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Weekly Diary Entry

Kamara Viau, RD
Self Care, Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Diary of a Dietitian – ONE YEAR BLOG-IVERSARY!

Dear Diary,

Today is the one year anniversary of Diary of a Dietitian! One year ago, I entered the worlds of Blogging, FaceBook, and Twitter in an effort to not only share nutrition information but to also feed a part of me that was slowly dying. In honor of this special day, I am going to write about how I let that happen and I continue to escape it. Sounds a bit morbid to write about a dying dream on your one year birthday Diary, but it needs to be shared. I think a lot of people let their dreams and aspirations slowly die. Not intentionally, of course, but more in an unnoticed, slowly seeping kind of way.

In 2003, I made a BIG move from Michigan to California. It was very cliche as I was moving mainly to be with a guy. That guy is now my husband, but it’s still unbelievable to think that I have lived in California for over 12 years. Before I moved, I had already secured a job with the growing dialysis company, DaVita. Coming from being a hospital Dietitian, I was excited to enter the complex world of dialysis. For 11 years, I thoroughly enjoyed my work along with getting married, having a couple of kids, and attempting to navigate finding balance within all of that.

Then something happened. I woke up one day in early 2015 and thought to myself, “This is not what I want to do any longer with my career.” Mmphf. If I no longer want to be a Renal RD, then what the heck do I want to be? Over the next 6 months, I thought about that quite a bit in the moments I would steal away for myself. When you have 2 small children, quiet moments of reflection and deep thought can be few and far between. I do my best thinking in the shower. It’s quiet (unless a child is pounding on the door), it’s excusable (everyone needs a shower), and it’s private (unless you live in a one bathroom place where everyone has to use the toilet as soon as your baby toe hits the shower mat). The point is, for many of us, there are not an abundance of moments to focus on dreams and aspirations. When there are, you’e tired as hell and all your brain can focus on is your pillow.

In February of 2015, I knew I wanted to change things up and I needed an outlet to figure out over time what that would morph into. Ta-da, Diary of a Dietitian was born with the help of my friend Sheryl. No big job change but a blog seemed like a great way to express my thoughts while I continued on the journey to my next career. This was a BIG step for me. I finally had something of my own that I created and was JUST FOR ME!

I knew that I wanted Diary of a Dietitian to have one main goal…to share my journey as a Registered Dietitian down the bumpy, imperfect road of health, wellness, and nutrition. I am passionate about being a champion of wellness for women, starting from teenagers right up to menopause. Women are the backbone of most families and in an effort to care for everyone else, they often forget to take care of themselves. Just because I am a Dietitian does not make me exempt from the pitfalls of womanhood. I am CONSTANTLY giving myself a proverbial slap in the face, followed by a self pep talk and then getting back on track.

I also want other people to understand that they are not alone in the struggle. Mental and physical wellness are not an easy feat for the majority of us and one has huge effects on the other. Once hormones, lack of support, stigmas, illness, lack of sleep, stress, caring for others (the list could literally go on and on) are added into the equation, these seem to be an impossible goals.

The key for each of us is to find what sustains us and RUN with it. There is no singular grand plan that will work for everyone. When I counsel people on weight loss and diet changes, I focus a lot on they feel. I am unconcerned about your current weight or how many pounds your doctor told you to lose or threats other health care professionals have made. I care about how you feel. Can you play with your kids or grand kids like you want to? Do you feel guilty when you eat and then eat more? Are you able to go to the beach with the rest of your family and dip your toes in the water? These are the goals that I am interested in helping my clients achieve.

After I moved with my husband and 2 kids an hour South of where we previously lived, I left the world of dialysis. That world gave me so much and I know I will always have it to go back to. I am now looking forward to what the next year brings in my career and it’s very exciting!

