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The Plan Is Working (This Week in Review)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

This is going to be SUPER short...

Last week, when I denounced calorie-cycling (for ME) I changed my plan to eat between 1000 - 1350 calories with ONE "over-calorie" day and ONE "under-calorie" day per week. Well, that plan has resulted in a 3 lb. weight loss for this week's weigh-in. That's great!

Unfortunately, I did not knock out my strength training this week. I did only one day of Jillian's No More Trouble Zones and no more. I also only did cardio one day. So, this week in the exercise category could have definitely been better.

But, I give myself a pass because of everything going on with my uncle's death. Everything's been moving so quickly and steadily since Tuesday. We had a small viewing and memorial service for him last night for the family and friends that live int he DC/MD/VA area. But, next week we'll be headed out of town to have the official funeral service down in North Carolina for all our family there. So, the busyness really hasn't stopped yet.

To, my EPIC team, I'm sorry my numbers weren't as good this week as they have been the first two weeks. I know you will accept my apology because you are such an AWESOME team and AWESOME group!! Thanks for your support! Next week, I'm going to work super hard every single day until I leave on Friday. I'm going to have to report my points super early and take an "after" picture early too. So, please work with me.

Okay, that's it!! Gotta get ready to go and spend time with the fam. One of the cousins is having a cookout so that everyone can just wind down.

Later!! (Sorry, I guess it wasn't "SUPER" short afterall.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROL5250 6/22/2011 10:44AM

    Woohoo for the weight loss and for figuring out what works best for you. This is a journey. Take care of yourself. I'm sorry for your loss.

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HEALTHYAMS 6/21/2011 10:31AM

    3lbs dowb! Way to go!

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    Great loss! I am glad you are paying attention to your body so closely.. it is super important. Just be sure to eat if you feel hunger!

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MELITOD 6/19/2011 11:40PM

    congratulations on your weight loss.. the rest will come together!! It is tough when there is a crisis to deal with in your week! Great plan!

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CALIGIRLDIANA 6/19/2011 7:48PM

    I'm sorry about your loss girlie. Congrats on the weight loss thats awesome!!!

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WORDLILY 6/18/2011 8:14PM

    Congrats on the weight loss, and figuring out a plan that works for you!! All the more impressive with the stress and chaos of a death in the family.

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ALESHABEE 6/18/2011 7:47PM

    Family comes first so no need to apologize to anyone. Sorry for your loss... emoticon

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HALLELUL 6/18/2011 7:30PM

    Safe travels and I'll continue to pray for you.

emoticon on a shedding off those 3 lbs.

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PINKBEANBOO 6/18/2011 7:23PM

    emoticon Hooray on those 3 lbs!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 6/18/2011 1:09PM

    Congrats on your loss. emoticon emoticon

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I Wasn't Expecting to Be THAT Close to Death!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My uncle has been suffering with Stage 4 colon cancer for a while. He had gotten to the point where he couldn't really keep down substantial amounts of food. He was weak. He was hurting. He was restless. He couldn't stay in the house by himself. He couldn't care for himself. The doctors said there was nothing else that could be done. The cancer spread throughout his body.

So, my mom was staying at his house every evening and others stayed with him during the day.... just caring for him and being with him and making him comfortable.

Today my mom contacted me and told me that my uncle had passed and that she was at my uncle's house. So I headed straight over there to help my mom and to be with her. My uncle's son, daughter-in-law and my aunt were also there.

But, when I got there, I was surprised to find that my uncle's body was STILL THERE. I was NOT expected that at all. I don't know what I was expecting. I guess I assumed things happened faster than that.. like on television. It was 1:40p when my mother contacted me. I guess I thought the coroner would have arrived, made the official pronouncement of death and would have taken the body... out of the house. But that's not how it goes.

First, the hospice nurse was contacted. She is the one who came and made the official pronouncement. My uncle had actually died at 11:30am but you're not "officially" dead until an "official" pronounces you so. So, he was "officially" dead at 12:30p. After that the funeral home was contacted. They indicated that they would not arrive until between 4:30p-5:00p. So my uncle's body was there, laying in the bed. My mother had washed him and put him on some fresh clean pajamas. He looked really good... like himself. So family members actually came into the room, saw his body and said their goodbye's.

When the funeral home directors actually showed up, they had a body bag. A BODY BAG??!! Huh? What's that for? Really?! Seriously? I thought that was only for crime scenes... like you see on cop shows or something. This isn't a crime scene! I assumed that he would be taken out on a stretcher, not in a body bag!

