May 082015
 

Hello friends!!!

Last time I posted I talked about Seattle Sutton’s and I have stayed with my weight loss plan since then (which was mid-January).

This is truly MY weight loss plan because it has measurable steps and results that I am totally in charge of. This is the first time I really found my groove with the way I learn…through practice and being accountable to just myself.

What I’m looking for is success in consistency, a regular rate of weight loss during this phase, which I have…I’m down 20 lbs and I did it by eating an average of 1400-1500 calories net (if I exercised I ate those calories, too) per day. That doesn’t mean there weren’t days that were higher than that or lower…but on average I stayed with it…and on average I ended up evening out at losing about 1 lb a week over the last month, yay! (I dropped quicker the 1st month, which is normal)

I lost 20 lbs, I lost several inches off my body, down 1-2 sizes depending on where I shop and my brain is MUCH clearer when it comes to choices, serving sizes and eating in general.

Weight Loss Chart

Weight Loss

Seattle Sutton’s provided me with  3 meals a day that added up to approximately 1200 calories, I added my own light snacks (or beer or dessert) to make up the rest of the calories to get up to 1400. But, with those 3 meals there was even more value than just portion control – a reliable source was providing me with nutritionally balanced meals that were filling, well portioned and….easy to replicate when I make my own meals, or serve myself from someone else’s meals and this is a big one..order from restaurants.

I made a change this week with Seattle Sutton’s…instead of meals every day of the week, I cut down to meals just on week days and I’m in charge of my own weekend meals. Whoa! That sounds scary, the weekends are the scariest for choices….not for me, let me explain.

I am at the highest risk for making poor choices when I don’t have time….when I’m tired on a weeknight/in a hurry to get to work with breakfast in my stomach and lunch in my bag. So, that’s where I’m still getting support for Seattle Sutton’s for another few weeks.

But, I’ve already started making great choices when I am at my leisure…when I am making, ordering or serving myself food.  I’m so used to seeing my whole dinner on a salad plate and I know that if that’s chosen wisely I will be satisfied and I will continue to lose weight…plus I can still enjoy myself.

Over the last few weeks I have had steak/potato/salad for dinner when my husband grilled, I ordered sushi..only 2 rolls and miso soup…SO PERFECT!  I easily made those healthy choices and felt good about them.  I know what my plateful of food should look like veggies/fruit, protein, some carb…..and those proteins are lean proteins and the carbs are the good stuff…its okay they are a potato or rice, or bread….just the right kinds….sometimes its mac ‘n cheese (just not too often and not too much).

I still have about 65 lbs I want to lose, but its coming off and its staying off. The more I lose, the more easily I can move and once I can really get moving….this extra fat is TOAST!

<3 Merbear

Apr 152014
 

I joined two challenges one is 8 weeks and one is 6.

They are both awesome for different reasons!

I’m doing Dacia’s Mother’s Day Healthy Living Challenge with Dacia’s blog My Roots to Grow and a Facebook support group. Dacia is a friend of mine that attends the annual Fitbloggin’ conference! Man, I’m so pumped for this year and being part of this challenge makes me even more excited!

I also joined a “Spring Body Transformation Challenge” with my local Fit Body Boot Camp in St Louis Park, MN.  This challenge is monetarily driven….if I don’t succeed at my goals, then the check I wrote at the beginning of the challenge will be cashed. We also have a Facebook support group,  motivational emails and personal texts/calls/assessments with the trainers.

Why I like both of these challenges:

#1 We created our OWN realistic challenges for Fit Body Bootcamp they are for the whole 6 weeks, for Dacia’s challenge they are weekly

#2 We have weekly check ins, daily encouraging posts or emails, and an online and/or in person support group made up of the leaders and the participants in the challege

#3 We determine whether or not we feel we’ve succeeded in our challenges…do we feel like we pushed ourselves, do we feel like we learned something or earned something mentally or physically…..then we succeeded and that’s what these challenges want!

