Sunday, February 26, 2012
In their literature they talk about the fact that the balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber influences body chemistry and how the body responds to weight loss and hunger.
None of that is news to me, but it really is difficult to plan and eat every meal with that in mind.
They also mention that the more weight you gain and the more times you lose it and gain it back, the harder it becomes to lose it and keep it off. Everyone knows that too.
But the hard part is what to do about it. And how to put forth that effort consistently.
I feel like this is a powerful statement if it is true: "BistroMD scientifically targets insulin resistance and the Metabolic Syndrome to retrain your body to lose weight."
I am not diabetic, but I have been told by more than one medical doctor that I have pancreatic issues and should be concerned about my insulin levels and that the imbalances have caused a lot of my weight gain and hampered my efforts to lose it.
The idea is that if I stick to this diet for 4 to 8 weeks it will help reset my metabolism and stabilize my insulin levels.
I would like to think so. It has been so hard for me to do it on my own.
"It's more than calories. It's deeper than food..."
"Unlike other diet plans, BistroMD is not just convenient, low-calorie food. Each meal and each day is designed with the proper combination of nutrients." It's all about proper nutrition and promoting healthy weight loss - getting the body and metabolism to work properly so that you can lose fat and feel healthy and satisfied and nourished.
I like that philosophy. It appeals to me.
I am not posting this for any personal gain. I am simply detailing my weight loss journey the same way I did with my Sisterlocks. I spoke about what did and didn't work for me.
It is only Day 2 of this new eating plan, so it remains to be seen if it will work for me and how well.
But, if you do decide to try BistroMD based on my comments or recommendation, please e-mail or call me (864-423-4936) because they sent me codes that will allow you to get $50 off your first order. That's a significant discount.
Friday, February 24, 2012
There are several companies out there that do meal delivery. The first two that come to mind are BistroMD and eDiets.
I read all of the info on both websites years ago when I first began the weight gain and felt like I needed to do something drastic...
I believed in the principle.
The idea behind both is that there is built-in portion control and convenience. You don't have to spend time shopping for and preparing low-calorie, nutritionally-balanced meals. You simply heat and eat.
I like to shop and I like to cook, but it is still a challenge to do it in a healthy way 7 days a week, 3 times a day. Even when I want to eat healthy food, I don't always have all the ingredients on hand. And even when I do have all of the ingredients on hand, I don't always feel like taking the time to cook everything.
At a minimum, the quickest meals I can whip up take 20 minutes and the longest are probably an hour to an hour and a half (soups, casseroles, gumbo, jambalaya). I seem to average 30 - 45 minutes beginning to end.
You know how sometimes you walk in the door and you are famished and you want food right that minute?! You feel like you're starving and you want something good to eat in 10 minutes or less... Or you're driving home wracking your brain for what you can fix when you get in your kitchen and none of your choices seem appealing? Or, worse, you're driving around town or languishing in the grocery store feeling desperate and hungry...
I find myself there several times a week - almost once a day.
I actually don't like fast food, and yet I end up buying it far too often because it's quick and convenient.
I'm pretty sure I've said this before. I grew up eating healthy, home-cooked meals and I wasn't allowed to eat at fast food restaurants more than once a month, so it's not a habit I can't kick, but changes in my lifestyle have made it difficult.
I like to cook, and I prefer my own food, but when it's been too many hours since my last meal, my preferences, good sense, and will power go out the window.
Drive-thru it is.
I'm usually not more than 15 - 30 minutes from my apartment at any given time. Knowing that I have gourmet quality food that will go from refrigerator to plate in less than ten minutes definitely gives me the incentive and the willpower to bypass all of the other less healthy choices and head straight home.
And if I do start working outside the home in an office in the near future, it is something I can conveniently pack to take with me and prepare easily without any muss and fuss. And I won't have that feeling of sacrifice and deprivation that accompanies meal replacement bars and shakes.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
And the things I've been trying in the past year haven't been working. I've seen my weight creep up by 35 lbs instead of losing that amount like I intended.
Ay-yi-yi! (How do you spell that?)...Anyway....
