these every day (they suggest two times a day to start with).  These are the best stretches I’ve seen for shoulder pain yet (and I’ve been looking off and on for about 4 months).

I’m not sure if I’ll wait to add this (depends on how I deal with these stretches) or do these in conjunction with the stretches.  These are basic exercises to correct posture.  The way I’m looking at my shoulder pain is that my entire upper body is the problem, not just the shoulders.

And then I’m going to throw this one in, since bad posture includes my neck.

Since I was able to get my entire weight training in today, I know I didn’t do anything to aggravate my shoulder (good thing) so I SHOULD be able to continue working out while doing all these stretches/exercises too.

Ask Yourself About Your Progress

I have seen so many people who truly expect the miraculous when it comes to diet and exercise.  That WAS me back in 2010.  And, occasionally, I find myself with a slight tinge of … envy(?) when I see someone who weighed about the same as I did this go around (August) who, in just two months has lost 30 pounds (or some other number that is much higher than mine).  The only thing that keeps me grounded, sane, and on-plan is to remind myself this isn’t about weight.  My journey began (and always will be) about focusing on my health and well-being.

Ask Yourself About Your Progress
http://caloriecount.about.com/ask-yourself-your-progress-b622138

6 Habits of Highly Effective Lifters from Muscle and Fitness

Most of the time, I toss these things aside (well, I read them first, say to myself, “Yeah, right” then forget them). This one, I actually agree with (all of it). They even talk about the benefits of fat in your diet! The first slide talks about carrying exercises. I am no fitness guru so I had to look some of the exercises up (thank you, Google). One was called a farmer’s walk. It showed the guy with special handles on barbells that you lift, then carry around. My first thought was, “Heck. Load up a wheel barrow with concrete blocks or bricks!” (which is what I was doing for the first few months after we moved in here). AND for all you who have been shoveling snow, you’ve all been getting quite a workout with no extra equipment required!

BUT what struck me was the carb cycling. I think that is what has changed my weight loss/fitness for the better. Since I finally got back on track (after the great Christmas cookie binge of 2013), I haven’t been consistent with my carbohydrate intake. One day I might get in 10 (at the most … I refuse to give up my dairy in my coffee) and the next I’m right there around 20.

I’ve also started basically doing this with my exercise. I’m adding a little more weight until I can’t handle it, then dropping it down so I can complete my sets. Also, swapping my standard cardio for digging in the dirt (after the second day, I was amazed at how much my stomach, shoulders and biceps hurt from throwing those shovels of dirt) has actually lengthened my cardio times. I went from doing 20 minutes, then dying, to 30 to 40 minutes before my muscles give out BEFORE my lungs. I’m loving that aside from my added strength, I’m seeing physical progress in my yard. I know I have a before picture of that stupid mound of dirt somewhere … I’ll find it then do a video or just take an after picture when I’m ready to build the raised bed.

Anyway, take a look at their suggestions. I’m so surprised!

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/news-and-features/galleries/training/6-habits-highly-effective-lifters

December 27, 2013 Update

Well, good Friday morning, everyone!  Yes, I’m amazed I actually remembered to post my update this week!  AND just because it was Christmas two days ago, I didn’t fall off the rails in any way!  We did it up on Thanksgiving (all that food and it was just the two of us) so, since we were alone again on Christmas, we just ate normal.

As you know from my whining, my body has been out of whack since I got sick in October and I just made things worse with my carb binge a couple of weeks ago.  So, yesterday, instead of doing my cardio workout, I slept.  Imagine my surprise when FINALLY I lost 2 more pounds of bloat!  I no longer have cankles!  I’m down to 186, just one pound away from my lowest in memory and I’m thrilled!  I’ve also lost a total of an inch since my last measurements!  1/2 and inch from my waist and 1/2 and inch from my hips!  I’m surprised my thighs are the same measurement because my hamstrings are still sore from Wednesday.

I forgot to take my morning blood sugar, so when you look at my stats, you’ll see I just put a zero there.  I was so focused on getting my food in so I can do my weight training soon that I completely forgot.

