Sunday, September 23, 2007

First Weigh In!!

Drum roll please!!

I lost a total of 9.6 pounds!! Butt nekkid, I actually lost 10 lbs, but they were not having that at the weigh in. I now weigh 234.8.

Another classic moment for me - that morning before the weigh in, I kept changing clothes and jumping on the scale to determine the lightest outfit to wear. I finally decided on a light tshirt and shorts.

My team also did well!

Ken - 5.5
Jodi - 3.5
Becky - 7.5
Michele - 15!!!

We lost a total of 41.6 lbs!! Way to go team!!

Michele lost 15 lbs! She also is on the Atkins diet - and has not walked or exercised or nuthin!

I need to try that......nah, can't, already tried to relax for the weekend and muscles rebelled on me. It has gotten to the point that if I don't exercise, I feel really bad mentally (probably guilt) and physically. Dang, I'm hooked! Exercise Crack!!!

Someone told me today that I looked like I had lost about 20 lbs!! That made my day!

Well, the goal for this month is 15 lbs! I can do it! I would like to break 220 by next weigh in.

I am a bit tired tonite, we partied Friday nite and I went a little overboard - low carb of course!

Til next time - more pics to come. Soon as I find some flattering clothes and get the hair in check - I'm vain ya know!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Good Low Carb Tilapia Recipe

As promised!

1 pkg frozen tilapia (four pieces)
2 tblsp olive oil
garlic powder, pepper, sea salt, to taste
1 pat of butter
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1/2 lemon

I have one of those stovetop grills/griddles which works really well with not only fish, but any meat! If you dont have one of these, thaw the fish before cooking in a nonstick pan.

Heat grill - coat with nonstick spray if needed.
Place two pieces of fish on grill. Sprinkle 1/2 olive oil over fish.

Add garlic powder, pepper and sea salt to taste. Cover fish with a lid and cook on high for two minutes or until exposed side turns white.

Turn fish - add other half of olive oil and seasonings. Cover fish again and cook on medium for three minutes.

Uncover fish and top with spinach, some of the lemon juice and 1 pat of butter. Cover and cook on medium until the spinach just wilts.

Remove fish, squeeze rest of lemon on top and enjoy!!

Total carbs - 5 gr

Now that is eating!!

YES!! Back on Track!! sort of...

Hi All!

Forgive me again for the late postings. The first weigh in is this Friday and I am trying to get as close to my goal (15 lbs) as possible. Thank you to all for your support, I promise to start being more active on the comments also.

Last week was sucky. In addition to not losing any weight (but losing a couple of dress sizes), the ride decided that I wasn't spending enough money on it, and the starter blew! $300 freakin' bucks! Oh, Mr. Windstar, your days are numbered.....

Still, I did manage to do my lunch walks, get to the gym and do my nightly long walk. I did cut back on the pork skins and added more water and salads and fish ( I love tilapia - recipe to follow!). So, this morning as I hobbled to the bathroom to the scale, muscles sore and knotted, what did I get? For all my pain and suffering? (Actually, the weigh lifting was kinda fun - I got felt up by this cute Mexican guy! Well, he was showing me the correct way to do squat lunges, and I kept "forgetting". Hey, at this stage in the game, I'll take any sweaty man action I can get!)

Anyhoo, got on the scale -IT READ 235.8!! I LOST TWO MORE POUNDS! RIGHT HERE IS WHERE I WOULD USUALLY SAY "YAY!!".......but to be quite honest, I was pissed! Two lousy pounds?!? And what is with this .8 crap! I sweat about five gallons this past week! Get off fat!! Get off my body dammit!!

I know, I know, slow and steady weight loss is the best, don't expect so much too soon, pork rinds are the devil, bla bla bla....but I set a goal and to reach it I am going to have to lose 6.8 lbs by Friday morning. I cannot safely do that, so I guess I will continue my workouts and see where I am at on Friday. Don't get me wrong, I am proud of my 9lb loss, I just wish I hadn't made the "strong invincible black woman" speech in the other post. Now I'm gonna look like an ass....according to dear old mom. Ah well, wouldn't be the first time.....

So, while I am sitting here slathered in Icy-Hot, I thought I would backtrack and go over some things that I mentioned in previous posts. TS did a post on the difference in attitudes on weight loss between white women and black women. I would like to give my version of this.

OK, to all my white friends that are reading this, don't be offended, I am only telling it as I see it! Love you all!! Hey Becky! Hey Bob! Hey Cyn! Margarita's (low carb) this Friday!

