Untethered… Good riddance forever, 200’s!

An encouraging weigh-in at Lindora this week! I have blown past the 200-pound milestone! Goodbye and good riddance, you pesky albatross around my neck. (Idiom Definition: An albatross around, or round, your neck is a problem resulting from something you did that stops you from being successful.)

Current weight: 197
Total pounds lost: 28
New goal weight (after doctor visit on Tuesday): 130
Pounds to go: 67
Contagious weight loss: 1 person has been inspired by my progress and joined Weight Watchers. Go YB!

Even with so much weight yet to lose, I feel free and untethered. I feel fantastic.

I can still live life and lose weight!
I haven’t weighed in for nine days, but I still lost about 5 pounds after a five-day break from the program, which included a three-day trip to Vegas for my 42nd birthday. I splurged, but I definitely modified my eating and didn’t go all out crazy like I normally would have. And no gym visits, but I ranged from 10,000-15,000 steps per day.

More reasons why Lindora is so great…
It’s been about a month since I completed my short, 4-week Lindora program. I’m still able to weigh in as part of their lifetime maintenance program. One Lindora consultant told me that once I’m 5 lbs past the last weight I was at on my last official day, the scale would lock me out of the computer. I’ve lost 10 lbs, and they’re still asking when I’ll be back.  I’ll keep going until they tell me I can’t.

Plus, I missed my usual Tuesday weigh-in and I received no less than 4 voicemails—“Care Calls”—from Lindora checking on me and making sure I’d come in to see them that week. That’s accountability right there—a critical component of weight loss success.

Did you know that during your birthday month, Lindora gives you 30% off all products and programs? I stocked up!  A word of warning: the discount only applies to ONE transaction. So make it count.

And I just discovered their Peppermint Cocoa Crunch bars. Amazing. Heavenly.

A few photos to share…

At work, instead of birthday cake, my colleague brought in yogurt, berries and granola to both celebrate and support my diet goals. She is so encouraging. Thanks JS! I am grateful!

This was my birthday dinner at the Harley Davidson Café in Las Vegas. My husband and I shared this platter. It was sooooo good… BBQ ribs, shredded pork, beef brisket, and chicken.

Reality check: This is me enjoying the harvest display in the Conservatory Garden at Bellagio, Las Vegas. I’m 25 pounds lighter here. Yey, me! But still plenty of junk in the trunk—and everywhere else.

This is me at a family party a week ago with my 19-year-old niece. I’m the one on the left, in case you couldn’t tell. : ) Anyway, she weighs 130 pounds. I asked if she’d pose next to me so I could have a vision of what 130 pounds looks like. It’s tiny!!! I know, I know. I’ll never again look like a 19 year old… I’m not that delusional. But it’s fun to envision being that fit again. THAT is within reach.

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Lindora’s Six Essentials for Success

Dr. Marshall Stamper’s Six Essentials for Success
(from Lean for Life, by Cynthia Stamper Graff)

  1. Make your goal “to learn to be lean for life.”
  2. Your level of interest and enthusiasm will determine your level of success.
  3. Learn to recognize and eliminate your defensive barriers.
  4. Learn to control cravings.
  5. Learn to use relaxation techniques and “stress less.”
  6. Follow the maintenance program for lasting success.

The “essential” that resonates the most with me is #2.

Interest and enthusiasm toward exercise is growing. I love working out at the gym and especially love that my husband and I are workout partners. We’re also looking for ways to get exercise beyond the gym. I’m looking into local places to hike. We’ll be participating in a local Walk to End Alzheimer’s event next month in memory of my Mom, who passed away four years ago from this despicable disease.

My interest and enthusiasm for food comes and goes. For example, salads were starting to bore the heck out of me. I was starting to skip them. Bad strategic move. Salads take a long time to eat and help to fill me up. So this past week I switched from having romaine lettuce twice a day to mixed greens. The small but important change was much needed. Mixed greens, pine nuts, balsamic vinegar and olive oil = yum.

This blog is playing a huge role in maintaining my level of interest and enthusiasm. When I wonder why I’m spending so much time typing up the food I’ve eaten (when I’ve already kept track of it in a small notebook I carry), I remember how reporting my actions to the blogosphere is providing me with critical accountability.

