Monday, November 23, 2009

I am Climbing Michi's Ladder

I am participating in Coach Barbie's Super Slim Down 20 Day Challenge through her Beachbody group Barbie's Slim Spot. The main tennant is eating clean and eating at regular intervals. The diet options are based on Michi's Ladder: a 5 tier food categorizing tool. The tiers are cutely titled (Tier 1 = The Pious Tier, Tier 5 = The Newburg Tier) but the concept is age-old. Eat more food in its unprocessed state or Eating Clean. For the challenge, participants eat from Tiers 1 and 2 only. There are cheat days once a week although one cheat meal is recommended over an entire day of binging :)

Here's a link to Michi's Ladder if you are interested:

Having never heard of the Ladder, I am not sure what I was expecting last night when I read it after I signed up for competition. To my surprise, I realized that I "basically" am already following the spirit of the Ladder. How hard can it be?

I'm in the middle of the first day as I type this message. It's tough. I didn't realize how much junk I eat. While I avoid labeling food as "bad" and encourage moderation over outright ban, truth is most of us have a hard time defining moderation or identifying proper portion size. If I truly practiced moderation and portion control, I, honestly, would not be overweight. So, I am embracing strict structure. For competitive purposes yes and also for my health.

Lunch today was hard: ravioli with pesto sauce, teriyaki chicken, white rice and steamed vegetables with butter. Hello? My faves!

Will I die if I never have ravioli drenched in pesto sauce? Not likely. Funny thing is, my health will probablydecline with constant treats in the name of moderation.

This morning and this afternoon have been difficult but I'm armed with water and small meals to eat at regular intervals. It's 20 days and that's enough time for my tastebuds to acclimate to a permanent shift in my approach to diet.

I'm looking forward to the challenge!

Decide. Commit. Succeed.

- Kareen, RD
iameatingright at gmail dot com

Independent Beachbody Coach

Yep. I love the products and the company philosophy (Decide. Commit. Succeed) so much that I am partnering with Beachbody as an Independent Coach.

So, what does that mean?

First, I have a formal venue through which I can provide FREE coaching services to you. And as a Registered Dietitian, I will not only provide exercise guidance, I can also provide valuable insight into your diet: determining your BMI and estimated calorie needs, for example.

Second, I can continue working out in the comfort of my home with these quality products! The company really does align with my ulimate goal.

Purchasing Beachbody products is not a prerequisite for coaching services but they do offer great programs to help meet your weight loss goals. If you are interested in Beachbody products, that's great! I can definitely help you select the best program to meet your needs.

If you are interested in becoming a coach and receiving 25% off Beachbody products, let me know!

I'm excited by the doors that this partnership will open for your health and mine!

Let me know how I can help you be the best you possible.

- Kareen, RD
Independent Beachbody Coach
iameatingright at gmail dot com

ChaLEAN Extreme Still Kicking My Butt

Late last week, I developed a fierce headache. I've never had a migraine so I don't know if that's what it was but it was debilitating and it endured from Wednesday afternoon to Friday evening. I went to work but was non-functioning. The headache lingered through the weekend but I was able to resume normal activities. My husband discovered several knots in my neck that were/are probably contributing.

I didn't get Day 12 Burn Circuit 3 in on Friday morning. Saturday, Day 13, was my regularly scheduled rest day and I was recuperating. I combined both Burn Circuit 3 and Day 14 Burn it Off yesterday. That was a workout! My legs were fatigued after the first Burn it Off exercise. I've said it before but I really do enjoy pushing myself. You finish the workout with a sense of accomplishment.

Mondays are the only day of the week where I workout in the evening only. Mondays is also my Zumba day. Two free hours of dancing and getting my "sexy" on. . .LOL! The class is fun and it's great to see all the participants getting their dance on :) So I have to be sure to get home in enough time to get in Burn Circuit 1 before class begins.

Friday was weigh-in day. I lost 1 lb!! Based on my Sparkpeople calculations, I had an idea of the result but it's always nice to see a loss.

Weekend eating was out of control. I struggle with using food as a reward and to move beyond that issue involves creating more structure in my eating. Stay tuned for a blog on that topic.

Exercise Plans for this week:

Sunday - 35 mins Burn Circuit 3 in a.m. + 30 mins Burn it Off in a.m. (DONE!)
Monday - 35 mins Burn Circuit 1 in p.m. + 1 hrs Zumba in p.m.
Tuesday - ChaLEAN Extreme Rest Day + 60 mins Tae Bo in a.m. + 90 mins Tae Bo in p.m.
Wednesday - 35 mins Burn Circuit 2 in a.m. + 60 mins P90X Plyometrics in p.m.
Thursday - 45 mins Burn Intervals?/Ab Burner in a.m. + 60 mins Tae Bo in p.m.
Friday - 35 mins Burn Circuit 3 in a.m. + 60 mins P90X Kenpo in p.m.
Saturday - REST!

