Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 8 - One Day at a Time.

Happy Monday my friends! I woke up this morning at 430am, got dressed, put on my running shoes and began my 19 week training session for the 2011 Honolulu Marathon, for December 11, 2011. Yeah, 19 weeks, and 70lbs to go. I tried, instead, to think about it being August 1st and I'm going to run 3 miles this morning. That seemed like a more reasonable bite to take. It was and I finished my run. I'm not going to lie, I was a bit sluggish and frustrated. My cardio health still needs work. But I have done this before, and I can do it again... I feel good about making daily choices to change my life and I try not to beat myself up for all the mistakes and bad choices I made to end up in this situation. But when I run, I do think about how my heart rate is still too high for the pace I am currently running and the only reason is a lack of consistency. So the answer is simple, shut up and run, one day at a time.

©Laura McDonell Photography, All Rights Reserved

I just wanted to share this view, because I love it so much! This morning's juice is: pineapple, orange, nectarine, plum, pear & cucumber. Just what I need to start this day! Enjoy your day!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 7 - What a Difference a Week Makes!

Hello! I took yesterday off from blogging, but not from my commitment to fresh fruits and vegetables. I have lost my first 10lbs and NOW I have 70 to go, and I'm feeling pretty good about that. I feel like EVERYTHING is possible and while I do sometimes daydream about eating a cooked meal I am still okay with raw foods for now.
Yesterday, my husband and I went to the Kapiolani Farmer's Market where we were in awe of the variety of fresh fruits & vegetables that were available. We stopped at this booth that was making "Super Green Juice"and ordered a cup. I had no idea kale was so delicious!

Everyone seemed to be here and it was like being at a carnival! We walked down each aisle and filled two reusable bags up with beets, radishes, kale, tomatoes, cilantro, avocados, & Lehua Blossom Honey....mmmm mmmm!

I had visions of pesto dancing in my daydreaming head when I saw this!

We came home with our veggies and washed them up and made a wonderful green juice of Green apple, kale, cucumber, spinach & pears. A dash of lemon for kicks!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 5 - TGIF!!!

First, a little about yesterday. I drove up to Schofield to meet a couple of friends, Debbie & Jennifer and then we headed to the North Shore to Malaekahana Bay where we crossed a small channel to Goat Island. It's a 13 acre rocky island with a beautiful sandy cove. How did we cross? With some fancy footwork! We sort of walked and floated and swam across and it was incredible! I never laughed so hard while being a bit anxious because I realized, I WORE THE WRONG WATER BOOTIES! I will be correcting that this weekend! lol
©Laura McDonell photography - All Rights Reserved.

©Laura McDonell photography - All Rights Reserved.
©Laura McDonell photography - All Rights Reserved.
©Laura McDonell photography - All Rights Reserved.

So after we crossed, we stowed our gear and hiked around the island and it was BEAUTIFUL!!! Only one other person came across while we were there, but only to swim further out for surfing! We took pictures, laughed and basically just spent the day in awe of nature and the beauty of this island and enjoying each other's company! We had real fruit snacks, water and some nuts for our snack and I think Jen had a PB&J, the only thing I have really missed on this this juice fast. And I must say, my pear was INCREDIBLE! I almost ate the core! Truly a breathtaking day!

So today, I slept in a bit, got up at 530am...hey, I've had a very busy week. Started my day with a fruit & veggie juice of pineapple, grapefruit, apple, clementines, celery and clover sprouts. Very refreshing!

I have a lot of work to do today...on my way! Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 4 - Going Strong

Feeling pretty good! Woke up at 5am this morning and got ready for the day. I made a Vegetable juice with beets, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots and celery with a splash of hot sauce. YUMMY! I'm going hiking this morning and I feel good about my energy levels today. I'm bringing water and fruit and my water-proof camera.

Yesterday, I had a shoot in the morning on the North Shore and afterwards on my way home, I stopped at Lanikea Beach to watch the turtles and ended up watching all the people. Poor turtles, there were 6 of them, some trying to come onto the beach but there were so many tourists the entire beach was lined! I was perched on a rock and just watched and I started to think about what the turtles might be thinking. I know if I was in the water trying to come to the beach to warm up and there were all of these giants lining the edge, I might be afraid and then I might think about how silly they all looked staring at I might also flip them a flipper too! I have to say, I have always loved sea life but since I have moved here, those turtles take my breath away! I am always grateful to get to see them and I feel so blessed to call Hawaii home.

