Mar 252015
 

I’ve ranted about Pinterest several times before–about how you search for “healthy” recipes and they are really not that healthy. One of the things you also see all over Pinterest is the “thinspo” type memes. The thinspiration photos that are somehow supposed to motivate us to work out and lose weight. Sometimes they are pretty good, like this one:

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I think that’s a good motto to live by. One of the issues with binge eating is that regret and food guilt immediately afterwards. I’ve felt that way so many times, vowing to never eat that way again! Then the cycle continues. It’s the same way for exercising. There are definitely days when I wish I could skip it. But then I remind myself that even though I may be in a bad mood now, I will feel better after I work out. And I always do. That workout almost always fixes my bad moods. And this one:

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I love that above body-love picture. My entire life I’ve hated my stomach rolls. When I lost the weight, the rolls were still there, except this time it was loose skin. I still hated my stomach (and still do) and am working hard on trying to dispel those negative thoughts from my inner monologue. Stop the body hate. Stop criticizing myself. It’s so hard. Especially on days when you’re already feeling kind of down. But that one is a good reminder. Still beautiful.

So in that way, Pinterest memes can be beneficial. But what about this one:

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I hate those ones. Working out should not be torturous. You shouldn’t be miserable. You shouldn’t be puking or passing out. A lot of newbies who are joining the gym in January to lose weight think they need to go balls-to-the-wall crazy with their workouts. That is so not the truth. You’ll be much more successful if you ease into it. Pace yourself. Give yourself rest days, give yourself a chance to catch your breath and BUILD UP TO intense fitness. Burning out the first week or two, or injuring yourself, SUCKS. Don’t do it. Ignore that meme!

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This is another one that annoys me. The whole concept of a thigh gap annoys me. And then seeing stuff on blogs and online about “do this exercise and you’ll get a thigh gap!” UGH! So dumb. (Read this old post for more ranting: Thigh Gap Obsession! :) )

I want to end on a positive note, rather than just ranting over Pinterest stuff that makes me roll my eyes. How about this one:

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So freakin’ true! This is one you should print out and put it up somewhere you can look at it. This is a reminder for everyone and not just about fitness. It applies to dieting, too. How many of you have been the “the diet starts on Monday” type of person? Then you spend all weekend bingeing and eating things you shouldn’t be just to start Monday morning with the super restrictive diet. That never works. Why put off something you can start today?

Making the decision to start eating healthy can start today, it doesn’t have to wait til Monday. Making the decision to get fit can start NOW. GO for a walk on your lunch break. Do some yoga stretching on your 15 minute break at work. Do 10 pushups and 50 jumping jacks first thing in the morning and each week add 10 to both activities. You’d be surprised about how easily these things will become habit and you will feel better. You will be surprised at how easily you will be able to add to these activities. You start to feel a little better and then all of a sudden joining a gym or starting to train for a 5k doesn’t seem so “big” and overwhelming. It’s the little things that add up!

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Mar 032015
 

I haven’t updated my weight loss progress in a bit. There are a few reasons for that but the main one is that the progress was not happening. Last I mentioned I’d lost 2 pounds and things were moving along nicely.

Then I stopped taking my acne medication. For a second time. And immediately gained 4 pounds. WTF. This actually happened the last time I stopped taking the medication and I was so frustrated that I started taking the acne meds again. This time around, I was determined to stop taking it for several reasons and I was going to just get over it if I gained weight as a result. But I tell you, seeing that immediate 4 pound gain on the scale SUCKED. For nearly 2 months I’d been abstaining from alcohol (except for a few weekends here and there when there were events), eating tons of veggies, counting my calories, working out … basically doing everything “right.”

I hate these meds! Sure, they fix my acne for the most part, but the side effects suck (low blood pressure, dizziness, having to pee all the effing time) and honestly I’ve been on the meds for a long time and I hate that I take them. Also, I have to get my kidneys checked every 6 months to check for damage as a result of the medication. That can’t be good and while my kidneys have been fine, it still creeped me out that I had to get them tested so often.

So logically I know that the 4 pounds was water weight from stopping the meds but dammit it sucked. It deflated me. It made me angry. Like, “I’ve been doing everything RIGHT WTF” angry. I felt discouraged. I started to feel like giving up. I didn’t, but I wanted to.

I talked to my doctor and he said, yeah that’s normal. Okay. The gain might be normal but it still sucks. He said to give it time for my body to figure out the water retention, avoid salty foods, etc. Ugh. There is nothing worse than feeling like your good work is doing nothing positive.

Recently, a friend of mine got her cortisol levels tested and they were pretty high. She told me about it and suggested I see if I could get my levels tested. I didn’t know much about it but I asked my doctor and he ordered the tests.

I knew very little about cortisol before this. I knew it had something to do with stress hormones and weight gain. WebMD said: “Cortisol has many functions. It helps the body use sugar (glucose) and fat for energy (metabolism), and it helps the body manage stress. Cortisol levels can be affected by many conditions, such as physical or emotional stress, strenuous activity, infection, or injury.”

I had to get my blood work done at 8am and then again at 4pm to compare the levels. From what I read, the levels were usually higher in the morning and lower in the afternoon. I went in and got the first test done, then went to the gym afterward.

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Later that day I went back to the doctor to get my second test done. Bella came with me in the car (she loves car rides and adventures) and we drove to the doc. (She was giving me kisses as we waited in the parking lot for 4pm.)

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It was a simple blood test and I had asked the doctor if I needed to fast for it or anything and he said no. Easy peasy.

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I guess part of me was hoping there was something up with my levels just so I would have an answer as to why it’s so hard this time around to lose weight. And despite the pat answer from my doctor “you’re getting older” I don’t think that’s the full story. Sure I understand metabolism changes as you age and it might get harder to lose weight but I don’t think that’s it.

Here are the standards for cortisol:

Cortisol 
Adult/Child Morning

5–23 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) or 138–635 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)

Afternoon

3–16 mcg/dL or 83–441 nmol/L

     

I got the results pretty quickly (same day). The test results for the morning blood draw:

Component Standard Range Your Value Flag
Cortisol 7.0 – 23.0 mcg/dL 20.0

It seemed a little high to me but it fell in the normal range so I guess it was okay. The test results for the afternoon draw:

Component Standard Range Your Value Flag
Cortisol 7.0 – 23.0 mcg/dL 8.2

Again, normal range. Again, no definitive answers. Aw well, I tried. At least it’s something to cross off the list of “what can it be”? The next step was my doctor putting in a referral for the nutrition department/health coach. It’s free with my insurance and they have a bunch of different programs, including a medically supervised diet.

I spoke to a health coach and explained my history and the problem. I already kind of felt like none of the programs were REALLY going to be helpful for me. I know how to lose weight. I did it. And kept it off for 6+ years. I don’t feel like I need the online or in-person support group (like Weight Watchers) and I don’t need motivation. I have motivation. It’s just not working the same way it used to.

The health coach did say that sleep deprivation and stress can effect weight gain and loss. Which I agree with. In times of stress I tend to stress eat. While that hasn’t been out of control lately, it’s still an occasional issue I struggle with. And I told the coach that when I “stress eat” it’s not a binge. It may be an extra 500-1000 calories for the day but it’s not like a full-out binge. I choose poorly for food. I also told him what my exercise regiment was and that there was no way I could add MORE exercise and he agreed.

One recommendation was that I talk to the sleep specialists about trying to fix my insomnia issues naturally (I don’t want Ambien). I agreed to that. And he’s going to hook me up with the nutritionist health coach who will take a look at what I’m doing with food and see if there’s anything I can change up. We’ll see!

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