 

So, I leave you with this, Diary, on our one year anniversary (which was several days ago but I am just now able to finish this post). My goals for the next year to come are simple; support at least 10 people in achieving improved mental and physical wellness, educate myself on how hormones affect weight in women through their life stages, and sample 5 different diet/lifestyle programs. My goal is my dream with a 1 year deadline!

www.diaryofadietitian.net

Diary of a Dietitian – A goal is a dream with a deadline

 

Diary of a Dietitian Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016
Self Care, Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Be Kind to Yourself in 2016

Dear Diary,

Oh what a year 2015 was! As I sit here, on the first day of 2016, it is easy to think about all the things I did not accomplish in 2015. I decided to challenge myself and reflect on only the POSITIVE aspects of 2015. What do I want to move forward with and continue in 2016? What am I proud of? What do I want to remember and build on as I move into a new year?

Inspiration is everywhere if you are open to it. Inspiration for this diary entry came to me via a FaceBook post from Hands Free Revolution. I plan to read this in the future as a reminder of how “to be” in the moment rather than focus on the “to do.” I am on a constant quest of learning “to be” in the moment…my quest continues with the aid of many key people. Strangely enough, some of those key people I will only know through their insightful words online.

What’s standing in your way of living the life you’ve been wanting to live?

You might think it is those extra pounds
Or your temper
Or poor financial choices
Or inability to get organized
Or lack of discipline
Or some other fill-in-the-blank issue.

And each time a new year rolls around, you find yourself here—looking at yourself with critical eyes because, yet again, you are not the person you aspire to be.

Before you hop on the self-improvement bandwagon of 2016, I encourage you to sit with yourself for a moment and marvel.

For the past 365 days,
You worked
You tried
You loved
Tirelessly.

For the past 356 days,
You watched
You listened
You cheered
With every fiber in your body.

For the past 365 days,
You encouraged
You supported
You upheld
Without fail.

For the past 365 days,
You forgave
You sacrificed
You fixed
In ways no one else could.

For the past 365 days,
You cuddled
You tucked
You understood
Even when you didn’t think you had it in you.

For the past 365 days, you put one foot in front of the other despite that list of personal shortcomings and poor choices that surfaces year after year.

On this first day of 2016, I encourage you to look past that list and see yourself with kind, loving eyes. Your everyday triumphs simply cannot be overlooked. Not today. No, not today.

And if you must set a self-improvement goal for the year ahead, please consider something small, doable, and untrendy.

Don’t get so lofty, so demanding, and so unreasonable that your goal to become a “better” version of you is merely an obstacle in seeing all that you already are.

My mental list of personal shortcomings is long. I resolve to create a list of triumphs for 2015 that is longer. Topping the list would be creating my blog and committing to sharing my insights, challenges, and information as a Registered Dietitian. On February 18, 2015 I wrote my first blog post, entered the worlds of Facebook and Twitter, and began my journey as a writer. I also left my long time job as a Renal Dietitian, took a cross country trip, moved to a new community, and began working towards my dream job as a consulting RD in the world of weight management.

Being kind to myself is my greatest challenge but it’s one I want to focus on in 2016. Good enough, has never been good enough for me. I am a seeker of doing things “better” than I, or anyone, has done before. I’m not sure if it’s a small goal but it is doable and not trendy.

2016 Diary of a Dietitian Goal

2016 Diary of a Dietitian Goal

 

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Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Check In #9 – Motivation and Sticky Situations

Dear Diary,

I’m sure you feel as if I have abandoned you. It’s been over a month of silence from me. My brain has been otherwise occupied as it wraps itself around this new life in a new city. I have to admit, I have been looking for my motivation for several weeks as I come up with one excuse after another to not devote time to writing to you. Then it hit me…that’s exactly what my clients do when they don’t commit to changing their diet. I HAD TO BREAK THE SILENCE!

Although I have not been writing to you, I have not lost ALL sight of my health and wellness. Over the summer, I injured my back the day before a 3-day cross country drive. Needless to say, after I returned to California, shooting pain continued to hamper my physical activity. I started seeing a wonderful physical therapist to help get my body back to the point of being able to exercise without pain. The first couple of weeks were PURE TORTURE as she began to release some of the adhesions that were preventing me from moving in the proper way.

