Weight In Wednesday – How To Overcome Setbacks

     I’ve really been dreading this weeks weigh-in. I know that I haven’t been on my game. Though I haven’t been a complete backslider the exercise was less this week and for several days I used the Birthday celebrations, travel, and company as an excuse to not stick as strictly to my healthy eating plan. This morning my weight is up by 6.2 lbs. I know I didn’t eat 18000 calories over maintainance during the last several days. I’m sure some of the weight number has to to with sugar and sodium intake.  I consider this a minor setback, but a setback none the less.

Having to repeat this little mantra to myself this morning.

     It has been harder to motivate as I have come in to this new week. A number this high is discouraging. It would be easy to make excuses not to create menus, count calories, or fit in the extra workout. As I was researching for myself how to comeback from a setback I decided to share with you this information from an article at e-How.com. Read on, regroup, and move on with commitment! We’ve got places to go in 2012

How to Overcome Weight Loss Setbacks

 
How to Overcome Weight Loss Setbacksthumbnail 
     Making healthy lifestyle changes in order to lose weight isn’t easy, especially when you have maintained unhealthy eating habits for so long. When you make plans to lose weight in the beginning, it’s easy to slip back into your old ways. It’s important to have a plan in place for these occurrences.
 
Instructions

  1. Devise a strategy. Don’t plan to fail, but rather make a plan for success. Be honest about your weight loss setbacks. Perhaps they’re was caused be stress, or maybe you’re an emotional eater. Identify triggers and try to avoid them.

  2. Forgive yourself. If you do slip up, you can’t waste time beating yourself up over it. If you fell off the wagon for a day or a few days know that it’s okay. Just start over with the attitude of succeeding. Be kind to yourself, otherwise you may just give up completely and give in to your unhealthy way of living. Remember that each new day is a new beginning.

  3. Revise your goals. Make sure that your weight loss goals are realistic. One to two pounds a week is excellent progress.
  4. Avoid risky temptations until you are strong enough to handle it. Don’t keep chips, soda, cookies and other unhealthy foods around knowing that you could cave in. Avoid them completely at all costs to minimize the chances of weight loss setbacks.
  5. Exercise more to help overcome weight loss setbacks and kick start your metabolism. If you’ve reach a plateau, increasing your activity or including weight-bearing exercises will help get you back on track, and you’ll gain all the added benefits of exercise as well.

Read more: How to Overcome Weight Loss Setbacks | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2155481_overcome-weight-loss-setbacks.html#ixzz1njKXjyES

Are you REALLY hungry?

image by Roland Dan – http://www.rolanddan.com

    

     Why are you eating? Is it because you are hungry? Is your body in need of nourishment or are you eating for other reasons like boredom, emotional emptiness, or habit? Learning to understand feelings of hunger, fullness, and over fullness for what they truly are is very important for those who struggle to lose weight.

     Some people don’t really know what hunger feels like. In our society we often eat not because we are hungry but because we are no longer over-full. When the awareness of satisfaction is gone we think it is time to eat again.

     Eating disorders that cause individuals to be either over or under weight are often accompanied by a sincere distortion of the sense of hunger and fullness. The emphasis on food as either a fix or an enemy causes individuals to ignore the body’s natural cues to the point of becoming “deaf” to them. Once we are relying on false senses (emotional cues)  it becomes difficult to get back in touch with our body’s natural triggers.

     Today I want you to purposely experience hunger. I’m not desiring that you experience discomfort for discomfort’s sake. I am asking you to bother to get to know your body and yourself so that you can become more in tune with your needs and begin to have a real and honest relationship with food.

     Locate your stomach. Your stomach is a small pouch just below the sternum. True hunger is felt here.