The blog also has me thinking about things in a way I wouldn’t otherwise. How can I help others with what I am learning? How can I learn from what others are doing?

I am over 20%—one-fifth of the way—toward my goal of losing 100 pounds, but I am constantly thinking about maintenance. I have lost a lot of weight before and gained it all back and then some. I want to focus on a permanent, lifetime change, not just how long it’ll take me to lose 100 pounds.

I am inspired by a blog called Former Fat Chik: 135 lbs lost! by Jess. She learned so much during her weight loss and now she’s sharing it with the rest of us. She has clearly found a huge new passion in life: nutrition and exercise. She is still enthusiastic and interested in food and fitness, and I imagine it’s her enthusiasm that keeps her successful in maintaining all her hard work.

What keeps you interested and enthusiastic about losing weight and staying in shape?

Here is my menu for the past week. Went off track a few times; we’ll see what that does to my weigh in on Tuesday. I’ve noticed that if I go off program, if I stay away from junk food, I still feel great and it doesn’t impact my weight loss too negatively.  I feel fantastic; I know I’m making progress.

Sunday September 11, 2011
Pedometer: 5,541
Exercise: None. Day off today.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
2:30pm 1/4 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 5
0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/4 c Carrots 4
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1 Orange 14
12 oz Diet Squirt
5pm 1 Bar 13
8pm Off Program at Black Angus ?
Bread/buttter, top sirloin steak, fried shrimp, orange slices, salad with carrots and croutons, dipped in dressing ?
Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cowboy Cookie with ice cream on top – shared with my husband ?
Total Carbs ???
Monday, September 12, 2011
Pedometer: 18,734
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 10 min crossramp, 45 min lower body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:45am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
1 c Strawberries 11
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/4 c Carrots 4
1/2 c Celery 1.5
1 T Fat free Italian dressing 1
3:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
5:30pm 1 oz String cheese 1
7pm 3 oz Carne asada (round steak) 0
4 4″ corn tortillas 16
1 ZonePerfect bar 13
Total Carbs 88.5
Tuesday September 13, 2011
Pedometer: 10,056
Exercise: No gym. Felt ill; went to be early.
Lindora weigh in: Lost 3 lbs since last Tuesday. : ) : ) : )
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:45am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1:30pm 1 Morningstar Veggie Burger 3
1 tsp Mustard 0
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
1/4 c Carrots 4
1 Orange 14
4:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
Total Carbs 81
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Pedometer: 12,731
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 45 min upper body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:30am 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
1 Coffee with 1 Tbsp cream 3
12:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
2:45pm 1 Lindora chocolate protein shake 1
5pm 4 Small hors d’ oeuvres (cheese, meat, cracker) 15
7pm 1 In N Out Burger 39
1 In N Out Fries 54
2 Tbsp Catsup 7
11:15pm 1 Lindora protein drink 3
Total Carbs 172.5
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Pedometer: 15,595
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 15 min crossramp, 15 min swimming
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:30am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
12:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
12 oz Diet root beer 0
2:30pm 1 bag Lindora onion soy puffs 8
12 oz Diet Pepsi 0
4:15pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm Shrimp Salad:
2.5 oz Shrimp 1
1 tsp Olive oil 0
1 clove Garlic 0
1 wedge Lemon 1.5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1/2 c Celery 1.5
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
9pm Half Lindora protein drink 1.5
11:15pm Half Lindora protein drink 1.5
Total Carbs 92
Friday, September 16, 2011
Pedometer: 12,154
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 10 min crossramp
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1 mug Coffee with 1 Tbsp creamer 3
1pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
4pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
6:30pm Approx 10 cups Air popped popcorn 48
4 Tbsp Butter (44 grams of fat, 400 calories) 0
Approx 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (3 grams of fat) 0
10:15pm 1 Lindora protein drink 3
10:45pm 1 Lemon Tea (1 lemon wedge, artificial sweetener) 1.5
Total Carbs 119
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Pedometer: 11,091
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, lower body strength training (alternate routine), 20 min swimming
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
9am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
2pm 1 Lindora mocha protein shake 1
8pm 1 Lindora wildberry passion protein drink 3
8:30pm 4 oz Chipotle chicken 1
1 c Romaine lettuce 1.5
1/2 c Pico di gallo (tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lemon) 5
1 oz Cheese 0
2 Lemon wedges 3
9:30pm 1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
10:45pm 1 Lemon Tea (1 lemon wedge, artificial sweetener) 1.5
Total Carbs 41.5

Weighty weight. 22 pounds down. 78 to go.

