Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sundays are bummers

Sigh ... what a wonderful long weekend! Tomorrow morning its back to reality, back to work, and back to the gym. I've enjoyed hanging out in my newly cleaned house, making my shakes, and charting weight loss each day!

I've met all of my goals that I set for myself for the first month of the diet, even exceeded them! My first short term goal was to lose 10 lbs within 4 weeks. I am at 12 lbs, with one official day to go. Not bad. I managed to NOT eat any of the holiday foods that are everywhere (even filling up my fridge). On a personal note, I am even getting a jump on my Christmas decorating.

New short term goals:
  • Drink at least 64 oz water a day (still a struggle)
  • Lose 6 lbs over the next 2 weeks
  • increase my workouts from just cardio to include some minor weight / resistance training
Tools I have to help me:
  • 20 oz water bottle - half a packet of crystal light and a straw ... i dont even realize I just forced down 20 oz of water!
  • SenseWear - will chart my calories burned. Its ordered and hopefully on the way very soon.
  • New weights and Biggest Loser body sculpting DVD
Trying to focus on what I need to get done today and not on the fact that this is the last day of my wonderful long weekend!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After

I would like to report that I was a very good girl yesterday for Thanksgiving! After spending 2 days preparing and cooking a meal for 10 people ... I actually lost weight!!!!!

The nice thing about serving a meal to that many people, there are plenty of things to do other than eat. When I did sit down at the table, it was to enjoy good conversation ... as others enjoyed their meals.

Things that surprised me:
  1. Gravy is HARD for me to make for some reason
  2. NOT eating any (not one bite) of Turkey, Dressing, Potatoes, Pie, etc was NOT hard at all!!!
I wasn't feeling deprived or like I was missing anything. Again, I feel that Hell has frozen over, and that I have really turned the corner with this diet program.

Good luck to anyone reading over the holidays!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

3 weeks in , 10 LBS down!!!!

Happy Holidays!

I am sooo excited to report that I am well on my way to reaching my goal of losing 20-25 lbs before I jet off to Hawaii. As of today, i am 10 lbs lighter than I was 3 weeks ago. Of course the true test is about to begin with the official Holiday eating season.

So far I have kept to my HMR Diet Program foods, no cheating. It honestly has not been very hard for me to keep to the diet. My true test is today and tomorrow. I am hosting Thanksgiving Dinner for our families, 10 people crammed into my modest condo.

My Guests Dinner Menu:

16 lb Turkey
Grandma's Dressing
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Yeast Rolls
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie

Allison's Dinner Menu:

An Entree or two
Vanilla - Spice Shake
Chocolate Pudding for dessert

That's about it. I am preparing for the out of town company who are not familiar with my new meal plan to hit me up with a ton of questions, and letting me know that its okay to eat for this special occasion. I know that it is NOT okay. After doing so well going "cold turkey" with eating non HMR foods, it would be very challenging for me to mentally get over one slip. Perhaps its like giving an alcoholic just one little drink....

Speaking of alcohol...I miss wine! Okay, I just had to say it.

Have a great Holiday for anyone reading. I am off to manic clean, grocery shop, and bake those damned pies!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My New Toy!!!

For any of those who might accidentally find this blog and read it ... that also knows me ... knows that I like my toys and gadgets. Fortunately I do not have any children that I have to share with :P

Last night I posted a question on the exercise message board on . You may have noticed my widgets showing calories burned and pounds lost. Daily I track these things on a website, I selected for one simple reason ... they had nifty widgets!

It mus have been fate because my question was around the amount of calories burned on a person who is 34 and weights 270lbs and is 5'2" vs someone who weights the same, but is 5'11. Gosh, if only I were 5'11"! Anyway, back to reality. I haven't had a lot of quality answers but my first response was something that triggered an avalanche of awesomeness!

The response from Kris N (whomever you are) was brilliant:

I would think they would be pretty much the same. Your both moving the same amount of weight around. But I'm no expert and the calculators don't take height into consideration to caloric estimates.

If money is no object I think the bodybugg would be very helpful for what you are trying to do. It would help you put it all into perspective. Either way it sounds like you are doing it right. Start slow so you don't hurt yourself and remember.... Diet is the most important part. Cardio is great and has numerous health benefits but weight loss is almost all diet. that a new toy I'd never heard of? Pretty cool, check out . You will read all about a device that you strap to your arm. It constantly monitors the calories your body is burning, in take (from you logging your food) , calculates the deficit , and I am sure 100 different other cool things. The data is stored in the device until it is sync'd or downloaded to their website (you pay monthly fee for the website). All kinds of pretty charts and graphs from there. I thought this was pretty freaking cool...but it looked kind of bulky.

