Saturday, November 9, 2013

Time to dust off the old blog and start over

Well, it's been a while.

The HealthKwest turned out to be a joke. Midway through I started losing my forward momentum when I realized that no matter how hard I tried, I would never win. I ended up in 10th place which isn't too bad when you consider that the majority of the people who were in the contest were a lot younger than I am. I'm not going to beat myself up for it. I did good.

The winner "cheated." We were supposed to eat at GG every day. Oh, he did. What he didn't say was that he went on a starvation diet and only consumed 400 calories a day. He lost somewhere around 100 pounds. That is just not worth the $10K. ONE trip to the hospital will eat that. One of the contestants had to drop out because of rapid weight loss, she had a gallbladder attack and had to have surgery. People were hurting themselves to win and that is just not honest.

So I'm back to 254.4 pounds. At the end of the contest, Scott came home from jail. He ate every unhealthy thing he could get his hands on and insisted that we have his favorite junk food on hand at all times. My fledgling willpower struggled against all the things I loved to eat like sugary cereal. He had me take him to McDonald's drive thrus where I had to be trapped in the car with the intoxicating scent of french fries. I started cheating on my diet. I begged him to go to the gym with me, but he refused. His excuses became MY excuses and I started slacking off on my exercising. The blow of losing the contest to a cheater, having the strong temptations and a partner who thought it was funny to trip me up combined with losing clients over the scheduling of the contest and the ease of just giving in, I gave up.

The weight flew on much faster than it came off. I was getting depressed that all that hard work was just so easily vanishing. My partner started spiraling out of control too. It finally got to the point of violence and I found that little ember of the fire inside and got it up to enough flame to boot his ass OUT. I can't place blame on him for my failure. That is my fault alone. He just didn't make it any easier when he could have and found it a joke to take the wind out of my sails.

I've finally gotten into a pattern of life again. Something I can plan around. I'm trying to push this enormous weight up that big hill and get momentum going again. The junk food is almost completely phased out. I have a couple of boxes of cereal left. With my spotty finances, I will NOT be throwing away perfectly good food. I will just have to work it into my diet carefully until it's gone and then not buy it again. My health is failing. It's falling back down that rabbit hole I pulled it partially out of. Regardless, even with the weight loss, healthy diet and exercise, I STILL had high triglycerides. It runs in my family and I can NOT afford to take medication. I HAVE to lose this weight. My life quite literally depends on it.

Thanks to my clients abandoning me, I had to go back to a cheap 9-5 job that I hate, until I can get back into freelancing again. At least this is somewhat secure. It also has health insurance so I can keep from being a criminal under Obama's Laws.

As I was planning my healthy meals out for the next month, I got online to look for some inspiration. I came across a post that said one of my heros had died. I quickly researched it and found it was a lie. I also found the website that he has and Lo and Behold! He's an ARTIST! I'm talking about former professional wrestler, The Ultimate Warrior. It's so funny, about a month ago my mom and I were out on one of her respite trips and we stopped in the Hogan's Beach Shop to look. I found a little Ultimate Warrior action figure that was damaged and in the "bargain" bin. (Yeah, $15 isn't a bargain) I couldn't leave him in hostile territory, so I bought him. He now sits on my dresser waving a 4-fingered good morning to me every day.

Now here's where it gets REALLY interesting (well, for me anyway). Warrior (yep, that's actually his real name) writes inspirational quotes and messages. So now every morning I can get up and see the Ultimate Warrior and remember the inspiring things he's said and go to his site and fill up on more when I get down. Weird how life works sometimes.

I wrote him a fan letter today. I have some drawings that I made of him when I was in Jr. High because he was my biggest hero. I asked him if he'd like them. I'm not expecting a reply, but it was fun to send the letter all the same. I wanted him to know how much his words mean to me.

I'm going to share one of my favorite Warrior Weapons of Wisdom quotes. Go to http://www.own.ultimatewarrior.com/ to find more.

