Smoothie love and progress pics.

First off, I know it has been quite a while since I last wrote here on the blog and for that I am sorry.  It is always flattering for me to hear from my sister that people ask about where I disappeared to so thank you, I feel loved.

I have been having an incredible amount of fun over the past few weeks and have been staying busy with new adventures mixed with some midterm testing for school.  However, even with my rushed lifestyle that I have been rocking for a while now, I haven’t made much progress on dropping down numbers on the scale.  I had my Weight Watchers meeting today and I was up 4.2 pounds since the last meeting I attended two weeks ago.  Oops.  I know exactly how I gained those pounds and I know exactly what I need to do to take them off.

Here is the smoothie that created much adoration.  Plus, how could one not love a drink that comes with an umbrella?

Here is the smoothie that created much adoration. Plus, how could one not love a drink that comes with an umbrella?

I have been eating rather crappily over the past week but went shopping and am ready to get a grip on my nutrition.  I’m also on day two of no artificial crap caffeine (as in Red Bull and soda).  I had a HORRIBLE headache last night so I think I need to just pop some Tylenol early on in the day to try to avoid the headaches.  I’ve been having around five headaches a week now and it is getting pretty old… I spoke with the doctor and she suggested that I start taking a bunch of vitamins/minerals to see if that helps, including magnesium, riboflavin (B2), and Co enzyme Q10.  Otherwise she recommends some daily pill which I don’t want to get on as I would rather just take a pain killer when needed, not every day.

Besides my lame headaches, I’ve been trying out new ways besides salad to get fruits and vegetables in my life.  One of the new additions to my life to help me get more produce into my life are smoothies.  I’ve always loved smoothies yet rarely have them because I’m too lazy to do the prep and clean up.  Recently I have been reintroduced to the greatness of the cold drink packed with nutrients and have shown ways to make smoothie making less tedious.  Yes, I know that they have a lot of sugar.  However, they also have a lot of potential for extra nutrients like fiber and protein if you add fun ingredients like chia seeds, yogurt, and leafy greens.  Plus, they are still way better for me than the amount of sugar I get in my Red Bull addiction.

The smoothie you see pictured has a bunch of fantastic things in it like kale, spinach, strawberries, pineapple, blackberries, almond milk, cucumber, chia seeds, ground flax seeds… A smoothie like that is a great meal replacement and my buddy has lost 65 pounds by supplementing meals for smoothies like this.

Veronica's amazing drawer of smoothie wonder

Veronica’s amazing drawer of smoothie wonder

I made myself a lower calorie version the other day with just some banana, strawberries, blueberries and yogurt. Although it was annoying to me to have to chop off the tops of each little strawberry, I endured through the task and decided to cut up ALL of  my strawberries in motivation to create a frozen drawer of goodness like one of my favorite women in my life, Veronica.  I’ve always admired Veronica’s master skills at organization and since I babysit for her twice a week, I get to experience first hand in how doing a little bit extra effort at one point can result in simplicity later on.  Veronica chops up all her fruit and sticks it in the freezer so she is always ready for her two children’s requests for smoothies.  I think it’s awesome and wanted to share with all of you how easy she makes smoothie making, check out her freezer drawer!  Plus, it’s a great thing to do if you know you’ve got excess fruit that you just don’t want to waste!

Do any of you guys make smoothies?  What do you like to throw in there?

And as promised.. here are my progress pics.  :)

Two months of Weight Watchers from January 3rd to March 3rd (~10 pounds down)

Two months of Weight Watchers from January 3rd to March 3rd (~10 pounds down)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Love and smoothies,

AprilSignatur

Five Things on Friday

Hi Everybody, it’s Friday, woot woot! With the holidays, things are rockin’ and rollin’ and my schedule has been filled with fabulous festivities like the grand opening of my dear friend’s plus size bridal salon, holiday parties, and of course, working on getting in shape! I’ve been really good this week about doing some sort of exercise every day — mostly running with my couch to 5k app and then some yoga. I’m trying hard to maintain some level of “zen” in my life during the hectic but fun holiday season. I have a bunch of random things I wanna tell you about, so here’s my “Five for Friday”.

1) You really should read this article, “So You’re Feeling Too Fat To Be Photographed“. As someone who suffers from chronic doublechinitis, I can relate to the “Aghh! No Pictures!” phenomenon. However, the author’s life-changing experience gives her the perfect authority to speak on such a touchy subject — visually capturing the way you look when you don’t like the way you look. Read it, shed a little tear, and then smile big for the camera.