I fell into some really bad habits in the last 18 months and they've caught up with me. Plus there are some (like emotional eating when I'm stressed or unhappy) that I will always have to deal with.
And I do like restaurants - fine dining and world cuisine, street eats and food trucks - all types of food, which I was never ashamed to say when I was thin. And now that I am married, it's nice going out for date night - eating out is social, fun time with my husband, a welcome change from the routine of eating at home.
I don't feel like I make terrible choices or eat excessive portions, but I am likely to order an appetizer and eat the bread they bring while you're waiting and have a cocktail or two and a dessert. I feel certain I average 1500 to 2000 calories on a dinner out - maybe more if I order something with rich sauces or fatty meats. And let's not talk about the sugars and starches.
Don't get me wrong. I love vegetables. I prefer vegetables, but unless you are at a vegetarian restaurant or order a vegetarian dish, the vegetables are almost always an afterthought relegated to the side of the plate. It just is that way.
When I cook at home, I always serve myself what would seem to most people a disproportionate amount of vegetables - two or three times the amount of meat or bread or pasta. I feel cheated otherwise, but that's not what I ever expect to get when I eat out, although I wish I could.
I say that, but I know that when I eat out, I tend to order things I wouldn't buy and cook at home. I feel like it's pointless to get dressed and leave the house to pay $10 or $15 for a salad I could have made at home for $3 or $4.
And let's face it, most low-calorie and low-fat menu options are just not that appealing in comparison to everything else on a restaurant menu.
I don't like to think about it, but I have to. 2000 calories at one sitting. That's all the calories I should have in an entire day!
Doing that even once a week is going to undermine my weight loss efforts.
I just got back into exercising about 5 weeks ago; before that I had almost no extra physical activity for about 9 months. Ugh!
At that rate, I could blow a whole week's worth of minimal exercise in a single meal out, and that's the pattern I've fallen into.
Something's gotta give, so I decided to try something new. It's not a new idea. It's not even something I didn't know about before.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I realized that I haven't posted in forever and a day. I had no idea when was the last time I had written anything at all. I just knew it had been an extremely long time.
Nine months ago. Wow! Okay...
I'm still going through lots and lots of changes associated with the adjustments that came with moving and marriage.
I say again: I love my husband and I'm so glad we're together. I really have found the kind of love that I have been looking for my entire adult life. Our relationship is very good. I'm satisfied and happy, but it has nonetheless been challenging.
The changes associated with my marriage have been murder on my professional life, and not at all because of my husband. He has always been completely supportive of my entrepreneurial leanings. Really and truly I have failed to be more productive because of a combination of factors, some beyond my control and some that fall squarely on my own shoulders.
I was running a business that was very local and very dependent on relationships and referrals and word-of-mouth. It is the kind of business that you can pick up and take with you, but you really do have to start over from scratch - networking and meeting people face-to-face, cold-calling, etc.
I was on fire to do these things when I started my business in Greenville. I was under 30 and newly out of a failed relationship and I had just left a dead-end job that I hated and I really threw myself into it. I was extremely motivated and felt like I had something to prove. I also felt like I had to make up for time lost while I was with a man who didn't support my goals.
Well, 2008 was a tough year to start a real-estate centered business venture. I survived, but it took a lot of work and by 2010 when I started dating my now-husband, I was already burned out and losing the love for my business simply because of the extraordinary amounts of time and energy required to keep it afloat. But I still felt incredibly optimistic, like I was just one big break or one small advantage away from the success and recognition that I know I am capable of. I was going to turn that all-important corner.
However, I'll admit that dating was a huge distraction. Largely because we were conducting a long-distance relationship. Thousands and thousands of miles and several time zones long-distance, not just-across-the-state-line or just-down-the-interstate long-distance like I had done in the past.
This meant lots of lost sleep for me and embarrassing as it is to admit as a 30-something: lots of time lost daydreaming about what it would be like when we could finally be together full-time.
I'll be the first to admit that I did not work my business like I needed to for the final 3 months of our 6 month courtship. Once I knew that he intended to marry me and I intended to say yes (about 3 months in) I really slacked off on my marketing. Not entirely.
