Before … after … and now

For about the past year to year and a half I have been the healthiest I have ever been. Not the smallest or thinnest, but the healthiest.

I turn 42 in one month and I feel amazing. And I think I look pretty good, too. I know that’s not what it is all about. It’s about being and feeling healthy. But I’ll be honest, it feels good to look good.

I work hard at being healthy. At times it is easy. And other times it’s so so difficult.

But I haven’t always looked the way I look now.

When I was younger I was considered skinny. (I seriously hate that word and all that it implies.)

I could basically eat and drink anything I wanted and not gain weight.

Then I turned 25. I had a sedentary job. I worked second shift and ate a lot of my meals at my desk, which weren’t actually healthy and usually came in some sort of wrapper (as in fast food).

Over a seven year period I gained 30 pounds.

I hated shopping for clothes. I lacked confidence. It was difficult to go on hikes with friends.

One day a friend and co-worker asked me … Continue reading

Seeing results with healthy choices

I know that there are so many things challenging about the holidays. There is stress, overeating, over drinking … etc.

But we can overcome a lot of that and stay on a healthy track.

When I quit my job a little more than two months ago I thought the weight would fall off and I would easily fall back to my goal weight rather quickly.

Well, that didn’t happen and then I went on vacation.

Once back from vacation I got back on the healthy eating and regular exercise routine with indoor cycling and yoga (both public classes and my own home practice). I was also able to control my stress levels much more at that point.

I have been at it for about six weeks and am pleased with my results.

Yes, it can be difficult to maintain healthy living during the holidays. But it is possible.

When I first started on my weight loss track eight years ago I lost weight over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So far this year I lost weight over Thanksgiving. I made sure to get my exercise in last week while still enjoying food and wine, all in moderation.

I stuck to my plan of … Continue reading

Taking a break from the booze

Last year was a rough year. Last month was a rough month.

At some point in December I decided that eating and drinking whatever I wanted was fine and I would get back to clean living when I was emotionally ready. I usually like to set a deadline for myself, otherwise the unhealthy lifestyle can go on too long and find no end in sight.

And sometimes just knowing I have set a timeline for myself makes me feel OK in the moment of unhealthy living. There are times when we just want to or need to break away from the routine. But we must always get back to it.

I was pretty unhealthy in December. My yoga practice (home practice and public classes) was a little disturbed by the goings on but for the most part was pretty regular and I was happy to keep something routine and healthy going on in my life.

At work, there were many lunches and happy hours.

Even once we were on winter break I continued to drink more than I typically do. (I try to reserve alcohol intake to the weekends.)

I was definitely drinking too much in December. I didn’t do … Continue reading

Walking Wednesdays

When the weather is nice in South San Francisco (and that can be iffy) there is a small but mighty group who walks together on Wednesdays.

The regulars come and go and come and go and new people trickle in.

I am not a huge walker and personally would rather not walk.

But if it is with a group of people it makes me much more motivated. (And with our wellness program you can earn points, which eventually earns you prizes.)

I can’t walk every Wednesday as on alternate Wednesdays I have Toastmasters. But when I can I join.

There are so many great reasons to be part of this group: meet new people; meet up with co-workers/friends you don’t see as often; get away from your desk (I rarely take a lunch break and usually eat at my desk while working); fresh air; and, of course, exercise.

According to this Mayo Clinic article, walking helps you maintain a healthy weight; prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes; strengthen your bones; lifts your mood; and improves your balance and coordination.

The Mayo Clinic article has some great tips. I recommend … Continue reading

Protein secret revealed: It can help you lose weight (and keep you healthy)

This month’s nutrition challenge is about getting in enough protein every day. (Facebook event page here.)

And the headline should be no secret, especially to my regular GFG! readers.

But you all know how much I am into eating protein and writing about it. (And if you can stand it, I will discuss this in person with you, too.)

Someone just the other day asked me what I could suggest for a new Weight Watchers’ participant. I believe the first thing I blurted out was protein. I, of course, talked about other stuff.

From the various research I have done I found that on average women should get in 46 grams of protein a day. If you have an active lifestyle it should be more than that.

Protein can be found in all kinds of foods. And protein can help you lose weight.

Here’s a quick list of protein-rich foods: legumes, chicken, cheese, nuts, tofu, eggs, fish, red meat (yes, you can eat red meat in moderation), peanut butter (also moderate as it is high in fat), whole grain pasta, brown rice …

This WebMD article discusses the high-protein diet for weight loss. There are some great … Continue reading

Healthy routine pays off

Yesterday I talked about weight-loss pills. If someone chooses to take a weight-loss pill they should combine with exercise and a balanced diet to make it work to it’s fullest potential. (And discuss with your doctor.)

