Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fluid Retention and Weight Loss

I have been retaining fluid this week.  And, as I shared in my last post, my weigh-in this week was very disappointing with a five pound gain.  So, I did a little research and I found the following tips:

Diet Changes That Can Help Relieve Water Retention
  • Reduce your sodium intake.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. 
  • Drink up to eight glasses of water a day.
  • Add 15 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, especially on the days you are retaining fluid. (Exercise reduces stress and promotes blood circulation, which creates a positive effect on your metabolism and this in turn assists the body in regulating itself.)
This morning I got up and did a 30 minute workout of walking/jogging in place, leg lifts, stretches and a little bit of dancing.  I hate watching a video to workout.  I prefer to either turn on some peppy music or just watch television and get moving.  

After my workout, I went to take my shower.  The whole time I was in the bathroom the scales were calling out to me.  So, against my better judgement, I decided to weigh again today.  (I usually don't allow myself to weigh more than once a week.)  But, it proved to be a positive experience; I had lost one and half pounds.

It was a relief to see a little bit of that gain was gone and it really gave me a boost of motivation for the week to come.

Till next time....God bless!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Weigh-In Friday

My morning did not start off "happy, happy, happy."  My weigh-in results almost had me bolting for the candy aisle to comfort myself.

I gained five pounds this week!  I know part of the reason is that I am retaining fluid; but I don't know why. I feel puffy and my hands and feet are swollen.

One of my medications was changed to a different brand, but it's basically the same thing I have been taking. I am getting more than my required water intake, it's basically all I drink.  I have been snacking on baby carrots and cucumber slices.  It's just so frustrating.

The good news:  I'm happy to report that I did not lose control or have a pity party while stuffing my face full of unhealthy junk foods.  I did allow myself a moment of pouting and then shook it off.

I am more determined than ever to stay on track and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'm getting my health back one day at a time.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Myths and Truths of Fad Diets

The Myth: Don't Eat Carbs
The Truth:  Our bodies need carbohydrates.  If you eliminate this nutrient from your diet completely, you could suffer a reduction of the hormones that control fat loss.  This reduction will make it harder to have the lean body you desire.  Good Rule to Follow:  Allow yourself more carbs on the days you are active and fewer on the days you're not.  Also, make sure the bulk of your carbs are obtained from whole foods such as fruits and vegetables.

The Myth: You Must Not Eat at Night
The Truth:  This is a very restrictive way to live and is not linked to any science-backed rules of weight loss.  The only way you will get fat by eating in the evening is by overeating.  If you know how many calories you should be consuming each day, you can consume those calories at whatever time of the day works for your body.

The Myth:  Fasting
The Truth:  Researchers at the University of Utah discovered that people who fasted one day each month were 40%  less apt to develop clogged arteries.  There are many different ways to fast.  An important thing to remember is to never feel that you have to eat if you’re not hungry.  Short daily fasts (for 12 to 16 hours) or a once-a-week daily fast can have health benefits.  It can also help you to learn the difference between boredom or thirst from true hunger.

The Myth:  Supplements for Weight Loss
The Truth:  You should build a foundation of healthy eating and exercise.  However, there are some supplements that can be beneficial in filling any nutritional deficiencies and help your body perform in a more efficient manner.  Using a supplement of 2,000 to 3,000 IU of Vitamin D3 is a wise investment  that will benefit your overall health and weight-loss goals.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More Tips and Facts to Aid Weight Loss

Did You Know?

Getting Enough Sleep can aid in weight loss.  Aim for seven to eight hours per night.  Going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday will help train your body clock - which will make it easier to go to sleep at night.  I personally do not get enough sleep.  I have suffered with insomnia since I was 15 years old.  I just wonder what would change if I did get sufficient sleep.

Stress can make you fat.  Secreting too much of the stress hormone cortisol can increase appetite (the body is trying to attain energy to manage the crisis).  Cortisol causes the extra weight to settle around your stomach, and fat around the belly is linked with heart attacks and strokes.  Exercise is the best cure for stress. Exercise releases endorphins, improves your mood, helps you sleep better and can clear the mind of worries.

