Monday, March 24, 2014

Weighing in!

If you are like me, you can be a little obsessed with the scale. It can drive you crazy, because fluctuations vary widely. Different hour, different day, different weight.

 It shouldn't alter our moods or our eating plans, but oh, it does!  If the scale shows a loss, well sometimes that's enough to give us some wiggle room to overeat. We feel happy, and  why shouldn't we reward ourself with ______(fill in the blank here).

If the scale is showing a gain, well then watch out world, because our moodiness is going to show. We will lose our confidence, question if what we are doing is right for us, and often cause more damage because we feel angry and depressed.

Yes, the scale is only one way to measure our success or lack of regarding weight loss. Looking better in photos, clothes loosening up, fitting in those skinny jeans again, and a whole variety of other variables are excellent ways to track our progress. But for me, I still like to see what the scale has to say. 

If you have ever seen a stock market graph of a stock that's performing well, you know you want to see it trend upward. Just the opposite of weight loss. 

But if you look closely at the graph below, you see there are minor ups and downs on the way up. What's important is not the day to day variations, but the way it's trending, and the ultimate place it gets to.

That's how it is with our weight too. There will be variations and little dips up and down on a daily basis. But you have to stand back and look at the bigger picture to see which way you are trending.

I feel better when I weigh myself each day. I've tried to put the scale away, go by how my clothes feel, weigh myself once a week, once a month, etc., etc.. That just doesn't work for me. I know there will be daily fluctuations, but for my peace of mind, I want to check in each day. Or at the very least every few days.

 I recently found this great app called Happy Scale and I just started using it. You put your weight in each morning and it will graph it for you. I really think I'm going to like it because it smooths out the little blips of up and down weight loss and shows your graph and how you are trending. Hopefully it's down.

Here is what the app creator wrote about it:

Creator of the app here. I made it because all my life, those fluctuations ruined my diet. I would obsess over seeing a new low number every morning, and every time I didn't, the whole day was a failure. So I'd go at diet and exercise with all my energy, trying to get lower every day. But it was never sustainable, and I burned out a few weeks in more times than I can remember. 

I later read a book called "The Hacker's Diet" that described averaging out the fluctuations, and I found a free website called "Physics Diet" where they did this averaging. I used Physics Diet for a long time, but I really wanted to have it as an app on my phone. Hence, Happy Scale. 

I hope you are finding the app helpful! I have plans to add more features, and it's been an incredible journey to work on it and hear from people who are using it to realize their goals!

I'll let you know more after I try it for a few weeks. I have it on my phone and so far it seems very easy to use and understand.

Check it out here:

I am still adhering to a grain free, and wheat free eating plan. I slip every now and then and have some potatoes, but not often. I am really learning that for some people like myself, probably from years of yo-yo dieting, I have damaged my metabolism to the point that even a little too many carbs can make me gain. Finding that magic number of carbs you can eat and still continue to lose is difficult. 

Right now I am tracking EVERYTHING in Myfitness pal. This is another great app and I have it on my laptop, iPad and iPhone. It can scan bar codes, calculate recipes, set goals and if you have a fitness tracker ( I just bought the Fit bit one) it will sync your activity to it. I'm only concerning myself with net carbs (total carbs minus the fiber in a food item) and trying to stay as low as I can in that area. It's usually about 30- 40 gms of carbs a day, and higher on the weekends.

Losing weigh is hard, but there are definitely some advantages these days with the many apps to help us meet our goals. How is everybody out there doing?

As always sending love and hugs from me to you!

Thought for the day:  Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another - Walter Elliot

Friday, March 7, 2014

Springing into action!

Good morning everyone. I have been an absent blogger lately. I wasn't feeling inspired, and didn't feel like I had anything worthwhile to talk about. If you know me, you probably find that hard to believe. Truth is I have been involved in some very good Facebook groups and that has taken up some of my time.
 But I feel I still have so much to share on this continual journey to good health, so I'm going to have a go at it. It's been a long rough winter here in the northeast consisting of snowstorms and dreary days. With the promise of some temperatures in the 50’s this weekend, and the changing of the clocks (oh, how I hate that we do this twice a year), the promise of spring is visible on the horizon. I swear I can smell it in the air too.

I have too much to say in one post, but I’ll start with this. I realize that we all arrive at our own conclusions over time,  as to what we think is the right way to eat, the most healthy way to eat, and the way to eat and live that is least harmful to our environment and our bodies. We are fed a lot of information through all of our media sources. It’s your own choice what to believe and practice in your own life, and I admit it can be overwhelming.

A few years ago, I started a serious journey into getting healthy. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned and the things I changed in my own life. Did it lead me to my weight loss goal? Not yet, but I’m getting there.

I credit Jorge Cruise and the original Belly Fat Cure book for changing my thinking on many things. He taught me to severely limit foods with sugar (natural and processed), to count the carb content in the food I eat, and to rid myself of artificial sweeteners.  Through that process I met many of my dear blogger friends, and although our paths have gone in different eating directions, we still cheer each other on and offer support.

Those original Belly Fat Cure principles I still adhere to and whole heartedly belief in. I limit carbs, limit sugars, and haven’t had a diet soda or product with the bad stuff  (aspartame, sucralose, saccharin) in years.

Further research led me to some of Jorge’s’ other plans like the Fast Track where you really limit the carbs, and The 100 plan where you count the “sugar calories” which is really a way of counting carbs. I continued to learn, and along the way I found the wonderful Maria Emmerich, some great blogger food sites (I’ll list them in an upcoming post), Dr. William Davis (Wheat Belly) and Dr. DavidPerlmutter  ( Grain Brain).

With a few exceptions, all the basic premises that these wise people preach are similar. To be healthy you have to abstain from inflammatory foods, too many carbs, too much sugar, and processed foods. You have to be low carb and low sugar to keep your insulin levels down and prevent the wild fluctuations that lead to eating the wrong foods in the wrong quantities. All of these people believe this includes elimination  of wheat except Jorge Cruise.

I confess I bought the Wheat Belly book a year ago. I couldn’t wrap my head around life without wheat. I tried it a few times, but fell off the wagon here and there. January , 2014 I gave it a real solid effort, and I am making it work. It’s not always easy, but it’s always possible.

For me I buy into the whole scientific premise that Dr. Davis presents in his book, which is  wheat is addicting, harmful, causes inflammation throughout the body, and causes a domino effect of health problems like heart disease, diabetes, metabolic disorders, stomach problems etc. that we are seeing in increasing numbers throughout our population .

Dr. David Perlmutter expands on the wheat problem but focuses more on what it does to our brain. Isn’t it true we see and hear of more cases of Alzheimer ’s disease and dementia than ever before? He presents some eye opening information.

So that’s where my new journey begins, as a wheat free individual. I am learning so much and I believe this is the right path for me. I love not having cravings and binges over pasta and bagels anymore. I love the recipes that I am trying and I will share a lot of the good ones in the weeks to come.

It’s amazing how much I have learned and how badly I treated my body back in my twenties and thirties. I wish I knew what I know now, and would have fed my boys better. I allowed too much processed foods, trips to McDonalds, junk and candy. I wouldn’t dream of buying a sugary cereal now, but I allowed it then. Live and learn right?

If you are reading this post, I know you are on a journey of your own. Let’s continue the road together.

Sending love and hugs to you all!!

Thought for the day: I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Maya Angelou