Dieting…..I knew it!

 lifestyle, weight, workouts  Comments Off on Dieting…..I knew it!
May 072016
 

This article really struck a chord with me and my life proves it.

Why You Can’t Lose Weight On a Diet

22 yrs old, a bit “curvy” joined WW – down to 135, crabby all the time but super hot bod, boyfriend stopped calling me “beluga butt”

25 yrs old, engaged, happy – 190

30 yrs old, single again, WW – 165

32 yrs old, dating, happy – 180-200

34 yrs old, married, Slimgenics, skinny, bitchy – 175 lowest weight reached, couldn’t handle it anymore

35 yrs old, 220 lbs, joined Emily Program for Compulsive Eating Disorder, fixed my relationship with food, stopped dieting, left program 37 yrs old, less anxiety, happy – 250 lbs

38 yrs old (now) – content, happy, married, really curvy, size 18-20, strong, fit, only issue: obesity – 250 lbs – I’m scared of my actual weight, but nothing else, love my body, eat mostly what I want 90% good nutrition, keep my body moving the best I can with 3-5 days a week of workouts, yoga, walks and/ or weights

Just thought I’d share, I hope there is more evidence, proof and what to do next,

 

<3 Merbear

 

Soybu Winner & Thoughts ‘n Plans

 Basics, contests, goals, lifestyle, support, workouts, Yoga  Comments Off on Soybu Winner & Thoughts ‘n Plans
Aug 312015
 

First – the Soybu Giveaway –  I assigned all 5 entrants a number, by the order they commented.  I used the widget on random.org to choose a number.  The number random.org choices was “1”. The #1 commenter was Liz!! Liz will win a Maria skirt in her chosen size! Congrats Liz!!

Okay so brain dump of feelings/thoughts/plans

Frustration, I feel it a lot…ugh, I just want something to feel right. Why are all the workouts I feel like I can stick to so expensive? How come I can’t just go running and have it work, why does it have to be so hard?

I just want to make a food plan, go grocery shopping, be ready for the week and make healthy food for lunches and dinners…and be able to just eat healthy.

Put those two things together….exercise that I like (I understand HARD, but it can’t suck nor can it eat my whole wallet) and then eat my planned food and have snacks in between that are healthy…

It sounds so SIMPLE…why can’t I make it work?

I set goals and don’t keep them….why?

It seems I’ve only been able to keep up with a good eating plan/exercise plan when I have buy in from others, it can’t just be me. I can’t do things alone and just for me, it doesn’t work in my brain.

A co-worker sent me 2 weeks free of Core Power Yoga, I went 6 times, it was awesome! I loved it!  Now, its $20 a class or some ridiculous price packages I CANNOT afford…I searched for deals and there aren’t any out right now.  I did just sign up for 1 week free of their online yoga videos…so I can make that last another week! I want to keep going to these classes though cause I have a buddy, even if we aren’t in the same class, I feel the camraderie and that we have that in common keeps me going.

I have loyally seen the same personal trainer for about 5 years, I see her twice a week for 30 minutes and she continues to challenge me and build my muscles. Why does this work for me? Appointments, accountability to another person….it so works for me!

I hope this time around…hubby and I are going to go into the healthy eating TOGETHER. I’m good at eating a healthy breakfast, I’m good at packing a healthy lunch and eating eat (saves money too, haha)….but evening plans and weekend things…the things I do with friends and with hubby, just get me off track..it is NO ONE’S FAULT BUT MY OWN…but I need a buddy to be accountable to who is also doing it with me….and hubby says he will and I’m super happy!!  He knows I need the help and unless I’m on a spendy food plan where all my food is practically made for me and super mapped out..I just can’t stick to it, so I’m very excited to have a buddy.

<3 Merbear

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

Jan 192015
 

My husband and I are going to start Seattle Sutton’s meal plan on Monday. We have signed up for the 21 meal plan so we’re going to have our breakfast, lunch and dinner pre-made for us every day of the week. I pick them up on Mondays and Thursdays..the food is fresh you keep it in your refrigerator and warm it up when you are ready to eat.

This is how we are going to start our journey, by kick starting weight loss without the stress of meal planning and counting right at the start.  Our goal though is to scale back on Seattle Sutton’s as we move forward and do part of the week on our own and part of the week with meals provided (this is an option). Then, once we think we can continue on our own with meal ideas under our belt, we will keep moving forward with healthy weight loss and then maintenance on our own.

