Progress

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Letters 9-28-12

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Dear Hubby:  I'm sorry the night terrors have been waking you up.  I tried to stay downstairs last night so that you could get some sleep before I got up there and tried really hard not to wake you up.  Don't think it worked though.

Dear Boss:  Ugh!  You kill me!  Truly... I know I've got to get out of this role but I'm floundering as to when to do it, where to go, how to do it...it's a mess.  I hate that you keep showing up in my Fridays Letters because you make Monday-Friday so frustrating!

Dear Gym:  I love you lately!  Just can't seem to get enough.  I worked out 4 times this week and loved every class I took.  I'm feeling fit and strong.  I'm going to miss you until Monday.

Dear AZ "Autumn":  Seriously?  Is the best we can muster?  3 whole days under 100 degrees?  It's supposed to jump back up to 106 by next week.  I really miss Fall.

Dear Closet:  Not only are you a crazy mess that needs to be reorganized something terrible but I hate my clothes. I don't know why.  I've slowly been replacing my wardrobe but have been hesitant to go "balls out" on buying new stuff because I didn't want to load up on transitional clothes.  I think since it appears this is the size I'm going to be, I think I'm just sick of my choices.  I think I'm going to need to go thrifting to replace some of these things but I'm still working out in XL shirts...terrible.

Dear BOOBS:  So jealous!  Have a great time and drink a toast to me while you're there!  Maybe next year...

Dear Friday:  You make me laugh...



Thursday, September 27, 2012

No Change Without Challenge


You Cannot Have Change Without Challenge.

I gotta tell you.  Fitness instructors (at least the good ones) can get you thinking beyond the physical.  This little gem came from my Spin instructor a couple nights ago.  As we're climbing the mountain and increasing our gears, she calls out "It's your work out.  If you want to see change, you've got to challenge yourself!"  Oh boy...This got me through the rest of the work out pushing myself harder than I ever had in that class (except maybe the first class where I thought I was going to die but I digress...).

I barely heard her the rest of the class.  I changed my gears and upped my RPM's but I didn't really hear her say it.  I didn't hear the visualization prompts of the winding mountains, tunnels, rolling hills or any of the other motivational tactics she uses.  My mind was busy with other thoughts...that kept reeling over and over.

You cannot run faster if you do not up the MPH on the treadmill!
You cannot climb mountains if you won't tackle a hill!
You cannot do a pull up if you don't step up to the pull up bar!
You cannot build your endurance if you don't try higher gears on the bike!
You cannot improve your food choices if you don't challenge your cravings!
You cannot build confidence if you don't challenge the self doubt!
You cannot affect change until you challenge conventional wisdom!
You cannot accomplish your goals if you never set them!

We MUST challenge ourselves and mindsets we've set for ourselves through out the years.

I am not too fat or out of shape to work out and push myself physically.
I am not too weak minded or lacking in willpower to say no to the bad food.
I am not too tired to make it to my fitness classes.
I am not so far gone as to give up!

I took this momentum and kept it up last night.  Usually Wednesday is a rest day for me.  A friend who came to work out with me once or twice over a year ago emailed me and said she was tired of not exercising so she wanted to hit the gym.  Sure, I said.  I gave her 2 choices.  The cardio kickboxing at 5:45 or Zumba at 8:00.  She chose the 5:45.  I've never taken the class before and I didn't know what to expect but it never even slowed me down.  It's good to try new things and since I usually don't work out on Wednesdays if it's not as intense as I'd normally go with at this point, it's still better than nothing.

This class kicked my butt!!!  First...the instructor is a French hottie named Cyril (maybe spelled wrong).  So I loved the accent but it's hard to think of a tough guy kickboxer being French.  Just sayin'.  Anyway...talk about a CHALLENGE!  He worked us...HARD.  I was dripping sweat...gasping for breath sometimes but I loved it!  It's the best work out I've ever had.  My poor friend who hasn't worked out in a year had to take several breaks and I was worried I'd have to call the paramedics at one point but she's managed through and is talking about going next week.  I only took the water breaks that were allotted in the work out for everyone and managed to do everything he did (albeit a bit slower).  It was a little bootcamp-esque in style.  He only had to correct my form once and I had a lot of fun.  This is definitely going to be a new class added to my rotation.  It's a challenge...but you can't change if you don't challenge.

I've got Bodyworks tonight and I'm ready!  I've already worked out 3 days in a row...first time I've hit 4 in a row in awhile (usually broken out more).  I recommended this Bodyworks class to my friend...we'll see if she makes it.  She probably thinks I'm trying to kill her after last night but as I reminded her, she had the option of doing Zumba later in the evening instead of this class!

When I got home, Hubby had made a fantastic Gyro Salad for the family.  This is bigger than it looks...it was on a giant platter.  Of course, it was in tupperware by the time I got home but he snapped a picture so I could share it with you.


So great to have a nice healthy meal...especially after the free one I had gotten at work.  Ahem...
I will just say - don't panic.  I didn't eat the bun at all and that's iced tea - not soda.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

NSV and B.O.

Don't worry...not my B.O.

First the NSV:  I ran a "quick" mile before my Bodyworks class last nights and finished in 11:50.  New PR for yours truly.

Next the B.O.  Seriously...I get people are sweaty and they're working out but some guys just absolutely reek at my gym.  I think I mentioned the guy from spin class last week who smelled so bad that I found it hard to breathe and we all agreed that breathing is a very important part of spin.  Well, last night, I'm about halfway through my run when an older guy gets on the treadmill next to me...same stinky problem!  I mean...truly almost knocked me out.  But on top of that...the guy on the OTHER side of me kept snotting into his HAND!!!  WTF?!?!  Seriously?  How gross are these two individuals?  AND the guy didn't even have a towel so he's snotting into his hand and rubbing it in and touching the treadmill and...gagging here....just so gross.  I would've moved but I was already over half a mile in and didn't want to break my stride.  Eeeewwww...still icked out by it.  After my one mile, I went to Bodyworks class.  Our regular instructor was there and it was a great workout!  Then I went home and had a slider (Hubby and I have ventured into the world of pre-prepped/marinated meat at Sprouts and he can just throw it on the grill.  So yummy) and some raw veggies with dip.  Pretty good stuff.

