Thursday, January 13, 2011

First Success of the Year!

Helloooo! I don't know why I didn't update this earlier, because I TOTALLY had all week to do it! I know some of you were in the same situation I was with the Snowpocolypse 2011. I've been home from work all week because of the snow (which is now solid ice, here in Douglasville). However, things look to improve enough for me to be able to go back to work tomorrow (Friday). Just in time for our 3-day weekend! Yay!

Also, a potentially diet-threatening occasion occurred this week. My birthday. My mom, fiance and I celebrated by going to lunch at Cafe Berlin in Huntsville. I stayed away from the fried stuff and got fish (alright, it was potato crusted, but I still lost weight this week, ok!)....and I totally got a piece of German Chocolate Cake for dessert! However, instead of throwing my hands up and deciding the diet was no longer worth following through on, I came back to it for dinner. Not taking home any leftovers really helped with that.

So how has the cleanse gone so far? FABULOUS! The total weight I lost on the 7-day program came to 4 lbs. Not bad! But even better...I'm not so hungry all the time! Between eating well-portioned, natural foods higher in fiber and drinking so much water during and between meals, I really don't feel like I need to race home to eat anything or to pig out all the time while I'm home. This came in just in time for the snow days, because normally I'd be sitting around eating my face off, but I've not! I've sipped on water all day and cleaned the apartment and did laundry. It's an excellent feeling!

AND, having stayed on the diet this week (no longer with the cleansing pills or anything), I have lost an additional 4 lbs so far! So that's 8 lbs total in almost 2 weeks! I'm loving it! When I started, I was at a whopping 237 lbs, and now I'm down to 229 lbs and feel way better and less deprived than when I dropped to the same weight on the Atkins diet. I've also been working out some. Not doing what I'd usually like to do right now, but the snow is getting in the way of a lot of things. But here's what I've been doing with diet and exercise:


So some of my favorite meals that I'm still using from the cleanse include chicken wraps (with a whole wheat tortilla, spinach lettuce, fresh tomatoes and onions, and all natural brown mustard--who'd a thunk it was so good!), and salads with fresh veggies and all natural balsamic vinaigrette (starting to get tired of it, though), stir fry (with whatever veggies you want really, and preservative-free sauce and sesame oil--I've been putting tofu in it, but you don't have to), chicken and brown rice (I like to sautee some veggies for it too...and only 1/2 a cup of rice), and all natural sugar-free PB&J on whole wheat bread. I made fish for the first time on this diet. I tried grilling a tilapia on the stove. Went ok until it started falling apart on the spatula when I flipped it over. And the marinade is simply lemon juice and olive oil, though I could've just sprinkled some pepper on it, too. I will remember that for next time! My sister is a big fan of the black bean burrito suggested on the cleanse. I'm still tweaking that recipe. Apparently I need way more cilantro.

Some things I've just started doing on my own include cooked polenta (remember that from previous posts? all natural, fat free, FABULOUS) dipped in some all natural Late Night Puttanesca sauce (OMG...SO good), whole wheat spaghetti in the same sauce (and they have parmesan-flavored soy cheese which isn't bad), and chicken and fried brown rice (all marinated in balsamic vinaigrette).

Some of the snacks the diet plan suggested where natural, sugar-free peanut butter on celery, 1/4 cup of natural peanuts (not salted) or sunflower seeds (also good on salads) and some regular/dried fruit (my only recommendation is the dried banana chips..dried fruit grosses me out), baby carrots, and soy yogurt (also good for lunches). I'm sure there are plenty more, but these helped me get through the day fairly well. And you're supposed to drink a good bit of water with your snacks as well as your meals. Juice is good too (all natural of course!)

So, some differences I've noticed so far are that I have way more energy now. Not like I'm bouncing off the walls or anything, but I'm just very alert and aware most of the time. Things taste different to me, and I'm enjoying it more now. It's like I don't have to use as much sauce on things and the german chocolate cake I had, seemed wayyy sweeter than I think it normally would be for me. Regardless, I feel better than I've felt on any diet before and I'm actually enjoying the food. Never thought I'd like vegetables!