#4 These are make yourself feel good using positive methods challenges!!!!

Progress Report:

Dacia’s challenge – week 4:

  • I have improved my pacing when I’m eating, thus my mindfulness and hearing my full signals
  • I have set the goal of 8,000 steps a day, and while I haven’t accomplished that everyday I have made a drastic improvement in my daily steps…it used to be around 3,000 now its around 5,000 on the days that I don’t make it to 8,000. I also do make up days where I get to 9,000 or 10,000 steps, so overall very good for me!
  • I have improved with eating a fruit or vegetable with every meal
  •  I now make sure and eat breakfast within an hour of waking up to get my metabolism moving

 Fit Body Boot Camp – Spring Body Transformation Challenge – Day 15

  • I regularly attend boot camp 3x a week and I’m on schedule to get there 4x a week starting next week!
  • I have lost 6.75″ off my body in the first 15 days of the challenge and I’ve lost 3 lbs (others have lost more, but this is the pace that is good for me, and that is OK for this challenge, I’m hitting MY goals)
  • I have learned that putting in that bit of extra effort….getting my butt to the gym, my feet moving a few more steps and being honest and diligent with a food journal will help me succeed in getting fit and healthy!

This is why group challenges and goals that are realistic yet challenging are GOOD for you!

What have you challenged yourself to do?

Are you in a group challenge?

Have you been in one in the past, what did you like or not like about it?  

Tell me! 🙂

<3 Merbear

Feb 102014
 

Its late on my first full day here in Cancun and you might wonder why the heck am I blogging? Well, its not like I’m a daily or even weekly blogger anymore, I blog when I’m inspired by something to talk about. Tonight, I am inspired to talk about my progress with The Emily Program and how it has taken a huge chunk of anxiety out of my life. I know I’ve already talked about how much better my anxiety and my eating habits are, but holy cow I can really tell now that I’m on vacation.

When we are in our day to day life at home there are healthy decisions that need to be made all day….what to eat, what to wear, what’s on my schedule today, feed the cats, feed the husband (teehee), hit the showers, scheduled exercise, blah blah blah.

But, here in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort, everything is in slow-mo….hardly any decisions and I can take my time to make them, plus they aren’t that hard…..pina colada or a mojito? Heehee

In the past, I would have really noticed my tendency towards compulsive eating and my anxiety when on vacation. I would have been saying to myself all the time, “Well, I’m on vacation I might as well eat this and this and this and that and that and that……..” which would trigger guilt and anxiety afterwards OR I might have been on the other side, before I learned intuitive eating, and I could on vacation while on a “diet” Oy…that would have sucked, there are so many wonderful foods here…fresh tropical fruits, fun drinks, outstanding traditional style tacos, room service, gourmet restaurants in the hotel etc etc……being on a “diet” would have thrown my darn anxiety off the charts.

But after today, I feel fantastic.  I had more than your average number of adult beverages on the beach today, not that I was counting.  We ate every few hours when we were hungry, a nosh of tacos here, a bit of fruit there, some happy hour veggies and dip, some yummy salad and steak for dinner…..no worries, no woes, just yummy fuel on a magnificent day at the beach.

Small aside…I was finally able to go back to regular exercise after 3 months of physical therapy. I’m happy to say that after 1 month of Megan K’s Fit Body Boot Camp I’m down 3 inches off my body. No diet food, just 3-5 days a week of 30 minute boot camp sessions and intuitive eating with the instruction of my dietitian at the Emily Program (its not a food plan or a diet) 🙂 I know some people progress faster, but this is just perfect for me 🙂

<3

Merbear

Jun 122013
 

 

Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

I’ve done a lot of work over the last couple of months on removing the taboos of food rules, food restrictions, and food labels…..which helps remove “some” of the emotion from eating….and has helped me remove feelings of anxiety surrounding meal planning, what I’m going to eat next, what I can eat, and guilt, etc.