I honored all of my contracts and existing obligations. I even attempted to expand and acquire new clients, but mine is a business where aggressive follow-up is essential and I just didn't do it.
I was planning our wedding and trying to lose weight and thinking about where we would live and how we would consolidate and combine our households. As regards the business, there just came a point where my heart wasn't in it.
So when it came time to move, I was in no position mentally, emotionally, or financially to transition my business to the new location.
And, while we were dating, my husband promised me that I wouldn't have to work unless I wanted to.
Of course, I want to. Why wouldn't I? I love what I do! I said.
Turns out, I kind of like being a homemaker.
I'm not an idle wife whose days are filled with spa treatments and massages and shopping, but I have spent a large part of the past year setting up our first home, looking for our second apartment (and now scouting our third place, which I'm hoping will be a house for purchase now that I know we intend to stay in the area), merging and managing our finances, coordinating projects with family members, supporting my husband in his career and helping him adjust to the cross-country move, as well as trying to work on various things I never had time for while I was running my business full-time.
Unfortunately, my weight is up again and I'm struggling with that too, so I've devoted quite a bit of time in my weekly schedule to weight-loss efforts.
As independent as I am and always was, I have to say that it is nice to be in a place where I don't have to do it all on my own, where I'm with someone who wants to take care of me and I am perfectly fine with letting him.
I recently read this blog post that I could really identify with.
The Soft Campaign
I love being able to ask him to take out the trash and change the light bulbs and load the luggage into the car and pump the gas and put together the self-assembly furniture. All things I can and did do myself for years and years, but now that I don't have to, Oh-my-goodness! I love it!
And he likes having his laundry done and home-cooked meals, and automatic bill-payment and errands run. It is definitely traditional and what some people would consider old-fashioned, but I don't mind at all. It's a really comfortable place to be for me.
I intend to re-establish my business eventually because I did love the work and the earning potential. I had a lot of good times, but having this time when I can focus on him and us has really been a blessing and a privilege.
Monday, May 23, 2011
To settle a question I know must have come to mind for some of you: No I am not a Mommy.
Lord! If that was one of the changes, I think I would not be able to handle any of the rest.
But... less than 3 months after we got married, my husband got a job in the Research Triangle Park located just outside Raleigh, NC. And we had 2.5 weeks to move and find an apartment.
....Talk about upheaval.
He had already sold everything and moved across the country to be with me. (Aww..., right?) How could I complain about moving 4 hours up the Interstate in support of his career? I couldn't even think of it.
But.... on very short notice I had to leave my 4 BR 2400 sq ft house with office and move into a 2 BR apartment. That was difficult to say the least.
I own a house in SC. He owns a condo on the other coast. Neither of us can sell for what they're worth in this market, thus neither can we buy anything comparable here at the moment.
Having been a homeowner for the last ten years, it has been interesting renting again. Just finding an apartment is challenging, but we did reasonably well. We weren't familiar with the area but still managed to find something nice in a good location convenient to work and shopping.
The neighborhood is a great mix of everyone. Singles and couples of all races, families of all descriptions. And I feel safe. We have wooded streets with sidewalks and streetlights, trails for hiking, biking, running and walking, several parks and lakes nearby. I am very happy.
And after years of homeownership it is the coolest thing to call maintenance when something breaks. We just had to have the dishwasher and the a/c replaced and all I had to do was call the leasing office and both were fixed within 24 hours. It was so nice not to have to schedule it all or go into my own pocket for repairs.
Ahh! Part of me wants to never go back.
I've been learning my way around the new city, but I am admittedly homesick for my old one and moreso for my old friends.
Of course there is more. (There is always more.) But I haven't any more time today.
My 4th lock anniversary came and went in March without incident. My SLs are still strong and healthy and beautiful.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
There is lots of speculation about why. Of course it has and will come up time and again that a minority couple can't carry a Primetime series that isn't a comedy.
But I liked this article and the breakdown that was given.
Unfortunately, this may have set us back. Who knows how long it will be before a network or producer takes a chance on headlining with an AA couple again?
