Friday, March 18, 2011

Couch to 5k


I am sure everyone has thought that I have completely gone off the dieting deep end and quit but NAY I tell you! I have been so super busy these last few weeks, I have barely found time to get on my computer, let alone blog. But it's Spring Break (woohoo!!) so I will do my very best to start blogging regularly again. I promise!

But any who. Am I the only person who sees someone (who is in totally great shape) running down the road and thought "Oh how I hate you"? No? I didn't think I was the only one! Well my soul patch, Lana, and I decided to do the Couch to 5k running plan. And my first one was today. And my legs absolutely feel like Jello. So, we're really excited to be *hopefully* be running a 5k by summer time, and I'll make sure to blog about this journey.

Also, my weigh-in for last week showed I (finally!) lost my next 10lbs (for a total of -33lbs)! So, we all know what that means.... new nail polish! Yay!! I brought it home with me so that Mom could give me a mani, and it is definitely one of my favorite colors. I will post a picture as soon as I can redo it, because I did a great job of chipping Mother's beautiful work while in New Orleans.

And one more thing. The more weight I lose, the harder it is to come off. I know that this is typical for everyone, but it really is frustrating. So, I decided that now instead of a new nail polish every 10lbs, I will reward myself with a new nail polish every 5lbs. Frankly, a month to lose 10lbs and get a new nail polish is a long time, even though it is healthy. So I'm hoping that setting these smaller goals will help keep myself motivated!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Falling off the Wagon...

For those of you who didn't know (and I'm not sure how you couldn't know - since I made sure everyone knew), that Friday was my birthday. So of course, last week was my birthday week - and starting the week I told myself "I'm not going to let my birthday week mess up all this hard work I have put in." Yeah... that lasted 'til about Wednesday. So since last Thursday, I haven't exercised, and I most definitely haven't eaten well. (I even had a piece of cake! *gasp*)

So, I am telling all of you this so we can all learn. Just because we fall of the wagon for the weekend, it doesn't mean we can't just hop right back on!

So I am jumping back on full-force this morning! I am super excited and ready to get these last couple of pounds off so I can get my new nail polish, and hopefully soon get out of this awkward "in-between" size where none of my pants fit right. The bigger size is too big - smaller size too small. I need like a half size or something - but fingers crossed I won't be here for long! (but I digress...)

Lesson to be learned? Don't let a bad day or weekend (or even full week) knock you off your diet. It's really easy to have the mindset of "well I was bad yesterday, so I might as well give up." But I say NO! Know that your goal can be reached, just keep working hard for it!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Importance of Breakfast

So, what is the most important meal of the day? Breakfast! We've been told this since we were just youngen's, but if you're like me, you never really payed attention to it. My morning schedule is pretty hectic. I *try* to wake up at 6:30, get dressed, put on make up, make my bed... etc. I absolutely must leave the house by 7:25 or I will be late for class - thanks to the oh-so-lovely red light with 7 minute cycles at the end of my road. Like I already said, I have never really eaten breakfast, not in high-school, and definitely not while I have been in college - until this semester.

What's the problem with not eating breakfast? One less meal means less calories right? Nah, not really. First, we'll look at it from your metabolism's point of view. Let's say you're like me and you wake up at 6:30. So, again, like me, you have class until 11. Then you go change clothes, head back to campus for the noon spin class. You get out and it's time to eat - and it's one o'clock PM. You have been awake for over 7 hours, but your metabolism is running at the same pace as if you were still in bed. Why? Because you didn't feed it! Whenever you skip out on waking up your metabolism, you skip out on giving your body the fuel (glycogen) it needs to provide you with energy for physical activity.

Point 2 - If you eat breakfast, you will be less hungry throughout the day, and less likely to overeat. I can tell you that this is true, just from experience. How many times have we skipped on breakfast, then by lunch time, we're so ravenous, that we eat until we have to unbutton our pants "Frank-style." So, for the moment, you might be "saving calories", but throughout the day, you're more likely to eat the calories you should have eaten at breakfast - and then some.