I’m going to be adding a different twist to my weight training.  Double-Pause Deadlifts.  I really suck at deadlifts.  I don’t have the best posture on a normal day (while I’m typing this, I kinda look like Smeagol, squatting in my chair with my feet up on a foot stool) so when my back started hurting, my son happened to be watching me deadlift and pointed out how rounded my back was.  I’ve been trying to fix that (no back pain since I began working out again) but this method may help me to properly focus on my posture and bar positioning (all this and I can’t remember if I do deadlifts today or not … I have the three workouts written on the freezer door in the garage).

For any who are interested, in addition to my My Fitness Pal and Fitocracy links on the left side of the page, I’m posting my playlist on You Tube for fitness.  They include my 3 day weight training routine, an updated version of my cardio routine, and other basic exercises that I like.

O.k.  Time to get busy!  It’s almost time to train and I need to make some more almond flour (this time I’ll try to get a finer flour … my last try was more like meal).  Good Friday and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Biggest loser damage…. and mini journal entry.

This is a great post from “Living Atkins Every Day” about the influence of the Biggest Loser on our mental health and weight loss. I can’t agree more. When I hear of people who first start Atkins (or any low carb way of eating) and they lose massive amounts quickly, I’m happy, envious, and furious with my body for not doing the same thing. When I quit in 2011 due to hubby’s health issues, I wasn’t too sad about it. I was hardly losing any weight. I started at 220 pounds March 22, 2010 and ended at 200 on September 23, 2011. It took me that long to lose 20 pounds! All the while, I was on the Atkins discussion boards, watching the weight fly off of everyone else. Right now, I’m happy with the pace of my weight loss. I now know what my body likes to do. I know if a loss lasts more than two days, it will stick. If not, then it will eventually. Then I will stall for about a week or so, until my body figures out I’m not starving it and it’s o.k. to let go! I’m also hoping beyond hope that my slow weight loss will allow time for my skin to tighten up a bit so I don’t end up looking like a flattened water balloon once I’ve reached my goal. I actually had one person in October who, after I told her I had lost 15 pounds since the beginning of August, respond with shock and exclaim, “That long?”. Yes, that long! That’s how long it took me to work with my body and rid my diet of everything that was elevating my blood sugar (unlike her, who is an insulin-dependent type 2 diabetic who had just ordered chicken fried steak with biscuits and gravy).

Speaking of goals, I don’t think I’ve ever discussed my weight goals. I don’t have a clue. I figure 150 is a safe weight goal but it’s not really about weight. I want to be (and look) fit. The one woman I had pictures of when I was in high school was Rachel McLish. Google her. She won Ms. Olympia in 1980. What I love about her is she was able to get muscular but still remain feminine. That was before the push for women to lose so much body fat (for muscle definition) that they stopped having menstrual cycles.

O.k. Here’s the link to the article:

http://baylorandatkins.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/biggest-loser-damage/

The Roll of Low Calorie Sweeteners in Weight Management

I can’t tell you how many times throughout the years that I have heard (read) that studies have shown a blood sugar spike when low calorie sweeteners are used.  Most of the time, I didn’t read the studies cited because, to be brutally honest, they were too long, too technical for my state of mind at the time, and frankly, I didn’t really care (obviously, this was pre-diagnosis).  Well, no, that’s not true.  Before I discovered I had type 2, I refused to use any artificial sweeteners (added chemicals, you know).  I figured it was better to use as much natural ingredients as I could.  I used mostly honey and unsulfured molasses (with cane sugar thrown in for good measure).  Then, today, I read this:

http://www.nationalobesityforum.org.uk/media/PDFs/theroleoflcssinweightmanagement.pdf

The researchers found that GLP-1 secretion was increased by 43% with the LCS-sweetened beverage compared with the carbonated water in those with type 1, but not type 2 diabetes.

Did you read that? Type 1, not type 2 diabetes! I did not see any differentiation in any of the headlines (or paragraphs) I have read all these years. Now, I know that certain types of artificial sweeteners CAN have a negative blood sugar response in some people (sugar alcohols) but it’s nice to know that (despite the observations of my own blood sugar reactions to Splenda and the occasional Aspartame consumption) that I should have read the dang studies all those years ago!

Maria Kang and the “What’s Your Excuse?” Controversy

I, as you can see, tend to have a strong opinion. This “controversy” that is sweeping through the local (and now national) news is a disturbing example of what is wrong with this country. People (mostly women) are up in arms over this photo.