“When you believe that what you do influences the results you get, you will see yourself as someone who can act effectively to get what you want.”
—Cynthia Stamper Graff, Lean for Life

I weighed in today at Lindora.*  I’ve lost three pounds this week, for a total of 22 pounds since getting serious on July 25. Nice, slow and steady. Only 78 pounds to go…

It was a successful week of both weight loss and intentional moderation. I lost this weight by working out at the gym for five out of seven days, and eating on program for every meal except two:

  1. Thursday – slice of Costco pizza
  2. Sunday – dinner at Black Angus: top sirloin steak, fried shrimp, bread and butter, cheesy bread, salad (light dressing), orange slices. For dessert, a big cookie with ice cream on top (which I shared with my husband).

20 lbs of beans representing 20 lbs of fat. Gone.

Shopping at Costco recently, I looked for something that weighed exactly 20 pounds. I picked up a bag of pinto beans and handed it to my husband. He looked at me quizzically.

“Honey, feel how heavy this is. That’s how much I’ve lost!”

He was suitably impressed.

On The Biggest Loser, there was a great episode where the finalists had to carry all of the weight they had lost as they ran through an obstacle course. Each stage in the course represented a week on the show. They dropped that week’s worth of weight at each stage until they were finally light and free. It was so symbolic… To be reminded of how heavy you were compared to how light you are now.

Every now and then along this weight loss journey, I’m going to lift up something that represents how much weight I’ve lost. I want to remind myself just how heavy that weight was. And how unburdened I am by it now. And how I never want to carry that weight again.

I still have a long way to go, but I want to celebrate my accomplishments so far. I’m already seeing major benefits…

  • My size 20 slacks are too big and baggy to wear to work. I look sloppy in them. Looking sloppy is the complete opposite of why I want to lose weight. I need to find my box of smaller clothes in the garage this weekend.
  • My feet no longer hurt when I stand up after sitting for a long time.
  • My lower back is no longer stiff and sore when I wake up in the morning.
  • I am no longer sucking air while climbing the steep hill from the parking lot to our office each morning.
  • I am no longer out of breath when hustling from the parking lot to the movie theater.
  • I have a lot of flexibility and ease of movement. I can easily touch the floor while keeping my legs straight.
  • My arms and legs are firmer.
  • A day of cleaning house and doing other household chores no longer makes me feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck.

If I’m feeling this great after only losing 22 pounds, I’m already imagining how much better it’s going to feel to be another 22 pounds lighter.  Onward and downward!

* Although I’ve completed the 4-week Lindora program I purchased, I’m still able to weigh in if I’m within five pounds of my last weigh in on the program. One more pound lost and I’ll be locked out of their computer. No worries. I think I’ll be fine on my own. I’ve got this down pat!

How do you celebrate your weight loss accomplishments?

Steam Room Diary: Benefits of the Steam Room

I have a new motivation for exercise, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post. It’s the time I get to spend in the steam room after my workout. It’s what I think about as I pack my gym bag and get out of the house in the evening instead of sitting on the sofa and watching TV.

At first glance, there is nothing impressive about the steam room at the LA Fitness gym. I’m pretty sure the tile hasn’t been scrubbed in quite a while. When I popped my head inside the first time, it smelled a little musty. The plaster on the ceiling was peeling. There were paper towels papier mached to the floor and benches. There was an empty water bottle. I ignored the room the first couple of weeks at the gym, wondering why anyone would want to go in there.

