Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hello again, Weight Watchers

I saw the sports medicine doctors for my injury today. It does not appear to be a joint problem at all, based on the tests that they did. They think I strained my hamstring. That seems in line with the soreness I was having right before the injury -- if the muscle was already damaged, running on it made it worse. 

Though the doctors did not mention it, I am conscious of the fact that running with extra weight on my body is not helping my situation. I also know that if I can't exercise the way I usually do, my food really has to be on point.  After a lot of thinking about it, today I called my insurance company and signed up for Weight Watchers through them.  Our plan allows us to buy the Monthly Pass at a special rate and then get a reimbursement for part of the fee if we attend a certain number of meetings in a three- or four-month period.  It makes sense -- statistically, if they can get even some of their clients to lose weight, they will save a lot of money.

I was ready to do something today, so I checked into meetings and found one I could attend after work.  I don't like weighing in at night, since the weight is always higher, but I thought I might find more kindred spirits in an after-work meeting than a morning meeting.  I want a meeting where the other people work for a living too.

I really like the leader at the meeting I chose, so I will stick with it. She is funny and fresh without making everything all about her.  She is sympathetic but also straightforward -- just what I need.  It also turns out that one of my favorite coworkers, someone I don't see often, was there too for her first meeting.  It will be fun to have someone I like at the meeting each week. 

It turns out I haven't been to a meeting since 2011, so a lot has changed with the program. The center I visited is brand new, and has little privacy cubicles for weigh-ins -- no more having the whole world see your reaction.  The computer screens have privacy screens so that no one can peek, too -- and the scale is set up so the weight readout is right in front of you as you weigh, so you don't have to get the receptionist's reaction before you know what your weight is.  And now instead of flip charts for the meeting, there is an actual flat-panel computer display for the program -- no more clip art.  All great changes. The center is brighter and nicely decorated, and I like the new color scheme and logos. Spring green seems to suggest new beginnings. 

There are some nice changes to the program so far, too. Simply Filling seems a lot less restrictive than the Core program that used to make me homicidal.  The program seems a lot more focused on helpful strategies instead of cutesy sayings and themes. Today's meeting was all about plateaus and the different reasons they might occur, and different ideas for dealing with them.  Really helpful stuff. 

I have today all tracked. I'm on target even without having planned to join Weight Watchers when I had breakfast.  I feel really optimistic. My husband is on board -- he wants to lose too, and he's willing to help, knowing that when I'm on track, he loses weight too. He had a Points-friendly dinner waiting for me when I got home (I shopped, he cooked, nice division of labor!) and was willing to listen to me blather on about the program for a while. 

I just need to keep a good attitude and remember that I can do this.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Looking for happy

The body is an amazing thing.  Though my knee still hurts and is clicking and snapping when I walk, it's not in constant pain like it was on Sunday.  Two days of rest have really helped, and I especially noticed a difference in each morning when I woke up.

I told my husband this morning, sort of tongue-in-cheek, that I'm glad I have my sports medicine appointment tomorrow, before it gets a chance to get too much better.  Seriously, though, I don't want to ignore this, as I need to know what's going on to be sure that I'm not doing something that will cause me to re-injure myself and that I do whatever I need to be doing to make it stronger in the long term.

The picture here (excuse the awkward selfie, but I wanted to show the dress, the American Rag Striped A-Line Dress, another Gwynnie Bee favorite (affiliate link)) was taken on Friday, before I messed up my knee.  Over the weekend, I had those two formal events, where I got dressed up and felt glamorous.  I bought the cute dress I'm wearing in the picture because it seemed so fun for warm weather.  I had been feeling very happy and confident and looking forward to a great summer.  On Sunday, after I injured myself, I felt instantly very sad, and I was moody and grouchy for a lot of yesterday -- I felt like all my hopes for the summer and were a pipe dream, that every time I got a little momentum, something bad happened. It wasn't far from there to fears about getting older, blah, blah, blah.

I'm feeling physically better today and my mood is lifting. I will say, though, that my mornings feel empty without a workout.  It throws off my whole routine.  But it's raining outside, and it's quite cozy in here with my little cat on my lap and some time to catch up on friends' blogs. Life isn't so bad.

Here's hoping the doctor has some good news for me. But I'm hoping that I have finally learned my lesson about pushing myself too far when I don't feel right.  Skipping a run is better than not being able to walk.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Broken streaks

I had all kinds of streaks going, and this weekend killed all of them.  Over the weekend, I got off-track with my tracking and broke my New Year's Resolution to track every day.  I think that by getting almost through April, I beat most resolutions by a mile. I am starting again tonight. 

