Sunday, November 03, 2013
My goals for November:
- Eat 1525 calories/day (or 382 calories split between four meal categories)
- Try to get in a little bit of activity, even though classes are murdering me
Friday, November 01, 2013
It's the first of the month, so I'm checking in with my weight loss progress (updates on my Weight Loss page). I had a tough July and August where my diet was pretty much thrown out the window with out-of-town guests and moving to our new apartment. Then school started up in September, during which I did alright. Throughout October I tracked my meals nearly every day, though wasn't really able to exercise consistently.
My calorie goal was set for someone who weighs 5 lbs less than I currently do, which is much easier for me to live with (ie. I'm happy eating that much) compared to my first goal of 20 lbs less (I was too hungry). I've updated my "What I've learned section" (on the weight loss page), with the most notable thing this month being that I need to eat more fat! I love avocados and peanut butter and chocolate so much! I would binge on fatty foods in the afternoon and evening after getting home. I would pretty much get in the door and grab the PB. Taking a look at my food journal, I realized that my breakfast was essentially fat-free, so I've been adding a chunk of avocado to my morning smoothie and again in my sandwich. I haven't felt the need to binge! Not only that, with Halloween being yesterday, I only had one mini chocolate, and didn't want any more. I'm flabbergasted, and feel like a jerk saying that I didn't want any candy on Halloween. Oh, and I'm down 0.6 lbs, 0.25 inches around my waist and 0.5 inches around the pooch since I started the blog. Especially good since I went up in between.
I've been using the Loose It! app on my phone the past few days. I like that it's much less complicated than the My Fitness Pal app in looks and options. The food information is provided by the app designers, and not the community, though you do have the option of adding your own. I've been using the free version. The following are screen shots off my phone of yesterday. Note that my actual calorie budget was 1548, so I aimed for 387 calories/meal. (I also just realized that I put in the food journal backwards! Read from right to left - so sorry!)
My chiropractor visit yesterday was alright. Apparently my L5 in my spine was off, which was causing me limitations to my range of motion. He did two adjustments on my spine, and I'll be going back in a week, then once more and I should be a-ok. My posture feels better already, though I'm still a little sore.
Well, that was long! I have so much school work to do!
Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
I've booked myself an appointment with my chiropractor for tomorrow. My leg has been tingling too much, my hips feel... off, and I'm getting pain up my back. I'm pretty sure that I've shifted my sacrum so it's stimulating some nerves and I'm really looking forward to some relief.
I haven't been to see him in about two years, since my first set of visits during which he first put the bone back in place, and some weekly visits to do some alignments.
On a brighter note, my husband surprised me with roses this week! He wanted to cheer me up while going through all these midterms.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Thursday, October 03, 2013
I have set myself a goal, which is the same as last time, and started recording yesterday. No wonder im feeling heavier! The energy-boostong binge wasn't huge, but just enough to start adding on pounds on the regular.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
A note about my weightloss efforts - I've had to take a week or two off from working out. A heatwave hit Edmonton, so it was too hot to workout. I spent a lot of my time trying not to feel sick just going about my day. Then the next week, after things cooled down a bit, I was fighting a head cold. Now this week I have friends visiting from out of province for the week who will be sleeping in my living room where I work out. I'll try to get out for a run or a swim once or twice, but I really doubt it.
On the plus side, I've noticed that my body is finally starting to trust me. What I mean to say is, during the past two months my weight jumped up to 146 lbs and fluctuated between that and 142ish lbs. I have been eating about 1600 calories daily, which is what my goal weight of 120 lbs requires for maintenance. Now I'm seeing my weight start to go down, without changing my eating habits. My body is finally trusting that it's not going to starve, because I'm giving it enough calories (never going below my BMR of 1440 and therefore above that ridiculous 1200 calories rule), so it's starting to let go of some of the excess. So, if you're with me on this journey, eating the calories of your goal weight may mean that you gain 5 or so pounds for a month or two, but then the weight will start to melt off. Yes, it sucks and messes with your head at the start, but will be better in the end.
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
I must admit, I am quite proud to say that I have made yogurt twice. The photo above is my second batch, which I decided to make double of. It was very easy, inexpensive, and tasted just like the yogurt I used to make the first batch from (you need to start from an existing yogurt culture). And look how thick it turned out! I had the jar on its side for about a minute while taking pictures.
I created a make-shift double boiler and went about my evening while the yogurt practically made itself. This is what I did the first time, and the second time I used a bigger pot, mini casserole dish, and a silicone vegetable steamer to lift the dish off the bottom of the pot. If you're interested in making your own, I learned how here.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
It started out giving a synopsis of how they lived up to that point and then they went to the doctor to have their health assessed. Then it quickly progressed to disturbing footage of animals being poorly treated. Then they trespassed on a family farm and saw dead pigs in a trailer.