One Saturday, my husband suggested enjoying the co-ed sauna before getting into the pool. During our first visit, we had a nice chat with a woman who was a veteran sauna user. She recommended we bring a towel next time as her son got a staph infection from a sauna. As we chatted with her, I tried to enjoy the dry heat. I was having a hard time breathing. My skin felt funny. I think it was because I was sweating, but my sweat was immediately evaporating. After just a few minutes, I told my husband I had to leave.

The next time he suggested the sauna, I asked if he wouldn’t mind trying the steam room instead. He agreed, so we went to our prospective steam rooms in the locker rooms. Despite not being able to hang out with him, I loved the steam room. I wanted more of the steam room.

Now, after every workout, I head to the locker room and dress down to flip flops, sports bra and panties, or I’ll don my swimsuit if we’re going swimming afterwards. I take an extra towel to sit on and go to the steam room.

Breathing feels good. It smells of eucalyptus and soothes my throat and nasal passages. I can feel my skin cleansing and detoxing. It can feel my muscles relaxing.

Time slows down as I close my eyes and become completely aware of breathing and sweating. It’s almost a spiritual experience, and my thoughts turn toward God. I can feel my pores releasing drops of moisture. It tickles as it trickles down my face, arms, chest and back. It’s like slow motion. But time goes very fast. What seems like five minutes is really twenty.

Living in Southern California, the heat is dry. In general, dry heat is more tolerable than humidity. I have family in Tennessee and have learned that 80 degrees and humid is miserable there compared to 100 degrees and dry here. However, in the summer the inside of my nose cracks and bleeds. The skin on the tips of my fingers and the heels of my feet split. I use a lot of lotion during the day and at night, Neosporin and bandaids on my dry heat wounds. The steam room is a relief.

The benefits of the steam room seem obvious, but I wanted to learn more. Check out Sauna and Steam Bathing:

Steam baths are known for their relaxation and deep skin cleansing, but steam room benefits also include:

  • relief from muscle soreness
  • relief from stiff joints
  • immune system enhancement
  • lymph detoxification
  • blood circulation improvement
  • sinus congestion relief

I especially like this reason:

Pain Relief
Heat has been known to be effective against joint and muscular pain. It causes your blood vessels to expand, which increases blood circulation. As a result, more oxygen and nutrients can reach damaged parts of your body.

This has the double effect of temporarily reducing or stopping pain and increasing your body’s healing rate.

Spend 10 or 15 minutes in a steam room after you exercise for example, and you’ll help speed up healing of damaged muscle tissue.

The website has a section comparing the benefits of the sauna vs. the steam room. It sounds like the benefits are very similar; it’s just a matter of personal preference which one you use.

Do you like to use either the sauna or steam room? Which one? Why?

Here’s yesterday’s food:

Saturday, September 10, 2011
Pedometer: 13,038
Exercise:  35 min treadmill, 45 min upper body strength training, 30 min swimming
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
7:45am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
6 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
11:45am 1 ZonePerfect Chocolate Almond Raisin bar 13
2:30pm 1 Lindora vanilla protein shake 11
12 oz Diet Mug Root Beer 0
8pm 1 Lindora Wildberry Passion protein drink 3
9pm 1 bag Lindora Onion Soy Puffs 8
9:30pm 1 wedge Lemon tea with artificial sweetner 1.5
Total Carbs 50.5

Steam Room Diary: Unwelcome Companions

Photo by Sean Hanlon

During the day, I have found myself looking forward to the feeling I have at the end of my evening workout at the gym. The workouts themselves feel great. I’m kind of addicted! But it’s the feeling I get during my twenty minutes in the steam room, followed by my long, hot shower, that I like best. While my husband drives us home, my whole body feels sated and relaxed.

The steam room experience isn’t always consistent.  The best sessions are when I have the place to myself. I tune everything out. The hissing of the steam vents. The chatter in the locker room on the other side of the glass door. The splashing in the nearby pool. The thumping of the weights hitting the floor a couple of rooms away (took me a while to figure out what that sound was). It’s a great time to breathe easy, to think about nothing, to thing about everything, or to pray. Time slows down. I can completely relax.

But I’m not always alone. The best steam room companions are quiet, stay put, and are modest. Apparently, those are rare.