I was on a streak of walking 10,000+ steps a day. I had been having some tenderness and pain in my leg and on Friday morning, it was getting worse. I did a short walk in the morning but otherwise did not worry too much about getting steps.  I also took my wristband off for the opera and missed all my steps that evening, so I only got about 8,000.  On Saturday, the leg was still bothering me, so we just went for a short bike ride, and I charged my band when we got back and forgot to put it back on, so I missed all the steps I got Saturday. We went to the Titanic exhibit and the Glass City Marathon Expo and I am sure I got lots of steps. I bought some new running shoes and a pair of compression sleeves at the expo.  There were even more steps at my formal event.  I really wish I had gotten a picture before I left for that, as I looked very glamorous in my unusually-high (for me) heels. I was encouraged that my leg was not hurting after the event, even though my feet were a little sore. 

This morning, I was determined to get my streak started again so I decided that even though the back of my knee was feeling a little tender, I was going to go out and try my new running shoes and compression sleeves.  I thought that my leg would loosen with an easy run.  

And that, dear readers, is where the streak I most wanted to keep going ended. I am no longer injury-free.  About a minute or two into running, I felt a horrible pop right where the leg had been bothering me. I even thought I heard a pop, and I saw a flash of white light before my eyes, which was probably just pain. The pain stopped me in my tracks.  I hobbled back to the car, which took me a long time because my left knee hurt every time I put weight on it.  

I texted my husband and the massage therapist I have been seeing. Both said the same thing: Rest and ice. I briefly considered trying to swim tonight, but the massage therapist nixed the idea -- the whole idea seems silly, I know now.  

I'm trying not to get too discouraged. I am resting today.  Tomorrow, if I am still hurting (and I expect I will be), I am going to call the sports medicine doctor who saw me for my bone spur.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A night at the opera in the ABS Python Print Dress from Gwynnie Bee

This post contains some affiliate links but is otherwise uncompensated and unsolicited, and reflects my actual experiences. 

I took some pictures of me in the dress that I got from Gwynnie Bee as a result of my conversations with the stylist. This was actually one I put on priority myself and not one of the stylist's suggestions. It was shorter than I thought, so I decided that the style was a little too young (think, homecoming dance) for the formal event, which is probably why the stylist didn't recommend it for me for that event.  I'm going to go with the blue dress with the lace sleeves that I already bought through GB.

I went to the opera for the first time last night and thought this would be a fun dress to wear. People were there in everything from jeans to evening gowns, so it was hard to go wrong.  The nice thing about having this event the day before my "real" formal event is that it let me practice my hair and makeup.

The material on this dress is gorgeous. It's a thick brocaded fabric in a black and bright blue print. I loved it. The original retail price was $350 -- I could buy it for less than half that, but I don't really think I'd get much use out of it. That's what makes this service great -- I don't have to waste time or closet space on something that I'm only wearing once.

Mokey decided to get in the pictures.  She's cute, so I didn't crop her out.

I wore black stockings to try to keep the dress from looking so obviously short (about three inches above the knee) and because it was a chilly night. I also wore a wrap, which I didn't photograph.  I thought about wearing a cardigan, but I thought it looked too frumpy. The cutest thing about the dress is the very tight waist and the full skirt, and with a sweater that got all covered up.

I wasn't sure what to think of the opera. It was a modernized production of Faust, and to me, it seemed very much like a modern musical, except that it was sung in French. That last part made it fun for me, as I enjoyed the chance to listen for the words in the subtitles projected above the scene.   I hadn't seen other operas, so I couldn't compare it to others.  It felt a little cheesy, to me, to which comment my husband said, "It's opera. It's supposed to be overdone."  I'd like to see a more classic opera sometime to see if he's right.

You can check out my other Gwynnie Bee posts here, and find out more here (full disclosure: I will get a free extra garment for a month if you sign up through my link).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Social media silence

Yesterday I listened to the High Impact Blogging interview with Roni Noone (of Fitbloggin' fame).  It was interesting to hear the story of how she built the Fitbloggin' conference and how her brand has expanded. I loved the podcast and am looking forward to catching up on the interviews with other bloggers I admire.

