Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Muscle Weighs More Than FAT = MYTH

Recently I have been getting a bit of a reality check on the dieting and fitness industries with all of the research I have been doing and the articles I have been reading. I have come across a lot of myths. One myth that I was recently liberated of has me scratching my head on how in the world I was tricked for so long...

We have all heard the school days riddle that says, "What weighs more, a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers." Some of us are tricked and say, a pound of bricks weighs more. But no, a pound is a pound no matter what you are weighing. The same goes for muscle vs. fat.

Everyone has heard the common phrase, "Muscle weighs more than fat." Not possible. A pound is a pound whether it is bricks and feathers or fat and muscle. This myth has come about because of the fact that muscle is more dense than fat. This means that muscle will take up less room on your body. If you lost a pound of fat and gained a pound of muscle the weight would be the same. A pound is a pound.

It is SO funny that we all just accepted this myth for all this time...so silly.

Take a look at the venus index website. I recently purchased their book and workout routine. This myth among many others are debunked in this system. I think it is worth the money if you are interested in creating your best body shape through weight training.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Value Village Rocks

Here is the outfit I was referring to earlier...Everything but the belt from Value Village (although I do have some great belts from there too). Even the necklace! Urban Behaviour sweater, Plum pants, Dynamite Shirt = Total: $23! I get so many good finds at Value Village. My latest favourite is my Calvin Klein Jeans which I am wearing in the before and after pic on the right. They were $10!

I go every few months and buy a smaller sized wardrobe for around $50-$100. Such a great store. I can't even say that I will buy a large amount of clothes from regular stores once I hit my goal weight. You can just get so much more for your money at Value Village.


Well, its OFFICIAL!! This morning I finally hit the 50Lb mark! I even surpassed it a bit! I am now down 50.4Lbs! I weighed in this morning at 164.6!!! SUPER EXCITED! My husband and I were high five-ing each other and jumping up and down!

I have been looking forward to hitting this mark for quite a while now. I find it so much more satisfying to say, "I've lost 50LBS!"

I want to put a shout out to all of you, my readers, who have supported me and commented on my progress all the way. I wouldn't be here without the support I have received from all of you. I am truly grateful for all of your support. Special thanks to Paula, Angela and Goal is Thin who always comment and support my posts. A BIG thank you to all of you. You are the best! Please keep following along with me on my weight loss journey.

I also went to my favourite store yesterday, Value Village, and picked up some new smaller winter clothes. All I have are spring and summer gear and lots of my clothes are again too big (YEAH) so I went on down and got a HUGE bag of woolly warm clothing for the winter season. This morning I am snug in a new angora v-neck sweater with sequin along the neckline and wool pants with a white dress shirt underneath. Cost for entire outfit? $23!

Such a great store for someone like me who goes through clothes faster than tissue. (AGAIN, YEAH!)

I am SO excited to reach the next milestone in my weight loss journey! Thanks again to all of you who have helped get me to where I am and continue to support me along the way! ((HUGS))

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Goal Support

When you tell the people in your life your weight loss goal, do you ever get any disapproval or negativity towards that goal?

Lately I have been telling people about my goal of being at or around 135-140 by May 19th and/or a size 8. I get comments like:

Don't forget you are older now.

You're pretty tall, that might be too thin.

Don't get boney, boney isn't pretty.

How come all the women out there who have perfect, healthy bodies and look fantastic in a bathing suit are allowed to be thin and I am not? Because I have been heavy most of my adult life I have to stay overweight in some way for those who know me to perceive me as healthy?

Are they just used to me being fat and so can't imagine me being thin? Is it jealousy? Do they think I won't succeed and so are trying to help me not get my hopes up? I don't understand why women who are far older than me are allowed to have fantastic, healthy, muscular bodies and I am not.

In my opinion, being 5'7" and 135-140 pounds is very healthy. In fact for my height I would be considered healthy if I was as low as 120 pounds. Size 8 is a very reasonable size to want to be for my height. But why do I have to defend that? Why?

I really don't get it.

Catherine Zeta Jones: 5'8" and 130 Lbs. She looks fantastic to me and she is taller than me and older than I am, how can she be thin and over 40? According to people I know, You can't be thin when you are older.

