Happy 40 lbs (To Me!)

20 Mar

I am beyond stoked! 40 lbs! 40 lbs! 

As I said before:

Lbs lost before without dieting (my whole life): 0lbs

Lbs lost with dieting (that I kept off): 0lbs

Lbs lost without dieting since November 2013: 40lbs! 

Happy Dance! Seriously… Happy Dance!

 

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Undecided…

1 Feb

I’m in a writing mood today, but am contemplating whether I want to talk about another APP, or if I want to talk about Life… I’m literally minimizing this window, going to decide, and come back and write.

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OK I’m back, and I’m going to talk about my App. My favorite App that’s helping me lose weight.

Before I start I know people are going to say “What? How is this not a diet?” And I want to stress that the way I use the tool, and the way I manage my life around it, makes it not a diet. Dieters and Non-Dieters alike use this tool, although they try to focus on NON-DIETING because we ALL know that’s the way to go! I will briefly talk about using it as a Diet, but I want to focus on how it helps my NON-DIET LIFE.

The Tool is Lose It.

lose it

They have a website (www.loseit.com), and an App.  The app is free, as is the website. They do have a Premium Package (which I believe was under $40.00/year), which I indulged in, but many of the people I know have the Free Version, and haven’t needed to upgrade. The best thing is to look at what the benefits are, and decide if you want it. The Free version is completely functional, and I used it for a month or so before upgrading (I wanted better reports).

 

OK so what is Lose It? The short simple version is that it is a tool that tracks and manages your daily food intake. It tracks calories, sodium, carbs etc., as well as water, exercise, and even your fruit & vegetable count!  Lose It! Calculates your BMR and adjusts your calories based on how fast you want to lose weight (or maintain). You set a goal, and Lose It! Supports you along the way!

I could talk all day about Lose It so I’m going to just pick my Five Favorite Things:

#1. The Community.  It’s much easier to access on the Website, but also is on the App. So you can friend people like you can on Facebook. Comment on other peoples weight losses (or gains!), goal accomplishments, ask for advice, and event vent or complain! As you build your friends list people watch out for you (I’ve seen people posting on others walls saying “Are you eating all your calories?”) Keeping everyone in line and safe! There is also a forum which I watch from time to time. Everyone is very health conscious, and diets do not get a lot of approval here. There are volunteer moderators who are super friendly and are actual users of Lose It! I have a few people I know in real life as friends on LI, and a lot of people I have never met. A few of them I have also connected with off of Lose It (On FB, or e-mail) for real time support!

2. The Simplicity. You eat an apple for breakfast? Click Add Food -> Breakfast -> Apple. You can create foods or modify them, and create recipes as well. I utilize it simply – If I eat it I log it. Lose It tells me how many calories I have left (or if I’ve eaten over my calories. It’s important to eat all your calories in a day (I don’t eat exercise calories though…), and where this is not a diet for me is that: If I go over my calories in a day. It’s NOT A BIG DEAL. I know I want to lose weight and so I stick to the budget, but sometimes a healthy lifestyle IS eating over the calories (I’ve never eaten over 100 calories over my budget!)

3. The Challenges. You can create a challenge with your friends, or join an existing one. Some challenges get you Badge (yes Lose It! Uses badges – if you lose weight, eat properly, exercise, eventually you will get badges – and as cheesy as they sound you start to love it!)

4. I feel Great! Yes, Great!  If I’m having a bad day, I can go right to the community page and talk to friends. I can review my “Goals” and see charts showing how great I’m doing, or I can go to Reports and see in even more detail how I’m doing. I’ve found Lose It! is an immediate pick-me-up and inspires me to do better! For example, this week I seemed to just stay in place, go up and down etc… I just checked my goal section and realized I lost 1.7 lbs this week (not dieting!) I think if you don’t see these numbers every day you start to forget where you came from!

5. It keeps me accountable. Not only does tracking my calories and exercise keep me on track, the people on Lose It keep me on track as well! Sometimes I’ll post “Having a bad day, need motivation”, and then you are flooded with comments inspiring you, and even giving you tough love from time to time!

So, Lose It! Could be considered a Diet. They tell you how many calories to eat and you have to do things like track your food and ex. etc. Counting Calories is always listed as one of the “diets” people try. I listened to a podcast about an “anti-diet group” who say that Diet Mentality is what causes our failures in diets, and then goes on to say that “Diets” are when something or someone tells you what you can or cannot do in regards to eating. They said they don’t support this and that they are a “non diet mentality”. The next sentence says “So If you just eat what we say, and how we say it, you will lose weight without dieting”. So we are in a society where “not dieting” , is actually a diet.

