What I’ve Learned; the Vegan Edition

Updated 03/01/2012

As you know, I adopted a vegan diet because it was what worked best for my body. Last fall, after practicing mindful eating for months, I found myself still struggling with digestive problems and regularity issues so I started to eliminate foods from my diet to try and figure out what was causing the problems. On a whim I decided to cut out all animal products and within days I felt like a completely new person. Thinking it might be coincidence I ate some dairy about a week later and immediately reverted back to my old problems. It was then I decided to eliminate animal products completely on a more permanent basis. That was almost five month ago.

Once I adopted a vegan diet I felt amazing; I had/have tons of energy from the moment I wake up and throughout the day, I am regular, I sleep soundly every night, my body recovers from workouts quickly- I have no more lingering joint pain or aches, I just feel fabulous. No love of cheese or steak could ever make me want to give up how my body feels now.

In addition to feeling great I love the food I am eating. I have tried tons of new recipes as well as a plethora of new food items. My meals are always satisfying, satiating, and they never leave me feeling like crap afterwards. I put good fuel into my body and in return I get high energy and great health. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.

But I wanted to know why. Why did my body react this way to the changes? Yes, I was 100% satisfied with the decision I made but I wanted to know more, to learn more about veganism and make sure I was making the best decision for my health in the long term. So I read articles, blogs, watched documentaries, heard speakers and of course consulted my doctor about the change I had made. Along this road I have learned some very interesting things and I thought today I would share some of them with you. None of these I knew before adopting a vegan diet and I am not quite sure how much of this would be considered common knowledge (although it should be, in my opinion) so I thought I would share.

– We are the only animal that drinks another animal’s breast milk. Isn’t that weird? I never really thought about it until I heard it on ‘Forks over Knives’

– Cholesterol is found only in foods containing animal fat. Our body produces cholesterol on its own; just the same way cholesterol is produced in other animals. I found this odd because when I was told that my cholesterol was high (4 years ago) my doctor didn’t tell me to stop eating animal products. That seems like a really great way to lower your cholesterol. *Update* It was kindly brought to my attention yesterday that the amount of dietary cholesterol we eat makes very little difference on our actually cholesterol levels. The thing that does affect these levels is the amount of fat we eat in our diet. So the next point too, although valid, may not matter.

– All meat contains almostthe same amount of cholesterol. In a 3.5 oz serving there is; 90mg C in pork, 85mg C in beef, 85mg C in chicken, 82mg C in turkey, 82mg C in lamb, and 73mg C in trout. So eating chicken instead of beef (although it may have less fat) will not reduce your cholesterol intake. *Plant foods have 0mg of cholesterol 🙂

– Most common question I get asked is on this subject; how do vegans get their protein? Protein is found in plants, grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, etc in addition to meat and dairy. Basically if you are eating any whole food it will contain protein.

– Do you know what the medical term for protein deficiency is? I didn’t. I never even knew there was such a thing. It’s called kwashiorkor (I had to Google it just for this post because I couldn’t remember the name) and is mainly found in developing countries. It is a very rare disease in the U.S. I don’t think anyone should be worried about vegans being diagnosed with it any time soon. I think I heard that there were zero recorded cases of it in adults in the U.S. last year. The rule of thumb goes- if you are eating enough calories, you are getting enough protein.

– Too much protein, however, is a bad thing. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, which our body can store excess of long term, excess protein converted to amino acids is then converted to ammonia to urea. Overconsumption of protein can lead to an increased risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis. The excess consumption of protein is why osteoporosis, which is chronic loss of bone mass, most often occurs in nations with the highest consumption of dairy.

Do you know how much protein you should be consuming daily? For me, it’s 64g a day. You can calculate it yourself using this formula (current weight/2.2)*0.8 or you can go to Interactive DRI which will calculate all of your recommended daily nutrient intakes for you. Yesterday, I ended up consuming 69g of protein which is slightly higher than recommended but goes to show how easy it is for me to get my daily protein requirement on a vegan diet.

– Where does calcium come from? Did you say dairy? Yeah, if you asked me five months ago I would have said dairy/milk too. You aren’t wrong if you said dairy but dairy is not the only way to get calcium. Calcium is a mineral. It comes from soil. Which means that plants, grains, legumes have calcium, too. You can still get the calcium your bones need while following a vegan diet.

This post isn’t meant to try to convince you to adopt a plant-strong diet or preach to you. I am merely using this blog as a way to pass on some of the things I have learned that I found interesting. I hope you take it as such.

