Friday, August 24, 2007

Executive Decision...

I made the executive decision this week to trust Matt. I'm sticking to the food and exercise plan, even though it has been pretty stringent. I'm not sure what I'll do if I don't lose either inches or weight by Wednesday because I've increased my cardio and the number of weight training sessions I'm doing as well to get over this plateau. I'm saying a little prayer over here...

Food and Exercise Log

Food Log

(B) Bacon with 12-Grain Bread: 335 calories
(S) Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans: 60 calories
(L) Oatmeal with Yogurt & Blueberries: 276 calories
(S) Luna Bar and Pear: 278 calories
(D) Subway 12-inch Turkey: 656 calories

TOTAL: 1,605

Total Water Consumption: ~120 ounces

Exercise Log

15 minutes - rotating stairs - levels 2-5
60 minutes - elliptical
15 minutes - stretching
55 minutes - weight training (lower)
walked 0.4 miles on track
jogged 0.1 mile on track
Maximum Heart Rate: 163
Calories Burned: 1,040+ (1,040 from rotating stairs and elliptical, not sure about everything else)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Food and Exercise Log

Food Log

(B) Bacon and Bread - 335 calories
(S) Grill Cheese - 360 calories
(L) Pizza and Pear - 818 calories
(D) Corn - 280 calories

TOTAL: 1,793

Total Water Consumption: 96 ounces

Exercise Log

50 minutes - treadclimber - mixed terrain
50 minutes - elliptical (cross training, levels 3-11, crossramp 10)
20 minutes - stretching
Maximum Heart Rate: 147
Calories Burned: 1,650

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Measurement Day...

Matt took my measurements today. I'm not happy. No weight loss and pretty much no change in measurements either. I only lost one total inch and that was in the hips. Due to this, Matt's taking my measurements again in a week. He hates doing it because he rather be upstairs working me out. I hate doing it because I seem to never be able to pass this weight marker. I can easily increase my weight, but it just hasn't been going down. Ahhhh! Frustration.

Food and Exercise Log

Food Log

(B) Banana - 110 calories
(S) Everything Bagel with SMART Balance Margarine - 360 calories
(L) Chicken Sandwich with Cheese and Miracle Whip Light on 12-Grain Bread: 420 calories
Pear: 100 calories
(D) Tuna (no salt added) on 12-Grain Bread: 312 calories
(S) Chocolate with Skim Milk: 296 calories
TOTAL: 1,598

Total Water Consumption: 100+ ounces

Exercise Log

10 minutes - rotating stairs - levels 2-4
10 minutes - elliptical
12 minutes - stationary bike
Maximum Heart Rate: 159
Calories Burned: no clue

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Revisiting A Past Revelation

Today on my way out of the gym, I started thinking about a revelation from a couple years ago which was that this really has to be a lifestyle change...meaning it has to be forever. FOREVER. There is something about that word that intimidates me. If this is really going to work this time around, I can't just change the things around me (e.g., buy only healthy food), it has to be something internal as well (e.g., the ability to say "no"). That's why this blog is so focused on my feelings and emotions. I want all the things I learn here to become natural habits. I want to have the ability to pass up that piece of Mocha Almond cake from Upper Crust Bakery without having to convince myself why it is better to do so, without feeling guilty, without having the desire to just eat it. I want to have that natural instinct, will I ever get there?

Food and Exercise Log

Although I log all the food I consume and physical activity I do through the bodybugg program, I have decided I need more accountability than just myself and Matt, especially since I have my measurements happening tomorrow.

Food Log

(B) Banana - 110 calories
(S) Everything Bagel with SMART Balance Margarine - 360 calories
(L) Chicken Sandwich with Cheese and Miracle Whip Light on 12-Grain Bread: 420 calories
(S) Luna Bar: 180 calories
(D) Tuna (no salt added) on 12-Grain Bread and Ritz (no salt added): 520 calories
(S) Green Beans: 70 calories
TOTAL: 1,660

Total Water Consumption: 104 ounces

Exercise Log

60 minutes - elliptical cross country program - levels 3-11
20 minutes - stretching
Maximum Heart Rate: 154
Calories Burned: ~900

Monday, August 20, 2007

Today's Workout...

...was great! Finally, Matt broke out the boxing gloves for me and I got to punch my anger out. I've been having a lot of stress at work for a variety of reasons and this helped release it big time! There's supposed to be a new boxing class that's going to be offered at 24 Hour Fitness on Thursdays. I will watch the class this week and maybe join them the week after if I think I might be able to hack it. Woo-hoo!

I have also set my first big goal. When I lose 100 pounds, I will buy myself a new iPod. I can't wait!

Airport Gyms

"Welcome to Airport Gyms, the most comprehensive and fastest growing community on the Internet for the FREE listing of airport gyms, airport exercise clubs, and airport fitness centers available in and around select popular US (and Canadian) airports today.