So I think I've decided not to do the Ragnar Relay.  It sounds like an amazing experience but I just don't think I'm a strong enough runner for it to be ready by February....I'm still looking into it but right now I'm leaning towards no.

I've got spin tonight so that'll be fun!  Otherwise, we're just moseying along here.  Pretty jealous of everybody who gets to go to Chicago this weekend.  I know you'll all have a fantastic time and I can wait to see all the pictures.  For those not going, don't worry...I'll still be here, blogging away to keep us entertained.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wonder Woman Takes It

In  a landslide.  I went out and bought my Wonder Woman shirt.  The Halloween Store had it for a couple bucks cheaper than the thinkgeek site AND this one has a cape...yes...a little cape.  Thank you all for voting!

Thank you for all the comments and thoughts (and texts) on my goal post.  We'll see...I'm letting it simmer out there for a bit before deciding anything and overall just letting it...fester.  Yep...that's the right word...fester.

This weekend was good...rather lazy.  Saturday, my oldest had a birthday part to attend so we hit up Target for the obligatory gift card (yes...we've moved on to gift cards...this one actually requested gift cards instead of presents.  Really?  She's turning 8??).  So Maddie and I goofed off a bit before picking out a card and picking up a few household items.


Then my youngest and I had some Mommy/Lori time while Hubby took Maddie to the party (I don't do kids' parties).  We went to a splash park near our house.  **NSV:  I put on my swimsuit and ran around the splash park with her and even when other people showed up at the basketball courts or playgrounds, I didn't feel self conscious***  I knew there wouldn't be many, if any, other kids at the splash park (this is a little known gem in my area) and I knew she wouldn't have as much if no one ran around with her so I made sure I wore her little butt out there.  Then it was on to cupcakes.  Yes...cupcakes.  A new little cupcake place opened up near our house so we tried it out.  It was delicious.  Then home to paint her nails.  I think she had fun and I know I enjoyed having some one on one time with her.  Maddie had a great time at her party too.

Sunday was errands and laundry day...exciting stuff around our house.

I can't remember if I showed y'all last week but here's a dinner Hubby cooked up one night last week that was TO.DIE.FOR.  He made Italian sausage with peppers and onions and a caprese salad.  He even arranged it all cute and took a picture so I could post it to my blog.  He rocks.


This week is going to be hectic at work and my boss is back in the office this week so it's even worse.  Blech.  This is Hubby's last week at the big company.  He's on the look out for another job and has several resumes out.  Hoping something turns up.

I only hit the gym twice last week...just wasn't motivated.  I'm starting the week off right this week with a Bodyworks class once Hubby's home.  I will work out at least 3 times this week.  Interesting tidbit, a coworker has asked me if I'd be interested in joining her Ragnar Relay team in February.  I'm thinking about it.  That's a lot of running with "runner" type people.  Not sure I'd be ready by February but I've heard it's an awesome experience. We'll see.  How about a little Monday DEMotivation to get the week started right?






Thursday, September 20, 2012

Goal?

Am I here?  Is this it?  So I've been working out 3-4 days a week and being more active on the weekends for a month now.  For the last 3 weeks, I have been watching the food (a couple slip up days but nothing TOO terrible) carefully.  I've cut back on Starbucks, I've had NO fast food and outside of a couple nights of alcoholic libations (and not enough to get drunk), I've had no sugary drinks.  I got a long overdue fill.  And I have not lost one freakin' ounce.  In fact, I GAINED 5!  WTF?!?!?!?  I'm hovering right at 160.  That is 5 lbs over my lowest and 5 lbs under my recent high.  And honestly, I'm tired.

I'm tired of worrying about it.  I'm tired of struggling.  I have been at or close to this weight for a year.  A year mostly without working out or even really watching my food.  I could maintain here fairly easily.  Hubby had an interesting point the other day.  We were talking about exercising and the gym and all that and he said, "At some point it stops being about losing weight and it starts being about being healthy."  He's right, of course.  Those who have hit their goals must maintain it.  By then, they've usually got a groove, know what to do and can get it done.  I'm starting to feel that way.  I'm enjoying the fitness classes I'm taking.  I even don't mind the occasional run.  I'm able to hike and do all the things I set out to do when I started this whole process.  Losing these last 30 lbs won't change that.  I can fit anywhere now.  I can shop in regular stores and ALWAYS find something that will fit. I am the same size I was in high school when I felt decent about myself and the way I looked.

So why do I keep pushing myself for these last 20-30 lbs?  I have no idea.  I hate my stomach and my arms.  I'm still SO flabby and can't wear dresses without spanx still.  According to the BMI chart (which we all know is crap) I'm still obese.  I'm angry that I'm not making any progress despite being MOSTLY good and what does this tell me?  That MOSTLY good is not good enough.  I have to be damn near perfect to get the rest of this weight off.  And I'm not.  I'm not even close.  I actually found myself exasperated with a lapband commercial on the radio yesterday.  Can you believe that?!?!  I've lost 70 lbs with the help of this awesome little tool and I found myself thinking "What a scam," when I heard it on the radio!  Ungrateful much?  I had about 6 months where I could eat a couple bites of anything and feel full...satisfied...whatever.  Now I can eat and eat and eat and eat.  Sometimes I think I stretched something out or that I've got a leak or God only knows what else.  It doesn't matter if that's the case...if something is stretched, I will not do anything about it...no surgical intervention or unfill or anything because as far as I can tell, other than being able to eat too much there are no negative repercussions.  The longer I'm in the blogosphere, the more people I see lose their bands, have revisions or generally be unsuccessful.  I rail on diet pills and supplements and say things like "it was the exercise or the nutrition...not the pill."  Well, for the successful bandsters I see, it's the exercise and nutrition...not the band!  And yes...I know all this.  I'm  usually the one preaching from the soapbox how it's a tool and nothing more and you've got a work it and put it in the effort and blah, blah, blah.

