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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Positive Thought and Positive Living

Since this year I am well on my weigh to reaching my weight loss goals, I have a different New Years Resolution. This year I want to worry less about what others think about me, and pay more attention to my own needs and thoughts. I wanted to share with you all a few of the books I have read over the years that helped enlighten me.

The Celestine ProphecyWhen I was just out of college, moved off on my own and started a new job and new life in a new city, I had a little trouble. I went to work for a young company that was about to do big things and everyone was expected to give it everything they had. The job market was tough, so switching jobs didn't seem like an option. I worked late nights, weekends and overnight more than a few times. I often signed out on the next day's security sheet. That's all okay, but because you need to pay your dues and burn that midnight oil to build your career. But the problem was this company attracted lots of unhappy and cruel people. I worked in a department that was treated like the ugly stepsister, and people felt free to degrade and belittle you in meetings, and yell at you as common practice.

Being young and sensitive, I was really affected by all this. What was I doing wrong, why didn't they like me? Then one day a friend was visiting my new city and as we walked down the street and passed a bookstore she said "I want to share something with you that changed my life". She came back out with The Celestine Prophecy book. And indeed, it changed my life too. It is a fiction book, and the end is a little too out there. But the big lesson I learned from this is that those people are unhappy all on their own and it has nothing to do with me. I have the misfortune to interact with them for part of the day. But instead of disliking them, I began to feel sorry for them. What is so bad in their lives that they act out like this to people they barely know? It also taught me about people who exude positive energy and those who try and steal your positive energy. Sounds a little New Age-y, I know. I might be a tab bit New Age-y then! But this book came along at exactly the right place in my life!

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your MateThis is a great book if you are married or in a committed relationship. My Dad gave me this book four years ago for my 10th Wedding Anniversary. He does some marriage counseling and thought I would find this useful. And boy did I! First let me say, I am happily married. But we have our issues, like most people. What I discovered reading the 5 Languages of Love was that my problems I had in my marriage, I had in my last relationship, and the one before that and actually I felt the same frustrations with my parents growing up. I never really felt "Loved". And that is when I realized, the common denominator in that story was ME. So maybe these people did love me, but I was not capable of seeing and feeling that love. Maybe I was the problem, not the people in my life!

The jist of the book is that there are five primary ways we perceive "love" and we each are attached to one or two of these ways. These are your Love Languages, how you communicate love. Your partner also has a Love Language, which might not be the same as yours. So they could be doling out the love full force and you don't even see it! So you are both frustrated! I read this book, tried to get my husband to read this book (it was an unsuccessful attempt) and then reread it. I learned so much about myself and about the healing of relationships from this book. It took a while for it all to sink in, and apply it real situations in my life, but it completely changed how I interact with my husband and people I love.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61) I found this book via Oprah a year and a half ago. I was planning a 11 hour road trip with two restless little boys in the backseat and looking for podcasts to occupy my mind. Oprah did an online class with Eckhart Tolle who has pusblished A New Earth, The Power of Now and Stillness Speaks. She also had a Podcast interview with the author that was really long, perfect for my roadtrip! I found the podcasts, and later her Web Class to be more powerful than the books even.

I heard things I had NEVER heard before from the author! The Id, the Ego, the negative voice in your head and how we feed it. The power of expectations, of yourself and others, and how we are not living in "the present". We are consumed with concentrating on the past, past wrongs, failures and hurts. How I could have or should have done this or that. And anticipating future failures. How much time do we really spend In The Moment?

I was so excited when I got to my destination that I couldn't stop talking about this book and asking people about their inner voice and what it was saying. They all probably thought I was nuts, but  it was a fun conversation. It was a real Oprah "Aha!" moment.

None of these books have to do with weight loss, but they all three made big differences in my life and my personal view of the world. Books make wonderful gifts, and sharing something that changed your life is a real gift. If you have a book that changed your view of the world and how we interact with it, I'd love for you to share it here!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Belly Fat Cure Christmas!

