Sunday, February 28, 2010

Food Log

I was really good today with food but I did not work out at all. Vince was leaving to go out of town on a business trip and the day just got crazy trying to get things ready for him. I'll do an extra cardio work out tomorrow to make up for it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Food Log

Today's food log is pretty good. We went out to eat but I think I still managed to get some fairly healthy stuff. They certainly did load everything up with salt though. I'm sure I'm gonna feel that tomorrow. I did have some bad snack food this afternoon. If I had not eaten that stuff, I would have been on target with my calories being around 1400. It really makes you step back when you see that the "snacks" you had were worth 400 calories. Crazy. My workouts were awesome today. I finally made it to 5 miles on the elliptical. I'm very close to my 6 mile goal. I need to start thinking about what my next goal will be.

Food Log

I forgot to post my log yesterday, so this is the food log for Friday 2/26/10.

Since I was sooooo bad yesterday, I am not doing free day today. I will be working out and watching food intake instead. On a positive note, I have lost almost a full pound in the 3 days since I've been taking Glucophage. If this keeps up, I will be on track to losing 2 pounds this week.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Food Log

I managed to have fewer calories than I did yesterday but I went way overboard with the sushi tonight. I never have the intention of eating that much sushi, it just sort of happens. I'm working on it. I'm up to 4.5 miles on the elliptical, which is awesome.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Food Log

This log will list everything I have eaten for the day along with all of the nutritional information for that food. I got the information from I also include my exercise for the day and the calories burned. I then tally a net calorie intake for the day.

Week 7 Weigh-In

So here we are at week 7. I'm still plugging along on this diet. I'm a little frustrated that I'm not seeing huge results. I need to keep reminding myself that I am seeing SOME progress and that is better than nothing, or worse continuing to gain weight.

So here are this week's stats:

Weight - 241.2 (no change)
Hips - 48 inches (-1 inch)
Waist - 38.5 inches (-.5 inch)
Bust - 36 inches (-.5 inch)
Bicep - 14 inches (no change)
Thighs - 26 inches (-1 inch)
Calves - 16.5 inches (no change)

Thanks to my brother Thomas, who is having great success on Weight Watchers, I have decided to post my food diary. Thomas made the point of questioning my portion sizes, wondering if that may be why I have not had a greater weight loss. I think it would be beneficial to anyone who might be interested in the Body for Life challenge to see what and how much I am eating each day. It may also reveal some changes that I should make in my diet. I will also include my daily exercise, so you can get a feel for how much activity is included in my challenge.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Diet update

I will be starting the Glucophage tomorrow. Glucophage was originally designed as a drug for diabetics. It has gained in popularity as a fertility drug since it counteracts the insulin resistance caused by PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

Insulin resistance is a condition where excess amounts of insulin are required to get glucose to move into cells. In a healthy person, insulin is released by the pancreas and then "eats" a hole in the wall of muscle cells. Glucose is released by the liver and enters the cells through the hole that the insulin made. A person with insulin resistance produces the same amount of insulin as a healthy person but the muscle cell walls resist being "eaten" by the insulin. So it takes more insulin to eat through the cell. This means that the pancreas will begin to over-produce insulin in order to compensate. The liver will then begin to convert the glucose that is not being absorbed into the muscled cells into fat and distributing it throughout the body.

PCOS can cause many problems including irregular periods, irregular ovulation, weight gain, acne, an increased chance of miscarriage, an increased chance of pre-eclampsia, and an increased chance of gestational diabetes. Glucophage can help to correct most, if not all, of these problems. The first changes that I should see will be clearer skin and the ability to lose weight more easily. After that I should see a return of regular periods. With weight loss and a balanced endocrine system will come other health benefits.

Glucophage works in three ways. First, it will make the muscle cells more receptive to insulin, thus reducing the amount of insulin the body need to transport glucose. This will reduce the overall amount of insulin the body is producing. Second, it reduces the amount of glucose that is being produced by the liver. This means that there will be no excess glucose to be converted into fat and stored in the body. Third, it decreases the absorption of carbohydrates through the intestines. This means less sugar will be absorbed into the body.