Any neat or weird food /nutrition facts you’ve learned recently that you would like to share?

Thanks for reading!

February 29, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Diet, Vegan. 5 comments.

MB Challenge: My Week 1

Last Saturday was the first day of Monica’s Birthday Challenge (we have 31 participants, crazy) and that meant it was time for me to step on that scale. My starting weight was 178.0 pounds and I am more than ready to see that number drop over the next eight weeks. Although I am not competing to win, obviously, I am still going to facilitate and participate in all of the challenges and weigh in and track my percentage lost weekly.

This week’s challenge was to incorporate 30 minutes of activity into our daily routine. This is my activity plan for the week. Oh, I should also mention that I started the Couch to 5K program on Saturday so you will see those workouts popping into my workouts for the next few months. I really hope this program can help get me to the point where I can run a race this year. That was one of my goals/resolutions and I really want to achieve it in 2012.

Sunday: High intensity workout; 30 minutes bike, 15 minutes rower, 15 minutes stair master as hard as I could go

Monday: yoga at lunch and after work: 45 minutes on bike and Week1, Day2 of C25K

Tuesday: usually my rest day, will take the dogs out for a 30 minute walk

Wednesday: yoga at lunch and after work: 45 minutes on bike and Week1, Day3 of C25K

Thursday: High intensity workout; 30 minutes bike, 15 minutes rower, 15 minutes stair master

Friday: Endurance workout; 75 minutes on bike

Saturday: spin class

I really want to buy a bathing suit so I can start incorporate swimming into my workouts but I keep forgetting to make a trip to Target to shop for one. Maybe this weekend J

I also wanted to share with you my meal plan for the week. The next post I am going to put out will deal with following a vegan/plant-based diet and some of the myths associated with it. This post (the part about what I eat) will tie into that one.

Breakfast

Green Smoothie (M-F)

This is my weekday breakfast staple. I make mine with spinach, a banana, chia seeds, wheat grass powder, Amazing Grass super food (orange Dreamsicle flavor), water and ice. It is 214 calories, 37g carbs, 3g fat, 9g protein, and 12g fiber (5 WWPP)

Lunch

Salad and Three Bean Chili (M-W)

Salad consists of super greens mix, grape tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, red bell pepper, broccoli sprouts, hemp seeds and dressing and the three bean chili has a ton of stuff in it; black beans, kidney beans and chickpeas, tomatoes, tofu, carrots, mushrooms, apple, bell peppers, celery, garlic, onion and spices. This comes out to 420 calories, 59g carbs, 10g fat, 22g protein, 15g fiber (9 WWPP)

Salad and Wrap/Pita (Th-S)

My lunches Thursday through Saturday will have the same salad as above but instead of chili I will have some kind of wrap or pita filled with either leftovers or veggies and hummus depending on what I end up bringing that day. I calculate the nutritional info/points that day so I am not sure what it will be but it will probably be around the same as the lunch above

Snacks

I usually have 2-3 snacks a day; an apple and almonds (15 at 3WWPP) in the morning, an orange and carrots in the afternoon and some kombucha (1WWPP) in the evening. If I am still hungry at night I will have some fruit or some baked tortilla chips or pretzels with my kombucha.

Dinner

Green Pizza (M)

Tonight’s dinner is green pizza. It uses whole wheat crust and is topped with sauce, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers, onion, garlic, basil and nutritional yeast. I am not sure how much I will actually eat but I figured it would be at most a half pizza which comes out to 498 cals, 84g carbs, 9g fat, 21g protein, and 16g fiber (12 WWPP) and I will probably have this with a small salad as well.

Pad Thai (T)

Red Beans over Quinoa and Kale (w)

Mac and Not-Cheese (Th)

Rip’s Roasted Salad (F)

Saturday dinner is not planned yet; we will be grocery shopping/meal planning that day

In case you are curious what my day’s intake of food will come out to if I eat as planned it will be – 1529 calories, 261g carbs, 30g fat, 60g protein, 59g fiber and 30 WWPP. The carbs are a little higher than my norm but that’s why I workout. The workouts I have planned for today will earn me 17 activity points so no, I don’t feel guilty in the least for eating all of those carbs.

How are you planning on getting your activity in this week? Have you set up a plan for the week to help you see a loss on Saturday?

Thanks for reading!

February 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Monica's Birthday Challenge, Weight Loss. 7 comments.

Monica’s Birthday Challenge: Let’s Introduce Ourselves

Wow! What a great turnout for the challenge; 31 participants! I am so excited to have so many people involved!