So the question is...am I done?  Am I done with the tickers?  Am I done with the weight loss goals (which I haven't reached even 1 in the last year)?  Am I done with the "here we go" posts?  Maybe.  I'm thinking about it.  I guess I imagined feeling more of a sense of accomplishment when I reached goal.  I guess that's what's missing.  It's because it's not accomplishment...it's giving up.  It's not the sweet thrill of victory I was hoping for but defeat.  I'm not sure I can feel good about it.  What an anticlimactic end to a long and arduous journey.  The races will continue, the challenges, the exercise, the relative monitoring of food but the scale will no longer hold the power.  It will no longer tell me if I'm doing good or bad...It will just tell me what is.  It will hover as it has done for the last year.  It will hover and the difference will be the mindset.  Right now I look at the scale and say "WTF??  How can this be?  How low do I have to cut my calories and what else do I need to deprive myself of (oh yeah...I went THERE) to be able to see even a 1 freakin' pound loss on this thing?!?!"  Will I be able to look at 160 on the scale and say, "Good job MandaPanda...you're right where you're supposed to be?"  I'm not sure.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In The News 9-19-12


For this edition of "In the News with Panda..." I'm devoting the whole post to one in particular item.  You can click the title to go to the article but I'm actually copying and pasting the full article below.  My comments are in blue.

FDA-approved diet drug Qsymia now available with prescription

(CNN) -- A new diet drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July is now available for obese and at-risk overweight patients. The oral medication Qsymia can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription.
Qsymia (pronounced kyoo-SIM-ee-uh) is the second diet drug approved this year. The FDA approved a weight-loss pill called Belviq on June 27.

Patients in clinical trials experienced more dramatic weight loss with Qsymia than with Belviq. On Qsymia, patients went from an average 227 pounds to 204 pounds; on Belviq, the average weight dropped from 220 to 207.
Qsymia had been known as Qnexa until its approval. The FDA asked the company to change the name to avoid confusion with another drug on the market, according to the company.

Some consumer advocates worry that the medication's weight loss comes with a price. Some patients in the clinical trial suffered an increased heart rate and a condition called metabolic acidosis, which can lead to hyperventilation, fatigue and anorexia.  Really?  I've always joked about how an eating disorder could've benefitted from me but it was a joke.  I think this is an indication that the drug works a little TOO well.

Concerns have also been raised about birth defects. One of the ingredients in Qsymia is topiramate, an anti-convulsant that has been linked to birth defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate in babies born to women who have taken it for migraines or seizures. Qsymia's other ingredient is phentermine, an appetite suppressant.  Take note here.  How many women got the band or try to lose weight in order to GET pregnant?  Also, I always kind of worry about taking anything that causes birth defects even when I'm not trying to get pregnant.  If it's not good for baby making, is it good for my body?

"Our belief is that women will be invited (through) compelling advertising and marketing messages to experiment on themselves with a drug that has some effectiveness with healthy weight loss but possible serious risks," said Cindy Pearson, executive director of the National Women's Health Network.

Qsymia's manufacturer, Vivus Inc., says that the drug helped lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in obese people and that people taking it were less likely to get type II diabetes.

"Obesity is not being adequately addressed by diet and lifestyle changes or currently available therapies," the company said. "The need for new options is urgent, particularly nonsurgical options."

The FDA approved Qsymia only for obese people or for overweight people with a body mass index greater than 27 who also suffer from weight-related conditions like hypertension and diabetes. Hmmm...BMI of 27.  I would weigh 138.5 lbs!  Holy crap!  I would KILL for that weight right now.  I get down to 138, I'm not taking any freakin' diet pills!

Doctors are free to prescribe the drug to anyone, however, and there are concerns that physicians will open "pill mills" and prescribe Qsymia to people who just want to lose a few pounds. That's what happened in the 1990s with fen-phen, another diet drug combination that includes phentermine.

An FDA advisory committee voted against Qsymia's approval in 2010. The panel recommended the drug's approval with a 20-2 vote in February, after Vivus proposed a risk management program to limit Qsymia's distribution and published additional results from one of its three clinical trials.

Vivus is offering the pill only through mail order, so doctors can't sell it directly, said Dr. Barbara Troupin, Vivus' vice president of scientific communications and risk management.
"There will not be dispensing from doctors' offices," she said. "Seeing that issue and what has happened in fad and diet drugs in the past, that is not a path that we're going to be taking."

The 4,430 overweight and obese patients in the Qsymia studies experienced various levels of weight loss. About half of patients on the recommended dose lost 10% of their weight, while four-fifths lost 5%. That amounts to about 12 pounds for a 227-pound person.

Meg Evans, one of the patients, started out at 230 pounds and lost 48 pounds her first year on the drug and another two pounds the second year.
"I loved it," she said. "I wasn't hungry. I almost had to remind myself to eat."
At 5 feet 9 inches tall, Evans, now 63, describes herself as having been "Twiggy-like" in college, weighing 120 pounds. Then she gained weight after having four children. An avid cook and eater, she said the drug made it easier to resist tempting foods.

"If I saw a chocolate-chip cookie, it was easy enough for me to say, 'I'm not really hungry. I can pass on it,' " Evans said.
She said the weight came off gradually, about four pounds a month, and her blood pressure went down almost immediately.