So anyhoo, I believe that the main factor in the whole beauty/weight thing is that when it comes to looking good or rather the illusion of looking good, Black women have a much more.....forgiving attitude. We just think that we look good in everything! Go to church one Sunday....plain janes during the week will transform into big gorgeous swans on Sunday morning! And don't let there be a Family reunion or Anniversary - O Lord, we pullin out the GOLD LAME'!!!

I still think that I am the cat's meow, at any size. I have known some white sisters that would have stuck their heads in an oven if they were my size. And I have noticed that before the fat monster gets out of hand, they are doing anything and everything to control it. And, most of the time, they succeed! No talking, no excuses - just action! In the time it takes to buy a new wardrobe in a bigger size, they have lost the weight and moooooved on! Why can't we do that?

True story: At my last job, I worked in an office with two other big sisters and one healthy sized white sister. I will call her Ms. X. Ms. X had had enough of being the size she was ( probably 16-18) and went on this diet consisting of - I kid you not - vienna sausages and grapes. That is all she ate, three times a day. Now, of course, us big sistas, we just thought that that was the craziest thing, and not healthy to boot! So we decided that we were going to tell Miss Thing about it and "save" her from her silly diet! day we all gathered in the lunch room, Ms. X with her grapes and vienna's and the Three Buttyteer's with our take out fried chicken dinners. We were going to give her a piece of our minds!

"Girl! (chomp chomp) that is not healthy!" "Uh uh, girl (chomp, smack) you need more protein than that! Are you gonna eat that chicken skin? Hand it over (smack, lick)"

This is my favorite, cuz I am the one that said it - "Guurrl, I couldn't do that diet!! You need fat to keep your skin moist!! (shovel, chomp)"

Now, I am sure that Ms. X wanted to tell us exactly which corner of hell she would have liked us to go to, but she just smiled, wiped the chicken grease out of her hair, and continued to eat the vienna's and grapes. And you know what happened? UH HUH, she lost the weight!! Still looks good to this day!

I think that it is great that we have high self esteem in the hair/clothes/makeup and nails department. But when you look faabulous and your personal life and health are a mess, you have jumped over the fine line that separates self esteem and denial. Ladies, I am dealing with this now. Looking in that mirror and taking a good, realistic look is hard. Do I have the relationship that I want? What about my health? Am I really living my life to the fullest? COULD MY WEIGHT POSSIBLY BE THE THING THAT IS HOLDING ME BACK?

Get your pens and paper out, I'm going to share a secret with you that lots of other women know but black women don't seem to grasp (me included):

It Only Takes A Year!!

......that's right, commit to this for a year and watch the pounds come off and your quality of life improve. One year! Some of y'all are locked into car payments for 8 years! Some of us continue to make the same mistakes and bad habits year after year. Come on Y'all!! YOU CAN DO IT!! MAKE THE COMMITMENT! Put that toe into the uncharted water and see what happens.

I bitch and moan alot, but I am also very excited as to what each day brings as I get closer to my goal.....I wanna do this for me, not just the cash! There, I admitted it! I wanna wear short shorts and show off my shapely legs! I wanna go running and do aerobics in my nice new body clinging outfit! I wanna have men knife fighting over me - except I get the winner this time!!

Sooo....let's do this thing Black women! And I would also like to hear from Sista's that have won the battle! I need some tips! Like how to lose 6.8 lbs by Friday!

The saga continues......til next time!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More on Hair

Zabeth over at Zabeth's Corner has a great post called How the Gym Saved My Hair. You should take a look at it. It's well worth the read. Read the comments too.

Today is a new day. What are you waiting for?

Some Hair Raising Information

This isn't exactly a weight post but it does deal with hair and we all know that hair is one of the main reasons black women site for not working out.

Why children who braid it like Beckham risk losing hair

Girls who plait their hair too tightly or scrape it back in braids or a ponytail may be at risk of permanent hair loss, researchers suggest.

Hairstyles such as corn rows or braids and those that require chemical straighteners, weaves or hair extensions can damage hair and cause bald patches over time, the British Journal of Dermatology reports today.

Related diseases of the scalp, skin and hair are thought to affect people of African descent particularly. However, dermatologists have underlined the dangers of excessive treatment or scraping back for any hair type.

The tight bun styles favoured by ballet dancers, the corn rows once sported by David Beckham or the dramatic “Croydon facelift” look parodied by Vicky Pollard, the Little Britain character, could all potentially cause problems, they said....keep reading.