Below is a list of all the participants and their Twitter handles if applicable. Please feel free to make new friends and reach out to others for support.

I also have the list on Monica’s Losers page (I hope you don’t find that offensive, it’s meant to be encouraging) so at any time you can stop on by and check it out.

We have a couple hashtags for the challenge, #LoseW8in8 and #MBChallenge, so make sure you are using them when you are tweeting!

If you submitted your starting weight to me and I omitted you from the list please let me know ASAP. I tried to check my email and Twitter and stay on top of it the best I could but I’m human. So, if I messed up please let me know;  thirtythreeandcounting@gmail.com or @dacialee33

To reiterate; your weekly weight must be reported to me by Saturday. I will email you to let you know I received the info and to let you know your total percentage lost. I will post the leader info with total percentage lost on Sundays along with the new weekly challenge.

If at any time you have any questions or need any information or clarification please let me know.

This week’s challenge is 30 minutes of activity every day so let’s get moving!

Good luck and thanks for reading! 🙂

Name Twitter
Ashley W.  
Kelci O.  
Racheal K.  
Monica S. Twitter @monica_ms
Sarah S. Twitter @SarahLou1976
Kipp P. Twitter @scribble_nibble
Jessica S. Twitter @_J2
Amy W. Twitter @yerttlesblog
Stephanie P. Twitter @JulyFiveChic
Kelly B. Twitter @TheBusyCrab
Jim B. Twitter @bly3
Ruby A. Twitter @RubyAlison8
Kathleen G. Twitter @jakennicksmomma
Rebecca M. Twitter @OMGbeckster
Amber H. Twitter @ImHungry4Health
Laura B. Twitter @LLBean75
Veronica R. Twitter @NewVeronica2011
Jen N. Twitter @mendingjen
Erica H. Twitter @MommaHunt16
Crystal P. Twitter @oneandonlycp
Meredith C. Twitter @MeredithClark
Laura L. Twitter @BikiniCountdown
Carrie S. Twitter @shrinkingcarrie
Alexis A. Twitter @divaonadiet
Nicole R. Twitter @Nicole2112
Dawn P. Twitter @CarbaholicMama
Kelley J. Twitter @KelleylovesMark
Mollie W. Twitter @MollieLoses
Non-competitors
Whitney G. Twitter @whitgetsfit
Dacia L. Twitter @dacialee33
Paul L. Twitter @leepaul33

February 26, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Monica's Birthday Challenge, Weight Loss. 18 comments.

Monica’s Birthday Challenge: Week One

Good morning!

Week one of Monica’s Birthday Challenge starts now!

Please email me your current (starting) weight along with a picture of your scale readout or Weight Watchers log for verification purposes.

You will need to email your weight to me weekly, on Saturdays, but the photo is only necessary for the starting and ending weights.

thirtythreeandcounting@gmail.com

Don’t forget: this week’s challenge is to spend 30 minutes each day being active.

I will post a list of all participants tomorrow. I will also email each of you as well so if you don’t hear from me directly on Sunday let me know 🙂

Please feel free to email/DM me if you have any questions!

Let’s spend the next eight weeks working hard and encouraging each other! Good luck and good loosing!

Thanks for reading!

February 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Monica's Birthday Challenge, Weight Loss. 2 comments.

My First Year Blogiversary Celebration

This past Monday was my one year blogiversary. I was too sick to celebrate. That’s life, I guess.

I am feeling somewhat better now, thank you for asking, and am excited to finally have a diagnosis from the doctor; Vitamin D deficiency and anemia. I won’t bore you with the details other than I am going to start taking once a week vitamin d supplements and daily iron supplements and then in twelve weeks back to the lab to check my levels. Hopefully the supplements will make everything all better 🙂

Any who, today I want to celebrate this past year and all of the changes that have happened in my life. It’s amazing to look back on it and see how different my life is now. A year ago I was miserable and at my breaking point. The blog was my last hope. I desperately needed it, and the support of my six friends I told about it, to help push me and keep me accountable. I never thought that in a year’s time (which to me seemed so far in the future) I would grow into something so powerful and lead me here, healthy and happy.

When I first started I weighed 286 pounds which seemed like an impossible number to overcome. In order to get to the top of my healthy weight range (150 pounds) I would need to lose about 48% of my weight- almost half of me! That’s crazy! I needed to lose a healthy 5’5” woman in order to get to a healthy weight. Yikes! That was too much. So I started with small, realistic, short-term goals and rewarded myself when I reached them. That helped me focus on the progress I was making, instead of the giant mountain that lay in front of me, and gave me a sense of accomplishment.