As I said I personally would not take a weight-loss drug. But I am all for the regular exercise and balanced diet.

For about three weeks in December I went a little nuts with the food and treats and sweets and alcohol. The exercise was still pretty consistent until we hit San Diego and then I got super lazy.

In about three weeks I gained almost 5 pounds.

But I had told myself if I wanted to eat and drink whatever I wanted I could and I would get back to my healthy routine starting Monday, Dec. 31.

And that’s exactly what I did.

So for the past week I have been tracking my food (and exercise) via Weight Watchers online and am back to my regular exercise routine. And, friends, let me tell you: THIS WORKS! Balanced diet and regular exercise is the key to weight loss and/or maintaining weight and keeping that healthy lifestyle.

In one week I have lost … Continue reading

Are weight-loss drugs safe?

If diet pills worked wouldn’t we all be skinny?

I have always been leery of diet pills.

I know as the new year is here some people may be thinking of taking them.

Personally I would not take them. But if you do, please do your research. Some are dangerous. Some have some very serious side effects. And it is questionable if they have long-term effects.

I also would recommend talking to your doctor before taking anything, whether over the counter or prescription. The research I did on a few pills all seemed to agree that they were for people who are obese and should only be taken in the short term.

It’s easy to lose weight quickly, but keeping it off is the real challenge and ultimate goal. And being healthy and maintaing a healthy lifestyle is really what is important.

Most, if not all, weight-loss pills will have in print somewhere that the drug should be combined with exercise and a balanced diet. So in other words, don’t think you can just take the pill and eat and drink whatever you want and stay sedentary and lose weight.

According to WebMD, Phentermine is an appetite suppressant. Phentermine is used in … Continue reading

National Weigh-In Day

I saw a commercial the other day for Special K’s National Weigh-In Day, which is today, January 2.

I remember this from last year. I love the commercial where the women step on the ginormous scale and the results are things like pizzazz, confidence, sass … you get the idea.

The campaign is what will you gain when you lose?

The Special K Gains Project website says, At Special K, we believe we should choose a word–a way we want to feel–and let that be our motivation.

As I was researching for this post only last year’s story was available about the campaign. So information comes from the Jan. 2, 2012 article.

The article said, from a survey, 64 percent find a lack of support the reason for getting off track from a weight loss plan.

Lack of support makes me sad. You finally decide to lose weight and/or become healthier and you have no support? That’s not right. That’s one of the many reasons I love Weight Watchers. There is so much support in the meetings and even online. And even though I am not going to meetings right now I have many friends who are currently … Continue reading

A week in the life of Ann on Weight Watchers

One of my regular readers, Jen, asked if I would be willing to share what I eat to be successful on Weight Watchers®.

So I am going to share my “menus”/tracking/what I have eaten this week.

For those of you not familiar with WW–just a few things I want to mention before I launch into my food intake.

Right now I don’t attend meetings (I do highly recommend finding a meeting that works for you. The support and ideas are amazing.) I track my food daily online.

When on WW you get daily points, weekly points (which can be distributed throughout the week or maybe for one big outing or “frivolous” meal or party) and you can also earn activity points–if you exercise you earn more points for the day (and week).

To be successful in weight loss or maintaining your weight planning is very important. I will admit that lately my planning hasn’t been great. Lucky for me at work we have a salad bar with a good variety of items and usually a lot of protein.

Monday

Exercise, say no, buy toys and don’t gain weight …

And today we launch Go Fit Girl!’s December Monthly Challenge.

December is a challenging month in all aspects of my life. So I am gonna guess that it is the same for most of my readers.

The challenges this month are going to be a little different than the previous months.

Exercise: Exercise 3-4 times a week. Try to keep up your regular routine as much as possible. I know you are busy. But don’t you deserve it? And exercise is a great way to deal with stress. Hey, if you don’t have time to exercise take break and go for a 15-minute walk. You will feel better and be able to concentrate so much better.

Nutrition: Say no once a day, once a week or just once this month to a second serving; to dessert; to bread at the table; to a piece of candy; to a second, third or fourth drink. (That one is going to be tough for me.)

Heart: Grab an Angel from a tree; run a toy drive; buy a toy (or toys) for a toy drive; deliver toys to needy children. Or find some other worthy cause you want to support. Later this month … Continue reading