About Me

Hi, my name is Angela and welcome to my blog. This is a place where I write about my life in an honest and open way.

I am 36 years old, single, and a Christian. God gave me a heart to work with children and so I spend my day teaching kindergarten. It is my fourth year teaching and although it is hard I love it. I currently go to a college for my BA in Elementary Education which keeps me busy. Between work and school there is not much time left but I enjoy serving and helping others, watching netflix, or reading a good book.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

2B Mindset sends me off track

I was moving forward. Taking each day at a time. I was lowering my sodium intake to help my blood pressure drop. I started exercising more and maintaining at least 7K steps each day. I was not dropping a lot of weight but I felt like I was taking steps forward.

I have a Beachbody coach and have been connected with my coach's group. Then I found out that they had a new nutrition program coming out. The nutritionist is Ilana who was overweight during childhood and into her teenage life. The commercial sounds great. It mentions comments about "Stop emotional eating" and "Changing your mindset," "Your never going to cut out calories," "Your never going to have to say no to alcohol, sweets, nothing."

This sounds great. I know that I have a sweet tooth and I will always want to have ice cream sometimes. Also I know I have a mindset issue and have realized I may need to start seeing a counselor to help me figure out some of my food issues. So I bought the program not knowing anything, only $100.😬 I also got a deal on some Shakeology which I had been wanting to try.

I got instant digital access and in about 10 days I got a box with paper copies of the plan, tracker, recipes and a 30oz water bottle.

You know what they failed to mention? Oh the fact that you are only eating vegetables. Okay it only feels like that but I mean really you are eating a lot of vegetables. Half of lunch is vegetables and 75% of dinner is vegetables. Carbs are only for energy so you only get fiber filled carbs for breakfast and lunch.

Sure you don't count calories but you are still tracking everything you eat. Oh and you are still hungry find some more vegetables to eat. It says you don't have to say NO to anything however unless it is a vegetable, protein, fiber filled carb (which fruit falls under) then you don't get to eat it. So I want to include ice cream during the week as a treat but that is not actually an option on the not a diet, diet.

I thought the video's were going to help with my emotional eating and help me change my mindset about overeating due to stress. None of this is really address besides telling me to drink more water or eat more vegetables.

So how did this send me off track? Well I hate vegetables. I eat lettuce, fresh spinach, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers and that is about it. I know that I need to stretch out a bit but this plan has sent me over the edge. I hate cauliflower and zucchini but with dinner 75% veg unless I am only eating salads I have to add in cauliflower rice or zoodles to pretend I am eating carbs. I couldn't do it. And maybe that is why I am overweight. Maybe if I would just eat vegetables all day then I would loose weight but that does not sound fun. It all feels so limiting!

Even the carbs that I am allowed are mostly encouraged to be fruit. If not fruit then it should have 1 gram of fiber for every 10g of carbs. So the changes I had made already were not good enough. Instead I now have boxes of crackers that I don't want to eat because they taste gross. In the videos she keeps saying the word "delicious" as if it would psychologically change my opinion of the food she is talking about. She actually uses several positive adjectives to describe the food you are to eat in specific tones to emphasize the words.  Maybe that will work for some but not for me.

So did my mindset change? I am drinking more water everyday. Not my full 150oz I am supposed to but between 100-120oz. I need to include more vegetables daily. For lunch and dinner I need to have some vegetables. The third thing I need to work on is dinner and done. It is no secret that people binge eat in the evening. I am no exception to that. My goal is to have a small snack when I get home from work and then eat dinner closer to when I go to bed.

This plan could totally work for you. If you love your veggies and don't mind fiber filled carbs then do it! Get the plan and work it. Tracking is important and weighing yourself tells you how you are doing. I have zero doubt that this works for Ilana and it works for others. It is just not for me. It is not what is best for me.

So what now? Back to figuring out each day as it comes. Doing my best each day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Stress, Fear and a Realization

I don't know what set it off but a little over a week ago my nutrition went hay wire. Every single day I went out to eat for about ten days. My calories were not always ridiculously over but sometimes it was. I stopped hitting my step goals during this time as well. Here is what that looks like digitally. 

This first one shows how I went over on four of the days. The trick with this is that when my steps add in it changes how many calories I really ate. Though Friday I really didn't much at all which is also not good either. 

Really I guess I do know what set my over eating off. It was stress from my life that included a disappointment with my college classes as well as stress about my living situation. In addition my weight loss threw me off as well. I know that sounds crazy but it is true. I started this at 301 lbs. I had for years stayed around 260 so this 40 lb gain was connected to some stress of changing my job a few months ago. I hit the number 294 on the scale but what effected me was my pants falling down. Lets expand on that.