Roselyn Sanchez: 5'7 and 130 Lbs. She also looks fantastic and perfectly healthy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Twinkie Diet

I have always felt that it doesn't matter what you eat, it is how much you eat that is the key. That is why plans like weight watchers work. It is a point system and they don't give you a bonus for eating something healthy, you have your daily value, how you use it is up to you. Either way you will lose weight if you don't go over your daily value.

This post and article link are great examples of that.


Thinking about plateaus and worrying about progress has been less lately. I was looking at my progress charts. I usually enter my weight weekly and view my progress as a weekly chart. But now, since I have been doing Fast 5 for so long I have a clear picture of my progress monthly too.

When you look at the chart monthly, there doesn't seem to be any plateaus at all. Just a pretty solid diagonal line in the right direction (Other than one little blip). I find this very encouraging.

I think that recording your weight can have its pro's and con's but if you are consistent in your weight loss actions they will show positive results which could help to keep you on the right track.

Here is my weekly weight chart. It looks a bit up and down, up and down and sometimes that is discouraging when I am writing down my weight. But when you see it here, it appears as though this is a natural process that the body goes through in order to successfully go down permanently. The purple lines at the end are my weight loss goals. The first to be at around 152 by February 19th. The second is to be at my goal weight of 135 by May 19th.

Here is my monthly chart. You can see what I mean when I say pretty solid diagonal line. This looks pretty consistent (except for that one little blip in the middle). I find this chart the most encouraging.

Here are the sites I use for tracking my weight loss: Weight Chart & Lose It If you don't already use them, give them a try and see if they can help you to see your weight loss in a different light.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Doing Good!

This morning I weighed in at 167.1! The lowest I have been yet. I feel really good lately and I am even happy with how my body looks which is a huge change for me. I have been trying to keep track of my calories and incorporate two long fasts into my week.

Yesterday when it was Thanksgiving in the US, I gave thanks that I am able to fast and that I have found what works for me. I celebrated that with an all day fast. I plan to eat this evening at a dinner party with friends at around 6pm. That will be a total of around 43 hours.

I really enjoy my long fasts. Especially in the morning after a complete day of not eating. I wake up feeling extremely energetic and calm with a sense of euphoria. This day is when I usually feel the best and also experience ZERO hunger, which is nice. I was so happy this morning especially with my weigh in boosting me along.

I hope all of you in the US had a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The school of common sense

I come from the school of common sense. It is how I live my life. For me, if it doesn't sound plausible it probably isn't. I haven't listened to my common sense a lot in my weight loss journey, until now. I think that is because of repetition. Martin Berkhan said it best on his blog LeanGains:
Repetition. Repeat something often enough and it becomes the truth. If everyone is saying the same thing, it must be true. No need to look into it and think for yourself.
Here are some of my common sense observations:

If you fast you will lose muscle because your body will burn muscle first before fat (a statement that one of my readers got from a personal trainer).

COMMON SENSE: If our bodies store fat for the purpose of burning that fat when it is in need of energy, why would it then go and burn muscle instead? It doesn't make sense.

THINKING FOR MYSELF: Wikipedia has something to say about this here. LeanGains blog on myths debunked, myth number six also has something to say. And here.

If you fast you will go into starvation mode and gain weight rather than lose weight.

COMMON SENSE: If I skip a meal, I am not STARVING. I have been skipping meals for almost a year now and I have lost almost 50 LBS so common sense tells me that I never switch into "starvation mode".

THINKING FOR MYSELF: Again read what wikipedia has to say about this here.

Exercise is the key to weight loss.

COMMON SENSE: You need to have a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories to release 1 pound of fat. If I work out HARD for one hour I can burn about 400-500 calories. Common sense tells me that this might work, oh wait, that means I would have to work out HARD one hour per day EVERY, SINGLE, DAY and keep my calories in line perfectly, EVERY, SINGLE, DAY.

THINKING FOR MYSELF: Now lets be realistic here. We are all busy, we all have responsibilities. Working out that hard every day just won't work, not for me at least. And being perfect with my food intake in this society is also really hard. Check out this article on the subject and one of my previous posts on Diet vs. Exercise here.

You need to eat six meals a day if you want to keep your metabolism going.

COMMON SENSE: As we all know, in history, there wasn't always a grocery store on every corner stocked with any food we could ever want in one place. As early humans we had to wait to get food until we could catch it, grow it, find it or whatever. Why would our bodies be designed to need a constant stream of food if for most of history we have been without the grocery store?