This year, I got something amazing for Christmas that I could only give myself: My old self back! Well, that isn't really accurate... I am older and wiser, and not as thin (yet!) but I really feel more like the "self" I remember and want to be. When I see my reflection, I recognize myself, which I haven't in quite a while.

Here is my gift to you all, a little video of how to put the Calorieking website on your iPhone screen. It will make looking up food values so much easier while you are out and about the next few weeks.
This may be old news to you iPhone pro users, but surprisingly I've found very few people know how to do this and it works with any website too! If you aren't familiar with Calorie King, it is a great site with nutritional information for tons of foods, wines, and restaurants. Jorge Cruise recommended its use on the Belly Fat Cure plan. With it on your phone, there is no excuse to not follow the program! You also add to your Blackberry and Android with similar steps.

Also, if you are using my tracker to log your food, here are the instructions to add it to your iPhone screen too:
If you don't have my BFC Tracker, but would like to, send an email to meandjorge@gmail.com with the word " "TRACKER" as the subject. I'll send you the link as soon as it is ready!

Hope you all have a great Christmas and are true to your diet plans. Remember that fitting into smaller clothes will FEEL so much better than any treat can taste!

UPDATE: The BFC Tracker is now available for download directly from my site! Click HERE to get it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week 9: Weigh in Day!

Well it is Christmas week and I have been tempted and tested over these last few days as never before! How crazy to be on a diet over the holidays, right?! Just Friday night I went to a company Christmas party at a restaurant that turned out to be hot appetizers and no dinner (thanks Honey, that info would have been really useful to the dieting Wife). There were no good choices to be had: Chinese short ribs, chicken wings smothered in a sweet sauce, egg rolls and the like. I had a glass of Bug Juice before the party thinking it would help perk me up a little and hold off any hunger until dinner... but there was no dinner. It was a heavy on the drinking sort of party, and we had taken a company shuttle into the city so we couldn't leave early either! So I ate. Looking back I wish I had stepped outside and found a quick salad or another low carb option at a fast food place near by, but I didn't even think of that at the time.

So I wasn't really looking for a loss this morning and was pleasantly surprised to be down another 1.5lbs for a total of 23.5lbs. That puts me a 172.5! I also measured my waist this morning and was down .5" to 32.5" which Dr. Oz said in his video with Jorge is the key number for women. Honestly, I have noticed HUGE changes in my body. I don't consider myself a "Fat Girl" anymore. I'm just normal now. Normal, with really baggy clothes...

As I mentioned last week, I have really been trying hard not to skip any meals (I am a notorious and life long meal skipper) and up my good, healthy fiber filled carbs. I cut back a bit on my Dark Chocolate consumption in the evenings too. The first day I had a 5/2 for dinner was really scary, I just saw the pounds packing back on! But that didn't happen at all. I felt more satisfied and was less likely to snack. All my meals where not 5/2 (by a long shot) but I did it all week and I feel much better and learned a good lesson about cutting back too much!

I received the sweetest email from Heather, who blogs at As the Pizza Burns, who was concerned I wasn't eating enough, and she was right. My fear of the dreaded plateau led me to sabotage my eating. So funny, because several weeks ago I asked Jorge the question "How do you keep from emotional on weeks when you don't lose?" Mind you, I lost 3lbs that week, but it was already on my mind! Jorge actually chose my question and answered it in class. Honestly I didn't understand his answer, it was something about the movie A Christmas Carol and fear. But now, I do. It was fear! That Jorge is so smart! And here I thought he was just rambling on about a movie he had recently seen ;-)

Fear of failure is what kept me from starting a diet plan for a long time. Once I started the Belly Fat Cure and was succeeding that fear crept back in and tried to pull me back down. What else has fear been holding me back from, I wonder now? If I answer honestly... a lot.

But that fear better watch out, because I'm getting in fighting shape now! I kicked the rear ends of my first 20lbs which such ease it shocked me. The next 20lbs may be a little trickier, but know this... I'm coming for you!