And what is wrong with this photo?  Women are viewing her as being judgmental.  Does this photo REALLY show that?  I don’t think so!  I think this photo shows what can be accomplished with determination and the proper nutritional and fitness education designed for your body.  This photo was originally included on this page from her website.  Apparently, the controversy began last year and has since resurfaced.

http://www.mariakang.com/2013/09/18/maria-kangs-fitness-evolutio/

Maria Kang recently posted her non-apology for this photo on Facebook:

I’ve been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I’m a bully, I’m fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I’ve caused women. I get it. SO here’s my First and Final Apology:

I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.

What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.

With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a ‘bigger’ issue than this photo. Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point. So What’s Your Excuse? – Maria Kang

And THAT is what is wrong with this country. There is an ingrained lack of personal responsibility that is disgustingly prevalent throughout most age ranges. This isn’t reserved for the young or those in their 30’s. I see it in people who are much older than I am and it makes me sick. Do I blame my Buddha belly or type 2 Diabetes on genetics or age or anyone else? No, I blame it on my lazy eating and lack of physical activity. Did you see that? It was my thoughts and actions that brought me to the point where food was killing me. It wasn’t the massive amounts of advertising geared toward children when I was young. It wasn’t the fact that I preferred to play video games than exercise (yes, I was awesome at Pong!).  It wasn’t the fact that I, too, would routinely eat just french fries for lunch in high school because it was the cheapest “meal” there. It was all me, baby! I decided my body was god-like and I could do whatever I wanted to it without any repercussions. The result was ultimately being over 100 pounds above my ideal weight, developing too-numerous-to-list allergies, asthma, type 2 Diabetes, sciatica, tendonitis, and issues with my ankles, knees and hips.  All this and I’ll only be 45 this year.  I’m telling you, when I decide to do something, I do it right!  Well, August was my wake-up call and I’m taking charge (and responsibility) for my body and my mind.  I will not now, nor ever, blame anyone else for my actions or lack of action.  My health, happiness and future are in my hands.  I refuse to give up control to any other entity and neither should you.  So, stop with the excuses and the blame game.  Take action or shut the hell up and let those of us who want to improve our lives get on with it.

Fun Drug for the Plague :)

I just have to share. I have a cold (yes, I’m still whining about it). Last night was the first night I slept over 2 hours in close to two weeks and THIS is how I did it. Nectar of the gods! LOL!

http://www.cvs.com/shop/product-detail/Diabetic-Tussin-Maximum-Strength-Cough-Suppressant-Liquid?skuId=901334

So, Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

I am a married 40 something over-weight type 2 diabetic who intends to remain med free. That is pretty much all those pages up there, rolled into one sentence. Of course, if you want more information, just click on the pages above. I’m brutally honest about myself. I’ve been heavy as far back as I can remember (my first double chin was in 4th grade). I was resigned to remain that way until 2010, when I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. I began Atkins, lost 10 pounds (got off my meds though my doctor didn’t know about it), thought my blood sugars were under control since I wasn’t gaining any weight, so I fell off the wagon. At the beginning of August 2013, I went back to the doctor. I was wrong. So, I embarked on Atkins again but this time I could not control my blood sugars (amazing what happens when you continue to test yourself, huh?). While desperately searching for the cause of my blood sugar swings, I stumbled upon the nutritional Ketogenic diet. It has been a life saver (literally).  So, check out the pages above (see some awful pictures of me) for more information. On my stats page, you wil find my weight, measurements, and fasting blood glucose reading for the day and here you can find my physical training schedule.  I recently update the About 1972 Atkins page to include a snippet about the first week (Level 1) AND the menu included in the original book.