So just some things to keep in mind for those of you who swear you can't sweat out that hair. Maybe you should try something else as well. Healthy hair. Healthy body.

Tiday is a new day. What are you waiting for?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Week two - I will survive!

Hi All!

Sorry about the gap between postings, been a busy week for Ms. Tracy. Here is my "before" pic of me at 244!

Well, second week has gone by. Didn't lose any pounds this week. :( But..... I have gone from a size 26 to a 22! I know this because when I weighed in Sunday morning and didn't see the loss on the scale, I immediately went to the "Archives". Now, ladies, everyone has an archive closet. This is the closet full of clothes that don't fit you anymore, but you don't get rid of them because:

A: You paid too much for them - "This suit cost $400.00! I'll be DAMNED if I get rid of this!"

- or -

B: You paid too little for them -"Get rid of the Anne Klein Plus dress that I got on the clearance rack for $3?!?! Oh hell naw....."

So....I spent a better part of the morning trying on clothes that I had long since forgotten about...and all of the 22's fit!! YAY! And you know what the best part is? Most of the stuff was the wide legged pants with wide waistband and the short cropped jackets! THE STUFF THAT IS IN STYLE FOR THIS FALL!! I'm set !!

.....Of course, I have to have some new shoes and a new look to go with all the clothes that I can get into now, so to soothe my battered ego over the scale (evil! evil scale!) I went out and bought me some eff-me black four inch pumps. And I colored my hair red, well copper. My mom says I look like a hooker, but I feel like a million.

(Speaking of my mother, who is as big of a stitch than I am, she capped on me the other day. Showed me an article on Krispi Kreme going into bankruptcy and said "See what happens when you go on a diet?" Ah hahaha Mom! You're so funny. Looking for your nursing home is going to be a riot!!)

I have been in this weight loss game long enough to know about the body changes, plateaus, muscle weight gain, bla bla. But I have to get at least 8 more pounds off by weigh in on the 21st to reach my goal. ITS CRUNCH TIME! I will admit, last week wasn't a great week for exercise for me....It rained a few nights and I could not do my 7 mile walk and I did skip a few lunchtime walks. Oh yeah and Friday I kinda went overboard on the smoked almonds and the low carb pizza....but that is behind me! Gotta MOOOVE ON!

So, today I joined the local weight training club. This has the basic weights and a couple of treadmills. I also invested in a mini stair stepper to keep at home. I call it my mini heart attack waiting to happen- this thing is so haarrd! I can barely do 10 minutes on it without collapsing in a pool of sweat - but I will persevere! I will admit, this is a lot harder than it used to be...I'm starting to believe all that crap about what happens to you after 40!

So while I am struggling with my goal for the month, I thought I would go into detail about the diet that my doctor and I have chosen. I am following the Atkins low carb diet for two reasons:

1. I am a type 2 diabetic with normal cholesterol and blood pressure- I can control my blood sugar with diet and exercise. Under my doctor's supervision, I have not taken my medicine since I started the diet and tracked my blood sugar levels daily. My blood sugar levels have been normal.

2. Cannot do the leaf and twig thing. Sorry, no butter, no meat, no Tracy. Yes, I have to give up my precious Mountain Dew (I was up to six a day) and Snickers bars (ditto) and my mocha carmel whipped cream infused extra tall coffee (I am crying right now) , but I can have fish, steak, chicken, pork and a great assortment of veggies and salads to go with them. I have even altered a chocolate soy milk to taste as good (well, not as good) as my coffee.

See, this is a life style change, not just a diet and I have chosen the change that I can live with. I want to expound on two things before I go on. You must, must, before starting any diet, see your doctor! Get a checkup, get some tests done, find out what is right for your body type. And ask questions - it's your body, it's your life! And please don't let not having insurance stop you from getting health care for yourself - surf the Internet, call around locally, there are places that charge by your income or not at all! In my time of need, I found a few!

The second thing is this: Get your pens and paper out- ALL DIETS WORK! Yep all of em! Low fat? Sure! Low Carb? Uh Huh! Veggies only? Go for it! Pick the one that you can live with, stick with it and moooove on!

So anyhoo, I chose Atkins because it makes me cut way down on sugars, starches and carbs while letting me enjoy - in moderation - protein rich foods. Contrary to popular belief, you do not just eat fatty meat all day, you have to eat your veggies , you have to eat dairy and salad greens to balance it all out.