I couldn't look. It was the only way I really held myself together. I've never seen such a thing in real life. That was just toooo "ridiculous" for lack of a better word. "Ridiculous" ... yeah, that's the word. It was just ridiculous. Crazy! Just unbelievable... maybe that's a better word: UNBELIEVABLE!

I just wasn't expecting any of that!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

For those of you who believe in prayer... and who know my God who answers them... please keep my family in prayer. Everyone is doing okay. But prayers are much appreciated... and needed... ALWAYS!
emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST-AMY 6/17/2011 10:53AM

    I am praying and feeling heaviness for you and your family. I also lift you up as a great example of mercy and love to others for having the courage and kindness to allow him to die at home, as so many people long to be able to do. This can be so frightening for the family, as you have experienced, but so peaceful for the loved one who is passing on. Hospital rooms are cold and impersonal. Home is HOME! Home is where are life journeys begin, and is there any other place more appropriate, if possible, for them to end? May the Lord bless you and comfort you in these hours of need. While a home death is not always possible--that is for certain--when it is, until we ourselves face our own mortality, we cannot fully fathom and respect what it means to our loved one to have the opportunity to be where they are familiar: their own warm bed.

Peace be to each and every one of your family.

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TURTLE_MOM 6/16/2011 1:34PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't know what to say, but I'll keep your family in my thoughts!

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TEMPEST272002 6/16/2011 1:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ELEXEY 6/15/2011 11:53PM

    I will keep your family in my prayers. I'm sorry for your loss. I've not experienced a home death either, haven't ever really thought about it. I guess, it seems, that that is how things would be handled, but it really was many hours for everything to happen, I would have thought it would have happened more quickly.

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HALLELUL 6/15/2011 4:12PM


I will pray for you and your family.


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TRUE-NESS 6/15/2011 3:59PM

    Thank you all so much for your support! Unfortunately, this wasn't my first real experience with death. My older brother died when I was 23 (he was 25). THAT was my first REAL experience with the death of a loved one. He was in a hospital though and I laid right on his chest after he had passed. So, I've been close to a corpse before. I've touched a corpse before. And I've been to plenty of funerals. I've just never experienced a home death before. I wasn't expecting the body to be there and I think it was the whole body bag thing that freaked me out the most.

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KIMMYLOU2012 6/15/2011 3:14PM

    I am so sorry for your loss and that you just had your first real experience with death. It suck s I know.

I am sending prayers to you and your family that you may find the strength you need to get through this time. emoticon

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PINKBEANBOO 6/15/2011 3:00PM

    I've never been that close to a death, either. I appreciate that you gave the details so if I am ever in this situation I'll know what to expect.
And yes, I will be praying for you & your family, Vanessa.

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GOLDENDOMER00 6/15/2011 2:53PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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ANANGELMOM 6/15/2011 10:01AM

    I'm so sorry you had to go through that, and witness that too. When Michael died they didn't pronounce him until we were at the hospital, after they had "worked" on him a while... so thankfully I didn't have to see that. I couldn't imagine. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts. Any time you need to talk, you just come on here and tell it hun. We're all here to listen!

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HEALTHYAMS 6/15/2011 9:29AM

    emoticon*sigh* I wasn't expecting that either. I knew his body was still there, because when I spoke to mommy she was giving him a bath, but I thought I would see a stretcher too. I wasn't prepared for the body bag... at all... emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 6/15/2011 9:16AM

    So sorry for your loss. emoticon

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MJ-SHE-BEAST 6/14/2011 11:48PM

    I'm sorry you had to face the unexpected. When my mom passed, the hospital let us stay with her as long as we wanted, but we did not stay when the funeral home attendants arrived because I knew that the body bag would be used and I couldn't allow any of my family members to see that. It's easier not to see what they have to do, you know?

You know you and your family have my prayers. God bless the family who stayed near him and kept him comfortable. Love to you all.

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 6/14/2011 11:29PM

    Condolences to you and your family. I'm sorry for this loss.

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JOYSONG50 6/14/2011 11:17PM

    Praying for you and your family.

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LEGALSEC20 6/14/2011 10:26PM

    God is a big and able God. You and your family are in my prayers.