Low Carb Chicken Broth

If you don’t know how to cook (or didn’t grow up with the “use everything more than once” principle) this recipe is for you.  Well, it’s not really a recipe.  It’s more like instructions.  I woke up with a chest cold (it’s been REALLY windy here lately so I was hoping it was allergies … nope!) and pulled a gallon Ziploc bag of this out of the freezer.  My favorite broth is to use the bones from a rotisserie chicken.  I don’t have to doctor up the broth so much that way.  Otherwise, when I de-bone the chicken thighs, I just throw the bones in the freezer (usually in sandwich bags) until I have enough to make a broth.  Now, I usually make enough for an army (well, almost).  I have a 10-quart stock pot I make my broth in.  I don’t add any veggies, since if I want to make soup with this I can always add veggies then (btw, kale is FANTASTIC in soup).  And the best thing about this over bouillon is the chicken fat is still in there.  Just season this with whatever you like (garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes, turmeric, etc.).  I’ve gotten pretty lazy over the years, though.  I usually end up seasoning the broth with dried bouillon or paste soup base.  Just read your labels!  I have found too many paste soup bases that contain sugar.  The last time I was sick to my stomach, the only thing I needed was this (my usual before was saltines).  I just simmer until the water has reduced by at least 1/3, strain, then once cool, pour into gallon Ziploc freezer bags and toss in the freezer.

http://genaw.com/lowcarb/chicken_broth.html 

September 27, 2013 Stats

Well, good Friday morning everyone!  I think, after what seems like forever (actually, I consider September 16, 2013 my starting date on Keto since I have officially been in Ketosis since then), my body has officially adjusted to the Keto diet.  My blood sugars have only been over 100 twice: Once after eating some bell peppers with dinner (chicken fajita) and last night after eating some avocado yet both of those readings were around 110!

Now, for the bigger news (for exact numbers, check out my stats page).  I am down to 200.  Yeah, I know I’ve been there before a couple of times the past three years but this time is different.  I’ve been 200 for 2 days in a row!  As long as I’m not stupid (get dehydrated, eat flax meal) I should stay this weight for a few days (then hopefully get lower … that’s only happened once since 2010).

AND I’ve lost more inches (some spots that haven’t moved since this last round started in late July).  Overall, I’ve lost 3 inches since last week and I can SEE the difference (even though my hubby’s pants fall right off while I still have too much rear end for that to happen).  And I have yet to have a sugar low.  No desperate grab for anything to raise my blood sugar since September 16!

Exercise: I’ve made huge milestones on that front too!  Yesterday, I did my cardio (Core Rhythms Merengue Madness which I have been doing since the first week) and I lasted 43 minutes!  The only reason I stopped was because the muscles in my legs were angry, not because it felt like my lungs would explode!  Just to refresh memories, when I started doing cardio I lasted 10 to 15 minutes.

Before I end this post, I would like to tell you I added a very basic About Keto page.  Yes, it’s very basic.  But I would also like to point you to a resource that has been wonderful: Reddit (actually it’s /r/keto).  Yes, I know it’s been around quite a while but I’m a little slow on the uptick.  So, this is my go-to place for questions/rants/whatever.  It’s amazing seeing the progress so many people have made!  Maybe I’ll have hubby take some current pictures when we get back from Fry’s (he gets to finish building his computer today).  This time, I’m taking beef jerky, some pork rinds, and LOTS of water!  😀  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Flour made with insects wins $1M for McGill team

I would try it:

Flour made with insects wins $1M for McGill team

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/flour-made-with-insects-wins-1m-for-mcgill-team-1.1866685

When You Think You “Can’t”, Read This

I’ve constantly fought my “I can’t do that” demons.  What a wimp I’ve been!  Check out Barbie Thomas’ story:

http://gma.yahoo.com/armless-body-builder-inspires-fitness-world-her-ability-101506751–abc-news-health.html

Doctor, Low Carb, Weights, Anger

I need to find a new doctor.  I started seeing him because he was there for the birth of my husband (yeah, he’s that old).  The whole family goes to him.  But after today, I need to find a doctor that will support the changes I’ve made in my life.

So, the first words out of his mouth are, “Your blood sugar is out of control”.  Me: “I thought I was doing so much better than when I was here in July!”.  Him: “Well, your average is in the 160s.”  Me: “What does that mean?  Is it lower than it was last time?”  He looks … “Yes but we need to put you on medication.”  Me: “Oh, man.” Him: “Well, you don’t have to do anything if you want to go blind and lose limbs!”