Tomato Juice in place of your sports drink can help
post work-out inflammation.

Protein rich meals prevent the secretion of the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulate the release of the satiety hormone peptide YY.

Social Networking temporarily causes you to feel more connected to friends and family and gives your self-esteem a boost.  Unfortunately, there is a down side.  It decreases self-control.  One study showed that people who browsed for five minutes were more likely to choose an unhealthy snack after, than those who spent the same amount of time scanning a news site.  Don't worry, there's no need to stop surfing altogether - just stay away when your hungry, since that is when our will power is at it's lowest.

Eating With Chopsticks makes a meal an event, slows you down and helps prevent overeating.

Getting Off Your Bottom for about one additional hour a day can decrease stress, heighten your mood, energy, focus and productivity.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tomato-Melon Salad

This is another recipe I found that sounds really yummy!

Tomato-Melon Salad
Makes 4 Servings
50 Calories Per Serving

In a bowl, combine 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes, 2 cups seeded cucumber half-moons, 2 cups watermelon balls, and 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion.  Toss with 2 teaspoons thick, aged balsamic vinegar. Let stand 5 minutes, then sprinkle with leaves from a sprig of tarragon and cracked black pepper to taste.

(Instead of the vinegar I will use a Sun-Dried Tomato Vidalia Onion Dressing I love.)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cherry Cashew or Almond Bark

I came across this recipe the other day and thought it sounded really yummy.  It's a quick little recipe you can mix up for a snack or you can increase the ingredients and make a batch.  Either way it sounds like a yummy little chocolate "fix" for only 100 calories!

Cherry Cashew Bark
1/2 oz. Dark Chocolate Chips
1 tsp. Dried Cherries
1 tsp. Chopped Cashews or Almonds

Melt the chocolate chips, mix in other ingredients and let cool until set.  (100 Calories)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weigh-In Update

This past Friday's weigh-in went well with a two pound loss. That brings my total weight loss to eight pounds since returning from vacation. Although I would love to step on the scale and see a five or six pound loss; I am just so grateful for any progress.

Over the past weekend I faced a little bit of a challenge.  We had a birthday party for a dear friend and there was not only birthday cake, but there was also pecan pie there.  Those are two of my favorite sweet treats.  But, I am thrilled to report that I only had the smallest piece of birthday cake.  Not only was it small, it wasn't a corner piece with a lot of icing, which is my favorite part of a birthday cake.  I was so proud of myself for resisting the temptation to throw my will power out the window for the evening.

I feel like I am starting to make healthier choices without having to really think about it or feeling deprived of something.

This was just a short sweet entry to update my weight loss.  Keep watching; I have some exciting things I've been researching.  And, I will be sharing soon!  God bless!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight

Hallelujah!  There are foods that actually aid your weight loss efforts.  Better yet, in my research I have found some that I like.  Now I'm sharing them with you!  

Sunflower Seeds are full of mono and polyunsaturated fats, which help your body burn 23% more calories than saturated fat.  They're also loaded with protein and fiber which helps to keep you fuller longer.

Almonds contain mono-saturated fat which helps keep you fuller longer.  Additionally, foods that require a lot of chewing give you greater satisfaction.

Pears with their combination of water and fiber will fill you up and satisfy a sweet tooth.  In one study participants eating three pears a day lost almost 2 pounds in 10 weeks.

Watermelon with its high content of water keeps you full longer with few calories.

Spaghetti Squash is high in potassium and fiber and contains few calories.  It is a great swap for pasta.  I have actually used spaghetti squash in place of noodles and it is really good.  My guys like it too, which is a plus.

White Beans are low in fat and contain 4 grams of fiber per half cup serving.  Pureed, they can be a substitution for cream in soups.

Eggs eaten for breakfast in one study showed that dieters felt fuller longer and lost twice as much weight as those who got the same amount of calories from a bagel.  Eggs aren't just for breakfast, try adding them to a salad to give it staying power.

