Apr 282015
 

It’s been awhile since I did an “Ask Me Anything” Post. I get a lot of emails, usually with similar questions. I’ve answered some of the usual ones before. Here are some of the old posts:

Ask Me Anything

Busting that Plateau

Email Q and A

Challenge Your Mind

How to Count Calories

Now on to more reader questions!

I’m 17 and I weigh 205 pounds. I’m a female. When you were on your journey to losing weight, did you have a good support system? You give me hope.

To answer your question, I did have a lot of support from family and most of my friends. There were definitely people in my life that were NOT supportive and even tried to sabotage my efforts to lose weight. Those people didn’t stay in my life very long. I don’t think it’s worth it to keep people in your life that aren’t going to bring something GOOD to your world. The emotional vampires, the self-centered people that are just your friend when they need something from, the person that breaks you down instead of building you up…who needs that in your life? Life is short and that time should be spent with positive people that enrich your existence.

I think what helped me when it was time to lose weight was that I’d been overweight for so long that my family and close friends were concerned for my health and they were happy to see that I was making a legitimate effort to lose the weight. Once the weight started to come off, I got even more support. It definitely helped keep me motivated when things got hard. Having positive re-enforcement from people around me helped me make better choices.

Don’t give up. Trust me when I tell you it is so much easier to lose the weight when you’re younger than when you are older!

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I’m a new listener to Half Size Me (loving it!) and I recently listened to Lisa’s episode, which was so motivating and interesting.  In it, Lisa mentioned that she has read a lot of weight loss memoirs and that got me wondering—can you share what some of the best weight loss memoirs are that you’ve read?

Here are a few of my favorites:
The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl” by Shauna Reid

Passing for Thin” by Frances Kuffel
Half-Assed” by Jennette Fulda
The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life” by Wendy Shanker

When you swim, how often do you breathe and do you only breathe on one side?

When I swim at the gym I get a lot of comments and questions from people when I’m done. Sometimes it’s when I’m relaxing in the hot tub, but usually it’s in the steam room when I finish up my workout. The most common question I get is how far I swim and how do I keep track of laps? I usually swim a 1.25 miles, sometimes 1.5 miles. I’ve gotten pretty good at counting the laps as I swim. I can do it without even thinking about it. Sometimes if I do space out and forget my laps, it’s no big deal because I generally swim 45-50 minutes at a time and so I can guesstimate how far I’ve swum because of the time.

When I swim I usually breathe 2-4 times in one length of the pool. That might not seem like much, but keep in mind that I’ve had to work for that. When I first started swimming I had to breathe a LOT more often in order to make it to the other side of the pool. As I got more fit, lost weight and became an efficient swimmer I didn’t need to breathe as often and I can often hold my breathe for the entire length of the pool.

If you are just starting out with a swimming workout don’t put too much pressure on yourself about the breathing. Breathe as often as you need to and honestly, you should probably take a breathe BEFORE you think you need it. Until you get good at it. The better you get at swimming, the less you will have to breathe while you do it. Also, if you hold your breathe for too long, that will actually wear you out quicker and your muscles will fatigue and make it seem a lot harder to swim than it really is. So build up to it slowly. Listen to your body and you’ll get there.

As for the breathing. When I learned to swim as a kid they did not teach bilateral breathing. After I learned how to swim the new “thing” was to teach breathing on both sides but it was too late for me. It felt unnatural and no matter how much I try to do it (even now I still sometimes try to retrain myself to breathe on both sides) I can’t do it. My neck and back muscles just don’t work that way when I’m in the pool and I end up floundering and sputtering and will probably drown. :)

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When or how do you go from wtf am I doing to gee, I enjoy the gym?

Good question! When I first decided to lose weight I started swimming a few times a week. For one month (I hadn’t started counting my calories yet, and I hadn’t weighed myself either) I went swimming about 3 days a week. It was really, really hard. I was fat, out of shape, slow, and could barely swim to the other end of the pool. Once I got to the other end of the pool I had to rest for a bit before swimming back. I’d say this was the case for a few months. Once I was swimming consistently 3-4 days a week (probably around 30 minutes each time), the less I had to rest before swimming back the length. It just took some time. The better I got, the easier it was to breathe while swimming and the less I had to rest. Once I got to the point where I could swim the length of the pool and not have to rest before swimming back I LOVED it. I felt proud and excited that I was seeing obvious progress. I think seeing progress and being able to tell I was GETTING BETTER made it fun and easier to stick to it.

I made goals for myself. Things like, “I want to swim 5 laps without having to rest.” Then it was, “I want to swim half a mile without having to stop.” Each landmark I reached made it easier to push myself further. That first time I swam 1 mile without having to stop to rest I felt like I’d won the lottery. I was SO HAPPY!

So to answer your question, in my experience I enjoyed the gym once the activity I was doing got easier. Short answer: I’d say about 2 months.