I grew up on a hobby farm and had friends who lived on larger farms. While I agree that the animals raised for consumption need to be treated better in the larger facilities, I feel like they jumped to conclusions about the smaller farms. Those dead pigs they found - my first thought is that they got sick and died, and the farmer took them away from the barn to be picked up and properly disposed of (for example incinerated to prevent the spread of an illness). The documentary did not allow for that type of thought - the participants were immediately hysterical that they were seeing the types of practices they learned about in the videos they were shown.
They all decided they had to live a vegan lifestyle. In the end, they return to the doctor and had lost a number of pounds and lower cholesterol. So, we are led to believe that this is the result of becoming vegan.
I started watching this movie with the hopes that I would learn something about the transitions that a person makes from omnivore to vegan, and instead was assaulted with images of animals being hurt. It was like the movie was using a scare tactic to force the viewers to go vegan. This is where my disappointment lies. I wanted to learn, and they instead were stereotyping every farm as being evil. My parents raise chickens for meat and eggs - I used to play with them as a kid. It was nothing like the portrayal in the movie.
That's just my two cents. If you want to watch it, it's on Netflix as well as for purchase at their website. Please share your opinions too!
Sunday, May 26, 2013
My favourite resource for logging my daily calories is www.MyFitnessPal.com. You can easily use it on your computer or smartphone, though it does have more options on the computer version.
On your profile settings you tell it your age, height and weight, and it automatically sets your daily calories based on your weight loss goal. I like to find my BMR (which you can do on their site or search online for a calculator) and then get my sedentary metabolic rate from that, but that's not necessary if you don't want to. Then start logging!
This is what my breakfast looks like:
On the phone app it only shows calories, but you can still see the rest of the info for your day's food elsewhere on the app (The bottom portion on the screen is an ad, so it's free):
Both the website and app have a lot of features, and they can be really fun to play with. I like that you can customize your goal, which some other programs don't let you do. They have a huge database of foods you can search through and add to your diary as you log. You can also add foods to it, and these additions are available to other users so the database grows. You can save meals so that it is easy to log things you eat regularly - for example my morning smoothie has a lot of ingredients but I saved it as a meal so I only need a moment to log it. Also, if your phone has a camera you can use it as a barcode scanner for packaged foods and it will log that for you.
You can track your weight here, and it gives a graph of your progress. It also has a bar chart of your weekly calories, and a pie chart of daily and weekly macronutrient intake if you want to keep track of that.
There's many more features available, but those are the main ones that I use. Give it a try! It's very easy and kind of fun sometimes.
Friday, May 24, 2013
I got my first aquarium when I was 12, and have almost always had pet fish since then. I had an aquarium on my desk during my first time around at university, and he would keep me company while I was studying. When I moved across the country I left my aquariums at my parents' place under their care until I return. It's been almost four years and after reading a news article the idea of getting another fish stuck in my head.
There is a hotel where guests can have a goldfish as part of their room rental. Housekeeping takes care of him for you, so you don't need to worry. They found that having a fish to come home to at the end of day made the guest's stay more enjoyable because they had someone to talk to.
This got me thinking about how much better studying was with a friendly fish on my desk.
Hubby and I went to the pet store last night (after having the bowl set up for a few days) and he immediately took to this particular fish. On the drive home we shot name ideas back and forth until we landed on Leonardo - like the Ninja Turtle!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
I submitted my resume to this company, got a call the next day, then had to wait a week for the interview because the HR person was going to be away. I had my interview yesterday morning, and received an offer that afternoon. I had a good feeling about this one from the start, so I'm pleased to say that I accepted it and will be starting on Tuesday (Monday is a holiday in Canada), working Monday to Friday with full time hours. Fabulous!
It's a lab tech job, much like where I was working before I quit to go back to school. I'm starting near the bottom of the ladder here, whereas I was supervisor (and manager just before leaving) at the previous lab. I'm perfectly fine with that - I need a job for the summer with no strings attached so I can get back into my studies once school starts up again. Bonus, there was talk about working part time during school.
Things are looking up!
Oh, and here's a photo that hubby sent me yesterday. He's in beautiful Jasper, Alberta for a few days with some buddies. I did not retouch the photo at all. Isn't it lovely?
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Back in my first term in my Nutrition and Food program I had to take a class in communication. One of the assignments was to create an info sheet, and my topic was "How to prepare your child's lunch." I read up a little on the topic and on of the things I found was that in school cafeterias where apples were offered, children did not select them. But when those apples had a sticker of a cartoon character they knew, they chose to have the apple. On that note, I've since learned that, because whole apples are difficult for kids to eat when their teeth are coming in, kids are less likely to eat a whole apple but will eat it when pre-sliced for them.