I am hoping that I will start to see results quickly. I'm still losing about .5 pound a week but it would be great to see a more substantial loss. I would also love for my skin to look like I'm not 13 any more. Tomorrow is my week 7 weigh-in. We'll see if there is big difference between tomorrow and week 8.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fertility and General Health Issues

Last summer (2009), Vince and I decided we wanted to start our family. We chose our first anniversary (Oct 2009) as our start date.

A few months after our wedding I went off of birth control pills. I started to practice Natural Family Planning, which involves taking your temperature each morning and keeping track of your internal fluids. I was able to chart several normal months and get a feel for what day of the month I would ovulate and when I should expect my period. I found that I had a pretty normal cycle. My cycles ran around 35 days long, I was a late ovulator meaning that I did not ovulate until somewhere around cycle day 18, and my luteal phase was a typical 15 days.

As we got closer to the start date of our plan, I began to prepare myself. I knew that we would be out of the country for half of the month of October so I wanted to get things prepped well in advance. I made a pre-conception appointment with my new OB/GYN (who also happens to be a reproductive endocrinologist). My appointment was set for August 2009. I knew that she would want to run a full history on me and check my thyroid tumor for change.

I ovulated in July and had my period right on time. At my appointment in August, I should have been about a week away from ovulation so I wasn't worried yet. Dr. Fauzia took my history and checked my thyroid. She said it did not feel as though it had grown so no aspiration would be necessary at this point. She did an internal exam and remarked that I had "a lot of eggs" and she was sure we get pregnant soon. My body on the other hand, had other plans.

I did not ovulate or get a period in August. I took a couple of pregnancy tests and all were negative. I called the doctor and she said that sometimes it takes longer for some women to make enough of the HCG hormone to show up on a pregnancy test. She said to wait 2 weeks and test again. I did, and it was still negative. I did not ovulate or get my period in September. I made an appointment for the end of September to find out what was going on. I was leaving for Ireland in two weeks and needed to get this sorted out. The doctor did an internal exam. She found 2 sacks in my uterus. She said it looked as though I had 2 eggs descend to my uterus and attack as if they were fertilized. They began to grow but there were no embryos inside of them. This is commonly referred to as a blighted ovum. It is unusual to have 2 (this would have been twins) but not impossible. She said that the good news was that this is proof positive that I can ovulate on my own and get pregnant on my own. She also said that it looks as though I have a high probability of having multiples, based on how many mature eggs I have at one time and the fact that I had two blighted ovums at once. She gave me a prescription for Provera (synthetic Progesterone) to jump start my period. I had a period (although false because it was induced) by the first week of October. I was given a lab order to get blood work done on the 3rd day of my next real period.

At this point I am thinking that the blighted ovums were a fluke and my cycles should be back on track come November. I was wrong. I did not ovulate or have a period at all during October or November. I take a pregnancy test and it is negative. December begins and still no sign of ovulation or my period. Finally, around the middle of December my temperatures indicate that I have ovulated. I get my first real period on Christmas day. I had gone 83 days without a period. Typically you are supposed to call your doctor after no having a period for 60 days and get prescription for Progesterone. But I wanted my body to regulate itself so I waited it out. If I had not gotten a period in December I would have gotten the prescription. Unfortunately, I was out of state for Christmas so I was unable to get my blood work done. I had to hope that I would ovulate in January so I could get my tests done next month.

In January I decide to use Ovulation Predictor Tests (OPKs) to help me in determining if I am actually ovulating. On cycle day 24 I get a positive test. On cycle day 25 I get another positive test. On cycle day 26 I begin to see a thermal shift in my temperatures. (The progesterone that is released after ovulation releases heat that causes your body temperature to rise. Your temperature should stay high until a day or two before you start your period, when the hormone level drops off.) I believe I have ovulated! Yay! 14 days later I start my period. Finally a normal cycle. I have blood drawn on the third day of my period and wait for the results.

That brings us to this month, February. We have officially been trying to get pregnant for 5 months. I know that is not a long time but my weird cycles have made it seem like it is taking forever. I had positive OPKs and a clear thermal shift on cycle day 16. I'm fairly certain that I ovulated this month. I had a doctor's appointment at which we went over my blood test results.

