Category Archives: General Health

Weight Loss and How to Stick With It!

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This doesn’t look like a “diet” plate of food, does it? Well, guess what? It is. I’ve been fighting the bulge battle for 30 years and have lost every go round. Not lost weight but lost the diet game. I’d lose a few pounds and then gain back that amount plus a few more. I did that EVERY time I dieted.

I have tried multiple diet plans, too. Expensive ones where the food comes to me in the mail, Low Carb, Low Fat, Richard Simmons’ Deal a Meal, Cabbage Soup, Counting Calories, TOPS, Weight Watchers, etc.

I came to realize that it wasn’t the actual diet, per se (some were odd), but the fact that I didn’t stick with the plan long term. Well, who could stick with eating NO bread for the rest of her life? Not me. I chose a long term eating plan that I could stick with this time. Weight Watchers has always been suggested by my doctors, and I always enjoyed the freedom with that way of eating, so I began WW (their new way of referring to themselves) last week.

So far, so good but I’m having trouble with one area. The fact that I get “too” much freedom is a bit of a hindrance, believe it or not. The current plan has 200 FREE foods, meaning they have a zero Smart Points count (I get 28 points per day to spend on food. The bacon and eggs above equal 6 Points). On this list is white meat chicken, fruits, veggies, seafood, and other goodies. They assume the average dieter (which is not me) won’t overeat on eggs or beans, etc. They’re wrong.

My new antidepressant makes me hungry, so I find myself eating these free foods in quantities that aren’t diet-friendly. Example: I had a can of beans for lunch. A whole can.  Weird stuff.

Anyway, I thought I’d let my readers know that this plan really does work if YOU work it like you’re supposed to. With a few exceptions, I’ve stayed on plan and eaten very tasty meals. I drink water, iced tea, Coke Zero, and coffee mostly. I try to stay hydrated, though.

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Oh, and I usually hated going to weekly meetings. I didn’t like having to take the time out of my day to do one more thing. However, my friends, I see now that these meetings are quite helpful. It’s not the weighing in for me, it’s the information from the other members and my fantastic leader (her name is Candy. LOL) and the camaraderie. It really does help me realize I’m not eating like this alone. I get some great ideas from the meetings.

So, I urge you, if you need to lose pounds – seriously – check into a plan that you know you will be able to LIVE with, and then take it head on!

I am sipping iced green tea with Stevia while I type. It’s refreshing and reminds me that spring is on the way!

Good luck, dears ~

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Medications and Weight Loss

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How is my new eating plan going, you ask? Please don’t ask right now.

My doc changed then increased my antidepressant med a few weeks ago. I’ve been dealing with sleepiness during the day. I’ve tried taking this drug (generic Effexor) at night instead but to no avail – I still get daytime sleepiness.

I figure it will pass. It almost did – until the doc increased the dosage a few days ago.

Having Bipolar means I’m on an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer, both. They work together to make me feel much better and more “normal.”

It hasn’t been good for my weight loss, though. I gained back what I’d lost and gained about 6 more pounds. Ugh!!

I’ll chalk it up to meds change and not beat myself up about it.

I’ve been eating well, however. I love veggies, fruits, and lean meats. I made brown rice last night with roasted carrots and a small, lean cut of beef. I still find myself hungry much more often than usual. It’s infuriating. I’ve learned to grab grapes for a quick snack or other fruit.

Do you take meds that mess with your weight or that may cause other health issues for you? It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

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I need to go and exercise but am so freaking sleepy I wonder if I can raise my head from this couch pillow. I will push myself . . . see where it gets me. It will either give me energy or I’ll be ready for burial. LOL!

Love y’all!

Weight Loss and Yo-Yo Dieting! Help?!

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January is cold, windy, and it gets dark early. January means putting away holiday ornaments and decorations. This month also promises that February will sprout forth crocus and daffodils to remind us that spring is coming in March and April.

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Nature’s cycles remind me that I, too, have cycles – but they have not been so “natural” for me. I yo-yo diet. I hate it but it’s true. Last year at this time, I was 25 lbs lighter than this year. The meds I take for ADHD and Bipolar probably have a bit to do with the weight gain but the rest is my hand-to-mouth mistakes and lack of moving my body.

I’m thinking about spring approaching soon, and I can’t take another summer of being fat. It’s so uncomfortable, and the clothes I have are ugly and too snug.

I’ve been trying to diet and lose about 120 lbs since just after Christmas but to no avail. I lost 10 and gained it right back. Grrrr!

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I can’t let meds’ side effects and low willpower keep me from my goals!