I kept at it, I practiced everything and set goals for myself. Reaching the goals made me proud and I enjoyed going to the gym. Not only that, the endorphins from exercising improved my moods and I started to get addicted to that “high” from exercising. To this day, I know that the exercise high is a big part of what keeps me going to the gym. I notice the significant difference between my moods on exercise days versus rest days. This is a natural stress-reliever and anti-depressant for me, so I stick with it!

Finally, I think it’s VERY important to pick an activity that you like and will stick with. If you hate running, don’t start running. If you have knee issues, maybe cycling is a better option. Hate the gym? Try taking your workout outside and go hiking or play tennis. Basically find something that give you joy and you’ll stick with it!

Do you have any questions I can answer? Ask away!

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Apr 212015
 

Last week Bell and I were flying solo! Michael spent a few days in Seattle visiting his friend and going to the Faith No More show in Seattle. Bella and I went for walks in the sunshine, rolled around in the grass and cuddled on the couch. :)

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There were only a few times where Miss B moped at the window, wondering where daddy was. 😛 She was a good cuddle partner while he was gone. Then Michael got back Friday and we went to see Faith No More in Portland!

It’s his favorite band. Like of all time. They haven’t toured in like 20 years or something like that, and Michael said he skipped the last tour because he hadn’t liked that current album and he said he’d regretted skipping it all these years. I was excited to go to the concert because I’m a casual FNM fan but I’ve heard they are amazing live and I knew it would be a fun experience.

I took a half day off from work Friday and went swimming and by the time I got home Michael was back from Seattle. We got ready to go and went out for dinner before the show. We ended up at Slow Bar and got a table outside in the gorgeous sunshine.

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Michael got the happy hour fried chicken and hush puppies and I got the curry chicken salad sandwich with a salad. My sandwich was great! It was so tasty. It had onions, grapes, raisins and currants in it. I was not a fan of the herb vinaigrette salad dressing, but I still ate the salad because I was craving greens. The toasted and spicy nuts on the side were a nice addition, too.

I’d been fighting off a cold or something for a few days and it was mostly a sore throat, which sucked, so I stuck with iced tea and didn’t have anything to drink. After eating we drove downtown and met up with some friends of Michael’s. Apparently he’d run into an old high-school buddy at the Seattle show who was also seeing the show in Portland, so we met up with their group. It was funny–Michael was running into SO many people he used to know and hadn’t seen in decades. It was kind of cool.

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The show was at The Keller and it was a really nice venue for the show. The acoustics were amazing and the band sounded great live! I love it when bands sound pretty much the same as their albums live.

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We were sitting with our good friends Mike & Susanna (whom we went to Hawaii with a few years ago). They’d gotten a babysitter for their two kids and were out on a date night! It was fun hanging out with them.

So the show…they played all the biggest hits and some of the new songs, but mostly they played the favorites. I posted a few short videos on my Instagram if you want to check it out. They played a bunch of my favorites (including “Easy”) and Mike Patton pulled up a pregnant woman from the audience up on stage and danced with her while he sang it. Then he made a joke at the end of the song that he might have gotten her pregnant during that song. LOL It was pretty cute and man, what a cool story for that lady! You can see the set list here. And you can see better pictures that mine here.

One thing I was bummed about…they didn’t play “our song” in Portland (but they did play it at the Seattle show and Michael texted me about it from the mosh pit LOL). It’s “This Guy’s in Love With You” (it’s a Burt Bacharach song) and we had the song play at our wedding when we cut the cake. 😀

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Mike Patton asked the audience what food cart was the best because he wanted to get some food. 😀 And when he was in Seattle they ate at Dick’s. Of course.

I can’t get over how amazing they sounded! It was such a good show! It ended around 11pm after they did a few encores and the four of us decided to go out for a bit.

We ended up at Luc Lac downtown. It’s a super popular Vietnamese restaurant that always has a line, which is why I’ve never been. I’ve wanted to, but you know me and standing in long lines for food… 😛 It was nearly midnight and the place was packed. It’s kind of a weird place–you order and pay first, get a number and your drinks, then stand around and wait for a table. There’s really no where to stand, either, so it’s kind of annoying. They have a ton of rules around eating there–you can’t order until everyone in your party is there, there’s no saving seats, etc etc.

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It’s a cute little restaurant, though. Cool wallpaper, tons of parasols on the ceiling, hip music. It’s a neat place for sure and the food was outstanding.

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Mike and Susanna shared some Pho and a steak roll and Michael and I shared two appetizers–the steak roll and the crispy vegetarian rolls. Holy cow were those crispy rolls fantastic. I could have eaten a dozen of those babies!

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I think Mike and Susanna wanted to stay out late and party since they had a babysitter and I wish we could have but both Michael and I were ready for bed! I was sick and he had been staying up late in Seattle because of the show so we left after eating. Kind of a bummer, but hopefully next time we can party. We got home around 1am. Ouch!

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