          Once you’ve located the stomach begin to notice how you “feel” here. Stay in tune with this area. Hunger may come quickly or it may take several hours. How long ago you last ate, how much you consumed, and what kind of food you consumed all make a difference in how quickly you feel hungry. When you become hungry this area should feel empty. There will be a little burning sensation, a gnawing, and maybe even a growl. For some people this sensation is experienced in the esophagus or just below the waist rather than the actual stomach.  It is a subtle feeling, a slight discomfort, that can be easily ignored but shouldn’t be. If you are hungry – eat. Eat a small amount of healthy food. If you don’t eat when you are hungry, you will become over hungry and will over eat.

    

    While you are searching for true hunger avoid beverages that will mask it. Milk, juices, sports drinks, and really anything with calories will give your body some fuel and cause hunger to be harder to detect. Milk and juice have great body benefits, but for the course of today’s hunger experiment don’t partake of them between meals. It’s fine to have these once you experience hunger as part of the solution. Other things to avoid while waiting are mints, sugared gums, and hard candy. These we often don’t think of as “eating” and bring very few health benefits to the table, but they do affect blood sugar and add calories to the mix. This will cause you to be slower to experience true hunger.

     Some common feelings are often mistaken for hunger. Thirst  (the need for more water) can produce an empty feeling and a growl in the stomach. If it hasn’t been several hours since you ate, assume thirst. As a great health and weight loss practice always consider drinking 8 – 16 ounces of water before food. This way if the feeling is thirst it will be satisfied. If it is hunger and you follow the drink with a meal you will be full faster. This is a win-win situation.

     Stomach irritation from things like spicy foods or too much coffee or soda can cause a similar gnawing in the belly. This feeling is usually not as subtle and can have an almost “fist to the stomach” feeling. Try drinking water for this as well. The water often helps soothe the stomach and aids in digestion. You also might try chewing gum (though avoid sugared gums for the course of todays experiment). Gum increases saliva production and thus helps the digestion process along.

     Low blood sugar can cause feelings of light-headedness, weakness, and headaches. Though these clearly mean we need to do something about our  food intake, they are not “hunger”. Frequently eating foods that are protein based and have complex carbs rather than empty calories are important to keep the blood sugar in check. Eating better, not more, is the answer to this “false hunger”.

     Emotional triggers from feelings such as stress, depression, anxiety, and boredom send chemical messages that appear to be hunger when in fact they are a very different type of empty. Continue to focus on finding non-food forms of comfort such as bubble baths, hot tea, and even exercise for these issues.

     In order to recognize “full” before feeling “stuffed” slow it down. When we eat quickly we often over-fill the body. It takes time for the sustenance to reach our stomachs. If we eat slowly, the food begins to reach the stomach after having taken in less of it and we can stop once we feel satisfied rather than stuffed. If we eat quickly we do not give the body time to experience the pleasures of our food. The taste and scents are part of the experience and should be enjoyed. Eating too fast  causes us to take in more in order to reach the same amount of pleasure. Eat with purpose and less food will give you more pleasure.

     I suggest that you begin to limit multitasking at meal times. When we are focusing on multiple activities none are getting our full attention. Give food the attention it deserves, no more and no less. When it is time to eat allow yourself to really experience the food. You are less likely to mindlessly overeat and are more likely to be able to sense satisfaction if you are focused on finding it.

     Once you understand “hungry, satisfied, and stuffed” in context it will be much easier to find health and weight loss. Balance allows you to love food and use it for only what it was meant for, fueling the body and easing hunger. For other needs there are other great solutions. Start focusing on those. 🙂

Sampling Event

     I wish everyone could have enjoyed the delicious foods, fantastic ideas, and sharing of experiences I was party to last evening. At our first Slimdown With Sandee Get Together we had a great time and discussed some important topics. I am so grateful for the openness and sharing.

Yummy fresh fruit (and a little chocolate) from Edible Arrangements shared by Elizabeth Mullis.
 
     Each of the individuals present introduced themselves and shared a little about their reasons for being a part of a weight loss support group. We had ladies and gents alike ranging in age from teens to seniors. Some of us have many pounds to lose, others just 5 or 10. Some were low carb eaters and others of us calorie counters or points watchers. Some have lost more than my 70 lbs, others are just beginning to lose, and several fall somewhere in-between. Some have lifelong struggles, others are new to weight loss. What we all share is a love of food and a desire to be healthier.
 