While continuing to keep that at the front of my mind, I am now also working on the situations that bring food to the forefront for me, the emotional ties. A good acronym that my Emily Program dietitian taught me is H.A.L.T which stands for” Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired”   I started practicing asking myself that every time I thought about having a snack or a meal..and writing it down in my meal log along with the food.

Well, lo and behold…it pretty much started working right away!  I can’t believe that an extra little step like that, just asking myself why I wanted to eat…but not judging myself on the answer…helped me make better eating decisions. Its important not to judge on the answer…otherwise that can bring emotion right back into the mix.

During my first week of practicing H.A.L.T, I stopped snacking on the fun size candy bars in my office drawer.  I know they are there and I can have them if I feel like it. But, every time I wanted one I asked myself why.  Usually it was an emotional answer. Note: even if my answer doesn’t fall in “A, L, or T” those categories help me determine if my answer is emotional or an actual nutritional need.

One of those times I actually answered “Hunger” but instead of going right for a candy bar I asked myself, “why am I hungry, am I missing a food group, what am I hungry for?” It actually turned out that I was a bit low on protein for the day after thinking about it and I grabbed a snack pack of tuna instead!

Another bit of an emotional episode this weekend caused me to want to drive straight to the closest Dairy Queen, McDonald’s or any place I could for a big frozen treat.  But, I stopped myself…asked HALT? The answer came back as “angry and tired”….I acknowledged my feelings, thought about how food wouldn’t solve them, and talked myself into going straight home and getting comfy in bed and enjoy some TV! I followed through with my plan, but about every 5 minutes I had to tell my brain to stop drifting back to my old “ice cream!’ response and to come back to the “you need comfort of home and sleep” response. It worked!

This is not to say that going for an ice cream treat is a bad thing, this is just saying in this situation it was for the wrong reason.  I can have ice cream even if I’m not filling a nutritional or hunger need….but I absolutely do not want a treat if I’m filling a negative (or sometimes even positive) emotional need!!

I love ice cream 🙂 Its in my freezer, I could have had it when I got home, too..but I didn’t…because its not what I needed. I fell asleep right away when I got comfy in my bed and I felt so much better the next morning!

Now that I’m really in the flow with HALT and I’m going to keep that up along with losing the food rules…we’re working on The Hunger Discovery Scale for my next session….how hungry are you before you eat…and after….and what part of the ranges are good to stay in.  I’ll come back with a report in a couple weeks 🙂

<3 Merbear

Mar 042013
 

Hi!

This week I lost a pretty good amount of weight! What’d I do? Nothing crazy, took some advice from friends like Kris and Mindy who commented on my post last week:

I thought about what makes me feel satisfied, what foods are “whole” also known as Power Foods on Weight Watchers. I thought about how much I eat out and how Kris reminded me that the nutritional information at restaurants isn’t always spot on. I didn’t go crazy with measuring but I also was a bit more careful with it.  I made sure to have fruits and veggies with every meal or snack.   I ate out less and I drank beer only one night and it was just samples with my Barley’s Angel’s group, I also cut out cola except for ONE night because I needed some caffeine and something that was diet. I think that having at least one fish night a week is really good for us, too. I’m a big fan of steelhead trout these days, it tastes and looks like salmon, but is way less expensive and is even a little more moist.

What made me feel satisfied:  home made food

What did I drink: water, sparkling water, tea, coffee, skim milk (some diet soda but without any cola)

What did I prepare: LOTS of Weight Watcher’s and Hungry Girl recipes!!

How did I do it: I sat down on Sunday and whipped through the Weight Watcher’s recipe pages and printed out what looked good like a madwoman and threw them in a folder.  I did the same with my Hungry Girl to the Max cookbook.