2) We have a WINNER!!!! Congrats to Melissa for winning the week of Diet to Go meals. I used a very complicated system (paper and pen) to tally up all your entries and pick the winner. Some of you pinned like crazy – you ROCK! We’ll be doing another amazing Diet to Go giveaway soon, so keep playing for your chance to win! Feeling lucky? There’s about one more day left to win some Prosperity Cinnamon. Enter now!

3) Do you guys have any tips for falling back asleep in the morning if you wake up too early? I know — sounds weird. Our kitten Oliver is almost a year old, and he likes to start causing chaos at about 5:00 A.M., either by knocking stuff over, chewing on things, or kneading my stomach with his jabby little kitten paws. UGH! It takes me about 45 minutes to fall back asleep after that. 5:00 A.M. is just TOO early to get started for the day… not gonna happen. Any tips? Do I need to lock him out of the room? :(

Early Morning Noise Maker.

Early Morning Noise Maker.

4) This time of year is hard for me food-wise, because I’m surrounded by holiday treats. I’ve been doing pretty well navigating so far (my jeans are loose! WOOHOO! Official weigh in is next week), but for some reason I go kookoo for peppermint and chocolate flavored things. At Trader Joe’s, I felt like my hands were magnetic to the Peppermint Joe Joe’s — but TWO cookies is 140 calories. Um, what?! I found a great alternative though! Try the Mini Dark Chocolate Shortbread Peppermint Stars. You can have 13 for 120 calories. Much better — volume eating.

5) I had the opportunity this week to share my story about my weight loss gain loss gain whatever-it-is on my dear friend Emmie’s blog this week. Go check it out, and if you don’t read Authentically Emmie, get to it. She’s the bee’s knees – and recently wrote an article in Ladies Home Journal!

Okay, guys, that’s all I got. I hope you’re having a wonderful week. Tell me what’s going on with you! Any great food finds? Exercise progress? Random feelings? Let it all out and let’s get our weekends started!

xoxo

The Double Chin Diary Siggy

 

Monthly Weigh In Results

Hi everybody, sorry it’s been kind of quiet around here! September is for some reason ALWAYS nutty for me with work and life stuff and I end up choosing sleep over the DCD. (BLASPHEMY! But you know, there’s all that research that sleep helps with obesity so really, I’m just being proactive about weight loss… riiiight.)

This Friday was a pretty big deal for me, because it was a four week check in after starting the low dose of Synthroid to jumpstart my thyroid, and going back on Metformin, to help with the insulin-resistance from PCOS. I had MAJOR anxiety about stepping on the scale. It was a stressful week at work, and the night before the appointment, I found myself hedging to my husband, rationalizing that I should cancel because my blood pressure would be high from stress. As if that’s a good reason, right? Thankfully, he helped me see the light, as he so often does, and I bit my tongue and told myself I just needed to face the music and wear my big girl panties. It wasn’t even necessarily that I rationally thought I would gain; in fact, I knew my eating and exercise habits were enough to contribute to a loss. However, my body has played me before and I was so afraid all the effort would do what it usually does; backfire and send me into a constant state of “Why bother?”

I went to the doctor first thing in the morning and requested that I be weighed after I got my blood pressure taken. I warned the nurse that my BP would be high, I was nervous, after all. Blood pressure was fine, but my pulse was definitely all over the place and jumpy, a sure sign that I reaaaally was dreading stepping on that scale. It’s kind of pathetic that a weigh-in makes me feel like I need a cocktail. “Why are you so nervous?” the nurse asked, and I replied, “Because last time I stepped on that thing I left crying.” The nurse took pity on my ridiculous fears and laughed, and with a deep breath, I faced the music and stood on the scale, holding my breath as if that very action would magically suck 10-15 pounds away. As I stepped off, the nurse motioned for me to go into the room, withholding the information. “OHHH NOOOOO,” I thought, I must have gained. Because I’m nosy and I needed to know after enduring such torture, I asked, “What is it?” When she told me the numbers I did a mental recalculation, jumped for joy, and then confirmed that I was DOWN SIX POUNDS!

Six pounds is a lot for me. Six pounds is the size of a small, full-term baby. Six pounds is the size of several delicious spaghetti squash. Six pounds is two three-pound weights, a heck of a lot of hamburger meat, and more than half a sack of russet potatoes. I was so excited that I snapped this pic and immediately posted it on instagram, and as my pal Alyssa A. said, you can tell how happy I am. RESULTS. It is wonderful to see RESULTS from your hard work.

Six pounds success!

Six pounds success!