     We discussed our successes. What exercises and diet approaches worked for each of us and what things are universal to good health. We talked about the importance of hydration and frequent feeding in helping keep hunger at bay. Most of us have found that eating low-calorie snacks with a proper protein balance help keep us from getting too hungry and over eating. Tonight my husband Tony and I shared several snacks that are favorites in our household.
 
 
     Some topics that came up which I plan to blog about in the future include how to recognize hunger, emotional eating, and quick and simple meals for healthy living. In addition, I will be working on adding a recipe section to the blog, at my daughter-in-law Destiny’s Facebook suggestion. I know she is an amazing cook and look forward to the low-calorie recipes she and each of you share with me. Please feel free to include pictures and nutritional information as well.
 

Peppadew with 1/3 wedge of Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb spread - approx 20 calories.

      I hope to have another in person event in the near future. Please feel free to comment and share what type of events and topics would be of interest to you. I would also like to know the best days and times for gatherings. I hope these snack ideas from our event will inspire you to have a healthy and delicious snack section of your weekly menu.

Shop for these and other great snack items in the Slimdown With Sandee Store!

Whole Sweet Piquante Peppers - 14 ouncesSweet 'n Salty Mix - Satisfy Your Snack Craving, 5 pack,(Kar's)Archer Farms Pomogranate Rasberry Real Fruit Bars drizzled with Yogurt coating 5 countDIAMOND FOODS 84325 100 Calorie Pack Dark Chocolate Cocoa Roast Almonds .63 Oz Packs 7 Packs/boxEMERALD CINNAMON ROAST ALMONDS 100 CALORIE PACKS 4PACK

Starkist Tuna Creations Sweet & Spicy Lightly Marinated Chunk Light Tuna 4.5 oz Tostitos Scoops Tortilla Chips 10 ozMacarico Portugese Whole Ripe Black Olives 12.3 oz. Jar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Milestones and Stepping Stones

    

     This has been an amazing week. I turned 40 and I gotta tell ya, so far I’m loving this decade. They say 40 is the new 30, but I didn’t feel this amazing even at 30. My loved ones have been so supportive of my determination to be a happier and healthier me that it kind of became the theme for the entire birthday celebration. I have received gifts and cards with a real emphesis on change, growth, health, glamour, and hope! Thank you to everyone who reached out with well wishes. It’s going to be an amazing year!

With my amazing hubby.

     At midnight, as my birthday began, my husband suprised me with a re-proposal. He tied string around the banister to the stairs and ran it all over the house for me to “follow”. In each room the strand led me to a note telling me how much I add to his life. In his office was a note about how much he appreciates my understanding of his work and it’s demands, in the kitchen a note about the healthy meals I prepare, and in the living room a note telling me how much he appreicates my role as a hostess to our family, friends, and associates. In the bedside table was a wrapped box containing an engagement ring, very clearly picked especially for me. He asked me to marry him again. How could I resist. I said yes and he told me I had a wedding to plan. As I become a new me, he wants to re-affirm his love. He reminded me that it would be exciting to pick out a dress for a new 135 lbs body. I am so grateful for his support and devotion. He makes me feel special every day.

     My lifelong bestie has been planning for months in order to be able to be with me for the big 4-0.  She and I enjoyed a lovely dinner and amazing exchange of ideas and experiences into the wee morning hours. I have so many new blog inspirations from our time together. She motivates and inspires me. I am so grateful for her.

My two besties. The first time I've ever been able to enjoy time with both together.

     On Saturday we had a small gathering with those closest to me. The time spent with those I love is the most precious gift. My family is amazing. The warmth, encouragment, and love was overwhelming. I am very blessed to have such supportive loved ones in my life. My parents, inlaws, dearest sister-in-law, two besties, nephews, and daughter all came together to celebrate at my husband’s request. He threw a “Red Hot Mama” party, in honor of the changes in me. What a fun way to enter 40.