Total Exercise Hours: 10

Excited to "Bring it!" this week.

- Kareen

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Eating and IBS

My Facebook moniker is "Kareen EatingRight" (friend me at Over the past few days, I've noticed that my status updates have been related to exercise more than eating. The more I think about it the more I realize I'm secretive with what I eat. And that's largely because I'm struggling with my diet.

Right now my battle is not with calories but rather with options. I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome in January of this year. I was struggling before the diagnosis and I have continued to be frustrated since. As a dietitian, I know the usual recommendations: fiber, fiber, fiber. Well, I've been down that road and it turned into a deadend.

I've tried reducing my intake of raw vegetables and some raw fruits but to no avail. I've kept a food journal to determine trigger foods but it seemed as if every food was a trigger. I even went from being vegetarian to eating chicken and fish as sources of protein b/c beans bothered me and meat analogs are too high in sodium to be a reasonable replacement option. Now I feel guilty abandoning my convictions about eating meat. I've also tried the recommended herbal supplements.

My diet isn't exemplary right now as I try to figure out how to reduce my symptoms and until then, I'm not up for sharing on a consistent basis. I am back to trying a fiber supplement and there are prescription meds that can help which may be a viable option as my discomfort increases.

This current flare up has been ongoing for weeks. I could be stressed but my daily exercise helps calm me and I honestly don't feel stressed. Who knows. Some days, like today, I don't care and eat what I want. Today for lunch, I enjoyed a giant salad! Yep, that was my splurge! I am paying the price now but that's just the way it is.

So, I said all that to say this:

Even though I'm frustrated, IBS will NOT get me down! Nor will it deter me from my ultimate goal!

I'm still moving forward but info on my diet will be sparse as I try to figure out what will help my body heal.

I'm eating within my calorie range and exercising. I'm still fired up about this journey and am ready to Bring it!!

- k

p.s. Let me know if you have suggestions on how to get through. I realize I probably need to be patient with the process.
p.p.s. Grapefruit Seed Extract helps tremendously to reduce bloating. It's bitter but effective. . . check it out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Neurons and Synapses and Oh My!

Working in Food Service where your meals are free can pose a challenge. For me, it's a daily challenge. I love food but I (obviously) have a history of abusing it as I discuss in a previous post.

Breakfast has been an obstacle for me until this week. It's the cheesy eggs at work. There's nothing healthy about hot eggs smothered with melting shredded cheese. Absolutely nothing.

For weeks, I promised myself I would only go for the cream of wheat and boiled eggs (throwing the yolks away). Well, boiled eggs cannot compete with cheesy eggs and every morning I would find myself spooning up a little "heart attack delight."

I faced the facts and this past Friday, I began eating breakfast at home. I don't even go into the cafeteria during breakfast service. Yeah, it takes more time in the morning but the calorie, sodium and fat savings are completely worth it.

Today's daily challenge: heavily frosted birthday cake stationed in the hallway outside my office. I must have walked by that cake 20 times and each time I had to forcibly tell myself not to look at it. I enjoy frosted carrot cake. And it's not that I will never taste cake again; it's about me understanding that it's okay to say 'no.' I've clearly said 'yes' too many times. I didn't have any cake and I made it through the day intact.

Food is fuel. That's it.

I'm making changes and creating new habits. Each time I make a choice that supports this journey, I think of the new synapse pathway that is developing between my neurons to support my actions. I also think of the old pathway that will always be there but it will be a road less traveled. It's empowering to think that my actions are altering my brain chemistry.

That's cool, right?

Today marked CLX Day 9 - Rest Day. I use these days to get in extra cardio. A.M. workout was 60 mins Tae Bo II. P.M. workout was 60 mins Ultimate Tae Bo. I love a good sweat!

Already excited by tomorrow's opportunities. . . Bring it!

- k

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend in Review

ChaLEAN Extreme Days 6, 7 & 8 . . . and other tidbits.

Day 6 was a rest day. Hubby and I went for an easy hike with friends Saturday afternoon.

After a rest day, I had a hard time getting into gear Sunday. I did Push Play around noon for Day 7's Burn it Off. Great high intensity workout. . . I LOVE burpees! Only made it halfway through the Recharge DVD (aka stretching aka Yoga). Not a big fan of Yoga but I do love to stretch so the first part was great.

Later that evening I thought it would be a great idea to take "before" pics. The situation was even more dire than expected. Even though I see myself in the mirror daily, the pictures underscored the truth: I've abused food and my body was literally suffering. It's painful to acknowledge.

The good news? Those pictures already no longer represent me! I've already changed and I'm never returning to that person who didn't care enough to stop. I'm not yet brave enough to post these motivating pics but one day I will.

I ended Sunday with a 30 min walk/run with my hubby. He's a great partner in health!

Started this morning bright and early Pushing Play on Day 8: Burn Circuit 1. Did five more "real" push-ups than last week. Already feeling stronger. These 90 days are going to fly by!