THAT led me to my next discovery, there is actually a new version that's been developed that is 40% smaller, has an extra sensor, and measures heart rate as well. Genius! Unfortunately its not available at ... but it is totally available under its pseudonym SenseWear!

Check out . This shows the newer,smaller, sexier version of this new toy . I was totally hooked. Checking out the ordering process, and it looked to be a PITA ... an excel spreadsheet to print out and mail in??? Why ... I never! Fortunately my obsessive Googling led me to this nifty website, This is the website where I actually bought my new toy, please, check it out and all of its awesomeness.

So, one thing I should mentions, this thing is NOT mac friendly. Which would totally be a bummer, if I didn't have bootcamp/parallels/xp installed on all of my macs. So, for now, I put up with the OSism.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

15 days and counting

Don't they say that if you do something for 2 weeks straight it becomes a habit? So far, the elliptical is not a habit ... fortunately the HMR program has become a habit. After 2 weeks I still have not really been at all tempted to cheat. I am fairly indifferent to all food, which is kind of good.

As of Monday, I am 7 lbs down!

I think I will start doing some training with free weights ... I just need to figure out what I should be doing without paying for a trainer.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A little encouragement ....

...goes a long way. Yesterday was a fairly positive day in the diet world. I made a delicious new shake flavor, perfect for the season. Close to the "pumpkin pie" shake recipe, but a slightly different blend of spices.

Vanilla-Spice Shake
  • HMR 120 vanilla shake (s) - i tend to do double shakes all the time
Mix the following dry ingredients together:
  • 3 shakes of cinnamon (gentle shake out of the spice container)
  • 2 shakes of ground cloves
  • 2 shakes of nutmeg
  • 2 shakes of ginger
Add dry mix to vanilla shakes while blending. Add a dash of vanilla extract for a deeper vanilla flavor.

I had 2 of those yesterday, along with some frozen corn/baby limas and the BBQ chicken entree. All in all about 970 calories (but who's counting).

This morning I was down another pound according to my daily Wii Fit body test. I know I shouldn't be weighing daily, but the Wii seems to get upset if I miss a day. Most of the time its a fairly accurate measure of any weight change and BMI change. My regular scale leaves much to be desired.

Anyway, that is all for now. Perhaps a Chocolate Mocha double shake this morning ... which reminds me, I need to order new HMR meal replacements ... they are running low. SOOO expensive but ultimately worth it!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rounding third on my 2nd week on the program

So far so good as I enter this weekend. Monday the 17th. So far I am at the 5 lb mark, which is pretty good. I feel good about it. My goal for this weekend it to keep up with my water and sodium so that I do not go in the wrong direction. Last weekend I managed to gain 1-2 lbs of what I assume was water.

I've definitely kicked up the water intake which I think is helping but its just not natural for me...I have to constantly be thinking about it. I am confused as to what is the magic # with it 64 oz? I've heard lots of water strategies. One was to divide your weight into 2 and drink the # of oz. That would be ... um... 136 oz of water a day. Is that even possible? Okay, its possible, but is it feasible?

Finally the vanilla arrived! Of course, the vanilla comes at a cost. For some reason these shakes really do a number on my tummy if I am not using the Lactose Free HMR70's. When I have the vanilla 120's, I also have to have a couple of Lactaids. Not sure if they are 100% effective, but so far its tolerable for myself and those around me :) At work I don't have the energy to be terribly creative with my shakes, but at home, I can check out that recipe page and see what I can get going. I also ordered the chicken soup. This is what I like to do with the chicken Soup:

  • Make the soup as directed with 6 oz of water
  • Mix in mixed pepper spice, garlic powder, black pepper to taste (i think lemon would be good as well)
  • Heat one Savory Chicken (contains long grain and wild rice, carrots, mushrooms)
  • Pick out the carrots and mushrooms (sorry people, mushrooms are icky ... and carrots are only tolerable in stew for me)
  • Cut up the chicken into tiny pieces
  • Mix together
Not terribly creative ... but a nice chicken and rice soup. When I add lemon juice and leave the mixed pepper and garlic out, it reminds me of my favorite Greek Lemon Chicken soup ... with rice versus orzo. Either way, i think its pretty good. Otherwise that Savory Chicken dinner is gross. But again, you are reading the blog of a girl that occasionally has the palate of a 10 year old!

Time to try and get creative with a shake ... but not too creative :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hell just got a bit frosty

I think I have actually lost my will to eat. There has been a perfectly wonderful baked potato sitting on my desk for 5 hours ... and I've had no desire to bother to eat it. I will, however, be making my 2nd round of shakes.