I have ideas.

  1. Exercise even when I feel fatigued (it’s the meds and extra weight making me tired)
  2. Journal EVERYthing I eat. Even one Hershey’s Kiss makes a difference.
  3. Plan ahead for meals so I’m not stuck only poor choices at meal times.
  4. Stay busy (busy mind and hands don’t snack)

Do you guys have any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them.

Now, to DO these four things on a constant basis until they are habitual . . .

 

Recipe for Easy Weight Watchers Zucchini Chips –

Oven Baked Zucchini Chips
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Yields: 4 servings | Calories: 99 | Total Fat: 3 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 13 | Carbohydrates: 12 g | Sodium: 241 mg | Dietary Fiber: 2 g | Sugars: 2 g | Protein: 6 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2 |

Ingredients-

  • 1 (large) zucchini, cut into 1/8″ – 1/4″ slices
  • 1/3 cup whole grain breadcrumbs, optional Panko
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, reduced fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine in a small mixing bowl, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Dip zucchini slices into milk and dredge into bread crumbs to coat both sides. Note: It may be necessary to press crumbs onto zucchini slices to ensure the crumbs stick.
  3. Arrange zucchini on a non-stick cookie sheet and lightly mist with a non-stick cooking spray.
  4. If using a rack, place rack on a cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes, turn over and continue baking until golden, approximately 10-15 minutes (being careful not to burn). Allow to cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.
  5. TIP: Zucchini Chips will continue to get crispier while cooling.
  6. NOTE: For gluten free chips, use gluten-free bread crumbs.

 

Why must getting healthy and trim be so dang difficult?!

Happy January, friends, and have an even better February!

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Reasons I Can’t Lose Weight, and I Need to Lose 120 lbs!

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I’ve heard it several times but never applied it to my own situation. Antidepressants can cause cause weight gain. I wondered why I’ve lost weight in the past but always gained it back.

It hit me yesterday; my doctor changed my antidepressant, and I read the enclosed paper about possible side effects. Issues with increased appetite (sometimes I just graze all day) and subsequent weight gain, there it was in black and white.

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My age also contributes to natural weight gain. I’ll be 55 in two months. As we age, our metabolism slows. Yet another strike against my attempts at getting thinner and healthier.

Will I let it stop me from shedding this massive amount of weight? You bet your first child it won’t’!

My mantra for today is this: “Stay on track and see results.”

I’m off to exercise. Ugh. Yes, it is only the first part of my new exercise plan, and I still hate doing it. I can hardly wait until the day I look forward to the activity – and I know I will. I’ve been there before.

Love you guys! Here’s to a healthy 2019! Stick with your goals!

 

Motion Creates More Motion. My Weight Loss Strategy.

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Here I am on New Year’s Eve. I visited with friends and learned a line dance called Rockin Cha. It would have been much more fun had my hips not been hurting from the activity. I’m in bad shape . . . like, having had zero exercise in a long time. So, any form of exertion really gets me winded and hurting. I hate this about myself. I’m glad I’m changing it!

I’ve realized something else; as long as I am inactive, I don’t have any motivation to “do” anything, much less move for an extended length of time. I’ve started using one spurt of energy to just stand up and stretch. Then, once I’m up, I focus on the reason I am making this life change. I want to be less limited in my every day life. I want to fit into restaurant booths again. I’d like to go to the movies and not have to hold my arms on my chest so I don’t take up mine AND my neighbor’s spaces on the arm rests. I don’t want my pre-diabetes to become diabetes. I have many, many reasons I want to get healthy). ANYway, while I stretch, I take deep breaths and keep my mind on what my plan is. The plan that will get me where I need and want to be, health wise. I don’t whine about it, I just walk to the elliptical machine – sometimes I’m even barefoot – and slip my earbuds into my phone an let the iTunes begin. I step on the machine and push Start. I go for at least ten minutes but aim for even one more minute than I did the day before (IF I exercised then). Once I’m in motion, I feel full of oxygen and enjoy the music. I feel productive and proud of myself.

So, my dear friends, it’s about making that first move UP and off the couch!

When I get on my elliptical machine, which is my favorite form of exercise, I have no stamina. I only last ten minutes! There was a time I spent an hour on that machine. I get frustrated easily but I know it”s normal and to be expected for the level of fitness at which I’m starting out. I try to give myself a break as I would for anyone else. I have a cute exercise shirt I’m dying to wear but it’s just too small  (it’s a small-fitting 2x) 😦  Fitting into that shirt is one of my beginning goals. See it below:

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I wonder if you have noticed that I haven’t told you my actual weight. I’m being honest with you guys but I can’t bring myself to quote how large I’ve gotten. One day soon, I will have the strength to share that number with you. I’m 5’2, so even a little weight feels like a lot but as I’ve said, I have 120 lbs to lose! I chose the Weight Watchers Online eating plan to help me control the quantity and quality of foods I eat.