But the main reason that I chose Atkins is the Scientific getting rid of the carbs, your body has to turn to its own fat stores for energy. So, when you move, breathe, exercise, you are burning fat! That is how I went down two sizes! There is also this test that you do with ketone strips to see if your body is in fat burning mode! You pee on the strips and if the strip is purple, you are burning fat for energy! These, plus the scale, have a down side for us obsessive, compulsives tho... more on that another time.

If you would like more info on the Atkin's diet - go get the book! Read it from cover to cover because there is alot more to this than what I have written here!

Well, tonite was the first night of my workouts with the weights and my muscles are rebelling, so till next time!

You can do it!! So can I! Just not right now.....

Oh wait! I almost forgot!! So far, my team has lost of total of 27 lbs! Go Team!

And I would like to give a shout out to Dia at Runchilde - her blog should be called RunLiftWeightsandSweatchilde, cuz sista is doin it all!! And managing to blog everyday! Girl ya making me look bad! Anyhoo, congrats on your weight loss too!

Til next time! YOU CAN ZZZZZZzzzzzz....

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Barriers to Weight Loss: What Black Women Can Learn From White Women

Since this is a topic that I was recently talking to a friend about and one that Tracy mentioned would be a future blog topic I decided I'd add my two cents to the topic:

I was in the gym last week and a friend of mine who is a personal trainer (and a stripper but that's another story) said in his experience white women are more inclined to address a weight problem before it becomes a real problem. His exact words were:

A white woman will but on 5 pounds freak out, go to the gym and mess around and lose 10lbs. Black women will put on 5, 10, 30, 40 pounds and then say 'Girl I need to do something about this.'

So lesson number 1 is: When you see that your weight is a problem, deal with it EARLY don't wait until you've gone from a size 8 to a size 14 before you address the issues at hand. Being Proactive is much better (and easier) then being Reactive.

Lesson number 2 comes from a 2003 study that was published in the journal 'Ethnicity and Disease.' It states that:

A recent study has revealed that overweight or obese white women are more inclined to ask for dieting help than their African-American counterparts.

This is an important point to take note of. The article about the study further notes that:

"We found that African-American women did not differ from Caucasians in terms of concerns about body shape and weight. But white women were more likely to be influenced by those concerns to seek help,” said lead author Dr. Rachel Annunziato, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

So what we learn is that for whatever reason Black women aren't motivated by body image in the same way their white counterparts are and this lack of motivation (even though the concern is there) prevents Black women from seeking help regarding their weight.

The articles offers some suggestions why this may be the case from cultural factors to women being the primary caregivers of everyone but themselves.

My personal trainer friend also noted that for whatever reason White women are more inclined to invest in their health in a way that Black women do not. He elaborated that black women will invest in things to make them look nice (clothes, hair, nails, etc.) but won't invest in the things that will make them healthy.

Now I'm not saying my personal trainer friend's word is the end all be all on the topic but much of what he says is backed up by other sources such as the article 'Black Women Confuse Beauty With Health' which touches on the issue of black women striving to look good instead of being healthy.

So Lesson 3 is: Health and Beauty are not synonymous and Black women need to learn and understand the difference if they want to be successful in having a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Just some things to think about this post 3-day weekend morning.

Today is a new Day. What are you waiting for?

A Little Backtracking....


Hi All!

Hope you had a wonderful 3 day weekend! I did!! In case you are just tuning into this blog (and too lazy to scroll down to my other posts) , my name is Tracy (hi!) and I have joined a weight loss contest that started in August and ends in January 2008!

In addition to a big moola payout for the winners, I am also trying to lose weight for my health, my personal well being, and to make all of my thinner girlfriends hate themselves...I was always the prettiest one anyways....

So is the big update!! On August 24th, I weighed in at 244.8 lbs. This Sunday, September 2nd, I weighed in at......237.8!!! I LOST 7 LBS!! WOO HOO! LETS CELEBRATE! MEET YA AT PIZZA HUT AND....oh wait....never mind...

So, I have been on cloud nine because I reached my goal for the week! My goal was to break 240 in a safe way (no starving, no over, over exertion) and I DID IT!!

You know what? I am so vain, it's all about me, me, me! Let me tell you how my team is doing also! Ken, the only guy in our team , our company's I T Manager, and the sole reason my pics aren't on the blog yet (hurry up, man!) has lost 4 pounds so far, and that was Wednesday! Everyone else is scared of the scale and will not weigh themselves until the next contest weigh in on Sept 21st. But, from what I see they all look great! I want to say "GO TEAM" and don't worry, I will not be posting your weights on this blog! Not this one anyway....

