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July 2010

June 2010

Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart

In my quest to find my inner athlete (see last week's post), I've been searching out 5Ks in the area. This time of year is stinkin' miserable, heat-wise, so I'll be doing more of them in the fall and winter months but I found an evening 5K next weekend so I signed up the whole family for that one.

Workout_every_day I'm making exercise more of a priority because as the weight-loss psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic said to me, exercise is helpful for weight loss but is crucial to maintenance. She said that I should plan on doing some sort of hourlong workout every day, because even if I skip a day or two I'll have worked out five days a week.

My old plan wasn't working:  Workout Monday through Friday with weekends off. But if I missed a couple days (or more) I was barely working out at all.

This morning, since I'm now officially training for next weekend's 5K, I pounded out an hour on the treadmill at the gym, with Wimbledon and the World Cup on all the TVs. I felt very "jock-y."

A new tool in training, provided to me by Omron, is my pedometer. I'll be trying it out for the next eight weeks, coinciding with the eight-week Cleveland Clinic Non-Surgical Weight Loss Program, which officially begins Monday morning. (Check out my review at Shrinking Sisters Reviews.)

Last Wednesday I met with the dietitian and the psychologist one on one. This week the regular group sessions begin and I get my food plan.

And by the way, July 4th is the deadline to leave a comment on the Gold Medal Fitness post to receive one of two copies of the book Gold Medal Fitness by Olympic swimmer Dara Torres.

And you can still leave a comment on the Don't Worry Be Happy post to receive either Denise's Daily Dozen or The O2 Diet book. Brenda Kaye gets the book Finally Thin.

Finding my inner athlete (she's in here somewhere)

I've been reading Dara Torres' latest book Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program, which outlines a 5-week program to get in better shape.

OK, perhaps not Olympian shape but there are some great workouts, menus and strategies. The chapter that interested me most was Your Inner Athlete.

Shrinking Sisters is one of the stops on her blog tour to promote the book, and I was sent a copy of the book to check out (and I have two for you all as well).

I've always wanted to be somewhat of a jock. In high school I did join the swim team but I was woefully behind the rest of the team in skill. I aced the workout stuff but when we hit the pool I looked like a fool, so I removed myself from the team.

In college I was really into weight training, even taking a college class that met in the Florida Gator training room. We had a leg-press contest and I won. In my foggy memory I remember it being 300 pounds but I could be wrong. Hey, I definitely have the quads to do it.

I revisited my -- cough, cough -- athletic tendencies a couple weeks ago when I completed the Weight Watchers Walk It Day 5K. I finished in less than an hour, which felt great. And boy, was I competitive. Every time I'd see a walker larger than me, my goal was to outpace them. In my brain, that was showing the other walkers that "Hey, that fat chick can hustle!"

Goldmedalfitness OK, so back to the book. I liked Dara's 10 tips for mental strength:

  1. Keep your focus
  2. Stick to your routine
  3. Practice
  4. Do your best
  5. Manage the pressure
  6. Develop a strategy
  7. Be efficient with your energy
  8. If you feel tired, ill or injured, back off
  9. Create your own support team
  10. Relax and have fun

I did all of these while training for the 5K and during it. I hit the neighborhood track a few times a week and walked for an hour (at least until the weather got too oppressive), keeping it fun with good podcasts on the iPod (Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy!), and while I didn't have much of a support team per se, I did blog about getting ready for the race, and on the day of the race I buddied up with two women who I met up with at the end.

Lately I've been looking at getting the weight off and getting in better shape as an athletic endeavor. I'll be building my support team with the people and experts at Cleveland Clinic's Non-Surgical Weight Loss Program, which I'm starting next week (can't wait!). I'm not going to make myself nuts over the task -- I'm going to relax and have fun, by making sure that my meals are healthy and creative and my exercise is something really enjoyable (lately that's been Turbo Jam). 

The five-time Olympic swimming champion and mom outlines an eating plan with 35 days of meals and snack ideas, a great resistance stretching routine called Ki-Hara, strength exercises that can be done at the gym or at home, cardio recommendations and recovery and injury tips (hey, she's in her 40s, too!).

Interested in getting your own free copy of Gold Medal Fitness? I have two to give away.

All you need to do is leave a comment on why you want to find your inner athlete. I'll give you until the Fourth of July to comment, then we'll choose two winners.