THINKING FOR MYSELF: Check out this article from the New York Times. And the US National Library of Medicine here.

Fasting is not good for you health. You need to eat regularly to be healthy.

COMMON SENSE: Since I began intermittent fasting as a lifestyle I have seen positive effects in my health. My skin which usually had acne on my face and shoulders constantly is now perfectly clear ALL THE TIME. I rarely get sick, and when I do it passes easily. Compared to before when I got colds all the time that would put me in bed for a week or more. I feel better and have more energy than ever before. I could go on and on...

THINKING FOR MYSELF: The US National Library of Medicine has countless studies that suggest that fasting is not only safe, but good for you, better for you than eating regularly. Check them out here, here, here, and here. And search for more yourself, as there are more...

Bottom line is don't believe everything you hear just because it comes from a "professional trainer". They don't have all the answers, go and find the answers yourself and learn from experience. What works for one person may not work for you, so customize your weight loss journey to fit YOUR needs.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Plateau Busting

This is interesting on Plateaus, check out the full post on Getting Stronger HERE:

Individual adaptation is of course not the same thing as species adaptation. But there is at least this much similarity: if the adaptation is large enough, and if there arise new forces which act to stabilize the adaptation, then a stable change is possible. If the stability persists long enough for the balance of forces to change, the adaptation will be “permanent”, with no easy reversion to the original state. However, some sort of “separation”, analagous to geographic isolation, is needed to prevent reversion or “backsliding” to the original state. Just as a river or ocean separating two islands can keep two sub-species from rejoining, there needs to be some type of “habit separation” between new and old patterns to prevent us from going back to where we started.

A good mental model for this is crossing a stream which is broken up by a series of large boulders. Getting from one side to the other may seem like an impossible task. It certainly cannot be done with a single bounding leap. But if the task is broken down into a series of small steps, each of which is a stable “boulder”, then it can be done. If the boulders are far apart, you may hang out for quite a while on each boulder, getting your footing and balance. But then at the right time, with enough confidence, you decide to make your move to the next boulder. Each step is still a challenge and takes some preparation, but with preparation and sufficient strength, it is within your reach. By the time you are to the other side, it is equally hard to return to where you started. Just as biological evolution proceeds stepwise, and generally without reversion, to a new space, so can individual adaptation evolve to a new stable state through a series of intermediate “resting points”, each stable in their own right. And if these resting points are far enough apart, it will be hard to return to the original place you started. But, applying this to “plateau evolution”, a stream with well spaced boulders is preferable to a stream crossed by a continuous foot bridge, because the bridge makes it too easy to re-cross the river back to where you started.


I love this blog called Getting Stronger by Todd Becker. SO informative and he seems to say exactly what I want to say when everyone asks me if I am crazy for fasting!

Here is an excerpt:

One of the most common reactions I get to my advice to try intermittent fasting is: I could never do that!

Like the Jackson Browne song “Running on Empty,” the word “fasting” often conjures up dire images of starvation and energy deprivation. Many of you reading this post may have experienced strong hunger pangs, headaches, tiredness, sweating and even shaking or wooziness when going without eating for even part of a day, much less a whole day. So it is natural to extrapolate such experiences into the thought that going without food for a day, or even several hours, would invariably lead to uncomfortable or even dangerous hypoglycermic symptoms. That, together with the negative image of fasting as something unhealthy or associated with eating disorders, leaves most people pale at the thought of even attempting a short fast.

But I tell you, if you don’t try fasting you are missing out on an enjoyable, incredibly energizing experience that will put you in control of your eating and improve your health, your energy and your outlook. Many people, myself included, have learned to fast for up to a day or even longer, on a regular basis and without negative repurcussions. Done correctly, short-term fasting is not dangerous, it’s actually health-promoting and greatly helps to retrain your appetite.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eat Less to lose weight?

I was talking with some girls in the office this morning about how I really want to set a timeframe goal for myself to be at my goal weight by my birthday, May 19th. I was saying that my weight loss has slowed down a bit and I need to kick it up a notch in order to achieve this goal.

They asked, "what are you planning to do to kick it up a knotch?" I said, "Increase my exercise and eat less." At the mention of "eat less" their heads started shaking and they blurted out "NO!" You already don't eat enough, don't cut back on your food!