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POOKASLUAGH 6/14/2011 9:49PM

    *sending lots of hugs and positive thoughts*

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Up Up and... Away with Calorie Cycling!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The scale is up again for the 2nd week in a row. It's just up .7 lb (nothing drastic) and it is about that time of the month... but...

I do believe that I'm officially DONE with calorie cycling! It was fun to try but it's definitely NOT working for ME. It's awkward and I'm just not burning enough calories to offset those high or even medium calorie days. It doesn't feel completely natural for ME.

What's natural for ME, is eating when I'm hungry and not eating when I'm not. That feels natural... normal.

Also, working out moderately, is normal for me too. I'm just not a high calorie burn girl. I need to be consistent at things that I love to do (walking, jumping rope, aerobics, swimming)...that works for me. I don't want to get to the point where I am dreading working out because I have to burn a ton of calories to offset what I've consumed. That's not me either... And, it certainly won't last in the long run.

So, I've adjusted my plan once again for this week.

I'm STILL enjoying the strength training and I'm so glad that it was the improvement part of the EPIC challenge this leg. It's something that i feel confident I will stick to and improve upon even after EPIC. So, strength training is a keeper whether I'm gaining weight because of it or not. I don't care.

Many of you have advised me to take my measurements so that I will be encouraged by the disappearing inches. But, I'm not a measurements girl. It's awkward for me and I'm never consistent at it. I'll take the beginning measurements but not the ending. I'll doubt that I'm even doing the measurements correctly. So, I'll just not know for now. Maybe I'll care later as I get more into strength training, but for now... no measurements. My scale does do body percentage so I'll use that as an indicator.

Other changes: The calorie range is going down. It was waaay to generous with calorie cycling. I had it at 1000 - 1700. It's going down to 1000-1350. I know that some of you will have a problem with the range being as low as 1000, but it's staying there. Sorry. When I'm eating mostly fruits and vegetables then it takes a lot to get up to 1000. I've been looking over my Calorie Differential Over Time Reports and I reviewed my calorie consumption during weeks when I actually had a weight loss. During those weeks I consistently ate about 1000 - 1350 calories. So, I'm going to try that and see what becomes of it. If I find that it's not enough and that I'm starving, believe me, I will change the calorie plan mid-week. No worries.

Next change: More water!!! I need more water!! When this was an EPIC improvement challenge I was really focused more on it. But, I never did meet that goal. Now that I'm not focused on it, I'm even less likely to meet the goal. So, back to focusing on water! My body needs it!

Final change: Increase the fiber. When this was an EPIC improvement challenge I absolutely LOVED getting in all that fiber! It was great! But, I've kind of dropped the ball in that category since the challenge ended. So, time to focus on fiber again!!

That's the plan for this upcoming week. Fingers crossed!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEMPEST272002 6/16/2011 1:12PM

    We really do have to fine tune things to see what works for us. It's ok to try something & then decide to let it go in favour of something else. The most important thing is to not give up.

A great way to add fibre to your diet with with the superfood, flaxseed. It's inexpensive & you can add it to cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, salads, rice... the list is endless.

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GOLDENDOMER00 6/14/2011 10:49PM

    I don't even know if I'm doing calorie cycling anymore because I try to keep my average at 1600 (but no lower than 1400). But, I don't exercise more to burn all the calories I've eaten. Instead, I eat more to balance all the calories I've burned. I don't know if it amounts to the same thing, but the focus is different. I hope you find what works for you.

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PINKBEANBOO 6/12/2011 6:03PM

    Do you eat lentils? They are very high in fiber & pretty good (if you like beans). 1 cup of cooked lentils has 22g of fiber & 20g of protein. I like making them in low sodium chicken broth with some carrots & onions.
Although, the rest of the family hates them, LOL.

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KISSYTINA 6/12/2011 1:08PM

    The important thing is that you are listening to your body and evaluating what it needs. Maybe your calorie needs are slightly lower. I would still advise you to try to keep your average around 1200, because you probably need close to that just for your body to run normally. You need calories to function even before adding exercise in. If you run super low one day, just add a tablespoon of peanut butter in somewhere. It is a fairly high calorie food, but packed with lots of protein and healthy fats.

Water and Fiber are important. I usually do ok in the water, but fiber is something I really need to work on more too. I am finding that I love the Fiber Plus bars! They make for an ok snack with a decent amount of fiber.

