I Won’t Try That Again

Last fall I was in my doctor’s office with a list of problems only a hypochondriac could appreciate. Topping that list was my chronic fatigue, brain fog and my inability to lose any weight. My most bothersome symptoms raised enough red flags for her to explore more. She ordered a battery of blood tests, including thyroid, A1C, B-12, and vitamin D.

The results from the blood tests were fairly unremarkable. My thyroid was normal, my A1c was sort of within range, my B-12 and vitamin D levels were both low (as they have been historically).

To address the lack of weight loss, she advised I visit a nutritionist and recommended the book The New Sugar Busters: Cut Sugar to Trim Fat. I was already familiar with the book. In fact, I read an older version years ago at the height of the no-carb craze. She also mentioned a new weight loss drug called Contrave and asked if I was interested.

Feeling desperate – and if I’m being honest, also depressed – I was definitely interested.

She explained that Contrave worked differently than previous weight loss drugs that had once been FDA approved. Contrave was made up of bupropion and naltrexone which affected the brain chemistry and not the heart. She even thought that the naltrexone would even help give me a boost in energy.

I picked up the prescription and put it away in my medicine cupboard. I wanted to read the pamphlet and research the internet to see if anyone had any early experience with the drug. Admittedly, I was worried about taking bupropion again. Bupropion is an anti-depressant and while I didn’t have nearly the problems weaning from Bupropion XL as I had from Effexor XR, I was still apprehensive in messing with anti-depressants again.

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But, I woke up Thanksgiving morning and decided that it was time to start the Contrave. I had just received the blood test results and that A1C level really bothered me. But that’s for another blog post.

I took one pill as advised and set forth on our day. The plans for Thanksgiving were a lazy morning, a long family walk, small lunch and early dinner with family.

I felt great at first. I don’t remember eating breakfast that morning but guzzled a coffee while out on our walk. By lunch, I was hangry and a little bit nauseous. I chalked it up to not eating anything. An early Thanksgiving dinner ended up being later than expected and I felt downright miserable. Even after eating, I remember feeling just plain awful. I suffered silently the whole car ride home and just wanted to get in bed. Nauseous and dizzy. I lay in bed that night telling myself that I would feel better by morning knowing that what I felt was not normal.


That experience made me feel awful enough not to take Contrave again. Until last weekend.

Like childbirth, we are able to forget horrible feelings. I knew that my first experience with Contrave wasn’t a great one but maybe I did something wrong. Like, not eating breakfast. Drinking too much coffee. Or waiting too long to eat dinner. I definitely knew I would try again but wanted to make sure it was a day that I didn’t have commitments, in case it made me feel yucky again.

Last Sunday morning, I decided it was the day to try it again. Desperation and depression continue to be really great motivators for me.

I ate a good breakfast and popped one pill. I didn’t drink any coffee that morning. I felt tons of energy at first, did a bunch of house chores and then sat down to work on the computer. After about two hours, I started to feel a little bit shaky. I noticed it was close to lunch. I wasn’t feeling hungry but knew I’d better eat something considering my last experience.

Well, lunch came and went, if you know what I mean. I was dizzy, sweaty, and horribly nauseous. I was so sick the entire rest of the day. There I was again, laying in bed, vowing to never take Contrave again.

There is something about my chemistry and this drug that just do not work together. The Contrave site does list the side effects with nausea, headache, dizziness and vomiting being the most common.

In the end, I should have known better. I know that there isn’t a quick fix for weight loss. There isn’t a magic pill, even one prescribed by a doctor. It’s maybe time to visit that nutritionist and exercise regularly and stick to a plan.

How I Survived My First Week of the Uprising

Remember last week when I asked you what happens with you Do Nothing?

Well, I’m off and running with the July Uprising through Revolt. Two words: holy hell.

Each Uprising begins with a detox diet. Heavy on the protein and easy on the carbs. In fact, not a single carbohydrate with the exception of those that occur naturally in fruit and vegetables.

The workouts are quick and dirty. I told my friend Jessica at Chaos and Love that the workouts are deceptively hard. Something about Nichole’s method really confuses your body and 25 minutes later you’re feeling like you’ve got jello legs. Don’t even ask me about how I felt the day after!

So, I wasn’t perfect. The first week of July had a holiday and though it was deemed as a “free day” – I don’t think chips, salsa, margaritas, s’mores, cookies, and burgers were the best choice. And I didn’t get all six workouts in either. But, I’m following my friend Betsy’s advice not to beat myself up for one day and that the next one is a brand new opportunity to try again.