So many events in our lives cause our body to begin to function in a very dysfunctional way. Stressful events, surgeries, and injuries all “stick” with us and cause issues until we find a way to get “unstuck.” It’s not our bodies fault, all it’s trying to do is find the path of least resistance. First it’s just a little shoulder slump, then your hips rotate a weird way…then BAM…you’re all jacked up! As my therapist commences to “un-stick” my body weekly, I have realized that my brain is following my bodies lead.

Happy Healthy Halloween! #diaryofadietitian

Happy Healthy Halloween! #diaryofadietitian

The pain of exercise was one factor, but mental motivation to get back into the routine of physical activity is a whole nother thang! Ease off spellcheck, I can pull out some slang if I want to. It’s all about making that first step. A little walk, some stretching…realizing how good it feels and all of sudden you have found your motivation again. Suddenly, you are also making better choices when it comes to eating as well. Yes, getting rid of being all stuck together in one way or another is truly the key to opening the door of progress.

I’m planning to kick off November with a whole new positive outlook on taking care of my body and mind. My happy carrot pumpkin creation for my sons after-school program is a good reminder of how to balance healthy eating in the midst of tons of unhealthy choices. Cheers to a Happy Healthy Halloween!

Goal Reality Grade Change Needed for Next Week
Sleep 8 hours Getting 7-8 hours of zzz’s every night A Still on track
Eat Breakfast & No Night Snacking Add back protein at the first meal (now a late breakfast). Throw out the tortilla chips! B Haven’t made egg muffins in a very long time. Make them ASAP!
Exercise Walking 3 times a week has been restarted. Get to the gym in my new city. B No more Rose Bowl…hello lagoon loop and the gym.
Write Down What I Eat I figure out my calorie intake in my head throughout the day so for me, writing down is not as key as it is for others N/A Nope, can’t do it. I do recommend to others though.
Weigh Weekly Restarted weekly weigh in and new start weight established B Down to 8 lbs to lose from my original 10 lb weight loss goal
Get & Give Support After a bout with depression and a couple of months of no diary entries…it’s time to up this area and find new sources to give and get support C Get a friend to walk with me at least 1 day per week. Start blogging weekly again.
Stress Management I still need yoga in my life but I have added physical therapy and massage which is helping to manage stress. B- Got back to the gym yesterday for a spin on the elliptical and Monday PiYo here I come…

 

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Exercise & Fitness, Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Check In #8 – Road Less Traveled

Dear Diary –

Sometimes you end up back at square one, pondering how you got there. It happens to the best of us and this time eating healthy and continuing towards my 10 lb weight loss goal has eluded me for over 3 weeks. Between moving, planning a cross country road trip, leaving my job and scrambling to schedule appointments prior to all of those events, there was not time to focus on my health. Consistent exercise, eating healthy, and changing your body are all very intentional goals. It takes a special mix of time, planning and commitment to truly make changes in health occur. A taste of success, followed by a downward spiral, can lead to only one thing; stretchy, big-girl pants. NOOOOOOO!

As a result, the 3-4 lbs I had worked so hard to shed, quickly scrambled back to my middle area. Now I’m on vacation in my home state of Michigan for the next 3 weeks and I have come to a crossroads. I could either spend the next few weeks continuing with a vacation-like lifestyle (have a few cans of “pop” and park my behind in the sand of Lake Michigan) OR I could challenge myself to spend the next 3-4 weeks doubling up my efforts to get fit and eat healthy before my return to California. I chose door #2 and decided to start today with a 30 day health and fitness challenge. No time like the present…carpe diem…#itsgotime.

Oh, I should back track a bit, Diary, as you may have missed a few things during my absence. My husband and I decided a couple of months ago that we would move closer to his job this summer. The LA commute had become unbearable for all of us. Moving would mean that I needed to quit my job or possibly transfer which is still to be decided. The impending move and joblessness provided me with a golden oppoIMAG3227rtunity to head back to Michigan for an extended vacation and give us more time with extended family. I decided a road trip from California to Michigan was in order and we would stop along the way at some of our countries most breathtaking spots.