It was fun to hear her talk about the Social Media Cold Shoulder -- it's good to know that even an iconic blogger like Roni feels ignored sometimes. I think it's funny, though, that she feels ignored if one tweet or blog post doesn't get a response.  I would have quit this long ago if I felt that way. I have one or two regular commenters (thank you!) but mostly it's <*crickets*>.

I am going to make it a point to post comments on blogs more often -- I post a comment maybe 1 in 100 times that I read a post, mostly because going through feed readers makes it easy to flick through a bunch of posts. I also don't comment as often when I'm on my phone, especially if there is a 95-digit number I must type in to "prove that I'm not a robot" -- but still, I will be more generous with the blog love.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday weigh-in: #TransparentTuesday, special Wednesday edition

As weight-loss bloggers are so prone to do, I have been avoiding posting weigh-ins since my weight has gone up.  I didn't want to invite nasty comments.

However, I know how much it helps me when other bloggers present the whole picture, and not just the happy stuff.  In the spirit of Emily's "Transparent Tuesday" posts (even though it's Wednesday), I'll admit it, I have been having a tough time of it lately.

I toyed with the idea of going back to Weight Watchers, especially because I could be reimbursed for part of it by insurance, but then I decided to try to incorporate the parts of it that were the most helpful for me into my own plan. I always found that if I got my Good Health Guidelines, the other things seemed to fall in line. I have a little calendar that I'm using to track them, along with my workouts. I'm also putting in a star for the days when I got my 10,000+ steps in.

I can track the latest weight gain to the start of my work with The Diet Fix. That's not to say it's a bad book, but I don't find that eating before I get hungry, as The Diet Fix called for, has worked well for me.  Not in the absence of some rigid plan, at least.  I do think it is helpful to think about protein, but maybe not with such a single-minded focus. I found it hard to eat as much protein as I was supposed to with this plan without feeling too full.  Because fruits and vegetables don't have much protein, I wasn't eating as many of them, and they have always been my most reliable friend against hunger and overeating.

I'm down 3.4 pounds from the scary weigh-in on Monday, when I was above 185. Today I was at 182.   The next goal is to get under 180 again.  The graph of the last few weeks looks dramatic, but only represents a swing of about 5 pounds.

There's some good news too. It is definitely easier for me to get my workouts in now that the weather is nicer. I'm on something like a 21-day streak of 10,000+ steps a day (not sure why my UP band nags me about my sleep but can't congratulate me on my streak past 14 days?) because it's just so easy to get outside and walk.

I think it's time to shed the winter hibernation weight... Any others out there who have been having a hard time of it?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fears about losing weight

As much as I loved The Diet Fix, I'm finding it hard to operationalize the ideas in it into a weight-loss diet. I think the concepts in it are great, and I am still using some of them, but I don't find it easy to translate the ideas into a weight-loss plan.

I picked up The Beck Diet again -- I haven't touched it for a long time after the tone started to annoy me. Though I had my quibbles with it, though, at least it had a plan and some tools that I found helpful.  I'm going to try to take the book a little less personally and see what I can use from it.

Today I wrote my "Advantages to Losing Weight" card (Day 1) and realized that I needed to write down some other thoughts that were creeping in -- "Fears about Losing Weight." Many of the fears seemed silly when written down, but they were there nonetheless. Things like, "What if my relationships don't work if I'm not overweight?" "What if this just puts more pressure on me?" and "What if I still don't like my body?"

The assumption is that losing weight is an unmixed positive, but I am guessing that a lot of people who struggle with weight loss may have fears, articulated or not, about how losing the weight (or at least making weight loss a priority) might negatively impact their lives. That might be one reason that it's so hard to do.

I figured that if I wrote them out and compared them to my "Advantages" card, they would look less daunting, and they did.

I also did Day 2's activity, picking a diet and a backup diet. I am going to continue to work with calorie counting, but if I'm still feeling lost after a few weeks, I can always return to Weight Watchers. They taught me a lot already, and I am sure there is more to learn there.  I had some not-so-great experiences with the Core Plan but I think the Simply Filling Technique sounds a little saner and easier to stick to.

I still have some tricks up my sleeve to try to make calorie counting work better, so I'm going to try those first before giving up on doing this my way.

Summer's coming, though, and I don't want to spend another one feeling regret.

Friday, April 18, 2014

My chat with a Gwynnie Bee stylist

This post contains some affiliate links but is otherwise uncompensated and unsolicited, and reflects my actual experiences.