'This is the day your life will surely change'

(Play this video while reading this post.)

This past Sunday I was in the grocery store, silently bitching about the '80s party music that Publix has been obsessively playing the past month.

That wasn't all I was annoyed about. For the past few weeks I'd been losing and gaining the same 3 pounds; this weekend I was on the uptick of the yo-yo. I passed the blood pressure machine and sat down for a reading (not a smart thing to do when you're walking around pissed off).

130/86,which sucks for me. Normally I'm a 120-over-70something kinda girl.

The words "something drastic" popped into my head, as in "I"ve gotta do something drastic to get the weight off right now before something bad happens."

Every now and then the idea of weight-loss surgery crosses my brain but I'm a borderline candidate for it. Too thin! Ha!

But I'd like to go through the intensive kind of mind-body gruntwork that successful weight-loss surgery patients go through. I've seen too many acquaintances have WLS only to have the weight pile back on after about 5 minutes of success.

Cleveland Clinic Florida has a Non-Surgical Weight Loss Program that addresses the head as well as the saddlebags. It's an intensive nine-week program where you meet with a dietitian and a psychologist weekly, first one-on-one, then in a group setting. 

That would be my "something drastic" I decided in the blood-pressure machine chair.

I immediately felt better, and as I got up and started tooling around the grocery store, another '80s pop song came on overhead -- This is the Day by The The.

This is the day your life will surely change.
This is the day when things fall into place.

"You got that right, New Wave '80s British dude," I thought and hummed the song the rest of the day.

First thing Monday, I called Cleveland Clinic and got the ball rolling. I got an Rx for bloodwork, which is required of the program, as well as an OK by your primary care doctor. I do all my medical stuff at CC so this wasn't a problem.

"We have your bloodwork prescription ready. Should we mail it to your house?"

Oh heck no.

I jumped in the car, picked it up and made a lab appointment for Tuesday morning. The first available appointment was 11 a.m. Tuesday, so I sucked it up (and sucked down a ton of water yesterday morning) and got my blood drawn, while hallucinating about omelets.

This morning, after a particularly inspiring Turbo Jam workout, I called the weight-loss program head back and told her I had my bloodwork done yesterday. She rifled through some papers, said she had it and penciled me in for next Wednesday.

... All while the doorbell has been ringing all day with UPS and FedEx shipments of diet cookies, superfood miracle juice, books and other items that companies send to me to write about.

Yes, I'm sure your products are tasty and effective and cute and informative, and perhaps I'll write about them, but right now I have a plan.

I am so sick of being fat and want this stuff off so bad that I've lost a couple pounds since Sunday just from giddiness (and not eating at night).

My "drastic plan" is in place.

A pal hits the Beach to lose a few

Here's a guest post from my friend Cathy Liden Traugot, wife and mom of two.

Thinkstock Single Image Set
I used to be one of those girls who could eat Ben and Jerry’s for breakfast and not gain a pound. Age caught up. Officially north of 25 on the BMI index, unable to fit into any shorts this spring and nursing an injury that kept me from the gym, I needed to go on a diet.

I nixed food journaling --too much effort. I won’t be weighed in public. Then a friend mentioned her two weeks on that diet named after a famous beach.

Two Eggs in Carton
Since there is a dollop of science behind low-carb diets, I ate a Last Supper at an Italian restaurant and then devoted myself to chicken Caesar salads (minus the croutons), low-fat string cheese and lots of eggs and turkey bacon. Two weeks later I’ve lost 6.5 pounds and learned to love green vegetables again. My carb cravings calmed down by Day 7.

But there were aspects of the diet that made me appreciate why nothing really substitutes for eating healthy, non-processed foods. Without bread and crackers in my diet, the salt in turkey bacon and lean turkey cold cuts assaulted my tongue. But as I needed these “convenience” foods to get through the diet, I ate them and tried not to think about those studies linking processed meats to cancer.

Demand Outstrips Supply For Sugar Substitute Splenda
Pre-diet I was already a Splendaholic – but mostly to sweeten coffee. Now Splenda was in my coffee, my caffeine-free diet soda, my fake sugar fudgsicles, and faux tiramisu.

Have I really solved any diet problems? Or am I introducing other ones? Guess I’ll find out.