I could not be more happy with my decision to pack up the kids and minivan, have my Dad join us, and travel to places like Bryce, Zion, Arches, and Denver. It was the trip of a lifetime and I am grateful for the opportunity to literally take some of the roads less traveled. I also welcomed the complete break we were able to make with our over-scheduled lives, most of which could not be avoided. A break in routine, however, does not come without a few consequences.

All of this travel, uprooting and planning meant “less important” things had to fall by the way side. This is when my 5:2 Intermittent Day Eating fell apart along with consistent exercise. Sometimes I can run head first into prioritizing my health despite the chaos of my life and sometimes I have to know when to fold ’em…know when to walk away. I walked away for a bit. Now I’m ready to regain that feeling I get when my body feels like it belongs to me and not someone else. I am craving that euphoric, happy place where my clothes fit well and I think “Uh-huh, I feel pretty good for a 40 year old with a couple of kids.”

To get back on track, I am restarting my 5:2 Eating Plan, enlisting my Michigan family members for support, and doing an “Abs & Squats Challenge” plus an “Arms Challenge.” Both can be found on my Diary of a Dietitian Pinterest board titled Build a Better Body. An 8 day road trip across the country was taking the road less traveled, but for me taking on this fitness challenge,while on vacation, is even more of a road less traveled. Sometimes doing the opposite of what is “normal” is the only path that makes sense.

 

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Intermittent Day Eating, Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Check In #7 – Flex Your Muscles

Dear Diary,

I officially ditched the “weekly” part of my check-in title. I couldn’t handle the added pressure that “weekly” implied, although, I am hopeful that I will return to blogging weekly. In a magical world, where time does not exist, children do as they are asked, healthy food cooks itself, and exhaustion does not prevail; that’s the world that I could blog in on a weekly basis…heck, daily might even be possible! Fingers crossed on the magical world thing. Once again, Diary, I digress.

Last time I checked in (my version of a gut check, literally and figuratively) I wrote about leaning into the chaos of life and not being afraid to prioritize myself when crisis hits. The more you do something, the easier it gets. It becomes woven into your being if you stick with something long enough and starts to feel like second nature. Take starting a new job, for example. The first couple of weeks are filled with anxiety, frustration, and fear. But slowly you get to know your co-workers names, you locate the secret pen stash, and you no longer have to write down every new password you are required to use, for each different system and application (why, oh why, do I have to use a capital letter AND a symbol AND a number). Oh yeah…thanks Sony.

As I continue to become more comfortable with following a 5:2 Intermittent Day Eating plan, I have more lessons to share. Is it possible that an eating plan can also have benefits in other areas of your life? Me thinks it does.

Lesson #4: Denying oneself is difficult and indulgence is tempting. The balance between the two is about as easy as a grown woman teeter-tottering with her 3 year old. It’s awkward and forced, yielding little pleasure on either end. The key is to find the right balance and knowing whether to bail out or stick with it.

Lesson #5: Each time you strike the right balance, you flex your discipline muscle a little bit more. You find that sweet spot where it feels just right. Someone says, “Oh, just eat it, it’s soooo good…you only live once you know.” And here we are at the crossroad. Here is where you make your choice to either flex your muscle and build it or allow it to atrophy like a deflating balloon. Two paths in the woods…do I take the one less traveled? YES. Tomorrow I eat normal. I can do anything for a day…it’s just one day. Flex that muscle, just like Popeye when he sees Olive Oyl. 

Lesson #6: Hunger is temporary. The first couple of weeks of eating (attempting) 500 calories or less, two days a week proved to be difficult for two main reasons; hunger and feeling light-headed. My body was used to me eating often, which unfortunately was causing too many calories to stack up by the end of the day. After 5 weeks though, I no longer get those aggressive hunger pangs and a few slugs of chia seed water keeps me chugging along. Nice, deep breaths and keeping busy certainly don’t hurt either.

Finding balance, and using discipline within my diet, has also helped me to find both in other aspects of my life. Just like with eating though, it’s something you have to tackle one day at a time and keep learning from the journey instead of just focusing on the destination.