Monday, September 27, 2010
Take this one for example:
So it seems that some of us who are single post almost as much and as often about our single status and our feelings about it as we do about our hair. I have been following the 'Where is my king?' series by locsuluv* and it has inspired me to leave several comments on her blog which turned in to posts of my own, inculding this one.
*(It appears that locsuluv has taken down her blog. I couldn't find her blog or profile to link back to the posts I'm referring to. I don't know what happened to her. If anyone knows, I would appreciate an update. A private note by e-mail would be fine.)
I could identify with several issues she addressed. When I was younger, I didn't stress much about being married or not being married because I assumed it would happen one day, and I assumed that one day would preferably/probably come before my 25th birthday.
It wasn't a goal or a deadline or even a full-fledged expectation, but rather something I just simply thought would come together for me without much effort. I really thought it would just happen.
How hard is it to find someone you love who loves you back with the same devotion and to the same degree?
(Ah the naïveté of youth, right?)
I would be living my life, pursuing my goals and I would meet him, and I would know it was him.
Well, that's not how it happened for me, and I did begin to second guess myself and wonder what I had done wrong.
It is definitely a challenge to be self-sufficient in the way we need to be to take care of ourselves in this world and yet remain open to the possibility of marriage; to be seen as vulnerable enough that a man wants to take care of you without seeming desperate enough that he runs away.
But you also have to be confident enough that you like who you are and competent enough that you are seen as an asset and not a liability in and to his life.
It is a very difficult balance to strike. I am still trying to figure it out. *
*Here I have to say that my husband made this really easy for me simply by being the type of person that he is. He's never made me feel like I have to be more or less than the person that I naturally am. I don't have to pretend to be more or less intelligent, more or less domestic, more or less vulnerable or strong.
He really does love and accept and appreciate me exactly as I am.
I can just be myself and it is enough for him. I can't express how comfortable and safe that makes me feel at the end of every day. Heck! At the beginning. Shoot! All day long....
Can you say: all the happiness I can stand....?
I'm not happy for all of the hurt and disappointment and hard-knock lessons I learned on the way to where I am now. It would have been nice to have found the kind of love I have now 5 years ago or 10. But I do most definitely have greater appreciation for it now than I would have had then.
I know I will work hard to protect this love and nurture it and see that it grows and matures. And I know that I will never take my husband and the love he has for me for granted.
Anyway, back to the original post....
Long ago, before I hit my 25th b-day, I decided I would just live my life the way I always wanted. I would pursue my goals and I would travel and I would focus on being a whole and complete person - by myself, alone, and if I met someone fine and if I didn't fine.
But then I did meet someone. Two someones, in fact. The first one tried to make me change for him and I rebelled against it; but then the second one made me want to change, and so I did.
Long story short (well, it's kind of too late for that...but anyway). I had two back-to-back relationships that took up all of my time and emotional energy between the ages of 24 and 29 and neither of them resulted in marriage.
So, here I am on the eve of my 30th birthday and I am more determined than ever to do what I need to do for me, and to refocus on my goals which include my service and worship.
In fact, I do believe it is necessary and essential for me to put my relationship with God back at the center of my life if I expect to find happiness single or married.
Wow... I remember writing that like it was last week. I was about two months out of a third relationship that I don't even make reference to and barely speak about to this day because it was just crazy. Not crazy-bad like there was non-stop drama.
Crazy like it seemed really, really good up until the day it wasn't and then it just unraveled in about 3 days. It was really strange. Never experienced anything like it before or since and it definitely left me gunshy in subsequent relationships.
After it ended, I was more concerned about my own perception and judgment than of the mindset that men are inherently deceptive and untrustworthy. It was like: wow! How did I misjudge to that degree?
Because the man seemed to be all about me for months and then he was just someone else one day.
He really did say things like: I love you. You're beautiful. I want to marry you.
Constantly. I didn't make that up.
But I don't know. It was still incredibly superficial in hindsight. I keep a journal. And it's funny. Now, with the distance and objectivity of 3 years' time I read and saw all kinds of signs that he was a flake from the get-go.
Especially in comparison to the man who is now my husband, but at the time I was just like: how did this happen? What should I have done differently? Why did he change overnight?