In February, Dr. Michael Lauer was one of two FDA advisory committee members who voted against Qsymia's approval.
"I believe that if the public were to 'buy' (Qsymia) after FDA approval, it would run the risk of severe, even fatal, consequences from another diet lemon," Lauer wrote in Annals of Internal Medicine, also noting that the drug led to a slight increase in heart rates.

The FDA and Vivus both acknowledge that the three clinical trials meant to measure Qsymia's safety and effectiveness were not designed to properly assess cardiovascular risk. The FDA has required Vivus to do a study on the drug's cardiovascular effects. Vivus earlier said it would be done after the drug's approval.  Seriously?  We're going to go ahead and test the cardiovascular effects (for anyone not paying attention, this is the effects it has on your HEART!!) AFTER the FDA approval?  Really?  What the hell are we paying the FDA for anyway if not to make sure these things are safe before they're made available to the general public.

Despite the label's warning that women of childbearing age should use birth control while on Qsymia, there are concerns that women will still get pregnant while on the drug. The FDA recommends a pregnancy test every month while on Qsymia.  Take heed.  They bring this up TWICE in this article.  Not good for babies!

In the drug-maker's two-year clinical trial, 34 women on Qsymia became pregnant, even though they were told repeatedly to use contraception. No birth defects happened in those pregnancies, according to the company.
Previous clinical trials of topiramate, one of the ingredients in Qsymia, have shown a risk of about five birth defects for every 1,000 pregnancies.

Comparing the anti-obesity drug to treatments for other chronic diseases, Troupin said patients will probably need to continue taking Qsymia long-term, though the new drug is not expected to be widely covered by health insurance plans.  If they don't know the short term effects using something like this has on your heart, what about long term?  And yet another thing that insurance companies aren't covering for you.  They'd rather pay for your blood pressure meds and your insulin, etc.  I'm not digging this product but if you need a prescription for it, health insurance should pay for it.  Done and done.

Evans, the patient who lost 50 pounds on the drug, said she has gained back about 20 pounds since the clinical trial ended two years ago and looks forward to going on Qsymia once it's approved, even though it can have side effects.
"There are side effects to everything," she said.  So she's already gained back 20.  Between this paragraph and the one before it, it's not sustainable weight loss and you'll have to be on this drug forever in order to maintain your new weight...which is only 10% lower than your weight before.  Is that worth taking a pill every day for the rest of your life with unknown cardiovascular risk?  Brilliant.

She added that the drug wasn't the only reason she lost weight. Weekly counseling on nutrition and exercise were a big factor, too.
The counselor helped her change her diet -- choosing a salad for lunch instead of a burger, forgoing pasta and potatoes at dinner -- and encouraged her to walk a few times a week in addition to her regular exercise as goalie in a women's soccer league.
"Before the medicine, I had been telling the girls they'd have to find a new goalie, because I couldn't dive for the ball like I did before," she said. "Then I lost the weight, and I was diving and bouncing back up and having a great old time again."  She lost an average of a pound a week.  I don't suppose the nutrition and exercise had anything to do with that?  No, no...it was the drug that made it easier for her to CHOOSE the right food and get the exercise in?  Sorry...I'm not buying it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

12:52

The time on the clock last night where a night terror had me hyperventilating?  Nope.  The time of day when my sweet tooth starts rockin' and I need to find a coworker's candy jar?  Nope.
That my friends...is the time of my first mile in my 5k training run last night.  We'll back up...
I called ahead to find out who the sub would be Bodyworks and it was going to be Lunges/Squats/Triceps lady so I skipped.  Instead, I opted for a 5k run and weight training.  My first mile was 12:52...new PR.  I finished it in 40:02.  2 darn seconds away from under 40.  Next time, my friends, next time.  I feel good about it...my last 5k run on the treadmill was at 42 minutes with my fastest mile being 13:33 so I'm improving left and right.  I think the spin classes is really helping me build up some leg strength.  Speaking of spin, that's what I got going on today.  Can't wait!

Food was good yesterday.  Pretty much on target with the exception of Starbucks.  Stupid, stupid Starbucks.

My boss, The Dark Lord, struck again.  Found out she told a coworker that she's not sure as to why I came over at the level I did but perhaps it was due to tenure...implying that I didn't earn the title or pay.  Well, ladies and gents.  That's BS!  I worked my butt off for my promotion, I've had this title and role for over 2 years before I moved into this position and I was working 50 hour weeks for 3 months in order to get it.  So she can go eff herself!  Whooooosssssaaaaaa.  I hate her.

Different Subject...I've always read a bedtime story to my girls.  Now my oldest can read and could read to her younger sister but Maddie still likes having me read to her as well.  I have decided that it's time for my oldest to graduate to me reading chapter books to her instead of the short little golden books or whatever.  Lori probably isn't quite ready yet but she'll just have to deal.  So when we went to the library I picked up Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary on the recommendation of the librarian.  Such a good pick!  The girls are loving it!  I read a chapter a night, and we're starting chapter 3 tonight.  I'm happy that it's working out so well.

That's all I got today.  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Body Really Doesn't Like It

That's probably the best way to describe how I feel right now.  So I finished Friday off strong.  Then everything went downhill for the weekend.  My eating was terrible...too much fried stuff, too much booze (oops!) and too many carbs.  And I'm paying for it.  Last night, I was miserable.  My stomach was making terrible noises of protest, I felt bloated and well...just plain blah.  My stomach just cannot handle days of eating crap anymore, apparently.  This is a good thing.  I'm actually looking forward to eating cleaner today.  I will say this...I definitely think this fill did some good as while the food choices weren't good, the portions were spot on.