Step 1: Grab all the recipes you can in about 30 minutes and get them all in one spot either in a book or printed out

Step 2: Pick 5 that you want to make that week

Step 3: Make a shopping list of what you don’t already have in the house

Step 4: SHOP! 🙂 🙂

Step 5: Cook what I want for dinner

Step 6: (if its a Sunday or Saturday, cook what I want for lunches!)

It seems simple enough, but I wasn’t doing this very often, now I will be. This week I have a whole week of lunches, plus other leftovers if I get too busy to cook during the week. I get to eat  Weight Watchers Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash for lunch this week..mmm with cheese, squash and spaghetti, mmmm!!!!

Weight Watcher's Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta

Weight Watcher’s Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta

Then leftover at home I have chili and chicken parmigiana!! All were recipes from the weekend!

I’m also prepared to make buffalo chicken fingers this week as well 🙂

We learned this last month in Weight Watchers and it finally has hit my brain and is proving to be true, preparing my own food and planning ahead what I  will eat, especially dinners…really helps me stay focused on my points for the day because I feel satisfied and PROUD of what *I* made…I know what’s in it, I know its good for me, and I know its tasty already. I look forward to the meals I made or will make for dinner, and it keeps me on track all day. I know how many points I can have the rest of the day! (This can be translated to calories or whatever type of plan you are on)

Another good thing about prepping ahead: you get all the dishes done on prep day instead of washing pots/pans/mixing bowls etc repeatedly all week..its SO NICE!

I kept the ball rolling…I made ahead and planned meals for this week, too.  Loving this!

Oh, and I’ve earned 12 activity points for WW this week so far (I go Wed – Tue). Add something active and fun into your weekend as a social event or something with a loved one. I’ve been lifting weights and walking/running on the treadmill, too.

<3 Merbear

 

Jan 062013
 

I figured out my key to staying on track. Accountability.

Accountability to myself *and* accountability to the people who make up my support group.

Accountability to myself is *so* important, but its not always enough to keep me on track in challenging situations or when I’m feeling unmotivated or even wanting to give up for the meal/day/week etc.

Sometimes telling myself the reasons why I’m doing this and staying committed isn’t enough.

So how do I get that other support I need?  All of you wonderful people out there in the social media world as well as my awesome healthy friends locally, too.  Reaching out for help, sharing my journey and looking for other people that are sharing has been key to keeping me on track.

Whenever I think I’m not doing well and keeping it all in, kinda hiding my struggles instead of sharing them with my supportive people…it just gets worse until I really hit bottom.

If I get on my blog, or Facebook or Twitter and I share my challenges, ask for advice or just ask for a cheer when I do feel accomplished…it is just so much easier to get back on track and stay on track.

This week I found some truly awesome support groups to add on to the ones I have.

The first group I found is a challenge to track five out of seven days of the week. Its called Progress Not Perfection Trackstar. I *so* needed this group, it has over a hundred people and Dani Holmes-Kirk keeps us updated and motivated. Heck the whole group motivates each other with our tracking successes. Its for anyone who want so track…whether its points, calories, whatever. Its all about tracking. Dani blogs at Weight Off My Shoulders, and if you want…I’m sure she will accept more!

The second group I joined is actually a challenge on the Diet Bet website. This particular challenge already started and its been going about a week. The challenge is to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks. To join a challenge you invite people to “bet” that they’ll get to the goal. If you get to the goal, you can win part of the pot. The plot is split amongst all the people that get to the goal.  So it isn’t about losing the most, its about getting to the goal.  The group is active with weigh-ins, status updates and, well I have $20 in the pot..so I want to succeed!

Also, over the years I’ve been following healthy bloggers and tweeters on Facebook, Twitter and in my RSS readers. I’ve taken the time to post on their blogs and get to know people. It totally helps when I know there are people out there reading what I have to say and caring about what happens. I care about them, too!

I want all my readers and friends out there to know how much I appreciate you and how I totally need you all as my support group and I’m here for you, too! Let me know if I can ever do anything for YOU!

