Diets do not work.

IMG_1751You know those moments when you discover something obvious, but despite it being simple common sense it hits you like a ton of bricks; suddenly it makes complete sense?  I had one of those thoughts yesterday.  I read this book called “It Starts With Food” written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.  It got me thinking: Diets do not work.

The fact is anybody can lose weight if they are dedicated enough to a change in habits (exercise and food choices).  However, oftentimes people lose the weight only to gain it back and plus some.  This is because “diets” are seen as a temporary solution to a problem (excess weight).  We know when we are overweight and some even go as far as saying that being a little overweight it healthy.  One has to ask though can you honestly say there is such thing as being “healthily overweight?”

So today I decided that I’m going to do the Whole30 challenge.  What appeals to me about this program is that it’s not a diet.  It’s more like a cleanse.  It is a process of reintroducing my body to real good food with no processed, chemically produced, product.   If it once walked or swam or grew from the ground chances are I can eat it.  I have my husband’s full support.  He eats healthy anyway but I told him all the stuff that are not compliant to the program and he has agreed that he will eat those foods (I do not want to waste any of our current food in the house). Thirty days…. this can’t be THAT bad.

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Played some morning basketball

IMG_20150713_063848_editSo this morning I decided to finally take advantage of using the military base’s fitness facility.  After dropping my husband off work at 5AM this morning I hit the gym.  I was intimidated by all the strength training equipment that I decided to just spend 45 minutes on the treadmill!  After that I grabbed a basketball, headed toward the gymnasium, and just started shooting hoops.  It has been a LONG time since I’ve played with a basketball.  Dribbling is almost like riding a bike – you never forget how to do it. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed shooting the ball I did that for 30 minutes.  It’s definitely been a while since I’ve worked out my arms – I may have to reconsider and try those strength training machines again.

When do you work out?  Do you like basketball?

Food Journal – Second Attempt (I think I got it down this time)

IMG_20150626_052142I believe it was last month I decided to start writing down what I ate.  It’s too easy for us to just eat whatever is in front of us regardless if we are hungry or not.  Unfortunately I was not able to keep up with it. I thought it would be easy but I found myself obsessing about the portions, calories, time, etc.  that it ended up feeling like work.  SO this time I’m trying a different approach.

Instead of using a fancy app or anything I decided to just go old school with pen and paper (notebook).  I write the day, date, and what I eat as I eat them without any notes of how much.  I just make a mental note to myself to not eat until I’m filled to capacity – simply eat enough to feel satisfied. I’ve also started taking Garcinia Cambogia supplements.  It’s supposed to help curb appetites. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m hoping to keep doing this as a regular thing in order to keep myself in check as far as my nutrition intake goes. My aim is to use my food journal as a guide as far as making sure that I’m getting the nutrition I need and keeping snacking at a minimum.  I used to be able to shed the extra pounds easily but I can tell it’s a bit more difficult now.   I’ve been teetering and tottering between 136-134 this last month and I know what I eat is the biggest factor of my lack of weight loss.  My goal is 120 by the end of September. It should be doable I just need to keep my mind on the prize.

Sleep…where art thou?

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 4.36.17 AMI had been tossing in turning since 12:43AM – it is now 4:20AM when I finally decided to get up and give up on the concept of going back to sleep.  Granted I went to bed a bit early (8:27AM) I was aiming for 8 hours sleep but it ended up being more like 5 hours and 20 minutes of broken sleep.

What was problem?
Maybe it was the fact that I forced myself to go to sleep so early.  I wanted to wake up at 4:30AM because my husband needs to be at work by 5 (we share one car) and still get 8 hours of sleep.  So last night I was tired any way but to ensure I fall asleep quickly I took a melatonin pill. Which did the trick by the way.  I don’t know maybe my body decided that 4 hours of sleep was enough.  …or perhaps it was because I was wear pajama pants.  Yeah, I think that was it.  See, I usually wear boxer shorts when I go to sleep.  The apartment felt a bit cool last night so I wore pajama pants to bed.  I may have been too warm.

Should I take a nap today?
I probably will take one.  Even though I am fully awake now, I will most likely crash by noon.  Hopefully it won’t take up my entire afternoon though. We shall see.

What probably didn’t help me was the fact that when I woke up at 12:43 was when I looked at the clock again and saw that it was pass 1 – I had decided to check my emails. Next thing I knew I was reading other blog posts.  I look at the clock again and suddenly it was getting near 3AM.  I know I need to get a sleep pattern down soon.  Otherwise, my health will soon be affected – I’ve never had a strong immune system after all.

So this must be a Shin Splint

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I may have pushed myself a little too hard lately as far as training myself to reach 20,000 steps.  I’ve been walking 15K steps daily (took a break during the weekend). I made over 15,000 steps Monday and over 16,000 yesterday.  This morning around 1AM I felt like gravity was breaking my leg.  I had an extremely sharp pain in my calf and shin area (just my right leg though).  My poor husband had to wake up to stop me from tossing and turning. The pain finally started to subside after I took two ibuprofins and an ice pack over the problem area.