So, I hope I have convinced you to eat breakfast tomorrow morning! I try to make my breakfast full of fiber and protein, so that it will keep me fuller, longer. I love, love, love a honey whole wheat bagel from Einsteins! Also, Nutella with banana slices makes for one heck of a good English muffin. So find something that's easy and healthy to eat on in the morning, and notice your change in energy and food choices throughout the day. I truly believe that one of the reasons for my success so far can be credited to eating breakfast!

This has absolutely nothing to do with weight-loss... BUT. I just want to vent how angry it makes me when I say "thank you" and the person replies "uh-huh." I notice this a ton more in Mississippi than I do in Alabama, but still. It takes everything in my being to not turn green and shout "You mean 'you're welcome,' right?"  "Uh-huh" is NOT an answer to thank you. I am sure that your mothers have raised you better than that and that I'm preaching to the choir, but just in case anyone has forgotten a nice reply would be "you're welcome" or "anytime, friend!" or "no problem." So there, I'm done... thanks for sticking around and listening to my problems :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How Hard are You Working Out?

So, how hard are you actually working out? You think you are busting your butt on the treadmill everyday, but you're not really seeing results. Let me be the first to say, it's pretty easy to fool yourself. And I will tell you, I am phenomenal at it. But working out is like a church service and a bank - you only get out what you put in. So, if you think that you are working out strenuously, but you're barely getting your heart rate up, you're not only not reaping the benefits of exercise, but it's probably pretty discouraging as well.

So everyone has a different body and we're all different ages, which means everyone has different heart rate we want to reach. Well, you can look at those charts they have up on the gym walls, but they're not very accurate. "What's a better way to tell my intensity?" you ask. And I reply, "The Sing-Talk test!" This has been pushed on us WWs, and it seems to be a pretty effective way of measuring intensity.

This is pretty much it:
             - if you can sing, you're at a minimum elevated heart-rate and at a low intensity
             - if you can talk in complete sentences you are at a moderate intensity (this is recommended for older people and people who are just beginning to get active)
             - if you can only talk in short monosyllabic sentences, then you are at a high intensity (cardio level)

So, if you're out for your walk and singing like Christina Aguilera, then you need to step it up!
And if you're super out of breath, make sure that you are at the level of fitness for your body to handle it! It is really a great idea to have an exercise partner. This person can keep you accountable to make sure you push it your whole workout, and they will be there to bring you back down if you're going too hard! And hey, that's what friends are for, right?
So make sure the next time you're working out to use the Sing-Talk Test, and make sure you're getting the most out of your workout!

P.S. So today I start Week 8 of Weight Watchers - and I've lost a total of 27 lbs! So I'm three lbs away from my next nail polish (I've already got it picked out and in a shopping cart online!) and about 5lbs away from what I weighed at the end of Freshman year! I know that most people don't care, but I was just really excited about that this morning!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Here, Have Some Fries!

Hey guys! Sorry I've been lazy this week - won't try to justify it (but this weather sucks and makes me lazy)! But anywho, one of my biggest weaknesses is french-fries! I love, love, love them. I mean, I LOVE them. And we all know, french fries are bad, bad, BAD! So, how do we fix this? In short, you don't. BUT, you can whip up some pretty tasty "fries" right at home!

To me, one of the biggest things about food is texture. If I don't like the way it feels, I'm probably not going to eat it. So, fries = greasy, chips = crunchy, and so on and so forth. So tonight I'm going to tell you how I make a potato (5 pts WW) into mock fries & chips.

For fries:
Take a cookie sheet and spray it lightly with olive oil. Then take your potato and cut it as thinly as you want your fries to be ( I like mine like McDonald's fries). Then lay them out on your cookie sheet, spray them with olive oil, then sprinkle them with season salt to taste. Broil them in the oven for about 15 min (this will vary with how thick your fries are). Pull them out and enjoy!!

