It’s beginning to look a lot like weight loss….

For added effect, sing along with the accompanying music, starting at 0:28

It’s beginning to look a lot like Weight Loss
Everywhere you go
Take a look in the women’s gym
Glistening once again
With beads of sweat and stretchy pants aglow

It’s beginning to look a lot like Weight Loss
Exercise on every night
But the prettiest sight to see
Is the skinny that will be
in your own pair of jeans.

A pair of riding boots and an assortment of tropical fruits
Is the wish of Alyssa and April
Friends that will talk and go for a walk
Is the hope of April and Alyssa
And blog readers can hardly wait
For this song to be over

It’s beginning to look a lot like Weight Loss
Everywhere you go
There’s a gap in Alyssa’s jeans
One in the mall as well
The kind that doesn’t sell XXL

It’s beginning to look a lot like Weight Loss
Soon the scale will show
And the thing that will make me sing
Is the chime that you ring
Right within my iPhone (when MyFitnessPal reminds me to log in)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Weight Loss
Soon the resolutions will start
And the goal that will make me think
Is the goal of every human being
(to lose weight)…right within your heart.

You guys. I noticed it this weekend. My jeans are LOOSE. FINALLY! The scale also shows that I’m now down about 12.8 pounds since all of my medical hoopla was sort of figured out. YAY! How is it possible to lose weight during the holiday season? Well, I’ve been running every night, doing yoga when I can, and generally trying to not cram my mouth with peppermint sweets, which is no easy task considering it’s Sugar Land around here. Just wanted to quickly share that I’m finally starting to SEE and FEEL some weight loss. YAY!

photo(1)

Here’s a snap of me from this weekend, in which I can see the tiniest little hourglass starting to re-emerge from its winter coat of adipose. It’s weird – sometimes you just FEEL like you weigh less. I’m totally being lazy about the scale too – checking in when I feel like it at the gym, and for the most part, relying on my clothes to tell me how I’m doing. It’s nice. I’m being much more chill about it, and I have to admit, not stressing about it might be helping. I’m just really trying to be conscientious of moving my booty and eating less, in addition to taking all my thyroid meds and supplements.

How are you guys doing on your health journey? Fill me in! And tell me… which holiday treat tempts you most? I may or may not have indulged in Candy Cane peeps this evening… but there’s only 170 calories for three, and each is dipped in dark chocolate. It was worth it. Even if my now loose jeans are snug again tomorrow.

 

 

Medically speaking, attitude is everything.

On Tuesday I had my long awaited follow up appointment about “Weight management” after starting my thyroid medications. I was nervous, not knowing what to expect, as while I’d been on my best behavior food and exercise wise, my body likes to go rogue. We don’t have a scale in the house anymore either, and after several crushing weigh ins, I was expecting to hop on the scale and be met with a gain, because that’s always what happened before. Why should doing everything right matter? I got on the scale. Down three more pounds. WHEW!!!!! Now, 3 more pounds in a month and a half is devastatingly slow progress. However? It’s progress. Three pounds in a month, after ten months, is 30 pounds. I was relieved, and to make it even better, my blood pressure was fantastic – 110 over 79. As I celebrated my small but valiant victory, the new doctor came in and said, “Aw, too bad you haven’t had much progress, have you?”

My happy mindset deflated like a cheap balloon. I recognize that medically three pounds in a month and a half sucks – - but for a patient who gained NINE POUNDS after a 12 day detox eating nothing but cauliflower and medical shakes, it’s nice to see my body actually reacting in the way it should. As I explained to the doctor that I was actually relieved and happy with the weigh in, I realized how important attitude is. No, it’s not ideal, but a solid, “hey, we’re on the right track” at least, is invaluable to someone who needs a little bit of cheerleading. Most people refer to their doctor’s demeanor as “Bedside Manner”, and while I don’t need information to be sugarcoated, I would like a little bit of optimism.  This applies to all things medically related; a lazy liver, ridiculous allergies to feathers, even scary-looking but benign ovarian cysts. When shit’s gone wrong, some positive encouragement from people who know what they’re talking about is hugely helpful. Otherwise, Dr. Google and I spend lots of late night hours together, my anxiety growing as I comb through horror stories of the very conditions that ail me.

There’s part of me that thinks I need to just “man up” and look past a need for rainbows and sunshine in a medical environment. After all, medically, obesity sucks. It’s dangerous, it’s a huge risk factor, and for most people, it should be simple to treat. However, I’m not most people, and I’m also not the type of person who can easily man up. I’m sensitive. I’m artistic. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t. But; attitude is everything — and a positive one can make a big difference.

Have you had trouble with doctors having a more direct bedside manner? Does it bother you or not? Why or why not?

