Tunes for Tuesday: Hula Hoop, by Brenmar, featuring UNiiQU3

Saw this video at the gym yesterday. The song itself is your typical techno dance stuff but the video makes me want to bust out the FXP Hula Hoop I was sent a few months ago. It's a portable weighted Hula Hoop that comes with a carrying bag, a non-slip mini mat for setting it on its side for standing moves and a DVD. When I was a kid I had an awesome orange Hula Hoop with "shakey-shakey" noisemakers in it, and I haven't hooped since. Maybe I'll give it a go. I'm kind of heartened that the workout poster shows a lot more moves than the around-the-waist, which I can't seem to master.

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Back to living diet free

(Only thing is I don't binge and I don't skip the gym.)


I saw a variation on this message yesterday on Facebook and took it as a sign -- especially the part about "You're going to try new techniques and they're not going to work." 

Because the new technique I've been trying the past month or so hasn't been working for me. I did OK the first couple weeks but then everything slowed and stopped.

I have no idea who wrote this -- all I know is that I needed to read it.

This quote allowed me to email the publicist and tell her I was dropping out of the test. She was super nice about it. 

The book, which comes out next month, is great and I highly recommend it (not sure I can tell you what it is yet) but my warped diet mentality goes back so many decades that I felt my inner rebel throwing monkey wrenches left and right and the craziness welling up again.

Don't get me wrong -- I still weigh out portions and journal my food, but I'm back to following the principles of Robert Ferguson's Diet Free Life. It's not a diet -- hence the name. It's all about eating every three hours or so, making protein the cornerstone of your meals, keeping snacks between 100 to 200 calories and portion control.

This time around I thought I'd do something really novel -- I'm reading all the literature instead of just diving in half cocked.  I'm making sure I'm putting together balanced meals with the right portion size and the right mix of carbs, fat and protein.

My head feels lighter already. That's step 1.

Sleuthing for a solution

I'm so glad that I have a scale that measures more than just pounds, otherwise, I'd be tearing my hair out about now.

Body comp for sept2015

I fully admit, I haven't been 100 percent with my eating (too much sodium and nighttime snacking) but there's no reason the scale should be going up.

So I've been doing some sleuthing around, trying to figure out where this is going wrong and come up with ways to reverse the process. 

First thing -- look at the scale. What you see above is my lean mass and fat mass for the past 30 days. The lean mass is rising while the fat mass is falling -- and that's what's really important. I'm replacing fat with muscle, so that may explain a little of the poundage. I've been hitting it hard in the gym with strength training, increasing weight and reps ...

... which also makes me hungry. Gaaah!

I looked back at when I was at my lowest, pre-pregnancy weight and it was March 2014, when I was (yikes) 15 pounds lighter. My lean mass and fat mass percentages were basically the same as they are now, give or take a couple percentage points. 

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I am just an unfrozen caveman, but from what I've gathered, my weight went up and no one factor seemed to contribute to that. The laws of thermodynamics kicked in, and calories in were more than calories out.

Given that information, I headed for My Fitness Pal to see what I was eating during March and April 2014. 

I didn't journal my food completely every single day, but from what I saw, I averaged around 1,600 to 1,800 calories a day and consistently went over my fat allowance while leaving carbs on the table. I also ate at least 30 grams of fiber and lots of protein at every meal and snack. 

Other things I noticed:

  • Lots of coconut and olive oils, olives, nuts, avocado, oil-packed sardines, flax seeds and hummus -- a.k.a. healthy fats.
  • Two to three servings of dairy a day, primarily Greek yogurt and real cheese, like Cheddar, feta and cheese sticks. 
  • I made a big smoothie every morning with protein powder, unsweetened almond or coconut milk, frozen fruit, healthy fats and greens.
  • I was eating a high-protein bar between breakfast and lunch (preworkout snack), something I've not been doing lately.
  • There were some "fun foods" scattered in there, too. Jamba Juice smoothies, fro-yo bars, black bean chips showed up during the week, but not every day. 

The past couple months, I've been cutting back on fat and adding back carbs, which obviously doesn't work for me.

I'm glad I finally took the time to research what was working early last year so I can reboot my system. It took all morning to do this but the time spent was enlightening.

I always feel like when I write a post like this that it might seem like I'm spinning my wheels, but actually I'm sleuthing out a way to make weight loss do-able and permanent.

So if you'll excuse me, it's time to throw away my protein bar wrapper and head to the gym. But first, this needs pressing ...


Tunes for Tuesday: A Change Would Do You Good, by Sheryl Crow

This is one of my touchstone songs -- every time I find myself stuck I start singing this song to get things moving in a different direction.

This week I'm singing it to the scale because it has been stuck for nearly a month, and I know that the culprit is carbs. So I'm making more room for protein, produce and healthy fats and less room for the starchy, sweet stuff. But I did notice one really cool thing this weekend -- just for kicks I put a teaspoon of sugar in my coffee, took a sip and realized that I really don't like my coffee sweet any more. The sugar was a "treat yo'self" moment and it totally backfired in a good way!

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Giant salads and chocolate removal

As I write this, I am eating a post-workout salad the size of a small dump truck. It's got leftover chicken, a little cheddar, leftover cherry tomatoes from a deli tray, some quinoa I found in the back of the fridge, some elderly avocado, Trader Joe's sodium-free salsa (seriously, it's the BEST) and lettuce. Lots and lots and lots of lettuce.

Big salad

I ate it straight out of the plastic clamshell. And that wasn't a normal-sized clamshell, that was a family-size plastic trough.

I hate to throw out food, and that salad was on its last legs. Plus, I have two more bags of leafy greens -- green leaf lettuce from a deli tray and kale, extracted from an Edible Arrangement.

Nothin' goes to waste.

OK -- a couple things did get tossed. Last night I (brace yourselves, chocolate lovers) dumped a bunch of See's candies into the garbage disposal. The sound of nuts 'n' chews being destroyed was loud, violent and just a little bit satisfying. Today, I was rummaging in the yogurt bin (what others would call a produce bin we turned into a home for yogurts) and found a container of leftover pumpkin cheesecake. 

That went down the drain as well.

I have a freezer full of fruit from two Edible Arrangements and have been making smoothies with those all week. The leafy greens will get turned into dinners this weekend.

But the chocolate and the cheesecake? Buh-bye.


There's still half a banana cream pie in the fridge but luckily I find banana cream pie to be one of the MOST VILE FOODS ON EARTH so there's zero temptation.

I gave out bags and containers of cheesecake, cake, cookies, rugelach and other goodies to anyone within my reach the past week. My teenager has greatly cut down on foods like that since he realized he feels better with less of it. Also, he doesn't have any weight issues (and probably never will) so he can't hear the siren's song.

It's just something I have to do to jump back on the horse.