*HUGS*
<3 Merbear

 

Women Rock 10K

 awesome, Monster Dash 5K, running, Successes, Women Rock 10K  Comments Off on Women Rock 10K
Sep 032012
 

Women Rock Finisher!

I’m so happy there, posing with my Women Rock champagne glass after finishing my first offical 10K!!

The experience was great, a well organized race put together by Team Ortho. The race had a few gradual uphills and downhills, they were challenging, but manageable…good for all racing levels. I really enjoyed running in St. Paul, most of the races I’ve participated in are in Minneapolis, so the change of scenery was fun.

The absolute best part of the race was that after the turnaround, the ladies finishing the race came right back up alongside those of us still in the 1st half. It was so inspiring seeing the ladies that were leading the race come back up..everyone cheered for them, you could hear the cheers going on in waves as they ran up, ran by, and continued on. Women are the best at being cheerleaders and really developing a mini community during a race!

I ran the 5K in an overall racetime of 1 hour 16 minutes, not too shabby! The first half though, was a great 5K, I did it in 37 minutes, which is not the best, but very good for me! After the turnaround I was a little slower in general and at the water stops because I was super thirsty. I was bummed because there wasn’t any water accesible at the beginning of the race, so I started out a little under-hydrated. I don’t usually expect there to be water at the beginning, so its not a critique, just would have been nice.

I do have one critique though…more bathrooms! The lines for the bathrooms, even an hour before the races started, were super long.

Now its two days after the race, I have stretched and foam rolled, but I’m still pretty tight. I have a personal training session tomorrow morning which I am going to use for some pilates or yoga. I also have a massage tomorrow, yay! I saved up a free massage I earned as a reward for finishing the 10K, so I’m excited to use it!

I’m a bit torn if I should go running today (Monday) or not. I ran a 10K on Saturday..my muscles are a bit sore….should I go run 2 miles? Or wait? The rest recommendations I’ve seen say 4-6 days per hour of running. Even with the 4 days, I shouldn’t run until Wednesday? What do you guys think?

So what’s next? I’m going to focus on speeding up vs. running longer. I’m sticking with the Monster Dash 5K on October 27th. I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing my Supergirl costume, its pretty running friendly! Wanna run with me? Sign up and let me know!

What races do you have coming up this fall?

<3 Merbear

Aug 272012
 

Wow, such an amazing experience. I’m proud of all my races…but seriously, A Duathlon…I truly feel like an athlete for the first time. I’m now super motivated to keep improving not only my running but my “athlete” status. I love Duathlons!

My friends from the Minneapolis Duathlon

So, here’s my results from Team Ortho:

Run1 Time: 37:55 Pace: 12:13 min/mi

TRN1 Time: 4:35

Bike Time: 1:10:39 Pace: 12.7 MPH

TRN2 Time: 4:03

Run Time:41:05 Pace: 13:18 min/mi

With a total time of: 2 hours 38 minutes.

VS. what my Garmin told me:

Summary Time: 2:38:28.5 Dist: 22.68 Avg Pace: 6:59

Run 1 Time: 37:08.3 Dist: 3.17 Avg Pace: 11:42

Trn1 Time: 5:39.3

Bike Time: 1:10:12.5 Dist: 15.96 Avg Pace: 4:24

Trn 2 Time: 4:12.7

Run 2 Time: 41:15.7 Dist: 3.14 Avg Pace: 13:09

Running in the Minneapolis Duathlon

Biking in the Minneapolis Duathlon

I’m a little disturbed that I had myself running a lot faster on my Garmin, almost a PR, than the Team Ortho folks timed me chip time. One thing I noticed though, my chip time/gun time was the same when I switched back and forth between Team Ortho results, hmm. But I’m gonna go with my Garmin, fo sho! If I was trying to win a Team Ortho race I’d worry, but I’m not, I’m just there to do my best!