I wasn’t always successful, it wasn’t always easy or rewarding but because of this blog and the amazing support team I have I was able to push through the tough spots. Because of this blog, and all of you, I am pushing through a tough spot right now. I am going to make it through all of this….because of you.

Thank you!

Over the course of the last year….

I walked a 5K for WordPress worldwide 5K day, for Weight Watchers, and for fun…

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I took up boxing, which I now love, and after just six months was asked if I would write a testimonial for their website

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Boxing helped my confidence grow and because of it was able to try new things. I found Nia, my second great love. Nia became a passion of mine and it translated into confidence, self-love and personal acceptance. I was chosen as Nia San Antonio student of the month for September and in December I completed my Nia White Belt Intensive…

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My blog was featured in the Blog Watch section of the Edmonton Journal…

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I’ve been able to reconnect with my friends scattered around the country. These amazing ladies keep me in check!

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I’ve made new friends and found great inspiration. My kindred spirits. I always know they are just a tweet/email/phone call away!

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I went on vacation twice. New Orleans in April and PA/NJ/DE in February…

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I went to lots of hockey games…. with and without the doggies

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There were season ticket holder events, too…

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I became a vegan and my compassion for animal rights grew exponentially…

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I climbed mountains…ok, more like really big rocks

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I laughed, cried, danced, stumbled, climbed, and fell…

I ran a mile without stopping.

I biked a 50K at the gym.

I started a new job.

I became the person I wanted to be; I started living the life I wanted.

I took more time for myself and in turn found the things that were truly important in my life.

I did all of this for me. I did it all with him. My love, my best friend, my number one supporter. Thank you, Paul! I love you!

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This year has changed me and my life so dramatically and I am thankful for these changes every day. I am truly blessed for all of this. I could not ask for more. Last year I was thirty-three and counting, this year I’m thirty-four and freaking fabulous!

Thanks for being with me this past year and I hope you will be with me for many more to come!

Thanks for reading!

February 24, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Life, Love. 19 comments.

Monica’s Birthday Challenge

My very awesome friend Monica has a birthday coming up in April; on the 26th to be exact. A few months ago we decided to make a friendly bet- who can get closest to 150 pounds by her birthday. This was to help keep us motivated on our weight loss journeys. Monica also does Weight Watchers and although we no longer go to meetings together (since I do WW at work) we still try to encourage and help each other along the best we can. To be honest with you, I kind of forgot about this bet. We made it back in November, I think, and so much has been going on that it just slipped my mind.

That was until my friend Kelly mentioned to me the struggles she has been having with losing weight and I was feeling the exact same way. As I mentioned yesterday, two months into 2012 and I am at the same weight I was when I started the year. That’s definitely a hard pill to swallow. These struggles made me think about the bet I had made with Monica and I asked her if she would mind if I turned our bet into a weight loss challenge and she kindly agreed. This is how ‘Monica’s Birthday Challenge’ was created.

The Details

– The contest will run for eight weeks; February 25th through April 21st, 2012
– Your current weight must be emailed to me (thirtythreeandcounting@gmail.com) or DM via Twitter (@dacialee33) every Saturday starting this Saturday, February 25th
– Photos of starting and ending weight (scale display or WW log would be great) must be submitted via email
– Weekly challenges will be posted. These are not mandatory but I strongly encourage full participation
– Winner will be determined by the largest percentage of weight loss over the 8 week period
– Weight information will be kept private, the only number I will post on this blog is the percentage lost NOT the starting, ending, or interim weights.
– Each week I will post who is in first place and their total percentage lost to help give us something to work towards 🙂

The Winner

– To be eligible to win you must have submitted photos of your starting/ending weight as well as submitted your weekly weight to me every week of the competition
– The person meeting the above eligibility requirements with the largest percentage of weight loss at the end of the eight week period will be crowned the winner

The Prize

*I like the idea of customizing the prize for the winner so I reserve the right to tweak/change the prize package at the end however, it will include the following items
– Amazon or iTunes gift card (winner’s choice)
– Whole Foods gift card or if you don’t have a WF near you I will pick out some fun non-perishable items to send to you 🙂
– Bath/beauty product from Lush
– Anything else cool I find over the next two months to add to the pot 🙂

More than anything this is about having fun, focusing on losing weight in a healthy manner, and being able to brag about winning 😉 Since I am not a sponsored blogger the prizes furnished will come directly from me. This means the winner will have to share with me his/her address in order for me to mail the prizes 🙂

I will be participating and of course posting my weight weekly (to help keep me accountable) and my feedback on the challenges and I hope you do too. If you are a blogger I would love if you could link up to the challenge and share your feedback as well.