I hope you all are doing great this week and kicking your fat's little butts too! Later this week I'll be blogging about positive thinking and books that have greatly effected my outlook on life. I really hope you all will share your favorites too and help pass that positive energy on to others!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Week 8: Weigh In Day and Why My Weight Loss Has Slowed Down

I am down 1.5lbs this week on the Belly Fat Cure. While it's not an impressive number on it's own, it is Week 8 of consistant loss! That puts my weight loss total at 22lbs during two really difficult eating months.

Several members of my family are dieting too, they started their plans a few weeks earlier then I started the Belly Fat Cure. We all check in with each other and offer encouragement and track our weights together. They are all doing different diet plans; Atkins, Jenny Craig and Body for Life. But one thing is the same, each has had a week where they lost nothing and/or a week they gained weight. Except for me. We all have varying weights to lose and are different ages, but we do have the same genetics! I have the 2nd least amount of weight to lose in the family, but I have lost the most so far. I don't know what that means, and Im not suggesting that the Belly Fat Cure is a "better diet" than the others. But it does encourage me and reminds me not every week can be a big loss or even a loss at all. I also feel like the others are "diets" that you do for a limited amount of time and abandon when you reach your goal weight. To me, the Belly Fat Cure Carb Swapping program is a lifestyle that I plan on staying with and slowly moving my children into. I will not be adding back Coke Zero, Splenda or hidden sugars when I reach my goal weight. 

But there is still that question: Why has my weight loss slowed down? I wouldn't say I have plateaued. To me that means no loss for a few weeks. But I am not losing the big numbers I was in the first month on the program. There could be a number of reasons, but I think I can attritide my slow down to two reasons, first being exercise. I have been a regular walker for years now and recently ramped it up. Never lost a pound, but kept trudging on. When I started losing weight it became easier to walk faster and go farther, so I did.  My feet and joints used to hurt for days after a big hike, but not now. Muscle weighs more than fat, and I feel as if I have definitely converted lots of fat to muscle in the last few weeks. My Brother keeps encouraging me to buy an expensive scale that shows that conversion more clearly, but I don't want to spend the money. I think that without the exercise a bigger loss would show on the scale. Getting fit and running a 5K is a separate goal I made at the same time I started BFC and I'm not giving up on it.

The second reason, I think, is that I've recently cut back quite a bit on my food intake. My carb grams were not topping 50 and the servings usually came out to 4 or less for the day. Some days I was shocked at how little I had consume!  My (thin) Husband noticed this first and called me out on it. Sometimes it was purposeful other times it was just the result of a busy day. But the facts were there, I was really denying myself! It was all based on a fear that started on Thanksgiving. I was afraid I wouldn't lose any that week. I was afraid I would have to report that here, letting myself down and letting you all down. So I began cutting back out of fear. Which is when I actually started to lose less, so I sabotaged myself! Funny how we do that to ourselves, isn't it? But my spreadsheet shows I had bigger losses when I was truer to the BFC plan, so that is what I'm getting back too! Last night dinner was a 5/2, which frankly was a little scary!

Maybe my new normal is only 1-1.5lbs loss each week and I can definitely live with that! I also need to be prepared not lose every week and be OK with that. I had gottten spoiled with my early losses of 3-3.5lbs a week, but I realize I've passed the half way mark on my weight loss and my body is adjusting. I've decided to be more true to the program and get closer to the 15/6 mark each day. But I'm going to make sure those Carbs are high in fiber and extra healthy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Getting Through the Holidays on the Belly Fat Cure

Being on a "diet" at any time of year is hard, but during the holidays can be pure torture! The Sugar Factor is turned up to about a billion and it is everywhere! But I made a conscience decision to start the Belly Fat Cure right before all of this to help keep me strong through this time of year. And frankly, if I can keep my sugar intake low during Halloween, Birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, then I am home free.

So far one thing that has helped me get through this is the the Swine Flu. Yes, the Swine Flu. Its everywhere that kids are and there are kids in my house, touching things, then touching their faces (that is putting it nicely because I could have said picking their noses and still have been saying it kindly!). And I desperately don't want to get it. That saved me during Halloween and the big Birthday Party. Dirty little hands, blowing on cakes, candy from unknown origins. Plus the fact that half of the kids trick or treating with us were bed bound the following week, well the yuck factor was nearly as strong as the weight loss factor. But the truth was I was using the yuck to propel the weight loss.Whatever works, right?

