Monday, February 27, 2012

BistroMD - Post 4

I decided to go with BistroMD over eDiets for this reason:

In their literature they talk about the fact that the balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber influences body chemistry and how the body responds to weight loss and hunger.

None of that is news to me, but it really is difficult to plan and eat every meal with that in mind.

They also mention that the more weight you gain and the more times you lose it and gain it back, the harder it becomes to lose it and keep it off. Everyone knows that too.

But the hard part is what to do about it. And how to put forth that effort consistently.

I feel like this is a powerful statement if it is true: "BistroMD scientifically targets insulin resistance and the Metabolic Syndrome to retrain your body to lose weight."

I am not diabetic, but I have been told by more than one medical doctor that I have pancreatic issues and should be concerned about my insulin levels and that the imbalances have caused a lot of my weight gain and hampered my efforts to lose it.

The idea is that if I stick to this diet for 4 to 8 weeks it will help reset my metabolism and stabilize my insulin levels.

I would like to think so. It has been so hard for me to do it on my own.

"It's more than calories. It's deeper than food..."

"Unlike other diet plans, BistroMD is not just convenient, low-calorie food. Each meal and each day is designed with the proper combination of nutrients." It's all about proper nutrition and promoting healthy weight loss - getting the body and metabolism to work properly so that you can lose fat and feel healthy and satisfied and nourished.

I like that philosophy. It appeals to me.

I am not posting this for any personal gain. I am simply detailing my weight loss journey the same way I did with my Sisterlocks. I spoke about what did and didn't work for me.

It is only Day 4 of this new eating plan, so it remains to be seen if it will work for me and how well.

But, if you do decide to try BistroMD based on my comments or recommendation, please e-mail or call me (864-423-4936) because they sent me codes that will allow you to get $50 off your first order. That's a significant discount.

Friday, February 24, 2012

BistroMD - Post 3

Today is going to be my first full day on the plan.

Ideally you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner augmented by a few sensible snacks.

My meals were delivered yesterday afternoon by FedEx and I had so much eagerness and anticipation, I couldn't wait. I ate my first dinner last night. I was curious about the flavor and the portion sizes.

I was not disappointed on either count.

I just enjoyed my third meal: Pork Tenderloin in Asian Plum Sauce. It was very delicious. It's a good thing it's portion controlled. I would have had seconds, not because I'm hungry - strictly because it was so tasty. That sauce is something special!

I'm happy to say that I am completely satisfied and not hungry at all.

I'm only on my first day, but already this new eating plan is helping.

When I was healthier and thinner before, I had a better natural sense of when I was full and when to stop eating. Since my initial weight gain five years ago, I've lost all concept of feeling full at the appropriate time.

I frequently overeat and feel bloated and over-full and sluggish shortly after.

I still don't eat exceptionally large portions, but I do eat larger portions than one should for a person my height who wants to maintain a healthy weight of 110lbs.

Looking at how much I'm eating now on this plan, and acknowledging the fact that I feel completely full and satisfied at the end of every meal, and comparing my current doctor-assigned portions to my previous self-assigned portions, I would estimate that I have been overeating by 50% - 75% at every meal.

I hadn't realized.

This has really been an eye-opener!

I raved about last night's dinner. I was less thrilled about this morning's breakfast.

Spinach Ricotta Crepe w/Turkey Sausage and Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes: I'm used to having crepes with some kind of sauce - they were ok, but they seemed like they needed a little something extra. I felt the same way about the potatoes. I like the natural flavor of sweet potatoes, but these seemed like they could use additional seasoning - and not just ordinary salt.


There are several companies out there that do meal delivery. The first two that come to mind are BistroMD and eDiets.

I read all of the info on both websites years ago when I first began the weight gain and felt like I needed to do something drastic...

I believed in the principle.

The idea behind both is that there is built-in portion control and convenience. You don't have to spend time shopping for and preparing low-calorie, nutritionally-balanced meals.
You simply heat and eat.

I like to shop and I like to cook, but it is still a challenge to do it in a healthy way 7 days a week, 3 times a day. Even when I want to eat healthy food, I don't always have all the ingredients on hand. And even when I do have all of the ingredients on hand, I don't always feel like taking the time to cook everything.

At a minimum, the quickest meals I can whip up take 20 minutes and the longest are probably an hour to an hour and a half (soups, casseroles, gumbo, jambalaya). I seem to average 30 - 45 minutes beginning to end.