With the vast amount of airport based travel engaged in by active, exercise conscious travelers, and the long delays, long layovers, and early arrival times that arise when traveling (along with the current need to be at the airport hours early) - finding a gym in a airport, an airport gym, or a gym near a airport or airport exercise based club in or around your airport terminal may just be possible."

I think this website is absolutely fabulous for the frequent traveler. I do have to laugh at the "early arrival times" bit because that has not happened for me in quite some time. I wish there were more gyms in actual airports though because with long security lines these days, it's difficult to hop in a cab and go offsite to workout during an hour and a half layover. Hmmm...maybe I should go into business. Anybody want to join me?

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Being a chronic disease/behavioral epidemiologist and a frequent reader of health magazines/journals/websites, I sometimes come across products that seem to be useful and beneficial to people who are trying to lose weight. If you are interested in obtaining further information on the products listed here, please follow the links that I have provided.

The Diet Plate

At work, I read plenty of abstracts, especially when I'm writing a publication or two myself. As somebody who has struggled with obesity my whole life, certain publications catch my attention and help keep me motivated in my weight loss efforts.

Like so many others, I have had a hard time losing weight because of portion control. When I started to measure food items out, I was shocked that I was eating two, three, or four times an actual serving size, and this adds up. No wonder why I'm fat.

To the left, you will find a picture of The Diet Plate, taken from their website. The Diet Plate was introduced into the U.S. market earlier this summer. Results from their clinical trial on the control of Type 2 Diabetes were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (June 2007). Patients who used the plate lost more weight than those who did not.


The bodybugg is an interactive website program tailored for you and your weight loss goals. The armband (seen left) calculates the number of calories you burn throughout the day through four sensors:
1) Accelerometer
2) Heat Flux
3) Galvanic Skin Response
4) Skin Temperature

The website program allows you to 1) record your food calorie intake and 2) download your daily physical activity by hooking up the armband to your computer. At the end of the day, you will know whether or not you were in a calorie deficit or surplus for the day.

I am a part of this program and I'm still trying to figure out its accuracy. I was a skeptic at first, but it definitely has increased my physical activity level.

The bodybugg website is slightly hard to navigate at times, so I'm posting the link that lists where their publications are: Frequentely Asked Question 9: Where can I find published research/white papers about bodybugg?

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I got a couple of compliments on the shirt I wore today. I couldn't find the one I wanted to, so I grabbed the first thing that would match the rest of the outfit. It ended up being a shirt I have not worn in forever. After the second compliment, I decided to check the size of the shirt for the hell of it. Well lookie, was one of my smaller sizes. Let's just say I had a great workout today because of it.

As much as I need to be encouraged, I try to encourage a few people at the gym I see also. Well...I think one of them now thinks I've been flirting with him; the last thing I'd be doing is flirting with anybody at the gym. I'm usually sweaty, smelly, and exhausted after my workout. Besides, the sooner I get my workout done, the sooner I can do the multitude of other things I need to get done, and the more sleep I can get. Ahhhhh...sleep.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I have been sweating A LOT these days at the gym, even in places I never knew I could. Again, ironically, I stumbled across an article in the NY Times about sweating today...

...For sedentary pursuits in temperate weather, people have no need to sweat: excess metabolic heat easily moves from blood vessels at the surface of the skin into the surrounding air. Because the skin is not completely waterproof, some evaporation of water from skin cells adds a little extra cooling.

But when the body’s owner decides to exercise, the muscles generate too much heat for the air to absorb. The same thing happens when the temperature climbs into the 90s: the skin stops losing heat to the air and absorbs it instead. Then temperature-sensing nerves in the skin and the body’s interior tell the brain to unleash a flow of sweat for heavy-duty evaporation and cooling.

Humidity reduces evaporation and makes everyone sweatier. A breeze enhances evaporation and makes skin cooler (unless the air is so hot the body absorbs its heat instead). Dehydration markedly reduces sweat production. So does sunburn.

But individual sweat patterns still vary enormously. Age, sex, genes, weight and shape play a role, said Craig Crandall, a thermoregulation expert at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Presbyterian Hospital, both in Dallas. So does nonexercise activity, and so, according to a pivotal set of sweat studies done during World War II, does clothing, although not in the way one might predict.

Some people have fewer than two million sweat glands; some have as many as four million. Heavy sweaters may have glands five times average size; their big glands are more sensitive to nerve stimuli and make more sweat.

Everyone’s inner temperature cycles around a slightly different genetically determined version of 98.6 set by the hypothalamus, the brain region that serves as thermostat. We run a little cooler in the morning, a little warmer in the late afternoon. Women run about half a degree higher after ovulation...