I explained that I had been doing so good, read off my morning and evening blood glucose readings for the last few weeks and didn’t understand how my a1c could still be so high still.  I told him my exercise schedule (2 days cardio, 3 days weights) and he snapped, “Why are you lifting weights?  Have you ever seen a skinny weight lifter?”  Me: “But I’ve lost 8 pounds in 6 weeks!” Him: “Oh.” Now comes diet.

I told him I started on Atkins, then switched.  Before I could even tell him anything else, “So, what do you eat for breakfast?” Me: “A couple of eggs with some cheese”.  Him: “And lunch?”  I think for a minute … Him: “Is it really that hard for you to tell me what you eat for lunch?”  Me: “I’m down to about 20 carbs per day.” Him: “What? Do you eat potatoes, rice, oats, bread?” Me: “No.”  Him: “Well, we need to get you on a 2000 calorie/day diabetic diet.”

This is the third time he’s tried this one.  Let me show you just the two sample breakfasts they give:

Sample One:

2/3 cup Apple Juice (Apple Juice – 100 % Apple Juice- No Sugar Added – 29 g carb)
1/2 cup oatmeal (Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal – Hot Oatmeal – 27 g carb)
2 slices Toast (Ezekial – Sprouted Grain & Seed Bread – 30 g carb)
1 soft-boiled egg
2 t. margarine (NEVER!)
1 cup 2% milk (Borden – 2% Reduced Fat Milk (8 Oz) – 12 g carb)
Coffee

Sample Two

1 cup Orange Juice (Florida’s Natural – Premium Orange Juice Most Pulp No Sugar Added – 11 g carb)
3/4 cup Corn Flakes (Kellog’s – Corn Flakes Original – 18 g carb)
2 slices Toast (Ezekial – Sprouted Grain & Seed Bread – 30 g carb)
1 poached egg
2 t. margarine (NEVER!)
1 cup 2% milk (Borden – 2% Reduced Fat Milk (8 Oz) – 12 g carb)
Tea

So, he actually thinks it healthier for me to either have 98 grams (Sample One) or 71 grams (Sample Two) carbohydrates in a single meal than to continue with the way of eating that has already showed an improvement in my daily blood sugar readings?

That was it. He handed me two boxes of Januvia samples and wants me to come back in 3 months. I left sobbing. It’s not like I expected him to grab my hand and tell me what a good girl I’ve been but I did expect some kind of acknowledgement that I had worked hard and improved my health. Once I got home, I called the office back to find out what my a1c numbers were. July was 8.3 and last week’s was 7.5. That still didn’t make sense until that word average popped out on my computer screen. Average … so what was it really? I don’t give a shit about the average … I want to know what the actual number was last week (She couldn’t see any other numbers on the report). I want to know exactly how much of an improvement I made in 6 weeks. I guess I could do some Algebra but that will just irritate me. HA! I did it. So, my true a1c from last week was 6.7 … a 1.7 decrease in 6 weeks and he wants me to fundamentally change everything that has worked?

I am upset, sad, and angry.

What is Wrong With “Normal” Foods?

I may not be the most “natural” eater (I do use supplements and Whey protein, after all) but I don’t understand some of the ingredients that are “must haves”. I’ve been reading (yes, mostly reading since I’m so out of shape) about health and fitness for most of my life (We recently started watching “The Shield” from the beginning of the series and right there in the 3rd or 4th season was Cory Everson and I just about died. I looked at my husband and exclaimed, “Wait until I show you who that is!”. Then I dragged him to the computer and showed him her Ms. Olympia-era pictures.) So, that proves how long I’ve been reading! Anyway, it seems like every two to three years, a magical, miracle food shows up with claims that it will revolutionize your fat loss, your muscle gains, your health and wellness, or some other claim. Most of them I either wanted desperately (who wouldn’t want an easy, no exercise needed fat loss supplement?) or totally discounted because the claims were just too outlandish.

One of my favorite pieces in Muscle and Fitness magazine (I truly hated “Muscle and Fitness Hers”) was just inside the back cover when they would bash themselves for the stories published in the past about everything from exercise, food/supplements, and clothing fads. Who doesn’t still giggle at the brightly colored spandex, headbands, and mullets?

Well, now that so many people are either going low carbohydrate in one way or another (or gluten free), I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes with the latest miracle foods: flax, quinoa and chia seeds. I typically just bypass those recipes just because they include the “it” foods of the day (yeah, I’m such a rebel).