For chips:
Take your cookie sheet and lightly olive oil it. Then slice your potato as thinly as possible (I go the opposite direction that I go with cutting fries). Olive oil them, sprinkle salt, broil until golden brown and crispy. Take them out (I salt them a little bit more) then crunch away!

I really love both of these variations of a potato, and I hope you do, too!

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Do you guys remember that feeling we used to get... during a really intense Spinning class? "

So I left you hanging this weekend - I know, I know. I feel bad enough already. Let me just say that after my tests, I needed a relaxing weekend - and I didn't get it! After class on Friday, I went to pick up my grand-little (shout-out to Nathan! Best grand-little ever!), and after some - eh, difficulties - we were able to hit the road for a shopping trip in Birmingham. Then Saturday, I spent all day preparing for our party at the frat house (I am the Social Chair, so it's my job - and it's more stressful than you think), and we had a pretty eventful night. So Sunday, woke up, cleaned, ate, watched the Super Bowl (who won that again?) then went right back to bed. So in short, my computer didn't even come out of its case this weekend - I'm sorry.

So, enough trying to justify my blog-laziness - onto today's subject. SPIN CLASS! Yay! I love spinning - it's a part of my day that I look forward to, everyday! One of my long-term goals is to be a class instructor. Most of the time when I talk about spin class most of the males in the area are like "Spin class? What is that?" And I normally describe it as "a really intense cycling class." But it's so much more than that. It is a bike ride to fitness heaven.  If you have never tried a spin class, I insist you must.

If you have a gym membership, you have probably gone by the room with the loud music, black lights, and crazy people in it. At least that is what I used to think. I just knew that I would never be able to make it through all that standing up they do. But eventually my roommates talked me into going, and I enjoyed it - but never really thought much more about it. (I'll pause a moment here to say that exercise is like a bank and a church sermon - you get out what you put in).  So I would go every once in a while, but not regularly, and not enough to make a difference in my body. 

Now, I'm going to confess to you all - if I have no structure, I have no workout. If no one is leading me, I am that person in the gym who wanders from station to station like a lost puppy. So, needless to say, I love the classes that the gym offers here at state, whether it be spin or total body workout. Whenever I realized that one most days, my school day is finished by 11 AM, I decided I wanted to get my workout finished, too. So I started going to spin class at noon. The more and more I go, the better and better I seem to get at it, and the more and more I can get out of the class.

I've been doing this class (regularly) for about 4 weeks now. Spin class is not only good for cardio, but for muscle toning, too. By about week two, I was able to see more leg definition, better cardio endurance, and tighter hams and glutes! The music also just makes my day that much better.  If you're intimidated by spin class, like many people are, I say no, don't you be intimidated! Everyone has to have a first time, or no one would be doing it! No one is going to call you out for not staying up for the whole standing climb, or taking a break during jumps - everyone has done it from time to time, especially as a beginner.  It took me about a week of classes before I could do jumps all the way through, without about dying. Oh, and you burn about 800 calories in that hour, by the way.

If you're dieting along with going to spin class, here is your warning. Like I said above, you burn anywhere between 600 - 900 calories (my average is around 780 according to my heart-rate monitor). So, say you're eating 1200 calories a day on your diet. If you burn 600 calories, then you just used up 1/2 of your calories for the day. And you HAVE to give your body fuel. If you do not eat enough (healthy food - not Whoppers) then your body will scare itself into starvation mode, and you will not lose any weight. So, make sure you account for such a big calorie loss on your spin class days.

So, for those of you that spin class is available, try it at least once! I promise you will enjoy it!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Listening to Your Body - Part 2

Let me start off by saying I am so sorry for not posting yesterday! Between studying for my biochemistry exam and laying in bed with a heating pad on my tummy, I didn't realize I hadn't posted until nearly 1 AM. So again, I'm sorry!