OK, now that the update is over, I want to the backtracking. I kinda got ahead of myself with the posts and wanted to go over a very important part of starting any weight loss program or really anything that is going to be life altering. A pastor once told me that before you start anything, any project - you have to have a plan. And you have to write that plan down, not only to look at it and see where you are, but also to see how far you have come. See ladies, too many times we start something wonderful and we are all gung ho for a couple of days, maybe weeks, some of you a couple of hours, then we lose sight, get discouraged and give up. Then we are back guessed it, the Lane Bryant girdle section.

But if you take a moment to plan your strategy, and write down the how, when and wheres of it all, you have a bit more clarity . You may even have to alter your plan a few times as you progress with your project, but always focus on your goal. Oh, yes, have a goal!

Sooo, since I am using this blog as my personal memoir of the weight loss battle, I have decided to share my plan of action with you all! Feel free to use mine as a skeleton for your own plan journal !

The Objective: Starting on August 24th, and ending January 4th, 2008, I will be participating in a weight loss contest with four other team members. Our objective is to safely lose as much weight as possible in that time period. (Actually , our objective is to win the cash by any means necessary, liposuction included, but that doesn't look pretty on paper).

My Personal Goal: To be under 200 lbs by the end of the contest (and not 199 and 3/8ths either - substantially under 200 lbs!). I then plan to win the contest and collect enuf dough to go over to Europe and get me one of them men that are on the AfroMatch dating sites! Gotta brush up on my German....

How I plan to meet my Goal: After checking with my doctor, I have decided to follow the Atkins diet. I will follow the diet to the letter, no cheating!

I am also adding exercise to this plan. I will exercise a minimum of 30 min. a day, maximum 1 1/2 hours a day. I will walk or exercise at work on my lunch break at least 3 times a week, for 30 minutes. I will walk my extended route at home 4 times a week and swim two times a week, leaving one day to bitch and moan ... I mean to give my muscles a rest, yeah..

Ongoing projections: My ongoing weight loss goal is 160 lbs. I will continue to follow the Atkins diet and exercise plan already listed, adding weight training with a sexy male trainer towards the end of my goal.

How much will this cost? Groceries for my diet plan will run aprox. $50 a week. The membership to swim at the Y is $35 for the Fall season and walking is free!! Wait, no it isn't...pepper spray is $10, bug repellent is $5, cute new tennies are $45 on sale...yeah that should do it...

My next weight loss goal is:________________________

The last entry I leave blank. My first goal was to break 240, I did that. So, my next goal is to lose a minimum of 15 lbs total by the 21st weigh in. If I lose more, great. I CAN DO IT!

A lot of well meaning folks like to remind me that the best weight loss is slow - you shouldn't lose more than 1-2 pounds per week. They also tell me that it is unrealistic to try to lose 15-20 lbs in a months time..... wellllllll...

Excuse me, but if you hadn't noticed, I'm a Black Woman. You know me....

I'm the ninety year old church mother who gets up at dawn on Saturday morning, cleans, cooks, packages and sells 100 chicken dinners before 2pm so the church lights won't get turned off(church men, you got to step up!)

I'm the crack addict that everyone wrote off, that picked herself up, got an education and is now a successful lawyer (love ya Cookie!)

I'm the single mother that feeds her kids, pays the bills and manages to get her some Revlon from a paycheck of mostly thin air...(love you Mom!)

I'm that nerdy girl that you made fun of cuz she couldn't dance and always did her homework - now you are asking her for a job!

Where and when I enter I carry the entire Black race with me...(That's Paula Giddings, y'all, every Black woman should have that book!)

So.....when you tell me about expectations and reality....I have surpassed normal expectations and made my own reality all my life, this will be no exception. Again, I will do it safely, and I will except any stumbling blocks as a learning process. So nyah!

OK! Q&A time!!

This time, I have a question for anyone that can answer! I am trying to lose as much weight as possible before this contest ends. Right now, I am walking about 7 miles four times a week and swimming about 40 laps 2 times a week. Should I add weight training? or should I wait until after the contest, since weight training builds muscle. Will this add a substantial amount of weight? Thanks to all in advance on this subject.

Well, ladies, time for me to head out, labor day weekend is over. Next post will catch up on Atkins, why all diets work, and why white women are thin and black women are not...

Stay tuned! Stay motivated! YOU CAN DO IT!!