HUH? People really don't get it. You have to eat less to lose weight. That is a fact. I had to explain to them that even though they may see me eat only one meal a day, that I do eat well over my daily recommended calories in that one meal. That counting calories or trying to decrease the amount I eat in that window is my best option for losing weight.

They both thought that I should eat more and eat often and just exercise like mad. That sounds much harder to me. Why would I want to sweat my ass off to try to get my ass off? Why, when I can just try to eat less instead, much easier. I can exercise to try to help me along, to try to tone some muscle, to try to get healthy but doing extreme amounts of exercise doesn't seem practical.

How can we change the public's perception that eating more is what will get you thin? It doesn't even make sense when you say it but everyone believes it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Money and FAT

I love Brad Pilon! Check out this post on Money and FAT. SO TRUE!

Going down

After my long fast on Sunday, I am back in the 160s! This morning's weigh in was 168.5. Feeling good! I have been using the site www.loseit.com that one of my readers recommended. I LOVE IT! So easy to use. Just log your calories and exercise and it will tell you when you can expect to reach your goal. I try to put my calories for the day in before I eat them so I can make adjustments to my plan if I start going in the red zone...

I prefer not to count calories but this makes it much easier and I think I need a little help at this stage. It gets slower as you get further along so any bit helps.

Got back to my exercise yesterday too, now that I have finally kicked this cold. Did my bar method DVD and lifted some heavy weights.

I wanted to do another long fast on Thursday but we are having a work lunch that day so I have to skip it this week... Should be fine though if I can keep my calories under control this week using loseit.com. SO glad I didn't end up staying in the 170s because of my weekend. Good to know that my body will bounce back if I do!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our society will not let us diet!

Our society will not let us diet, so stop spending all the money on the latest diet fad!!! Think about it. How many holidays are there?

Valentines Day
Mother's Day
Father's Day
Independence Day/Canada Day
New Years

...and MANY MORE!

Each and every one of these holidays are centred around food! Chocolate, gravy, alcohol, candy, cookies, and BIG CELEBRATORY MEALS!

That isn't even including:

Birthdays (how many birthday parties do you go to in a year? Hello! Every one of them has CAKE!)
That lunch/brunch/dinner that you have with a friend you haven't seen in a while
Dinner parties
...and SO MUCH MORE!

What are you going to do at a dinner party, say, "Can I just get a salad with the dressing on the side and that's it?" NO, that would be rude!

How can anyone be successfully on a diet and live in our world? They can't. They don't. At least not long term. They go to that dinner party and they eat what is put in front of them. They go to the Christmas party and have some wine and enjoy themselves, they eat a slice of birthday cake with their family. Then they go home and beat themselves up because they "cheated".

STOP beating yourself up!!! Live your life. EAT.

Intermittent fasting has opened our world up for me again. Now my friends and family don't roll their eyes whenever they have to have a meal with me because "I can't have this, that and the other thing." I eat what everyone else eats.

Every celebratory meal you have is usually planned. With intermittent fasting, all you have to do is fast up until that meal. It is so flexible. I have a schedule that I follow in my routine life, day to day etc. of eating one meal at lunch. When I have a function, I move my window to accommodate the meal.

Saturday night dinner party? Wait til dinner. Sunday brunch? Eat brunch and then fast the rest of the day. Dinner with the girls? You get the picture.

STOP torturing yourself and CELEBRATE!

Diet vs. Exercise

Yet ANOTHER great article on why exercise is NOT the key to weight loss. Again, exercise is great for health and a little help in burning off a few calories but it will not be the key to you losing excess weight.

Check out the article here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Had an indulgent weekend as hubby and I and some friends went across the border for the weekend to do some shopping. We stayed at a wonderful hotel near some outlet malls and enjoyed ourselves. The food was to die for! SO good. I kept on my schedule but definitely ate over the amount of calories I should have had.

Yesterday we had a wonderful dinner at Red Lobster, which we don't have in our part of Canada so it was a real treat. I love their food! Especially the biscuits! Too many calories but lots of enjoyment. Today I tried to make up for it with an all day fast, because the scale put me back in the 170s this morning with a weigh in at 171.3. BOOOO!!

Hopefully tomorrow, after my long fast, I will be back on track and back in the 160s. I will be careful to keep my calories low and watch what I bring for lunch tomorrow so I don't go over again. I will try to put another long fast in on Thursday to try to fix the damage I did this weekend! I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Great Article

Found a great article on Intermittent Fasting online that I wanted to share with you all. Below is an excerpt. You can read the entire article here.