So, on Tuesday, I wrote about listening to your body in terms of exercise, and today, I'm going to hit on listening to your body from a diet point of view. As a student in Biomedical Engineering, I have taken (and am taking) a ton of biology and chemistry classes, and if you think about it, that's exactly what a diet is. (Let me stop and say right here that I am NOT a nutrition major - so I might get something wrong, but yes, I have learned a lot about molecules and energy).  But like I said in my very first post - I am going to try not to bore anyone to death (because I know it definitely can be boring). So, for basis purposes, I'll hit the high points. First and foremost, the reason we eat is to give our body the energy it needs (ATP, ADP, free energy, blah, blah, blah). Next, you have carbohydrates/sugars, fats, and proteins, and your body digests and uses each of these differently. So, a good question to ask here is, which ones do our bodies need? And I've got your answer - all of them!

Right now I can see you giving me a confused look through your screen and saying - No Casey, carbs are the devil's food. And fat? Please.

And I say NO! Carbohydrates have a really bad rep in weight-loss circles everywhere. Now, repeat after me - We need carbs! The key is to get your carbs from healthy sources. And since carbs do turn to sugar, which turns to fat, I am in no way saying that you can eat all the carbs you want and not gain weight - that just ain't gonna happen. But what I will tell you is that you can get carbs from whole wheat (and other healthy foods) and it will be a-okay. In fact, if you are exercising on a daily basis, you absolutely have to have carbs. Have you ever heard of carbo-loading? If not, it's where marathoners, bikers, and triathletes will eat a very heavy carb diet for 4 days leading up to their big event. (When I picture this in my head, I see Lance Armstrong in full biking gear with a big mixing bowl full of spaghetti).This allows for extra storage of glycogen (the energy source that carbohydrates turn into) in their muscles, and it gives them more energy. Do you ever feel extremely exhausted after a hard workout? You probably need more carbs! My two favorite ways to get carbs are whole wheat bread (with Nutella, of course!) and whole wheat pasta. Also, most fruits have plenty of carbohydrates, too. Just remember - get what you need, and cut it off there!

Now to tackle fat. And I just want to say, ew. Have you ever looked at mayonnaise after it's been at room temperature for a few hours? Ugh, gag me with a spoon. But, as we all know, fat is what makes food taste good. And you need fat, too. And then I think of that guy from Weeds, "You wanna avocado? Its got that good fat." (I'm sorry for taking you into my mind today - it gets lonely in here). So you have your "good fat" (unsaturated) and your "evil fat" (saturated). The only difference between saturated and unsaturated fat is a double bond between carbons (that just amazes me since they are so different). So how to tell the difference? Liquid = good, hard = bad. Think the difference between olive oil and Crisco. You don't need any saturated fat in your diet - at all. But you do need unsaturated. This type of fat insulates your nerves, keeps your joints "oiled" and for women, is essential in reproduction.  If you don't have enough fat in your diet, you aren't able to absorb your fat soluble vitamins - and that just isn't healthy. Most people don't have a problem with getting enough fat in their diet, but when you go on an extremely restrictive diet, it could become an issue. Here are some things to look for that mean you need to up your healthy fat intake:
                                                         - dry, scaly skin
                                                         - hair loss
                                                         - problems with wounds healing
                                                         - excessive bruising
                                                         - and in women a loss of menstruation

Well, protein isn't so bad, you say. No, it isn't - it's essential to build lean muscle. BUT - and this is a big but - any protein that you don't use will turn to fat. You can't just drink nothing but protein shakes and build muscle. It just doesn't work. However, if you're a big body builder (and if you are, I'm not sure why you're reading my blog), then you will benefit from excessive protein. If you're not eating enough protein, your body is going to start taking the protein it needs from your muscles! And you worked hard for those! Fatigue and frequent sickness can be a sign of low protein in your diet. Also, you can buy strips that you pee on (sorry to be blunt) that will check that you're not getting too much protein, because that can be really dangerous for your kidneys. The most places you get your protein from are healthy by themselves - milk, beans, protein, and lean meats (turkey, fish and the like).  So make sure you get your protein, because every aspect of your body needs it!

