Tag Archives: losing weight

#TransformationTuesday Small Steps = Big Strides

A few weeks ago I posted about falling back and gaining weight. It’s been a tough thing to work so hard to lose 40 pounds and gain it and some more back. It made me uncomfortable and created worry about the health consequences of it. Things like stroke, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Because of that, I went back to work on a lifestyle change, trying to take small steps in order to get back on the right path to being healthier. I set a reasonable goal: 10 pounds lost by the RWA Conference in Orlando. Why only 10? Well, 10 seems more doable than 40 or even my ultimate goal 75 pounds. Setting a seemingly unattainable goal would only make it that much harder to commit to change.

So here I am, a week away from RWA and guess what: 10 pounds lighter since June 27 when I posted about my yo-yo weight gain.

How did I do it? Small steps. Upped my cardio exercise by 10 minutes. Walked faster on my way to work. Cut down on carbs. You’ll see that I didn’t say eliminated them because that seems to not work since the moment I have any carbs, I yo-yo and go on a carb binge. So an occasional roll, piece of bread, rice or even pasta mixed in seems to work.

I increased fruits and vegetables. Perfect in summer when we’ve got luscious peaches, plums and nectarines available. Mangoes also. Love them!

What’s the next small step? Another 10 pounds by Labor Day. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going!

#TransformationTuesday Losing & Gaining & Working At It

It’s been a year since I started my lifestyle change. I’ve had a little setback the past two months, but am working on getting back on my change. Carbs being my downfall, so I have to scale back to not having any for a little while to get my equilibrium back.

Despite the setback, I am still working out and feeling better. I thought that today I would share a before and after. The first photo on the right is of me taken on one of the off-site sets for CNN ESPAÑOL right here in NYC in the Time Warner building. I was a guest on the morning show and talking about romances. The photo on the right is one I snapped at a recent conference. I’m 40 pounds lighter and happy with my cute little black dress (courtesy of OG Surf & Skate) and my new haircut, which I managed to make look almost like what it did after I left the hairdresser.

If you have your own transformation story, please take a moment to share it!
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#TuesdayTip Eating Fat to Lose Fat #Fitness #Health

I hit another milestone today – 40 pounds lost. It took me a long time between the holidays (no pounds gained luckily) and the dreaded plateau.

Anyone who has tried to lose weight has hit a plateau and sometimes they are tough to break through. I tried lowering and raising my calorie counts. Exercising more. Even exercising a little less. Those stubborn 3 or so pounds just would not leave me.

I spoke to my trainer and we talked about my diet and it turned out that in my quest to eat healthier I had seriously eliminated fat from my diet. Both good and bad fats. He said to me, “You need to eat fat to lose fat.”

As you can imagine, I was surprised, but I took his words to heart because he has really helped me improve my overall health and fitness.

So I added back some healthy fats. Avocado. Nuts. Low fat dairy. Coconut oil. Olive oil. Eggs.

What happened? Well, those stubborn pounds disappeared in just a few days. WOO HOO.

So today’s Tuesday Tip is: Eat more healthy fats.

If you want more information on this concept and healthy fats, you can visit these links:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/557726-eat-fat-to-burn-fat/

http://www.coachcalorie.com/eat-fat-to-lose-fat/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/how-eating-more-fat-helps-you-lose-more-weight.html

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/tips/why-non-fat-isnt-the-answer/

Just a last word of warning: Watch out for foods that claim to be low fat, but just seem too good to be true. Oftentimes there is a lot of added sugar and salt or artificial ingredients to make up for the “lower fat.”
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Tips for Spending Less

If you’re like me, one of those things on the list of New Year’s resolutions was to spend less. Actually, I had already put that plan into place toward the end of last year with some nice results so the goal is really to continue that savings plan.

How did I manage to cut my spending last year? Well, here’s just a list of some of those things!

1. Brown bag lunch to work. An average lunch in Manhattan is about $6 so at 5 times a week times 48 weeks, that’s a savings of over $1400.