Instead, there are plenty of women who disturb the steam room peace. There is the pre-teen who can’t stand the heat and keeps stepping outside to cool off (where is her mother?), letting all the steam escape. Then there is the woman who walks in naked and sits on the platform. Who knows when that platform was last cleaned, and she’s adding her own ick to it.  Or the women who come in and talk too much.

Then there is the worst peace killer. It’s the chubby, top heavy white woman who comes wrapped in a towel with a bottle of lotion. She sits on her towel, wearing nothing, and pours lotion into her hands, then starts rubbing it all over her body. The extra wet lubrication of lotion on sweaty skin is positively obscene and absolutely revolting. Even more disturbing are the groans she makes. What the ****? Can it get any worse? Yes. She starts slapping herself, hard, all over her body. And the groans continue. Then suddenly she stops and runs out of the room to the shower. She’s back in a minute to continue her ministrations to herself…

I stayed in the steam room the first time because I was so curious to see what she would do and just how far she would go in this semi-public place. It was just that bizarre. It was like a train wreck. But a couple of nights later, five minutes into my steam room session, in she comes with her bottle of lotion. I had to leave. I couldn’t allow my eyes and ears to be subjected to that again. And I wasn’t brave enough to ask her what she was doing. Whatever it was, it made her feel good. But it ruined my good feelings. Yuck.

I went home and Googled “slapping skin in steam room,” trying to determine if I was witnessing a cultural thing. In Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia, there is a tradition of hitting fellow sauna-goers with leafy, wet birch bunches (according to Wikipedia). Also, everything I read about steam rooms is that they are completely nonsexual in all cultures. There are even coed, mandatory nudity rooms in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

So flappy, slappy, nasty lady is apparently a phenomenon—a very unwelcome one, at that.

As long as I don’t run into her, my steam room sessions are awesome.

Here is my food for the past week.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Pedometer: 16,205
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 20 min ab workout
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
7:45am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
6 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
11am 1 Lindora Oatmeal Raisin protein bar 13
1 Coffee with creamer 3
1:45pm 1 Morningstar Veggie Burger 3
1 tsp Mustard 0
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
4:30pm 1 oz String cheese 1
7pm 1 c Edamame soy beans (measured in pods) 10.5
1 Orange 14
11:15pm 1 Lindora orange protein drink 3
Total Carbs 71.5
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Pedometer: 13,498
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 30 min lower body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:30am 1 Lindora Oatmeal Raisin protein bar 13
1 Coffee with creamer 3
1pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
1 c Strawberries 11
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
5pm 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
7pm 2.5 oz El Pollo Loco chicken 0
2 c El Pollo Loco salad 3
1/2 c El Pollo Loco Pico di Gallo 5
Lots Diet Coke 0
11:30pm 1 Lindora Wildberry Passion protein drink 3
Total Carbs 85
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Pedometer: 14,591
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 15 min crossramp, 20 min water aerobics
Notes: A bad day. I was tired and bummed out. Felt like a spoiled brat, like it wasn’t fair that I had to eat right. I stayed on track anyway. Huge success, though – I felt terrible physically but still went to the gym. It was AWESOME. It felt great. It completely changed how I felt in every way.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:15am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
12pm 1 ZonePerfect Trail Mix bar 13
Coffee with 2 creamers 6
2:30pm 1 bag Lindora Onion Soy Puffs (Excellent!) 8
4:30pm 1 ZonePerfect Chocolate Mint bar 13
6:30pm 1 Egg 1
1/2 small Tomato 5
1/4 c Onion 3
1/2 small Grapefruit 10
Lots Water 0
8:30pm 8 oz Lindora Chocolate protein shake 1
11pm 1 Lindora Orange protein drink 3
Total Carbs 90
Friday, September 9, 2011 – Protein Day and Free Meal
Pedometer: 9,537
Exercise: Nothing formal
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:45am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
12:30pm 1 bag Lindora Onion Soy Puffs 8
2:45pm 1 ZonePerfect Trail Mix bar 13
4:30pm 8 oz Lindora Chocolate protein shake 1
7pm 1 slice Coscto pizza slice 65
Half Costco hot dog with bun (no toppings) 24
Total Carbs 126

How ***Not*** to Have a Weekly “Free” Meal(s)

Now that I’m on my own and not “officially” on Lindora (e.g. no more clinic visits), I can already sense the freedom. That isn’t necessarily a good thing.