You know how sometimes you walk in the door and you are famished and you want food right that minute?! You feel like you're starving and you want something good to eat in 10 minutes or less... Or you're driving home wracking your brain for what you can fix when you get in your kitchen and none of your choices seem appealing? Or, worse, you're driving
around town or languishing in the grocery store feeling desperate and hungry...

I find myself there several times a week - almost once a day.

I actually don't like fast food, and yet I end up buying it far too often because it's quick and convenient.

I'm pretty sure I've said this before. I grew up eating healthy, home-cooked meals and I wasn't allowed to eat at fast food restaurants more than once a month, so it's not a habit I can't kick, but changes in my lifestyle have made it difficult.

I like to cook, and I prefer my own food, but when it's been too many hours since my last meal, my preferences, good sense, and will power go out the window.

Drive-thru it is.

But I think this BistroMD plan will help me change for the better.

I'm usually not more than 15 - 30 minutes from my apartment at any given time. Knowing that I have gourmet quality food that will go from refrigerator to plate in less than ten minutes definitely gives me the incentive and the willpower to bypass all of the other less healthy choices and head straight home.

And if I do start working outside the home in an office in the near future, it is something I can conveniently pack to take with me and prepare easily without any muss and fuss. And I won't have that feeling of sacrifice and deprivation that accompanies meal replacement bars and shakes.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

BistroMD - Post 2

I just had my first meal and it is far better than anything I can get at a typical fast food restaurant, as good as anything I would order at my favorite take-out restaurants and about the same price as or cheaper than an average carry-out meal.

BistroMD claims to deliver doctor-designed, chef-prepared, restaurant-quality gourmet meals right to your door.

Bold claims, right? We live in a world with so much hype and clever marketing especially surrounding products for health and wellness, diet and exercise.

As I've referenced before, I've bought Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice. High marks for speed and convenience, low marks for taste and portions.

They weren't bad, but I never looked forward to them. Ever. I never had any anticipation for my next meal, and I couldn't see myself eating them every day for lunch and dinner. Not for 2 or 3 days in a row, certainly not for any significant length of time.

You'd never know it to have seen me at my heaviest, but I'm the girl who always takes home half of my meal in a box at any restaurant, and yet, I always feel unsatisfied with the portions provided in frozen meals purchased from the grocery store. Just. Not. Enough.

And just barely not enough, but just barely not enough to make me feel like I still needed an additional snack or dessert, even when one was included. I can't say I ever felt satiated.

And even when I think of my favorites that I discovered through trial and error, nothing was ever as good as my own cooking or restaurant food. I figured that high-quality, low-calorie frozen foods just didn't exist.

I. Was. Wrong.

I just tried my first BistroMD dinner.


Beef Tips in Red Wine Sauce
Beef tips in a Bordelaise-Style sauce made with red wine and beef broth, along with mushrooms and seasonings served with a provencal vegetable mix of carrots, peas, and rosemary potatoes.

Yum, right? 400 Calories

I have to say that it did not disappoint.

I intentionally kept my expectations low so I wouldn't feel let down. I needn't have done so.

I expected one of three things: I thought the food might be tasty, but the portions would be frustratingly small. Or the portions would be filling, but the flavors would be bland and the textures would be off. Or, I would get an unpleasant combination of the two - unsatisfying portions of boring food.

I thought it would be made of high-quality ingredients, but I did not expect it to taste very good.

But it did!

It was every bit as good as my own cooking. It was well-seasoned, and it tasted very fresh. It tasted as fresh as I meal I had prepared on the spot - not like it had ever been frozen.

The down-side: It isn't cheap. I'm on the 5-day plan (no snacks) and the price including shipping and handling is $154 a week. That's $616 a month. That's a pretty steep food budget. And that's not including any other groceries, snacks, fresh fruits, veggies, or beverages.

Or the food I will cook for my husband.

That is what kept me from doing it sooner. I didn't think it wouldn't be worth it - it's just so much more than I've ever spent on food for myself alone. If I don't eat out at restaurants at all and I cut back on weekly spending at the grocery store then I guess that lessens the impact on the budget.

The claim is that most people average 1 - 2 lbs of weight loss a week. We'll see what it does for me.