"They are wrong. Normal is not good. Common lacks creativity. Mediocrity SUCKS. You - YES, YOU! - are better than that. Your birth certifies the truth of this. STAND OUT. STAND UP. DELIVER. Always Believe."
                               -Warrior


Isn't that just spot on? Hey, I am taking advice from someone who can look that damned good at 54.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

THE END OF HEALTH KWEST, THE BEGINNING OF A NEW LIFE



ODE TO FOOD

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the weight loss beyond the Health Kwest to take back the body that you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours, and my fitness is as great... 

You have no power over me.


So here we are at day 59 of the 60 day challenge. Since this is a PMS week, my weight is fluctuating wildly and I can't give a hard number. As far as I can tell, I've lost about 20-25 pounds. I'm at a waist of 46" now and I can't find the original measurements to confirm but I believe I was 56" or 58" before.  Even though 20 pounds doesn't sound significant, it sure looks a lot different.

One of the lessons I learned is that there is help out there if you ask for it. My Genghis Grill district talked about helping me, but I got what I needed on my own. I approached LA Fitness and got them to sponsor me with a 2 month membership before Genghis Grill even thought about it. I also approached a LOT of media in the area, but they couldn't be bothered, so I approached people by myself, grassroots style and spread the word of my challenge in person.

I have a lot of people on Team Ravenwolven that have been giving me advice, assistance and camaraderie all through this contest. People who are complete strangers are interested in my progress and are there to rally support. This never ceases to amaze me. Sure, I'd have liked to have won the contest, but more valuable than $10,000 (which would have been taxed to hell and back) is the hard FACT that there are really nice people out there who actually care about how I do with the fitness. Never having belonged to a gym before, I didn't know that this support existed. Of course I can never forget the people I hold dear to my heart - friends and family, who have been with me every step of the way. None more so than my boyfriend Scott, who has put up with the "side effects" of this challenge. To all of them I say thank you, but those words don't hold the depth of feeling I have for what they've done for me.

Some of the side effects I've had have been insane mood swings. First was breaking the addiction. Just like any true addict, I went through some really rough withdrawals when I first gave up my "drug". My boyfriend really helped me out with that like no one else could have. He understood. He stood by my side and bore with me through the literal pain of withdrawal. After the withdrawals came the OD on soy which triggered some serious PMS symptoms that I hadn't  had since I was a teenager. Apparently too much soy elevates estrogen levels. I was eating edamame and tofu EVERY DAY.

I'm still working on balancing my diet as I finally got my test results back from my doctor  from the first 30 days and it shows that my triglycerides are high at 267 when they should be less than 150. My A1c is also too high, a 6.6 when it should be less than 5.7. The lean meat diet also dropped my cholesterol, the LDL levels are good at 90, but the HDL is too low at 32 when it should be 46. My doctor wanted to prescribe Metformin and Crestor along with Lovaza, a prescription fish oil that runs $240 a month. I convinced her to let me keep trying to fix my health by diet and exercise. I think that the results on the scale were what helped her agree. According to her scale I went from 262 to 236 in one month. She's giving me 3 months, until June, to get my numbers under control.

Since LA Fitness sponsored me through the contest, I decided to stick with them and joined their gym. I take 3 classes a week, Aqua Fit with Olga on Tuesday and Thursday night and Mat Pilates with Dennis on Wednesday. There is another Pilates class on Monday night which I might start taking. This leaves Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I've been adding some exercise equipment to my collection at home so I don't always have to go to the gym. Since those 3 days LA Fitness closes early, I stay home and watch TV as I ride my recumbent exercise bike, do some squats and curls or roll out the mats and work some yoga or pilates. Sunday is my day off to recover.

Even though these pictures embarrass me, I'm still posting them so I can look back on this at my next self-imposed monthly "weigh-in" and see how far I've come. This isn't the end of the journey, it's just a milestone. My goal is 145.That's 25 pounds down, 100 pounds to go. 



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Health Kwest sponsor Ty Ku Sake gifted us a bottle of their low calorie Soju sake. Today's challenge is to tell you about it.

