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Two Sisters' Journey to Self-Improvement

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3/9/06 12:44 am - big_georgia

I haven't weighed myself yet. I will in the morning. I haven't gone to the gym in a while. I'm so tired when I get home. At least at work I'm moving around and lifting stuff. Hopefully that will help me lose weight plus now I'm not at home where I can eat anything anytime. Hopefully I will get used to working and not be so tired then I can start going to the gym. I think I may have gained weight. I hope not.

2/27/06 12:07 pm - bigmona - Weight loss goals by date...

Since my overall goal is to be at 160 by October 2, I decided to break down the time in between then and now in order to have little goal posts in between. I think that this will make it much easier for me. If I just left it at wanting to be at 160 by October, then I could make excuses until a couple of months out and then start trying desperately to lose the weight. Here is my breakdown:

Feb 14 (Valentine's Day): 250 lbs. (Due to my unexpected firing and the subsequent depression, I did not reach this goal. However, I believe that it will be easy to make up for this failure.)

Mar 28 (Our 10 yr anniversary): 235 lbs. (This one may be a little hard to hit right on the nose since I'm a little behind, but I would settle for close to that)

Apr 19 (My 29th birthday): 225 lbs. (This would put me within five pounds of my wedding weight which I was quite happy with.)

July 4 (Independence Day): 200 lbs. (This is just a good summer date to want to be comfy in shorts and tank tops.)

July 22 (Nathan's cousin's wedding in San Francisco): 190 lbs. (We really want to go to this and if we are able, I definitely want to look and feel good. Especially since San Francisco is so hilly and I want to be able to get around without too much huffing and puffing.)

Sept 4 (Labor Day): 170 lbs. (This is just a nice in between date and who knows, we might want to go camping or something outdoorsy and I need to be in shape to enjoy that.)

Oct 2 (Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary): 160 lbs.!!! (I feel like this would be the best wedding present to Nathan and myself. My lack of confidence and self-consciousness have really affected our relationship.)

I believe I can achieve these goals. It all makes it seem more attainable than to think of it as losing 110 lbs. in 8 months.

2/27/06 08:50 am - bigmona

Eat 'n Lose: 10 Fat-Burning Foods!

By Glenn Mueller
eDiets Senior Writer

If you are trying to drop those extra pounds without starving yourself, we’ve got a top 10 list of diet-friendly foods for you to stock up on. Post this list on the refrigerator door right next to your child’s latest finger-painting masterpiece. You may also want to print a copy and bring it with you the next time you decide to push a shopping cart around at your local grocery store.

According to eDiets Chief Nutritionist Susan Burke, there are no foods that can cause weight loss. Since foods don't act like drugs per se, Susan says, they can't speed up your metabolism or break down your fat. That being said, it is possible to replace certain items on the menu with other foods to create a calorie deficit and lose weight.

“Substitute lower-calorie, high-fiber foods in place of higher-calorie, high-fat foods and create a calorie deficit,” Susan advises. “That way, you’ll get better nutrition and great flavor while balancing the scale in your favor. It's not magic, it's just math.”

Susan does feel the need to offer an important word of caution. As your mother probably told you: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

“I've heard about the cabbage soup diet, the grapefruit diet and even diets that require you to eat protein foods apart from carbohydrates,” Susan says. “These diets don't work. Don't believe any of the claims on diet supplements that say they will trap your fat, blast your fat, or even dissolve your fat. The only thing that they blast is your pocketbook.”

According to Susan, the best way to make your body a fat-burning machine is to increase your muscle mass and decrease your fat stores. Since muscle is metabolically more active than fat, Susan says, building muscle mass must be a part of your overall weight-loss strategy.

She also offers 10 “free foods.” These are foods that contain a negligible amount of calories and help influence weight loss. You probably already know some of the traditional items on this list, such as salad, water and sugar-free foods.

Now, straight from her home office in Boca Raton, Florida, here is Susan’s top 10 list of "Fat-Burning Foods." If you are trying to promote quick and healthy weight loss, you’ll want to stock up on as many of these items as possible.

Water, Water Everywhere!

OK, so maybe the first item on this list isn’t really a food per se, but water is nature’s original appetite suppressant. Good old H2O is also an important component of any serious weight-loss plan. Since water makes up about 80 percent of your blood and brain, it is vitally important to good health.

Studies have even demonstrated that drinking water can speed up the process of losing weight. Researchers in Germany found that dieters can increase their metabolic rates by as much as 30 percent after drinking just 17 ounces of water. Since thirst is commonly mistaken for hunger, staying hydrated will keep you from overeating. Not only is water everywhere, but there are plenty of drops to drink. Cheers!

The Green Tea Mile

As most people know, caffeine can speed up your metabolism, but it is also a drug that has negative side effects. “I enjoy a cup or two of coffee in the morning, but I won’t let a coffee addiction keep me up at night,” Susan says.

So, what’s a coffee achiever to do? Instead of being a java junkie, switch to a cup of green tea instead. Studies show that this remarkable beverage boosts metabolism and may even aid in weight loss. This mood-enhancing tea has also been reported to contain anti-cancer properties and help prevent heart disease.

(Hey, how would you like to win a free iPod? Click here for the details.)

Salad Days

The next time a waiter asks if you’d like to start off that meal with a salad, chew on this piece of information: Eating a large salad full of crunchy vegetables is a healthy and delicious way to control your appetite for the rest of the meal.

“Get in the habit of including salads before every meal, and you'll have less of an appetite for your entrée,” Susan says. “You also effortlessly increase your fiber, lower your calories and lose weight without being hungry.”