     As I look at my stepping stones for the past week, I realize with big birthday plans, the amazing weekend visit of my bestie, and the distractions of several fun special events, I haven’t stuck to the plan as well this week as most.  I got in 1 toning session and 5 of my eight miles. I didn’t count calories on Friday or Saturday. Though I didn’t go hog-wild either. Vicki and I even split a one person meal of healthy foods on Friday night so as to keep our portions in check. I haven’t made menus for the coming week or put together outfits yet. My conclusion. It’s ok as long as this week is an exception and not a beginning of a slip. I will tighten it all up again beginning tomorrow. I am on track with the weight loss. I am making healthy choices and I will get back to buisness after a very exciting week of distractions. The stepping stones won’t change this week, but they will be strictly adhered to.

     Tommorow is the Slimdown sith Sandee Sampling event. I’m very excited and much looking forward to it. I have some fun snack ideas to share and am looking forward to the fellowship and sharing of thoughts, ideas, and struggles. If you are available, please come on out and join us.

     How was your week. Are you on track? If not are you ready to get back with the plan. Are you exercising and eating right? Have you learned what it takes to lose weight? Are you using calories, carbs, fat grams, or points to keep your eating in check? Are you moving with purpose to the point of sweating? Are you being active and building a stronger body? Get your goal in front of you. If you don’t have an action plan, take time to build one. What will you do to reach your goal? Is this the year you break through to a healthier, happier you?

My super sister-in-law! So special!

Still Daddy's Baby Girl even at 40! I love my mom and dad so much!

My own precious baby girl! Even more motivation to live a long healthy life. I want to watch her accomplish so much!

Band Camp

Find bands in the Slim Down With Sandee Store.

     I have recently developed a new appreciation of resistance bands. I was first introduced to them following an ankle injury. An orthopedist recommended some basic exercises to strengthen the weakened area. Resistance bands were a great tool for that but I had never really taken them seriously for toning. They seemed like a beginner’s tool.  When I started using the toning belt with my Leslie Sansone walking workouts I realized I was waking the next morning with that great little soreness that I remember from weight lifting in my younger days. Maybe these bands really were doing something after all.

     According to a Fox News article these little bands may, in fact, be more effective than dumbbells in helping us get fit. In addition to building strength they help develop better balance and because you can work in a full range of motion you may be working muscles that would be missed with weights alone. Why not try adding some resistance band training to your workout this week.

Click here for a 20 minute resistance band workout from Sparkpeople.

 

The beginners book on resistance band training.

 

Click picture to watch this Resistance Band Exercise Video.

 

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Supermarket Savings For Those Pursuing A Slimmer Self

    

     My husband used to call me “The Coupon Queen”.  Bargin shopping was more than a hobby, it was an obsession. I once left the supermarket with more money than I came in with. After checking out, the cash register said the store owed me $1.58. So I left with a basket full of groceries and enough money for a cheeseburger. How do you do that? By purchasing the foods that you have coupons and special savings for, no matter what they might be. With my new healthier lifestyle I eat far fewer processed foods and coupons for fresh meats and produce are few and far between. I don’t leave the grocery with more money than I came in with these days but I still like to save a dollar or two where I can. After all, I could use the money I save on groceries to buy that new wardrobe I need when I reach my goal weight. So how do I save at the supermarket when shopping for the new skinnier self?

     Start by planning ahead. Before making the week’s menu check the weekly store ads for specials. Which meats are on sale? Chicken breast and tuna might be a better savings than the turkey and salmon you had originally planned. If strawberries and apples are on sale opt for those rather than the full priced citrus and melon.

     Think seasonally. Fruits and veggies that are in season are likely to be priced more reasonably than out of season items. Oranges and melon in the summer and apples and pumpkin in the fall will work better for your budget and these items are likely to be the most flavorful as well.