Then I realized I was one of those gawkers with a camera and while I wasn't standing at the beach, I was still part of the problem. So I said a silent farewell and went home. It was a wonderful day for me!

©Laura McDonell photography - All Rights Reserved.
©Laura McDonell photography - All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 3 of My Juice Fast...

...I actually woke up looking forward to what kind of juices I will make today. Monday was by far, the most difficult. Yesterday went by pretty smoothly, I was busy and that helped. I got a little tired in the afternoon, not sure it was juice so much as it as getting up at 430am. I took a little nap and got busy again and was able to go to bed at 930...fell right asleep. I got up at 430am again, which is good practice for when I begin running again. I wasn't terribly hungry and I feel good, solid and kind of peppy. I weighed in at 224.4 this about 6lbs lost so far. While I am looking to lose weight, I really am trying to jump start my body back on a vegetarian diet and get the crap (figuratively and literally) out of me.

My skin seems to be a little clearer this morning. A few hives, but nothing like usual. I am hoping that within the next couple of weeks I will be able to have clear skin and not have to take medication...we shall see. I hope to start running again within a few days. I have been very active with shoots and stuff so it's not like I am sitting around lethargic on juice...;) I just want to be used to it and get a few more pounds off my body so it doesn't hurt as much. While I can run, it's very inefficient and painful, so I end up in a vicious cycle of running one day, in pain for 2-3...then mentally trying to psych myself up for it all over again. So that's my rationale....

More to come!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WOW - 18 months is a long time!

My last post was January 26, 2010 - 18 months ago. Now I know that I have shared what's been going on with my weight loss and weight gain on Facebook and sharing with all sorts of people along the way, but 18 months ago is a long time to not write here. So sorry.

So a recap is in order. Well I lost 62 pounds in 6 months, walked the Great Aloha Run last February. I ran the Army 10 miler last June. I had shoulder surgery 2 weeks later, followed by 5 months of Physical Therapy. I ran the Honolulu Marathon last December, very slowly, but I did finish! I ran the Ford Island Bridge Run this January as well as the Navy Seebee 10K with my husband, Actually he finished about 30 mins ahead of me and waited with a water cup at the finish line for me. I ran the Great Aloha Run this past February with a friend and knocked off an hour off my previous time. And I gained 42 pounds back.

During all of this, my son came home for R&R from Iraq, I flew to the mainland to see my daughter and grandson, the holidays set in upon return and I got complacent. Then I got lazy, then discouraged and ended up almost in the same boat as I was in last year. I even got a little depressed and I just remember having the same thoughts of "I will always be fat so what's the point?"

But a couple of things happened as well that were like lifelines for me. Several of my friends were thanking me for inspiring them to change their lives! WHAT???? ME????? I don't feel very inspiring, but so many shared their experiences of weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes and how they started because of what I had been doing. WOW! I felt honored and ashamed all at the same time. While they were doing all the right things to better health I was putting on the pounds and all but stopped running.

So I decided to revisit some of the things I did last year to help me lose the 62 pounds. I had become a vegetarian so I recommitted myself to eating strictly vegetarian again. I had slipped these past 7-8 months with eating the occasional chicken and turkey, then it was hamburger and thing I knew I was in the McDs drive thru ordering a Big Mac. The thing is, I know it doesn't taste good, I know it's a terrible waste of calories, very little nutritional value but I did it anyway. I also had stopped measuring and weighing my food. I stopped logging it, I actually tried not to think about it and the more I tried, the more I DID think about it. A non-stop orgy of thoughts some days.

So last month I moved my work area upstairs OUT of the kitchen, I stopped buying fast food and meat and for the past 4 days have been on a juice and strict vegetarian diet, no meat, no dairy, no bread (for now) although I did have a roll and a piece of cake Sunday at the luncheon. But social eating is still such a complex situation...I digress. I am in day 2 of a total juice fast that I plan on lasting 3 days on, a day off to eat vegetables and fruits, then back on a 3 day juice fast.