I went into the Labor Day weekend fully intending to stay on track. Friday was a protein day. I had lunch with a friend, and instead of eating out, I suggested we meet in a park. We chatted while I ate my ZonePerfect protein bar. She ate a sandwich. We saved money and calories. I talked and talked about the Lindora program, all excited about it. For dinner, I ate a salad and pico di gallo at El Pollo Loco instead of just eating the chicken breast (no skin). Because of that, it wasn’t a perfect protein day.

Saturday was going great until a stressful incident threw me off kilter… a tiff resulting in anger and frustration. After that, I had a great workout at the gym. There’s nothing like being pissed off to make you want to kick some butt on the treadmill, the crossramp, and the weights. In the car, I downed my Lindora protein drink. When I got home, I remembered that I hadn’t had my “free” meal for over a week. So I decided to end my extremely great workout session with a big bowl of popcorn with butter and parmesan. Odd choice. (Not so odd. It was emotional eating. Plain and simple. See how I tried to justify it?)

Chili Cheese Fries at The Hat

Chili Cheese Fries at The Hat

Sunday afternoon, my husband asked me if I was ready for my weekly free meal. I said, it depends on where. I didn’t tell him I’d already had popcorn the night before. (Interesting, missy.) He parked at The Hat. I ate a small hamburger with mayo, mustard and ketchup. And a bunch of chili cheese fries. They were good, but I didn’t stop when I was feeling full. We didn’t finish all of them. (See how I try to make it okay? Small burger? We didn’t finish all the fries?) I was uncomfortably stuffed afterwards.

And by the way… there were a lot of fat people at The Hat. Maybe I’m just noticing my people more. Seeing what I don’t want to be anymore.

We spent the next few hours at the movies. (We saw The Debt. Quite good. I liked it.)

Cheesecake Factory Lemoncello Cream Torte

Lemoncello Cream Torte™ Layers of Vanilla Cake and Lemon Mascarpone Cream Topped with Streusel and Served with Strawberries and Whipped Cream.

After the movie, where did we go? Cheesecake Factory. For appetizers, dessert and coffee. I had the Lemoncello Cream Torte. I didn’t finish all of it. (There I go again, trying to make it sound better.) But I was so full it hurt.

This morning I woke up feeling like I had a hangover. I had to take an antacid. My stomach roiled.

Thinking it through… Physically, my body now knows it’s not starving, so knows it can let go of the fat. Mentally this is a reminder of how it feels to eat crap. Eating crap makes you feel like crap. Emotionally, I know that trying to be perfect will only set me up for failure. I need a relief valve; I just need to shut it off sooner. Moderation isn’t just about having a “free” meal—it’s how much you eat during your “free” meal. And let’s not forget it means having only one “free” meal, not three!!!

So I’m going to stop “crying,” pick myself up, shake it off, and go back and play.

Today I had a perfect protein day and another kick-butt workout at the gym. And I will continue to stay on track every day. Until my birthday, which is coming up in a few weeks. Then I will, once again, get back on track the very next day.

I do want to continue with the “free” meals—but only once a week, not three times in a row. And that meal shouldn’t be gluttonous. This was not a good example of how to use the weekly “free” meal.  Live and learn.

MorningStar Farms Grillers OriginalHere’s my menu for the past few days. It includes a new-to-me discovery: MorningStar Farms Grillers Original veggie burgers. Incredibly good, especially with a little mustard on top. From now on, these will always be in my freezer. They are Lindora authorized because they are under 5 carbs per serving (3 useable carbs) and include 15 grams of protein.