I will say that the meal was extremely filling. I ate dinner at 5:30 p.m. It is now 8 p.m. and I am not hungry at all. I felt full and satisfied immediately.

I look forward to trying my first full day of meals where I eat breakfast lunch and dinner.

Le Sigh....

So I mentioned that I'm battling the weight (again).

And the things I've been trying in the past year haven't been working. I've seen my weight creep up by 35 lbs instead of losing that amount like I intended.

Ay-yi-yi! (How do you spell that?)...Anyway....

I fell into some really bad habits in the last 18 months and they've caught up with me. Plus there are some (like emotional eating when I'm stressed or unhappy) that I will always have to deal with.

And I do like restaurants - fine dining and world cuisine, street eats and food trucks - all types of food, which I was never ashamed to say when I was thin. And now that I am married, it's nice going out for date night - eating out is social, fun time with my husband, a welcome change from the routine of eating at home.

I don't feel like I make terrible choices or eat excessive portions, but I am likely to order an appetizer and eat the bread they bring while you're waiting and have a cocktail or two and a dessert. I feel certain I average 1500 to 2000 calories on a dinner out - maybe more if I order something with rich sauces or fatty meats. And let's not talk about the sugars and starches.

Don't get me wrong. I love vegetables. I prefer vegetables, but unless you are at a vegetarian restaurant or order a vegetarian dish, the vegetables are almost always an afterthought relegated to the side of the plate. It just is that way.

When I cook at home, I always serve myself what would seem to most people a disproportionate amount of vegetables - two or three times the amount of meat or bread or pasta. I feel cheated otherwise, but that's not what I ever expect to get when I eat out, although I wish I could.

I say that, but I know that when I eat out, I tend to order things I wouldn't buy and cook at home. I feel like it's pointless to get dressed and leave the house to pay $10 or $15 for a salad I could have made at home for $3 or $4.

And let's face it, most low-calorie and low-fat menu options are just not that appealing in comparison to everything else on a restaurant menu.

I don't like to think about it, but I have to. 2000 calories at one sitting. That's all the calories I should have in an entire day!

Doing that even once a week is going to undermine my weight loss efforts.

I just got back into exercising about 5 weeks ago; before that I had almost no extra physical activity for about 9 months. Ugh!

At that rate, I could blow a whole week's worth of minimal exercise in a single meal out, and that's the pattern I've fallen into.

Something's gotta give, so I decided to try something new. It's not a new idea. It's not even something I didn't know about before.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Body Combat


And today I tried Body Combat.

Here is a fun review (bad spelling and grammar aside) I read before I actually attended a class myself.

I enjoyed Body Pump immensely and was looking forward to another class that I could add to my list.

But I've got to say that I did not enjoy it at all. I am not a fan.

It seemed like it would be fun, but I started and I realized that I don't enjoy punching, kicking and jumping. I really like Turbo Jam, so it seemed like it would be close enough. Martial arts inspired workout, boxing-inspired workout. They do share many of the same elements.

But it's weird, I like punching the air and doing jabs in combination with moves that are kind of dance-based. I don't actually like hitting and kicking a bag or pillar. I don't enjoy making contact. It's jarring. And I'm really not an aggressive person. I don't like fighting and hitting. I never have.

And there were lots of squats.

And jumping.

Did I say there was jumping?

Too much jumping. The girls were not happy. My bra was not giving me the support I needed for all of that jumping. It was just not fun at all. I was going to stick it out for the hour, but I decided ten minutes in that it just wasn't worth the discomfort and overall dislike.

I left the classroom and finished out the hour on the treadmill. I could observe the rest of the class from the cardio room and there was nothing they did during the rest of the session that even remotely looked like anything I would have enjoyed. I actually would have rejoined the class in progress if there were segments that appealed to me.

Nope. Nada.

So, I don't consider myself a quitter. I tried it once and it's just not for me. It won't grow on me. It's just not my fitness flavor. There are enough other options that I don't even have to force myself to do something that I hate.

I plan to do Body Pump again tomorrow though.

Trying this Again....



This weight loss journey has been a struggle. One of the hardest challenges I have ever faced in my life.


For so many reasons, and none of them positive.

I don't even know where to begin to tell the story or if I even want to.

No. I am not undecided. I most definitely do not want to tell the tale, but I am starting over again.