Goal Reality Grade Change Needed for Next Week
Sleep 8 hours Getting 7-8 hours of zzz’s every night A Schedule is back to normal and sleep is back on track
Eat Breakfast & No Night Snacking My two 500 calorie days per wk are on track. I am over on my “normal” calorie level on weekends which is slowing weight loss B Make some egg muffins on Sunday and scale back on my calories on the weekends
Exercise Still need to commit to a local 10K race and get back into consistent 3 days a week at the gym B Back to the gym for cardio and walking at the Rose Bowl. Just sign up for the damn race already!
Write Down What I Eat I figure out my calorie intake in my head throughout the day so for me, writing down is not as key as it is for others N/A Nope, can’t do it. I do recommend to others though.
Weigh Weekly Maintaining my loss of 2.3 lbs but no further loss. B Weekend eating (and drinking) = too high of a calorie intake on my “normal” calorie intake days…planning to scale it back
Get & Give Support Received an email from someone in the UK that is researching Intermittent Day Fasting and she is following my blog as well as provided me with a link to a research article…wow, someone reads it? A My next blog post is already in the works that will include 3 different sources I have been researching on Intermittent Day Eating…stay tuned!
Stress Management I NEED YOGA IN MY LIFE! It is so good, for so many reasons. Oh, and I have been snapping a bit lately at people…always a sure sign I need improved stress management. C The gym does not have classes that fit in my schedule so I need to bite the bullet and fork over some cash. Goal is to sign up in the next 7 days…

 

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Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Weekly Check In #6 – It’s Been a While

Dear Diary,

I last wrote to you over 12 days ago. Did you miss me? My life over the past couple of weeks has been a whirlwind and little time has been left for sitting down and writing. I have discovered, through this blog, that I really like writing. I think I am getting a little bit better with each entry and post I make.

In an effort to advocate for my son, I had to write several emails attempting to convey why he needed this or that. Some of those emails were noteworthy, if I do say so myself. Pulitzer prize winning material? Probably not. It did, however, show me the power of the pen. The combination of tenacity, passion, decent writing skills and a dash of pissed off can open doors you previously thought were shut.

In the past, I have placed everything and everyone in my immediate family ahead of myself. Oops, looks like we have a crisis on our hands…so what if I didn’t get to shower today (California is in a drought after all), so what if I didn’t eat one fruit or vegetable today (Dietitian blasphemy), so what if I didn’t workout again (I probably needed the break anyways). My needs suddenly didn’t matter. All that mattered was getting them what they needed and I would get back on the proverbial horse of health when time permits.

Well, not this time sister. Crisis occurred…I started this blog. Another crisis…I decided to test drive a new diet that goes against many things I was taught back in college. Screw not taking care of myself. In my new world, I do the opposite of what my natural instinct is telling me to do. Instead of placing my health on the back burner, I try something new and run straight into it with full force.

I’m like a dog with it’s head out the window in a car going 50 miles per hour. My face is all crazy looking but I can’t stop because for some weird reason I like it. In fact, I might even bark a little in an effort to get the driver to speed up a bit. Why add more, when it already looks like it’s too much to handle? Because that’s when you find out what you are made of. That’s when we find out that we can continue to prioritize ourselves, even when every fiber inside of us is telling us not too.