Seattle Sutton’s doesn’t really provide counseling and emotional support, they provide a guaranteed 1200 calories a day plus a grocery list of suggestions to supplement that if your body seems to need more to be fulfilled and sustain weight loss…like increasing up to 1500 calories a day.

I will also be going to my doctor every 3 months to have all my vitals tested including fasting blood test, blood pressure, etc etc.  I will be weighing myself regularly as well as getting myself measured by my personal trainer every month per usual. This medical monitoring is a big deal…I have youth on my side, but in a few years…if I keep this weight on or add more…I am endangering my LIFE…so its buck up and solve this now or umm…die..basically…so I choose life. Death is scary…especially if its before I’m like 100 years old or something.

One thing I’m super excited about is to be able to start running again..right now running HURTS and its dangerous for my back and knees at my weight. I was doing great back when I was running at a lower weight though…so once I can fit into my running gear again, I’m going back at it….obviously easy does it…I’ll be making a plan with my personal trainer.

The other support that is needed, is emotional support….I need you my friends and family…please don’t forget about Ryan & I just because we are eating our prepped meals, we still want to see you and spend time with you! In some occasions we can adapt what is being served at a restaurant to fulfill our nutritional goals..on other occasions we’ll bring our own food or we’ll meet you after we’ve eaten.  This goes especially for myself…if eating Seattle Sutton’s 3x a day for awhile forces me to isolate myself from being social, I might lose weight…but I will also lose myself and be extremely lonely. Yes, Ryan is super awesome and I love to spend time with him, but losing weight won’t help us if we kill each other 😛

Not sure what else to say besides I’m excited and nervous to start this whole new chapter in my life….learning portion sizes, what my body needs and how to lose and then maintain for the rest of my life.

<3 Merbear

Jan 042015
 

First, I want to say THANK YOU to the outpouring of support, encouragement and thought provoking ideas shared with me on my last post in comments, Facebook chats and in person hugs. You guys are the greatest.

Now for the topic at hand. This morning I was sitting on the couch, browsing Facebook, etc for an hour or two after I got out of bed. I was ignoring the growing growl in my tummy. I do this quite often…..

I get immobilized…stuck…I know what I should eat and I know what I want to eat and I just can’t move and commit. It isn’t laziness, I am truly immobilized, like I’m paralyzed…looking towards the kitchen…..just…ugh…stuck.

This is often why I don’t eat until I’m starving, which leads to either poor choices or making good choices but overeating, or BOTH.

I happened to be texting with a good friend this morning and was sharing these thoughts with her.

 

Friend: I get it. What do you have that you should eat?

Me: Eggs, Orange, Milk.

Me: I want Cinnamon Toast Crunch 🙁 I can’t have it though, because I have 5 grains for the day and we’re having chicken fried rice for dinner..which normally takes up 3…so thats 2 left for the day and I’m going out for lunch.

Me: My hungry inner child is asking for cereal, popcorn, sandwiches and potatoes!

Friend: Have apples with cinnamon sprinkled on them, crunchy cinnamon taste.

Me: Hmm, that sounds good, I’ll get up and do that plus eggs.

Friend: I get stuck on food a lot, too!

Friend: How are the apples?

Me: Yummmmmmmmm 🙂

I guess one of the ways to have this not happen is to have a bunch of foods around that are all good choices that I like…right? Why is that so hard? Does anyone else relate to this?

<3 Merbear

*When* I eat dessert is important; Tasty Food vs. Emotional Eating

 Compulsive Eating, Eating Disorder, Emily Program, emotional eating, feelings, Food, lifestyle  Comments Off on *When* I eat dessert is important; Tasty Food vs. Emotional Eating
May 022014
 

I was surprised yesterday when my dietitian at the Emily Program asked me if I was eating dessert right after dinner…like basically with dinner, or if it was a separate snack/meal later in the evening.

She told me that dessert is definitely a-okay and I should enjoy it, but I need to think WHEN I’m enjoying it and WHY.

She challenged me to either eat my dessert with dinner, or earlier in the day…but not at a time separate from dinner in the evening. I was bummed, why does it matter? Dessert fits in my food plan, I’m not overeating, I like having dessert as a decompress in the evening……

BINGO!

That was it, I was tying dessert in with decompressing, getting comfortable, relaxing in the evening…aka EMOTIONAL RESPONSE.

Her and I then talked about that an emotional reason for eating any food is something I definitely want to redirect.  This probably is one of my last major emotional tie-ins with food. It didn’t seem that unreasonable to leave it be. I pretty much only eat when I’m hungry now, I eat much slower, I pay attention, stop when I’m satisfied (not full, satisfied)….but one little thing, one little trigger area, one emotional tie-in…if I leave it there, just like any demon, it could come to haunt me in bigger ways later.