As for obesity, it is complicated, Dr. Crandall said. Fat may insulate the interior from very hot external temperatures, but it also may compromise heat transfer from interior to skin. Carrying more weight generates more metabolic heat to get rid of. That means more sweat, but research suggests that large people cannot grow more sweat glands to cope with the extra heat load. Radiation of heat from skin to air may become especially important in their heat control. (by: Abigail Zuger, NY Times)

Applying Oneself

I heard the following saying awhile ago, not sure where I was, who it was to, or it could have been in a movie for all I know: "You're really smart, I just wish you would apply yourself more."

Sounds like something from an after-school TV show, but is extremely applicable to my life right now.

I am smart. In my field, I know all the health consequences that are associated with obesity and how obesity increases your chances to having many future chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attacks, etc). So why do I have such a hard time when it comes to weight loss? To put it simply, I don't apply myself as much as I should probably. I pretend some of the items I eat do not have to be logged. I pretend that it's okay to take a few days off from the gym. Then, when I don't see the results I want to, I blame anything and everything other than me. I lie to myself about the condition that I am in.

I am fat. I am not perfect. And I'm okay with that. What I am not okay with is dying young and not sharing the gifts I have with the world.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I almost gave up tonight; I was extremely close in doing so.

I met with my trainer and couldn't do half of the things he wanted me to do. I couldn't jog because of my shin splints. I couldn't balance. I couldn't do rows because my back hurt. I couldn't push myself and I felt like I failed him. The worst feeling I have had in a long time.

I couldn't even do more than 30 minutes of cardio after I worked out with him because I thought I was going to burst into tears (I did do 12 minutes before I met with him as well). I did end up crying in the girl's locker room. On top of that, I had a few people who wanted to introduce themselves to me and talk; I wasn't in the talking mood to say the least, and hopefully they didn't think I was purposely being rude. I wanted to go home, call Matt and tell him that I was done, that I can no longer do this, that I just have to accept the fact that I was meant to be fat the rest of my life.

Then I really thought about it. "...I can no longer do this..." What really was "this"? The hard work? The exercising? The eating right? Yes, everybody has their setbacks, it's how you deal with them that makes you either a winner or loser.

At the end of the day, I decided to transform this statement into, "I can no longer do the yo-yoing." It has been the yo-yoing that has driven me to be mad. There are things that I'm going to have to give up probably forever, but in the end these insignificant material things will be replaced with...well I'm not quite sure yet. I guess that's part of the adventure.

Sometimes you have to break down in order to pick up the pieces and build yourself up stronger. Hopefully Matt will have the patience to deal with a few more of my break downs (both physical and mental) because I'm sure this will not be the last one.

Just want to be normal...

I want to be a normal 27 year old female.
I want to love myself completely.
I want men to find me approachable.
I want to fall in love.
I want to someday start a family.
I want to no longer yearn for a better life.
I want to be content with my life.
I want to be the best that I can be.
I want my dreams to come true.
I want to find my perfect place in this world.
I want to run a lap at the gym without becoming winded.
I want to climb many flights of stairs without having my knees hurt.
I want to go rock climbing, bungee jumping, sky diving, snorkeling, scuba diving...

But then reality hits...

I want to do it ALL now, not in two, three, five, ten, fifteen years; I am impatient.
I want to start living right this second, but feel held back with the excess weight I have on my body.
I want to give up the fight, but know I cannot.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Just some business items...

Here I am on July 28, 2007 in Virginia Beach, VA visiting my sister. Yeah, I know...I'm slightly burnt. I need to get better at the reapplying sunscreen bit, especially after being the water. As my sister puts it, I've lost it all in my boobs. Maybe this is true...maybe it's not.

My trainer hurt himself a couple weeks ago, so I've been trying really hard to be an easy client. After seeing how much discomfort he was in as he was going to walk with me at the gym, I told him not to worry about it and I'd just jog a lap. Of course he took me up on the offer. I jogged 5 laps (maybe 4...) last Monday, ended up getting shin splints in the left shin, and my right knee was slightly hurting. On Wednesday, he mentioned again that I may need to upgrade the shoes I was wearing, so I bought a pair yesterday. I'm going to try them out today at the gym.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I have never been able to take compliments very well. After hearing one, it always seems like my "Thank you" is forced and fake. I believe my thank you's sound fake because I don't believe what the person is telling me to be true. I have always had the perception that if I'm not perfect, then nothing about me is perfect. And if I'm not perfect, I don't deserve compliments. Make sense? I'm sure it doesn't...I'm messed up in the head and sometimes I just need to write things out to have them make sense again.

