Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Reclaiming Your Mojo

I forgot to mention that, as of this morning, I dropped another 2 lbs., so that is 6 lbs. gone since Sunday, Jan. 6th. (I had gained 5 lbs. overnight - from last Saturday to Sunday, which made me very irritated but also determined that I would find a way to halt this upward spiral).

As I wrote earlier today, I’ve been fighting water retention for almost 2 months now. I honestly think it's the winter weather, since arthritics and fibromyalgics are prone to swelling (water retention, which means inflammation) and most are also sensitive to weather changes, like rain, increased humidity, snowfall, etc. Those are the days we endure increased pain. For me, the solution was always my Water Workout and an increase in clear fluid intake.

But nothing has worked since November. I've lost and regained and lost the same lbs. repeatedly since that time. So after trying every low-carb "trick" I know, I am hoping that a Stillman's plan, with some ideas from both Protein Power and Lindora, might help me overcome these strange stall-gains.

That means I'll stick with Protein Power's recommended minimum daily protein take, implementing Lindora's strategy of consuming small amounts of protein per meal, with the day's menu spread out into 4-6 mini-meals. I'm also using the original Atkins Induction level of carbs (20 total, not net, per day - that is, 20 total carbs is the uppermost daily limit and is not viewed as an absolute requirement. If I have less carbs per day, the fat loss - not just weight loss, which could include muscle and that is not a good thing - should be faster.).

It's good to have a plan and to feel extremely determined...in fact, it's VERY good!

Cycling Low-Carb Plans

Today is the day I officially cycle to Stillman's. (That is what I call "shaking it up to shake it down" - "it" being the low carb plan.)

My current goal is 10 lbs. a month, so that I can hit goal (or be very close to it) by the end of June 2008. (May 3 will be my one year anniversary date. When I hit goal, I will have lost a total of 150-155 lbs.!)

This morning, it occurred to me that I "only" have at least 63 lbs. to go! (It could be 68, if I try to hit my lowest goal of 160 lbs.) I've been so focused on the short term goal of winning the water retention battle (ever since I hit the 100 lb. goal in November) that I eventually lost sight of final goal. (Water retention has seriously slowed my efforts since the end of November; I'm very sensitive to inclement weather and barometric changes, which always cause me to retain water.)

At any rate, 63 lbs. doesn't seem like much if I break it down to 10 lbs. a month through June 2008. That also seems so "do-able," and it's a great way to re-focus my efforts.

Other things I will do:

---Make lemon water (boil lemon slices in water) and drink that every day to fight the water retention

---Stick with Stillman's for at least a few weeks, cycling it with Atkins Induction

---Drink at least half of my current body wt. in clear liquids every day (no diet soda, no aspartame, cut back on caffeine).

---Exercise 3x a week (either my personally designed Water Workout, Callanetics, or Pilates on the Ball)

---Faithfully take all my vitamins and supplements

---Keep reading and re-reading low carb books and articles for ideas and motivation!

Friday, January 4, 2008

January 2008: Refreshing My Mojo!

Although I restarted low-carbing on May 3, 2007, I believe it's time to start anew for the upcoming year. By that, I mean I am reclaiming my mojo. I've had great success so far with my low-carb lifestyle and my water exercise routine (which I call my Water Workout), so I'm going to start this blog by posting "recaps" from my personal low-carb journal. Here's the first:

These are things I do to keep motivated and track my progress:

1. I set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Sticking with the daily goal keeps me on plan (which is the most important thing) and it often gets me to the weekly goal. In turn, hitting the weekly gets me closer to my monthly goals. Every single step is another one to FINAL GOAL and Maintenance!

2. To keep with my daily goals, I have a motto: "This day, I will stay on plan." (I might tweak to my heart's content, but that motto keeps me from making too many boo-boo's. Not that I haven't made my share of them!)

3. I track my progress (or lack thereof) and my body’s reactions to certain menus by weighing myself every day. And I ask myself: Did I feel alright? Was I more energetic? Was I exhausted? Did a particular daily menu leave me hungry? Why? Was I ok with it? Why?

Btw: Every day, I weigh as close as possible to 9:30 a.m., since I read somewhere that our bodies don’t quite let go of all the water until that time. I tested that idea quite a few times, and it worked for me. There can be a 2 lb. weight difference earlier in the morning. So if I can wait (no eating or drinking or this won’t work) until 9:30 a.m, I’ll find my weight is lower than it was at 7:30 a.m. If waiting is impossible, that’s ok. Then I go ahead and weigh earlier and figure I’ve lost a little more than it says and I'll see it the next morning. As Scarlett O’Hara said: “After all….tomorrow IS another day!”

4. If I don’t understand why I lost, maintained, or gained weight, I review my menus over the past 2-4 days, not from the day before. (Ever notice how a mistake can wait 2 whole days before it shows up on the scale?) In that way, I can usually find the reason. (That’s how I started “tweaking.”)

5. Sometimes, hours after dinner and my last bit of liquids, I’ll get on the scale to see what it has to say. (It usually sticks its tongue out at me, too.) I've found that the report it gives is usually (not always) from 1-3 lbs. higher than the wt. I’ll be in the morning. There were even some evenings when it was lower…and that same loss was still with me by morning. (I still can’t figure that one out!) However, on evenings I felt bloaty, I just knew the next morning's weight would not make me happy, and I was (unfortunately) right. But it sure does teach me how to get in tune with my body - and here I thought I already was! (We've been together for a long time, y'know!)

6. At first, I was keeping a private log of my menus, my ideas, my thoughts, etc. While I still do that, I purchased FitdayPC (which I like better than the free, online version). That software program really helps me in ways I didn’t expect!

7. I do my best to schedule my menu for the next day, or at least in the morning. Sure, I may end up tweaking it because I changed my mind about something or I just didn’t feel like eating a certain item, but the basic outline remains the same.

8. I typed out all the reasons I want to do this (from the serious to the comical), stick with it, prepare myself for a lifetime of low-carbing…and I add the benefits I’ve already recognized.

9. I read and re-read my low-carb books, which usually throw a nugget at me that I felt I didn’t need to implement during an earlier read. Talk about “AHA!” moments!

10. Since I started low-carbing to get better, feel better, and look better – my water exercise is important to me, mostly for the good it does in battling fibro and arthritis…but I cannot deny that I’ve lost a goodly amount of inches, too. So I stick to conditioning and toning via my water exercises, and my minimum goal is 3 times a week, for 1.5 hrs. each time.