Saturday, September 3, 2011 – “Free Meal(s)” Part I
Pedometer: 12,871
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 10 min crossramp, 45 min upper body strength training, abs
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 1 c Skim milk 12
3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
12:45pm 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
3pm 1 Lindora chocolate protein shake 1
5pm 1 Lindora orange protein drink 3
7pm Approx 10 cups Air popped popcorn 48
4 Tbsp Butter (44 grams of fat, 400 calories) 0
Approx 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (3 grams of fat) 0
Total Carbs (Approx) 95
Note: Pretty amazing that my carb count was reasonable after that popcorn!
Now if I could just eat it without the butter and parmesan. : )
Sunday, September 4, 2011 – “Free Meal(s)” Part II
Pedometer: Didn’t wear today.
Exercise: None. Day off today.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
9am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
6 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11:30am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1pm 1 Morningstar Veggie Burger 3
1 tsp Mustard 0
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1 c Cucumber 3
Half Small Grapefruit 10
1 slice Lemon 1.5
1 tsp Olive oil 0
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
5:15pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
6:30pm 1 The Hat hamburger with bun, ketchup, mustard, mayo ?
Lots The Hat chili cheese fries ?
Lots Water 0
10:30pm ? The Cheesecake Factory appetizers: shrimp, fried cheese ?
? The Cheesecake Factory Lemoncello Torte Cake ?
Total Carbs Unknown
Monday, September 5, 2011
Pedometer: 13,905
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 15 min crossramp, 15 min rowing machine,
1 hr upper body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
9am 1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 1 ZonePerfect bar – Trail Mix 13
1pm 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
2:30pm 1 Lindora Mocha protein shake 1
6:30pm 1 Lindora Wildberry Punch protein drink 3
8:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar – Chocolate Caramel Cluster 13
Total Carbs 48

Lindora Kick-Start Complete; I’m on My Own

Edamame. Photo by Tammy Green (aka Zesmerelda) from Chicago Upscale Dining + Lounge Republic Pan-Asian Restaurant

I completed my 4-week program at Lindora on Tuesday, August 30. My weigh-in that day showed I had lost 18 pounds so far. It’s a great kick start toward my 100 pound weight loss goal. The 4-week program helped to re-educate me and get my head in the game.

I’m on my own now, but am confident that between the accountability of having this blog and the support of my online community, friends, colleagues, and especially my husband, I can step out of this fat suit I’m wearing… forever.

I plan to make some adjustments to my program that aren’t “authorized” by Lindora. Here are some of the “rules” I’ve already broken, but am still losing weight:

  • Eating string cheese instead of nasty fat-free cheese. One ounce has 1 carb and 6 grams of fat. A very satisfying morning snack. And I’m still losing weight.
  • Adding 2 tablespoons of sugar-free, liquid Coffee-mate vanilla creamer to my coffee each morning (the fat-free version has more carbs, so I don’t use it). The Lindora program only authorizes 1 teaspoon of non-dairy, powdered, fat-free creamer. Nasty. That’s just not right. You just don’t mess with a good cup of coffee. I’m happy with my substitution. And I’m still losing weight.
  • Eating ZonePerfect bars instead of Lindora-only protein bars. Half the cost, but with the same nutritional benefits and taste. And I’m still losing weight.
  • Eating Edamame as a protein/vegetable portion. Edamame is too nutritionally balanced to be ignored. It’s a perfect combo of protein, carbs and fiber. I’m just going to be careful to limit my portions. I have only had it twice this week, so we’ll see how it impacts my diet, positive or negative.
  • Having a “free” meal once a week.

Here are rules I don’t intend to break, but know I will if I’m not careful:

  • Continue to measure my food; don’t eyeball it and call it good. The little devil on my shoulder will let me lie to myself and deem something a half of a cup when it is really three-quarters of a cup.
  • Continue to have 1 protein-only day per week.
  • Stay out of the rut of eating the same foods every day. To be creative in food preparation.

Lindora encourages moderate exercise. Ten years ago I lost 60 pounds on Lindora by following the program and walking every day, so I know walking is enough to do the trick. This time around, my husband and I are doing much more than walking. We’re building muscle. Muscle burns more calories, even at rest. And I want that muscle to tone all my soon-to-be-formerly-floppy areas. And it’s fun. It feels good to feel stronger and firmer.

