Healthy Lifestyle

Dieting: The Old Fashioned Way

Dieting The Old Fashioned WayDieting is hard but making a lifestyle change is even harder. I post regularly on Instagram and Facebook since I was diagnosed, and I’ve been bombarded with people selling Cize, 21 day fix, and so many other diets. Admittedly, I was interested, at first, with Cize but quickly changed my mind after seeing the $140 price tag. Let me just say this now – there is no quick fix for weight loss. I’m not into drinking my meals (shakeology or spark) or spending a ton of money on stuff that’s here one day and gone the next.

I’m doing this the old fashioned way! That’s never a fad. I’m not knocking those who choose to take that route, I’m just saying it’s not what I want to do. I got thinking about the future, my future, and how a fad diet will impact that. Will I be dependent on one of those diets to maintain my weight loss? I wasn’t willing to risk it. I’ve got enough to deal with now as it is.

It seems as though we all want dieting to work overnight but it doesn’t. I’ve learned that losing weight slowly increases the chances of keeping it off in the long-run. That’s what I want. I don’t want to lose weight and gain it all again.

This isn’t a diet for me; it’s a lifestyle change. The only way I’m going to be successful is to change my eating habits and exercise regularly. I have to learn to change everything in my life if I’m ever going to be successful.

As for workout DVDs, all I can say is that YouTube is a wonderful thing. You see, we have a smart TV (that’s not exactly what I call it, but….) so I can sign into YouTube via an app. That means I have access to a ton of workout videos on the big screen. It also means I can workout wherever I have an internet connection so there’s no excuse for me missing a day.

So, to all those people who have hit me up wanting me to buy something, save it because I’m not buying. There are only 2 things I’ve purchased to help me and that’s the FitBit Charge HR and a premium subscription renewal to LoseIt. I refuse to buy “trainer” food, workout DVDs, or shakes. It’s just not worth it for me.

Losing 20 pounds in 21 days sounds amazing but it’s really not healthy or realistic. Don’t spend all that money on crap if you absolutely don’t have to. Think about this – I lost 14 pounds in 21 days simply by eating healthy and moving more. Trust me when I tell you that eating healthy is far less expensive than those fad diets and it lasts a lot longer.

I’m not here to judge or tell anyone how to reach their goals. This is all about me, my journey, and the choices/decisions I make. If you want to give them a shot, go for it and I wish you the best of luck. For me, it’s just not how I want to reach my goals.

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Dining Out with Type 2 Diabetes

Dining Out with Type 2 DiabetesDining out happens but there’s no reason to be intimated by it. I used to be so scared to eat out with the family, but, after learning a lot, I’m not anymore. Even with type 2 diabetes, I’ve found that I can still enjoy a nice meal out without wrecking it all.

The first couple of times we dined out, I went right to the chicken Caesar salad because it was low in carbs and calories. Last week, however, I branched out and ordered a dish with meat and veggies. The hardest part for me is ignoring the bread (it’s my favorite) but I’ve done it for 3 weeks now. You know, you’d think they’d offer different types of bread for weight conscious people, but I digress.

Dining out doesn’t have to something you avoid, whether you have diabetes or not. The one thing that truly helps me is the LoseIt app because it has restaurant foods, which makes it easier for me to pull up dishes from major chain restaurants and fast food joints.

I have a strategy for dining out now that I didn’t have before my diagnosis. I’ve learned how my plate should look thanks to the American Diabetes Association, and I keep this in mind when ordering. While the recommended plate setup is 1/4 plate starch, 1/4 plate meat, and 1/2 plate veggies, I use a variation while dining out. I order double veggies with the meat entree instead of a veggie and a starch. I don’t know what’s in the starch or how much comes with the meal so it’s much safer for me to order double veggies.

If I’m not ordering a salad as my entree, I’ll start with a salad as an appetizer. This is good for anyone who’s wanting to drop a few pounds because you’re not as likely to eat the entire entree. I’d much rather fill up on veggies than something heavy. I test my sugar first thing in the morning, so my dinner has to be on point at all times.

If you’re dining out for breakfast, I highly recommend staying away from sugar as much as possible. We went out to Denny’s a few days ago for breakfast and that caused me a great deal of anxiety. Breakfast contains many of my favorite foods, such as pancakes, french toast, eggs, sausage, scrapple, toast, and syrup. OMG – syrup! Anyway, at Denny’s, I ordered 2 egg white, 2 sausage links, and the blueberry wheat pancakes. It was roughly 500 calories, which is high for me, but I had all day to burn it off. I ate all of the eggs and sausage and half of the pancakes, and I measured my syrup so that I didn’t use as much. That was a big deal considering that my pancakes or french toast is usually drowning in syrup.