So I'm half way through the holidays and its time for the Gingerbread House in all this sweet glistening sugary glory. The Swine Flu has abandoned the area to torture grade school kids elsewhere (So unreliable, that stupid flu bug!)  The kids are slurping Egg Nog out of Santa Mugs while nibbling on Gingersnap cookies. For this I have Dark Chocolate (85% cocoa or more) to be my savior. If I need, I do a little nibbling, but make sure to count it towards my 15/6 total. Oh Holy Dark Chocolate, the Night is Brightly Shining.... 

As for slurping of my own Ive pulled out the tea bags. Candice over at Cooking to Lose that Belly suggested Sleigh Ride Sugar Cookie Tea by Celestial Seasonings. It smells like the real deal but you may want to add a bit of natural sweetener if you still have a sweet tooth. While the kids and I make their Santa Cookies on Christmas Eve it will take extra reserve and will power to resist, but I will put on a pot of tea and "splurge" with a spot of cream in it! (You could heat up the Chocolate Unsweetened Almond Milk for a faux hot chocolate experience too.)

Then there are the parties. I failed at my first exposure to adult Christmas treats, but aced the next one. The trick? Skip the cocktails and have a small glass of wine instead, and then go for Sparkling Water with Lime. I assigned myself the job of designated driver and that really helped as well. I was so lucky at the restaurant party we went to! The appetizers where deviled eggs with smoked trout and cavier and mini mushrooms stuffed with sausage. When the tray came around, I almost jumped for joy! For dinner I was able to choose a salad and pork with a vegetable, over pasta, bread and rice dishes. I skipped dessert altogether and opted for decaf coffee with cream. It felt really good to make such strong choices and I hope to be able to do that at the other parties and temping situations.

For events in peoples's homes I'm going to offer to bring an anti-pasta plate. Prosciutto, salami, cheeses and olives will a perfect way to get through the night and stay BFC true!

One thing that has really helped me is setting a weightloss goal for the next two weeks with my Accountability Buddy (who blogs over at Belly Fat Cure for Life) and a few of my twitter and email buddies. There is power in numbers I tell ya! How are you getting through the holidays on Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure?

And seriously, does no one make a xylitol Candy Cane?!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 7: Weigh In Day and My Wii

I just completed Week 7 of Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure: Carb Swap plan. This week I lost 1.5lbs which puts me at 20.5lbs lost so far! I am thrilled to get to my half way point in such a short time, but I am a little disappointed in not having lost more this week. I thought a lot about why that is, and I found myself making excuses: Its normal to plateau at this point, etc. But if I an truly honest with myself, and with you, I was not perfect on the plan this week.

I went to a party just after my last weigh in. I was relieved to see some choices that were perfect for the BFC. I had pita chips with hummus, olives and a glass of wine. But for reasons I can't explain, I also had a two pieces of homemade desserts that hostess had made.  They were really small pieces, pieces that would be fine if I wasn't trying to lose weight. Whatever the reason, I realized I shouldn't have eaten it and didn't beat myself about it and went on to have an excellent BFC week. But it explains my smaller loss this week. Those tiny pieces each probably had enough sugar for my whole day. So often I see people blaming the plan itself, when really the responsibility to make it work lies within ourselves. So here is to next week and no excuses!

The weather is bad today so I decided to pull out my Wii Fit, which I used to use pretty regularly for exercise. I did 20 minutes of boxing and 10 minutes of Hula Hoop today. I know the Hula Hoop sounds funny, but trust me, you aren't laughing after doing 10 minutes on it! It uses stomach muscles that you didn't even know you had! The Wii informed me that it had been 64 days since I last used it and then it shocked me by saying I had lost 25lbs since I last used it!! It congratulated me on "finally" reaching my weight loss goal, apparently when I got the Wii last Christmas I had set a goal to lose 20lbs. It also informed me that I was nolonger OBESE, just OVERWEIGHT. Maybe it will deflate my Mii a little bit now too. After the first time I weighed on the Wii Fit it blew up my Mii avatar to be clearly fat. I gave up using the Wii Fit as regular exercise when I didn't see any results, but I think I will take it up again this winter now that I understand better the role exercise should play in my life.