While I have done my best to include flax in my diet (I can’t pass up the Omega fatty acids since I am unable to eat any seafood). I hate it. I tolerate it as long as I can’t really taste it. The first full-blown recipes I tried were MIMs – Muffin In a Minute. The first one was a cinnamon muffin. It was awful! I hated the flavor and boy, did it bound me up! The next one I tried was a chocolate muffin. That one tasted great and, since I had that intestinal issue with the first one, I sliced it and didn’t scarf the entire muffin in one sitting. My mouth’s initial reaction: What flax meal? BUT if you are on a low carbohydrate diet, have you looked at the nutritional breakdown of the basic muffin? Whether you do net carbs or not, one muffin contains 12.7 grams (9.3 grams fiber). If you are limiting your carbohydrate intake to 20 grams per day, you just blew most of them on one muffin! I think I’ll stick with adding it to my protein powder shake. Plus, with it adding only 3 grams carbohydrates (3 grams fiber) and 3 grams of protein in two tablespoons per day, that’s not bad!

Next is quinoa. I have not tried it and probably will not (no, I take that back. I tried an ancient grain tortilla with quinoa, amaranth, flax and other grains I can’t remember. It was alright but the carbohydrate count was still too high for me). Quinoa is the magical Andean grain that will give you everything you need to stay healthy, right? Well, yes, as long as that’s pretty much all you eat. If you look into the diet of those who have been eating it the longest, you will see this is a staple of their diet (little meat, whatever vegetables they can get, and quinoa). Well, it was until it was more expensive for them to eat it than to sell it. Now, their health is beginning to suffer because this miracle grain is a “must-have” for those who are in with the in-crowd. Another thing to consider is the nutritional content of quinoa. Yes, it has 8 grams of protein per cup of cooked quinoa but in that cup of quinoa is also 39 grams of carbohydrates.

The next is chia seeds. Every single time I see this in a recipe, the song from the Chia Pet commercial goes through my head. I had never considered this a food because of those dang commercials. I thought it was interesting, but that was it. That is, until I began reading about it. I’m intrigued, especially since this (and the flax) I can grow here (which is always a bonus for me). I tried growing maca but I guess everything about my region is wrong (I’m in Central California). I really like plants that have more than one purpose (more edible/medicinal parts) and all I’ve been able to find on leaf usage is as a medicinal tea. If anyone has any more information, I would love to see it. From what I read, it’s suggested that you only consume 2 to 3 Tablespoons per day but it gives a powerful nutritional punch! In two Tablespoons, there are 12 grams carbohydrate (10 grams fiber) and 4.7 grams of protein. It seems hefty on the carbohydrates but with all the other nutritional benefits, this one just may be worth it! Here’s a great article on the health benefits: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/super-seed-the-case-for-chia.html. I haven’t quite jumped on the band wagon but it can’t hurt to buy a chia pet if it’s majorly on sale! 🙂

After writing all of this (and second guessing myself on chia seeds) I really think it’s important to get as much of our macros (protein, carbohydrate, fat) from as much whole food as possible and make the wisest choices for ourselves. If I could eat seafood, you can bet your bottom dollar I would rather have salmon over this stuff any day of the week!

Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

This article supports the answer I got when I asked if type 2 can be cured.  The answer I received was, “My suspicion is that it is like high blood pressure.  When you’re heavier, your BP may cross into abnormal ranges but be normal at lighter weights.  I believe type 2 diabetes is similar in its action.  In survival situations, many type 2, especially if it occurred late in life, will be improved simply due to dietary restrictions and increased activities of daily survival.  The word “cure”, however, is too strong.  If you gain weight or become a couch potato, it will come right back.”

http://diabetes.webmd.com/features/reversing-type-2-diabetes?ecd=wnl_dia_091513&ctr=wnl-dia-091513_ld-stry&mb=

September 13, 2013 Stats

So, I was 200 pounds for about a minute!  LOL!  I had hoped all this week that it was leftovers from Saturday.  See, we decided (pretty much on a whim) to take a 2 hour round trip to buy some computer parts.  See, we (through osmosis, since it’s really my husband) are building a computer and looking at towers on a computer screen doesn’t compare to being able to touch it.  So, we took off … at 1 pm on a 100+ degree day (with no air conditioning) without thinking.  We bought our legal crack (1 Rockstar each) and didn’t stop for anything.  30 minutes into the drive, my lips were already chapped.  As soon as we got there (Fry’s Electronics, what heaven looks like to computer geeks), I downed a small bottle of water and that was the last bit of liquid I had until we got home.  Since then, I’ve been averaging 132 ounces of water per day (and actually enjoying it) trying to make up for that awful mistake.  AND since that day I’ve been gaining a pound a day (well, it feels like it).

