Monthly Archives: June 2011

Progress for Week 1

Four pounds down! Yeah, I know that might sound like a lot for just a week for someone my size, but since I dramatically cut my sodium intake, it was all pretty much water weight. But, that’s a great start!

I’m realizing that if I truly pay attention to what’s inflammatory and what’s not inflammatory, and also to portion size, it’s actually not too difficult to stay within the daily points. Pretty much all sweets are highly inflammatory, as are most grains and most dairy products, so that results in me eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, which are free on WW anyway.

The trick with an anti-inflammatory diet is that if you eats things that have a really high IF (Inflammation-Free) factor, you can eat things that are less good and it will balance out. So, for example, if I have salmon, which has a very high IF factor (which is good!), then I can have something less good, like bread. So, really, it’s not as restrictive as it seemed at first. As long as I pay good enough attention to the good things, I can have a little fun, too. Like dark chocolate. Mm.

I also did go for a run today, and it felt good. So hopefully, I can keep that activity up. I also have a couple of free months of yoga (from Groupon and Livingsocial) to use, so yoga would be a great, stress-reducing alternative.

To come next, recipes! My first challenge that I’m taking a class in a city over an hour away for the two weeks, but I’m commuting. So that involves packing and successfully avoiding fast food, so wish me luck!!

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Anti-Inflammatory Weight-Watchers

What I didn’t mention in my post yesterday is that I am also starting a brand new diet, the anti-inflammatory diet. I have a minor auto-immune disease, and one possible cause and/or result of this is increased inflammation. I went in for a check-up last week, and they confirmed that even two years later, my inflammation levels are still quite high, and higher even than they were the last time I was tested a year ago. This could be related to weight gain. After a considerable amount of internet research, I’ve found that inflammation levels (tested through C-Reactive Protein levels in your blood) can be caused by being overweight, and can contribute to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, you name it. One possible way to lower these levels includes an anti-inflammatory diet.

So what does this involve? Well, that’s the tricky part! Apparently, there’s a certain degree of confusion on that. Some “anti-inflammatory diet” plans disagree with each other. Some advocate having soy every day, for example, while others suggest avoiding it when possible. (I support avoiding it, particularly for women, but I’ll get into that another day.)

Thankfully, there’s an app for that! I downloaded an app called IF Tracker Lite, and it lists most foods and using a numbering system, ranks foods by their inflammatory levels. Foods with positive numbers are considered anti-inflammatory. Foods with negative numbers might promote inflammation. You don’t need to complete avoid all negative foods, but you want to add all the foods you eat during the day and end with a positive number.

THE BASICS:

Polyunsaturated fats are BAD and promote inflammation. Monounsaturated fats are much better. Omega-3 fatty acids are very good. Apparently, the traditional American diet is abnormally high in Omega 6’s, which puts us all out of whack. We need to be, well, in “whack,” so to speak. Fiber and vitamins are also good.

Good foods include most fish, such as salmon (but I’m paying attention to sustainability and mercury levels with the fish I’m buying), flax seeds, oatmeal, almost all veggies and fruits, spices such as garlic, chili peppers, curry, turmeric. Also included are walnuts, dark chocolate and red wine in moderation.

Foods to avoid are anything friend, made with highly processed sugars and/or flours, most things with gluten, high fat dairy products.

My challenge is to combine all of this with Weight Watchers. High-fat foods such as salmon and nuts are worth a lot of points in the Weight Watchers program, and that makes things tricky. I find nuts satisfying and filling, so the trick will be to really control portions.

So what did I do today to contribute to my weight loss? I went shopping, and bought lots of low-inflammation foods, primarily fruits, vegetables, and a few others such as quinoa, almond butter, almond milk, etc. Tomorrow? I need to add activity! I meant to do that today and didn’t, so tomorrow, I have to. Yoga or running, depending on my mood. Also, before photos (ACK!). Here we go!

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Homemadediva Loses Weight!

It’s summer. Summer is by far my favorite season. And, as a teacher, I get a little extra free time in the summer, too! Last summer was great. I did the cupcake challenge, I did Weight-watchers and lost weight, I had a summer fling, it was awesome. But then I started a brand new teaching job at a brand new school and felt the need to impress and was working all the time.

Then a few months later, my dad got sick. He was in the hospital for 3 months, and suddenly I found myself going to school, teaching all day, and then going to the hospital and breathing the heavy breaths that you breathe when a close loved-one is doing poorly and not getting better like you hope. I found myself eating for convenience. I definitely stopped grocery shopping and started eating junk food. Highly-processed, sodium-ridden, high fat, high calorie nonsense was crossing my lips in quantities far too large for my petite stature. Just as I started trying to get it under control, my father passed away. Now, this isn’t a “Oh, woe-is-me, pity me!” statement. It’s simply a fact that sometimes, shit happens. And when it does, sometimes we lose control of ourselves. So the result was that I spent the next couple of months just trying to get through the remaining school year after basically losing 4 months by not being at my best. So, again, food choices went to the back burner.

This specially awful equation resulted in me gaining 15 lbs. (Please keep in mind that I’m very petite, and that 15 lbs is a little less than 15% of what a healthy body weight is for my size.) I kept trying to make good choices, but it was very difficult. The doctor even tested me for a thyroid problem, because they were concerned, too. But, no dice.

Now, I need to get myself under control! I went to a wedding this weekend of a high school friend, and seeing all these old high school acquaintances made me feel pretty crappy. They all looked great, most of them are married or engaged, and I was overweight and single. It all added up to a weekend full of low self-esteem.

So, what’s the problem, Ruth? Just lose the weight already! Yeah, the problem is motivation. I need to be held accountable for my choices – both good and bad. So it occurred to me that doing this is a public forum like this would give me some sense of accountability. I give myself to you, interwebs, to keep me on track and working hard!

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