Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Thanksgiving Day Jitters

Thanksgiving is just a couple short days away and I am semi-terrified. I know that it would probably be best if I allowed myself to have a taste of some of my favorite foods, but I just don't know if I can or, more accurately, if that's a very good idea. It took me a good 4 days to get myself back on track after eating one slice of German chocolate cake a couple weeks ago and I don't know if I am ready put myself in that position again.

I'm in a mild ketogenic state and I want to keep it going for maximum fat loss! I invested in some Ketostix which measure the amount of Ketones in your urine. In the absence of glucose or sugar, the body obtains the fuel it needs by breaking down body fat. The result of this fat breakdown is that the liver produces fatty acids which produce ketones. So, when using Ketostix, you can tell how efficiently you are burning fat due to your low-carb diet and exercise program. It is important when doing this to also consume large amounts of protein (approximately 1 gram for each pound you weigh) to prevent the body from breaking down muscle tissue for energy. I've lost 21 pounds and 2 dress sizes in 7 weeks using this nutrition plan.

We have one remaining weigh in before the end of the Biggest Loser and I want to do well. Regardless of the outcome I will still have a gym membership for 3 more months, but it would be really nice to win some more free months by placing third. I don't care about winning as much as being healthy and I am willing to put in the work in the gym. The thing is... after March I won't be able to afford it.

I'd say, "I'm crossing my fingers" or "I hope it goes well," but screw that! I'm not just going to sit around and hope/wish that things magically end up the way I want them. I am going to PUT IN THE WORK. If I don't place in the top 3, no big deal. At least no one can say that I didn't try.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Some Days You Win, Some Days You Don't Play The Game

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Mostly I am just writing because I challenged myself to 90 posts in 90 days to help hold myself accountable. Nutrition-wise, today was great. Exercise-wise, today was not so great. I had told myself I was going to go to a fitness class today, but I came up with every excuse in the book for why I shouldn't go. I told myself I could save money by not using the gas for the 40 minutes round-trip and that I could just use the elliptical and other pieces of equipment in my home (which I didn't). Some of the other excuses included things that I should do that I also put off, such as studying for my licensure exam and writing "Thank You" cards.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

90 in 90 Challenge/ Biggest Loser Program

I've decided to challenge myself to 90 posts in 90 days, no matter how short. This is similar to what some substance abuse programs suggest (90 AA/NA meetings in 90 days). Let's face it, food is most certainly a substance that many of us get addicted to. I recently had a slip (mini relapse) after eating a full slice of my own, homemade German chocolate cake. That one piece of cake had me fiending for simple carbohydrates for days. Before eating the cake, I was hardly craving carbs at all due to the nutrition plan I have been on since early October.

The Biggest Loser program I am currently a part of has us on a 60%-20%-20% macronutrient plan.

What does that mean? Well, firstly, the major three macronutrients that we need in order to function are fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Carbohydrates are essentially anything that comes from the ground and consist of sugar, starch, and fiber. As we all know, not all carbohydrates are made alike and complex carbs are better than simple carbs. So, 60% of my calories are supposed to come from protein, 20% from carbs, and 20% from fat.

How do I calculate that? First multiply your current weight by 7. This will give you your daily caloric intake target.

Protein: Multiple your total calorie target by .6 (60%) to get the total number of calories per day to consume in protein. Then, divide that number by 4 (there are 4 calories per gram of protein) to get the number of grams to aim for. 
Carbs: Multiply your total calorie target by .2 (20%) to get the total number of calories per day to consume in carbohydrates. Then, divide that number by 4 (there are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate) to get the number of grams to aim for.
Fat: Multiply your total calorie target by .2 (20%) to get the total number of calories per day to consume in fats. Then, divide that number by 9 (there are 9 calories per gram of fat) to get the number of grams to aim for.

I use My Fitness Pal to keep track of my nutrition and exercise. There is an option to within the "Goal" tab to customize your goals. If you don't feel like doing ALL of the math all you need to do is set your daily caloric intake target and tell it what percentages you want to aim for in terms of the macronutrients.

This is the bare bones of the initial Biggest Loser nutrition plan. More on this later...

Friday, November 22, 2013

I am NEVER. Giving. Up. Period.

I have been deciding for months whether or not I wanted to start blogging again. I originally thought that what was holding me back from blogging on this particular subject was a lack of motivation, but now I realize it was probably more of a lack of faith in my ability to follow through with weight loss. Over the past couple of years I have had a lot of false starts, but I don't think that is the case now.

So, if you didn't know, at the end of 2009 I reached my Weight Watchers goal weight of 137 lbs and even got down to 132lbs. After I started grad school everything went right out the window! My grandfather died, I had a minor existential crisis, and I began eating my feelings again. On top of being a grief-stricken, full time grad student, I was also balancing multiple jobs to make ends meet. I was spending a lot of time in the car and driving from client to client. I have a tendency towards trying to be perfect at everything, but I'm usually only able to master one role at a time. I ended up being a successful student to the detriment of most other areas of my life. The area that took the biggest hit was my health.

So much happened after grad school. I got married, went on my honeymoon, was lucky enough to land a great job right out of graduate school, and closed on a house just under a year from graduation. Even the positive things in life bring stress and my drive to achieve certain things definitely interferes with other goals. I tend to be so consumed with that one thing I want that everything else fades away.

After all of those events passed, I realized that I had no excuses left to justify not attending to my health and weight. By this time I had gained 30-40 pounds in a one year period and weighed 211 pounds. I decided to take the rest of my flex spending and enroll in The Biggest Loser program at a gym 20 minutes away from our house. Since October 10th I have lost 17 pounds and am down to 194. I am completely motivated and I hope to use this blog to share with you what happens along the way on my journey to reach a healthy weight.