At the end of the day, yes I count my calories. I eat the calories that my body needs to survive, and sometimes more. I am not tied to those calories. If I wanted to eat more, I would eat more (but I don’t want to). I need structure and to life without an “eating structure” means I would go overboard. I know that people will argue that what this is still a “diet mentality”,  and knowing that it could be, has helped me to use the system so it isn’t. I use the system as much of a support system I can, and the calories just fall into place with that.

So, if you sign up for Lose It! after reading this post, feel free to add me as a friend! Tell me you read my blog 🙂 http://www.loseit.com/#Community:Profile!id=9126735

Also for newbies: under the Forums, Kitchen sink there is ALWAYS a post where people request friendships etc. check it out.

Are you already a user? Do you love it?

Signing off! (BTW, once again I have no connection to Lose It!, and am just sharing my experience with the app!)

 

 

Map My Walk!

26 Jan

It’s a very, very foggy day in the hood today, so I thought while I wait for it to burn off, I would do my next post. I’m really excited to talk about the main app that I use for my health journey, so I want to get these smaller ones out of the way! 

I started getting active by setting the stopwatch on my phone, and timing how long my walks were, and tracking that way. Then I wanted to know how many calories I burned, how fast I walked, and how far I walked. You can do this the hard way or the easy way. 

Hard way: Start Stopwatch. Walk. Return. Google Calories burnt while walking. Enter time, guess speed, and guess distance based on Google Maps. Result, semi-accurate, but probably really inaccurate numbers. What if you wanted to keep track of all that?

Easy Way: There’s an App for That! Two apps I know of that are good are RunKeeper & MapMyWalk. I use MapMyWalk, and there’s a whole collection of apps they have (mostly for Iphone, although my MMW is on android!).

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There is a paid subscription for this, and while I’m not against paying for apps, and I do pay for some, this one I’ve left as free. The ads are really annoying and it’s easy to accidentally click on them, so I may consider updating in the future, but not yet. That being said the only time ads pop up is when you are save a workout (so not when you are starting or during). There is always a small banner ad on the bottom of the page, as you will see.

The other thing I like about MMW, that my previous post (My Diet Coach) doesn’t have, is a website you can log into from your computer. You can see more detail on the website than the app (although not a significant amount – everything you need is on the app!). 

I want to start with the cons of this app. I already mentioned the ads, but they aren’t the worst thing. I haven’t synced MapMyWalk to any of my other trackers, because they are all independent, and MMW conflicts with them. So my weight is always out, unless I remember to update it manually, and I can never remember how to. I would suggest bookmarking the page with weight stats on it so you can find it easily. You can set up goals using MMW, but it’s hard to customize, and they are unclear about what they mean. I set up a goal thinking it would take me a month to complete, and the next day it was complete… It runs slow sometimes and I feel like I’m standing just waiting for it to pause, save, etc. 

Other than that, I love it! When I first started walking I used it constantly – in the grocery store, etc. Now I only use it for actual legit walks. 

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You can log into their website and create your own courses, and workouts, and it tells you the distance. Whether it’s around your house or around town etc. it will work! If trails are found on Google Maps, you will likely have access to them through MMW.

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It’s really simple to use. Click the icon on your wall, click “Record”, and “Start”. The voice will say “Being Workout”, and when you end your workout, it will say “workout paused, workout complete, workout saved”. A few steps after you hit 1k, 2k, 3k, etc. The voice will tell you your distance, total time, and how many minutes/km.  You can also set it so it tells your friends on FB that you are walking, and when you are done, uploads your stats. I’ve never used this, but you can also have it update AS you walk. 

 

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It’s really not hard to be inspired when you see your stats over the past week, month, etc. 

This is definitely a tool I use on an everyday basis! 

1 more app to talk about next time, and then onto my trackers!

Hey You! Get Organized!

25 Jan

If you knew me, you’d read that title and laugh. I am hardly the organized person. In fact, people are surprised when I actually am organized! I try, but my demise would be that I take on too much, and can’t keep everything organized at the end. 

I’m finding that in order to stay motivated, you need organization. When I make an organizational change for my health, it’s helped me significantly. Something, as simple as hanging my earbuds on the key hook by the front door, reminds me to go for a walk when I see them, and I also save time not looking for them! 