One tip I’ve learned so far is prepping meals for the week. Though the one afternoon I did it all was kind of a pain, the easy grab and heat up when hungry  was a life saver!

Revolt-program-diet-3-text

2 bags pre-washed baby spinach from Trader Joe’s
1 bag shredded carrots from Trader Joe’s
1 container organic cherry tomatoes from Trader Joe’s
salt & pepper

Divide ingredients evenly among your containers. Drizzle balsamic vinegar when ready to eat. I found a random honey mustard spray vinaigrette at my local grocery store that has 10 calories per spray and it was delicious. That honey mustard flavor pairs nicely with the spinach!

Have any of you had success pre-prepping food when dieting?

#iwillrockthis Weight Loss Challenge | The Last Weigh-In is Here!

It’s been almost 8 weeks since we kicked off the #iwillrockthis weight loss challenge.  Thirty-three women have had a few ups and some major downs over the course of eight weeks.  As a whole – to date – the group has lost a total of 227 pounds!  How amazing is that?  I had to double check my math at least three times to see if that was an accurate sum.  I’m blown away.

photos of feet on scales

Today signifies that last weekly weigh-in for the participants.  The final weigh-in is this Sunday, July 1st and I’ll be announcing the winner here on Sunday evening once I’ve complied all the information.  Totally exciting right?

The rankings are extremely close!  The top three women have consistently duked it out throughout the challenge but it’s really still anyone’s to take, including those beyond the top three.  A dark horse could totally make a push in these final days and surprise us all!  More than anything, I am amazed at the amount of hard work, tenacity, and support that everyone has given.  It’s been a rewarding experience to watch and participate in!  It’s almost making me want to host another weight-loss challenge in the coming months!!

Definitely check back late Sunday afternoon, July 1st, to see who walks away with $660 cash and some incredible prizes!

Talk to me…would you consider participating if I were to host another weight loss competition in early fall?

Time to Adjust My Weight Loss Goals

Yesterday marked the official mid-way point in the #iwillrockthis weight-loss challenge!  I can’t believe we’re half done and mostly because I am NO WHERE near where I wanted to be at the end of week four.  My weight-loss goal – and for the sake of being totally transparent – was to lose 16 lbs. by the end of 8 weeks.  I’ve fluctuated between 1-3 lbs. — TOTAL.  Totally depressing.  Especially because I have been exercising, and working with a trainer, and eating WAY BETTER than I have in a long time.  And I’ve got zilch to show for it.  It might be time to adjust my weight loss goals.

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So, I’ve considered throwing in the towel but it really changes from hour to hour.  Like, my mornings are great…they start of good until I start craving a cherry danish from the donut shop.  I got around that particular want for a short while when I found dried cherries fulfilled that tartness I wanted when I added them to oatmeal.  But lately, my breakfast habits have been shit.  I’m having coffee only and find myself ravenous by 10am.  Cue the cherry danish.  Lunch and dinner are easy.  I usually make good choices there.  But then night time falls and I want snacks like chocolate bars dipped in peanut butter.  *Guilty*

whats_for_dinner_weight_loss

Left: grilled chicken, spinach, & goat cheese. Right: Beets with goat cheese, brussels sprouts, turkey & sweet potato patty with rice.

I say to myself  – “the bikini is not happening so give up already!”  But I don’t want to give up.  I want to keep working, even if I’m just chipping away at it.  Really though, the bikini is definitely not happening.  So, I’m making a small adjustment.  I’m looking at August 1.  I’m heading to NYC for the annual BlogHer conference and MORE THAN ANYTHING I just want to feel confident in my body – even if it’s wrapped up tight in Spanx.

all_the_things_wrong_with_me

I so totally know how wrong this photo is.  Besides sharing with the internet that my bathroom is a pig-sty, I’m pointing out every single thing I think is wrong with myself.  It’s totally, 100% self-depricating.  Whatev.  It’s honestly what I see and think throughout the day so why not share it with you.

adjusting_goalsThese three photos give me some great motivation.  I’d kill to have either of those tummies or legs that don’t look like tree stumps.  And a horizontal striped bathing suit!  Beyond my wildest dreams.

Will I ever get there?

 

Time to Get this Party Started | #iwillrockthis

It’s Tuesday, May 1st and I’m thrilled to officially kick off the #iwillrockthis weight-loss challenge!  For the next 8 weeks, along with 30 other women, I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to get into that bikini bottom.  This body hasn’t seen a bikini since I was nineteen years old – and for good reason.  First it was the hips, then the booty, inner thighs, the muffin top, and then I caught a glimpse of cellulite on my arms. *shudder*  Throw being pregnant in there somewhere coupled with surgically induced menopause and some crazy meds I have to take in hopes of staying cancer-free.  *double shudder* I’ve totally lost control.  And I feel like crap.  This is not the body I want and I’m ready to change it.