So, we talked about different things non-food related that I could do do relax…..games on my phone, knitting, tv, reading, meditating.

She also said, if I’m hungry, definitely eat something, just not a dessert…then its eating b/c I’m hungry, not an emotional tie in.

Well, guess what….while I do sometimes like dessert during the day instead of the evening (like an ice cream cone or fro yo)….its rare these days.  Last night I asked myself if I wanted to eat dessert when I was done eating dinner…nope, didn’t want it.

Later in the evening, so I wouldn’t start thinking about dessert I picked up my phone and played some games, then watched TV, then got in bed and perused FB.  Yup…all evening..no dessert, no snacks….not hungry.

I think there are special occasions where dessert will get tied into a later in the evening type of thing….like birthday dinners or eating out with friends (though its not much later, you’re still at the restaurant!)….but I’ve definitely learned a lesson here.

What do you think? Why do you eat a snack at night after dinner/before bed? What are you eating? Are you hungry or do you just need a different way to decompress?

<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

Mar 172014
 
not-alone
I had this conversation with a good friend via instant message over the weekend. I was inspired to blog about it, I was so moved by her reaching out to me and trusting my answers. I want everyone with disordered eating to get help, I want everyone to be in a good place like I finally am.  I want my friends to be happy.

I want to show you all this REAL conversation between REAL people instead of just typing out what you should do if you feel that you might need help….this is real people…and there is help, please remember I am NOT licensed nor an expert, but I have lots of real life experience!

My friend is in pink, I’m in blue 🙂

Do you ever feel the urge to track again even though you know it’s bad for you?

you mean with WW or calories? YES
I DO write down what I’m eating and make sure that I’m eating all the food groups, sometimes I even write down the measurements, but no calories or points

Gotcha. I’m struggling with not tracking my calories, fat, etc right now. I feel scared about weight gain and I want to track again because that feels “safe” even though it makes me insane.

Exactly, my perfectionism triggers my anxiety which triggers my eating disorder..sooo…especially with food, I have learned (and its tough) to not do it
BUT, from my dietitian I have learned ways to listen to my hunger and fullness signals
and understand what my body really does need -> grains, protein, fruit, veggies, fat, dairy and even desserts
When I first started I was tracking what I was eating AND the feelings associated with every meal and snack….even if it was just “normal” or “nothing” I wrote down every feeling
 
Have you thought about working with a dietitian? Often that can be about the same as paying for WW or another weight loss program, but its soo much better! They can be covered by health insurance so you are only paying copays (like me)
if you are diagnosed with an eating disorder (if tracking is a bingeing or compulsive eating trigger, you have an eating disorder)

I have never been diagnosed but believe I should be. I do think I need to work with someone but am trying to figure out how to afford it…

yeah its tough to figure that out My insurance covers me except $25 copay, which I pay weekly, but its worth it, its one of the things I’m doing even though I’m unemployed still

I think I need a real diagnosis before insurance will cover it. How did you go about that process?

Also, thank you so much for talking to me about this and feel free not to answer if I’m asking things I shouldn’t be.

its worth talking about, that’s why I blog about it
So here in MN we have two choices mainly, Melrose and The Emily Program
I already knew about them….they advertise all over
I called in directly and made an intake appointment
they had me talk to an intake therapist, take a few written quizzes and then checked with my insurance for me
if I didn’t know about them, I would have asked my regular doctor for a referral

I’ll see what happens with that and look around for something near me.

my insurance doesn’t require referrals to special programs,might want to check with yours if a referral from your primary is needed?

I’ll do that today. I definitely need more than just myself.

make sure you work with a licensed dietitian (not a nutritionist) and a therapist (if necessary)

Thank you so much.

you are welcome, thank you for trusting me to ask

Of course! I know you’re going through a lot of things that seem similar to me, and that you think about the world a lot like I do too.

The only thing that kinda sucks, and I blogged about it, is that I had to break out of my compulsive eating/perfectionist cycle by breaking all food rules and learning to live without food rules, so at the same time I was in Physical Therapy and couldn’t run or intensely work out,…that mixed with no food rules…I put on 70 lbs , I’m not saying the same will happen to YOU….cuz you are active…but now that I have no eating disorder symptoms and I can workout regularly, its coming back off…but SLOWLY because I don’t diet, I eat intuitively
Hmm, I might blog about this…..do you mind if I don’t use names?