Goal Reality Grade Change Needed for Next Week
Sleep 8 hours Getting 7-8 hours of zzz’s every night A- Until my schedule is consistent again, I plan set a specific time each night to be in bed with getting 7-8 hrs of sleep in mind
Eat Breakfast & No Night Snacking Started 5:2 Intermittent Day Eating plan. Need to build a better breakfast on my “regular calorie” days. B Make eggs on regular calorie days and continue to create new recipes for keeping within 500 calories on reduced calorie days
Exercise Still need to commit to a local 10K race and get back into consistent 3 days a week at the gym B Sign-up for a 10K race, hit the gym or run on Monday, Saturday, and Sunday
Write Down What I Eat I figure out my calorie intake in my head throughout the day so for me, writing down is not as key as it is for others A On my reduced calorie days, I plan to write down what I eat as an aid for future blog posts
Weigh Weekly I broke through the weight I was stuck at and lost 2.3lbs over the past 2-3 weeks A+ Mother’s Day was a killer calorie wise but today I am back on the 5:2 plan and confident I can keep this train from derailing!
Get & Give Support Friends and Family provided much needed support, Alternate Day Fasting FB group provided great support, and I provided (and got) support from my friend Jennifer O as we work to be 10lbs. lighter for summer! A Blog about success and failure on 5:2 Alt Day eating plan as well as post (finally) recipes for super low-cal meals for low calorie days…or any time your body is in need of a healthy meal that fills you up but not out!
Stress Management Still have not found a way to fit in yoga so for now I have tabled that. I do, however, continue weekly therapy sessions and deep breathing when I get stressed vs. holding my breath A I am giving myself an “A” for the past few weeks. The amount of stress I had recently could have crushed me…but alas, I ended up crushing it!

 

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Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Weekly Check In #5 – Benefits of Failure

Dear Diary,

This morning I was at the gym and I caught a few minutes of an interview Matt Lauer was doing with J.K. Rowling. She gave a commencement speech at Harvard a few years back, 2008 to be exact, and the theme was on the “benefits of failure” and “crucial importance of imagination.” Below is an excerpt from her speech that touches at the very heart of what she was wanted to convey to the Harvard grads.

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.” – J.K. Rowling

Powerful words. Some failure in life is inevitable. I have often heard people quoted as saying, “Failure is not an option” or “The word failure is not in our vocabulary.” We are essentially telling ourselves, and in turn teaching our children, to fear failure instead of learning from it and embracing it. If we do not view failure as a good thing then it will blind side us. It will bring us to our knees and possibly consume us.

Well, not on my watch, Diary. The word failure IS in my vocabulary. I plan to take risks, accept failure, and then take some more risks.  So, thanks J.K. for inspiring me to continue to take risks and be a bit better prepared for failure.

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Goal Reality Grade Change Needed for Next Week
Sleep 8 hours Getting 7-8 hours of zzz’s every night A Continue sleeping at least 7 hours/4 nights per week & 8 hours/3 nights a week
Eat Breakfast & No Night Snacking Breakfast is no problem but the night snacking got me the last 2 days…damn tortilla chips! B No snacking after 7:30 pm unless it’s fruit or veg…be sure to have plenty of containers of cut up veggies
Exercise Took a class at the gym, cardio B+ Planning to sign-up for a 10K since the half-marathon was a great way to motivate me to get in more cardio
Write Down What I Eat I finally wrote down 2 days’ worth of eating/drinking B Got past the mental block and plan to continue with writing down what I eat to help keep me accountable
Weigh Weekly Yes, it’s true…I gained 0.5lbs C Made an appointment with my MD to discuss checking hormone levels…need to know if something might be off kilter
Get & Give Support I am re-motivated by the J.K. and view this failure as an opportunity to learn more A Keep spreading awareness that failure can actually be a good thing…it’s what you do after you fail that counts
Stress Management No yoga class happened but I did walk several times and I am breathing through stressful situations better B Yoga…I really need to find a way to fit it into my crazy schedule!

 

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Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Weekly Check In #4 – Comeback Kid

Dear Diary,

So, this is more like a bi-weekly entry…but no one else is counting but me, right? I have to admit, Diary, I was avoiding you. I even started to dislike you a little bit. It’s not you, my sweet Diary. It’s me. Two more weeks of trying, really trying, to follow my rules for losing weight and getting healthy. Guess what? Not a pound lost. Not even an ounce. My weight? Exactly the same. Ugh, ugh, and double ugh!

I even considered breaking up with you at the beginning of this week. I know, Diary, that has to hurt a bit after I worked so hard to get you going. I even joined Facebook for you…I mean, FACEBOOK for Pete sake. Then I read a quote that I myself posted on FB. “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.”

At that moment, I realized that it’s not your fault, Diary. It’s not my fault either. It is what it is and the truth of the matter is, I still love you. I love posting recipes, information, and the purging of all my gut retching truths about the challenges of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. I am not perfect. My 40 year old body is far from perfect. But it’s mine and it’s as young as it will ever be again. I chose to embrace my body and to embrace you, Diary. I will not give up on either of us.