30-day Challenge Progress

It has been about two and a half weeks now that I decided to really put forth some effort into losing weight and getting healthy.  I lost 5.2 pounds my first week and as predicted, I gained back exactly one pound for the second week.  I have a history of always losing weight and gaining back a  couple of pounds the next week with a continuous pattern of ups and downs. The bright side is that while this pattern may not be the fastest route to low-body-fat bliss, it’s a pattern that still provides positive results eventually.  I can already tell my body is changing and I’m eager to do my measurements again in two weeks.  I feel like the deduction of crappy high fructose corn syrup and fast foods are to thank for part of my success but I also think the 30 day challenge I’ve been doing is what is helping my puffy stomach slowly deflate.

I have done approximately thirteen days of my 30-day plank and wall sit challenge and miraculously was able to do the required two minute and thirty second plank today.  I began this challenge being able to do one minute and fifteen seconds so my strength has definitely improved.  I have also found that my ability to hold myself up greatly depends on where I’m doing it.  I have been doing them on the dog hair covered carpet of my house, using the desire not to get golden hairs all over my black sweatshirts to keep my core and thighs lifted above the ground.  However it’s been a struggle because the carpet is slippery and it’s hard to keep my balance when my feet are not firmly in place.  I remember on my fifth day into the challenge I did my plank at the beach and was able to reach two minutes easier since the sand was soft enough to comfort my elbows yet firm enough to solidly keep my body in one spot.  This support added a significant chunk of time to the forty seconds I managed to do two days before, on the day I was so sore after tennis.  Yesterday I finally used my yoga mat for the first time in months and also found much success with the ability to stay still… and then today instead of waiting to do my plank after tennis, I did it before and reached my two minutes and thirty seconds with pride… Though I was a bit distracted.

A plank

 

Here are a of the things I have noticed that are crucial for being able to do longer planks:

- Make sure you’re on a surface that has enough traction that you won’t be slipping all over the floor!  If it helps, slip on your tennis shoes and do the plank in those.  The support of the shoe and grip of the rubber might greatly help your balance.

- Have support under your elbows so the utter pain of the hard ground digging into your bones isn’t what causes you to lay back down again. You can do this by folding over your yoga mat, a towel, or that sweatshirt you left on your bedroom floor earlier.

- Use a timer so you don’t have to constantly focus on the clock.  Time seems to moves slower when you’re staring at the seconds and with an audible timer, you can toss it far away from you so you aren’t tempted to see the throbbing question of  ”HOW MUCH LONGER?!?!?!?!”

- Take a break.  The days after I took a day off,  I always had better results.  The body needs time for the muscles to adapt and grow and it’s easy to get burned out.  Avoid sore muscles by taking a break every four or five days.

- Be prepared with a distraction.  I’ve found that music is what seems to distract me the most.  It’s easy for me to lose my sense of time while I’m singing along to Flogging Molly.  Otherwise, I recommend distractions like my dog Maggie, who found it necessarily to lie basically underneath me on my plank today and made my last minute filled with laughter.

dogplank

Having a dog beneath you is a great distraction during a plank! You can play the “I won’t smash my pet game!”

 

My wall sit challenge currently has me at a challenge of three minutes but for the past week I’ve been managing anywhere from that goal up to four minutes.  Like the situation with my slipping feet on the carpet during my plank, the success of my time seems very dependent on my grip on the floor.  There are seventeen days left (if I don’t include the break days) of the challenge and I still have confidence in my five minute wall-sit but doubt my five minute plank abilities.

But who knows!?!  Anything is possible, right?

What kinds of challenges have you gotten over that you never thought you would?

Lots of love,

AprilSignatur

 

April’s One Month Check-In!

Hello readers!

It was just over a month ago that I decided to give up double decker tacos to become a double chinner instead.  The motivation that I have gained from writing on my sister Alyssa’s blog has provided me with much success that I am pleased to share with you all today!

Since my first weigh-in on October 1st, I am down 6 pounds after five weeks of jumping up and down a pound or two.  This week was the first time I lost weight consecutively two weeks in a row as well!

I tried to exercise more by going for a walk/run along side a wetland close to where I work.  I also went on an intense hike yesterday in my Natural Resources class that left me embarrassingly pink and longing for a pony tail holder that I had forgotten in the car. With the addition of my hula hooping, my waist has been whittling away like the faith of my fellow Californians in knowing if GMO’s are in our food or not.

Speaking of hula hooping, I’ve got the results of my Hula Hoop Challenge!  I originally measured in with a 45″ inch waist but when I measured myself a few days later for Myfitnesspal.com I measured at 44 inches.  I should start measuring by the mole on my stomach or something because it’s hard to keep track of where exactly it was that I measured!

But either way, my newest measurement was only 41.5″!!!  That’s a 2 1/2 inch loss off my waist in five weeks!!!   I feel like I was really bloated a month ago with my summer habits and now that I’m back on a healthier way of life, getting the inches off my waist was rather easy since I’m no longer feeling so fluffy.

I did not successfully do my Acu-Hoop for ten minutes a day for every day of the month like I planned.  I averaged about five times a week for two reasons.   One was that there were days when sitting down and being lazy seemed better than standing for ten minutes shaking my hips with the dogs barking at me.  The better excuse that prevented me from hula hooping is that I WAS SORE!  I was getting these horrible pulled muscle feelings at times when I would stand up or sit down and after two weeks of thinking something was wrong with me, I realized it was probably because I was overexerting my abs.  So I cut back and now the pain isn’t happening as much.  Plus I decided I should only do seven or eight minutes at a time instead because after eight minutesis when it really starts to hurt.