But still, if anyone has any all-natural food/meal ideas, I'd LOVE to hear them. I'm considering eating real oatmeal again for breakfasts. That was really good.


I'm not going to lie, I've been lacking in this department more than I'd like. Especially with a 1/2 marathon in 42 days (YIKES!). I worked out this weekend at the Wellness Center in Huntsville on an arc trainer as well as doing some weights. It felt really good. I also have been trying to run on the ellyptical in the afternoons (it's been really hard to get out to the track to run for some reason), but the apartment complex locked up the facilities Sunday night and during this week they haven't come back to unlock them. So I have done an old workout video at home, which is complicated because my dog barks at me for looking like an idiot and licks my face when I do push-ups, but it's the best I can do right now. The video is really good with strengthening the core muscle groups, but I don't feel like I've had any cardio. I also looked at some exercises posted online by Bob Harper, the trainer from The Biggest Loser. There are some on youtube and they are VERY helpful. You can also find stuff on Still seems like more muscle than cardio, though, and I really need to get that up in time for the race! It's not something I can just do last minute, so I'm freaking out a little bit, but next week should be a whole new start and I should be on track. I hope!

Also, while I was in Huntsville this weekend, I went by Fleet Feet and got measured and fitted for an awesome new pair of shoes. They are Brooks and they're not cheap, but SO worth it! After working out in them at the Wellness Center, I completely forgot I was wearing shoes! They are excellent and I can't wait to do some more stuff in them! However, they are orange, but that was the only color in my size. Such is the curse of the big foot. It's worth it, though.

Catch back up with y'all later and will hopefully have some new pics!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bring It On, 2011!

I hope everyone had a happy New Year and a Merry Christmas!

Though I wasn't really good over the holidays, I could've been MUCH worse. The good thing is that I did one work-out in the week of Christmas and one more over New Year's. I'm not saying that working out once a week was the best I could do, but it could've been worse! I'm down to 51 days before the Disney Princess Half-Marathon on February 26. I'm absolutely determined to finish it this year and not end it at 10 miles like I did last year.

So it's the start of a new year and I am starting something new! Seems like every time I'm writing one of these things I'm trying something new. Hopefully this one will stick. Here's what I'm doing:

I started this 7-day cleanse from GNC on Sunday. It came highly recommended from my sister and her personal trainer. After hearing about what all it entails, I figured, it couldn't be a bad thing! Like every other cleanse, you take pills with meals in order to help your body flush out the bad. But this cleanse actually comes with a diet plan. And it's a diet plan I've never tried before, and it's not bad at all! A big focus of this cleanse is to eat all natural foods and flush the toxins from processed foods out of your system. You also have to cut out dairy because of the hormones in it. It sounds bad, but soy milk, yogurt, and cheese have all been really yummy. And did you know that soy milk has more protein and calcium in it than regular milk? Go figure.

I've felt really full for the most part on this diet. It has a snack factored into it, and nothing goes over 1,600 calories a day. It's great! And I've never been so stocked up on produce in my life! Yes, the grocery bill was a little higher, but I think it's worth it! And most of the stuff I bought I have plenty of, so I'll be able to make it again soon. It almost makes me want to plan my own garden, but that's not gonna happen. The real test of all of this will be what I do next week, after the cleanse is over. Right now I'm thinking, "Once I flush all that crap out, I don't want it back in!" Also, from what my sister has been telling me, after you go through the whole cleanse (and if you do it like it says to), your pretty much have no more cravings for the bad stuff. How exciting is THAT?! If there is anything I've been wanting to get away from, it is those self-destructive cravings that happen once every few weeks. And especially after it's been a long stretch of dieting. I know some of y'all know what I'm talking about. You're doing so good and then someone brings Chick-fil-A into work and all you can think about for the rest of the day is, "DANG...I remember how good that was." And on your way home you just gotta grab it. Well, I'm not saying this will totally eliminate that, but I'm hoping it will help! I will say that by the end of day 1, I could already tell a difference in my energy level. I've been all over the place cleaning or getting more meals ready for the next day. Even at work I feel like I'm being more productive.