2. Skip the Starbucks and other fancy coffee in the a.m. Hubby now makes me my morning cup for the train and I rely on the office coffee pot for my other morning fix. With a typical latte at around $4 in NYC, that’s a savings of another nearly $1000.

3. Charge everything I spend. I know that sounds awful, but here’s why I do it:

    a. I get my reward points for every purchase.
    b. I know how much I spent every month.
    c. I use the tagging feature on my charge account every week to flag business expenses.
    d. I have my account send me a daily snapshot so I know whether I am deviating from my monthly spending limit.

4. Coupons. I always hold onto those Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons and only go when I have several of them handy. I also only go when I absolutely need something, which means my trips are generally geared around holidays, birthdays, etc. I also use online coupon sites such as coupons.com and pgeverydaysolutions.com for weekly specials and since I shop at A&P for my every day items, they have a clipless coupon system connected to my shopping loyalty card. That’s wonderful because if you are like me, you often will forget those coupons at home. Another big thing: Only buy what you would normally use and buy it in reasonable quantities. I read an article the other day that Americans throw out 40% of the food they buy. 40%!!! That’s a huge number.

5. I shop at Costco for the paper goods and other bulk items. I also buy their Kirkland name brand for things like toilet paper and dishwasher detergent. Just as good and generally cheaper.

6. I’ve cut back on dining out and when I do, I try to use restaurant.com certificates or those I’ve purchased at a discount from groupon.com. I also try to frequent local places and they often have online coupons available for discounts on dining.

This year I also plan on brown bagging breakfast to the office. I’ve got a stash of oatmeal and will find a way to make my eggs. Breakfast is important for helping with another New Year’s resolution: Losing weight and eating healthier.

Have you found some other ways to spend less? What will you do with the savings?

Tuesday Tips for Weight Loss

As some of you may have noticed, I’m back to trying to lose weight and get healthier. Stress and other things made my weight balloon upwards to its own area code. So shortly after the New Year, I began a campaign to change my lifestyle by becoming more active and eating healthier foods. As of this morning, I’ve lost 30 pounds.

Yep, thirty (30) pounds and I’m very excited about that. I’m also excited by the fact that the way I am eating and working out now seems sustainable, which is the key to keeping off the weight. After all, it’s not about a diet, it’s about a lifestyle that you can keep up.

You’re probably asking what I’ve been doing? For starters I try to be more active every day. I’ve started wearing a pedometer and strive to reach 10,000 paces each day, not including my workout regimen.

That means walking to and from my office and getting up once an hour to move about. With the weather getting nicer, sis and I have even started taking a short walk at lunch hour.

I try to work out 5 to 7 times a week for about half an hour a session. I mix up doing cardio with weight training. The weights are important because they help strengthen your muscles and muscles have a higher metabolism than fat which means that you are regularly burning more calories to sustain that higher muscle mass.

Plus who doesn’t like sleek toned arms and legs? Here are some simple exercises you can even do at home to tone your arms!

What have I changed in my diet? Well my favorite food group – bread, rice and pasta (LOL!) is virtually gone. I try to limit those to once or twice a week. When I do have either bread or pasta, I make sure it’s whole grain bread or pasta. As for rice, I’ve substituted quinoa. I’ve even made a tasty Chinese fried rice by substituting the pre-cooked quinoa for the rice. Have also made something similar to a tabouleh salad with this grain. You can check out more recipes here.

We still eat beef, pork and chicken, but in smaller portions and I’ve also started eating a lot more shrimp and eggs. Both are high in protein and low in calories (but watch the cholesterol if you have problems with that).

As sides to all our meals – a big salad and more vegetables. Lots more. The key is to have lots of high volume foods with low calories. Greens of all kinds make wonderful side dishes or even a once a week vegetarian meal. Cook up some collard greens or kale with onions and mushrooms, add some chicken broth and cannellini beans, top with some chopped tomatoes and you’ve got a very filling and low calorie soup. You can even add some cheese to the mix for added protein. There are lots of nice lower fat cheeses out there now and we regularly put cheese in our salads as well.