A Dairy Tale Come True

Got Milk? Well, if you are trying to lose weight, you might want to stop by your local grocery store and pick up a few cartons of moo juice. “Studies show that calcium is a necessary component of weight loss, and other research points to calcium-containing dairy products as an effective adjunct for weight loss,” Susan says. “Make sure your dairy is low-fat or nonfat, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese."

Even if you are allergic or intolerant to dairy products, there is good news. You can buy products that have been fortified with calcium and vitamin D, such as tofu and soy milk. Be sure to read the labels to select brands without too much sugar added.

Beautiful Soup

Whether you enjoy it during the evening or any other time of day, soup makes a spectacular appetizer or snack. In fact, according to the latest research out of Penn State University, those dieters who chose soup as a snack before lunch consumed an average of 100 fewer calories per day than others in the study.

“Just like salad, soup works magic on your appetite, filling you up so that you're less hungry for the rest of your meal,” Susan says. “The secret is to choose a broth- or tomato-based soup and not a cream soup, because cream soups are higher in calories and fat.”

Amazing Grain

According to Susan, it is important to include whole grains into your healthy meal plan, so that you can fill yourself up with fiber instead of white bread, white pasta and white rice. “Whole grains contribute to a feeling of fullness, but white flour contributes to blood sugar imbalance,” Susan says. “Whole grains work to increase your metabolism, because they take longer to digest and absorb.”

Cold Turkey!

Instead of getting your feathers ruffled, be sure to gobble up plenty of this bodybuilder favorite. Countless studies have shown that eating protein can help you lose fat and build lean muscle tissue. A 3-ounce serving of boneless, skinless lean turkey breast weighs in at 120 calories and provides 26 grams of appetite-curbing protein, 1 gram of fat and 0 grams of saturated fat.

Don’t Be Gruel

Did you think your mother was just being “gruel” for serving you a bowl of hot oatmeal every morning at the breakfast table? Well, it turns out that this heart-healthy favorite ranks high on the good carb list, because it’s a source of cholesterol-fighting, fat-soluble fiber (7 grams per 3/4-cup serving) that keeps you full and provides you with the energy you need to make the most of your workouts. In order to get your full dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber, just be sure to choose steel cut or rolled oats, not instant oatmeal.

Fresh Fruits and Veggies

You had to know this was going to make the list. How can you follow a healthy meal plan without including plenty of nutritious fruits and vegetables?

“The soluble and insoluble fiber in fruits and vegetables, plus the water content makes them a fat-burning food,” Susan says. “Eat all the crunchy vegetables you want and lose weight by creating a calorie deficit.”

Groovy Grapefruit

Though the grapefruit diet may not be Susan’s idea of a healthy meal plan, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t slice open one of these remarkable citrus fruits now and then. Each of these vitamin C-packed wonders helps reduce insulin levels, which promotes weight loss. NOTE: If you are taking medication, be sure to check with your physician about any potentially adverse interactions with grapefruit.

 

2/19/06 10:13 am - big_georgia

I got the job at Target. I will be working on the sales floor. I'm waiting to hear when I start. I have to wait until they get my drug test and background check back. They only pay 7.00 an hour but that's ok I'm only working part time.
 

2/13/06 01:31 pm - big_georgia

I had an interview at Target today. I think it went all right. THey asked questions I really couldn't answer very well. Like what would your former employers say is your weakest point. I don't know I'm not them. I have a second interview tomorrow.
 

1/21/06 01:07 pm - big_georgia

I thought you worked at Target during the holidays. I don't know if we are coming down or not. I'm waiting on Kevin's paystub before I make a decision. We have gone to the gym maybe once. But we've been out doing things so at least I'm moving.

1/21/06 11:33 am - bigmona - Tough week...

I haven't been as good with my eating this week as in the past. It's not that I ate a lot of bad foods or anything, it's just that I haven't been watching everything as closely. We ate out a couple of times and although I picked things that weren't too bad, they were probably higher calorie than I have been trying to eat. So far I haven't seemed to gain any weight, but I haven't lost any this week either. I also haven't worked out yet, but next week I'm going to be working six days instead of five and they will be shorter days than usual. This should leave plently of time and hopefully energy to work out next week. I'm hoping that this will be the jump start to my working out regularly. I seem to be losing weight at a fairly nice pace when I'm paying close attention to my calorie intake. I believe that adding exercise to that is going to really help the weight to fly off. When I lost all that weight when I was at KU, it was primarily due to exercise. I watched what I ate, but I didn't kill myself over every little calorie. Then, I lost about 30 pounds or so in less than two months. I hope to do that again.
 

1/21/06 10:07 am - big_georgia

I didn't give you a weigh in last time because my weight didn't change. I don't think I got the job at Barnes and Noble. They said they would call by the end of the week and no call. I think the opening was in the music dept. I really wouldn't want that anyway. I applied at Old Navy but they didn't call me back either. I think I might try Target. How did you like working at Target when you worked there?

1/16/06 04:43 am - bigmona - Weigh day...

It's Monday and that means time to weigh ourselves.

I'm down 4 1/2 pounds. What about you?

I have yet to go to the gym, but I really must go tomorrow. I'm off work and tomorrow night is the night I go out with my friend so I want to feel like I can splurge a little at dinner and not feel guilty.
 

1/14/06 12:13 pm - big_georgia

I haven't made it to the gym yet either. I've been trying to eat better. I have a job interview at Barnes and Noble on Monday. I figured I'd get a job and help pay my credit cards down.
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