When dining out, I’m really strict about what I order for dinner but not so much for the other meals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still concerned with the amount of calories, carbs, and sugar in each meal but dinner is the one that I worry about the most.

What it all comes down to is speaking up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want at restaurants so that you stay on track. You’d be amazed at how accommodating restaurants can be with customers. I used to be one of those people who didn’t want to make a fuss but not anymore.

Image courtesy stockimages

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3 Ways to Handle Disappointment on the Scale

3 Ways to Handle Disappointment on the ScaleI’ve heard and read many different things about weighing in. Some say you should weigh in once a week, others say you should weigh in twice a month, while others say to weigh in daily. Ugh – who knows what’s right; I just want to keep up-to-date on what’s happening with those numbers. With that said, I’ve started weighing myself daily, but that’s brought about many disappointments. However, I’d rather know what’s going on from day to day than think that I’m doing right when I’m not.

Don’t Dwell on the Number

The number on the scale is just a number. Yes, I know how ridiculous this sounds, especially coming from an obese woman, but it’s true. That number does not represent who you are as a person! As humans, our weight fluctuates daily and it’s even worse if you’re a woman. Since I’ve been weighing myself daily, I’ve seen the numbers go down and up – way up. I’ve seriously thought about throwing my scale a time or two but, fortunately, that thought was fleeting.

It’s important to keep a close eye on your weight, but dwelling on it can cause further disappointment, frustration, and may cause you to give up all together. Do not let that happen!

Use it as a Learning Tool

The number on the scale is a learning tool for you to stay on track with your efforts. Weighing myself daily has allowed me to see which foods I need to stay away from in order to maximize my weight loss. For example, I had pasta last week (whole grain, of course) and I retained so much water from that meal it was ridiculous! I now know that I need to steer clear of pasta if I want to see the numbers go down. It also showed me that I’m going to retain water if I eat pasta so I know what to expect.

Learning which foods trigger water retention and which foods don’t is a great way to change your eating habits for the better. If you’re a woman, you know you’re going to retain water at least once per month. Even if you know when your “visitor” arrives, you may not be aware of when you begin to exhibit symptoms of it. This is a good time to get to know your body better so that you’re aware of when your body holds onto water. Don’t let that throw you off!

Up Your Game

Use the number on the scale to keep you motivated to up your game! Increase your exercise, especially if what you’re doing is getting easier for you. Our bodies often become complacent with a routine if we do it for too long. That means that we don’t burn as many calories or fat doing a routine we’ve done for the last 6 weeks. Some people recommend that you change your exercise routine every six weeks to keep this from happening. Although having a routine is perfectly normal and acceptable, we need to make adjustments as our bodies change in order to keep it working efficiently.

Add an extra five or ten minutes to your routine, change the time of day you exercise, or simply add a walk 2-3 days per week. It doesn’t take much to change it up a bit to get the numbers moving in the right direction.

The moral of the story is that the scale does not define you and you shouldn’t let it! Use it to your advantage and you won’t be intimidated by it anymore. You’re still going to get frustrated from time to time, but at least you’ll be fully armed with the knowledge to understand why the numbers went up.

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How I’m Dealing with Type 2 Diabetes

How I'm Dealing with Type 2 DiabetesWhen I was told that I had Type 2 diabetes, my mind stopped. I was scared. Not only for myself, but for my family. In my mind I’m not old enough to deal with health issues like this but the reality is, I am. Although I still feel like I’m 16 (on a good day), I have to realize that I’m in my mid-30s and it’s high time I take responsibility for my health! It’s been 3 weeks since my diagnosis and I’ve been dealing with it fairly well – if I do say so myself.


This was the most difficult part for me. I had to admit that I’ve done this to myself and that was a bitter pill to swallow. Once it sunk in that this was all my fault, I started to have clarity and things started to fall into place. I have to do what’s necessary to change my life and health so that I can cure myself. I’m not going to rely solely on medication because it’s my fault I have diabetes to begin with.

Eat better

Type 2 diabetes is a curable disease that often occurs when people are overweight, or, in my case, obese. I have to completely change my eating habits if I expect to see any changes. I really thought this was going to be difficult because my family is a meat and potatoes kinda family. But, I’m happy to report that it hasn’t been difficult at all! I’ve switched my breads and pastas to whole grain, my rice from white to brown, and my snacks are low carb and often sugar free.

Get Moving

One sure-fire way to get rid of diabetes is to move more. I can’t just sit around and think that the weight is going to magically fall off because we all know it doesn’t happen that way. I got myself a new FitBit (the charge HR) and I’ve been trying to meet my step goal daily. I’ve dusted off my recumbent bike and I started riding while I’m watching television. Sometimes that 20 minutes flies by and other times, well, let’s just say, I’m watching the clock. But, any additional movement is better for me than just holding my couch to the floor.

Realize it’s curable

This is not a death sentence! Type 2 diabetes is curable by losing weight and making healthier choices. Even losing as little as 10 pounds can make all the difference, according to my doctor. As of this writing, I’ve lost 14 pounds and I couldn’t be happier about it! I’ve been testing my sugar each morning and I’m happy to report that it’s only been out of range once. My doctor told me to keep my numbers between 80-120 and I’ve done it. The highest my sugar has been is 134 and that was 2 weeks ago.

Stick to a schedule

It’s important to keep your blood sugar, or glucose, as stable as possible to prevent spikes throughout the day. You all know that I’m a planner fanatic so I’ve just incorporated that into my routine. I eat on a schedule every day to keep my sugar under control. The only time I really have an issue with this is one the weekends, for a couple of reasons: 1) I sleep in which makes my meals later than usual, and 2) we’re often out of the house a lot running errands or doing something together as a family. I’ve learned to always have snacks in my bag so that I can somewhat keep my schedule when we’re out.

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes isn’t the end of the world. It’s an opportunity for you to take control of your health – once and for all! My next checkup with my doctor is in 6 months and I’m determined to walk in there and knock her socks off. We each cope with things in our own way, but I’m here to tell you not to dwell on things. If there’s anything you can do to change your current situation, do it! You hold the power to change your life – YOU – no one else. If there’s something you want to change, change it.

Image courtesy Gualberto107

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How to Shop for Healthy Foods with a Family

How to Shop for Healthy Foods with a FamilyIf you’re anything like me, grocery shopping is a huge pain on a normal day. Trying to eat healthy and manage weight loss makes grocery shopping even more difficult – especially when my family tags along. We have a limited amount of time together so we always grocery shop together, which makes it somewhat difficult for me. I’m a list maker and I tend to only go down the aisles that house the items on my list. My husband, however, is the total opposite. He goes down each and every aisle, whether we need anything or not, just to look, he says. Here’s how I shop for healthy foods with a family.

The first thing I do is make my plan of attack. I think of the supermarket as the battlefield because it’s chock full of temptations that can very easily sway me. My husband and I are strategic now when it comes to grocery shopping. We divide and conquer.

I’m a paper and pen list maker but I’ve adjusted to make things a bit easier for my husband, who, for whatever reason, despises writing things down. We use the Out of Milk app (Apple & Android) on our phones to make our grocery list because we can share it. He tackles the inner parts of the store and I handle the outer perimeter.

One thing that I always do before heading out to the grocery store is to make sure I’m not hungry. I grab a snack or make sure I have lunch before I walk through those doors. If I don’t have something on my stomach, I tend to buy more crap, which defeats the purpose of shopping for healthy foods. If I’m not the least bit hungry, I always throw a baggie of cashews or something in my bag before we go. There’s nothing wrong with noshing on a snack as you’re shopping. 🙂

I try to plan our meals for the week before heading to the store, too. This not only helps keep me on track with my food but it’s good for my budget, too! We only buy what’s absolutely necessary to get through the week and whatever spices or condiments we may need. I plan all 3 of my meals because it’s easier for me. I don’t like having to think too much about what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Of course, dinner is the only meal that my family participates in planning, which is okay. I can always make my portion of dinner healthy even if they don’t.

That’s how I shop for healthy foods with a family. It’s not always easy but it’s nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be either. That was just another excuse I made for not shopping for healthy foods before, but that’s not the case now.

Image courtesy of stockimages

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My First Weigh In: How Did I Do?

My First Weigh InThis is my first weigh in and I don’t have high expectations. I haven’t been exercising at all. Well, except for walking around the zoo over the weekend. But, other than that, I haven’t done anything. I’m trying to focus on one thing at a time and get a firm grasp before I move on to something else. Since food is the hardest for me, I’m tackling that first. You know, the whole eat the frog mentality.

Since I’ve only focused on my food, I wasn’t expecting to see much of a change on the scale. I wasn’t even planning on weighing myself so soon after my check up but I was curious. Every other time I’ve done this, I’ve weighed myself daily. I know, I know, some of you are going to say I shouldn’t do that but it works for me, okay?

I’ve been stepping on the scale all week just to see what’s happening. Imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale yesterday and saw….drum roll please…..268.0! Which means, if my math is right, that I’ve lost 10 pounds! I know that this is pretty much all water weight but, hey, I’ll take what I can get. 😀 I can’t tell you what this has done for my motivation!

The only thing I’ve done is watch my carbs, sugar, and calories. I’ve also done some meal planning and snack prep. I love cashew, and, as it turns out, they’re good for you. So, I bought some and portioned them out into snack baggies. I just grab and go now and I love it!

For week 2, I’ll be incorporating exercise into the mix to see what happens. So, stay tuned for the next weigh in to see how I did.

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In the Beginning I was 278 Pounds…

In the Beginning I was 278 Pounds...I had my 6 month check up on Monday and I weighed in at a whopping 278 pounds. This is the largest I’ve ever been and I’m not going to stand for it anymore. At the end of this check up, I learned, not only do I still have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but I also have type 2 diabetes. I’ve been teetering on the edge for quite some time but I never thought I’d fall. Well, it looks like I was wrong.

Like everyone else who struggles with weight loss, I’ve tried just about everything to lose the pounds. My problem is that, while I have good intentions, my follow through sucks balls! Each time, I’ve started strong only to hurt myself or let something throw me off course. Right now, I no longer have that option. Despite how I feel or what I’d rather do, my health must be front and center of everything in my life. I’ve made it clear to myself and everyone around me that I don’t love myself and that stops now.

I guess it was sometime last year, when I was floating around in the pool, that my brain started chattering away about me. It was so intense that I had to get out of the pool and write it all down. It just wasn’t going to let it go. So, out I got and wrote until my brain finally shut up about it. Here’s what I figured out (and, yes, it still applies):

What do I like about myself?

  1. Sense of humor
  2. Compassionate
  3. Intelligent
  4. Legs
  5. Hands
  6. Face
  7. Hair

What don’t I like about myself?

  1. Weight/Health
  2. Boobs
  3. Perfectionist tendencies
  4. I expect too much
  5. Acne scars
  6. Laziness

How can I change what I don’t like?

1. I need to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. I need to eat better foods; more whole grains, fruits, and veggies. I need to track all of my food and exercise using the LoseIt app. I must exercise first thing in the morning so that I actually do it!

2. Unless I have plastic surgery, there’s not a whole lot I can do about this one. My boobs don’t bother me enough to willingly have surgery that’s going to render me virtually useless for a few weeks.

3. I don’t want to settle for close enough is good enough, but I don’t want to keep adding stress to my life either. I have to learn to accept that my best is good enough. Not everyone is going to be happy with me or what I do, but I’m not responsible for anyone’s happiness but mine.

4. I need to learn to expect absolutely nothing or to accept that whatever wasn’t meant to be. Basically, I need a more positive outlook on things and people. Not everyone is as thoughtful or considerate as me.

5. These scars could be much worse than they are and I’m grateful they aren’t. I could spend hundreds of dollars on chemical peels, which would lessen the scars but leave me confined to the house because of peeling. Or, I can accept them as a badge of courage and find new techniques to covering them using makeup.

6. I need to just get things done so that I can stay on track. Even if I don’t want to do it, I have to suck it up and get it done. I need to remind myself that the more I get done, the less I have to do the next day. What an example to set for the boys!

This was all well before my diagnosis but it definitely still applies. Maybe diabetes was the kick in the ass I needed – I don’t know. I’d hate to think that I let myself get this far gone before I took action but, let’s be real, that’s exactly what happened. I failed at taking care of myself – period. I could ramble off excuse after excuse but that’s the real deal.

How did I let myself get to 278 pounds?!

The answer is simple – I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and I didn’t exercise. I was lazy. I struggle with emotional eating, skipping meals, and always making excuses as to why I can’t do this or can’t do that. My favorite go-to excuse was that I didn’t have time. Bullshit! I didn’t make time – there’s a difference. I waited until the last horn blew to get off my ass and do something about it. I’m a triple threat and not in the way I want to be but I’ll get there.

So, what I am doing differently now?

Well, as of Monday, my entire world changed. It’s all whole grains for me, counting calories and carbs, and cutting way back on sugar. That was the hardest because I love my iced coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts. I started Metformin today and I’ve also been testing my glucose once a day. Now that’s a pain in the ass! The Metformin is no walk in the friggin’ park either. It’s like trying to swallow a dime. I grew out of that stuff a long time ago! 😉 I’ve researched the hell out of type 2 diabetes. I’m talking recipes, carb counts, glucose levels, everything. I’ve spent a lot time really learning about it and taking it all in.

What’s to come?

Who the hell knows but I can tell you this – I will NEVER see 278 pounds again! I know – never say never – but, trust me when I say that I will never see it again. I’m not going to let it happen!

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