He didn't. He was always one foot out the door. But the foot that was in was all-in. That's what was so mind-bending at the time. He said all the right things, but many of his actions (and lack of actions) were in direct conflict with his words.
And we all know that adage about actions and words...
It was really scary for me while I was dating my now-husband because he said many of the same types of things on roughly the same timeline as Bachelor #3 and I spent the first three months just entirely scared that he was going to flake out on me too or that I was misreading the situation and missing signs that his devotion was shallow.
I was so scared all the time and I told him so on a regular basis.
The difference? Constant verbal reassurances and actions to back them up. .
And I didn't have to ask him for reassurances or ask him to follow-through. He simply did and never seemed annoyed about how often I needed encouragement.
...I'm saying it again. He's awesome!
I feel like some of y'all are just going to stop reading my blog.
I feel like there must be eye-rolling and declarations of: if she says one more thing about how wonderful her man is, I'm quitting this blog.
I know. I know! Y'all didn't come here for this. I need to post something abot my hair, right?
And I really need to take some pictures...
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
That has been the story of my life since I started my SLs. I think about the hours I spent straightening my hair or twisting it or getting some form of extensions. And I'm just like: where would I find the time anymore?
I literally never style my hair. I don't curl it or twist it or braid it out. I wash and go all the time.
My style options consist of down, down with a headband or scarf, and up in a bun or ponytail.
I have enough length that I could actually do some pretty fabulous stuff. And occasionally I feel like I should, but somehow I never get around to it.
For months I've been saying I should curl it because it is at sort of a weird layered just-past-my-shoulders length where it should be longer or shorter and now it just sort of hangs.
But I haven't done it yet and I have an itching feeling that by the time I get truly motivated it will probably have grown past this stage.
One of the most wonderful things about Sisterlocks is the freedom to freestyle. I never have to think about what to do with my hair. I don't have to plan around the weather or exercise or money. I retighten myself, so my roots are always neat.
I don't have to worry about humidity or rain or sweat or water. I can go swimming. I can get caught in a downpour. I can let my hair get soaking wet in the shower or bath. I can wash it in the morning before work or worship and let it air dry on the way.
And it looks the same. So liberating...
I wish all black women could experience this freedom at least once in their lives.
As much as I look at loose hair sometimes and wish I could alternate between locks and a fabulous fro or silky smooth straight hair, every time I think of the time freedom I've gained by wearing my hair locked, I just know I'm not going back any time soon.
I will never say never, but most definitely not in the foreseeable future.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I couldn't help but notice how I fell off by half every year since I started. 88 posts in 2007. Granted: I was unemployed and working part-time for a good part of that year, but I also had way more enthusiasm for the novelty of blogging.
Many of my contemporaries who started blogs around the same time don't post at all anymore and I miss them. I suspect that with the current economy lots more people are working longer hours to make ends meet or just generally caught up in the day-to-day.
Also, several have gotten married and started families or added to the families they already had. Blogging becomes as less essential activity and takes an understandable back seat.
36 posts for me in 2008. I actually wrote many more that year; in fact, they are all still sitting in draft limbo. But I purchased my franchise in late 2007 and launched in early 2008. I spent the better part of that year getting my business off the ground. And then, well, the economy tanked in the final quarter. How time-consuming was all of that?
18 posts in 2009. Exactly half. I spent the better part of 2009 trying to keep my head above water as a result of the events of 2008. It was one of the most challenging years of my life for so many reasons.
9 posts in 2010 so far. Half again, although the year is not over and if I keep up the current pace, I will probably match last year's number.
But about my circumstances: In terms of earnings relative to workload - worst year ever in life! I'm just going to go ahead and say it. Shamelessly. Because I know I am not alone. In terms of peace, love and happiness.... best year ever! Because I fell in love with and married my husband who adores me.
2010 will always be a banner year. Pivotal.
I had to give up the franchise and figure out a different career path.... Still working out the details of all that, but I know I will always look back on this year as one where my life began to change for the better and in ways I could not have foreseen at the beginning. And I will continue to be grateful for and happy about all of the good things that have happened to me this year.