She had everything under the sun checked. Here's a rundown of my results:
Blood pressure: down from 153/92 to 123/82. This is awesome!
Cholesterol: down from 199 to 111. It is still a little high (she would like it at 100) but not too bad.
T4: 1.1 (normal range)
TSH: 1.53 (normal range)
Thyroglobulin: 45.2 (normal is under 35)
Lutenizing Hormone (LH): 5.4 (normal is under 7)
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): 3.2 (normal is 3-20, under 6 is excellent)
Estradiol: 63 (normal is 25-75)

T4, TSH, and Thyroglobulin are thyroid test. The results of these test show that I do not have hypothyroidism but the tumor that I have on my thyroid is effecting my hormone levels in my blood stream.

My LH is higher than my FSH, which is an indication of PCOS. My Estradiol is on the high side, again an indication of PCOS and my thyroid interfering with my hormones.

Dr. Fauzia did an internal exam at my appointment today. She said that she could see the egg that I had ovulated this month. She did not want to do any further testing this month in case I am pregnant. I don't think that I am, but who knows at this point. The plan right now is to wait until I get my period. On the first day of my period, I will go in to see the doctor. I will go to have an HSG test to look for any possible blockages in my uterus and fallopian tubes. Once I get the all clear there, I will start clomid. Clomid is a synthetic hormone that will induce ovulation. I will also start glucophage to counteract my thyroid problem. The hope is that the glucophage will level out my hormones and increase my chances of having healthy mature eggs. The clomid will ensure that those eggs are properly released into my uterus for fertilization. The success rate with clomid is pretty high and the doctor seems to think that I will be pregnant within the next few months. Here's to hoping.

I'm kinda into the idea of having twins. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Week 6 Weigh-In plus progress photos

I did not count last week as one of my 12 weeks on the challenge. Even though I stuck to the diet most days, I cheated quite a bit and skipped too many workouts. So this will be counted as week 6. This is my halfway point in the challenge!

I still didn't stay on course 100% but I did much better than the previous week. My bad week shows in my weight and measurements but I'm back to the plan and doing well again. I can really tell a difference in how I feel when I go off diet. I get really lethargic and just feel gross. I retain water from all of the salty and greasy bad food, which makes it tough to workout.

Well, enough justifying. Let's get to the good stuff. Here are this week's measurements.

Weight - 241.2 (-.4 pounds)
Hips - 49 inches (-1 inch)
Waist - 39 inches (-2 inches)
Bust - 36.5 inches (-1 inch)
Bicep - 14 inches (-.5 inch)
Thighs - 27 inches (+.5 inch)
Calves - 16.5 inches (-.5 inch)

My overall losses from week 1 to week 6 are as follows:

Weight: -1.8 pounds (Not great but I'll take what I can get right now.)
Hips: -4 inches
Waist: -5 inches
Bust: -3.5 inches
Bicep: -1 inch
Thighs: -1 inch
Calves: No net change (This is most likely because of all of the elliptical workouts.)

Obviously I've had the most significant change in my waist and hip area. My clothes are fitting better and I'm feeling better. I can't even imagine how I will look if I lose another 5 inches from my waist in the coming 6 weeks.

So here are my progress pictures. I was shocked when I looked at them side by side.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Humiliating experience

Since we started the Body for Life Challenge, we work out a lot.

We own an Octane elliptical so we do our cardio workouts at home. This is the machine that we bought a couple of years ago. It is the Octane Q35c elliptical trainer. It is the same machine that our gym uses. We do cardio workouts 3 days a week, 2 times each day. It is much more convenient to just go into the next room to workout rather than trudging over to the gym twice a day three times a week.

We do weight training 3 days a week. Two days are for upper body and one day is for lower body. We do some ab work on all three days. For these three days, we go to the gym to use the weight room and the machines.

So far, everyone at the gym has been incredibly supportive of our weight loss goals. I've had tons of guys in the weight room anxious to show me new exercises. We've met quite a few other people in the same boat as us, trying to lose weight, that have now joined us as workout buddies. It has made going to the gym a very enjoyable experience. In fact, it has made me WANT to go do the workouts, just so I can see everyone's progress and learn some new stuff. It has been fun...until today.