Here are a few things I’ve done in the kitchen as well: 

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I try to eat at least 1 of these seeds every day, at every meal (usually 1/2 tables. flax, 1 tables. pumpkin seed, 1 tables. sunflower seed. All unsalted, roasted.) We also eat a lot of chocolate chips (in 1 tbsn portions don’t worry!) so I’ve put those things on the counter, for convenience sake. I also have put the balsamic dressing & olive oil on the counter in cute jars, so they are easy to find (and thus I use these things more! Last week I also reorganized our kitchen drawers – moving things I don’t use anymore to other drawers, and having one main drawer, for my spatula’s, measuring spoons & cups (I have 3 sets of each, at least!) 

Back on topic… Today’s organization was my closet. 

It’s been a drag (and my husband even has to nag!) for me to put my laundry away… the closet was full, disorganized, and in the mornings, I usually just grabbed “whatever” because I didn’t know where anything is.

Not only did I re-organize, I also threw away anything that was stained, had holes, or zippers missing. I created a “donate pile” and a “sell pile” and got rid of a bunch of stuff!

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starting mess!

This is my new organizational system: 

1. Main Rack: Work Clothes, Leisure Clothes, Casual Clothes (I work from home so these are all pretty much the same category)

2. Secondary Rack: Formal Clothes (Clothes I would wear to a wedding, or super fancy occasion).

3. Shelf: Swear Pants

 

I also organized my dresser. It has 3 regular draws, and 2 side cabinets.

Cabinet 1: Clothes that don’t quite fit yet

Cabinet 2: Clothes that I want to sell (ie: have tags on)

Drawer 1: Underwear

Drawer 2: Socks

Drawer 3: PJ’s & Swimming Suits. 

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Organizational bliss! If you can’t tell, it goes tube tops -> sweaters, and then jeans beside the sweaters!

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This system is completely opposite what I have organized my closet like in the past, and here’s why.

Starting with the socks, a whole drawer? Yes! It’s a big drawer too… I used to never wear socks, in fact I could go on a weeks holiday and pack 1 pair and probably not use them! I never walked (and if I did, in flats or flip flops!) So now, that I’m walking on a daily basis, I’ve accumulated more socks, and want to be able to find them quickly. 

The reason my sweat/yoga pants are on a shelf in the closet is because I wear them basically everyday. I know they say not to wear sweats all the time, because jeans “keep you in check”, but I won’t walk in Jeans, and most days I might be too lazy to get changed, so If I know I will have time to walk, it’s sweats. If I know I’ll be walking at night, I’ll probs wear jeans during the day. Plus, I rather like the feeling that the 1-2x per week I wear jeans, that they always feel a little looser!

I’m not doing hard-workouts so I’m find to work-out in anything on my main rack, which was the point of grouping them all together. 

By organizing my closet, I’ve made it easier to prepare for my day (and a motivation to find time to work out! 

I told DH today that this spring he will have to bring up the garbage bags (yes BAGS!) of clothes I stashed in our crawl space because they didn’t fit. I think when this happens I will be swapping out the old clothes for the ones that now fit. and keeping this organization system going! 

 

Now… what to do with all these spare hangers?

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A basket of hangers…

My Next post is going to be about MapMyWalk!

Happy 2 Months to Me!

19 Jan

I was planning on telling you guys about my next “tool of success” app today, but then I realized that Thursday was my two month “Healthier Lifestyle” anniversary, and I thought I could take this time to spread some gratitude, and tell you about my journey!

I started this journey on November 16th, just by stumbling across an app that I would say has been my  biggest supporting tool (I can promise you I will make you wait until my last app post to talk about it!) I was sick of trying to stick to Weight Watchers, and always looking for a new solution. I’ve told you about my anti-dieting feelings, and as I’ve said before, I just knew I had to do it without the diet.

 

So here’s what I’ve accomplished in 2 months: 

Lost 28 lbs without dieting (before November 16th, total lbs lost without dieting in my entire life, is still ZERO!) 

Gone from not walking at all, to walking about 75 KM (I’ve tracked 55 km, and I’m assuming I did 20-25 km before starting to track). Walk Between 1-2.5 KM 5x/week now. 

Eaten McDonalds: Zero ( I have a secret love) 

Eaten Out: 10 times (We used to eat out/take-out at least 2-3x per week before) 

Kept up on my blog (I’ve always wanted to be a blogger)

I’ve become more aware of my consumption of food, inactivity, and intake of sodium, and am working on correcting.

My goals for the next 2 months are: 

– Get my walking up to 2.5-3.5 km 5 x per week

– Build the Blog… things I want to talk about include: the rest of my Apps for success, Some recipes & meals that I love, and the past, present & future!

– Continue Being Awesome (I had to throw that one in!) 