Are you adding some exercise to your routine? I'd love to hear about that and what your results where this week!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How the Belly Fat Cure Works for Me

I have been losing very consistently on Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure and wanted to share some of the details of the plan and how it is working for me, with all of you. I am very lucky to be part of the 12 Week Live Coaching Class Jorge is doing with a limited number of people before the book is released. The KEY to the Belly Fat Cure is 15/6. This is referred to as the S/C or Sugar/Carb Servings. Sugars are easy, 1gram = 1 Serving. Carbs are a little different and the chart here explains how it works. It takes a bit of math to get it down at first, but once you figure it out, its down!
You add the Carb grams of everything you are having in that meal together and figure out the serving.

Along with having a guideline of 15/6 for the day, you have one for each meal of 5/2. For each meal you should not go over 2 Carb Servings, which potentially could mean up to 40grams. Don't try and max it out, or get the most you can. That is working the system and it won't work that way. Jorge explains that going over 5grams Sugar and 2 Servings of Carbs spikes your insulin levels and locks in all the Sugar you just consumed. That make the 5/2 per meal guidelines the real key to success for the this program.

The Belly Fat Cure is NOT about eating 15g Sugar and 120g Carbohydrates a day. If that is what you are doing, you are actually missing the point all together. Those are the MAXIMUM you could possibly consume, but in no way is it a goal to reach.

So that explains the Belly Fat Cure, and all its math! Now let me tell you how I have applied it to my diet. At first it is really difficult to get your Sugars that low. Sugar is EVERYWHERE in EVERYTHING. Things you thought were healthy are loaded with it! Whole wheat bread, cereals, yogurt, milk, apples, bananas, etc. You kind of have to throw everything you've ever heard about losing weight, and through it out the window. And then, start new.

You want to check the labels of everything you eat and make sure it doesn't go over the S/C 5/2 per serving. Check your serving sizes and make sure that is the amount you are eating. The two most important things for me were:

#1 Going cold turkey on artificial sweeteners (Sucralose, Aspertame and Sacchrine). That includes Diet Sodas. It is hidden everywhere and takes lots of label searching to find. If you product says Sugar Free, it likely has one of these in it! But doing this immediately, I got that sweet taste out of my system and reset what my taste buds are now expecting. It happens quickly, but give yourself a week or so to get used to everything not being sweet. This was KEY for me! If you do the Belly Fat Cure and leave in artificial sweeteners, then you can't really last eliminating sugar in the long run as you will still expect everything to taste sweet.

#2 Find staple products with great S/C values and high fiber that I use everyday. I have Bread/Tortillas/Pasta once a day and it is responsibly for most of the Carb servings, so it needs to be right. I have reviewed the products that I found in my area (see product reviews). I fill these products with high protein/good fat foods to make my meals. If you get these basics wrong,  it can sabotage your whole plan.

Once I had these two things going for me, everything changed! I track everything in a spreadsheet to see where I am at the end of the day. It lets me know exactly where I stand, whether I can have an evening snack or not. It also is really helpful when I haven't lost what I should have, I can look back over the week and see where I went wrong. Here are a few days worth of meals, I tend to have the same things very often:

I like to keep my dinner the lowest count of the day, definitely lower than 5/2. One reason I do that is I like to have Dark Chocolate in the evening. But you need room somewhere in the day to make that happen!

I hope you find this helpful! Leave a comment and let me know how the Belly Fat Cure Carb Swap system fits into your life.

* I also take Probiotics, acidophilus and regularly (3xs a week at least) have the Bug Juice. Just this week I have seen that this process is really working they way Jorge said it should! So patience with your digestive system is needed!