TY KU SOJU

1/2 the Calories and Twice the Taste of Vodka. Asia's best kept secret, Soju (also known as Shochu) is the #1 distilled spirit in the world. TY KU Soju updates this ancient spirit by producing an unbelievably smooth beverage that is lower in calories* and more versatile than vodka. Its superiority is the result of expert small batch distillation & cold filtration, utilizing 100% premium barley. TY KU Soju is crafted from the finest all natural ingredients with no additives, no preservatives and no sweeteners. TY KU Soju is best sipped chilled and enhances the natural flavors of fresh fruits and juices without the need of added sugar, creating better balanced, better tasting and lower calorie* premium cocktails.


SOJU VS. VODKA

With only 1/2 the calories of most vodkas, TY KU Soju is the natural choice for calorie conscious consumers. Unlike Vodka, which demands extra flavors & sugars to mask its harsh taste, TY KU Soju has a smoother taste --- from start to finish. It is specially crafted to be a flavor catalyst so it absorbs the flavor of fruits, mixers and other fresh ingredients and allows you to create your favorite vodka cocktails with half the calories and double the flavor.
HALF THE CALORIES


TY KU Soju: 60 calories*

Absolut Citron Vodka: 125 calories

Stoli Citros Vodka: 125 calories

Grey Goose Vodka: 115 calories


SERVING/ENJOYING SAKE

Contrary to popular belief, premium sake (such as TY KU Sake) should be served chilled, like a white wine. For best taste, refrigerate after opening and enjoy soon thereafter. Although sake is typically enjoyed with sushi, it actually pairs well with a wide variety of cuisine such as steak, roasted chicken, and grilled vegetables. You can also make enticing cocktails with sake. Visit our Sake Cocktails page for recipes. When enjoying sake with friends, never pour your own glass. Pour for each other as a sign of friendship & respect. And don't forget to say "kanpai" before drinking.

Educational movie: http://www.trytyku.com/sakeeducation.html

For more info go to: http://www.trytyku.com/soju.html

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

TOO BUSY TO EXERCISE

I have a pretty hectic schedule. I freelance all day every day, even the weekends. During the contest, I kept trying to figure out clever ways to work in a work out. Here are some of my favorites...

1. Exercise Bike in front of the TV. Go on Craigslist and look, chances are you'll find an exercise bike for sale cheap. I got a nice recumbent bike for $50. Set it up in the living room in front of the tv and ride during your shows. You'll get a 30 minute to 1 hour workout depending on the show.

2. Clean house during commercial breaks. Yeah, it takes all day, but it's more challenging than just watching TV. If the house it clean (LOL) then try doing as many crunches or leg lifts or curls as you can during the 3 minute commercial break. Better yet, do a difficult yoga or pilates pose for the whole 30 second commercial.

3. Park further away. I only do this if I'm with Scott. There are too many creeps out there these days.

4. Wear ankle weights when you shop. I am one of those people who doesn't give a sh__ about what other people think of me, so people looking don't bother me. Ironically, people have asked me about them and when I told them I was in a weight loss contest, they cheered me on. I haven't heard one person say anything negative yet. I've even taken my tote bag with my purse and two 3 pound dumbells in it. Better yet, carry a basket or two.

5. Stand on one foot. Every time you're standing, wether brushing your teeth, washing dishes or standing in line, stand on one foot. You don't have to be extreme about it, just lift the other foot off the floor. Tighten your abs and glutes while you're doing it. I alternate this with raising to my toes and back down to flat feet repeatedly. Guys, please don't do any of this while peeing.

6. (This one is in theory- I have trouble practicing it) Set a timer when you're working at your computer and every 2 hours stand up, stretch and go get a 8 oz. drink of water. I have two 10 pound dumbells next to my desk that I lift while files upload.

7. Get a resistance band and a ball. Tie the band in a knot to make a loop. Keep both under your desk and stretch the band or squeeze the ball with your legs while you work. Can't afford it? Take the stress ball they gave us and hold it between your knees, feet off the floor, as long as you can. Try holding it between your ankles.

