Archives for the month of: March, 2012

I’m taking a nutrition class at the local community college, and I’m really shocked at the foods that people say they eat. Not only is fast food a large component of their weekly menus, but so is over-processed, refined, sugary crap. In addition to that, most people get fewer than 10 grams of fiber in their daily diet. It’s really hard to eat such little fiber–at least I thought.

Since it appears I’m wrong, here are:

5 Easy Ways to Increase Your Fiber Intake

1) Don’t peel it. Eat your apple, peach and potato peels. You’ll double your fiber intake this way.

2) Go brown. Stay away from white food. No white rice, bread, or pasta. Instead, have brown rice, whole grain bread–look for whole wheat!–, and whole wheat pasta. Look at the amount of fiber on the nutritional panels to make sure you’re getting a decent amount of fiber per serving, more than three grams. If not, see if you can find another brand.

3) Have beans or lentils every other day.  That’s a simple way to increase your fiber intake!

4) Sprinkle flax seeds on it. Try sprinkling “nature’s broom” into your cereal, on top of soup, into pasta, in stir fries. They are crunchy and have a mild flavor, and are a nutritious form of fiber. Do know they are *not* fat free!

5) Have high-fiber cereal in the morning. Don’t like it? Try swapping out a quarter of your cereal for high-fiber cereal for a few days, then increase it to a third of your cereal, etc.

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Drumroll, please!

Pounds lost: 95
Body Fat: 33.1%
BMI: 26.9

Pounds lost since December 22: 3
Body Fat change: -0.2%  (total since starting with Trainer Paul: 4.1%)

Small losses add up. I’m just hoping these small losses start coming a bit faster!

For this week’s What Would Sydney Eat (WWSE), I offer you a protein-packed Berry Smoothie. Yes, I’m probably the only 41-year old woman who has never had a yogurt-based fruit shake. That is, until today.

This smoothie pairs protein with carbs for a nutritious, tasty kick-start for your day. It’s great for people who like to start the day with something on the sweeter side.

Berry Smoothie

4 oz orange juice
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Add the ingredients to your blender in the order listed; blend for five minutes to incorporate air and blend out chunks. Enjoy!

Yesterday I celebrated losing 95 pounds at my Weight Watchers weigh-in. The road has been long, filled with sweat and cravings, false modesty and humiliation, pizza and pudding. The group cheered, which I thought was very sweet–there were lots of celebrations yesterday, including a 20 and 30-pound loss. Afterwards a few women asked me a battery of questions, which I thought I’d share.

1. How long has it taken you? I started Weight Watchers in June 2009, so it’s been two years, nine months.

2. Why has it taken so long? Yes, someone asked this. In these days of Biggest Loser rapid weight loss and stomach stapling, people want instant transformation. It’s taken me this long because I’m not just losing weight, I’m changing who I am. I’m no longer the fat woman who scoffs at people who exercise, I am a person who exercises. I used to love to watch cooking shows and whip up big dinners filled with butter, oil, cheese and meat. No more.

3. How many pounds per week did you lose? According to my Weight Watchers e-Tools chart, I’ve lost an average of .7 pounds per week. But really, there’s nothing average about my weight loss. Some weeks I had big losses. There were periods in the first year when I’d have three big losses and then a gain, then three healthy losses and a gain, etc.  You’ll see in my weight loss chart that in 2011 from May 2010 to June 2011 I “Mastered the Art of Maintaining”. That means, over that year, I had a net loss of 2.8 pounds. But I kept going to meetings–I didn’t want to gain the weight back.

Weight Loss Chart

4. Do you exercise? I didn’t when I started. At 267 pounds I was just too out of shape physically and mentally to do much. I remember trying to learn swing dancing with my husband, but I was so out of shape that I gave up.  So what was the turning point? I got a pedometer and beginning walking CD by Debbie Rocker. 20 minutes of this optimistic woman in my ears. The first day that I tried it it was 85 degrees in August 2009 and when I was done I collapsed on the couch, thinking I would never be able to get into shape. But I kept at it, walking more after Debbie was done, adding weights, walk/jogging, and by Thanksgiving 2009 I completed my first 5k.

Now I try to get to the gym five times a week where I do cardio and weight training, with a goal of becoming a strong, fit woman. And I love how my body feels as I get stronger.

5. Is your family fat? Your husband? My husband is overweight right now. I pulled him down the unhealthy path–when we met years ago he ran daily (and I scoffed at him). But he’s on his own journey and I think he’ll be celebrating being fit and healthy by the end of 2012. My kids are in the normal weight zone, as are my parents. Family history and long-term effects of childhood issues are a different post altogether.