When I lost the nine inches years before, I was using a three-pound hoop.  I somewhat regret buying the five pound hoop because it seems for every day use, it seems to be too much weight.  Maybe once I am super fit that hoop won’t have such an effect on me but for now, getting through ten minutes every day is rough!

So if you’re thinking about getting one of hoops, don’t necessarily pay attention to the pound suggestion the website has for which size you should get!

But enough with these words, here are my progress photos!

Lots of love,

Thailand 20 Tuesday – Week 4

Hello Friends:
I didn’t really know how to approach this week’s weigh in – because while there was a lot I did right this week, it was kind of a weird week. I didn’t go overboard on anything, but I got tied up and didn’t track on MyFitnessPal for two days, and then I exercised and was active but took it down a notch over the weekend because I was sad (my cousin passed away unexpectedly this weekend. Bummer. A reminder for all of us to live our lives with purpose because you really truly never know when your number is going to be called.) So, I’m not altogether surprised that I didn’t hit 2 pounds down, but I’m not devastated either – because I hit 1 pound down. I know what I need to fix for next week – which as usual – is more cardio. I’m behind on my goal but I feel good about keeping consistent with my weigh-ins and definitely making more progress than I was before. I try and think that even if the scale isn’t showing what I want, I’m noticing other things – like more energy from working out, or my jeans feeling a little bit looser. And hey – a pound lost is a pound lost – so that’s great!

Here are some of the weight loss high points from this week:

Cucumber and Tomato Feta Salad

1) I ate TONS of veggies this week. This was a yummy and simple cucumber, tomato and feta salad with some green bell peppers. So good and so filling.

A nice sunset stroll in my snazzy new workout jacket.

On the day we got news of my cousin Josh passing, I didn’t want to work out – but Matt and I took a nice sunset stroll through the park. It was lowkey and we ended up clocking in a 3 mile walk – just enough to make me feel a little bit better and burn up a small sweat.

Very Veggie Pasta


I had a craving for spaghetti on Sunday night but knew that the way we usually make it (ground beef, wine, olive oil) would be too fattening. So I did half the amount of ground beef, a tsp of olive oil, and EIGHT different kinds of vegetables. It came out amazing – super chunky and filling but chock full of veggies, so I needed very few noodles. So good.

This next week is going to be interesting as I’m getting on a plane Friday to head to Josh’s funeral – so I’ll be surrounded by family and food. I’ll need to remember not to eat my emotions! How is your week going?

How’d I do on my 2011 resolutions?

Hi everybody! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let’s see how I did on 2011′s resolutions. The red text are my comments now. Check back tomorrow night to read about 2012′s goals and resolutions!

  1. Lose weight. 30 pounds would be great, but in general, to be a healthier, happier me with less “fluffiness”. I definitely did lose weight – about 15 pounds, give or take a few depending on the day. Not quite 30, but this is a solid yup, it happened, kind of. Yay! 
  2. Get in shape.  This is another one that’s sort of “half way” true. I don’t really feel in shape now, so I’m going to say I need to keep this up. My fitness level has definitely improved, but I could still be a lot less lazy. 

    I hate push ups.

  3. Blog regularly.  I owned this one! Save for a few weeks when it was finals time, I think I rocked at keeping DCD pretty updated.
  4. Pay off my credit card debt. I definitely kicked debt’s ass! I’m not debt free, but well on my way. 
  5. Continue working hard in grad school.  My cumulative GPA is 3.8 :)

    Beautiful grad school friends keep me sane!

  6. Learn to make TOM KHA GAI. (Chicken Coconut Soup). Haha. Nope. And it’s funny because this is on my resolution list next year.
  7. Worry less.Well… this didn’t really happen. I did pretty good, until work got really, really stressful and school got really, really demanding. Still working on improving this year.
  8. Cut my hair.  I did! Definitely did! I’m growing it out now but my short curls were perfect for the summer!

    Short hair! Shortest it's ever been!

  9. See my family more. I did! I think we averaged at least six trips up there this year. Here’s a shot of the I-5 looking kind of pretty as proof. 
  10. Teach Leo not to sit on the counters or tabletops. Yeah. Didn’t happen. AT ALL. Ironic that I wrote that because I was just lecturing him (As if he understood, or cared) about how he shouldn’t carry bad habits over to the new year. Oh, Leo…

    Whatz? I r angel!

  11. Keep my car clean(ish). I’ve done very well at this! “Blueberry” remains clean and smelling of lavender. She’s become the go-to car for group lunches at work!

    Blueberry on her birthday last year!

    All in all, I’m happy with 2011. It wasn’t a bad year, and it wasn’t the best year, but it was a good year. There was some astronomical stress, but there were also some incredible times with family and friends. 2012 is going to be great – I can feel it!