Hooray, it is Saturday! :)

Image of front page of website.


I have been quite busy this week and didn’t have time to do the daily posts that I would have liked to do.  However, I have to be realistic and admit that life comes first and I probably won’t be able to update everyday.  However, I will make it my goal to have at least one new post a week.

My weight loss has been rolling as a pace that I am pleased with.  I do not want to lose the weight too quickly because I worry that it won’t stay off.  I also have a horrific fear of having weird, loose, saggy skin in places if I don’t allow it time to keep up with me.  That being said, I have lost about 3 pounds in the last 10 days.  What have I been doing?  Remember, I am now the anti-diet.  I don’t want to do Atkin’s or pills or Sensa or anything that is going to be  a TEMPORARY solution because then my weight loss and my health will be exactly that, TEMPORARY.

I have been using the amazing program at www.myfitnesspal.com.  If you are trying to lose any amount of weight, or if you are just looking to get healthy and be more aware of what you are putting in your body, I HIGHLY recommend this program.  It is FREE!  Free is the best.  You are able to log your food and water intake, as well as your exercise.  When you put in your weight, you can choose a goal weight if you want to lose and how much you would like to lose per week.  (1 or 2 pound options… no more because it isn’t healthy!)  If you are happy with your weight and just looking to maintain it, they have a maintenance setting as well.  It will then calculate your recommended calorie intake and break it down into carbs, fats and protein.  There are a few different settings that you can modify.

One of the things I also LOVE about this program is the support system and message boards.  The community is so incredibly supportive and will cheer you on for your successes and boost you up when you feel down.  They also make it really convenient on the go with apps for your smartphones!  The app is simple and easy to use.

Check it out!  You won’t regret it! 🙂


Serious Sunday: Why I Don’t Drink “Diet”

Image: Creative Commons, Taken by: Roadsidepictures on Flickr

I know what you are thinking.  “Jen, don’t you even go trying to take one of my biggest diet-friendly guilty pleasures away from me!”  I felt the same way, believe me.  Ever since sometime in middle or high school, I have been a HEAVY, and I do mean HEAVY diet soda drinker.  It was my main source of fluid for years… and even though it said “Diet” on the front, I never managed to lose weight.  (Of course, the other FOODS were a contributor to this, for sure!)  So, recently, I decided to do some research.  As I am making my lifestyle change, I am not only trying to lose weight, but also to get really HEALTHY!  Something I am not so sure I have ever been before.  What I found was scary.  I quit drinking diet sodas and tried to switch to water.  I relapsed! (Good gravy, addict terms?! Oh yes, I was for sure!)  However, I have finally gotten it fully out of my system and I feel so much better for having done it!
Let me give you some of the facts and you can make your own decisions.  We’re all big kids here, right?

  • “Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods.” – Dr. Mercola (Click to view his website)
  • It is known by NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal Measure.
  • “Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA.”
  • “According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame: Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson’s disease, alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.”
  • In Laymen’s terms, the ingredients in aspartame kill off neurons in your brain.
  • “A few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage include:
    • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
    • ALS
    • Memory loss
    • Hormonal problems
    • Hearing loss
    • Epilepsy
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Hypoglycemia
    • AIDS
    • Dementia
    • Brain lesions
    • Neuroendocrine disorders
  • Side effects as reported to the FDA include:
      • Headaches/migraines
      • Nausea
      • Abdominal pains
      • Fatigue (blocks sufficient glucose entry into brain)
      • Sleep problems
      • Vision problems
      • Anxiety attacks
      • Depression
      • Asthma/chest tightness”

Excuse my bullets gone wild up there.  All of this information has been pulled from Dr. Mercola’s website.  He is a doctor who is very passionate about the negative effects of aspartame.  You can click the quote on the first bullet to go to his site and get more information.

Giving up diet soda wasn’t easy for me, but the benefits are worth it.  I feel better, have less headaches (once I went through the withdrawal period) and save money!

I drink naturally flavored waters now, such as Hint water, which contains no sweeteners of any kind but still gives you a nice fruity flavor.  For those who love the fizz of soda, they also make fizzy waters!

Picture from the drinkhint.com website.

A New Beginning… Take 2,000,000.

I feel like I have started on this journey so many times that I couldn’t even count if I tried to.  I have been a life long dieter.  Since high school, I have tried everything from weight loss pills, the Atkin’s diet, Weight Watchers, Sensa, diets of my own creation, etc.  However, the fact of the matter is, none of them have lasted!   I have been successful in significant weight a few times in my life.  But good grief, wouldn’t you know that is always comes creeping back with an extra 10 or 20.  The problem is that I have not madelifestyle changes.  I have always just seen my changes as a temporary solution.  I think that is why this time will be different.

My father was diagnosed a few years ago with Type II Diabetes.  I never really realized how serious of a disease diabetes can be.  I figured, “Eh, you take the pill or inject and all is well.”  I was naive.  My father has a string of health conditions now that have been caused by his diabetes.  He is currently awaiting oral surgery that will cause him to drink out of a straw for a month because the sugar levels in his blood have caused him to have issues with his teeth and gums.  He has high blood pressure, skin sensitivity, fatigues easily if he isn’t exercising actively everyday, etc.  This has become one of my huge motivators.  I can see the worry on his face when he looks at me, the heaviest I have ever been, and sees his future for me – only it will start sooner for me than it did for him.

Another motivation is simply feeling good and being healthy.  I would love to be able to do physical activities and not feel like I am jiggling all over the place or huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf.  I am not engaged yet, but I know that I will be in the nearish future, and quite frankly, who wants to be the heaviest they have ever been on their wedding day?  I would like to hopefully have children someday.  I don’t want to put myself or my children at a higher risk of disease and complications.  Finally, on the most vain level, I want to lookgood and I want to be able to wear the cute fashionable clothes that I can only drool over in my current state.

I know there are millions of women out there who feel like me in one sense or another.  Perhaps you are already battling Type II Diabetes or are desperately trying to prevent it’s onset.  Perhaps you are preparing yourself for one of the biggest events of your life.  Perhaps you just want to feel great and look good.  Either way, we can do this, together!

The key is to understand that this change cannot be a temporary one if this is to last.  We have to make changes to our diet and exercise everyday.  Yep, I said it.  EVERYDAY!  It is going to stink.  There are going to be days where you will want to cry as you tie on your sneakers, but you must!  My goal is to find things that I truly enjoy doing and to try new things!  I am going to try to eat very healthy with the understanding that there will be days where I am probably going to have a slice of pizza or an ice cream cone.  You just have to understand that that one ice cream cone doesn’t mean that you have to restart your diet on Monday or just give up for the rest of the week.  You didn’t blow your day or your diet because life happens and it isn’t a diet!  It is a life change.

Feel free to track my diet and exercise progress at MyFitnessPal.