I will continue to search and share new and delicious finds with you.  I hope you are as excited as I am to try new and healthier options.  As always your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome!

God bless!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I had a challenging weekend.  There is no doubt, I am very human.  In order for this blog to benefit me and my readers I plan to be transparent with my failures as well as my successes.

It started off with an unhappy weigh-in on Friday morning.  I didn't gain.  For that fact alone I know I should have been happy.  But I really wanted to lose and I didn't.    

On top of being discouraged by my non-progress, I had started getting sick the prior evening.  Having just recovered from a stomach bug the week before; I was very disgusted that I was once again under the weather.  By late Friday evening my symptoms included fever, body aches, sinus congestion/pressure, headache, light headed, dizzy, general, I felt awful.  I was so weak that I stayed in bed all of Saturday and Sunday.    

Let's go back to early Friday...I started feeling a little sorry for myself, okay, maybe a lot sorry for myself. Not a good "head place" for someone trying to lose weight.  Eating has always been a comfort to me.  Being sick, depressed, happy, any emotion has been an excuse to celebrate or soothe with food.

So when we stopped by Andy's after lunch I ordered the medium Key Lime Pie Concrete knowing two things: 1) I didn't need it; I was full from lunch, and 2) the small had almost a whole day's worth of calories and I certainly did not have that many to spare.  

My internal dialogue went something like this:  "I deserve it, I don't feel good.  I don't get to have Andy's that often.  The Key Lime Pie is a seasonal flavor and if I don't order it today I probably won't get one until next year.  I really should order the small.  I mean it's not like I'm getting the large, that's a positive, right? No, not really.  Oh well, it's only this once!"  I know you know what I'm talking about! You've been there!

I'm betting that most of you also know how I felt after I ate that medium Key Lime Pie Concrete.  Not only did I feel sick because I was so full; I felt defeated for giving into my food demon.  Shame hit me pretty hard also, because I knew I had to blog about this failure.  

I promised myself when I started this journey that I would be painfully honest. Even if I only have one reader, I will tell the truth.  Because this journey isn't just about changing my life.  My hope is to encourage others in this battle.  I don't believe that will happen if I don't show you my human side.

Now that I have that off my chest....

No one said this would be easy.  It's important for me to remember that I can start over.  If I make a poor choice, it's not the end of the world.  I just have to end it, and not allow myself to spiral out of control.  No, I don't have to starve myself for the next two days.  I just have to make healthier choices and keep moving forward.

Till next time....God bless!! :)  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


We all know that exercise is important if we want to be successful at losing weight and keeping it off.  Regular exercise is also a great source of energy, produces feel good chemicals and relieves stress.

One major issue I have with exercise is that I get bored very quickly, so I need variety to keep me motivated.  The following are a few I plan to give a whirl.

With the exception of the jogging, these are simple, easy to do exercises that don't require a gym or any equipment.

  1. Jogging in Place  - Jogging in place is a great high impact aerobic exercise that can raise your heart rate quite high.  A 150 pound person burns 544 calories jogging in place for one hour.  You can jog in one place or around the room, kicking your feet really high and raising your arms to increase your heart rate.  
  2. Leg Lifts - Leg lifts are great for building up strength and muscles in your legs.  If you find it hard to do the exercises with your legs straight, try bending them slightly.  I am currently doing these.  I do 60 reps per leg in 10 set intervals.  I vary the position of my leg and I alternate flexing my foot for 10 reps and relaxing my foot for 10 reps.  I also vary lying on my side and on my back.
  3. Dancing - Dancing is a wonderful exercise, which is great for your heart.  Not only that, but it can lift your spirits as well.  This is a no-brainer for me.  I love music and I love to dance.  Furthermore, dancing doesn't feel like exercise; it's just fun!
  4. Walk in Place - Walking in place requires no special equipment and it won’t put a strain on your body while you do it.  Just march your legs up and down.  I'm gonna try doing this while watching television.  
I look forward to reporting on my progress.  In the meantime, if you have any exercises, tips or advice you would like to share; please feel free to comment.