I also wanted to outline my exercise to be ready for the run, so here is what I have:
Every other day I'll be either on a track running outside (getting used to the cold) or I'll be on an ellyptical machine (working on my cardio). The facility at the apartment doesn't really have a whole lot of weight-lifting equipment, but I'll do what I can for my arm flab as well. I hear weight lifting is supposed to help kick up your metabolism.

So pair all that with the new ipod shuffle I got for Chistmas - one that actually has buttons on the outside. YAY! - and I'm even more ready to go! Yesterday I had lost 2lbs already, but today I was the same weight. No big deal. As long as I'm not GAINING anything, right?

Oh yeah, and the main thing that everyone always wants to know about cleanses...Does it make you crap your pants? I have not had a problem with this cleanse at all with bathroom urges, though my stomach does make a lot more noise throughout the day. Today was the first day that I was really gassy, but nothing has made me bolt for the bathroom. I was worried when I read the packet and it said what it was going to do to. Just in case you're wondering, it cleans out all sections of the colon, not just the final threshold...if you know what I mean. Apparently that makes a difference. I thought since it was more cleaning, I'd be spending more time on the pot, but alas, NOPE. This is the first cleanse I've ever done, so I don't know anything about the others, but this one is working GREAT for me.

I'll try and be better about checking in more! It should be easier now that I got my internet hooked up today. I've been living off someone in the apartment's wifi for a while, and I guess they moved or something, because the connection hasn't been there for the past 2 months or so. So I broke down and am finally paying for my own. :-) Ah well!

Also, now that I'm trying this new All Natural thing, I'm really just running on what suggestions the packet has for food and meals. I know there has to be plenty of other ones out there as well, and I'm all about variety. Do any of you have any suggestions of healthy, all-natural meals? Breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack...ANY would be appreciated!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MA-gnificent Time to Train for a Half-Marathon!

I'm BACK! It's been two months, but I'm with it! Now I haven't been off the diet for the whole 2 months, but it was shaky there for a while towards the end with me cheating almost every other weekend. I think my body was NONE too happy with that, but it's all over with now! I bottomed out on the Atkins diet at 226 (keeping in mind I started at 242). So the diet definitely worked in some ways, but definitely not in others. I'll get into that in a little bit.

The GREAT news!

During this time, I was able to finally finish my master's degree!! I am now Lindsay Gustafson, MA. Yayuh! I revised my paper and went in for my final oral exam on November 10 and have been stress-free ever since! Well, I say stress-free, but in reality, the truth still hasn't hit me yet, though I'm slowly discovering it with all the free-time I have. I still feel guilty doing things for fun and not staying home on weekends, but I'm sure all of that will pass!

So what did this do to my diet? Well, I will tell you that the weekend before my oral exam, all diets were out the window. I reverted back to pure study mode which called for lots of sugar/chocolate. LOTS. Like 2 bags of pumpkin-shaped reese's miniatures, combined with several other dessert items....and then dinners that had nothing to do with Atkins. It was fabulous, and very study-conducive, but unbelievably was the celebratory dinner after the exam. The result: I gained 6lbs. Even worse? I gained inches. Many of the clothes I was just starting to fit back into have since gone back in the "uh-uh" pile. Though I watched what I ate, I didn't restrict myself much.

What you should understand about the Atkins Diet:

Results are there, and they're great, but this is in no way a long-term way of dieting. I never intended to stay on it forever, but just to kick start my weight-loss at a time when I couldn't commit to much exercising. And it worked well for that. The way I went about the diet wasn't the healthiest either. The basics are that in Phase 1 (the only phase I did in the program) you stay under 20 net-carbs a day (subtracting any fiber grams from the carb count). Well, most meat has NO carbs, but vegetables have a few and fruit is just plain off-limits. I'm the kind of person who eats her Lucky Charms saving the marshmallows for last. So for breakfast and lunch, I would generally eat less than 8 carbs so I can have what I wanted when I got home for dinner. But then at dinner, I didn't want to waste all my carbs on dinner food, when I could finally get some Atkins' desserts. So what resulted was a severe lack of vegetables in my diet and even with taking all my vitamins everyday (including a pill for potassium) had several ridiculous cramps in my calf a day. Not a good sign! Of course the Atkins people tell you NOT to skip out on your veggies. They really are trying to help you do the diet as healthily as possible, I just did not follow instructions, and I suspect I'm not the only one!