At size 28 or 30, which I have been for at least a decade, you can not buy cheap pants. It really is not possible because regular stores do not sell them. I have to go to Torrid or Lane Bryant to buy clothes where pants are priced at $70! I buy them on sale to save money but they are still at least $40 a pair. I also found out that Old Navy does sell plus size online at fairly good deals. They are cheaper then Torrid and Lane Bryant but the plus sizes are not as cheap as the "regular" size clothes. Even when they have the $5 sales are never actually $5 for plus size, it is frustrating. So the thought of loosing weight means buying new clothes which is an expensive endeavor. Two days ago I realized how I was wrong.

I am currently a size 28. My pants that are size 30 are loose and need a belt. I realized that Walmart sells size 26 and Target sells 24 so really if I loose weight it is not as expensive as I thought it would be. Yesterday i went to Walmart and picked up a pair of pants in a size 26 for $16! What $16 for pants! I know they won't last as long as my $70 pants but still that is a huge difference. Then I realized, very excitedly, that if I get to a size 24/26 I can buy pajamas at a store. I want to wear fun pajamas that don't actually come in plus sizes as if we some how wouldn't want to wear any. I am so excited about pajamas! Do you know how ridiculous it is that Target and Walmart sells 4X shirts, underwear, non-jean pants but no pajamas. I have been wearing work out clothes to bed for years because it is all I can buy. So crazy!! Okay enough about pajamas. 😃

So this week I am back to making better choices. Today I did a 21 Day Fix - Cardio Fix video. Tomorrow morning I will, hopefully, wake up in time to go for a morning hike. I really want to get out and hike again. It has been a long time since I have had a chance. In fact I used to think "I would totally hike more if I had time in the morning." At the time I worked at 7:30am but now I do not work until 10am. I really want to take advantage while the weather is still nice in the a.m. and before I start teaching again. 

This week my focus is getting back on track with calories and portion control. I am also adding in at least three workouts, more then just my step goal of 7K a day. Next week I want to start focusing on adding more fruits and vegetables to my daily eating because they are severely lacking right now. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Feeling Frustrated

This is just a quick post as I need to leave for work soon and I am not even dressed yet. For the past three weeks I have been hitting my goal of 7K+ steps a day. I have also lowered my salt intake to about 2500g from the 4500g I used to be at. I keep hoping that my blood pressure will reflect these changes but it is NOT! It is is very frustrating!! I can say that it seems to be a bit more consistent at a steady 168/109 and not jumping into the 170's or the 180's. However 168 is not a good number and I really need it to drop. I do not want to go on meds. I want to be able to naturally lower the blood pressure by making smart decisions. Am I just being to impatient? Does it take longer for it to drop? I feel like it should be effected daily but if there is just too much fat around and in my heart then it can't get better yet.

So what is my next step? Continue to monitor my salt intake keeping it near the 2500g. I am also going to start doing the 21 day fix workout video. My goal to start is 3x a week as I feel like I am so short on time right now. I plan to increase it eventually but I want to be realistic for now. The video always gets my heart beating fast and maybe working out my heart muscle might help it get healthier. If it is not below 160 by May I think I will have to actually go see a dr. about it.  Money I do not have to spend.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Snickers is My Favorite!

Today is Saturday and I had a work meeting to go to first thing in the morning. I decided to stop by Starbucks on the way and get my favorite Venti Carmel Frapuccino Soy milk no whip and a cheese danish. This isn't too bad but I didn't realize the egg sandwich I picked at the work meeting was sooo many calories. 

Frappuccino (No whip) - 360 cal
Cheese Danish - 320 cal
Panera Sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich - 560 cal

Making breakfast 1220 calories which is over half of my daily budget. I didn't realize until I was eating the sandwich when I suddenly felt so full. So that was a bit of a mistake. Then about an hour or so later they were passing around a bowl of full size candy bars. I immediately grabbed a full size snickers bar. I tore open the back and then froze. "I can't eat this." I didn't want to. I was still full from breakfast and I did not need/want the candy bar. I put it down and it stayed there for the rest of the meeting. This is not really like me but I am want it to be. 

The rest of the day is going to be tricky. The other thing I need to work on is hitting my steps on the weekends. I only get about 2500 steps on Sat and Sun while the rest of the week I am exceeding 7000 steps. With the extra steps I get a few extra calories so it helps keep me green each day. Here are my Lose It and FitBit for the week. I only went over calories on Tuesday, though today I will probably go over. 

Overall I am doing well. The scale is doing a lot of fluctuating but I feel my pants feeling loose again. Time to stop blogging and go out for an afternoon walk at a local park.

*Note it is 4pm and I still have not eaten the snickers. It is right in front of me and open but I want calories that fill me and that is not a snickers right now. I am so proud of me! 😃

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Never Considered This Before

Over the last few months I have started considering the idea of gastric bypass surgery. I have never considered it before. I always thought, no way I can do this on my own. I thought it was too much and too restricting.  Now I feel like I need that help. I have tried for so long and I fail over and over again. I start and I try and try and I don't feel like I ever see the results for all the work I do. I stress eat and overeat and underestimate how much I eat. It is all so hard! Not that that surgery would be easy. You really never eat again. It would be so hard, and painful, and difficult. I don't know.