I said I wanted to talk gratitude… so I’m going to give you 1 item per week of healthy-love! November 16th to now is actually 9 weeks, so I will give you 9 things!

#1. I’m grateful for my tools that contribute to my success, whether it’s an app, a routine I’ve instilled in myself etc.

#2. I’m grateful for my support team – Everyone from my DH, DM, the ladies in the groups I’m in, and the few individuals who I talk to on a weekly basis who keep me going!

#3. I’m grateful that I have access to healthy foods, and more awareness about unhealthy ones.

#4. I’m grateful my knee has healed as it has and let’s me walk as much as it does.

#5. I’m grateful for technology. I know how much harder this journey would be without it! 

#6. I’m grateful for today. I love today! No real reason, other than remembering the good choice I’ve made over the next few months, and being confident I can continue to make good choices. 

#7. I’m grateful to live in a province, an island that promotes health and loves the environment. I’m happy to be able to walk down clean paths and be surrounded by health.

#8. I’m grateful for this new lifestyle. I not only have more energy, I’m more aware, and am gaining self-confidence in myself. 

#9. I’m grateful for airplanes, boats & ocean. These are the things that keep me motivated and inspire me.  I’m so lucky to live in a town full of these things. 

 

My 2 month present to myself will be: a nice nature walk and a delicious lunch prepared by myself (I’m thinking feta, flax & pumpkin seed on arugula with homemade balsamic vinaigrette). What are you having for lunch? 

Thank you for all the follows! I love you all <3! 

Ash

 

 

Apps for Success!

14 Jan

OK so now I want to start talking about some of the Apps I use on a daily basis… Some of my apps I use for 1 thing, and 1 thing only, so I’m hoping by going into detail I will find other things I haven’t utilized! I’m going to try something new and start implementing some images in my posts, wish me luck!

First App Up: My Diet Coach (I have no affiliation with this app, nor do I benefit if others use it, just for the record!:))

My Diet Coach Logo

This App is in Google Play Store. I’ve done fine with the free version!

I started using this app almost instantly when I got serious about changing my life around.

The idea of this app is to provide motivation in a moment of weakness, in various situations. There’s lots of inspirational quotes and tips that HAVE helped me, and that I read through on a daily basis.

The ability to customize your own tips, and goals makes this app even better.

One should note, that the app itself even warns if you get too crazy that it’s reminders can get annoying (you can totally control how many reminders you get!)

For me, this app is more of a background app, I don’t interact with it that much, although I do need to do more, and I need to sit down with it and update my goals as they change!

So, let’s start digging into the aspects I use on this app regularly!

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This is the view on the main screen when you open the program.

See I have a custom goal? “I will lose 30 lbs in 3 months…” You get to choose your loss goal, time line and reasoning.

I love using the reminders button (which I will show you in a minute).

You can upload pictures from your gallery as inspiration, or take pictures to put in there! Every once in a while you get a reminder to look at your motivational pictures! I do this sometimes, although I should do an updated one!

Tips is great, although again I don’t use them much. Click on that button, and a whole other menu pops up. (see below right picture! ). Once you click on a specific category, an image and inspirational quote pops up (see below left picture). You can just swipe an flip through the entire category – super easy!

Screenshot_2014-01-14-11-39-47ImageSorry about the bad organization of photo’s! – this is tricky!

Anyways, the point of this feature is that when something happens that puts you at risk with your progress, you can find the issue, and get some good advise!

You can also add them to your reminders list, which I love, and I’m going to cover next! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot_2014-01-14-12-06-44OK so, every hour or so I get reminders on my phone – they are set to make a pretty sound, so I know it is from MDC, and not a text or phone call. When I look at the top of my screen, as you can see on the above pictures, the little pink dress is a notification from MDC! When I look at my Notification bar, it looks like this that.

I don’t know if you can read it because of the black screen, but here is a quick example of the notifications I have it set up to say:

7:45 – Measure My Weight

9:20 – Going to Alberta in June!

10:00 My Goal (shows the goal text I showed you earlier)

10:15 Drink Water

12:00 Shared Quote: “To be as fit as a fiddle first tone down the middle”…Screenshot_2014-01-14-11-38-16

These are posted as notifications because I’ve set them in reminders to do that – I set them so they do this every day, and as the day goes by I have more and more quotes that are notified to me.

NO I don’t read every single one of them, but at least once a day I read the ones that have piled up in my notifications. Funny enough, I know the times when my favorite quotes are posted, and I always read those ones from start to finish! You can also schedule random ones to be posted, which is what I do as well!