Like every gym in existence, ours has several 20-something guys that man the front desk/office. As you walk in, you swipe your gym ID on the barcode reader. A picture of you pops up so the front desk personnel can verify that you are not using someone else's membership. The image then disappears and the next person swipes in. After swiping in, Vince takes our coats to the men's locker room and changes into some shorts. I wait for him in a small area just past the front desk.

Today was no different except that there were very few people at the gym. It was fairly early in the day, it was a holiday, and it was snowing. So there was no one behind us after we swiped in. As usual, I waited for Vince while he was in the locker room. As I was waiting, I noticed that the guy behind the front desk had pulled my picture back up onto the monitor. He then called over another employee to "look at it". They both started making gagging noises and talking about how huge I was, how my face looked like it was going to explode.

All I could do was stare in disbelief. It was humiliating to say the least. As they were laughing about my picture they turned around and saw me staring at them. They quickly took the picture down and ran into the office. No apology. No remorse. I could hear the laughing through the office door.

I wanted to cry. I definitely didn't want to go upstairs and workout, but I did. Vince wanted to "talk" to them. I didn't want to cause any more of a scene than what had already happened. I didn't want to draw any more attention to my humiliation. I went up stairs and I had an awesome workout. I did not talk to anyone. I did not look at anyone. I wanted to get done as quickly as possible and go home. They were at the front desk when we left, and still not a work was said.

I got home and jumped in the shower. I will admit that I cried.

I know I am overweight. I know I am not the most attractive person because of my weight. I know that the journey to have a baby has screwed with my hormones and my skin looks nasty. I know that when I am at the gym I don't wear make-up, do my hair, or wear the most fashionable of clothes. I KNOW ALL OF THIS.

It is humiliating enough for someone of my size to go to the gym to workout. I know all too well that people judge me based on my size. I ignore the looks and the snide comments (like the two girls at the pool that told me how brave they thought I was for going out in public in a bathing suit), knowing that I am doing this so that I won't be this size forever. It just really got to me that the EMPLOYEES of the gym took the time to pull up my picture just to make fun of me. I didn't think I was THAT bad. I though for sure they know that a segment of the people that go to the gym are people that are trying to lose weight. Right?

Now, I no longer WANT to go to the gym. I'm embarrassed to go back. I'm embarrassed for Vince that he has to be seen with me. I wonder if all of those guys in the weight room that were so helpful, were really making fun of me behind my back. I wonder if they think they are being motivating or encouraging in some demented way. Like I will think to myself, "Wow, I don't want people to make fun of me anymore, I'd better get in here and lose some weight pronto!" I wonder if those assholes at the front desk have done this to other people and deterred them from coming back. I wonder if they know just how much a stupid thing like this can effect someone. So it was childish and funny for a moment but now someone out there will give up on their effort to lose weight.

I won't let them derail my weight loss efforts but they certainly did make it a lot less fun for me.

I really wish people would think before acting.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

It is the beginning of a new week! Back on track with diet and exercise. My head is back in the game and I'm ready to make great strides.

Today is Valentine's Day. Many people will say that it is a made-up holiday. That the greeting card and jewelry industry came up with a holiday to sell more stuff to gullible people. It is true that the holiday has become overly commercialized, just like Christmas and Halloween, but that does not mean that it was completely made up for that purpose.

Like many Christian holidays, Valentine's day was taken from a pagan holiday. It has been celebrated as a Christian holiday since around 270 AD. The Pope made it the feast day of Saint Valentine in 498 AD. That is way before commercialization.

Whether you celebrate the day as a religious holiday or as a commercialized day, it is a day to celebrate love. Celebrate in the way that makes you and your loved ones feel all warm and tingly inside.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Took some time off

So I did not do a weigh-in this past Wednesday. I really fell off the wagon with the diet. We had a couple of huge snow storms which kept us snow bound in the house for almost a full week. This lead to not only skipping the majority of my workouts but also to eating really bad food. We had cabin fever and we made ourselves feel better by eating junk. I'm hoping that we got it all out of our systems and are back on track now.

The good that came out of it:

We could really tell a difference health wise. We were lethargic and grumpy all week. We both just kind of felt like crap after eating all of that junk food. It really made us appreciate the healthy way of eating that this diet has taught us.

We sat down and discussed our fitness goals. We were able to come to an agreement about supporting and encouraging each other. We were also able to come to some common goals about when and where our workouts should be.