8. If you have privacy and a chair that doesn't roll away uncontrollably, pick your butt off the chair and do arm dips. Either hold onto the arms of the chair or put your palms on the seat and lower your butt past the front of the chair then raise back up. You can also do "squats" pretend you're about to sit down, but don't allow your butt to touch the chair. Hold as long as you can.

9. Have to go to the bathroom? On the walk to and from, do some lunges when no one is looking.

10. Folding clothes. I fold mine at the dryer one at a time and I touch my toes before I take the next item out to fold. Touch toes means reach up as high as possible then squat down and touch the floor, grab an item from the dryer on the way back up, fold it, squat down and put it in the basket, stand up and reach for the sky.....repeat.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What Are You Going To Wear Now?

Today's challenge:
"Coke, one of our supporters in this campaign, supports a campaign called, “Little BlackDress” where they support people to be healthy and get back into that outfit they want to fit one day or again!
Take a photo of you and your dream outfit (or if you can wear it again let's see it!) and post it on your blog."



Well, about 10 years ago I went through my closet and got rid of ALL of my old clothes. I literally do not have one outfit that doesn't fit...

Or so I thought.

I remembered that there WAS one item that I kept that I have never been able to wear. My coveted Converse All Stars Ultimate High Tops. I normally don't wear anything but Converse All Stars. During this contest I've worn walking shoes, but my signature kicks are Converse. I collect them and have several pairs of the regular high tops. I got these as a gift years ago. They never fit because my calves and feet are just too fat. I'm pretty sure they're still too small (no, I haven't tried them yet). I figure when I'm finished designing them, I'll fit in them. I started doodling on them a few times, but always stop because it's not like I could ever wear them. 

I'm going to change that. 


So no, I don't have a "little black dress" I have a pair of giant, goofy shoes. Kinda fits my personality. 
;)


Sunday, March 24, 2013

THE JOURNEY SO FAR

Before and after. Starting February 11th at 270 until today March 25th at 244.


I'm recycling this photo from yesterday's blog. I didn't want to post it again, so I hope this blog updates with today's date. If it doesn't, I don't even care anymore.

Today's challenge is to blog about any emotional and physical changes we've gone through during Health Kwest so far. I'm not too sure people are going to want to know the truth of it. My poor boyfriend has had to go through it with me and I know it's been rough for him.

For starters, since I have exercise induced asthma, I've ended up in the ER from pushing myself too hard and had to start taking inhaled corticosteroids for the first time in almost 20 years. They're really expensive, $50 a month! It's unlikely I'll afford next month's, so I have been taking 1/2 the dosage. I've also had incredible mood swings and bad PMS which I attribute to the increased intake of soy products which contain a synthetic estrogen.

I still suffer from horrible, crackhead cravings for carbs, cream and sweets. I think I'm craving the cream because I haven't been consuming enough calcium. I am a food addict and I still suffer withdrawal because I've cheated several times since 3/17. After the middle weigh-in, I lost all forward momentum when I realized that there was no way physically possible to catch up with the guy in the lead and that I wasn't even close even though I have been pushing myself so hard. Now I read that another contestant who's been pushing herself hard too has to have gall bladder surgery for her effort...

...and I started asking myself if this was worth the $10,000. I did come up with an answer. More on that later.

I don't like to exercise. I hate the chest pains and the shortness of breath. I hate the dizziness and the anxiety attacks. I hate that most of the time I have to do it alone. I want someone nearby who has a cell phone and knows CPR. I can't GO anywhere but the gym when I exercise because I'm afraid of getting too far away from help. Once the contest is over, I will lose the gym membership and cannot afford to continue. For some reason now every night I try to fall asleep, I struggle to breathe. It feels like my body is just "forgetting" to. The CPAP machine isn't helping. It's probably not set right. I lost the job with the insurance before I could get anyone to come in and set it up for me.