I mentioned before the documentary I watched called My Big Fat Body. At one point a doctor recommended surgery and he said he wasn''t interested. I think about what if he had? It would have been hard but he would still be alive. Later I ended up watching a New Zealand documentary about people getting gastric bypass. It followed several people before the surgery but it really cover them after except quick looks of the weight loss. It worked great for all of them. They all seemed healthier and happier afterwards but it was a tv show.

I feel like if I don't do something now then I will die soon. I know that sound dramatic but I weigh 300 lbs and have for over a decade. My blood pressure is crazy and I don't have insurance to get pills to fix it and don't really want drugs to fix it anyways. What is next diabetes and sleep apnea? I feel like I at a point where my health is just going to get worse from here unless I make a change.

So here is the other thing. I just started a new job. I have been there awhile and am just switching to a full time position. I took a look at their insurance and it is actually affordable. It doesn't really fit my tight budget but it is affordable enough that I feel I really should get it with recent health issues. So I thought, well is it possible that I might be covered for a weight loss surgery? I don't have a full list of covered options yet so I don't know if even the highest plan would cover it. I did a search to see if the ins company they use cover weight loss surgeries at all and they DO. There was a whole page detailing out when it is covered and the restriction and details. It turns out I actually wouldn't qualify! I guess that is good but kind of bad too.

I am a BMI of 44.5 right now. If I was over 50 BMI with my high blood pressure I would qualify. Because I am between 40 and 50 I would need my high blood pressure and either diabetes or sleep apnea. So I am not sick enough which is good but... also disappointing.

This leaves me to do it on my own. I still have to do something because I know I can't keep going as I am for long.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Can an app help?

I spent a couple days just staring at the scans. So first the high blood pressure, that is still not down, and now with this scan I have to do something. Years ago and still my older brother and his wife lost a lot of weight and kept it off using the Lose It app. I have it on my phone and years ago I tried using but tracking everything you eat can be hard. I am at a loss of what to do and so I am going with what I know worked for my brother. I opened the Lose It app and even paid the $30 for the upgraded options. 

Throughout a lifetime of trying to loose weight I know that it all comes down to calories in and calories out. As I start logging for the first time in years I find the hardest part is adding in the bad food. When I ate a healthy breakfast, logging is no problem. Lunch was a little high but healthy so I added it no problem. Then I stumbled and ate too much with dinner and treats after. Logging it anyways is hard because I know it will make me over and turn my little numbers red. Though I assume that it is part of the deal. Not wanting to go over should encourage me not to eat that way. Though instead it makes me not want to log at all. I think it is a phycological thing feeling like a day that I go over is a failure. I think I need to try to focus on the week overall instead of individual days. 

Weight loss is such a phycological battle every day and throughout the day!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

I Paid for This?

Two weeks ago I turned 36. A couple days later I went in an had a DEXA scan done. If you haven't heard of these they are a CT scan that is normally used for bone density. It helps check for osteoporosis. Besides seeing your bones it can also differentiate your muscle and fat. It gives very accurate results of your fat and lean mass. Athletes use it to see exact areas of their body to work on to improve their performance. It is becoming more common for regular people to use it so they can also see what is going on inside. 

Before I go further I want to explain how I got here. Several weeks ago I was flipping though Netflix and stumbled on a documentary called My Big Fat Body. It follows a comedian named Frank Payne. In the movie one of the things he does is the DEXA scan. I thought it was an interesting look at the body. I do not really recommend the movie. He goes on this journey learning about how unhealthy he is and he looses 60 lbs for the movie. It sounds great till you look him up and see that he put all the weight back on after the movie and died two years later. Though I guess that in itself is a wake up call. I looked up getting a DEXA scan but it looked pretty pricey at $150-$300. Not in my price range. Shortly before my birthday, while scrolling through facebook, a company called Valley Radiologists advertised for a $45 scan. I decided I wanted to try it and signed up. 

You can do a search for other images of these. Because of the way my fat rolls laid I felt that some of the image was immodest. Most pictures you can't see anything but on mine you could so I added the black lines. 

If you zoom in on the picture you can see that they break down each part of your body. One of my arms did not fit on the table so they just duplicated that number. You can see that each leg has different numbers. I have always had trouble when people ask what shape I am; apple, pear, hourglass. This has details that show that it my hips really are much bigger then my hips, well by the numbers at least. 

This is a second picture everyone receives to help understand everything. 

The other number I was interested in when I got this scan was visceral fat. As I understand it most fat is on the outside of your body but visceral fat is the fat around your organs. It is this fat that causes the real trouble squishing and constricting your organs. My est visceral fat area is 261, although it is not the top of the graph it is very very high. 

Sometimes when I think about the scan I am like "Did I really pay someone to tell me how fat I am?" Other times I am happy that I did get it to really see what is going on. One thing that really got me with this is amount of muscle you can't see. If you look at others scans, even overweight, you can see a defined muscle through the center. I am so covered in fat that the muscle isn't seen through it. Yikes!