We are both more committed to the program now. We could see and feel the difference from being off of it for just one week. We also took a look at our progress pictures and could REALLY see the difference. It was very encouraging to see myself shrink in each picture.

I was still able to lose weigh in pounds this past week, in fact I lost more this week than any other week, but I gained back some size in inches. Today, Saturday, is our traditional free day. Tomorrow I will be back in the saddle starting with my morning cardio workout.

In all, I am glad I took some time off. I feel more committed to this program now and I feel like Vince is now more aware of just how much is support and encouragement (or lack thereof) effect me. I also feel like Vince finally saw and felt the difference that this program was making for him and is more committed to seeing it through for himself as well.

My weight on Wednesday morning was 240.2. That is a loss of 1.4 pounds for the week. Hopefully next week will be a similar loss along with some measurement decreases.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 5 Weigh-In

So yesterday was my 5th weigh-in on the Body for Life Challenge. I'm happy and disappointed at the same time. I know, I'm crazy.

I'm happy because I have been steadily losing weight each week. My measurements have steadily gone down. I have increased my mileage on the elliptical each week toward reaching my goal of doing 6 miles. I can now pull my jeans on and off without unbuttoning or unzipping them. This is HUGE!

I'm disappointed because I really thought I would lose more than what I have. I am almost at the halfway point in the challenge and I've lost an average of 1/2 pound per week. That seems minuscule. I feel like most diets tout a 2 pound per week weight loss as healthy. I'm still holding out hope that I will have a sudden drop in weight towards the end but I know, realistically, that is unlikely. I have only myself to blame for my lack of success. I have skipped more than a few workouts, which is key to maximizing weight loss. I am lucky if I get in one cardio workout on my cardio days. I really need extra motivation to get my morning workout done.

Vince is not having quite as much success on the diet as I am. Although, he cheats quite a bit. I really tried to make things easy for him by having all of the right foods in the house. I encourage him to make and bring his lunch to work instead of eating out. I cook a healthy dinner and dessert each night. I even bought special snacks for him to take to work so he doesn't head to the vending machines. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Vince's office does a lot of "business lunches" and ordering in. He feels left out when he doesn't participate. This would be fine if he could stick to the diet rules when he is out...but he doesn't. He will order a salad with grilled chicken, this is good! Then he eats 4 rolls with butter and a drinks a couple of cokes, not good. He could have the snacks that are sitting on his desk but he prefers to stop by the grocery store on his way in to the office and buy cookies or candy bars to snack on. His excuse is that he gets chocolate cravings in the afternoon. Vince is also not motivated to workout at all. He will do it as long as I am doing it. If I skip a workout, so does Vince. As a result, he started with a weight loss of 10 pounds in the first couple of weeks and as he slipped out of the diet rules he has gained back 5 pounds. He is frustrated and convinced that this diet doesn't really work. I keep trying to tell him that it is only not working because he is not following the rules, but I think it may be too late.

The hardest part of this for me is the lack of motivation and support. I feel like I'm tugging Vince along with me and it's tiring. Sometimes I really don't want to go to the gym and workout for an hour, I need someone to motivate me to go. Sometimes I am not seeing the results of all this effort and I feel like it doesn't really matter if I spend an hour cooking a healthy dinner when I could get the same results by stopping at McDonald's instead. I really need someone to tell me they can see a difference in me. Remind me of the benefits of eating healthy. Be supportive of the good choices I'm trying so hard to make. It is hard to stick to this challenge when the person you live with isn't really into it the way you are. The hardest part for me is not having Vince's interest in learning new recipes and exercises, not having his praise for the progress I've made, and counteracting his debbie-downer attitude towards the whole thing while trying to keep us both healthy.

I am getting back on track. No more skipping workouts. I'm determined to have a bigger weight loss next week.

Weight - 241.6 (-.6 pounds)
Hips - 50 inches (+.5 inch)
Waist - 41 inches (+1 inch)
Bust - 37.5 inches (-1.5 inches)
Bicep - 14.5 inches (no change)
Thigh - 26.5 inches (-1 inch)
Calf - 17 inches (no change)

I have been extremely bloated this week so the increase in my hip and waist measurements were expected. I am positive that I will show a huge decrease at my next weigh-in.