Why juice? Well last Thursday evening, I watched a documentary called Fat, Sick, and Almost Dead. I started it in my sewing room while I was working and ended up watching, mesmerized! It's Joe Cross' story of how at 310 pounds and suffering from hives and rashes (Uticaria) for 9 years, he decided that enough was enough! He was taking prednisone everyday and still dealing with skin condition and feeling like crap. By the way, in December, the morning after the Marathon, I awoke to not only sore muscles, swollen knees, blisters and black toenails (all common after effects of 26.2 miles) I also awoke to a swollen face with hives starting from my hairline down my neck and up behind and in my ears. I looked like a freak! Not the way one anticipates celebrating the day after a marathon. I went to the doctor who said I might be allergic to the sunscreen I used...blah blah blah....after many more doctor's visits and topical steroids and many Internet and book searches later, I have no concrete answer to what ails me. I just know that since I have been obese I have allergies and eczema now this...well so after watching this movie and discovering how Joe got his health back I have decided to follow a similar path.

Joe is an Australian who lives both in Australia and the United States. He decided to fast on fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days under the care of his physician and he traveled to America to film a documentary about how we eat here. He talked with so many people about what and how they ate, no surprises to discover that fast food, brown food is an ingrained staple of our western diet. And he talked with other obese people about their issues with weight and food and again, no surprises...they knew that they needed to change their eating and lifestyle habits, even knew a lot of what they needed to do, but didn't. I saw myself in those people...having the knowledge and experience and still not doing what I needed to do. Again, not surprising. It's easy to find other things to do to put my health last, to not go for a run, to grab a packaged item that does nothing to satiate my hunger and leaves me feeling like crap. No wonder I have been dealing with some depression, the sugar roller coaster! Again, I digress....

...well as Joe traveled across the country fasting and talking with people, he met a man named Phil at a truck stop in Arizona. Phil was a truck driver who weighed 429 pounds! My first thought was, he weighs 200 pounds more than me and that almost was a convincing argument that I was still manageable....HA! Well Joe and Phil talked about what Phil ate on the road, how he felt physically and Phil revealed that he had the same skin condition as Joe. And they talked about that. Then Joe shared with Phil what he had been doing to take back his life and health and Phil seemed mildly impressed but at the same time he seemed like he might have thought Joe to be a nutcase! So after a few more minutes, Joe and Phil parted ways and the story continued about Joe and his juice fast and his progress and his eventual return to Australia. He had lost 92 lbs on his fast! He began his next phase of eating a vegetarian diet and exercise to get into shape and be healthy. He looked like a completely different man! He looked 10 years younger and he looked happy! Not too surprising...I mean, restrict calories in and expend calories and you will lose weight....right?

Then Joe got a call from Phil 2 months after their brief meeting and Phil reminded Joe that he had offered to help him when he was ready and Phil was calling to say he was ready for Joe's help. A little surprising...but what really got me was that Joe got on a plane back to the US and helped Phil get started. He took him to the doctor's where Phil got a full battery of tests and exams and then he bought him a juicer and truck load of vegetables and fruits and took him to a lakeside cottage and helped Phil get started. He stayed with him the first few nights to help Phil learn how to make his juice and walk with him a step at a time and then he left Phil on his own...and flew back to Australia. Phil stayed out there intending to do a 10 day fast and we get to see Phil go through the struggle of drastically changing not only his eating habits but his thinking habits....Phil was severely depressed....then Phil decided he was going for it! Long story short, Phil lost over 200 lbs! IN EIGHT MONTHS! And he changed his life! He no longer works as a truck driver, he works in a health fitness club and he shares his experiences with everyone he meets, including his brother, who had a heart attack while Phil was on his journey!

Funny thing is, after seeing this and being not only inspired but DRIVEN to action, I have read many supportive comments about the film and yet, some not so nice things about overweight people. There is a very mean spirit out there about obesity. I don't blame anyone but myself for my weight and health. Sure genetics probably play a role in the way my body works, but I alone control what I put in my mouth and how much I move. With that said, I don't believe I have ever wanted to be fat! I don't believe I set about a path of self-destruction on purpose. Sure, many factors played a role, fast food convenience, a stressful job, single parenting, a sick parent, hormones, the list goes on's called life. And while I feel over all that I cope well with life, I probably have used food to numb out just like someone getting drunk over a breakup or whatever else we do to deny the current situation...but the goal isn't about making excuses or defending how I got this way...the goal is to help those out there who do struggle with food, whether they are overweight or underweight....and to be an example of one who is still in it!