A few other quick fixes you can get from food :
- Cramps? Try eating a banana to get some potassium!
- Bloated? Eat more fiber!
- Sweet tooth killing you? (hey that can feel like physical pain sometimes!) Try Nutella! It's sweet and chocolaty and wonderful and if you can keep it to 1-2 tablespoons then you're fine!

So to wrap it up - eat as much of a balanced diet as you possibly can. You're body knows what kind of foods needs, so pay attention! I hope y'all have a wonderful rest of the day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Listening to Your Body - Part 1

As most of my friends know, one of my favorite phrases is "If you're not sore the next day, you didn't go hard enough." When I was younger, my dad used to ask me the day after a long weekend of softball games  if I was sore. If the I said yes, he would say, "Good, that just means you played hard." If the answer was no, his reply would always be, "Well, you must not have played hard enough." Now, you might not have ever heard my phrase before, but I can almost guarantee that at one point in your life you've heard the phrases "Pain is weakness leaving the body" or "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger." I am here to completely discredit both of those phrases.

I like being sore. Soreness is a common result of working out, and it's a sign you're building muscle. If you work out at the same pace day after day without being sore, you really aren't doing anything productive. When your muscles burn during a workout, that is a sign that the little bitty fibers that make up your muscles are stretching and tearing, and that is what causes the next-day soreness. That sounds bad, right? Well it's not! Whenever these fibers tear, they come back stronger and that's how you build muscles (but you need to give your muscles 24-48 hours to do this repair). Now, you might've heard that lactic acid is the main cause of soreness (like I've heard before), but that's not the case. However, lactic acid does have an effect on the way you feel the next day. Lactic acid is a waste product from energy conversion (You can read about it here) that will build up in your muscles, and if you don't give your body a chance to rid it, it will become painful! The best way to keep from getting a build up is to make sure you cool down after your workout. I had a severe build up my senior year in high school, and trust me, you don't want this to happen to you!

So, moving on to discrediting those phrases. There is a big, big difference between soreness and pain (if you're just starting out soreness might feel like pain but I promise it's not). Now, pain is not weakness leaving the body - pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong. We are given this sense so that we will listen to it! And, though "what doensn't kill you will only make you stronger" might hold true in a psychological or emotional sense, it definitely doesn't in a physiological sense.  If you tear your ACL, it will not kill you (though it might make you wish you were dead), and it will definitely won't make you stronger.

So, to wrap up this discussion - soreness is good, pain is bad. If you're sore, give that muscle group a good 24-48 hours to repair those little tears, then work those (now bigger and stronger) muscles out again! If you're in pain, stop exercising, give yourself a good, long break and go see a doctor. Working out while you're in pain is not only a bad idea, but it could make what would have been a quick-healing injury something serious. So - listen to your body!

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to talk about listening to your body in regards to your diet so make sure to check back in! Thanks for reading y'all, and I hope you have a great rest of the day!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

It seems, the older I get, the faster and faster time goes by. I'm pretty darn sure that is just a side effect of aging. But please, time, just for this week, can you slow down just a little bit? If you've ready any of the past few posts, you know that I have 3 tests this week (I just knocked out the first one, about an hour ago). So I have 2 to go. And if there is anything more stressful than trying to study for 2 (previously 3) tests in one week, it's trying to study for those tests while trying to find time to workout and eat healthy. 