6. What do you eat daily? Can you send me your meal plan? I won’t send you a meal plan, because I don’t have one. These days I’m trying to eat six small meals a day, pairing protein with carbohydrates. A sample day might be:

7am: One slice Dave’s Killer 21-Grain Bread with 1 tsp honey mustard and 1.5 oz low-sodium sliced turkey meat
10am: Handful of carrots and 10 almonds
1pm: Beef & barley soup
4:30pm: Small apple, orange and wedge of low-fat Laughing Cow cheese
6pm: Salad: 3 oz Skinless chicken breast, LOTS of spinach & arugula salad mix, 1/2 C brown rice, 1/2 bell pepper–sliced,  1 tomato quartered, 1/2 C steamed brocolli, handful of baby carrots, sliced purple onion. Dressing: fresh lemon juice & 1 tsp olive oil. I might have a little heel of bread with this to soak up the dressing.
9:30pm: 1/2 Cup dark chocolate pudding from Fresh & Easy

But, a sample day could also easily be:

7am: One slice Dave’s Killer 21-Grain Bread with 1 tsp honey mustard and 1.5 oz low-sodium sliced turkey meat
4:30pm: Small apple, orange and wedge of low-fat Laughing Cow cheese
6pm: Four slices of pizza plus the piece my four-year old handed me, saying, “Here Mommy, can you finish this please?”
8pm: a bowl of ice cream, a candy cane, a handful of chocolate chips, and a stale cookie

7. Do you have special tools that you use? No. Yes. Sort of.

E-Tools. When I signed up for Weight Watchers’ E-Tools in July 2009 I geeked out on tracking, and it really helped. That first year I was a tracking fool. I used the recipe builder and activity tracker and participated on the 100+ Pounds to Lose message board a lot. Now I do my best to track daily, but if I’m honest, I’m at about a 30% success rate.

Polar heart rate monitor watch. This helps me track my activity, calories burned, and if I’m getting my heart rate in the zone I want it.

Good running shoes & an Enell sport bra.If you’re large-busted, the Enell sport bra is a god-send!

Trainer. Okay, Trainer Paul isn’t a *thing* but definitely joining the gym and signing up for a trainer has helped a lot.

Food scale. My $20 food scale was one of my best purchases. Weighing my food keeps me honest.

Other gadgets: I’ve tried all sorts of gadgets on my phone. The PointsPlus calculator from Weight Watchers is good. I have an Android so most of the other WW apps don’t work well on it. I’ve downloaded Loseit! but it’s just a tracking app so I decided to stick with e-Tools. Trainer Paul showed me the 6 Pack Abs Promise so I’ve downloaded it and will try it out today.

Books: Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean series really jump-started me out of maintenance in June 2011.

8. What big changes have you made? Since June 2009 I’ve made a few changes, including:

I don’t stop at Burger King for breakfast.
I have black coffee instead of a venti non-fat, no-whip caramel mocha.
I bring my lunch about 90% of the time and when I don’t, I look for the healthy options on the menu.
When I go to parties, I *do* bring something healthy that I’d like to eat.
I’ve really cut back on drinking.
I exercise. Sometimes I hate it, but most of the time once I start doing it I enjoy it.
I don’t shop in the fat womens’ stores anymore. No more Macy Women. No more Lane Bryant. I went from a 24 to a 14. At a 38C, Victoria’s Secret can sell me bras again.
I do still get french fries, but a small instead of a large, and I balance out the rest of the day.

I don’t beat myself up for days where the fat girl comes back, and doesn’t exercise and eats everything in her path. Instead, I try to figure out why I’m sabotaging my efforts.

How did I lose 95 pounds?

I joined Weight Watchers
I started exercising
I kept at it.

I look pretty good. In clothes, that is.

And as long as I don’t jump up and down, I usually feel good about my body, too.

The other day, I was playing a jumping game with my four-year old.

My husband stopped what he was doing and got a funny look on his face, “What’s that sound?”

I didn’t know whether to burst out laughing or to be mortified. It was my stomach flapping against me, slapping and clapping. Oh, the embarrassment!

Today I was changing and realized I still have a good long way to go. “Sigh.” I said. My husband said, “You look good. You’re not done, but you look good.”

After I laughed, he said, “When the only things that jiggle are your butt and your boobs, you’ll be done.”