I still refuse to have surgery, although I have thought about way more these past few months than ever before...I refuse to take diet pills and powders and eat "diet" foods, all of which are processed. And then I thought, not if Phil can do this, I can - but I've done this before....I have lost 62 pounds in 6 months before...the marathon is 20 weeks away, I weighed 230 on Saturday...I can do it again! So that's what I am doing....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Keep It Simple Stupid

First, I am wearing a pair of pants I haven’t worn since the summer of 2008. Okay, they’re not from the summer of 1988, but they are still smaller than the ones I have been wearing and that is a positive! I have also lost 1.5 inches from around my neck, no it’s not because of the tank tops, it’s 1.5 inches of whatever has been hanging around it for a long time. Now I just have a double chin instead of a triple! I also have lost 2.5 inches from my waist and while I have more to go, things are moving in the right direction.
On the weight training, I have added pounds, and that’s a good thing! My cardio health is improving as well; I jogged a mile in 13:54. I am keeping up in Zumba class and I am up to six cardio sessions a week. Last week I burned over 6,000 calories and this week I reset my goal to 7,000 calories. And I must tell you that I climbed six flights of stairs at the hospital without stopping. Yes, I was out of breath, but not until I hit the 5th floor and I had enough to get to the 6th! Progress measured slowly and surely.
Some other things I have learned and become very aware of are that diet foods are not necessarily good foods. I have been doing a ton of reading about food and where it comes from and how it is that we eat so many processed foods. I have also been checking the labels on my food more thoroughly, not just for calories and fat grams and cholesterol and protein and sugars; but for the trade off of less fat for more sugar and sodium. It started because I need to add more protein to my diet and I would like to do so without supplements. I should be able to get everything I need from food right? Apparently, not always.
So as I was seeking lower fat sources of protein like cottage cheese, yogurts, and even milk, I discovered that they put an amazing amount of sugar and sodium to give back flavor. Same with peanut butter, I was trading 4 grams of fat for 195mg of sodium and 2grams of sugar. The calories were the same, 190 per serving and the saturated fat was only reduced by a half of a gram! OUTRAGEOUS!
Now I know that this may not be news to you, and quite honestly I was not surprised either, what shocked me was HOW MUCH sodium and sugars are added. Individual portions aside, in many cases the sugar is doubled and the sodium multiplied 4 times or more. So I reduce the fat only to get high blood pressure??? Okay, maybe not today…but over time this stuff adds up.
I went to buy a cookbook that had 200 recipes for fewer than 200 calories and it was highly recommended by the ladies in my food group. But then I opened the book and discovered that in every recipe there was some form of sugar substitute, reduced or fat free ingredient. In a lot of the recipes there were multiple ingredients like this, so I brought it back to the store.
I have decided that I want to eat FOOD, not edible foodstuff. I want real nutrition and not a chemical balance of synthetic stuff that the processors have whipped up to fool me into thinking that the fat free cheddar cheese is actually cheese. I have eaten the real stuff, it’s not.
In the course of my research, which I am still knee deep into, I have come to the conclusion that it is not food I am addicted to, it’s the processed ingredients that I have become addicted to - the fructose, glucose, dextrose, maltodextrose, and all the stuff the chemists have created out of corn. The added salt in the foods and the other forms of fat they have created to keep me buying the crap.
So my new challenge in this venture of losing weight, getting into shape and living a healthy life is to find a way to eat real food in moderation to maintain optimal health. The last few weeks I have stuck primarily to the perimeter of the grocery store and it is amazing the stuff I have not bought and do not miss. Oh sure, I had to go down a couple of aisles for the whole wheat bread and the canned vegetables and I still have work to do to get this junk out of my body and my life. Sort of like going through detox and yes, I have had the headaches, the lethargy, the moodiness but I think it’s going better than expected. One day at a time. Should be easy right?