I've stalled in my weight loss. I haven't been exercising enough. I have to exercise at least 2 hours a day or the weight comes back immediately. It's just not fair. I'm EXHAUSTED. I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in ages and the lack of food is making me lethargic. I've lost a big client over this contest because I had to sacrifice so much time to it that it started coming out of my business. I'm over it.

The positive: I haven't had to visit a food bank since I eat at GG every day. I haven't been paid in over a month by my 2 big clients, so I am out of money. The bowl I have to eat every day has helped out tremendously. Not only is it free, but it's healthy. 99% of free or cheap food is anything but healthy. I have lost a total of 26 pounds since the beginning of this contest. I've gone down one size. I've learned the art of careful photo-taking, so it looks like I lost more weight than I see in the mirror. To me I don't see a significant difference. I found the ring I had lost, but it doesn't really fit so well now.

I have been steadily accumulating gym equipment so I can exercise after the gym membership is through. All I need now is a buddy to make it happen. Someone to be accountable to. I like the fact that I've lost weight, I just don't like the amount of effort that has to continually go into it. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully I will get a little support to help me stick with this. I'm really flagging now and don't know how much more endurance I have left.

Oh and I have to put in the link to GG  http://fcrps.me/2jj.2z1L

Thursday, March 21, 2013

PUMP UP THE JAM

Today's challenge is to post your top 10 playlist. My workout playlist is like 40+ songs. It was hard to choose just 10. I guess these are my favorites to workout to.

Feuer Frei! - Rammstein
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHUsIU161w4
High energy heavy lifting. Things that make you grit your teeth

Mexican Hairless - The Toadies
http://www.last.fm/music/Toadies/_/Mexican+Hairless
Exercises that require speed. Fast walking, aerobics

Bodies - Drowning Pool
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04F4xlWSFh0
Heavy aerobics with weights. Kickboxing. Fast Tai Chi. Heavy Weight Lifting.

I like Goils - Type O Negative
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e5ixSmCfuQ
Spinning. Speed Walking. Zumba.
RIP Peter Steel.


Welcome to the Jungle - Guns 'N' Roses
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x156de_guns-n-roses-welcome-to-the-jungle_music#.UUvJR1tATcA
Anything. Literally. I used to listen to this a lot as a teenager.

Fat - Weird Al Yankovic

http://www.mtv.com/videos/weird-al-yankovic/111300/fat.jhtml
Squats, sit-ups, and everything in front of a mirror. I watched him do this in concert and change into a different costume for every song. That was an amazing high energy concert. Best one I've ever been to!

Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyx6JDQCslE
This tune is just to catchy! I love to walk to it.

Temptation - Cradle of Filth
http://www.slack-time.com/music-video-1856-Cradle-Of-Filth-Temptation
Biking. Walking. Weight Lifting. Again, things that make you grit your teeth. The video was my 1993-1997. We were a bunch of vampires.

Gangnam Style - Psy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0
Oh sue me. I LIKE it. Speedy stuff. Spinning, fast walking, jogging, aerobics. Of course GANGNAM STYLE! (Try it, its hard!) I went as Psy for Halloween. Note I had the jacket on in my first music video. I had the shoes too. I changed it to Harlem Shake at the last minute and my video went viral. I love the elevator scene. I laugh every time.

Surfin' Bird - The Trashmen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GizTr6QLfc
This is my ultimate favorite song. I do everything to it. Walk, weights, aerobics, jog...etc., etc. Fans of Family Guy will recognize this one. THE BIRD IS THE WORD!

Honorable Mentions that are worth looking up when you get a chance.

Ball Tongue - KoRn
Bring Me To Life - Evenescence
Too Close (Distance Remix) - Alex Clare
Shake Your Love - Debbie Gibson
Ton of Bricks - Metal Church
Smack My Bitch Up - The Prodigy
Mr. Krinkle - Primus
Slaughterama - GWAR
Demonoid Phenomenon (Sin Lives Mix) - Rob Zombie
Hamsterdance - Hamsterdance
Push It - Salt N Peppa

Click links and comment please.