Did I mention that this week is cake week at work? It reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where there is always a cake at the office .... for every occasion. Fortunately my lack of desire to eat has also cut into my desire to eat cake, thank god. I love's me some cake.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ups and Downs

All in all it was a good day. The morning started with a bit of discouragement from the scale. My Wii Fit showed some increase from the weekend, which was fairly frustrating given my lack of calories and 5 days of workouts. One thing I did realize is that I had probably had too much sodium with the canned veggies and boxed entrees, and not enough water. Easy solution, drink water and use my frequent trips to the restroom as PA :)

Even with the rough start, I was able to do well with my shakes at work (had all 4) and have had 3 bottles of water. One big accomplishment for myself was upping my time on the elliptical to 17 mins (added 5 mins from last week). THAT was exciting for me.

I think I am headed off to the store for some lower sodium veggie choices.

God speed to my vanilla HMR 120 shakes that are on the way, I am about OD on chocolate HMR 70 shakes!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Goals for week of Nov 10th

This to work on this week:

  1. Water - drink more water ... 64 oz a day
  2. Exercise - get my 2000 calories of PA
  3. Shakes - "more is better", 5 shakes a day - 4 while at work
  4. Weight loss - lose 3-4 more pounds
  5. Wii - get more time in with the wii (1 hr total for the week of time in the "bank")

Much better Sunday

I've almost made it though my first weekend on HMR.

Sacrifice - I did decide to bow out of 2 events, not feeling ready for a social situation that involves food and drink. Probably not the best idea to hide, yet ... I am hiding. Not even sure what the football scores were this weekend. Hmm..

Role Models - What a freaking awesome movie. Pete and I went tonight and it was hilarious! Thankfully I don't really give a crap about movie popcorn so sitting there at the theater with nothing to eat/drink was not a big deal. I would have been mainlining diet coke, but I really do want to sleep tonight ... and I didn't want to get up to pee :)

Speaking of main lining, I have had 4 shakes, and still a pudding to come. With the weird "Shepard's Pie" type entree for both lunch and dinner, I think I will have a total of maybe 1000 calories. I did not exercises today ... I feel kind of bad about it.

Blue Saturday

Its odd when one of the more challenging aspects of starting a new diet routine is the ability to accurately measure your success aka weight loss. The scale has been my enemy for decades, not only for the number it delivered ... but for the inconsistencies. The ability to gain and lose 5 lbs in less than a min might be an exciting carnie trick, but its fairly annoying when you are relying on that scale reading to measure your success after a torturous day of dieting.

For some reason, yesterday was torturous for me. I stayed "in the box" which was good ... but it was oh so hard. I suspect partly due to the fact that it was a lazy saturday around the house. Typically I am spending my time drinking a couple of beers, snacking, watching football. Yesterday I spent my time Googling HMR, reading blogs for inspiration, and finding some recipes.

One of the pitfalls of doing this alone is not really having the support and community when it comes to experiences and variations on the HMR food. I stumbled upon some recipes which is great ... but after reading them, I was 1) starving 2) wishing I had the ability to make some of the ingredients appear.

I am doing the lactose free shakes ... and further limited by the fact that I know I don't like the flavor of the vanilla shakes ... so for now, I only have chocolate.

My routine:

Double mocha shakes for breakfast
Piece of fruit
Double shake - generally just chocolate with extra cocoa and splenda
One or two entrees and some canned veggies of some sorts
Pudding with FF whipped cream

To be honest, sometimes I find it hard to get in that afternoon double shake, and end up having a double pudding at night.

Eh, today is Sunday ... so far so good. Double shakes and I made one of the recipes with the stew. It made enough for 2 meals, so I will be visiting it again later tonight.

That's all for now ...


Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Gym

Oddly enough, I am actually excited about joining a gym! I have had a membership to LA Fitness for the last several years but have rarely gone in the last 2 of those years. The appeal of LA Fitness was mainly the pool. After having spent the last 2 years unable to swim and packing on the weight ... the pool has for now lost its appeal and so has LA Fitness. For a while I have been trying to figure out how to work going to the gym in my busy work and tivo schedule with no success.

Excuses I use to not go to LA Fitness (while still paying them $35 bucks a month):
  1. Location : its a pain in the ass to get up early or try and get there during lunch when a commute is involved. I realize the getting up early is lame, but I really need my Regis and Kelly time in the morning.
  2. Crowded: good lord, its freaking crowded all the time. The only time it wasn't crowded was during my lunch (2-3pm ish). Of course I rarely go at lunch because of the commute and shower involved. Once those were factored in that gave me about 15 mins to do anything, not even worth it!
  3. Locker facilities: okay, clearly i am not an exhibitionist. Getting undressed and dressed in the middle of a huge locker room just isn't my style. I was doing myself and the public at large a favor by trying to get dressed in a bathroom stall (ew). Showering was an issue ... trying to get ready for work in the LA Fitness locker room is just not even possible.
  4. Laundry: at any give time, or size, I have only one or two good workout outfits that I will allow to be shown in public. This makes it difficult to go to the gym on a regular basis without doing laundry daily. Did I mention my crazy work schedule? When I get home after a 10 - 11 hr day, the last thing I want to do is a load of laundry that consists of my towels and sweaty outfit. Nothing like using laundry as an excuse not to work out!

