Thursday, January 22, 2015

Menopause

I used to think that the "weight gain" caused by menopause was simply due to lack of exercise...or not watching what we eat.

It is clear to me now that I was wrong...

I have been exercising like a fiend and keeping my calories under 1200 on most days...and yet my weight is going up. UP!

WHAT
THE
 
HELL???

I cannot believe how hard this has been. I wouldn't be so annoyed if I wasn't working out so hard if I was eating deliciously bad food...but this is insane. I may resign myself to being 190ish pounds forever...since I can't seem to get below that amount on a consistent basis.

I actually requested some hormone testing to see if my estrogen is completely out of whack. I had other things going on....a 6 day massive headache, the return of night-sweats (that had mostly gone away since the hysterectomy), and other symptoms...I just thought maybe I should see if my HRT is all wrong.

But for all you pre-menopausal women out there...let this be a warning. Make sure to get to goal BEFORE you hit menopause...because weight loss after...holy hell.

In other news...I returned the Garmin. They just were not resolving the issues and I gave up. What's sad is that they seemed SOOOO willing to help when I would call the support line. But follow-ups that they told me they would do just never happened. Emails to the first tech went un-answered. The second tech scheduled a time where she was going to call me to do some troubleshooting the next day...she never called. I left work early to take that damn call. To this day she hasn't called....as far as they know my trouble tickets are still open (I just returned the unit to Amazon yesterday)...not one follow-up call or email about the issues. I'm pretty bummed about this. I kinda liked my VivoSmart when it was working.

I'm thinking about trying out FitBit Charge. Not sure yet though. I really wanted one with an integrated heart rate monitor, but I don't think the wrist-based heart rate monitors are really adequate for my needs at this point in the game...so maybe I'll just keep my money. I learned some interesting things in the weeks I owned the VivoSmarth. I move a lot at night in my sleep...I don't walk NEARLY enough during the day...I burn more calories when working out than I ever thought (that was kinda nice, but doesn't really change anything for me). I LOVED having the alarm clock and phone notifications on my wrist...till they broke. So...now I know all that....just not sure I want to spend money on another device to keep telling me the same things.

And speaking of money, after Scott's second job loss he ended up in a job he enjoys but that paid a ridiculously low wage. Well...last week the company finally recognized the err in their ways and bumped up the wages of the people in his position across the board...by a lot. This means a teeny-tiny bit of breathing room for us. Enough breathing room that I MIGHT be able to work with a trainer a couple days a week (a cheap trainer...which I might have found at work). So...I might get that going. I will email him today.

On the exercise front, my January calendar is filling up nicely. I've only missed 1 day each week. Some good forward momentum. Scott is on a work schedule right now that has him gone over night. For some reason I find it WAY easier to get up at 4am to work out when he isn't lying next to me...so I've been getting most of my workouts done first thing in the morning. While I don't love getting up so early, I do love getting the exercise DONE and out of the way for the day. I've been careful to build slowly...I JUST started doing my weights in the last week...and they are light. Like 5lb bicep curls instead of the 10lbs  I used to do....ultra-light. Up till then I had been just doing the elliptical and long walks at lunch. I hope to keep this up. Oh, I'm also participating in 2 30-day group challenges...a butt challenge and an arm challenge. Those have you doing the same exercises 5 days a week with increasing reps over the 30 days. We are on day 22...I just about want to die with some of them (42 pushups....42??? UGH!). I just wish all this hard work was showing on the scale (but...I dare say...my butt looks better than it did a month ago...so something is working).

Band fill wise...I appear to be in an okay place. I think I'm able to eat more than I should be able to (I had a pretty high calorie breakfast), but I'm staying comfortably within my calorie constraints, so I don't think I need a fill for now. Unless eating less than 1000 cal/day would help....but that just seems wayyyy too low, especially considering that I exercise. So for now...I'm holding at my current adjustment.

I sincerely hope something starts changing soon. At this rate I will LOSE my first diet bet. :( 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Some quick packaged food replacement reviews

I'm keeping things on the low end of calories (but hopefully high in protein) for a while, and utilizing some meal replacements to do it for now (I plan to return eating human food again at some point...just want a little help for now).

So far my plan is working, as cravings and hunger are WAY low, and "my expense to willingness to eat sugar ratio" is right where I need it to be.

With that said, the products I've tried so far that have helped me in this 2.5 month self-induced challenge...

Something new to me...Quest products.

Quest Chips, as mentioned previously, are a fantastic low calorie/high protein "salty crunchy thing" replacement. I would continue to eat these products outside of this current eating plan. I love the 3 flavors I have tried so far:
  • Cheddar and Sour Cream (I think this is my favorite)
  • Sour Cream and Onion
  • BBQ
I've seen others complain about the texture of these. My 2 cents...they aren't real chips. They aren't claiming to be real chips. And if you've ever had baked Lays, I would say they aren't that far off from those...but they totally fill a need for me. That "salty crunchy thing" need has never gone away for me, and I'm not very good at sticking to a single serving of regular chips. Now...if only I could find a tortilla chip alternative that is as suitable...that would be FABULOUS.