So, what’s my plan?  Well, it’s pretty much broken down into less calories and a lot more exercise.  Simple, right?  *gulp*

I’ve got an ace in my back pocket though and it comes in the form of thirty super, kick-ass, amazing women who declared “I’M IN!” when I threw a line out in the water waiting to see who’d bite.  Thirty!  And though we’re all competing against each other, we’re all strangely supportive of one another. I’m hoping that doesn’t change mid-challenge. *fingers crossed*

Where’s the challenge part of this, you’re wondering, right?  Isn’t diet and exercise enough of a challenge!  Sure, but there had to be a prize.  Something to fight for.  And there are some rad prizes (I’ll be posting more about the fabulous people who generously donated to the winnings over the next few weeks).  There is also cash.  Cold, hard cash. Like $500 cash.  That definitely something to fight for!

Many of the 30 women are bloggers and I’m loving that they’ve embraced the idea of writing about their journey over the next 8 weeks.  Today, I’m adding a linky at the bottom of this post so my  fellow participants can link up their kick-off posts.  Go give them some love and see what their respective plans are to win the 500 bucks!  One gal consulted with a family friend who also coaches basketball and he drew up some very specific instructions on what she needs to do to win.  Someone else hired a trainer *ahem, me, ahem* and another is currently training for a 1/2 marathon.  There are some serious contenders in this group!

Me?  Beyond the trainer?  Well, no more fancy Starbucks coffees, no more soda of any kind, no processed foods, no fast food, no pizza delivery, no booze, and no late night desserts after everyone’s gone to bed.  More fruit, more veggies, more fish.  More juicing, more smoothies with chia seeds, more greens and more water.  And definitely more sweat.  A lot more sweat.

I encourage you to follow along over the next 8 weeks.  I’ll be posting before, mid, and after photos of me and some of the other brave souls who have agreed to my hard sell.  Bless their hearts.

Before you go, you must tell me what your favorite go-to exercise is.  The one that gets you the most results.  Is it Jillian’s 30-Day Shred, countless hours logged on a treadmill, spin class, Zumba, what?


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SwimSuit Season | Join the Competition

Guess what I’m seeing popping up all over Pinterest and at my local mall? I can’t even escape them at Target. Bathing suits! I might be having a panic attack. We’ve finally passed Easter and I know that swimsuit season is rapidly approaching. If you are a regular reader here you probably know my aversion to getting into a bathing suit. I hate them. Well, no that’s not totally true. It’s more like I hate the body that’s in the bathing suit.

vs-swim

Why must the unattainable taunt me at every turn?

So every summer we take an family and friend trip out to the desert. It’s like 115 degrees out there during that time of year and the options are to get in the pool or sit in the air conditioned hotel room. Guess where I like to spend my days. But it’s just not possible to hide out all day. That trip is in two months. Also on the calendar this year is a trip of a lifetime. My husband and I will be vacationing in Bali in September. There will be some sight-seeing but I bet most days we’ll be beaching it. I just cannot fathom taking a trip like that and being miserable the entire time because my fat ass is…well, just that.

heavy-women-wearing-bathing-suits

I may not exactly look like this but certainly feel like it.

Those trips should be incentive enough, right? But weirdly they are not. Those miserable feelings don’t always motivate me. I’ve been thinking that I need a carrot. Something that makes me want to get into the gym five days a week. I need The Biggest Loser – SAHM edition.  That’s it!! I need a competitor and some healthy competition.

helen-kate-in-bathing-suits

Holy hell, Helen Mirren is 66! Kate birthed 8 (yes, I know she had a tummy tuck). And Kate Winslet is smokin'! Looking like any of these women would be a very happy medium.

You’ve heard of people at the office who have these kinds of competitions for money, yes? And someone ends up losing a ton of weight because they are now riding a bike 20 miles to and from work. Or they are using their lunch hour to work out. Well, I’m thinking that a competition like that can happen right here. On this little blog. With you all who are interested in participating. For cash money. It could work, couldn’t it?  I may even have another awesome incentive too!

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Whose with me?  Who wants to put their money where their mouth is, drop some pounds, have some fun, and walk away a winner — and looking good while you do it?  Comment below to tell me you’re IN and we’ll kick this competition into high gear!