..there was the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning. How long had I known about this? A couple of months. Did I train for it? NOPE. But I finished in 49 minutes and something-something seconds (it's not important). I was only about 3 minutes behind my time for the Princess and the Frog 5K in Disney last March, but I was stopping and taking pictures that whole time, too. Point of the story...I gotta work on it!

Here's a picture of the gang:

That would be my niece, me, April, Scott, Mom, my other niece, and my sister.

Here is a picture of me finishing:

Yep, that's me finishing... right behind MY MOM!!! Nothing wrong with's my mom!! She can run faster than me!!! It's the first time that I know of in my lifetime that this is the case (injury situations excluded). She was training for the run, so she's become quite sprightly in her jogging capabilities. I'm proud of her. She's even signed up for the HALF-MARATHON in Disney in February! She's going to kick some ass...just hopefully not mine! Haha. I'm kidding of course. In all honesty, if we all finish in whatever order, I'll be happy as a clam as we wallow in our physical misery in the hotel room together afterwards. It's gonna be GREAT!

And so it begins.....AGAIN.....

Thus begins my training for the Princess Half-Marathon on February 27. If you're interested in doing it, too, register HERE. It's already over 70% full, so hurry! According to their online countdown I have 85 days to train. I can do this! Last year I only trained for about 60 days and made it 10 miles. I plan to make it this year and I'm psyched about it! So here's the plan:

Between now and Christmas I'll be running 3 times a week (starting tonight - my legs are STILL sore from the 5K!), and watching what I eat, but not necessarily following a particular diet. After Christmas I'll be all in on a strict diet and (ready for this?) getting used to running outside on the cold hard pavement using the Galloway Method. OUCH! I'll be ready, then, though. I got a great deal at fleetfeet on Black Friday for a really good sports bra. The thing fits like a bullet proof vest. I'll be testing that sucker out tonight! Should be great!

Just last night I made a pumpkin Devil's Food Cake with fat free cool whip. It was excellent for lunch today! I also made a batch of Fiber One banana nut muffins for breakfast for the rest of the week. It's been a while since I've loaded up on fiber without tons of protein to back me up, so the results may be explosive. Dinners are relatively good, also, with lots of options for chicken. I'll just need to watch my carbs and not go overboard now that I can have them again. I'm a sucker for rice and noodles! (but I am using brown rice and whole wheat noodles)

Note the new starting-point picture! I think I'm starting off better than I did about a year ago.

I'm open to training and diet suggestions! Especially if you have any favorite recipes or exercises! Let me know!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Some days, pork rinds just aren't enough....

Alright! I'm starting off Week 3 at 234 lbs (8 lbs lighter than 2 weeks ago!) ready to go in my new apartment inside my new apartment complex with my newly-found motivation to GET THINGS DONE! I'm not sure if it's because my paper is done or because I have completely cleansed and relocated my living space, but I'm in a busy mood, which is great incentive to keep active all afternoon instead of flopping out on the couch when I get home from work and staying there until I roll myself out just to flop back down into bed.

Casualties of the Fat-Life

Another incentive to get moving is noticing, as well as hearing from my parents and boyfriend, how much weight my DOG has gained. Abby Gustafson has unfortunately been a casualty of my weight gain and sedentary life-style. Normally, the routine has been to take her out in the mornings before I leave, and then again right when I get home, and normally one more time before we go to bed. And when we go, it's only for her to poop and pee. I didn't have much time, and I had work to get done all sprawled out on my couch. Abby (a.k.a. Tater) somewhat conformed to this lifestyle and snuggled with me while I worked on stuff and occasionally dropped a tennis ball on my keyboard for me to throw around a little. A couple of times I tried to throw her tennis ball with her outside, but she only grabbed it and ran to the door to go back inside so she could get a treat (story of my life). Well, at this new apartment complex, there are lots more dogs, so when I take Abby out, I will definitely have to have her on a leash, and since I'll have her on a leash, she'll have to stay outside with me. No more running to the door. So I think we'll get a good walk everyday around the new (and very safe) complex. Tater needs to be able to fit into those cute sweaters I bought her last year!