Many years ago, I randomly heard a song and a few lines of it stuck with me. If I am going to be honest, the lyrics in my head are in the voice of Kid Rock rap-singing…not anything close to Comeback Kid by B. Reith. I am nothing if I am not an incredibly resilient person. The lyric from “Comeback Kid” and a lyric from “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera have helped me push through some tough times.

We get knocked down but we get right back up
Keep on comin’ back, we keep on comin’ back for more
There is a fire, burns deep inside us
We’re the comeback kids, kids, we’re the comeback kids – B. Reith

‘Cause it
Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter – Christina Aguilera

Goal Reality Grade Change Needed for Next Week
Sleep 8 hours Getting 7-8 hours of zzz’s every night over the past 2 weeks expect for one night of only 6 hours A- Continue sleeping at least 7 hours/4 nights per week & 8 hours/3 nights a week
Eat Breakfast & No Night Snacking Got back on track with egg muffins for breakfast BUT did some night snacking on crackers/tortilla chips B- No snacking after 7:30 pm unless it’s fruit or veg…be sure to have plenty of containers of cut up veggies
Exercise Gym for cardio 1-2 times a week over the past 2 weeks C+ Planning to sign-up for a 10K since the half-marathon was a great way to motivate me to get in more cardio. Also, take a class at the gym!
Write Down What I Eat Still not doing that…mental block or do I really just hate it?  Yeah, I hate it! D Write down 1 day of what I eat…start small to get over the hump. Gotta keep it honest!
Weigh Weekly 2 Thursday A.M. weigh-ins = no weight loss…the scale is stuck B- Still happy to not be gaining weight, however, after 4 weeks of being at the same weight I need to be more thoughtful about what will help me achieve my goal and get this bus moving
Get & Give Support Found some great info about Curcumin/Tumeric Supplements and my sister-in-law motivated me to pick it up ASAP A Post more information on other popular supplements and there efficacy. Also, post about vitamins (request) and Diet plans to that are working for people I know.
Stress Management I looked at the website of a Yoga studio nearby but decided to try to go to a class at my current gym to save some cash C  Mark the calendar for the yoga class…Monday night at 7pm!
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Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Weekly Check In #3 – Blame It on Stress!

Dear Diary,

How do hormones and stress play a role in weight loss? We all know that many people “stress eat” but why and what does that really mean? I could not help myself, Diary…I had to investigate. Here comes some nerdy, science talk…

Cortisol is a steroid hormone, commonly known as the stress hormone, produced by the adrenal glands. It takes minutes, rather than seconds like fight or flight hormones, for you to feel the effects of cortisol in the face of stress. The release of this hormone takes a multi-step process involving two additional minor hormones.

First, the part of the brain called the amygdala has to recognize a threat. It then sends a message to the part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH then tells the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which tells the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. That’s a whole lot of messaging!

In survival mode, the optimal amounts of cortisol can be life saving. It helps to maintain fluid balance and blood pressure, while regulating some body functions that aren’t crucial in the moment, like reproductive drive, immunity, digestion and growth.

But when you stew on a problem, the body continuously releases cortisol, and chronic elevated levels can lead to serious issues. Too much cortisol can suppress the immune system, increase blood pressure and sugar, decrease libido, produce acne, contribute to obesity and more.

Other hormones also contribute to health, wellness, and weight. Leptin is a hormone secreted by the fat cells. It sends a signal to the brain that we have enough energy stored and that we don’t need to eat. Insulin is the hormone that tells our cells to pick up glucose from the bloodstream. It is also the major energy storage hormone in the body. It tells our cells to store energy, either as glycogen or fat. One of the ways that insulin contributes to obesity, is by blocking the leptin signal in the brain.

EUREKA! Stress causes our brain to get mixed up signals from hormones and our brain loses the ability to say “Hey, you don’t need to eat any more food right now.” Got it.  Stress Management has now been added as my 7th not-so-secret-secrets to weight loss. Stress can cause many health issues and I need to give more attention to how I manage it.