Anyways, I set out to make a fun lunch that would keep a kid fueled for the day, and then sent it to work with my husband. Yes, he's a big kid (and he loved the cheese airplanes).
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This happened only a few months ago. I was into the second round of midterms for my classes, and I had been doing fine. Stress was starting to rear it's ugly little head, I think, but I was doing OK. I had done well on the first set of midterms, but had a lot of studying to do again.
Warning: this post is slightly graphic, and might be a little too detailed for some people, so maybe don't read on if you're sitting down to lunch.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
|Infographic used with permission from Wilma Kirsten|
About 12 years ago is my first major IBS event. I was about to go into my last year of university for my biology degree. I had my thesis and research paper to take care of. Then I would have to apply for jobs in the real world. I was stressed about all that, and I never voiced it, but it was there deep inside me.
I started to get diarrhea shortly after finishing a meal. I was usually fine after breakfast, but lunch and dinner were the major concern. I worked out in farm fields as a research assistant that summer, so toilets were often not very close... that made things more stressful.
I called the doctor to make an appointment. I had been having diarrhea for a week. I don't remember what we went through in his office, but he sent me on to have an ultrasound and then see an internalist.
The ultrasound was an interesting experience, and I believe it didn't show anything of concern. When I saw the internist, he suggested that we do a biopsy. So I came back the next week, they gave me general anesthesia (knocked me out with gas) and they sent a tube and camera down my throat and cut a piece of tissue where it joins the stomach. He was looking to see if I had Crohn's disease (Crohn's at Wikipedia). The biopsy came back inconclusive as well, so he told me that I probably have IBS.
I continued to have diarrhea after many, but not all meals, particularly after eating out. I always carried a bottle of Pepto Bismol tablets with me (anti-diarrhea and other symptoms pill), and always knew where the nearest washrooms were. Now that I'm thinking back about it, I also knew all the stops I could make on my 45 minute drive into school in case I needed to use the rest room. This continued for the better part of a year. It was quite stressful, but luckily my family and boyfriend were very understanding and sympathetic for me.
One trigger food I discovered during this time is eggs. I am not allergic to them, but I have a food intolerance towards them. If I eat an egg on its own, I get diarrhea that day. My parents have a hobby chicken farm, so they changed the feed to a higher quality and that helped. I am currently able to eat one egg every few days. Not the store brand, but the omega-3 eggs or other designer (more expensive) eggs. I haven't had a problem with eggs in baked goods, etc, only on their own.
Prior to that I had to give up coffee for a few years because that was another trigger. I would enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, and then have to rush to the washroom during my first class. It made me sad to give it up, but luckily several years later I have discovered I am now ok drinking black coffee, and have been doing so for the past year or two now.
I know now that stress is a big factor when it comes to flare-ups of IBS for me, but sometimes it can be random. Something that I ate the day before may hit me in the morning and I have to rush off to the bathroom. For years now, I have always carried some pills in my purse for when it hits. I have also used digestive enzymes periodically, especially when eating out or away from home. I don't know if this helps, but it my also have a psychological benefit.
This is getting long, so stay tuned for part two of my life with IBS.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
I know that, personally, there are many good reasons why I need to get more sleep. All through high school, and even earlier now that I think back, if I didn't have enough sleep I would get migraines. My head would just kill, I would get spots on mu vision, and I would feel like I needed to throw up. Now that I'm nearly in my thirties I'm realizing that I haven't had one of those experiences for some time now. As we age, our bodies don't release as much hormone telling us that we MUST sleep, so maybe that's why. Who knows for sure.
I've also heard that when someone is sleep deprived they become paranoid. I can attest to that. When I haven't been getting enough sleep I start to see things out of the corner of my eye, or spots start to look like creeping bugs. (I strongly dislike bugs, and need glasses, so there are a lot of mistaken spots
when I'm tired.)
The third most noticeable side effect of insufficient sleep, for me, is that I cannot get enough sugar. All that I want to do is eat - and all my body is trying to do is find a quick source of energy because I've been depriving it of rest. I've noticed that the past two nights I've been up late and snacking at the same time. I need to stop this, if I'm to have any physical signs of success for my first weekly weigh-in on Monday.