This challenge is open to both men and women. I’ve already asked Paul to participate (although neither of us is eligible to win) because it’s always fun having a partner to help push me through the tough patches. Please feel free to ask your spouse, partner, friends, and family to participate in the challenge along with you. The more the merrier 🙂

Weekly Challenge

This week’s challenge is focused on movement. It’s important that we make time everyday to get our bodies up and moving; whether it is hitting the gym, taking the doggies out for a walk or playing with the kids. Movement plays a big role in weight loss and living a healthy life. This week let’s dedicate 30 minutes each day to being active in some form.

So, to recap week one: make sure you email me your starting weight including a picture of the scale (or WW log if that’s easier) this Saturday, February 25th. The list of participants, including Twitter handle if you don’t mind, will be compiled and posted on the blog when I wake up Sunday morning and will act as the official list of participants. I hope we all can support and encourage each other through this challenge. Any ideas for a hashtag would be greatly appreciated! The weekly challenge (which is not mandatory, just recommended) is being active for 30 minutes each day. Most importantly; have fun!

Email: thirtythreeandcounting@gmail.com

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!

Good luck and thanks for reading!

February 23, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Monica's Birthday Challenge, Weight Loss. 9 comments.

Catching Up

Things have been rough since I came back from vacation. I have been battling something that is either vertigo, vitamin d deficiency, thyroid problem (possible diagnoses from my doctor) or my first outbreak of migraines (diagnosis from the ER) and it has been a really crappy week. I had issues with dizziness, headaches and fatigue and so I went to the doctor. She sent me for blood work and that was that. Three days later I was on the verge of a breakdown because the headaches were overwhelming and the dizziness hit me every time I moved. It was awful. So, I went to the ER. The docs there ran a whole slew of tests; CT scan, blood work, urinalysis, and a battery of test to check my gait, vision, reflexes. Not sure why my primary care doc didn’t do any of the walking or vision checks as her first guess was vertigo yet she didn’t even check me to see if I exhibited any signs of it. The ER doctors thought I was having my first encounter with migraines. They gave me a mix of IV and pill-form meds and were able to get rid of the headaches. Yay! Finally! It felt so good to finally not have that pain.

I’m almost back to normal. I haven’t felt strong enough to start back at the gym but hope to be back by the weekend. Right now my focus is on getting back into my normal routine, making sure I am getting enough sleep (which I didn’t last night), eating good foods, taking my vitamins and staying hydrated. Good habits foster good health and hopefully I will be back to my old self in no time.

With all that being said, I do realize that I never posted week eight’s info for the New You challenge. Week 8 is all about fine tuning. Finding healthy swaps, focus on eat less move more, make small changes to your plan to help keep you going in the right direction. I know for me this week is about starting over. Ok, maybe starting over isn’t the right way to say it. I guess I really mean this week is about getting back on track. Each day is a new chance to make better choices and so today I pledge to make the most of what opportunities to be healthier lie in front of me.

Later this week I will be posting details about a new challenge. This one is going to be very different from the last challenge. This is a competition (based off of pounds or inches if you would prefer to go that route) and after 8 weeks the winner gets a fabulous prize. There will be weekly report ins so I can track percentage to goal (you will be ranked by % to goal- no starting/ending weight will be seen by anyone but me) and there will be weekly mini-challenges as well. I am going to participate along with you just for fun. Well, maybe not for fun. More like I am doing this because I need this to help get my butt back into gear. Almost two months into 2012 and I am in the same place I was on January first. Not really what I expected from myself. It’s time to get moving and loosing again.

The challenge, which I am calling Monica’s Birthday Challenge (I will explain the name later), will begin on Saturday. You will need to weigh-in or measure yourself and send me your starting info by Sunday. I will create a post that goes into all the details and put that up tomorrow so you know more about how this will work. Saturdays will be our official report in day so I hope that works for you. Once I have a list of all the participants I will be sure to email you a reminder every Friday and Saturday so you know to report in. I even created a new email address just for this challenge. You can contact me directly at thirtythreeandcounting@gmail.com or you can tweet at me @dacialee33. Either will work.