Goal Reality Grade Change Needed for Next Week
Sleep 8 hours Goal met of getting 8 hours of sleep 3 nights in the past week A- Sleep 8 hours at least 4 nights a week…pushing some boundaries
Eat Breakfast & No Night Snacking Fell off on eating my usual high protein breakfast and ate more Clif bar type grab-n-go breakfast. No night snacking. B+ Get back to usual Monday morning routine of making egg muffins for the week
Exercise Only hit the gym 1 time in the last 7 days for 50 minutes of cardio and fit in a 45 minute walk at the Arboretum C+ Get back to my usual routine of 3 days a week at the gym minimum OR 3 days a week of any kind of exercise
Write Down What I Eat Still not doing that…mental block or do I really just hate it? D Write down 1 day of what I eat…it’s a serious mental block issue!
Weigh Weekly Thursday A.M. = Weight Maintained B No weight gained but no weight lost. Goal not met. Need to rejuvenate efforts but not discouraged!!!
Get & Give Support Not as diligent with my blog but did ask for some help when I really needed it B+ Meet with Sheryl to add INSPIRE ME section of my blog
Stress Management  Not concentrating on breathing through issues. Also, I need to say “No” to adding to my To Do list sometimes and be okay with it.  C+  Breathe. Maybe look for a Yoga class once a week? Say No when I need to concentrate on my health vs. getting stuff done.
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Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Weekly Check In #2 – What Is Success?

Dear Diary,

I just ended week two of challenging myself to improve on six areas to help me feel better and lose weight. I am happy to report that I did meet a few of my goals, but (there is always a butt) I am left wondering what success means. Am I successful if I only met 2 of my 6 goals?

We set ourselves up for failure when we have a very concrete idea of what success means. A co-worker read my blog and said “Oh, boo-hoo…you want to lose 10 lbs. in 5 months? That’s nothing. My doctor wants me to lose 100lbs. That’s a BIG deal!” I agree, that is a big deal…so why even try when the goal seems unattainable?

I can give you some “why” because I have been asking “why” about everything since the day I could talk. Losing 3-5kgs (that’s 7-11lbs. for non-medical folks) has significant impact on health no matter what your starting weight is. If weight loss is maintained, then the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and Coronary Artery Disease are reduced.  Forget about the ultimate goal if it’s a large number because you will be defeated before you begin.

Set a reasonable goal (5 or 10lbs), reach it, celebrate with a new pair of shoes or a massage, set a new goal, and repeat. It doesn’t matter if your weight loss goal is 10 or 100lbs. The goal is the same…some of us just need to repeat the 10lb goal a few more times than others.

So, to answer my own question of if I was successful this week…I say hell yes. I made time for myself, I thought more about taking care of myself, AND I lost half a pound.

Goal Reality Grade Change Needed for Next Week
Sleep 8 hours Average 7 hours each night – 1 night of only 6 hours (kids up) and 1-2 nights of 8 hours B+ Sleep 8 hours at least 3 nights a week…keep this goal from last week
Eat Breakfast & No Night Snacking Eating breakfast daily & only 1 night of mindless snacking A- No snacking after 7:30 pm unless it’s fruit or veg…be sure to have plenty of containers of cut up veggies
Exercise Only hit the gym 1 time in the last 7 days for 50 minutes of cardio but did walk the Rose Bowl with Jennifer on Saturday evening C+ Get back to my usual routine of 3 days a week at the gym minimum OR 3 days a week of any kind of exercise
Write Down What I Eat Still not doing that…mental block or do I really just hate it? D Write down 1 day of what I eat…start small to get over the hump
Weigh Weekly Thursday A.M. = -0.5lbs A+ 0.5lbs loss goal met for this week…let’s repeat that by not celebrating with potato chips!
Get & Give Support Pushed through a lot of challenges this week with the help of friends, teachers, therapists, and family…I am grateful A Post more recipes and tips in my diary, start the INSPIRE ME section of my blog