My school has a black-tie optional fundraising event coming up next weekend. I had thought to wear my Lace Shutter Sheath Dress (pictured at left), but I wanted some other options. Gwynnie Bee allows members to talk with (or email) a stylist and have items placed on high priority for a special event.  I actually have two dressy events in the same weekend -- the fundraiser and a trip to the opera with friends.

I felt like I got a lot of personal attention from the stylist. We emailed back and forth a few times and yesterday we talked on the phone about my event, my body type, my coloring, and my personal style.  It was fun to have such a detailed conversation about what I liked and didn't like.  In the end she made ten recommendations. I chose three of them to try and put on high-priority:

Coldwater Creek Lace Scroll dress (my favorite, I will miss Coldwater Creek)
Kiyonna Tiers of Joy Dress
Kiyonna Lace Cocktail Dress

A few of the other recommendations weren't right for me for various reasons, but it was great to have so many options.  I also looked around for other options and found these to add to the list:

ABS Python Jacquard Dress
Jessica Howard Polka-Dot Dress with Buckle

I had also considered trying Rent the Runway, but I haven't used them before. Unless I chose one of the plus-sized options, I also couldn't picture the dresses on me. And actual plus sizes don't fit me well -- the proportions aren't right.  The straight-sized models are so whip-thin that there's no sense of how the dresses would look on a more average body.  I might use this service if I had a serious event to attend, though, because there are such gorgeous gowns available, and I wouldn't have to spend a lot of money and closet space on a gown I'd wear once.

You can check out my other Gwynnie Bee posts here, and find out more for yourself here (full disclosure: I will get a free extra garment for a month if you sign up through my link)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book review: The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren

Unsolicited, uncompensated review. Opinions are purely my own.

I heard an interview with the author of this book on Koren Motekaitis's podcast, and had to get a copy. As I often do with books that I want to read right away, rather than put on the shelf and get to "when I have time," I bought it as an audiobook through (link takes you to a site where you can try a membership for free and support one of my other favorite podcasts, This American Life).

At times, The Language of Emotions can get sort of woo-woo -- in the audiobook, there is singing that sounds like "woo-woo" to separate chapters.  In the figurative sense, too, when there are tales of how the writer saved neighborhood cats with her empathetic abilities.  Don't let this discourage you -- there is some great information here.

A lot of counterproductive behaviors -- addictions and compulsions of all kinds,  distancing and "checking out," controlling behaviors -- result from efforts to hide from so-called negative emotions.  The author outlines how emotions we perceive as negative, like anger and sadness, actually serve important purposes for us, and if we could succeed in an attempt to live only in positive emotions like joy, we would be manic and ungrounded. We wouldn't be whole human beings.  She takes readers through exercises to explore the gifts of each emotion and help show what each brings to a well-rounded life.  Emotions are not something we should learn to detach ourselves from -- even the name implies that they are there to motivate and move us. Anger, for example, is described by McLaren as a warning that a boundary has been crossed.  If we don't let us feel angry, we will let people push us around.  She says we shouldn't lash out, but should instead feel the emotion, understand its message, and then act mindfully.

I had a fellow member of the Half Size Me community contact me not long after I listened to this interview, wanting to chat. She said, "I should be happy, but I can't stop feeling sad." I asked her, "What if you decided to set aside some time and be sad?" She said that she instantly felt better when she thought about doing this.  Instead of hiding from sadness, she could just feel it.  Ironically, that made her happier.

A couple of warnings. McLaren discusses childhood sexual abuse in this book, which could be triggering for a lot of people.  She doesn't do it as a way of "pouring her pain all over you" (her words), but as an explanation of how she developed her own empathetic abilities.  I also think that some of the emotions discussed in this book, like depression and suicidal urges, should be worked through with the help of a counselor. McLaren mentions this, and thankfully, unlike other New Age authors, acknowledges the value of antidepressants and other medications to help manage emotions.  I think, though, that this book would make a great supplement to professional help as a guide to navigating these emotions more mindfully.

Though sometimes an author reading his or her own book can be clumsy or monotone, McLaren has an engaging and expressive voice. My only minor quibble is that sometimes she inserts laughter that feels false and forced -- but even this isn't too intrusive or annoying.

I need to listen to the book a second time and go through the exercises more carefully, but even by listening through the first time, I learned a lot and have felt more in touch with my feelings.  I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stupid scale

Okay, so the scale itself is fine, but the number on it has been discouraging. It's funny, I felt so good coming back from San Diego until I weighed myself.