Like caloric restriction, intermittent fasting reduces oxidative stress, makes the animals more resistant to acute stress in general, reduces blood pressure, reduces blood sugar, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces the incidence of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, and improves cognitive ability. But IF does even more. Animals that are intermittently fasted greatly increase the amount of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) relative to CR animals. CR animals don’t produce much more BDNF than do ad libitum fed animals.

What’s BDNF? (The Wikipedia definition is actually pretty good)

BDNF, as its name implies, is a substance that increases the growth of new nerve cells in the brain, but it does much more than that. BDNF is neuroprotective against stress and toxic insults to the brain and is somehow–no one yet knows how, exactly–involved in the insulin sensitivity/glucose regulating mechanism. Infusing BDNF into animals increases their insulin sensitivity and makes them lose weight. Humans with greater levels of BDNF have lower levels of depression. BDNF given to depressed humans reduces their depression. And Increased levels of BDNF improves cognitive ability. In short, you want as much BDNF as you can get., and with IF you can get a lot.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Still in the 160s!

Wow! This morning I am STILL in the 160s! Two days in a row, 168.4! So far so good! I am doing my long fast tomorrow so that should help to keep me below the 170 mark. I finally felt like I could update my before and after picture. I was waiting until I was in the 160s before I changed it. Wow! I can hardly believe the transformation! Amazing when you see it like this.

I look like a completely different person! It feels great. I am happy with how I look right now and confident that I can reach my goal of losing another 30 pounds or so.

Tonight we are having our favourite greek food at The Greek Islands restaurant. I am looking forward to celebrating tonight with my wonderful hubby. Tomorrow it is back to pottery class where we are working on teapots.

Fasting has also helped me feel better this week. I was feeling a bit sick and in the past when I get sick, I am out for the count. Usually in bed for 3-5 days and REALLY sick. I never understood how people could just push through a cold and work and continue on with their daily activities because I was always so dead to the world. But, since I have begun fasting, I have not been sick like that even once. I have had a few sore throats that have lasted a couple of days and then gone away. I have been able to continue on with my daily activities and not ended up in bed.

I really believe that intermittent fasting has played a role in that. I am no scientist but it seems logical to me that if you are not using up your body's resources on constant digestion then it has more energy to fight off illness. I think that is also why I no longer get any pimples. I seem to heal quicker and easier. Anyway, from my experience, intermittent fasting has done more for me than help me lose weight. I has improved my life in many ways.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I am in SHOCK!

This morning I stepped on the scale and gasped like I had seen a ghost! I couldn't believe my eyes! The scale read 168.4!! That is down from my plateau since May of 174-171!!! I really, really hope it lasts and I stay in the 160s and below from now on! We will see. I was 169 for a brief moment a couple of weeks ago and I went right back into that little 172 pocket again but fingers crossed!

I have been trying to track what I eat before I eat it so that I can somewhat control how much goes in. I plan and prepare to try to keep my eating in check and it seems to be working.

I haven't been feeling well this week so haven't been doing my workouts. But I enjoy them, so I know once I feel better it will be back to the weights and back to my bar method DVD. Have you ever tried the bar method? Kind of a cross between ballet and yoga. You have to hold these ballet like poses for a long time while flexing your muscles. IT BURNS but feels great too. I have noticed my shape changing because of it, and sweat literally drips off me when I do it, which is rare for me because I don't sweat that much. I also lift heavy weights and I am starting to see some muscles growing there too.

I want to look like her!

I feel so grateful that I have found something that works for me and is easy to fit into my life. The people around me are really supportive now and even my co-workers are starting to get it. They still ask questions and say things like, “Aren’t you hungry all the time?” But now that I have been doing this since January, they all kind of realize that if it was really hard, I wouldn’t have been able to keep it up this long.

Dieting just doesn’t work like that. I don’t know anyone who has tried a diet and was able to maintain it for almost a year. Even 6 months would be impressive. This is my lifestyle now and I have complete confidence that I will see my goal and stay there for the rest of my life. It is slow going now but I WILL arrive there.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Biker Chick

I wanted to post some fun pics from halloween where my hubby and I dressed up in biker outfits. The night was really fun and it felt good to dress up in a costume where I didn't feel self conscious about my weight. ROCK ON!

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