But really, this all boils down to what you need to do for you. And, as long as you are thinking things through and analyzing how your body reacts, then you are headed in the right direction. Good Luck with the changes!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 6/12/2011 12:49PM

    You sound a lot like me. I eat on the low end or even under my calorie range but I listen to my body and I eat when I am hungry. I try really hard to stop when I am full. Every now and then if I know my eating is way to low I will eat past full. Example if I eat a half a sandwich and feel full I may eat the other half because I know I need the calories.

I too love to walk and do my walking videos. I've done other things like taebo but long term that doesn't work for me.

It is important to know what works for you. Good job. emoticon

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FITFABJENN 6/12/2011 8:51AM

    You make sense. Eating when we're hungry is the most natural thing of all. And consistency is key. As long as you are making healthy choices each day, those choices will move your closer to your goal.

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POOKASLUAGH 6/12/2011 8:43AM

    I try to eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm satisfied, and for whatever reason, this tends to turn into calorie cycling for me. Of course, my calorie range is MUCH higher than yours, with my low end at 1700, but I've found that I don't do well if I eat less than that and I start gaining weight. The good news is that that threshold goes down with my weight - two months ago, it was 1800 as the low, and now I don't need to eat that much anymore as i've gotten lighter. One day I'm sure I'll be closer to 1500. I've never officially tried calorie cycling but I'm not sure i could do it if it involves eating when I'm not hungry. I love the intuitive eating thing (and thank you for telling me it had an actual name!). I think it's great that you're adjusting the plan to work for you!

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TURTLE_MOM 6/12/2011 8:24AM

    Fiber and water are both key for me! I HAVE to have those in place, no matter what my calories are! You might find when you have those up, you could cycle your calories a little and still be ok! I don't technically calorie cycle, the official way - but I try to eat at the low end and the high end and then one "cheat" meal, which may or may not bring my day's calories over. Just depends! I do it more intuitively as well, but I'll try and eat low the day before I know I'm eating high etc. Today is supposed to be a father's day for my hubby, early, but I just don't feel like splurging. You are so right in listening to your body. As far as the low calories go - yeah people will tell you all sorts of things but it's your age, current weight, metabolism etc that affect your calories. I think if your daily average is closer to 1200, for the whole week, then it's ok to go down to 1000 on some days! I know that 1300 seems to be the magic number for me and even when I eat 1600 -1800 daily, I should lose weight but I don't! Math doesn't always work out, huh?

It's great you have a plan for the week! That is what makes us successful!

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The Not-so-EPIC results...

Sunday, June 05, 2011

After a week of exercising 5 out of 7 days, doing strength training 3 out of 7 days and eating within my calorie range 6 out of 7 days, I weighed in today to report on my EPIC team's challenge thread and found that I GAINED 1 lb.!! I am shocked! Those were not the EPIC results I was expecting. BUT, they aren't too terrible. I'm still ENCOURAGED.

I'm trying to think of reasons why...

Maybe it was muscle gain since it's the first time I've added strength training to my weekly routine. I did SP generated strength training last week; but this week, I'm planning to turn to Jillian's No More Trouble Zones circuit plus strength training workout. It COULD result in a gain again though because I'm sure I'll be working muscles that did not get worked last week. It's going to be challenging, but I'm looking forward to it.

Maybe it was my awkward first week try at calorie cycling. I planned a high calorie day for Saturday because it's the weekend; but I didn't consider that it's also the day before weigh-in. Duh!! Next week, my calorie cycling plan (high, low, medium days) will change slightly so that a low day is right before weigh-in. I don't know if that'll help or not. We'll see....

Maybe it was the intensity of my cardio. I thought I gave a valiant effort last week. But maybe I just didn't burn enough calories on days when my calorie intake was a little higher. I did workouts based on how I felt, not based on how I was planning to eat. But, I see now that I can't really go about it all willy-nilly. I have to have a PLAN for that too. If I have a high calorie day then I also have to have a high intensity cardio burn that same day if I want there to be a deficit. Still learning...

So.... changes are a'brewing... Let see if the changes bring about the weight-loss results I seek.

Here's to week 2 of EPIC 2.0!!!
Telling myself.. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCHENPOSSIBLE 6/7/2011 11:47AM

    Seriously, DOMS and the scale can really mess with your head, but you are very resonable with your assessment about the gain. I like your roll with the punches attitude. I hope you get those EPIC results this week.