Quest Bars. Higher in calorie, but so far the 4 I've tried were very yummy and filling. Averaging around 180 calories and 20 grams of protein, I am repurchasing all the ones I've tried so far, including:
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (actually tastes a bit like cookie dough...and I've heard you can actually bake it into a cookie)
  • Cookies and Cream
  • Cinnamon Roll (I heated this in the microwave briefly last night...delicious!)
  • Coconut Cashew
Medifast is...well...about what I remember. I just received my full order yesterday but am currently eating a serving of the Ziti Marinara. They didn't have this last time I was on Medifast...it's not bad. It's not "oh my word, where has this been all my life" good, or "I'm gonna lick the bowl" good, but for 2 months, I can handle this...I think. It's not as bad (read as "overpowering soy flavor") as I remember the oatmeal/eggs/chicken soup being (I'm gagging just  thinking about them...and I did NOT order them this time around).

Sadly the Honey Mustard Pretzel Sticks are not as good as I remember. And I do vaguely recall they changed the recipe during my first go-round with this product line back in 2010 and I wasn't too thrilled then, either. I kinda wish I hadn't bought so much now that I know how good the Quest Chips are. But...oh well. They are still doable.

The brownies are still good. I had one of those last night. :)  I'm not sure if ANY of the Medifast products would make it into the permanent rotation...but the Brownies might.

I anticipate all the Medifast bars will be good...they always were decent before. There are just cheaper alternatives on the market. The advantage of the Medifast bars is that they are consistently low calorie. I can mimic that with any other market bar by cutting it in half...but my willpower is not that strong and the second half almost always beckons me. So I resorted to this.

*sigh*....oh the life of a girl just TRYING to finally get to goal!

Having my favorite salad for my "lean and green" meal tonight...and of course, another workout...as week 2 continues...




Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Time to geek out


I mentioned previously my new gadgetry. One of my new gadgets is a Withings scale, which automatically syncs via wifi to an online app that also automatically updates MyFitnessPal. Sounds all cool and totally feeds my geeky side. But...I haven't figured out the best way to share my weight on here for "accountability". MyFitnessPal shows a trend line...cool, but not entirely what I prefer to share in a weekly weigh-in. I can't take an picture of my weight on the scale because I weigh naked and the new scale is SUPER reflective...and...well...nobody needs to see that...hell I don't even like the image. So the above screenshot from my phone may end up be my best choice. Alternately I could use this screenshot from MFP:


Both shows my trend line AND my current weight. Cool, eh?

Just understand that I'm an obsessive weigher...so all those little circles on the Withings chart MAY indicate several weighing's in the course of a week...or a day. Whatever.  :)

Many of my super-techy things have not been working super great lately...MFP has had a hard time receiving updates from my Garmin. The Garmin website has had an incredible number of issues (I'm guessing that there was a massive influx of new users with the passing of the holiday/new year and perhaps they had not beefed up their back end to ready themselves for the influx?), and the Withings scale is just plane taking some getting used to...between the multiple users and my floor having hidden little areas that cause erroneous measurements (I thought I had lost 4 pounds in one day on Sunday...I was so excited...but knew it was wrong). So if you ever try to go high-tech...be patient. It's not all as easy as it may sound.

My Garmin VivoSmart has been doing a great job of making me pay closer attention to how long I sit on my butt at work, and as a result I've been getting slightly more movement throughout the day as the movement reminder won't re-set unless you take at least 100 steps consecutively. So now I intentionally take much longer paths to the bathroom. I'm sure people wonder why I keep needlessly walking past their desk. But I do recall taking more frequent "walk breaks" during my weight loss phase early on in my lap band journey.

The really fun stuff to watch are my net calorie charts. I've been working out with my Garmin (which has a chest strap for measuring heart rate) and those also feed into MFP. I've set my daily calorie intake goal at 1000 calories and then I've been successfully working out every day except Sunday, so my net charts look like this:


You can definitely see how NOT working out on Sunday impacted my net. I also had the munchies that day, so that wasn't helping, to be sure. I wish there was a chart that showed calorie consumption AND exercise in a stacked chart, but from what I can tell so far, that isn't an option. I'll keep looking.

Anywho, all the gadgetry in the world isn't going to help me not eat sugar...so I've currently challenged myself to NO SUGAR till my birthday...or the St. Patricks Day 5k...both of which are mid-march. I'm pretty confident I can do this. In the mean time I'm following a Medifast/Ideal Protein/Early days after surgery-like protocol for my eating which has me keeping my calories around 1000 while getting 90-100 grams of protein a day...oooh...Another chart I can share:



All this to HOPEFULLY get some positive (and by positive, I mean NEGATIVE) action on the scale over the next couple of months.

By the way...has anyone tried Quest bars and chips? Expensive...but at 120 calories and 21 grams of protein, I've never felt less guilty about eating a serving of chips in my whole life!

Friday, January 2, 2015

First DietBet

http://diet.bt/fo5JI0

So I'm doing this...because money is a good motivator for me...I think.

Anyone wanna join? There is still time!