So the weekend was good...Saturday we hit up a couple Halloween stores around town checking out all the spooky stuff.  My girls have decided to dress up as Dorothy (ala Wizard of Oz) and one of the Monster High dolls.  That night, Hubby and I had a date night.  We went to a local place called Monsterland Bar & Grill.  Very interesting place.  It's a former haunted house that they've turned into a bar so there are these animatronic monsters everywhere...very dark...they really stick with the theme.  Then we went to our favorite little local dive bar to finish out the evening.  We picked up the girls and went home...always nice to have a little kid free time.  Sunday, we didn't do much of anything.  We were supposed to go to one of my oldest friend's daughter's baptism but the girls weren't feeling well so instead we hung around the house, did our grocery shopping, hit the library and that was about it.  Now it's Monday and I'm back at work (ugh) and back on plan.
Hubby and me at Monsterland - really tough to get a good pic because it was so dark!

Thank you all for voting for my warrior tshirt... I'm leaving the poll up (top right of the blog) for a couple more days to see if there's any drastic change but right now, Wonder Woman has a hefty lead.

I signed up for my first 5k of 2013 already.  The event sold out last year so I wanted to make sure we made it in this year.... for the second year in a row, we're doing the Color Run!  This time, the whole family is doing it so it should be a blast.  Some of our friends are doing it again this year and even some AZ Bandsters are looking into it.  I still have one 5k to work in this year to hit my 5 in a year goal...just gotta find one that speaks to me.

Today, it's Body Works (hopefully the regular instructor or a different sub this week).  Only 33 days until the Warrior Dash and I'm not messing around.  I feel myself getting stronger and readier each time I work out.  The part I'm probably most worried about is the wall climb...smooth wall and a rope...Not sure I can lift my butt over it.  I've gotta find somewhere to practice something like that.  ***NSV*** New PR on the push ups front.  I did 55 girl push ups in my last Bodyworks Class!  More than halfway to my goal of 100!***

I lost a follower over the weekend.  It happens...guess my blog just didn't speak to her...and that's alright.  I want to touch on this for a minute...I know we all love followers and super LURV comments but ultimately it's about support and accountability, right?  So if you lose a follower here or there or have a hater that comments on your blog, you can't take it too personally.  Unless you have one of those ubersuccessful blogs that gets 18 billion hits a day, your blog is pretty anonymous.  These people don't know you, don't know your personality and it's really easy to be mean to other people when you're anonymous.  You can't let people like this get you down...it's really not worth it.  :)

So in honor of everybody and their brother having a blog and getting a little wrapped up in it (raising hand...) a little Monday DEMotivation...yes?


Friday, September 14, 2012

You Get to Decide

What I'm wearing for the Warrior Dash!  The Warrior Dash is a crazy thing but there's one thing crazier...the people who do it.  People come up with costumes and stuff for this thing.  Now, I'm not going in costume.  I'm going to have a hard enough time getting through without dealing with a costume and I'm still a little too insecure to go around looking for attention but I thought it would be cute to add a little zing to what I wear so I'm wearing crazy rainbow knee high socks and super hero tshirt.  You get to vote on which shirt I wear!  I've added a poll to the right side of my blog (at least I think I did...let me know if it's not there).  Please tell me what you think!



I figure I'm practically a super hero anyway.  So pick which one's your favorite and that's what I'll wear on Warrior Dash Day.  Yes, it's going to get muddy and probably ruined but I'm OK with it...I think I may have it framed...mud and all.  :)  Also, if you're a dork like me...you'll enjoy thinkgeek.com.  It's awesome sauce.  I may not actually buy the shirts here if I can find them cheaper elsewhere but I want one of those two looks.  If I do Batgirl...I'll probably look for bumble bee striped socks and for Wonder Woman...Well...Red, White and Blue of course.  :)

Checking in for yesterday.
List of NO's:
No fast food. Check
No carbonation. Check
No Starbucks.  Check
No pasta, rice or bread. Check
No chocolate, candy or sweets.  Check
No juice, milk or sugary drinks.  Check

List of WILL's:
I will work out at least 4 times this week.  3/4
I will limit the amount of processed foods I eat.  Check
I will go to sleep at a decent hour.  Check
I will be kind to myself.  Check 
I WILL stay on plan.  You betcha.

Good stuff.  I went to Yolanda's Bodyworks class... I SO love her!  It's seriously like having a personal trainer once a week.  I'm bit sore today which feels great!  ***NSV*** When we were doing the heavy weights last night, I could SEE my bicep.  I could SEE the muscle as I was doing it in the mirror...I could also see the giant batwing (maybe Batgirl IS the right choice! LOL) underneath it but my muscles are getting bigger and I like that!

I had a disturbing convo with the crappy boss yesterday.  Basically, HER boss has taken on a mentoring role with me.  We'll call him S...and we'll call crappy boss TDL (The Dark Lord).  Yesterday, TDL implied that S has been filling her in our sessions and kept putting "mentoring sessions" in quotes as if that's not what they really are.  Then she implied that he was only doing it to get a feel for what's going on in our group.  This immediately made me paranoid wondering if that was true.  I hadn't said anything that TDL couldn't know about but my latest assignment may not be complimentary to her.  S has always struck me as very sincere and straight forward so I would think if he wanted to know something, he would just ask as opposed to allotting time for it every month.  It seems too sneaky for his tastes.  He is, however, VERY business savvy judging by his history with my company so maybe I'm reading him wrong.  It's more likely that TDL is just trying to get in my head and derail my efforts because she sucks like that.  Ugh.  So glad it's Friday.

Not much planned for the weekend.  It'll be nice and quiet.  Hope y'all have a great weekend and how about a super hero Friday Funny to keep with the theme??

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In The News & Checking In 9-13-12


CNN was awash with different health related stories yesterday so it's time for another installment of "In the News with Panda..."

Fish oil's heart benefits may be overstated

The article basically says that while omega 3 fatty acids are great, the concentrated form in a supplement isn't as good as the natural way and more research is needed to determine how effective it really is in preventing heart attacks and heart disease.  Here's the bit that bothers me...