The reason why I bring this subject up is because I have received numerous compliments from complete strangers these days. Today I was on the elliptical listening to my iPod and watching little league baseball, and a lady comes over to talk to me. I assumed she wanted to change the channel on the TV, so I took off one of my ear phones, and we had the following brief interaction:

"Have you been coming here for awhile?" She inquired.
"Yes, for quite some time." I answer in between my heavy breathing. (I have gotten this question from people who had just joined the gym and they need help for one thing or another or they're curious about if I like it.)
"I just wanted to let you know that it looks like you've lost weight."
"Thank you so much. It hasn't been that much, but I have been losing more inches than weight."
"Well I just wanted to let you know. Keep up the good work."

Three weeks ago the front desk clerk at the gym inquired about the same thing and I had to answer "Well, we'll find out on Wednesday when Matt and I do measurements!"

Two people at work have talked to me about it as well...

It's great that people are noticing, BUT I STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO. I think that's why I like chatting with the trainers more because they understand this and most of the ones I know are extremely encouraging. Also, most of the employees at the gym know me either by name or face and if they don't see me for awhile, they keep me accountable. I ran into Rob this week (another front desk guy), he just finished working out and was going to go back to work, we hugged and he then backed up and said "Where have you been? I haven't seen you in awhile."

As for the compliments...I guess Matt is doing something right with me...I just wish the scale would move already.

Childhood Story #1 & #2

Growing up fat is hard, and I would never wish it on any child or anybody's child. A few weeks ago I read an article on stigma that is associated with being a fat kid.
Overweight children are stigmatized by their peers as early as age 3 and even face bias from their parents and teachers, giving them a quality of life comparable to people with cancer, a new analysis concludes. (Article)
I cannot help but agree with the fact that stigmatization does occur quite frequently. For me, it was from my peers and "teachers" so to speak.


Childhood Story #1:

I just entered 3rd grade at the age of 8 and was in a new school without knowing really anybody in the school. Within the first month, a male child (whom I will not mention by name but I do remember who) came up to me in the hall and asked me, "How much do you weigh?" I replied, "I'm not telling you." He said something along the lines, "I will start calling you names if you don't tell me. You have by the end of the week to tell me."

I chose not to tell him because I felt no matter what I did, he would still call me all the names in the book anyway.

Childhood Story #2:

Before entering 3rd grade, my sister and I went to private school. I don't know if she ever noticed the difference, but I did notice the way I was treated between private school and public school. In private school, if any sort of bullying or name-calling ever happened, it was always handled. Granted I was a tattle-tale half the time and told the teachers what was happening on the playground, but things always worked out in the end.

When I started public school in 3rd grade, I was being teased a decent amount one day within the first few months of school, so I approached one of the recess monitors and she told me, "Life's not fair, get over it and go play."


I know I have always been a sensitive child and adult. My sensitivity is slowly going away and my skin's getting thicker, but I have always stood by the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. I just wish people would think more before they spoke sometimes because people will occasionally have good intentions, but when it comes out in words, it doesn't come off correctly...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I know I'm fat...

...why do people feel the need to keep reminding me? It is one thing if it's from friends, family, and health care professionals, but strangers are overstepping their boundaries when they do it. Just my opinion.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


The past few days have been extremely rough for me physically, mentally, and emotionally.

First...I ate all the foods I really craved on Wednesday-Friday, which includes pizza, ice cream, cheese, chips, etc. My body did not like me at all for that. I had major acid reflux and heart burn Wednesday and Thursday night. I got up four or five times each night.

I skipped the gym on Thursday, and decided to go after happy hour on Friday (I didn't drink much). Something I ate didn't agree with me, so I only lasted 20 minutes on a bike and had to call it quits. I was having cold sweats, something I usually only get when I have a foodborne illness. I honestly thought I was going to puke. So spending that night at home, I got to thinking... All my comfort foods are now disagreeing with me physically. This made me sad. Things I used to find comfort in I can longer have.

Which brings me to my next point. I shouldn't be having to find "comfort" in food; I should be able to find comfort in and from my friends and family. So Saturday, I literally spent most of the day on the couch because I was sad. I was sad my stomach couldn't disgest the foods I like and I was feeling extremely alone in every aspect of my life. I made it a point on Saturday night to hang out with my one true friend in Austin, not that I don't like hanging out with all my other peeps, but I don't feel emotionally attached to them, and I'm not extremely comfortable calling them up to talk about these feelings.

The other big emotion I was feeling was not knowing who I really am anymore. Somewhere I lost myself, and it's usually at this point I'd be going camping with good friends to figure out where I went wrong. Well...since I'm feeling alone, I have not been able to see the good friends around me and it's super duper hot out. So I spent today by myself and dedicated the day to me. I cooked a great breakfast, went to a movie by myself, and hit the gym for 2.5-3 hours. I really needed to clear my head and get the garbage out. So am I back to normal? Not quite, but I hope to be soon.