As for dessert, we’re eating a lot more fruit and snacking on cashews and chocolate covered raisins.

Where do I go from here? Well, I’m going to keep on eating healthier and working out. My goal is to lose another 10 pounds by the RWA National Conference at the end of June. I try to set those goals in reasonable amounts because there is nothing worse than setting yourself up for failure by being unrealistic.

If you’re in the same boat as I am, I hope these tips help you! If you’ve found some good things to get healthier, please share them with us by leaving them in the comment area.

Finally, our Danger Women Writing Contest and Guest Blog continues with a visit from the RomCon folks and a giveaway of tickets to this year’s convention. Drop by the blog later and leave a comment for a chance to win!

Confessions of a Carboholic

Back on one of the Tuesday Tips I mentioned that I was battling the bulge again and some of you asked for me to let you know how I was doing.

Well, I am doing great! I’ve lost 6.5 pounds in about a month. I feel better and my clothes are starting to get loose. I’m counting the minutes until I can drop a size.

But to accomplish that I had to do some soul searching and realize something very troubling – I am a carboholic. Worse yet, that being a carboholic was so not good for my system. All that bloating and big belly started to go away as soon as I curtailed my carbs.

I did that in part with that wonderful book my daughter gave me — Eat This, Not That. I have the supermarket edition which is great because it lays out in no nonsense fashion what to buy and what not to buy and the reasons for those choices (although there is one with which I do not agree and more on that later).

First I cut back on my carbs and the carbs that I eat are lower in fat and sugar and higher in dietary fiber. Fiber is wonderful because it fills you up and keeps you from having that empty sensation.

How did I do that? Thomas’ Light Multi-grain English Muffins. At 100 calories per muffin, they have only 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of dietary fiber. In the mornings I will have it with a smear of one of those Laughing Cow Light Cheeses – also great! Only 35 calories per little wedge, but packed with flavor.

For Sunday pasta meals, we switched to Barilla Whole Grain Pasta (suprisingly on the Not That list, but I don’t agree). With 200 calories per serving, it has only 1.5 grams of fat and 6 grams of dietary fiber. Plus, it’s tasty unlike some other whole grain pastas.

At lunch I make sure to have veggies of some kind, whether alone or with grilled chicken, or a sandwich made with a muffin, low fat cheese and low fat ham (not a big turkey fan which would help, I know) or chicken.

For snacks – nuts, nuts, nuts. A handful of almonds (approximately 12), cashews or walnuts are a great snack at around 3 pm.

At night we try to keep it simple. Grilled steak, chicken or eggs with veggies and a salad. Actually, we’ve been eating a lot more eggs. They are not as bad for you as people think and if you buy some Eggland’s Best or another high quality egg, they are packed with vitamins and have lower cholesterol than regular eggs. I always look for a sale on them and stock up.

For a late night (around 8 pm) snack, I’ve been making our own desserts – like a low fat fruit-packed ambrosia — or having a small handful of Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegrantes. I get a 2 lb bag at Costco and they are absolutely delicious. 22 pieces are about 200 calories, but I stick to about half that amount because they are so decadent and dark chocolate and pomegrante are packed with anti-oxidants.

Adding all those fruits, nuts and veggies has gone a long way in helping as well. They keep me feeling fuller and I’m not having those horrible hunger pangs that wreck most diets. In fact, I’m not even thinking about this as a diet anymore, but as a lifestyle change because I can see myself eating like this for the rest of my life.

So, that’s my confession about being a carboholic and how I’ve changed some of my habits. I’ve also been going to the gym regularly and that’s been a big help. Any increase in activity is good for you, including a brisk walk!

Hope today’s Thursday Thoughts might be of help to you. 🙂