I did my normal weight workout on Monday, was sore and feeling awful so did nothing on Tuesday, then Wednesday’s workout I pushed myself.  I actually managed to increase the weight (as in add actual weights to the barbell) on all but two of the exercises!  I felt great and very proud of myself!  Then, yesterday was a bust.  I went in for my blood work (in preparation for my return trip to the doctor next week).  I swear, getting poked and prodded by an inept phlebotomist should be considered cardio!  She ended up taking the blood out of the top of my hand (first time in my life).  I think it’s time to find a different lab (the last time a different woman popped my vein).  Then, I had to go get my prescription for my test strips.

By the time I got to the pharmacy, I was starving!  I figured I would just grab an Atkins bar to tide me over.  Then, I looked at the carbs.  23!  I’ve been averaging 20 for an entire day!  I couldn’t believe it.  So, beef jerky to the rescue (yes, I grabbed the bag and started eating while waiting for my prescription).  Only 3 grams of carbs!  Once my shaking stopped I was a happy camper!  Once I got home, I gave up on exercising (I know I could have but I was in a particularly stubborn mood).

Anyway, my stats page has been updated. I’ve also added my blood sugar numbers since I began this journey again (last month).  As you can see, they have improved immensely.  As for my measurements, I’ve actually lost a little more since last week (an inch off my upper belly roll and half an inch on my thigh)!  I’m so excited about that!  One more thing!  My double chin is almost completely gone!  I see so much more change than I (obviously) can measure.  Thank you for sharing this journey with me!  OH!  I’ve added two links to the left side of my page: 1) My Fitness Pal profile, and 2) My Fitocracy profile.  I really didn’t like how My Fitness Pal adds more calories I can eat for every second of cardio I do.

Hot Weather and a Mistake

Yesterday morning, it was beautiful.  I got up, wanted to eat before exercising (I wasn’t sore so I wanted to make-up for my lack of anything on Thursday) but everything sounded disgusting (blood sugars were fine).  So, I exercise.  We decided to take a drive (2 hour round trip) to get some major computer parts (we’re building one), so I quickly eat something, buy my legal crack (Sugar-free Rockstar) and we’re off.  We didn’t take any water (we can get something when we get there) but dear Lord!  It was 100 degrees and dry!  Within 30 minutes, my lips were chapping.  I downed a bottle of water when we got there, waited until we were almost home to get anything else to drink, then, when we got home it was time to fix dinner.  I was going to “cheat” (have Dennison’s no bean chili) so I quickly checked my blood sugar.  OMG!  It was 55!  Never, even when on meds, has my blood sugar been so low!  The strange thing is, it didn’t “feel” low.  No shakes, no weakness … nothing until after I started eating.  A few bites in, my head felt fuzzy and I had a hard time focusing.  What an idiot I was!  I am up 2 pounds (thanks to dehydration) and now I’m beating myself up.  Thankfully, we don’t usually leave our cave so I’ll have plenty of time to prepare for our next road trip but today I’ll chock up to a lesson learned (and the perfect example of what NOT to do)!

Low Carb, Exercise and Diabetes

I have put off REALLY exercising until now.  I wanted to make sure my diet would support it without becoming cannibalistic.  After calculating how much protein, carbs, and fat I need for a normal day (and how to compensate for added exercise, especially weight training), I have a set schedule that I want out in the world.  This will make me even more accountable.  So, here it is.

Mondays: Ab Doer (which burns about 4 calories per minute), plus this routine: BEST Beginner Muscle Building/Strength Program: Day 1 Full Body plus cool-down walking (basically back and forth in my driveway) for 20 minutes.