I was talking to an old softball friend from back in my travel ball days, (shout-out to Brandi! Love ya girl!) and we were discussing how time is such a mean, mean culprit of college weight gain. As I was musing about this as I walked the track at the gym, I figured that there is probably someone from almost every stage of life with this problem. For us college students it's labs, tests, piles of homework, fraternity/sorority events, and just the cheapness and ease of fast food on a tight time budget. For parents of younger children, its basketball practice, church, gymnastics, soccer, and just trying to appease your kid's picky eating. And for those with teenagers, (I know my mom has a problem with this) it's cooking something that everyone likes, can fill everyone up, and just getting everyone to the meal at the same time. There are so many other situations that take up time in everyone's life, and it definitely takes a toll on all of our diets!

So something I've learned from Weight Watchers is that you CAN eat fast food, but like everything in life, you have to make the right choices! Yes, you can have that Big Mac - but I promise you will feel guilty about that later. When fast food is absolutely the only way that I can eat that night, I try to go to KFC. Their grilled chicken is hardly any points and they offer some good veggies for sides! I normally have no problem giving away that biscuit away to someone at the frat house and can eat the rest of the meal guilt free! Another good option that normally pops up when you think of fast food dieting is Subway. Yes, Subway can be really good (I mean c'mon look at Jared), but be careful. Cheese and other condiments (yes, I count cheese as a condiment - it's a sneaky diet wrecker!) can really hurt you without you even thinking about it! I can almost promise you that making your own sandwich is going to be healthier (and cheaper!) than a Subway sandwich.  Yet another "drive-thru diet" is this Taco Bell Fresco menu. Yes, last semester I would eat off this menu for late night snacks, but I am trying to completely steer clear of the Bell (check out the nutritional values). Not to mention, it takes a little more to fill me up than an itty bitty burrito!

What do I do instead of fast food? I try my darnedest to plan my food out for the week. I normally know what is going to be going on for the next week in advanced, so I can plan my meals accordingly - whether it be a Soup at Hand and a turkey sandwich or a grilled chicken breast with vegetables. Another thing that has come in really handy as a college student (for those of you who aren't in college, I'm sorry!) is the cafeteria. I normally pop in there right after my workout for some fruit and a sandwich piled high with veggies - it's delicious! One last thing that I try to make sure is in my kitchen is edamame. If you know me at all you know that more times than not, I will be walking around with a little baggie or bowl of edamame pods. It is a delicious alternative to french fries or potato chips! So today I leave you to ponder your fast food habits and that a little planning can go a long way!

P.S. College kids - when you're studying for that test take a 30 min break and exercise. It's a great stress release!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shake it up!

I am having a lazy, rainy Sunday studying for my three tests I have coming up this week. So, I'm just going to give you just a fun little happy of mine. I recently had to retire my good ole New Balances - they were some great tennis shoes! Dick's had a sale on the Easytone by Reebok shoes, (40% off!) so I grabbed a pair!

I mean who wouldn't want a rear-end like that? Plus, I catch myself singing that commercial song more times than not. Now, I think that we should all realize that owning and wearing a pair of these shoes isn't going to make a huge difference in our lower half without putting any other effort in. BUT - I love these shoes. They are super comfy and make walks across campus fun. It feels like you're walking on mini exercise balls (which is pretty much what they are).  My absolute favorite thing about them? When you're in spin class - doing standing climbs or jumps or whatnot - they provide extra cushion for the balls of your feet while giving you a little bit more of a push.

Well, I lied. My ABSOLUTE favorite thing about them, is the inspiration I get from them. It's not like a mushy- gushy uplifting inspiration, but the inspiration to dance. Yes, if I am wearing these shoes, I want to dance. And not like just kind of shuffling around - I'm talking spinning and hopping from foot to foot and making an absolute fool out of myself. I'll put in my headphones and go crazy. My roommates have caught me from time to time in the kitchen cooking and doing my "easy-tone commercial dance." I am pretty sure it might have scarred them for life, and here I apologize. I am talking I get excited to clean my bathroom, because I get to dance. I'm doing laundry - I'm dancing in my shoes. If you have never questioned my sanity before, I am almost positive you are questioning it now - it's okay, I do it too sometimes!

