From the couch to the trails

Tag Archives: weight loss

For anyone who has struggled with losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight I know you will relate to this.

In the last week (that time of the month) I have gained 4lbs.  Yes some of that is water weight but some of that is

shovel as much food in as possible-itis.  chipmunk_stuffing_his_face_sticker-rb0450d92cbaa4fdbae2f5f1e4c9c8c7c_v9wf3_8byvr_324

 

I find myself using “that time of the month” as an excuse to eat whatever I want.  I have read that you do burn more calories and therefore are hungrier during this time and then of course we all know that those darling hormones are no help in making healthier choices.  The trick that I know but did put in place for this week is PLANNING AHEAD!  I always try to make sure that my pantry and refrigerator are stocked with healthy food and snacks.  Due to a crazy busy schedule lately and my love of fall comfort foods this did not happen this month.  I am using this as a lesson to push myself to be better prepared and to make the time to take care of me.  It is important to maintain a regular healthy intake of food.  For me it seems that once I am off the track it is no holds barred.  One splurge on cupcakes will result in 4-5 days of not eating well.  I don’t know if this is a psychological thing or if it a physical thing.  Does the once cupcake lead to a “well I am off the wagon may as well splurge” attitude or once you put that sugar in your body does your body just crave more?  The little tiny bit of research I have done shows that it is probably just a mix of the two.

What I do know is that I AM MORE POWERFUL than both of these.  I need to tell myself, “Self, you got this and yes you did have that cupcake but that does not mean you are a bad person.  You are just as smart and gorgeous as you were pre-cupcake.   You are in this for the long haul and you need to keep this body of yours healthy so it will last a long long time.”  Because really that is what its all about.

Is it nice to be able to sport a super spiffy cute outfit? Of course.

Does it feel good to see a low number on the scale?…. Well yeah duh!!

Is it great to slip on a size smaller jeans?  OH YEAH IT IS!!

However really this whole eating thing is about getting as many years out of this body you were given and spending those years healthy.  But what good is a long healthy life if you spend the whole time giving yourself negative self talk and deprivation.  The real key is finding balance between all of these factors.

Eat right

Now, off I go to the grocery store to arm myself for a healthy week full of good choices!

 

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When I started out this blog I was doing Ideal Protein.  Which is a High Protein, Low Cab, Low Sugar, Low Calorie Diet.  It is a toughie!!  I mean a real toughie.  It is similar to the Adkins Plan where in you are forcing your body into Ketosis and keeping it there.  This means NO CHEATING!  Or you have just ruined about 3 days of fat burning.  

This diet worked GREAT!  I did not have to exercise.  It took the weight off quickly.  And I did not have to think too hard about what I was going to eat.  They provided 3 meals a day and I got to pick 8oz of protein and 4 cups of veggies a day.  When I started this diet I weighed the MOST I have ever weighed (including pregnancy) and I had little motivation to get me going.  A friend of mine was doing amazingly on IP so I decided to give it a whirl. They have a FREE workshop you can attend that gives you a feel for what the diet is about and how it works.  It is a bit pricey but for what I needed it for it worked great.

http://www.abetterweighusa.com/index.html

I still go there every week to weigh in and get advice from the coaches and I still buy some of their food because there are some that I enjoy and are a healthy alternative to other foods.  But, I decided to stop the diet for two reasons.

1.  I will be going back to school to take a class soon.  Seems like a silly reason right?  Yeah well not really because this diet left me feeling foggy headed.  There were times when I just could not think straight.  This is actually pretty common symptoms of this particular diet.

2. The second reason is that I went on vacation to Michigan and while we were there I decided I was going to take a break from the diet.  While on this break I realized I had SOOOOO much more energy and endurance with carbohydrates in my body.  We went on several hikes and I felt like a million bucks.  I would have some good days after a hike on IP but for the most part a 4 mile hike would wipe me out for the day.

I have slowly been adding carbs back into my diet… but now I am at a place where I don’t know what to eat???  

Where do I stop?  

How many carbs are too many carbs?  

Am I taking in too much protein?

I hear that low calorie diets are not the best for you?

I hear that you will for sure lose weight if you stay under 1200 calories?

The scary part is that ALLL of the arguments for all of these theories make perfect sense.  This makes it harder to figure out what is right and what is wrong?  Is it as simple as eat less and be more active?  Or should I be paying more attention to what actually goes into my yapper?  

I don’t want to spend weeks doing a diet plan that is not going to help me lose weight or worse cause me harm.   So its back to the good old internet to look for answers.

I was wondering what have you done that you find works best for you? 

 


After stopping the Ideal Protein Program I’ve noticed a slow down in my weight loss but an increase in inches lost. As much as I like to see that scale going down I just keep telling myself that I’m doing the right thing. Moving in the right direction… The scale will catch up eventually….

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We set out on this hike with big ambitions of hiking 8 miles.

Online information as well as the signage said that the trail was 4 miles each way. This did not account for the 1+ before and after the trail or the 200+ steps to the viewing areas. We ended our hike as a one way hike and it was 6.8 miles.