These healthy fats have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce triglycerides, and prevent heart rhythm abnormalities, but clinical trials investigating whether these properties translate into a lower risk of heart attack and stroke have had mixed results.

I am a believer that blood pressure, cholesterol numbers, etc. DO NOT cause heart attacks.  They are merely a symptom leading up to a heart attack.  A heart attack, itself, is merely a symptom of something else (blocked artery).  We spend so much money on drugs, supplements, etc. trying to treat symptoms instead of addressing the actual cause of these symptoms.  That's my soapbox on this one.

Next up...
Bride's vows: 'In fitness and in health'

I didn't watch the video but this is apparently one of the CNN Fit Nation people who got married and have lost a bunch of weight with a personal coach and all that.  She's got some good tips that I know we've all seen here in Blogland but I wanted to reiterate a couple of them.

1.  Diet is everything.  You know my take on this - it's all about the FOOD!
2.  Realistically assess your weaknesses.  I think this is a great one...I just don't like the example she uses.  She uses assessing her areas of weakness in the swimming portion of training for a triathlon.  I associate this with taking a realistic look at your goals, triggers and knowing what you will and what you WON'T do.  For instance, know your trigger food.  What's going to make you go off the deep end?  For me...it's sweets.  Another piece...I know I'll NEVER get up earlier than necessary to go work out.  I am NOT a morning work out person.  Do I feel good when I do?  Yes but the snooze button is going to win for me every time so there's no point in even putting that goal out there.   I need to find the time elsewhere in my day.  
3.  Track your progress.  We've all talked about it...not just weight...measurements!  You lose inches even when you're not losing weight but also NSV's!  It's not all about the sizes and the scale people!  

The only thing I don't agree with is I don't think you need to go meatless to be healthy.  A lot of vegetarians are NOT healthy but think they are because they don't eat meat.  You still need to make sure you're getting all your nutrients.  I'm not saying you HAVE to eat meat...but just because you don't eat meat doesn't make your diet a healthy one.  Does that make sense?

Here's a fun one -
Gross, sure -- but maggots have medical benefits

OK...This one I just found interesting as all get out and even though I'm allergic to penicillin, I'm going to have to put a no-maggot order in my medical file.  Eeeeewwwwww.

And on the exercise Front...
Tabata: Scorch calories without the time commitment

Has anyone does this?  It basically sounds like a fun word for "interval training" which is the basis of most group exercise classes as well as crossfit.  Nothing too groundbreaking here in my opinion.  I'm also not real sure that 25 minutes, 3 days a week will bring any real results as far as weight loss goes...but I'm curious as to if anyone has tried and their experiences with it.

So there's your health news from Panda.  Hope you enjoy.  As for checking in, yesterday was good up until dinner.  I didn't work out but that was planned as my body needed a rest day.  Hitting Bodyworks tonight (with Yolanda who is FABULOUS!).  But we had Burger King for dinner!  Yikes!  Whopper Junior with 4 french fries and 4 licks of my daughter's ice cream cone.  Oh well...today is another chance to do better.

Checking in for yesterday.
List of NO's:
No fast food. No Check - BK
No carbonation. Check
No Starbucks.  Check
No pasta, rice or bread. Bun on the Whopper Junior
No chocolate, candy or sweets.  Mostly Check - 4 licks of an ice cream cone
No juice, milk or sugary drinks.  No Check - Pink Lemonade at BK

List of WILL's:
I will work out at least 4 times this week.  2/4
I will limit the amount of processed foods I eat.  Mostly Check
I will go to sleep at a decent hour.  Eh Yesterday.
I will be kind to myself.  Check 
I WILL stay on plan.  Nope!

OK...I'm sure I've got 10 things for TTT in there somewhere.  Tomorrow is Friday...YAY!  Hope y'all are surviving the week.  Remember....it's all in how you look at things...



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Paleo Eggplant and Check In

Yesterday was really good foodwise.  I was worried that the fill didn't do a whole lot until I realized that my lunch was still kind of slider-y and that I didn't eat from 11:30 a.m. to 6:45 pm and didn't feel like I was starving.  That fill must've done something...

Checking in for yesterday.
List of NO's:
No fast food. Check
No carbonation. Check
No Starbucks.  Check
No pasta, rice or bread. Check
No chocolate, candy or sweets.  Check
No juice, milk or sugary drinks.  Check

List of WILL's:
I will work out at least 4 times this week.  2/4
I will limit the amount of processed foods I eat.  Check
I will go to sleep at a decent hour.  Check
I will be kind to myself.  Check 
I WILL stay on plan.  Check.

I made it to spin last night.  Great class...love the instructor but my performance left something to be desire.  Thanks to "I'm going to make you do lunges and squats until you puke" lady, my legs just couldn't get at it as much as I usually do but I went and did my best so I'm happy with that.  Not sure if I'm working out tonight...we shall see.  

Truly a stellar day.  Let's see if I can log another one of those.  Made a really good dinner last night - Paleo Eggplant Parmesan and Spaghetti Squash with Marinara.  Hubby and I are truly part of the modern culture - I start dinner, he finishes it...I had the squash baking and the eggplant ready when he got home...All he had to do was heat up the sauce, scrape the squash and plate it.  So I'll give you the recipe but it's super easy.

Spaghetti Squash - Cut squash in half lengthwise, scrape out all the seeds and strings (like a pumpkin), place face down on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.  When it's done you take a fork and scrape the flesh out in long strings like spaghetti.  Add salt and pepper and other seasonings to taste.