I have been working on not tracking and I have definitely gained some. I seem to be in a holding pattern with gaining now but I’m TERRIFIED to gain more.

And yes, you can blog any of it.

thanks I think a professional would help you, we were born with the ability to eat intuitively and then we lose it, but its how every other species survives, it works for humans too and a dietitian will teach you

———

<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

A few of my favorite snack combos!

 Basics, Blue Diamond, Fitbloggin, Food, foodie, guilty, Lenny and Larrys, lifestyle, recipes  Comments Off on A few of my favorite snack combos!
Oct 182013
 

I’ve learned from my dietitian and from personal trainers that the best snacks are ones that have a combo of macro nutrients, or at least one!!

What’s a macro nutrient?  Carb, Protein and Fat are!

One of my morning go-to snacks that is easy to pack  is 1 serving of crackers (either measured out, or usually a snack bag size) and 1 string cheese!! (Carb and Protein!)

Another is homemade trail mix: (this is 10 3/4 cup  servings)

  • 5 cups of Cheerios (or any other healthy, not sugar cereal you like)
  • 2/3 cups of Almonds (or a lower fat kind of nut) – I use Blue Diamond almonds, most recently I’ve been using their Dark Chocolate flavor!!!!
  • 1/2 cup of cashews (or a higher fat kind of nut)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 single serving size bags of M&Ms (or any other brand or generic version, I usually use the Unreal, Unjunked brand)

(The trail mix has Fat, Carb and Protein in it!)

I also like to have a single serving size yogurt (any kind…regular, low fat, greek  (BUT NOT FAT FREE) and a 100 calorie bag/3 cups  of regular microwave popcorn (Fat, Carb, and Protein!)

Sometimes though, I’m in a big hurry….I can only throw a few things in my purse before I head out the door, whether or not I know if I’ll have to be eating or have a challenging food choice later in the day, I always put almonds in my purse!!  You get fat AND protein…plus, umm, there are some really yummy ones out there.

Today at my desk I had these that I mentioned above:

 

Blue Diamond DARK CHOCOLATE almonds - 100 calorie pack

Blue Diamond DARK CHOCOLATE almonds! 100 calorie pack

Yeah, these are chocolate!! Not coated in candy chocolate, but a light dark chocolate powder. Omigosh soo good!

As many of my readers know, Blue Diamond almonds was kind enough to give out lots of samples at Fitbloggin ‘13 and they *did* send me a box of dark chocolate samples because I was so sad that they ran out at the conference! How sweet are they?  However, they did not request in any way that I talk about or review them. I just like them so much and feel that they are so kind, that I wanted to share how much I really do love almonds.

Have you guys had their toasted coconut ones? Wow, if you want a healthy tropical getaway in your mouth, go get a sleeve of them and enjoy guilt free!!

I also have been known to pick up a sleeve or two of their Mocha Cappuccino at the gas station when I want a pick me ‘up, they actually work, plus they fill my tummy 🙂

Other items that I substitute in for snacks are:

2 Babybel cheese rounds instead of the 1 string cheese.

3-4 Graham cracker squares and a single serving of regular chocolate pudding

Goldfish crackers and Cheez It snack bags as my cracker choices

Oooh and …. 2 Oreo Cookies and a single serving yogurt

Yes, yes…things that are sweet are okay and if you know that you can always have them and that nothing is bad….its easy to build up automatic moderation.

I actually haven’t had Oreos for a few months now, not because they are “bad” but I know I can have them anytime and I’ve developed more of a taste for cheese, crackers, yogurt and nuts!!

There is also another cookie that I love to have, its super filling, mouth-wateringly tasty and I also was introduced to it at Fitbloggin!!

Have you tried Lenny & Larry’s complete cookies?

There are lots of flavors, my absolute favorite is Pumpkin!!! But double chocolate is fantastic as well 🙂

They are not “diet” cookies but much healthier and filling than a store bought cookie!!  Scrumptious!!

Lovely Alyssa was representing Lenny & Larry’s at Fitbloggin’ 13 and sent me cookies to sample. She did not request or require any reviews or postings from me, I just love them that much!

dtl_coo_pumpkin3 lennylarry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you guys get some ideas about yummy and easy snacking! Its important to eat every 2-3 hours to keep our blood sugar stable.  Going too long between meals and snacks drops your blood sugar and then you just want to maw down anything you can get your hands on…which is not good!  Keep ahead of blood sugar spikes and valleys by keeping your eating regular and healthy!!

<3 Merbear