4 miles.... Yeah.....NOT SO MUCH :)

4 miles…. Yeah…..NOT SO MUCH 🙂

They had a shuttle service that took you from the end of the trail to the beginning of the trail. It was $16 well spent. Plus the driver of the shuttle gave us some great information about the North Country Trail. We had never heard of this trail but its a crazy ambitious hike. It looks to be tougher than both the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Coast Trail. It starts in up state New York and goes allllll the way to North Dakota. It’s 4600 miles long and if you thru-hike you are bound to encounter freezing temperatures being that far north. It takes on average 7-8 months to complete the entire trail. I just could not imagine … Brrrrr!

Speaking of Brrrr… When we set out to do the River Trail at Tahquamenon Falls it was quite nippy. But we warmed up pretty quickly.   The hike started out with a nice view of the lower falls.

lower fallsIt was a boardwalked area with lots of look out points.  Once we got off of the boardwalk there was a pretty decent ascent. That got our blood pumping…. But the middle part of the trail was pretty flat. There were lots of planked walk ways and bridges, along with a few sets of stairs. The trail is very clearly marked, it almost impossible to get lost on this one…. Even for us :). There were also plenty of benches to stop and take rest. The river itself had a reddish brown tint to it. This is because the water filters through a Cedar River and the trees change the color of the water. Although discolored this water is said to be very clean. The city girl in me doesn’t really trust it but, that is what they say.

They say its clean?

They say its clean?

There was another ascent at the end of the trail. Then you leave the trail and walk for a bit on a paved road. At this paved road there is a sign that says 116 steps to the gorge. This is one of the look out points to see the upper falls… So we did the 116 steps down and 116 steps back up. Thinking we had seen what there was to see, we started walking towards where we thought the parking lot was. Well then we came to another set of stairs. This one said 94 steps down. So we did the 94 steps down. This was a view from the top of the falls. And my personal favorite view. The look out points for both the upper and lower falls were pretty crowded. You are able to park in the parking lot less than a mile away from each of them. There was a yummy restaurant/ brewery right in the same parking lot of the upper falls look out area.


So as established I always felt like the bigger person. This is not something that really bothered me. I mean it was just part of who I was. Well who I thought I was. In actuality I was just normal. It was not until after my son was born that I actually gained weight and was really what you would call over weight. Again this was not something that really bothered me…. well not until my sweet dear husband who is a go along with the flow don’t rock the boat kinda guy said to me “When do you think you will lose the baby weight?” My son was 3 years old at the time.

It just so happens that my best friend was getting married soon and this little comment of my husbands gave me the little push that I needed to get my buns in gear. I bought a gym membership and decided I was going to eat better.

Now eating better was not something that I knew a lot about. So I switched the family to 2% milk for our morning sugary cereal. I ate turkey, cheese and mayonnaise sandwich a day with only half the potato chips that I would ordinarily eat and every night for dinner I had a baked chicken breast with yellow rice and green beans. Believe it or not this “diet” of mine helped me to lose 20lbs. I was taking a 1 mile walk daily either outside or on the treadmill and a step aerobics class once or twice a week. I am sure that my early 20’s metabolism had a lot to do with this loss.

I felt great and was super pleased with the new me. It was not long after the wedding that I got back into the old routine of snacking when I wanted, not really taking any time to consider caloric or fat counts. As you can imagine the pounds came back and life went on. The weight did not really bother me. I just kind of went on with life not really caring to even tackle the thought of my weight. That is until my husbands 30th birthday. We went out with a group of friends for a dinner and dancing. The pictures of that night along with a dose of reality on our newly bought scale sent me into operation get this girl in shape!

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I decided I needed some education when it came to nutrition. I needed to get active and I needed something to keep me motivated. So I decided to join weight watchers, restarted by gym membership and started a biggest loser contest with my girlfriends.

This is when I feel my life changed when it came to eating healthy and fitness….

I got in the habit of going to the gym daily. At first my work outs were only about 20 minutes long and they were walks on the treadmill. I gradually increased this time on the treadmill. I had no interest in running so my time on the treadmill was fast walking only. One day I hopped on to the elliptical trainer and I was bumped right back down to 20 minutes. I gradually built my way up to about an hour a day.

Eating right became easier with the help of Weight Watchers http://www.weightwatchers.com/index.aspx and their points system. I learned to read labels and what to look for. I attended the meetings and met many people who were battling this same battle as me. I also met people who started on their journey losing a pound at a time and had lost upwards of 100lbs. Many of them were not there to lose weight but continued to attend meetings in an effort to maintain their weight. This was really eye opening to me. The battle with weight is a life long battle. It was at this time that I realized that I had a food addiction. Sounds silly right? Yeah I thought so too but I know that this is actually the problem that I have. <<< We can talk more about that later >>>>

Long story short I ended up losing 50lbs on Weight Watchers. It took me two years. I would spend January-May doing hardcore dieting and the summer and holiday season maintaining. So I lost 25lbs the first year

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and 25lbs the following year.

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I FINALLY had mastered this whole food thing! I now knew what I needed to do and I was going to live my life happy and healthy. That is until my world got turned upside down.