I think there are several things contributing to this success this month: 1) eating a low carb diet, averaging 100-120 carbohydrate grams per day, 2) the addition of synthroid and metformin 3) not weighing myself for a whole month, thus defeating the “Well, I’ve gained so I might as well eat” cycle, 4) Being crazy busy (not ideal as I’m not eating as often as I should be) and 5) Exercising and being active.

I plan to keep up four out of five of those habits. I’ll happily tone down number four, because self-care is important when you’re busy and stressed, so I need to focus on eating right, sleeping well and exercising. In fact, I think I’ll go take a walk, right now. So there you have it. A month after not stepping on the scale, I faced a fear and found a fantastic, positive, optimistic result. At the very best I was hoping to see two pounds lost, and my expectations were tripled. Thank you body. Thank you self. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (And thank YOU for reading.)

Can you relate to ever having crazy anxiety about something as simple as stepping on a scale? What is or was it?

 

 

Even my liver is fat.

In the past three months, I’ve had 22 vials of blood drawn, one abdominal ultrasound, one liver ultrasound, one diagnosis, four doctor’s visits, three crying fits and exactly one bag of movie theater popcorn (The Heat. Go see it. Melissa McCarthy is one funny gal). I prefer the latter to all the above! The good news is, the medical mystery is winding down as results of my liver ultrasound came in.

Drumroll please… I don’t have cancer. YAY! I don’t have jaundice. YAY! I don’t have hepatitis. YAY! What I do have is… a fat liver. Yup. Because I’m all about synergy and fitting in, even my organs have to match my current shape… which is healthy with an accumulation of fat. Basically, my liver is not inflamed, but appears to have a “fatty streak” or build-up of cholesterol, likely a genetic condition (Thanks Dad), which is causing the high liver enzyme results. This will only be a concern if my cholesterol is high, which as of now, is healthy and A-OK.

In addition, my thyroid panel came back and while I’m not full-blown hypothyroid, my thyroid results are in the “low” range, giving us some wiggle room to try out some thyroid medications. I fit all of the symptoms for a hypothyroid, so my doctor and I have agreed that next month we’ll start out a low-dose of thyroid replacement medication and see what it does. I was initially nervous about this because I had heard once you start thyroid medication you can’t get off of it, but in my case because I don’t need a full dose or replacement of thyroid hormone, it’s safe for me to “dabble” a bit. I have mixed feelings about trying medications to get everything moving correctly, but at this point in the weight loss game, I’ll take any help I can get. It’s like I’ve said before – I know something’s not right, so if it takes a little trial and error to pinpoint it, I’ll do it.

So, now we have a kind-of diagnosis of what’s going. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, which makes weight loss near impossible yet its biggest treatment is weight loss, sluggish thyroid which is not yet in full-blown “hypo” mode but dangerously close, and a chunky liver. What does this mean for moving forward? It means squeaky clean eating 90% of the time, but still allowing myself to live every now and then, with a piece of wedding cake here and there, a few sips of wine, some movie theater popcorn. It means getting back on track with my exercise plan, which has dwindled thanks to my reduced calorie-diet, laziness and house-hunting. It means telling everyone and their mom (hence this blog) about my condition, to try and glean knowledge about these conditions I may not have known before, and it means, more than ever… to keep fighting the fight, to stay strong, to keep going, to laugh in the face of my fatty liver, cystic ovaries and lazy thyroid, to say to them, “You’re a motley crew… but together, we’re going to do this.”

So — let’s hear it. What do you know about livers, thyroids and ovaries? Are yours in working order? Do you know anyone who has the same malady I do?

 

April’s Two Month Check In

Well, dear readers, I wish I could write a joyous post like my sister did yesterday revealing her AMAZING 5 pound weight drop within a week but no… I must write a post of the opposite side of the spectrum:  failure.

I was doing pretty good for the first six weeks; I lost about six pounds.  Then the dark shadow of November came over me bearing down grief from the death of my cousin Josh, too much school, and a horrible neck injury that left me messed up and in pain for two weeks.

Whatever weight-loss wagon I was on, my fellow riders clearly booted me off for sitting on the couch and watching too many reruns of “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” instead of attempting to go for a walk or eating something that didn’t come from a box.

But whatever, like my last post regarding my battle with math, my failure of the past month will only make me try harder.

I decided to take this past Sunday as a day to get in some fun exercise by walking for miles around the marina region of San Francisco.  I practiced my photography and trekked about four miles up and down the gorgeous water front overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.  I tried to keep my pace up enough to get my heart rate going and every time a neon spandex wearing jogger trotted past me, I only gained more motivation to boost up the speed.  I should have kept track of the amount of damn joggers I saw within my two hours of being at the marina.  Probably 100.  Of course, it was 65 degrees and totally clear in San Francisco that day, which is pretty rare for a December afternoon so I can’t really question.  Plus one day I’ll be a “damn jogger” rather than the “damn girl taking up the sidewalk with her walking”.  Oh, how I look forward to getting to the point when I look forward to running instead of dreading it.   I was there once, and it wasn’t really THAT long ago.   I just need to get there again.