Here’s my menu from the past week. (I’m trying a new format to make it more readable. Pretty easy – I typed it up in Microsoft Excel and copy/pasted into the post.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Pedometer: 14,222
Exercise: Nothing formal, but lots of activity… Clean house, mow grass, etc.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
12pm 2.5 oz Chicken breast 0
2 tsp Olive oil 0
1/4 c Carrots 4
1 c Strawberries 11
2:30pm 1 ZonePerfect nutrition bar* 13
4pm 1 oz String cheese 1
6pm 2.5 oz El Pollo Loco chicken 0
2 c El Pollo Loco salad 3
1/2 c El Pollo Loco Pico di Gallo 5
9:30pm 1 cup Lindora Creamy Hot Cocoa 6
Total Carbs 72
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Pedometer: Forgot to wear
Exercise: None. Our day off.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
Starbucks Coffee 0
Creamer 3
3pm 1/2 c Athenos Greek plain, fat-free yogurt 5
1 c Strawberries 11
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumbers 1.5
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
12 oz Diet Rootbeer 0
6pm 1/2 c Cottage cheese, fat free 4
2 Tbsp Salsa 4
Half Small grapefruit 10
8pm 1 oz String cheese at a movie 1
1 ZonePerfect bar at a movie. Hungry. 13
Total Carbs 103
Monday, August 29, 2011
Pedometer: Forgot to wear
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 8 min rowing machine, 30 min upper body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am Lindora French Toast
1 slice Whole wheat bread 11
1 Egg 1
1 Tbsp Skim milk 1
Dash Nutmeg, cinnamon 0
Approx 10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1:45pm 2.5 oz Chicken breast 0
1/2 c Stewed tomatoes 5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1 Orange 14
4pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
6:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
2/3 c Raspberries 10
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1 c Cucumber 3
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
11pm 1 Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink 1
Total Carbs 81
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
***LAST DAY of my 4-week Lindora program. On my own now!!!!***
Weigh-in: 207 lbs (-2 lbs); Blood pressure 120/80
Pedometer: forgot to wear
Exercise: 30 min treadmill; we did more, but I forgot to write it down!
8am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – Toast 11
1 Egg 1
4 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
2/3 c Raspberries 10
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Green beans 4
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 6.5
4pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 2.5 oz El Pollo Loco chicken 0
2 c El Pollo Loco salad 3
1/2 c El Pollo Loco Pico di Gallo 5
Lots Diet Coke 0
11pm 1 Lindora Wildberry Passion protein drink 3
Total Carbs 75.5
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Pedometer: 16,908
Exercise: 35 min treadmill, 30 min lower body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – Toast 11
1 Egg 1
4 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
10:30am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1 mug Coffee 0
1 Tbsp Creamer 3
1:30pm 1 c Edamame soy beans (measured in pods) 10.5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1 Orange 14
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
4:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 2.5 oz Shrimp 1
1 tsp Olive oil 0
1 clove Garlic 0
1 wedge Lemon 1
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1/4 c. Chinese pea pods 5.5
Half Grapefruit 10
1/4 c Raspberries 3
12 oz Diet Pepsi 0
11pm 1 Lindora Orange Protein Drink 3
Total Carbs 89.5
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Pedometer: 13,343
Exercise: 25 min treadmill, 3 min elliptical, 20 min pool – water aerobics
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – Toast 11
1 Egg 1
4 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
10am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1 mug Coffee 0
1 Tbsp Creamer 3
1pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
1/2 c Nectarine 8
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1/4 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
3:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 1 c Edamame soy beans (measured in pods) 10.5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1 Orange 14
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
1/2 c Sugar free Jello 0
11pm 1 Lindora Mocha protein drink 1
Total Carbs 92
Friday, September 2 – Protein Day until dinner
Pedometer: 7,642
Exercise: None. Gym closes earlier on Fridays, so we’ll for sure go tomorrow
8am 1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
10am 1 Lindora chocolate shake 1
11:45pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
1:30pm 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
3:45pm 1 Lindora chocolate protein bar 13
6pm 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
7pm 2.5 oz El Pollo Loco chicken 0
2 c El Pollo Loco salad 3
1/2 c El Pollo Loco Pico di Gallo 5
Lots Diet Coke 0
9pm 1 ZonePerfect bar (3rd bar today! At movies and hungry) 13
Total Carbs 67