But anyways, to get to the point I've been trying to get to all along - if you walk, run, or any type of exercise and you've wanted these shoes, get them! They're really fun and you know, you might find yourself just wanting to dance (and hey! dancing burns calories!). But of course, you don't have to have these shoes to be crazy like me! Just put on some music and dance - it not only gets that heart-rate up and burns calories, but I'll guarantee you that it WILL make your day ten times better!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekend Recipe

Okay sorry to be so late posting today but I thought it would be a waste of a GLORIOUSLY beautiful day to do anything but lay out side and soak up some Vitamin D (which has some great health benefits). So if you saw my Facebook status today, yes I really did layout (it was 75 degrees here in Starkville!) I couldn't quit thanking God for giving us such a great day! And did you see that sunset? He is WONDERFUL!

As I am typing this, I am eating some absolutely delicious asparagus. Some of my frat brothers enjoy stealing pieces when I cook it, so I thought y'all might enjoy it too! Thanks to Mom for this addictive (but healthy!) recipe!

You'll need:
            20 stalks of thin asparagus (this is about 1/2 of the bundle you can buy at Wal-mart)
            Olive Oil (in a sprayer - if you're cheap like me you can just use a spray water bottle)
            2 tbsp of GRATED Parmesan cheese (shredded will not work - trust me)

Lightly spray your pan/cookie sheet with Olive Oil. Break the bottom of the stalk off and lay the pieces on your pan. Spray your asparagus with olive oil (lightly!) and then sprinkle with the cheese!

Bake at 350 for around 8-10 minutes until your cheese browns! Sit down and enjoy!!

And I'm going to go ahead and warn you - when you go to the bathroom after eating this beware of the asparagus pee! It's a pretty interesting chemical reaction in your body but I won't bore you (you can read about it here.)

So I leave you for tonight to go study (on a Saturday night woohoo). I hope you had a great Saturday and a fantastic Sunday!

Friday, January 28, 2011

So far + My Motivators

So, for me, Week 5 started on Wednesday (the 26th). I know I'm a month behind on starting this blog, but I'm going to catch you up really quickly.

     Week 1 - It came off quickly! -9lbs Spent most of the week trying to figure out the WW system.
     Week 2 - And then I lost too quickly - 10lbs Looking back, I had a lot of weight to lose and had a drastic change in diet and exercise, so my body kind of freaked out - and I paid for it in week three.
     Week 3- Then I gained weight! +3lbs This is very discouraging, and I will discuss this later in the blog.
     Week 4 - And I lost again. -5lbs Then the WW site fussed at me for losing more than 3lbs in a week.

So, for a grand total, as of Wednesday morning (the beginning of Week 5) I've lost 21lbs (give or take a tenth of a pound). "21lbs in one month? That's unhealthy!" you say. Yes, I agree. For Week 1 and Week 2, I hadn't fully grasped the concept of Weight Watchers yet. I thought if I ate below my given daily points allowance then I would be fine - how wrong I was! For those of you not familiar with WW, you're given an allowance of "points" everyday, with some "weekly points" if you want a treat or if you go over your daily allowance. Every food, every taste, every bite has a point value and you need to count it. I did pretty good about that - but I was only eating about half of my daily points! So for Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3, I was sufficiently starving myself and my metabolism was not pleased. While it was sufficient for getting the lbs off quickly, my body didn't have the nutrients it needed for the rigorous 1-2 hour workout I was putting it through daily, and it rebounded by going into the ever-feared starvation mode. It held onto that nasty fat like no tomorrow - and I gained weight!