I can hardly believe I started this blog two years ago and that I was so disgusted and fed up with the extra weight then, when it was what? 40 extra lbs? 145 lbs. total? I don't know. I have to look it up.

In any case, I topped out this week at 195.


Fifty. Pounds. Later.

I'm 4'11. My Dad is 5'11. We weigh... the same... thing.

I didn't even blog about the day I went into the specialty bra shop (oh, yeah, we're in all new territory now - the girls got waa-aay outta control months ago!) and the fitting consultant informed me that I needed a 'K' cup. I knew the 'DDD' wasn't cutting it anymore and I was a-feared I would be in something ridiculous like an 'F' or a 'G'.

Nope. Bypassed them and H, I, and J.

Big breasts run in my family and I was a 'D' and then a 'DD' long before I had a weight problem. It was okay when I still had a 25 inch waist.

I couldn't believe it.

I really don't even want to know what my measurements are now. Not any of them.

I just want to look and feel like myself again. And be able to shop in the petite section and be able to reach for the S and the XS and not the 1X and XXL and actually wonder if they will fit and not be too small. It is a terrible blow to my self-esteem.

Every. Single. Time.

I refuse to get used to this and accept it as my new normal, so I have been really miserable and felt terribly unattractive for the better part of 3 years now, extremely so in the last 18 months.

As bad as I felt before when I was 40 - 50 lbs overweight, I think it is safe to say that I am now officially obese with 85 lbs to lose.

Like I said, we won't even focus on how I got here. I am determined not to look behind, but only to look forward and focus on what I am going to do to rectify this unfortunate situation.

Yesterday I joined a gym and tomorrow I start a new eating plan.

And there is nothing new about either of those things.

I had a gym membership when I began to get fat. In fact, my two year membership was just up in March of this year. Why didn't that work for me? I don't even feel like trying to analyze it.

And the new eating plan?

I've tried fasts and cleanses and Weight Watchers and NutriSystem and Medifast and my own little hobbled-together jack-leg hybrids of diets incorporating shakes and cereals and oatmeal and flax seed and various supplements and teas and frozen entrees by Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine....


Why didn't those work? Any of them?

....So many reasons, and again, this round of blogs is not going to be about the self-analysis. I'm saving that for my personal handwritten, off-line journal.

So what am I going to post here?

I hope to post my record of success. At the very least I want to record my activity and progress.

Like today. What did I do today?

I went to the gym.


I went for a 9 o'clock Body Pump class, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was my very first session. There are all kinds of claims on the Internet about how many calories you burn in an hour. I've read everything from 250 to 600. I'm going for the low-to-moderate 300.

Hey! It's 300 more than I burned yesterday!

I absolutely love group fitness and that's why I re-joined a gym.

I have thirty-five fitness dvds if I have one. Winsor Pilates, Yoga Booty Ballet, Turbo Jam, Zumba, etc. And I've done them all. More than once too! More than 5 or 10 times, but there's something about knowing there's a class and scheduling time to show up to work out with a group and a live instructor that really can't be beat. Somehow I need that structure.

I would love to have a personal trainer, but that is not currently in the budget, so group fitness is the next best thing to keep me consistently motivated.

I ran errands (after I came home to shower and rest) and then I went back around 7:30 p.m. and did an hour on the treadmill.

I started out at a moderate 2.8 mph, so as not to overdo it, but I chose a random incline program and was able to keep my heart rate up between 145 and 165, which according to the diagram on the treadmill was the in optimal 75% to 85% I needed to acheive sustained fat-burn.

I covered a total of 2.91 miles including warm-up and cool down and if I can believe the digital readout, I burned 325 calories.

So I possibly burned as much as 625 additional calories today. I wasn't as vigilant about my nutrition as I should have been, but you had better believe that I do not intend to bust my hump at the gym 5 days a week only to undermine my efforts with poor eating habits.

Stay tuned.

Oh, yeah. I'll get around to posting about my hair at some point before the month is over. The 29th is 2.5 years locked! 30 months.

I am never more grateful for Sisterlocks than times when I get caught in a downpour and can go about my business unconcerned, or when I have had a really hard workout and I'm sweating from my scalp - both of which happened today.

All I had to do was come home, wash it in the shower and keep getting up!

Sisterlocks are the best.

Every time I long for my loose nappy hair (which I had been doing more and more of late) I remember the convenience and freedom I now have that cannot be acheived (for me) with any other hairstyle.