Looking forward to lifting heavier. Did I mention, I love lifting heavy? And ladies, you won't bulk up. I'll prove it in a couple of months. Chalene says it perfectly: muscle is unisex - it's sexy on both men and women. It's the fountain of youth!

Alright, I'm off to bed 30 mins earlier as I promised myself.

Bring it!

- k

Weight Loss "Whoa"s

Fridays are in weigh in day. So far I've lost 3 lbs in as many weeks. This past Friday that trend not only stopped but reversed. I gained 1.6 lbs.

WHOA! Where did that come from?!?

I tried to be positive but Friday was tough. I still Pushed Play that morning and enjoyed the workout but 1.6 lbs. . . really?

I spent the weekend analyzing my actions of the past week. Truthfully, I was "good". I exercised everyday and ate within my calorie range 4 out of 6 days. The two outlying days, I ate between 100 to 200 calories above range. While I may not have expected to lose weight, with the week I had I certainly should not have GAINED almost 2 lbs. And the whole "muscle weighs more than fat" theory does not apply to me. My body hasn't changed that much and I'm not lifting enough weight to make a difference. No excuses.

So there you have it - the beast that is weight loss. It's as simple as calories in and calories out, right? Mostly yes, but our bodies are complex and sometimes they react unexpectedly. I'm moving forward because consistency is the key and I have absolutely NO DOUBT that I am on the right track. And you know what? Even if I had surpassed my calorie range by 200,000 and not worked out, I would not let myself be overcome with guilt.

Positive thoughts lead to positive actions lead to positive results.

Are there areas where I can improve? Definitely!

I need to drink more water! A former colleague would create an hourly appointment with a reminder in her schedule. Every hour, that notification window would appear on her screen reminding her drink water. As annoying as it will likely be, I'm going to give that idea a try.

Then there's sleep. It's an essential component of weight loss and overall immunity building. I'm averaging 4 to 5 hours. Not enough. Every other night I'm going to add 30 mins more time to my slumber time until I reach 6 to 8 hours a night.

Lastly, nutrition. That's simple. . .I'm going to continue focusing on my calorie range and eating clean.

I'm heading into this week hopeful that my efforts will lead to weight loss. My body is already healthier and my mind is focused on reaching my ultimate goal.

Bring it!

- k

ChaLEAN Extreme Days 3 and 4

Day 3 was assigned as a rest day but I still got in a workout . . . actually 2! I started the morning with a 45 min Tae Bo video and ended the day with a 90 min Tae Bo (Ulimate). The latter is my favourite of the Tae Bo videos thus far. It was a solid workout and it left me spent. I barely had the energy to get into bed!

I was over on calories by 200 yesterday. I left too many calories for the end day, got too hungry and let the hunger monster win. Today, I made sure to eat a good size breakfast, snack, lunch and snack. My dinner was sensible and I am within my calorie range! Small changes each day will lead to success.

This morning marked Day 4 and it was a great cardio workout. I really pushed beyond my comfort zone and I left for work feeling accomplished. I am going to push play for the Ab Burner workout.

Looking forward to Day 5. . .

Bring it!!

- k
(originally written and posted on Sparkpeople 11/12/09)

ChaLEAN Extreme Day 2

Day 2 brought with it Burn Circuit 2 and a great feeling of accomplishment.

I bought a set of 10 lbs and thought they would be too light but Walmart didn't have the greatest selection. Ha! I ended up putting the 10s down and switching to 5s. I'm going to slowly build my repertoire.

Calories will be on target once I finish my post workout snack. I'm working on finding protein sources. I'm semi-vegetarian (only fish) and am trying to find non-bloating alternate sources.

Tomorrow is a rest day in the program. I bought the Ultimate TaeBo DVD tonight so I'll be doing that tomorrow morning. May also go for a quick run/walk after work.

That's it for tonight.

much success!

- k
(originally written and posted on Sparkpeople 11/10/09)

ChaLEAN Extreme Day 1

A weight loss blog. . . how novel! Nevertheless, here we go. . .

I've lost 3 pounds in the past 2 weeks. Consistent exercise has helped but also diet. I have access to a machine that measures resting metabolic rate for my patients. I was able to conduct a test run on myself. I can't remember the name of the machine right now.

While the results may have been a little high at 1695, I believe I have been eating too little. I was hovering between 1200 to 1400 calories daily intake. Now my goals are between 1550 to 1650 calories/day. With that and exercise, the weight is beginning to come off. We'll see what this week brings.

Onto my exercise program.

I thought about trying P90X but it's a little too much for me right now. At 30 mins/day ChaLean Xtreme is more attainable and I know success is possible with the program!

Tonight's session was good. It will be even better once I get heavier weights. I'm excited to push myself. I love lifting heavy!

That's it for tonight. Tomorrow morning I'll be pushing play!

much success!

- k
(originally written and posted on Sparkpeople 11/9/09)