It's just a few pounds up, but it's enough to make me feel discouraged and ugly... so I'm posting another picture of myself on the beach as an antidote -- something to remind me that even while I get this weight loss thing figured out, I'm still sort of cute the way I am (people who have different opinions should feel free to keep them to themselves...)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What I did this week: April 7 - 13

I left for a conference in San Diego early Tuesday morning. There were four of us from work, three who were going mostly to attend a workshop on how to prepare for an accreditation review, and our new dean.

My roommate and I must have been in our administrative assistant's good graces, because the room she booked for us had this view:  

We were less than a mile from the beach, and I walked there every morning. Without setting an alarm, I woke every day at 5:30 a.m., so I got dressed quietly and left the room so my roommate could sleep and shower, and ran or walked and then showered when I got back.

It's easy to daydream that I would be in much better shape if I never had to deal with Polar Vortexes.  But there was some pretty amazing food in Mission Beach, so I might have other struggles, especially with all the freshly-made tortillas.

I got to meet up with the lovely Margo, and it was easy to forget we hadn't seen each other in person since mid-June, especially since I listen to all her podcasts. I'm really looking forward to visiting with her again at Fitbloggin'. I had to order something with tortillas in it...

I ate a lot of restaurant meals, but I was still feeling really good, probably from all of the walking and the fresh air. I couldn't resist taking a few selfies on the beach.  I love this peachy top, which brightens up my face whenever I wear it.

Mostly, though, I took pictures of the beach:

I didn't get a lot of other workouts in, but I have definitely boosted my step count.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Guest blogging today

I am traveling for work today, but I am also the guest blogger at the Half Size Me blog today.  You can check out my post on body image there.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Review: Lose It! Healthometer Bluetooth Scale

Note: Lose It! provided me with a free Lose It! Healthometer Bluetooth Scale for review at my request, but the text and opinions are all my own (except where noted). Special thanks to my husband for helping me photograph the setup process. This post contains affiliate links.

I have been a longtime user of Lose it! Premium and I'm a big fan of the app. My New Year's resolution this year has been to track everything: The good, the bad, and the ugly.  When I saw that Lose It! had a branded scale just for use with the app, I had to try it.  This scale works with the free version of Lose It! as well as Lose it! Premium.

To be honest, a big reason I wanted a branded scale that would work with an app is that I wouldn't have to figure out how to reprogram my Tanita scale, which still thinks I'm 39 years old.  I already know how to use my smartphone. I have an iPhone 4S, but Lose it! is also available for Android, iOS, Nook, Kindle, and the Web. The scale, however, is compatible with the iPhone and iPad.

I checked with a product representative, who gave me these details on compatible devices:
The Lose It! Health o meter wireless body analysis scale features Bluetooth 4 (also called Bluetooth Smart Ready). It’s designed to work with wireless devices that feature Bluetooth 4.
The following devices are compatible with the scale:
  • iPod Touch (5th generation or newer)
  • iPhone 5 and newer
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPad 3 and newer
  • iPad Mini
Keep that in mind when thinking about the scale.

I was impressed with the simple setup instructions. There was a one-page sheet with color pictures to illustrate every step in the setup process.  There is also a more detailed set of instructions, but I didn't need to refer to them when setting up the scale. All the instructions I needed were on this sheet. The scale ships with an orange plastic tab that keeps the battery from running out during shipping. It was a simple process to remove that tab and start using the scale. I have been using the scale for about a week, so I threw the tab away -- you'll have to take my word for it.

The scale is designed to work with the Lose it! App. So obviously, it will only work for you and your family if everyone who wants to weigh themselves is willing and able to use Lose It! on a compatible device. The scale is setup to store data for up to four different users. Each user will need to use his or her own iOS device with the app.

Here, I'll show how easy it is to set up the scale for a new user: 

The first step in setting up is to open up Settings on the on the device of the user who is going to be weighing in.  Make sure Bluetooth is enabled. If you forget this step, the app will remind you during the setup process.  Then open up Lose it!
Select "More" from the bottom right of the screen, and choose "Apps & Devices."  The list of available devices will be different depending on whether you have the free version of Lose It! or Lose It! premium, but the the Lose It! Healthometer device is available for both versions of the app.  These photos are of my husband's phone, and he has the free version of the app.

Select "Connect Lose It Scale." When it says "Searching for scale," flip the scale over and press the button on the back of the scale.