Not so bad for my first Duathlon ever! I rarely run 10K, and the fact that I *did it* with a 15 mile rolling hills bike ride in the middle, just feels so AMAZING! I want to kick this race’s butt next year!!

Coming up I have the Women Rock 10K on Saturday, very excited to see how I do on a 10K that doesn’t have a bike ride in the middle, haha! I’m going to do a few runs to see if I can’t improve my pace a bit this week.

I’m also thinking I’m going to see if I can earn enough volunteer credit with Team Ortho to upgrade my Monster Dash 5K to the 10 miler…I really think between now and the end of October I can do it!

Who else raced this weekend? How’d it go? What do you think of 10 mile races?

Jun 032012
 

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It’s been a long and amazing day.

I could hardly sleep, eyes wide open at 7am. I checked into the marathon tracker app to see that Kelly, runner #1 on my team, started promptly at
6:30am on her 6 miles. She would be followed by Corryn doing 5.5 and then Amanda doing 9.2! I was scheduled for the last leg, 5.5 miles and I was pumped! I planned to get to my relay exchange point at 10am….I could have slept til 8:30, but there was no way!

I got dressed in the outfit I picked and laid out the night before and headed downstairs. I saw on the tracker app that Kelly had finished and she was FAST. For my own sanity I recalculated everyone’s leg start/finish times based on Kelly’s speedy finish and texted them to my team mates via Twitter, cuz I’m a geek 🙂

Ryan woke up and made me eggs and toast for breakfast. Then, I scrambled around making sure I had everything. I did, but I checked and double checked. Sunglasses, Road ID, race bib, iPod, Garmin……engagement ring & key necklace.

Why jewelry? Because running isn’t just about physical ability….it’s also mental…lots of determination and focus. I’m out there, just me and my thoughts. I want to not only think about one foot in front of the other….but also how awesome my life is right now. I’m a healthier weight, I can run, I have amazing friends, I am in love with a man who gave me the “key to his heart” aka the necklace and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. So that jewelry keeps me going with a big smile on my face!

We met up with my friends at my exchange point and I stretched, used the biff a few times nervously and chatted. Then, we saw her coming….I put in my headphones…..gave Amanda a huuuuge congratulatory hug…put on the relay chip, and I was off!

The path was beautiful…and kinda empty. The fast relayers were done, lots of full marathoners had finished, too. A lot of spectators had already left….but it was okay….I enjoyed the peace….getting into my zone….being pushed along every once in awhile by the cheerers that were there. I PR’ed the first 5K, did it in 37:45! Then I kept on trucking the final 2 miles and came in at an average of 12:40 min/mile for my 5.5! My team did the entire Minneapolis Marathon in 5 hrs and 12 mins!

As approached the finish line my team member Kelly, her husband Sean, and my good friend Mel ran me in! I felt so amazing and I got in about 5 mins sooner than we all predicted.

I feel amazing.

Goodnight.

<3 Merbear

A great find including an NSV!

 awesome, nsv, progress, shopping in my closet, Successes, weight  Comments Off on A great find including an NSV!
May 282012
 

I was searching everywhere for my padded bike shorts. I went through every drawer, clothing bin and even cleaned out my closet. I didn’t find them inside and went to check if I had any more boxes in the garage. I did, they were even labeled “good exercise clothes to be saved til skinny.” Okay, that sounded kind of promising! I opened the box and I giggled with glee as I saw running shorts, wicking tops, warm up pants and sports bras! Nope, no bike shorts, but who cares, I am going to save tons of money now! My workout stuff is getting a bit big so I’m super pumped! I ran in the house and tried stuff on and the mediums all fit! Oh and I saw another box labeled “small, keep for later,” and I brought that in, too. The box had my cute Victoria’s Secret bras & bottoms as well as my assorted bikinis! Uuuh people….THEY FIT! Omigosh, I’m summer ready!

So….I never did find my bike shorts, I swear they are somewhere tho….but I saved lots of shopping dollars!!!!

w00t!

<3 Merbear