Of course my new diet program requires regular exercise (duh) so the gym issue was back on the table. Damn it.

Like magic, on Monday I stumbled on the gym facility at my office complex (in the next office building). I decided to take a look, it couldn't hurt. The gym itself was okay. It had all the usual equipment ... resistance training machines I can't figure out ... treadmills...ellipticals...etc. No pool, of course, but I am not ready for that. I figure it will be a good 30 lbs before I find myself in a bathing suit again. According to the adorable blond giving me the tour, the gym is never full "you will never have to wait for a machine or sign a list for the treadmill". That has its appeal. They have classes also ... spinning, steps, etc. That's nice, but I don't see myself doing that anytime soon, but I will put that in the vault.

Then we went into the locker room ... the part of the tour I was most interested in. It was nice, small, but lots of amenities. In fact, more stuff in the gym locker room to help you get ready for the day then in my bathroom at home. Lockers ... several showers (one with a little dressing area ... bingo), towels provided (nice). Then the magic happened. The nice blond told me about the locker/laundry service. For 55 bucks, they will assign me a locker, and provide 2 laundry bags. When you are done working out, you put your laundry bag in with your dirty towels, and like magic, the laundry fairy puts your clean workout clothes in your locker the next day! OMG. That was it. I couldn't give them my money fast enough!

In one swoop ( and check) all of my gym hang-ups had been solved. Dear god, no excuses now :) I have to actually work out.

As you can tell by my nifty widget I have been working out. I go during lunch ... do 30 - 40 mins of elliptical and treadmill (10 on elliptical and 20 - 30 on treadmill), shower, go back to work. I look like a heart attack when I get back to the office, but I don't really care.

Yay me!

Second Verse Same as the First

Here we go again. Another beginning on the weight loss and workout wagon. Looking at this blog I realize that I certainly started the year with good intentions. Its been a long year filled with disappointment and self sabotage. For the past 2+ years I have been plagued by a faulty Lap-Band (gastric banding). In March the port was removed, but the band was kept in place. That was the beginning of my experience with a MRSA staph infection and all of its glory.

One PICT line, 3 weeks of IV antibiotics, one missed trip to San Francisco, and 8 weeks of wound care later, I was finally healed. It was fairly remarkable, as I'd essentially been broken for 2 years with a wound that would not heal. Suddenly all sealed up ... I was able to live again. And live I did!

Unfortunately I was mentally making up for lost time, and eating all the wrong things. I'd earned that food after all of that suffering, right? I did spend a wonderful week in Vegas experiencing all varieties of gluttony hand on. In all I think i lost 1k dollars...but had a great time.

Summer of sickness, that is what we will call it. For weeks and weeks my insides seemed to be revolting against me. Stomach issues ... leading to lung issues...leading to feeling sorry for myself and eating to make myself feel better. Not really sure what went wrong, but it was not good. For once I was really concerned and had a body scan. Fortunately nothing wrong with my lungs (as I had feared) but my heart could be better. Learning that 94% of women under the age of 40 have healthier hearts can be a bit sobering. Not as sobering as lung cancer, but sobering none the less. According to my medical results, they could not get a good picture or scan due to "patients obese body habitus". Once you read that 5 or 6 times, that too becomes sobering. When fancy medical technology cannot effectively see whats inside of me, that's scary.

New leaf turned as the leaves fall...

As of Monday I have been doing the HMR program and exercising daily. Its a drastic measure, but I have learned that I work better with strict guidelines and fewer options. One of my greatest skills is rationalization. I can make anything, regardless of how ridiculous it is, seem like a great idea. With that in mind, I do better on a plan that gives me no choices :)

The Plan:

3 - 4 shakes or puddings a day from the HMR program
5 - fruits and veggies ( having a hard time with this one)
2 - HMR meals daily
Burn 2000 calories a week doing physical activity.

The reality is that I have a hard time with the fruits and veggies, so I am mainly sticking to the shakes and the meals. My calorie intake is 1000-1200 daily.

Oh, my doctor also gave me Wellbutrin for the weight loss. My understanding is that it should help with the cravings involved, but we will see. As of now, a week into my daily dose, I am doing well but not feeling different, I think that's the idea.

Well, that's all for now. Not sure who my audience is here, other than myself...but I have always enjoyed my own company....