The app uses initials to distinguish between the different scale users. Of course, you can use any three-letter sequence for the users. Since my husband and I both have the exact same three initials, we have opted to use "JEN" and "JES" to designate who is weighing in. Once you enter your initials and designate whether you have an athletic body type, you hit "Continue" and the app will direct you to stand on the scale.
Once the weight appears on the scale, you then step off and tap the scale to confirm your identity (make sure it displays your initials and not another scale user.

The scale will display "DATA" when sending your data and then "BYE" when it is finished. The scale is set up. The next time you weigh in, you just need to open the Lose It! app, step on the scale, step off, and choose the appropriate user.

All of the data is sent through Bluetooth to your phone, so you have to make sure that you have Lose It! open and your phone near the scale every time you weigh.  All of the data is stored in the "Goals" section of Lose It! The free version of Lose it! includes all the data you will need to use the scale: Weight, Body Mass Index, Body Fat, and Body Hydration. The Premium version includes other goals like measurements. 


The only downside to this scale (which is not a downside to me) is that you will continue to be committed to using Lose It! for as long as you want to use the scale. The scale does display the data on the screen before sending it to the iOS device, but it goes by quickly enough that it would be hard to catch if you were going to write the numbers down.  It would be easier to just keep the Lose It! app, which is free, on your phone to manage the scale.

I checked the numbers I got on the Lose It! scale against my Tanita BF 679 and they were similar, and the price of the two scales are also similar. However, the Tanita scale is harder to program and is not Bluetooth-enabled.  I like the Lose It! scale better because of the convenience of the having my data sent right to the app I'm already using to track my weight. I also don't need to update it every time I have a birthday.

I think this scale is a great option for committed Lose it! users with a compatible iOS device, since it does not require another app to manage it. Because the data is sent right to the phone, users like me who wear glasses won't have to wear them or squint at the display to weigh in.  It currently retails for $69.99 with free shipping, less expensive than other Bluetooth-enabled scales with similar features. It also has a maximum weight of 400 pounds, higher than most similarly-priced scales.

Brave users can also set up the app to tweet their weight or post it to Facebook. I personally will not be taking advantage of that option.

Edited: Was contacted by the product rep with this additional information:
Also, please note: if the weight is more than 5lbs different we ask the user if they want to send the data to Lose It! or not. The scale can be used as a normal weight scale for anyone who isn't using Lose It!.
So connected users who have one bad food night can check their weight without worrying that the whole world will be clued in to their indulgence. And, as I noted above, the weight is displayed on the scale, so a user without Lose It! can weigh in without going through the whole setup -- perfect in case you have an overnight guest who might get on the scale. 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

April Foolish: Diet extremes

NPR recently ran a story on the fat-free craze of the 90s that I blame for pushing me from someone struggling with her weight to someone who was genuinely fat.  I was at my heaviest at around 25, three years after Susan Powter's insane book came out.  This was the book that really recommended eating three or four bagels with jelly as a good alternative to eating one with cream cheese. Yes, one bagel with cream cheese is not exactly a healthy choice either, but it was definitely not better to have two or three instead.

I bought into this big-time. When it first came out, I was a runner trying to get those last stubborn 5-10 pounds off. Runner's World was suggesting that runners snack on fat-free pretzels and licorice twists as good fat-free refueling options.  I graduated from college and had a lot of other life changes around the same time, so ,I can't blame all the weight gain on this book and the crazy diet philosophy that went with it, but I do think that flipping to a diet composed of mostly white starchy carbs (after all, meat had fat in it) probably contributed to the fact that I was unhealthy, anemic, and struggled with injury after injury and a sinus infection that would not go away.  Plus, I was hungry all of the time.  This was back when the list of vegetables I liked included only: Potatoes, corn, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and lettuce, so I wasn't even balancing it out with fiber.

I had lots of people in my family who were always doing some variation of Atkins, and I can't recommend that diet extreme either, as they always were and continue to be fat.  They would confess to loving bread with the kind of shame I would expect from someone confessing to a deep-dark sexual perversion.  I think that someone who could actually stick to it might be able to make it work, but I have only one relative who managed to follow it successfully, and he is the most Type-A, obsessive-compulsive person I know.

I am waiting for the ALL protein diet to come into vogue.  It wouldn't last long, because humans will die if they eat only protein, but, given the history of diets, being crazily unhealthy wouldn't keep a diet from selling a lot of books and making the author rich.

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07