Getting exercise by the golden gate bridge!

In January I will be joining up with some other friends from around my area in a weight-loss competition.   The contest goes for three months and has a $50 “buy-in” so the ending pot could end up being quite the pretty penny for whoever wins.   If I were to actually get serious about my weight loss, who knows!?  Maybe I could win!

I’m still enrolled in my Pilates and yoga classes for Mondays and Wednesdays.  I  also could utilize my free three-month membership to 24-hour Fitness and just get obsessive like my amazing homegirl Melody did and make the weight fall right off me.  With the combination of exercise and eating my “clean slow carb” diet,  I know that whether I win the contest or not, I could still finally get out of the 200’s and have a 1 for my single digit weight for the first time since I was 16.

I look forward to my future.  ;)

How about you guys?  Have you or would you ever do a weight loss competition?

Peace and monkeys,

 

 

Thailand 20 Tuesday – Week 6

Hello friends! Last night, after another great cardio workout, I thought to myself “I’m going to get on the scale tomorrow and have lost like FOUR POUNDS! Yes! I can feel it!” Well… I got on the scale this morning and I lost a number FOUR… but it was .4. WOMP WOMP. Cue the sad clown music.

Not quite where I want to be after six weeks, but I’m going to try not to be a Debbie Downer…

My initial reaction is to cry, throw things and break the scale. Well, thankfully, I have two very wise men in my life – my husband and my brother. Husband reminded me that I’ve been working hard and looking and feeling better – and I can’t get too discouraged. My brother surprised me with some major wisdom – see our chat below to see what I mean (When did he grow up? In my mind he will always be 12 years old and fishing for crawdads from the neighborhood creek.)

Here’s what I know is working:

1) I’ve been really good about cardio, and I can feel it. I have more energy, it’s not as “hard”, and I’m feeling calmer and less stressed than usual. I clocked in 5 hours of sweaty, hard cardio exercise this week which is major for me. So I have to applaud myself for that. I even mastered 10 minutes on the stair machine last night, which was a big deal for me!

2) I’m consistently tracking on MyFitnessPal and have stayed within my daily range which is 1,600 calories. I’m going to meet with my dietitian next week to see if I maybe need to reduce calories further (I hope not, but think I might have to!). I’m eating lots of veggies, whole grains and lean proteins, and making smart choices when I go out to eat.

3) Here’s a few items of miscellany: I sometimes wonder if I need to go “no brain” on the food and do something like Jenny Craig. What’s the feedback on Jenny Craig? It sounds really, really expensive and I know I’d miss cooking – but I wonder if I need to be on something that’s already pre-measured and portion-controlled. Thoughts? Also, I officially need to take my measurements today. For weeks like this where I’m a grumpzilla after my weigh in, it would help to know if at least SOMETHING is shrinking (and please God, don’t let it be my boobs). I’m waiting to get a call back from the doc about my thyroid test. Could this be a missing link?

There’s also some pressure when you blog about your weight to log in every week and have a glowing success story for your readers. I even thought to myself this morning, “Do I need to fib a little bit? People aren’t going to want to read that I had another subpar week.” Shameful, I know. I think sometimes that I should stop blogging about weightloss since I never seem to succeed with it, and go back to writing about things I’m good at – how the cat got caught in the birdbath, how to talk to people on social media, how to make the best stovetop popcorn ever. And while I let myself have a little bloggy pity party, I remembered that this blog isn’t about writing some fancy, nice happy ending story. It’s not fiction. It’s reality. It’s about my goal to lose weight, and unfortunately, since it’s real life, it’s not always going to be cheery sparkle rainbow unicorn poop. Ya feel me?

So that’s what’s up on Thailand 20 Tuesday. Maybe I should rename to this to Thailand Trying Tuesday. Thailand Torture Tuesday. Thailand TinyLoss Tuesday. Thailand “Sometimes I think I’ll be fat forever” Tuesday. Thailand “I can’t wait to go to Thailand even if I am the same weight” Tuesday. Thailand “At least I’m healthy” Tuesday. Thailand “Is it Wednesday Yet?” Tuesday. Yes. Or maybe something more simple… just Thailand Tuesday. :) Till next time.. I’m keepin’ on keepin’ on. How are you doing today?