I hope to be a contact of sorts with other women or men in cyber land – to show you it CAN be done. You have heard it many times before but I mean to show you – If I can do this, so can you!

Join me if you need to lose some significant weight. Let’s do this together. Feel free to comment and let me know what’s on your mind or what subject you might like me to cover here.

I’m off to grab some lunch. Tuna with crunchy veggies sounds good. Y’all have a great day! Lea

New Year Changes and Your Frame of Mind While Doing Them

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Hello, friends! That’s me at Halloween. I post this picture because it’s whimsical and fun. It made me think of my weight loss journey. I’m making changes to my whole life by just changing the way I eat and think of the fuel going into my body.

I may as well enjoy this path because there is no real END to it. I will always have to watch my weight. I’m a 5’2 Cajun woman with curves everywhere; I doubt I will magically transform with a string bean body.

I like to listen to Tony Robbins. In one of his YouTube videos, he says, “We live who we believe we are.” In other words, my body shows my inner standards about who I believe I am. In addition, my actions make my results.

Another interesting thought is this:  Skill comes from repetition.

Whatever I think of myself and whatever I DO each day, becomes “me.”

You may have heard this before. If so, let’s make changes together. I’m losing fat and getting my body in healthy condition. What do you need to change? Surely you have a negative trait or lazy habit you’d like to get rid of.

If I am excited and inspired enough, I will keep my eyes on my goal and behave in a way that will help me get there. Yes, there will be numerous set-backs and oops moments. I had one late last night – my FIRST stupid night on this new plan. But I’m back today, staying on the road to my goal.

Here is what yesterday’s dinner looked like. It was grilled rainbow trout with lemon pepper, turnip greens, and a kale salad. We went to Cracker Barrel. I stayed on plan and had a delish dinner!

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I’m trying to stay in the zone of “this is a long haul but I WILL make changes!”

Here I am on New Year’s Eve. Partying my fat butt off with friends. I learned a line dance called Rockin’ Cha and was sore all day yesterday. LOL!

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Let’s figure out who we want to be and then aim that direction!

My mantra today is ” I choose myself.”

Love y’all, — Lea

My Big Fat Cajun Life. My Journey With Obesity and How I’m Losing Weight

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That’s me. I look like I have “attitude,” don’t I? Well, sometimes I do. I need to lose 120 lbs, and that affects my whole life. I’ve started a major life-change diet today. I am using the Weight Watchers plan to “get er done.” I intend to exercise daily and lose approximately 2-5 lbs a week.

I thought I’d take my readers/subscribers on my journey. Hopefully, if you need to make a big change in your life, you might find motivation, encouragement, and acceptance here.

I had scrambled eggs and half a banana for breakfast. Here I go . . . Come with!

Lea

 

I Diet. I Exercise. Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

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Okay. I’m being honest here. I tried Atkins/Ketogenic Diet for two months and lost 12 pounds but sticking with that strict of an eating plan was torturous. I had to remain on the “Induction” (introductory) phase so I could lose at a decent pace (I have a LOT of weight to lose, as well). Plus, I stopped losing and stayed the same weight for another month after losing the 12 pounds. So, I joined Weight Watchers for the 1,245,391st time! It’s been five days and the scale has not budged even 1/10 of a pound. That is despite exercising AND watching what I’m eating!

I’m sick of trying SO hard only to see minimal (or no) results. Yes, I take one or two meds that might be hindering my weight-loss efforts but THIS much? So, I’ve decided to stay with the Weight Watchers plan because it offers so much variety and group support BUT I’m doing a “no-no” according to their rules; I’m going to cut my daily calories (or points).

A fat woman using an elliptical machine

I’m almost 54 years old and so age isn’t my friend anymore when it comes to losing fat. I’ve become pre-diabetic but refuse to let myself get any more out of shape. I do notice that carbs make me very sluggish. That is an awful feeling. Sometimes, I have to actually take a nap to get over the sleepiness. It’s ridiculous.

So, instead of 24 points tomorrow, I’m only having 20. I’m sure there are W W leaders and members out there who will chastise me for trying this but SOMEthing has to give. I’m already exercising every day. I’m also still refraining from desserts, sweets, regular sodas, and things made with white flour, rice, or pasta. Whew!