     Coupons still count. Frozen and canned foods that are minimally processed can be great choices and might just have Sunday paper savings. Don’t buy junk just because you have a coupon but if there are coupons for healthy choices you love, by all means use them. Internet coupons are becoming more common as well. Google search your commonly purchased foods or visit a coupon search tool like the one at hotcouponworld.com and see if there are savings for your faves.

     Stick to the perimeters. The outside walls of the store are most often lined with the healthiest foods like  fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, and low-fat dairy. Choose these over the inner isles more highly processed and more highly priced packaged goods.

     For protein remember that you can think outside the meat case too. Eggs, dried beans and peanut butter are healthy, versatile, ane economical.

     Shopping smart can help you save a dollar or two, but remember you can’t put a price tag on your health. Never sacrifice nutrition. You are worth every penny invested!

Why Dance?

    

     It’s no secret that I love Zumba! It is the exercise that helped me keep off the first 50 lbs for over a year. I did little else. There was no calorie counting, (though I did focus one eating healthy foods in appropriate portion sizes and staying away from “junk”). I wasn’t running or lifting in the gym. Zumba and Zumba toning were my maintainance plan and I lost an extra jean size just as a bonus.

Angel's classes rock! At home workouts are good, but live classes have the most to offer.

       Yesterday, my Zumba Instructor and dear friend Angel Chadwell of Angel Zumba Fitness, shared a great article on Facebook. It was a psychology Today piece entitled “Five Steps To A Great Workout“. The name is a little misleading,because the real point to the piece is that Dance, as a fitness approach, has benefits that go far beyond the physical. Not only is dance great from a social perspective (let me hear a Whoop! Whoop! from my many Zumba friends) but it also has amazing benefits mentally and emotionally. Dance feels like less of a chore than many other fitness pursuits. The music inspires and motivates. It encourages much-needed self-expression. “Dance Therapy”, in fact is recognized as a very effective treatment for a number of psychological distresses.  Aerobic activity is often recommended for folks suffering from depression and “dance therapy” is among the most enjoyable and motivational forms.

     Whether you feel inspired to try my own beloved Zumba or another form of Dance exercise like Jazzercise or Bodystep, I encourage you to get moving and grooving. Fun music and a friendly atmosphere encourage fun times that allow you to move at maximum calorie burning rates while simply enjoying the “party time”. Endorphins will kick in and you will be treated to an improved mood for hours afterward. It’s the body’s own natural high! 

     A University of Nevada study says there are still more reasons to paticipate in fitness dance. 15 weeks of jazz dance therapy were sufficient to improve balance and coordination in older women (mean age of 68). Also, since you are more likely to stick to something fun and enjoy it for longer intervals, you will probably burn just as many calories in fitness dance as in the gym. A Hungarian study showed that fitness dance is one of the best activities for improvement of self-image and self-esteem in middle-aged women (turning 40 this week, yep that’s me). Who doesn’t want to feel sexy and self assured?

    

     Why is Zumba my personal favorite? For this uncoordinated but very motivated girl its perfect. It requires little or no athletic ability to enjoy. Even if I’m not always doing it “right” , it provides physical benefits from the rapid movement of arms, legs, and hips. If done correctly it’s passionate and beautiful. If done less than perfectl, it’s still tons of fun and everyone is so involved in their own fun that they don’t notice my moving left as they move right.

Click here to purchase the Ultimate Zumba Experience for at home use. Start dancing in the privacy of your own home.

     “It would be wonderful indeed if the antidote to many of aging’s effects could be found in an activity that is fun, engaging, and relatively easy to do.  Aerobic dance is a great candidate for an anti-aging therapy. It’s less expensive than medication and more enjoyable than simple caloric restriction as a way to control body fat.” The Psycology Today articles added. I’ll take that as a reccomendation to take my love of Zumba into my 40’s and 50’s and so on. I might even try soemthing new like Jazzersize with Sheilah Sites. With all the benefits it’s hard to resist the urge to find new and exciting ways of moving to the beat. So lets dance! Wanna come Zumba with me?

    

    

My daughter Katie and I share a loveof Zumba!

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