Sometimes It’s just seeing that Dress on the Notification Screen that helps you, or just hearing the tweet of the sound that keeps you on track!

The picture on the right is the Reminders Page, if you had clicked on that on the home page.  You can see I’ve scheduled them to certain times, and the pencil lets you edit that. Coincidentally the top 4 quotes on that screen shot are my FAVORITES!

The features that I don’t use are the Challenges. which you can see at the bottom of the page. While I have set the challenges, I use other tools to monitor the challenges etc. I believe you can track water, etc. through here. I wouldn’t recommend tracking food or exercise on MDC as there is many other good tools to do that!

So, what do you think about My Diet Coach? Will you be downloading it? Have you downloaded it already? What are your favorite Weight-Loss/Fitness quotes?

 

You can’t fall off!

10 Jan

I’m having a crappy day today. There’s no reason for it, nothing bad has happened, or going to happen, I’m not sad, mad, or frusterated, just feeling a little blah. It hit me yesterday right before work. My day was going completely as planned, walked in the pouring rain, ate good clean food, and then BAM. I felt useless. I might be catching a bug, could be T.O.M, or not enough sunshine, who knows. That’s not the point of this post though.

I’ve had bad days before while dieting, and as I’m sure many of you will agree, they are pretty much detrimental to your success (well they were to me anyways.) In my experience, on a diet, fad, trend, whatever you’re going to call it, a bad day means several things:

1. You revert to your old ways of eating

2. You don’t even attempt to follow your diet (and if you do it’s gone by Lunch).

3. Your power bill increases by $20.00 that day because you’re standing in the fridge door all day grazing.

4. Your so stressed or upset that you can’t make lunch, so Fast-Food Drive-Through it is,

5. Cooking supper is out of the question, so you either eat out or order in.

6. You feel as motivated as a snail, so dishes pile up, your once clean kitchen a nightmare.

7. Working out? Out of the question!

8. Tomorrow… you dread because now you have to get back on the wagon. The routines & plans you set have failed you, they didn’t work as you planned, and now you have to start over (and face the scale!)

It’s a good thing we aren’t on the wagon to start with right?

You can’t fall off a wagon (diet) that you weren’t on.

You can’t get back on a wagon (diet) that you weren’t on.

You can’t fail a diet you aren’t on.

You can’t cheat on a diet you aren’t doing.

I don’t like the word can’t, but to me, today, this is so powerful.

I started off my morning on the wrong foot. I had it in my head that I was going to have a bad day (trailing on from yesterday). I slept in half an hour. Got up anyways, weighed in, got dressed. I looked at the bed and though “I’m allowed to have a bad day, I could just leave it…” Then I thought, tomorrow I’ll be pleased I did it. So I made the bed. Then I did some work, looked at our kitchen which was a bit of a disaster from the previous day. So I cleaned it up, vacuumed and got our entry way looking all nice. Then I played around with some kinect fitness stuff. I ate breakfast according to what I had planned the day before, and same with lunch. I decided to be creative with supper, still staying within my limits. When noon came around, which is when I go for my daily walk, I thought, I’m not in the mood… but I did it anyways, a bit slower, and and a bit more forced but I did it. I did some work from our couch which is coincidentally 5′ away from our kitchen/refrigerator. I haven’t even looked at that fridge all day except to get my meal food out of it.

This is so revolutionary for me! I can’t even believe these two bad days came from the same person!

I’ve said this before: My bad days now, are so different than my “old” bad days. I should learn to not call days like today a bad day. It could just be a regular ordinary day, nothing amazing about it, but really, nothing bad?

So, while I was on my walk today, I was thinking about this, and wondering why I haven’t fallen apart today and binged my way through the day. The answer was almost immediately clear. You can’t fall off of something you weren’t on to start with.

When I’ve dieted, I’ve allowed myself a “cheat day”, or just let things go too far (or forgotten to take the pills, drops, powder, whatever) and felt like a failure. I had failed – I failed the instructions that I was told, or read, and in addition to that, I knew the next day I would have to struggle and find my way back onto it.

But today, my journey is that of a lifestyle change. When you’re on a diet and you “fall back” to your old ways, you’re just going back to the lifestyle you are used to. So on my bad days, I live the lifestyle I’m used to, which is a healthy, positive one.  I’m learning it’s just as easy to stay on track in a healthy lifestyle, as it is to fall off onto an unhealthy one.

So tomorrow, I’ll wake up, make the bed, weigh in, and go on with my regular, every day lifestyle, and today will be in the past, without any thought in my mind 🙂

Peace Out! ❤