A fat woman using the treadmill to lose weight

 

I’ll keep y’all up to date on how it’s going. I WILL find a way out of this fat-trap I’m in. I’ll share it here with you, too! Honesty all the way.

Anyone have advice for a fed-up fat woman? I’m going to Cozumel in November! This is my time to lose unwanted pounds. I have 8 months.

 

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Love you guys, Lea

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Low Carb Flu? Get Back into Ketosis.

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Have you recently begun a low-carb diet and are feeling MORE fatigued than usual? Having a few muscle cramps, brain fog, dizziness, or headache? Ready to throw in the towel and chock up this eating plan as another failure? Don’t give up right now! It’s likely what we call “low-carb flu.” It is a state of transition. Your body is adjusting to burning fat instead of carbohydrates, and it will definitely pass. If you lowered your carb intake markedly, you are inducing ketosis. Soon, the opposite will be true, and you’ll be brimming with energy. Really!

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Once you have cleaned your body of sugar and junk foods that had nothing but empty calories, your life will be much more focused, and your body will join your brain in a state of clarity.

But for now, you need help getting through the low-carb flu (no, it’s not a true flu with fever, etc). Try eating more fat since it’s key in this way of eating. Fat is not the enemy as was once preached. Read a few up-to-date nutrition articles from reliable sources. You’ll see that low-carb, higher fat, and low carb eating is what our bodies thrive on. It can be difficult to make the switch after decades of believing the other way. If you fuel your body with fat instead of carbohydrates, it will adjust to burning fat instead of sugars and empty carbs. The energy you’ll experience will be SO worth your living this diet. Think mayo, cheeses, butter, steak, chicken with the skin on (not battered), half and half in your coffee, avocados, nuts, and sauces without sugars but with fat as a base (ex: Hollandaise sauce).

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In addition, be careful how much protein you consume. About 4-6 oz a meal is plenty. Your body might decide to convert protein you are eating into sugars and burn those instead of the fats. Balance is key.

You’ve heard that drinking water is vitally important to feeling your best. It’s even more important when you are on this type of eating plan. However, you flush away electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, sodium) when you drink good amounts of water. So, take a multi-vitamin every day. Also increase your sodium intake. I know, we’re flying in the face of recently-modern medicine but it’s now been researched and is becoming the norm given by health professionals.

 

Another idea if you are in a low-carb flu is to avoid sweeteners. They can cause cravings by their sweet taste.

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One last idea – move! It may be the one thing you do NOT want to do right now but just move a little. Just walk at a slower pace, and encourage yourself to do something besides lay around.

When you’ve eaten, had a drink of water, taken your multivitamin, and followed other actions to combat the low-carb flu, sit back and look forward to energetic days ahead!

Love you guys! Hang in there. It’s only temporary. Remember . . . good-bye sugary junk and hello new, healthy life!

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Carb-Sensitive? Want a Low Carb Diet?

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The above photo shows what many, many health professionals still believe should be a staple of our diets for breakfast, lunch, dinner, even snacks. Have you taken a look at the Food Guide Pyramid lately?

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Please don’t take this guide seriously. I’m living proof that this way of eating is NOT healthful for every adult. Too many carbs. They are telling us that they majority of our eating should contain carbohydrates. After decades of fighting my overweight body (yet using doctor-recommended and professionally recognized “well rounded” diets), I figured out why I didn’t feel well most of the time and why I couldn’t maintain weight loss.

I tried a very low carbohydrate way of eating. I felt 75% better after just the first day!

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I have several low carb eating plans but stayed with Atkins because it was more familiar and because I needed the structure of their Induction phase. I used to think that the more variety I was given, the better I could work the diet. Not so this go round. I went a different route, and it’s working well. After reading much research on carbohydrates, I realized I was likely carb-sensitive. Another phrase that stuck with me was Insulin Resistance.

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What is carb sensitivity? It’s How your body processes sugars and starchesSome of us can down a pint of ice cream and not be affected. Others, like me, can eat a half a cup and stall their weight maintenance. I know, it’s not fair but that’s life. All bodies are not created equally. “Carbohydrate-sensitive people have exaggerated responses to sugars and starches that set the stage for increased appetite, carbohydrate cravings, and very efficient fat storage (Georgia Ede, MD).”

Try a low carb diet and see if it helps you lose unwanted pounds. Fat pounds, not lean muscle. Look up Atkins Diet or the Keto Diet and see if they’re for you. I’m glad I did!

The difference between Atkins and Keto Diets

Good luck on your journey, and enjoy the natural foods you eat.

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