This is my plan.... I know that I need 7, preferably 8, hours of sleep personally. So I'm going to set an alarm for 10:30 pm on my phone. When this goes off, I'm to go brush my teeth and get ready for bed. After that I can finish up whatever it is I was doing if I still feel it is necessary. Then I'm going to aim for getting my butt into bed at 11 pm, but definitely before 12 am. This way, I will be rested by the time 7 am rolls around. I know that it'll take a few days for my body to feel rested again, but this will help get things into order.
How do you make sure to get enough sleep?
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Many freak-outs and sleepless nights later, I have completed the first year. My overall GPA for the year is 3.2. I'm so excited about this! This is the magic number that I had been working towards. You see, when I applied they wouldn't let me into the Nutrition program, and instead I was admitted to the Nutrition and Food program. From here I have submitted an internal application to transfer programs. Students within the faculty are admitted first, then everyone else is considered (including other faculties and prospective students). There are only 60 students per year admitted to the Nutrition program at my University. That's a lot of competition.
I'm super pleased that I hit my goal for grades! I was worried and got quite depressed at the end of the term because I didn't think things went as well as they could have. Luckily, I pulled through. Now I have the next excruciating wait - to hear if I've been accepted into the Nutrition program. With it, I will be on track to becoming a Registered Dietitian. I will find out by the start of July.
Hubby and I celebrated the completion of our major tasks from the 8 months, that I had a job interview today, and took advantage of the gorgeous evening all in one shot. I made muffins and we shared one of our favourite beers and a cigar we bought during our honeymoon (the lighter we got in Jamaica too).
These muffins, by the way, are one of my absolute favourites. I simply must share the recipe with you right now!
Monday, May 06, 2013
I am still waiting on my grades for this past term to be posted, so I am still terrified and there is nothing more I can do to influence that situation. I did, however, take some time to sleep a few days away and pamper myself with a long bubble bath and finish a book I had been reading. I felt like things were starting to turn around after that.
I've got a loose plan of action for dropping off resumes more vigorously this week. Hopefully I'll have a lucrative and stress-free summer before returning to classes in the fall.
The other thing that I need to work on is my physical self. I really am about 20 or 25 pounds overweight, and I know for a fact that I have gained weight over the school year because pants which used to be loose now have me spilling over them. This is my beginning... Read on for all the gruesome details (and photos).
Sunday, May 05, 2013
|Image from Amazon.com|
What I did like about the book is that it made the entire diet (lifestyle, rather) feel very low-pressure. What I mean to say is that it presents you first with information as to why having excess fat around your middle is unhealthy, tells you what in your body is responsible for collecting the fat there, then it tells you how to work to fix this.
The book instructs you to eat healthy, eat when you're hungry (up to 3 hours between meals), eat until satiated but not stuffed, and to exercise about 30 minutes six times a week. All pretty basic stuff, but there was no nagging and talking down from the author. It even gives you a plan of action for those times you're standing in front of the fridge, looking for something to chew in times of boredom.
The main things off limits are white potatoes and corn. Limit sweets to once a day from a provided list. Limit beef to once a week.
It does say to have the following supplements twice a day: Vitamin C and fish oil at specified doses, and a B-complex vitamin according to your doctor's recommended dosage. I don't feel too comfortable with these recommendations. For the C and B vitamins, they are water soluble (our body excretes excess and doesn't store it) but it is still possible to consume toxic amounts through supplementation. There is less information about fish oils in published literature, but I still hesitate to take the capsule twice a day. These supplements, however, are the only directions that worry me within the book.
There is, however, one other thing to be skeptical about. The author says that you'll easily and safely loose more than 2 pounds a week on this diet. Maybe if you're going from the fast-food and prepackaged diet to the eat-fresh diet this would be true. I know for myself, making most everything from scratch and only drinking water and coffee, that any weight loss like this would be unhealthy.
Overall, it was a good read. There was a lot of basic information reviewed in a manner that was easy to understand. The included recipes weren't very exciting to me. Most importantly, I felt like the book was telling me to relax and be better to myself. I don't think this book will make me look like the cover model, but according to some of the reviews on Amazon.com, it will get me a lot closer than I am now.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
|Image from Google Books|
What struck me about the book is how I could draw a parallel between how he felt with his addiction to alcohol and drugs, and how I feel with processed sugars. I know it sounds extreme and I do not mean to belittle these harsh addictions. But I do feel that my body gets addicted to sugar, and some of my behaviours can be said to be similar. For example, I MUST have chocolate regardless of the consequences. I will sneak it when no one is looking. I will miss out on events just to stay home and enjoy it. I don't feel good after, but it is what I want and I must have it. There is no amount that will satisfy me. Seeing these characteristics in an addict was powerful. It helped me to solidify that I do have an addiction to sugar. It is easier to see these behaviours in myself now, and I can work towards controlling them, and not the other way around.