While that's baking, you can get your eggplant done.  Heat up a couple tablespoons of olive oil in pan (I used medium high heat but I'll warn you that my kitchen got REAL smokey).  Beat one egg in a bowl.  Put about a quarter cup of almond meal on a plate and mix it with some italian seasonings.  Cut eggplant into rounds (You don't have to take the skin off).  For each round, dip it in the egg and then coat lightly in the almond meal **side note:  If there's a Sprouts or Whole Foods near you...probably best to get your almond meal from there...you don't have to buy a lot since they have bulk aisles.  Love this for when recipes call for odd things that I don't have lying around my kitchen.**.  Place them in the pan, flipping once until they're nice and brown and eggplant is tender.

Spoon some spaghetti squash onto a plate.  Place 2 eggplant rounds on top of the squash and then finish it all off with marinara and parmesan cheese.  If you really want it paleo, skip the parmesan.  Here's a pic of the plate Hubby made for me last night and kept warm in the oven while I worked out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget


Got a Fill and Other Stuff

So I got my fill yesterday.  Again, I feel the need to reiterate how important it is to keep in touch with your doctor.  I admit I was a little nervous that he'd be "disappointed" or that I'd get a lecture or something on my lack of progress the last year.  Nope.  All he said was not to wait so long next time.  I'm not sure how I'm feeling at this fill level yet.  I've only been on liquids and mushies...probably won't have real food until lunch so hopefully this brings me back up to a good level of restriction and we can kickstart the weight loss a little bit.

So a new first for me - I walked out of an exercise class last night.  I have never done this before.  In classes where it felt like I would die, I would modify, keep moving and make it through.  This time, I could do it.  I just didn't want to.  We had a substitute instructor this week and she was absolutely terrible.  It was all lunges and squats and way too many reps on one particular muscle group at a time.  This class combines cardio, core and weight training so form and what not is pretty important.  My knee had about had it with the constant pressure from the lunges and squats.  But on top of that I could feel my form was off because I was feeling it in my lower back which you should NEVER feel if you're lifting weights.  There was just no variety, no break for a particular muscle group and she didn't work the legs evenly.  I left halfway through.  I didn't care what anyone else thought (i.e. "Ohhhh....the fatty couldn't handle it," etc.) because someone was going to get hurt and it wasn't going to be me.  I finished out the last half hour doing my own weight routine with more leg sets than I usually do and called it good.  I kept looking in the class and they just kept repeating the same stuff with only 5 minutes of abs (usually closer to 10) and I didn't see ANY stretching at the end!  Ugh.  I got the sub's name from the front desk so I know better if she's ever teaching anything else.  Good news:  I added 2 more sit ups so a new PR of 33 and a little closer to my goal of being able to do 100 before the end of the year...I'm 1/3 of the way there!  :)

So checking in:
List of NO's:
No fast food. Semi Check - Hit Boston Market after the gym (not REALLY fast food but kinda) but only got mashed potatoes and turkey tortilla soup since was on liquids/mushies
No carbonation. Check
No Starbucks.  Eek! 1
No pasta, rice or bread. Check
No chocolate, candy or sweets.  Check
No juice, milk or sugary drinks.  Check

List of WILL's:
I will work out at least 4 times this week.  1/4
I will limit the amount of processed foods I eat.  Check
I will go to sleep at a decent hour.  Check
I will be kind to myself.  Check - Feeling good!
I WILL stay on plan.  Have to hunker down on the Starbucks...

And so it's Tuesday...another day at work and another day not wanting to be at work.  Ah well.  Tis life.  Got spin class tonight...should be good!  :)  Let's do this!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Great, Active Weekend!

I am a firm believer that exercise doesn't need to be formal.  You don't have to go a gym, take a yoga class or join a crossfit group to get your exercise in.  I think for most people, the reason these things work better than informal exercise is because it forces you to schedule it into our lives, leaving little room for excuses.  At least, that's why going to the gym works for me... if I have to go, I will go.  If I don't have to go...well, I won't.  But for whatever reason, last week was full of informal activity that I totally count as working out and it felt good doing it.  Some examples...

I didn't hit the gym Friday and instead decided to run a mile with my girls. *NSV* The last time I ran with my girls was before Summer hit and my oldest would run ahead of me and then wait for me to catch up and we would walk off and on.  This time, I kept an even running pace and she'd have to stop and walk awhile.  I found myself jogging backwards (shocked that I didn't fall?) encouraging her to keep running.  I love that I can offer that encouragement to her.  After our 1 mile run, we got in the pool and swam for a bit.

Saturday, we went to the park for a couple hours.  We played with the soccer ball, brought out the mitts and played catch, and ran around on the playground.

Sunday, we walked a mile again...this time with the girls on roller skates.  It was  MUCH slower walk for Hubby and me as they're still very beginner level but it was good to get out.  Then we went for another swim and I ran home to get the van and bring it back to pick them up.  I made it home and back in 18 minutes.  Not bad since I wasn't in workout gear so not real comfy jogging.

3 days - not one of them spent at the gym but got my activity in the whole time.  It feels great being active and even better setting a good example for my girls.

So outside of the activity, Saturday we went to a friend's house and hung out so our girls could play with their girls.  It was fun but food was not stellar.  I had 2 small slices of pizza and 4 meatballs.  No alcohol - just water - so that was a win.

