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

Enjoying vacation

Since the end of 2006 I have been a fairly healthy person.

In October 2006 I joined Weight Watchers and started on the venture to lose about 30 pounds.

In March of 2007 I started regularly exercising, which still continues to this day. (And now I teach other people to exercise and practice yoga.)

I work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it is easy. And sometimes it is a struggle.

Since I am healthy the majority of the time I allow myself to be unhealthy (or go off plan in the WW world) from time to time.

When I travel I want to enjoy food and drinks without having to worry about my caloric intake. Sometimes I am great with the exercise and other times it suffers. (I have been getting my yoga practice in every day since we have been here.)

But here’s the thing, I have fun while on vacation and then when I get home things get back to normal and healthy again.

Curt and I are in Las Vegas with friends for a long fun March Madness weekend.

There is sports watching, a little gambling, lots of eating and drinking (especially the cheap brewed … 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

Knowing my numbers

As I mentioned in my hula hoop post yesterday my company sponsored a Wellness Fair, which included biometric testing and consultation with a nurse afterward if so desired.

I got my numbers last year and this year.

March 2012

  • Blood Pressure: 140/70 Systolic read in Stage I Hypertension Diastolic read in Normal
  • Active Lifestyle Heart Rate: 76 read in Average/Acceptable
  • Glucose: 84 (fasting) read in Desirable/Healthy
  • Cholesterol: 171 read in the Desirable/Healthy (all the cholesterol numbers read in Desirable/Healthy)
  • BMI (Body Mass Index): 23 read in Desirable/Healthy

I talked to the nurse afterward about my blood pressure number. She asked if I was nervous about the pin prick to get the blood for the testing. I said yes. (That can alter the number.) She said because all of my other numbers were so great and it was obvious that I maintain a healthy lifestyle she wasn’t too concerned with the blood pressure number, especially since it was at the very low end of the Stage I Hypertension.

February 2013

Brown vs. white

Years ago I switched from eating white rice, pasta and bread to eating brown rice, pasta and bread. My reason: more nutrients. And on the old Weight Watchers plan whole wheat pasta was lower in Points. On the “newer” plan the Points are the same. But (healthy) habits are hard to break.

And I love carbs and will NEVER give them up. Yum!

When I went to do my research on brown vs. white rice and pasta the Google search also listed brown vs. white eggs … sugar. I also looked up bread.

According to The Hungry Mouse, the only major difference between brown and white eggs is the color of the shell.

According to a New York Times article, the two varieties of (brown and white) sugar are similar nutritionally.

I have been eating whole wheat (brown) bread for years. According to a Livestrong article, whole wheat brown bread has a “nutritional advantage” over white bread, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is because brown breads made from whole wheat usually contain more fiber than white bread, as well as greater amounts of important nutrients such as vitamins B-6 and E, magnesium, folic acid, copper, zinc … Continue reading

New things in the new year

The nutrition and exercise challenges for Go Fit Girl!’s January Monthly Challenge are about trying something new. (Facebook event page here.)

In the past week I have tried a few things in yoga I wasn’t willing to dare before.

I have been trying out the Shake Weight. Yup, go ahead and laugh. I was able to snatch it from a co-worker who got it during our White Elephant work lunch. And I am trying it out for a future review for Go Fit Girl!’s Review Wednesday.

Sunday morning is my regular grocery store weekly shopping. On Sunday I bought ingredients for Weight Watchers Fresh Vegetable Soup. Everything that went into the recipe I have eaten before. Last year I did a green smoothie cleanse and tried many vegetables (especially green leafy ones), which I had never tried before.

After I picked up the produce I needed I wandered around looking for a new item to cook. I looked at endives, which looked like a weird yellowish cabbage or lettuce. Eh, maybe not.

Then I decided to go look at the squash. I grabbed an acorn squash. I think I have probably eaten acorn squash, but … 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

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