I woke up this morning feeling a little better. Now as I’m getting close to mid-day I can start to feel the pain creeping up again.  From the brief reading that I’ve done apparently I’m supposed to back off if my leg starts to hurt again and let it heal.  6-8 weeks just sound way too long though, I hope it’s not going to take THAT long.  That’s what I get for taking on too high of inclines and walking on concrete with probably the wrong kind of sneakers.  I felt like I was on such a good roll though.  Darn you body for not adjusting fast enough.  I’m the one suffering though I’ve only got myself to blame for not being careful.

Jawbone UP24 – Fitness Tracker

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I bought my UP24 fitness tracker back in January in hopes of motivating myself to get back into shape. I definitely became aware of how much I was moving (or not moving rather). I fell out of routine due to the move here to California. Since I am not required to find a job out here I know I no longer have any excuses not to get into shape. I am not obese by any means but being 4’11” it doesn’t take much to look overweight. Besides, I want to fit comfortably into my jeans again!IMG_1884

Track Your Steps
Lately I’ve set my goal to reach 15,000 steps, Monday thru Friday.  I haven’t been able to consistently hit that 15K mark yet (approximately 5-6 miles) but I’m working on it!  My ultimate goal is to be able to comfortably hit 20,000 steps daily. Last week my best day was Monday and I took 19,830. I’m getting close!

Track Your Sleep
Every week I get an email from Jawbone giving me an overview of how I did in the past week which is really cool.  I’m starting to think that my body does not need 8 hours of sleep.  That is what I have my sleep goal as but I am averaging about 7 hours and 55 minutes of sleep which is pretty close I guess.  I’m going to keep my sleep goal at 8 hours.

Track Your Food Intake
There is also a part in the app where you can track the foods you are eating.  Because I do not have an iPhone or Android I do not keep the app on my at all times with my mobile phone it’s rather inconvenient for me to log what I eat when I am limited to my iPad which has to be connected to WIFI in order for me to use the UP app. So I can’t really vouch how useful this part of the app is. I can say that I have some teammates that use it regularly to track what they eat.

Is this the fitness tracker for you? I can’t answer that. You must do you own research. My tips would be… what do you want to use the fitness tracker for?  Do you want it to have a screen display or do you want something minimal in design?  There are so many YouTube videos available out there on various fitness trackers.  Remember, most expensive does not always mean the best for you.  Make list of what is important to you and find the device that fulfills your needs the most.

What is “Gluten-Free?”

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With so many advertisements blasted in our faces every single day, it is so easy to believe all the marketing jargon that we’re slapped with. If you were to ask five different people around you what is Gluten Free my theory is that they won’t be able to tell you. Perhaps one will have an actual answer but is it accurate? Well this is why I’m writing this blog post today. I didn’t know what Gluten Free meant so I decided to do a little research.  “Gluten-Free” does not necessarily mean it’s healthy or good for you, that is a common misconception.

What ignited my curiosity of the topic was one day when I was reading a comment from an article I was reading. I don’t remember what the article was exactly but it was about someone’s opinion of how they couldn’t stand when people had special requests when it comes to food. He went on to say if you’re allergic to something and can’t risk eating it – do the world a favor and don’t eat out. I now wish I kept up with the article so I can quote her but I’m just going to have to go by memory here.

Celiac Disease is what she had which is a terrible condition where her immune system attacks her small intestines because of a protein found in wheat and other related grains.

Gluten Free products are ideal for those that have wheat allergies. I personally have never known anyone to have a wheat allergy. As a matter of fact I’ve grown accustomed to believe that wheat is good for you, how it’s healthier to eat wheat bread over white bread. Either way, it’s bad if you have a wheat allergy.

If there is not an alarming amount of people who are allergic to wheat and other grains then why is Gluten Free pointed out so often? I think they do it because it is something to talk about. It’s a marketing tool advertisers use to catch people’s attention. If it sounds healthy the chances of them picking it up and buying it.   Yes that “gluten-free”Betty Crocker brownie mix still has 150 calories (50 calories from fat), 25g carbohydrates, and 18g of sugar. Compare it to Betty Crocker’s Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix which has 180 calories (70 calories from fat), 25g carbohydrates, and 17g of sugar. It is not that much healthier at all. Opt in for a banana or any other fruit or heck just grab a chocolate protein shake if you’re hunger and just feel like having something chocolaty! I personally like Premier Protein Chocolate Shake. Compared to cake it has less calories from fat (25), more protein (30g), less carbohydrates (5g), and other important nutrients such as potassium, calcium, zinc, and many others.   I like to drink this stuff for breakfast or lunch when I throw it into the blender with coffee ice cubes and a banana. Yum!

So there it is folks, if you see “gluten-free” on a product it doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you or that you should buy it. If you have a wheat allergy then you must know about this already. For those that are not sensitive to wheat (or the protein found in wheat and other related grains) perhaps this article will help you steer your attention and help you make a smarter buying decision in the future. 🙂

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, please comment below!