Then came Sunday.  Saturday night, our sleep number bed decided to give it up so Sunday I started dragging Hubby around to mattress stores to buy a new one.  He was not a happy camper.  At 11:30 a.m., there I am lying on a bed, deciding if it will work when my phone goes off with a text.  It's Jen saying she's going to be late for the Bandster Lunch and the other Jenn asking if she wanted us to order for us.  What the what!??!  Blogger lunch?!?!  Crap!  Totally forgot!  Luckily, I was literally right across the street from the restaurant so off I went.  I'm so glad I did because I was able to meet up with Jen, Jenn, Elizabeth and at long last, Lori who drove all the way up from Tucson just to meet us.  She's fabulous, as they all are and I'm so glad I decided to go despite wearing my "fat shirt," no make up, and my hair just thrown up.  
From Left - Lori, Jenn, Jen, Me and Elizabeth - I swear Jenn and Elizabeth are shrinking right before my very eyes!
 After lunch, I met up with the family to finalize our mattress purchase.  While Hubby was getting that taken care of, I took the girls to Wendy's for a quick bite since they hadn't had lunch yet.  I'm proud to say neither Hubby, nor I, had one morsel at Wendy's.  Incidentally, we did find a mattress and it's being delivered today.  Thank goodness!
My girls at Wendy's in their "Where's Waldo" glasses.  This made me laugh.  
So there we are.  The weekend in a nutshell.  Let's see how last week rounded out...
List of NO's:
No fast food. Check - even while sitting INSIDE a fast food restaurant!
No carbonation. Check
No Starbucks.  I went once but it was on the weekend so I'm OK with it.  If I only have it once a week, I'll be alright.
No pasta, rice or bread. Twice - egg sandwich Saturday morning and 2 slices of pizza that night.  Not bad for the whole week...
No chocolate, candy or sweets.  2 chocolate chip cookies the whole week - Success!
No juice, milk or sugary drinks.  Check

List of WILL's:
I will work out at least 4 times this week.  4/4 - I think between the gym and my informal activity, I hit this!
I will limit the amount of processed foods I eat.  Check
I will go to sleep at a decent hour.  Mostly
I will be kind to myself.  Need to work on this day to day.  I'm able to see the big picture of how much better I'm doing and feeling but it's harder at the end of the day.
I WILL stay on plan.  Overall, I think I did GREAT this week!  Much improvement foodwise over the week before and feel that this week will be even better.

I have my fill appointment today.  I'm super excited as I think this will finally make the scale move in a downwards direction.  I haven't seen my doc since December so a little nervous how it'll be.  

So there you have it.  My weekend in a long nutshell.  :)  To get this week started right, we need a little Monday DEMotivation...and this one I picked out specifically for my buddy Jen at What you lookin' at Skinny...


Friday, September 7, 2012

Possible Hobby??

I tried rock climbing yesterday and it was fan-freaking-tastic!  Why did it take me so long to try this?!?!  So...I was a little nervous going..all these old fat girl insecurities were tugging at me..."What if the harness doesn't fit?", "I'm not sure I like the idea of everyone looking at me from below," etc.  But I got over it, I went and loved it!  I can make it to the top on the easy walls without too much of a problem.  Once we moved past those, however, well...that's a different story.  Made it about halfway up a slightly more difficult wall and about 6 feet on an even more difficult one.  LOL.  But it was a lot of fun...a great workout for your arms, your legs and your core.  I learned that I'm really terrible at learning to tie knots but that I caught on to being a belayer (the one who stays on the ground holding the rope so you don't fall) after an initially rocky start.  I can't wait to go again.  The only thing that kind of sucks is that there has to be at least 2 people when we go because there are no belayers just standing around there.  Hmmm...must find someone who's addicted to rock climbing.  Anyway, I can see why people like this so much and then eventually venture outside with it.  I'm pretty sure I'll never be secure enough to ever try this outside (that's REAL falling) but I could do this inside gig all day long.  :)

A little side note here:  I don't say this to discourage ANYONE from going but I wanted to relay my thoughts on when we got there.  Am I the only one who scans a room to see how many fat people there are?  I don't know if that makes me especially weird or what but I find that I do that everywhere I go.  Anyhoo, there was not ONE fat person at the rock gym.  Unlike a regular ol' workout gym where you have people of all shapes, ages and sizes, this rock gym wasn't like that.  There were older people there who put me to shame how they scurried up the walls, but I did not see ONE obese person there.  There were a few who had my kind of build...a little overweight but probably not fat (No, I can't call myself "skinny" or even "normal" yet) and 70 lbs ago, I would've been intimidated as all get out and probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much.  This time, the second I walked through the door, all my fat girl insecurities went away and I didn't even get anxious when they pulled out the harnesses.  It fit just fine and actually had to tighten up the waist and legs quite a bit.  Anyway..I took this whole experience to be a giant NSV for me that I went somewhere surrounded by people in pretty good shape and didn't feel like I didn't belong (at least not because of my size...obviously new to the whole rock climbing thing, everyone could tell I was a newbie. LOL).

I think this weekend will be a quiet one...not too much going on.  We may go to a friend's house and just hang out on Saturday (we may not...nothing set it stone).  I've got the September AZ Bandster Lunch on Sunday...I was going to skip it this month but alas...they put it less than a mile from my house!  AND I get to meet Lori (Adorkable) and JennxAZ threatened to cry if I didn't...so what can I say?  I just have to go.

I have a fill scheduled for Monday.  I can't wait!  I'm not excited about seeing the doc and having to talk about my lack of progress but I will take my medicine and hopefully he'll fill me up and we can jump start the weight loss machine again.

Checking in for yesterday:
List of NO's:
No fast food. Check
No carbonation. Check
No Starbucks.  Check
No pasta, rice or bread. Check
No chocolate, candy or sweets.  Check
No juice, milk or sugary drinks.  Check

List of WILL's:
I will work out at least 4 times this week.  2/4 
I will limit the amount of processed foods I eat.  Sorta Check - I had half of a Powerade Zero after the rock gym because I was crazy thirsty
I will go to sleep at a decent hour.  Check
I will be kind to myself.  Check
I WILL stay on plan.  Check!

All good stuff there.  My goal for the weekend is to stay as unprocessed as possible...still no rice, bread or pasta.  No juice or sugary drinks.  I want to get at least one more workout in this week.  If I do, that's 4 weeks in a row of hitting 3x/week.  That'd be good.

Today is MRI and treatment day for my brother-in-law.  Lots of prayers please for a stable MRI.

So that's about all I've got today.  Hope y'all have a fantastic weekend!  And in honor of the beginning of the football season, I give you a Friday Funny: