Know When to Say “When!”

Hello People!

Long time no post.  I have been in diet limbo for the past near month.  On a whim, I ordered a long forgotten diet that had worked for me in the past, The Prism Diet, and had started it with full enthusiasm.  It is based on Christian principles that when applied, are darn good.  It requires a mentor to monitor your progress.  This is very important.  So, I called the number listed extensively throughout the book and the-all-important Curriculum Binder to ask the headquarters if they could find me a mentor.  The number sent me to a recorded message that wanted to send me on a “FREE CRUISE!!!” Also, when searching for the diet and a basic website on Google, one is lead to a series of dead-ends mostly with people asking on chat rooms if the diet works or not (most decide that it is too rigid, to this I LOL’d a few times).  There isn’t a website or a headquarters.  Apparently, the diet is now defunct and the creators of it don’t care about you or their precious diet that was created for the masses.  To be honest, I couldn’t even find an entire Curriculum (each section of the diet is grouped by 6 weeks of time, this is contained in the Binder as a whole; mine is missing the last 6 weeks) and only ordered a partial from Amazon; used of course.  Then, I got bored. Then, I got angry.

It just isn’t working anymore.  I think my body gave up on dieting and has taken the offensive against my good intentions.  It is holding onto 25 pounds of fat like white on rice and I’ll be damned if losing it isn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done, including training for a marathon!

Sooooo….. I made a little/big video just for my blogging friends.  I’m sorry it is a half hour long, but it is straight from my heart and I could not find any of it to trim to make it shorter.  It was filmed in my backyard on a breezy afternoon.  So, if you get bored looking at me, you can watch the leaves dance behind me.  This video explains my current thoughts on losing weight, what I plan to do in the future and what I think about diets.  I’m sure you can guess, but I would be happy if you watched it anyhow.  It just might give you some ideas if you are in a rut as well.

P.S. The blog will be different from now on based on these thoughts.  I am even contemplating changing the image of this blog to reflect my new attitude towards eating and health.

The Optimist’s Creed

Inspirational Sunday: The Optimist’s Creed

images

I thought I would send you a bit of positivity your way on this Sunday evening.  My energy is way low today, one reason being that I’ve lost sleep over a very stressful conversation/argument I recently had, and it’s at times like this one that I look at this mantra to find my hope in life again.  I’ve been choosing a sentence a day to meditate on and think about all the meaning inside of it. Every person on the planet is living a different experience from the next, so your take on each of the sentences may be different from mine.  And it stands to reason that there isn’t a culture, religious person, nation, or peoples who couldn’t use a bit more optimistic thinking in their daily life.  No matter what, we all get down and out sometimes.  I found this in my Daily Teachings from The Secret.

The Optimist’s Creed

“I promise myself…

To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.

To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature I meet.

To give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.”

CHRISTIAN D. LARSON (1874-1954)

images-1

 

Challenge Video #2

Hello People!

I have another installment in my video series: Challenge Videos.  This one is about eating as much of the colorful fruits and vegetables as you can swallow each day.  Usually, on most diet plans, vegetables (provided they aren’t root veggies) are considered “free” foods or the calories aren’t really counted because for the most part they don’t have too many per serving.  Fruits, do have some calories, but I don’t think it hurts a person to eat at least 2 pieces or servings a day.  It’s certainly better than having a bag of cheetos!

Consider these numbers:

  • 1 whole raw Onion = 40 cals
  • 1 medium Bell Pepper = 25 cals
  • 1/2 cup of Sauerkraut = 25 cals
  • 1/2 cup of cooked Spinach = 20 cals
  • 1/2 cup of raw sliced Summer Squash = 13 / cooked = 18
  • 10 sprigs of Watercress = 10 cals
  • 1 medium 5 oz. Tomato = 35 cals
  • 1/2 cup of Turnips = 15 cals / Greens = 15
  • 1 cup of Lettuce (all types) = 10 cals
  • 1/2 raw Mushrooms = 10 cals / cooked = 20
  • 1 medium raw Carrot = 33 cals
  • 3 oz. cooked Cauliflower = 15 cals
  • 1 stalk of Celery = 5 cals
  • 2 oz. of Fennel = 10 cals
  • 1 whole Cucumber = 40 cals
  • 1/2 cup of Collard Greens = 15 cals
  • 1/2 cup Green Beans or Snap Beans = 20 cals
  • 1/2 cup cooked Broccoli = 25 cals
  • 1/2 cup cooked Beets = 25 cals
  • 1 whole Eggplant, 4.5 oz. = 40 cals
  • 1/2 cup raw Jicama = 25 cals
  • 1/2 cup Kale = 20 cals

Shall I go on?  You can see from this list that the numbers are low and that’s for full servings.  Remember too, that when you cook something like mushrooms or squash, the water leeches out in the cooking process making the total weight smaller after cooking, so you can eat more of cooked vegetables than raw per serving.  See any you want to try tonight?

P.S. Sometimes, to add more vegetable and fruits into my diet, I make a green smoothie that I’ll show you how I make in another post.

New, Old Plans

Hello People!

Unknown-3

Sorry I took a long break from the blog here.  It wasn’t that I lost focus on losing weight or exercising or reading anything and everything about health and wellness.  Those things are always happening in my life no matter what.

In fact, I began a rigorous exercise program 3 months ago and have dramatically changed the shape of my body.  I mentioned somewhere on here before that I would take photos to show a before and after effect.  I was doing just that, but then I started to notice something that was irritating me…I was changing the shape of my body by building muscle, but I was not losing any weight (talk about stubborn!).  You may also be aware that too much rigorous exercise can increase one’s appetite, offsetting the fat loss one hopes to lose while sweating and dying to such routines. So, I’m keeping my workouts to under an hour and a half.  But usually, it’s just an hour a day.  My long 2.5 hour Sunday walk is out.  Walking is great, for beginners, but if you want to really see changes, you must up the ante.

So back to that non-weight-loss problem.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhh!  Full Charlie Brown style.  I have become one irritated person and it is time for the big guns.  I was really hoping that I could lose weight by eating a sensible number of calories, thus not lowering my metabolism and causing metabolic damage.  Let’s just say I have, during my absence, taken every road for that plan and no weight has been lost.  I have maintained weight, which is great and useful for later on, but I need to drop these 25 pounds now!!! I don’t want to wait any longer (not that I’ve been waiting, it’s been more like an exercise in futility for 3 arduous years).

Therefore, I have gone back to an old flame.  The one diet that I lost considerable amount of weight on about 13 years ago, is now in my possession.  Since reading the book that was written about it, I have realized that this particular diet is now defunct across the nation.  Not because it was a bad diet or had problems with it’s requirements; actually, I don’t know why.  The phone number listed for more information connects you to a “Win a Cruise for 2!!!” hotline.  A website does not exist.  The only thing that keeps popping up on Google is about a “Fat Chick on a Diet” complaining that because she wanted a bite of fudge at Christmas, she wasn’t going to go on the diet and sent all the materials back (LOSER!, or, not really).  One of the main important features of the diet is to have an accountability partner or leader help you weekly with your lessons and progress.  This person checks your food diary and goes over your workbook answers and discusses anything that may need to be addressed.  That is the best part because the accountability holds you, the dieter, responsible and makes you think twice about eating that “forbidden food.”  The diet is called PRISM.

2a98cd_68d398a662212f051c57e911841245f6.jpg_srz_315_235_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

 

I will go into more detail about it in another post (I ordered from Amazon an incomplete workbook for phases 1 – 3, but there are 4), but for now I just wanted to inform you that along with my fitness regime I now have a rigorous diet plan.  It isn’t easy or flexible.  It does work though, and that is the bottom line.  For some of us, we need strict adherences.  Even a little bit517TAn-00PL of leeway opens the door to temptation which then leads to failure.  This has been my pattern and I want to end it as soon as possible.  For now, my accountability partner will be you all  :)  and God.  I’ll share my weekly food journals with you on Thursdays from the previous week.

more to come….

The Flexible Factor

Exercise Monday: The Flexible Factor – Yoga Practice #1

Hello People!

I’m back with another exercise suggestion.  I was going to tell you all about my new exercise program that I have been vigorously following for 4 weeks, but, I’m going to drag it out a bit more for the end result.  It will be more of an impact that way.  The goal is to reveal what the plan has done to change my body.  I can tell you that it is an 8 week program designed to burn fat.  Although it is just exercise, they do recommend taking in fewer calories to help your progress…DUH!

Today I want to suggest a supplement to your workouts.  An addition, if you will, that should not be ignored.  It is often said in the weight loss community, that in order to lose weight and change your body you need to eat less and move more.  Specifically, if you want to literally change your shape your “move more” needs to include weight lifting or strength training as it is often referred to.  If you do this on a regular basis, you may find that your back, leg and upperimages body muscles become stiffer the stronger you get.  When I think of a Line Backer in football, I don’t think elegance and grace.  I think of a M.A.C. truck barreling down the highway.

Being bulky and muscular does tend to make the muscles less flexible; no science needed, I think it’s obvious.  Therefore, increasing flexibility in the body alongside your weight routines also needs to be a component in the working out regime.  Why? Well, I think that working on and building flexibility will help your strength increase in the long run.  They work synergistically together.  The more able you are to stretch further, the more ability to isolate a muscle for higher quality reps; perhaps because the muscle will be less apt to seize up with tension.  The muscle may not tighten and become fatigued too soon if you are flexible.  Plus, being flexy helps the recovery of the muscle to not be so sore and painful.  The next time you workout similar muscles, they won’t be aching due to excessive stiffness if you have adequately stretched them.  I also recall in ballet that if you stretch the muscle after it has been worked, it will elongate better and not create a short stocky type of build.  This is not proven as far as I know, but I do know a lot of ballet dancers who swear by this.

The core is also important to keep strong, and all movement stems from the core.  The core, to me, means the box of your shoulders to your hips.  Without good core stability, the weight workout, no matter how intense, can suffer since all limbs stem from the core. You don’t want to images-1rely on surrounding muscles for stability when lifting weights.  This lessens the intensity of the muscle being worked.  You want to focus on the muscle at hand and isolate it without the aid of surrounding muscles to “cheat” the lifting/lowering.  If you’re bending awkwardly or having to use less weight because there is strain due to poor core strength, you should consider increasing the power through the center of the body in addition to your regular routine.

Enter Yoga.  Yeah, it’s granola-y and full of weird spiritual people in tight clothes, but it can do amazing things.  Have you ever done a real Yoga Class at a studio?  It is butt hard!  Not easy or peaceful.  My muscles were screaming for days and I took the beginner class!  I’m not suggesting thatimages-2 type of yoga for you, yet…. How about you start off with something like this?  I’m going to do it tonight after dinner (wait and hour though).  I think it perfectly helps correct all of those issues I talk about above. It can’t hurt you.  And all else aside, who couldn’t benefit from being more flexible?

 

Notable Quotable #1

Inspirational Sunday: Notable Quotable #1

Hello People!

I am following an exercise program (more on that in tomorrow’s post), and daily, I am given a quote to ponder.  I found this one particularly pertinent to me:

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’ “.                    -Unknown

images

The program is rigorous. My commitment to keep up the 6 days a week regime at the start, were solid, and then there were snags 3 weeks into it…I got raging sick, twice.  I was working so hard and following the plan so well.  Pictures were being taken weekly for a before and after sequence.  It made me so mad that I woke up one day not able to get out of bed, much less lift a dumbbell.  Not following the program was hard enough, on top of that, when I get sick, for some reason my appetite rages out of control (not surprised, I’m defaulted to overeat by nature; being sick just heightens that even more) making me crave carbs like nothing else.  I suppose this is because of the lack in energy the virus is stealing from me and my body needing to fight off whatever ails me.

Unknown

That Katy Perry song has nothing on me, my “Roar” sometimes is a deeper promise for tomorrow. You know my desire to lose weight has been haunting me for years, I’m not going to now let a temporary sickness get in my way.  I told myself, “take the time to heal, then jump back in full force when you are up for it.”  It took about a week and a half, and many carbs later, but I’m back in the saddle again.

It’s not just the big reasons that make me break my commitment at times, it’s also the small things that come up.  Today, I just had a lack of energy to follow through on what I planned to do this afternoon.  The plans made for the day were put aside just to listen to what my body wanted: rest and relaxation.  I don’t have a good reason why, that is just how I felt.  I did not waste my workout or good eating habits though.  These remain a part of the plan no matter what.  But if I plan a day to garden for 4 hours, but all I want is a nap, then I compromise.  Instead of 4 hours, I did 40 minutes of simple stuff out in the yard.  I’ll make up for those bigger plans another time.  No big deal.  Tomorrow is another day and I can always do more if I’m up for it.

I also want to re-state that old stand-by: Consistency is Key.  It isn’t about just today, it’s about the total addition of day to day, week to week, month to month commitments.  One, two, or even three days out of a month that get “ruined” for whatever reason don’t need to derail one’s plans permanently.  Get back on the wagon tomorrow even stronger than before. That’s my roar speaking in a quiet voice!

images-1

 

Meal Snapshot: Black Bean Burger

Hello People!

I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I would show you a pix of a recent meal I had/made of a black bean burger recipe. Here is the final product.  It was paired with a salad with Ceasar dressing that I bought from the grocery store.  As mentioned in the earlier post, the taste was good, but the burger fell apart when eating making a giant mess.  Oh well, more recipes for me to try to perfect it!

A Yummy Lunch!

A Yummy Lunch!

Challenge Video #1

Foodie Friday:  Challenge Video #1: Sweet Beverages

Hello People!

I’ve got a video that I made for you today.  I hope you like it.  It was actually made a really long time ago, but I want to share it with you now.  I hope you find it inspirational and take me up on my challenge! (Actually, I need to take me up on my challenge and find that Chai Spice Yerba Mate tea I recommend and get off the coffee that I went back to drinking…Just one more cup!)

Speaking of videos, I’m at the end of my year for teaching at the college (where I work) and will soon have way too much idle time on my hands.  I was thinking of making a YouTube channel just for bfitafter40.  Would you like that?  I could make more videos in that genre that way since my normal channel is about a myriad of topics besides weight-loss and getting fit.  I’ll keep you informed.

P.S. I’m laughing at my hair in this video because it looks like I used a whole can of hairspray on it.  I think it was 120 degrees inside my house that day and didn’t want to look like a sweaty mess. Ha Ha!  I hope you enjoy.

Eating Sugar = Storing Fat

Hello People,

Yes, I said it.  And, it is true.  Don’t believe me?  You think that if you work out and eat low-calorie that you will burn it off?  No, you are wrong. That would be true if you are running a marathon or are in a triathlon.  You work out like that every day?  I don’t think so.  Please watch this viral video (over 4 million have analyzed and touted it) in your next opportunity of free time and educate yourself about the horrors of sugar and what it does in the body.  I’m talking about table sugar, the white stuff, the processed refined granulated sweet evil that can come in a variety of names.  Don’t be fooled by the words: Turbinado, Granulated, Castor, Powdered, Organic Cane, Brown, etc.  These are all sucrose, which you will learn in this very important video are glucose and fructose linked together.  It isn’t the glucose that is the problem, it’s the fructose.  Yes, fructose is also fruit sugar, but with fruit, you get fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Plain sugar gives you nothing but an addiction. He touches on the dangers of drinking fruit juice which is fruit without the benefits.

I am in my 3rd week of being sugar-free (YAY me!!!)  Yes, I felt the full effect of head-aches, mad food cravings, desperate desires for “one more hit!!!”, the shakes, and hormonal mood swings for 3 days.  Then, it all went away.  The funny thing is, if you don’t eat sugar, you don’t crave it.  You also won’t be starving in general anymore due to low-blood sugar swings.  You do know how sugar works, right?  It raises your insulin and then tries to shuttle the excess sugar into cells, who don’t want or need it and then…just watch the video.  I know it’s long.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry.  It talks about how we metabolize alcohol too.  It is very similar to sugar.  I’ll stop talking about it now.  Please watch it:

Recipe Ideas

Foodie Friday: Recipe Ideas to Spice It Up!

Hello People,

images

I wanted to share a practice that I use in regards to recipes.  I LOVE cookbooks, and that is an understatement, and I love trying new recipes as often as I change clothes.  What can I say? I just get bored eating the same old thing day-in and day-out.  If a recipe really jumps off the page and is beyond amazing, I will cook it again and keep it in my repertoire of food that is really good when I want to eat something I know for a fact is delicious or want impress someone else with my amazing cooking skills (sly fox!).

My system for keeping track of how a recipe fared in my kitchen and stomach is by using check _MG_0918style grading marks.  A check + (plus) means that the recipe was out of the ball park good and will definitely be made again (any recipe I’ve shared on here, the blog, has received that marking); a plain  check by itself indicates that the recipe tasted so-so or had some issues in preparation or difficulties in ingredients.  I may or may not prepare that dish again depending on it’s problems.  If it was a simple matter of overcooking or the wrong proportions of ingredients, it may take more experimenting to decide ultimately; a check – (minus) means that the recipe was a real fail and either is thrown away if it came from a magazine or clearly marked to_MG_0923 ignore if I come across it again in a book.  I place these checks on top of the recipe in bold black ink so that I can see it clearly (pencil can fade or get erased) when thumbing through the book the next time I’m hunting down new recipes.

I also add personal notes in regards to what I think the problems were, what extra ingredients I _MG_0920added/took out, how it didn’t work well halved/doubled, cooking temperature problems, and generally what I thought about how it tasted.  If the recipe was delicious_MG_0919 with the additions I made, then I keep them for the next time I make the dish.  I also know that I can manipulate the recipe for further tweaking if I want too later.

_MG_0925

At one point, I sat down with 4 or 5 five of my favorite cookbooks (books that I’ve got a lot of check pluses in!) and wrote down on a paper recipes from those books, under different headings, that I must try and that would be appropriate for clean eating and/or weight loss.  On that list I cross off the one’s that I’ve cooked and continue on the list when I want to try something new.  I found recipes for all types of meals: dinners, lunches, salads, soups, etc.  Each one of these recipes I “tasted” in my mind before choosing them for the list thinking that they would probably end up as check pluses eventually.  Most do, some don’t. The picture in tomorrow’s post is the result of one such recipe that only gets a plain check from me (Black Bean Burgers).  The taste was good, but the burger fell apart and was a mess.  Tricky to cook too.  Also, the recipe asked for no seasoning.  I found that extremely odd.  Of course, I added my own.  One thing I should have added to this list, is the page numbers that I found these recipes on.  I can just as easily look in the Index for them because the book is indicated (by abbreviation), however, I’m just lazy.

Do you have any ways of remembering how you liked or didn’t like a recipe?  I have so many recipes in books and torn out sheets/cards it’s hard to keep track of.  Perhaps my method can give some of you ideas if you share in my: I-have-too-many-cookbooks “problem.”