Well, that’s about it for now. I just wanted to catch you up on everything that’s been going on. I’m excited for this new challenge. Are you?

Thanks for reading!

February 22, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Health, Weight Loss. 6 comments.

Wordless Wednesday: Vacation

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February 15, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Vacation, wordless wednesday. 3 comments.

How it all Started: Guest Post by Kelley

I’m so excited to welcome Kelley (@KelleylovesMark) to my blog. As you know, I’ve been on my WLJ for close to a year now. One thing that I found very helpful in staying on track is knowing where I started and why I chose to change. I am thrilled that Kelley chose to share with us her story, how it all started.

How it all started…

Looking back at my wedding photos and pictures from my honeymoon I was ashamed of what I saw. I was unhappy with how heavy I looked in my wedding dress and how unhappy I looked. This was supposed to be the best day of my life and I was supposed to be happy, but I wasn’t because I didn’t look the way I had dreamed I always wanted to look. From then on I knew I needed a change.

I had always thrown around the idea of starting Weight Watchers, but I had never taken the steps to join. From the beginning I knew that Weight Watchers online was the best opinion for me because I could do it all from home and it was quick and easy to stick to. On January 9, 2012 I talked over my idea with my husband and he thought it was a great idea because he knew how unhappy I was with my weight. That was the day my new life began and I couldn’t be happier.

I’ve been on the program from 4 weeks and so far I’ve lost 5.1 lbs. It’s been slow loss, but right away I noticed that my clothes were fitting better. I’m so happy with the program and I’ve been support by so many amazing ladies on Twitter. My journey has even inspired one of my coworkers to restart her Weight Watchers journey. I’m so happy with how everything is going and excited to see all of the changes to come!

– Thanks again to Kelley for sharing her story. Make sure to give her some love in the comments or on Twitter! Thanks for reading!

February 14, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Weight Loss, Weight Watchers. 1 comment.

Finding What Works: A Guest Post from Skinny Shae

I write a blog about diet, fitness and beauty, and how much it all sucks.

 

Depressing, right?

 

Luckily, I changed my attitude, and I believe my attitude change is so enlightening that I am going to tell you about it.

 

I gained 10 pounds after I got married in 2010. I lost those 10 pounds in 2011.

 

Here’s how…

 

Sweat. Tears. Sweat. Tears. More sweat. A lot more tears…

 

I am a competitive person, especially when I challenge myself. Failing is not an option. When I chose to challenge myself to lose the evil 10 pounds I put on after I got married, I thought: “Heck yes! I’m going to murder some fat!”

 

I thought I was going to win. After all, it worked in high school… when I had a functioning metabolism.

 

But again and again I did not win, and it depressed me so much that I would give up in the middle of my workout and cry. (I did not cry at the gym. I have some dignity.)

 

I tried several workouts: I bought and completed Insanity by Beachbody… twice. I attempted to create my own workouts by combining workouts from friends and Women’s Health Magazine.

 

I also tried dieting: I counted calories. I dove in to cooking at home, and I’m no cook. I even considered Nutrisystem, which is ridiculous because I cannot eat microwaved food for that long.

 

Nothing seemed to work. I got depressed and gave up. Time and time again.

 

Then, one day, I asked a former track athlete to help me with my workouts and my attitude. I worked with her at Wichita State University as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. We taught Public Speaking and shared an office. She became my workout buddy. (According to the experts, it’s good to have one of those.)

 

I enjoyed working out with her. I enjoyed running with her. I gave up counting calories and Insanity because neither of those options worked for me.

 

We joined a community exercise program, Shocker Fitness, and went to the track three days a week at 6:45 a.m., which highlighted another turning point for me. I am not a morning person.

 

Unlike Insanity, and the other workout programs I tried, I fell in love with running on the track in the morning dark.

 

Before Shocker Fitness, I thought I had tried everything. I thought I was hopeless. I thought I would never enjoy exercise.

 

I was wrong.

 

I had not tried everything. I was not hopeless. I do enjoy exercise. I just had to find the right program.

 

I lost the 10 pounds I had gained after I got married, but I gained a positive attitude toward fitness and health. I also gained self-esteem, which I had lost at some point in 2010.

 

Fitness isn’t fast. I expected it to be. I learned how to accept the process, and I learned how to love the body I was given – metabolism malfunctions, stretch marks, cellulite and all.

Thank you to Skinny Shae for this amazing and inspirational post. You can check out her blog at skinnyshae.wordpress.com  

Thanks for reading!

February 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Health, Weight Loss. 1 comment.

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