Tuesdays: Ab Doer plus Cardio (I’m currently rotating between Core Rhythms Latin Dance, and three different Tae Bo videos) for as long as I can (got up to 18 minutes yesterday but working up to at least 30 minutes).

Wednesday: Ab Doer plus this routine: BEST Beginner Muscle Building/Strength Program: Day 2 Full Body plus cool-down walking for 20 minutes.

Thursday: Ab Doer plus Cardio (I’m currently rotating between Core Rhythms Latin Dance, and three different Tae Bo videos) for as long as I can.

Friday: Ab Doer plus this routine: BEST Beginner Muscle Building/Strength Program: Day 3 Full Body plus cool-down walking for 20 minutes.

Saturday: Ab Doer

Sunday: Not a dang thing.

Now, because I had to make room in the garage (it’s a functional single-car garage, so had to move the rototiller, various tools and mower out of the way), I didn’t start my weight training on Monday.  I figure I’ll do this setup for at least two weeks, then switch the muscle building routines around so I don’t get bored.  I currently only have a barbell, 2 7.5 pound weights and 4 25 pound weights.  My eyes were opened wide when I tried using the 7.5 pound weights and I couldn’t do it.  So, today I did this strictly with the barbell.  What an eye opener!  The inner-me is a manly man but it turns out I’m a weakling.  I can’t wait to change that!

Due to my really low carbohydrate intake, it was recommended adding carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour prior to exercise (to feed the muscles).  I’ve been looking online for sugar free pre-exercise foods and there is a lot more research I need to do.  Today, I just had breakfast (leftover mushroom pizzas) and worked out 30 minutes after eating.  Then, I had a scoop of protein powder (I bought a 5 pound container Twin Labs sugar free Vanilla protein powder in 2010 … yup, still have about half and that came in handy last night when I realized I had not had enough protein).  Since all I lifted was 10 pounds, I figured I didn’t tax myself enough to need any more.

If anyone’s interested, I’ve started using My Fitness Pal.  Until I get a really good nutrient content book, this was the only way for me to really see what I was doing right (and wrong).  I’m putting everything I eat and drink in there (forgot about Rockstars … need to fix that) and will be putting all my exercise in there too.

August 23, 2013 Stats

So, as you can see from various postings throughout the week, I’ve been focused on trying to add variety to my menu and life.  And now, after two weeks tomorrow and not really seeing a movement of my measurements I really need to exercise.  I have so many excuses (like now, with all the wildfires, there’s a lot of smoke in the air) but with every week I come up with a new excuse (my shoulder hurts or intestinal discomfort or whatever).  My life currently revolves around this computer (will be my son’s laptop as soon as his new hard drive arrives) and food (figuring out what to have for meals).  That’s pretty much it.  I think I mentioned using the gifted-to-me Ab Doer.  Well, it hurt my shoulder so I whined myself into not using until it’s healed (which was about 2 weeks ago but I still haven’t touched it).  The whine going through my head is: “I don’t want to” with an image of a little kid crossing his arms.  That has to stop if I ever want to be healthy.  It’s not like I can go work out in the yard for exercise (the smoke really is an issue there).  So, today (because I have it), is Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo.  I like that I don’t have to roll around on the ground (hard wood floors and no exercise mats of any kind).

The Health and Fitness Industry Is Dead (And That Includes You, Paleo).

I have not checked out the rest of this guy’s website but this article hit home. This last time I went to the doctor, he (again) recommended the South Beach Diet.  I read about it and saw so many comments about how it is nothing like Atkins (but it is).  The same goes with Paleo, when you really look at the basics of it.  When Paleo first came out, it was the Caveman diet (though I don’t see many making those comparisons).  It was “eating as our caveman ancestors did”, aka hunter/gatherers.  It WAS hardcore, only eating what grows without agricultural influence (basically, row crops).  One thing that was eliminated when Paleo came about was grains.  Wild grains had been harvested for thousands (millions?) of years, and consumed by cavemen.  Rice, wheat, and oats have grown (and still are) in the wild.  Even cultivated corn originates from a wild plant.  My point is, though I would love for the pounds to melt off my body by simply changing my eating, I need to focus on health (physical and mental) or this will happen to me again.  This is really a great article.

http://rebootedbody.com/health-fitness-dead