What's Been Going On

As I said before, I've been moving into my new apartment since Tuesday of last week. However, Wednesday and Thursday I did nothing because I was diagnosed with bronchitis, a sinus infection, and an ear infection. I felt like a raccoon (don't they carry a bunch of diseases? or did my mom just lie to keep me from petting them...). Anyways, that slowed my progress somewhat, so this weekend Scott and I got it done big time. By Monday everything from the old apartment was moved over into the new one and now I just have to clean the old apartment up for inspection. Just about everything is in its new home at the new apartment. I have my skinny clothes on standby on the top shelf of my new closet. I've also thrown away tons of stuff (soooo relieving!!) and set some other things aside for a yard sale next weekend. Love love LOVE this organization. I love plugging in a documentary on netflix to listen to while I dig and separate out bins full of junk. It's just HEAVEN!

However, it's all very hard work, too, and my body wants to revert back to rewarding itself with food. So I've had some serious cravings this past week and weekend. The worst was on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon when eating out. Saturday I wanted a beer more than life itself. I settled for a whisky sour and a coconut rum on ice (whisky sour was only 5 carbs and rum has NO carbs...but your body will burn off the alcohol before it gets back to burning fat, so it slows you down just a little). Sunday, Scott and I met up with my parents for lunch at a BBQ place where they had fried EVERYTHING and the most heavenly looking creme pies I've ever seen in my life. I did eat a couple of fried green beans without the breading on it. I really wanted to try the jalapeno dipping was delicious by the way.

But this next week will be fine. I've reloaded on my Atkins snacks to sustain me through certain cravings. I used to wonder how the Atkins people could be making money with all their information available for free on their website, and then I realized the snag you with their brands of chocolate and milk. They're the only ones who can make chocolate peanut butter cups taste just like the real thing. However, I should warn y'all, everything else tastes like cardboard, except the peanut butter and chocolate granola bar they have. That one is good, but everything else is incredibly deceiving. The milkshakes aren't bad, but well, I love milk and I know it's not milk, so it's not as fun, but it works for now!

Since we're talking about food, let's just line up some meals from this past week:


Breakfast - My blender has been packed up all week, so I haven't been up on the protein shakes like I'd like to be. Instead I've been eating those Atkins chocolate covered peanut butter bars with an Atkins milkshake or a handful of pork skins, or a few days I microwaved some bacon.

Lunch - Leftover rotisserie chicken, publix chicken salad with pork skins, hot dogs, and babybel cheese.

Snack - Babybel cheese, Atkins cardboard, or pork skins

Dinner - cheesy hot dogs with chili (no beans), rotisserie chicken, bacon and eggs, egg salad with pork skins.

I didn't eat quite as much last week because of getting sick, but that should HELP, right?

Something else I've been doing, I may have mentioned this before, is drinking flavored teas from Crystal Light. 0 carbs. I've been getting the peach and raspberry flavors. Really good! And they don't need splenda or truvia which Atkins says to add 1 carb for using.


Taking boxes/bins up and down stairs and hills. That counts, right? Actually, Scott did a WHOLE lot more than I did, but we still worked hard. I also took Abby and her Aunt Katie out for walk a lot last weekend, which was really nice because it was so cool outside. This week I'll be exercising my arms with scrubbing floors and counters and everything else in the old apartment. Hopefully it will help!!

I'm still looking into phase 2 for Atkins. I still need to read more about it before I get to it. I want to have all my bases covered and be prepared when I start. I may start it next weekend!

New Short Term Goal

Looks like the family may get involved in the Huntsville Turkey Trot 5K this year on Thanksgiving Day. I want to be able to do well in it, so we'll see! It will also (hopefully) make me less hungry for Thanksgiving lunch that day (or make me feel like I've burned a lot of fat/calories so I can eat all I want). Haha. I'll try for the former!