But I took this as a challenge for me and a chance for you to learn from my mistake. YOU HAVE TO EAT! You just have to make the right choices. Pick the food that will keep you fuller longer (Mmmm Mmmm gotta love that protein and fiber), eat lean meats, and eat your fruits and veggies and eat these things 4-6 times a day! I know I sound like your mom here but I promise, if you eat fruits and vegetables to help fill you up (never eat past when you're full no matter the food -it stretches your stomach out!) then you WILL lose weight. Choose green beans over french fries, strawberries over that brownie and you will be happier when the day is over! Also, if you have a few days where you haven't lost any weight, try eating a little bit more one day (bump up that caloric intake about 300 - 500 calories). This reminds your metabolism that you are NOT dying of starvation!

Now, goals, goals, goals. I've always been one to shoot for the stars, set a big goal, and fail miserably. This go around I have set myself small goals that are easily achievable. My new obsession is nail polish. Callie Torres from Grey's Anatomy always has the best nail polish - and every Thursday when I see it I immediately want to go buy whatever color she is wearing. But I digress. So, my motivator is every time I lose 10 lbs I get a new nail polish! YAY! It is a fantastic motivator for me to hit my goals, and I have pretty, pretty fingers. I'm going to brand-drop here and tell you that my absolute favorite is Sally Hanson's Insta-Dri. It covers in one coat and it dries so quick I don't have time to mess it up! So for my first -10lbs I purchased 'Sick Slate' and it is by far my absolute favorite nail polish of all!

For the next -10lbs I purchased 'Uptempo Plum,' and it's pretty darn fantastic, too!

And yes, if you were wondering, I stopped mid blog to repaint my nails. I'm sorry, but it is definitely an addiction!

So I leave you today with the challenge to pick something small and fun you love as a motivator! It really truly gives you an extra push to get that poundage off!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Little Green Dress

Ah, the Little Green Dress. It is somewhat of a legend in the Steadman household. It is the dress I wore on my first day of senior year at Ardmore High School, and I wore the very same dress for Freshman Orientation for Mississippi State University. Of course, as the college years have gone by, the scale has gone higher and higher - and I don't mean that it has creeped up. I can gain weight so quickly the stretch marks can't even keep up!  Over the past three years, when I would visit my parents in Ardmore, my mother would tell me "I want my daughter in the green dress back!" Since I am what some people (ahem, Sandie Steadman a.k.a. Mom, ahem) would call "hard-headed" I would take this negatively - instead of as encouragement, as I am sure it was meant - and normally a tear-filled fit would be thrown quickly after. Now, I shall show the picture of the green dress from the first day of school followed by the picture that has changed my life.

This second picture was definitely a wake up call if I've ever had one. It was taken on December 24, 2010 at my Nanny's house, with my extremely fit younger sister, and my extremely tall younger brother.  As we got home from Nanny's for Christmas Eve, I looked through the pictures on Mom's camera. At first glance, I wondered "Who is that fat girl with my shirt on?" Then it hit me. I was horrified! I, at that point, decided something absolutely had to be done. I hadn't stepped on a scale, nor worked out, since summer and I had no idea what I weighed. Of course, no one wants to be on a diet for Christmas day, so I decided I would give myself a few days to enjoy the holidays (and the candies that comes with it) and then it was time for food rehab! As I lay around the house for the next few days (we were snowed in! I still can't get over our white Christmas!) I noticed the Weight Watchers free sign-up deal. Then I saw Cecelia - a college student who lost 70 lbs! I thought "If she can do it, I can do it!" So I took the debit card, and signed up!

So, the purpose of this blog is to (hopefully) act as a way to rejoice and vent about my struggles in weight-loss. Also, I hope to post the stuff that works for me and encourage others who are trying to lose weight, too. No, I will not use this blog to tell you every bite of food I ate that day - that's what twitter is for right? I promise, I will try my darnedest not to bore anyone to death! And as a little side note, the reason the blog is named "Never a Size Six" is that, like it says, I will NEVER be a size six. It's something that I long ago came to terms with, and it no longer bothers me. At my smallest, (the summer between my junior and senior year) I was a size 10. Of course this will take some work, so come on over every once in a while and check out my progress! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I do writing it!