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CELLO23 6/6/2011 11:50AM

    I go with the muscle gain theory. That's some solid strength training you're doing, and you'll be getting more toned up than just doing cardio alone (even stuff like elliptical and running doesn't have the effect of solid strength training). You will be walking taller and stronger so it's soooo worth it! Stick with the plan! emoticon

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KISSYTINA 6/5/2011 7:51PM

    Don't sweat that one pound. You may have a pretty good idea of what you think caused it, but when it all boils down to it, this is an inexact science. Our bodies are always reacting differently to what we put them through. We have hormone cycles and such that just seem to throw us off! Keep plugging along, and I am sure you will see a loss soon.

The strength training really is important, even if it results in a short term gain. Strong muscles burn more calories and allow us to do more things! I hope that this leg of EPIC will have you inspired to keep ST a part of your program!

Oh and... have you done measurements? I don't know if anyone else suggested it, or if you are already doing this, but measurements really can help you. If you are gaining muscle weight, you should see a loss in inches. That can be SUPER ENCOURAGING! So, maybe give it a try if you haven't.


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HEALTHYAMS 6/5/2011 7:22PM

    Any time you begin to incorporate strength training, you're going to gain some muscle mass. But that's all good, because the muscle helps burn the fat. See, it's "all working together for your good". emoticon
Continue to be encouraged and encourage yourself on this EPIC journey. emoticon emoticon

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MELITOD 6/5/2011 3:25PM

    You are healthier and doing great things for your body! You are doing awesome! Keep it up and have fun! This is for a lifetime and not a season!!

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    You still did great. You gave it your all and you worked hard. Don't be so hard on yourself if your body did not provide the results you wanted. It's going to keep adjusting to the changes you are making. Believe me you will be getting the results you want soon. Keep at it girlie you are doing great. You are a CHAMPION!!!!


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    I have to say, it probably is muscle gain. I went up 2.25lb this week, but when I did the body fat %, I didn't gain - I actually LOST .65lb. So all of mine was water (from TOM) and muscle gain. :)

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    I agree with everyone-- stick to it for a few weeks.... muscle does weigh more and it is MORE THAN possible that you are a fast muscle-builder. Some people are. With water retention and calorie cycling, it can be a number of things.... but don't let it discourage you. If you haven't... be sure to MEASURE.

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ANEWME3536 6/5/2011 1:50PM

    You are rockin' this! You will see results in the coming weeks, it just takes some time for your body to adjust. Keep up the great work! emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 6/5/2011 11:38AM

    I bet you see a bigger loss next week. It sounds like you have a grat plan in place.

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TAMARA6905 6/5/2011 10:51AM

    Keep up the good work. That 1b gain is so minimal that it is probably due to all the ST that you did last week. Especially since you weren't really doing it before! I think you have a good plan in place. Just stick to it!

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PARASELENIC 6/5/2011 9:12AM

    I agree with pooka-- sore muscles retain water and swell when they are subjected to rigorous exercise. I say keep your schedule as is and see what happens in a couple of weeks. Changing things up is a shock to the body-- which results in retaining water and nutrients. If your body recognizes this as a "oh, you mean you want me to turn into a fat burning machine??", then it will happen. Good job on the close tracking and exercise-- it's not easy and you did it!

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POOKASLUAGH 6/5/2011 9:02AM

    I think you have some good ideas about what might have affected the weight. Still, one pound is a small gain and will probably flush right back out. And if you're adding ST for the first time in awhile, it also might be that your muscles are still repairing themselves, and as they repair, they gain water, so it might all be water weight anyway. I didn't know that sore muscles retained water until this last week!

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KLOE23 6/5/2011 8:27AM

    Sounds like you are doing everything right and are making some great changes. I know it's frustrating to not see the results on the scale after such a great effort but it will happen. Hang in there and you can definitely do it this week! emoticon

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Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure - My First 5K!!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Today I walked in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This was my first 5K, but I can¡¦t even reduce my discussion of the event to 5K gibberish.

This was more than a 5K. This was truly an EXPERIENCE. Seeing all those survivors and families and friends who walked in support and celebration of them¡K and also seeing those who walked in memory of loved ones who lost their battle with breast cancer, but who walk in hopes of finding a cure¡K It was truly overwhelming and inspirational.

During the opening ceremonies, the Survivors (who all wore dark pink shirts) marched in waving their flags to one of the American Idol contestants (I forget who) singing a song he wrote especially for this event. I got a little teary-eyed and choked up. I really did feel emotional about it. Not because I have been personally affected by it--though I have an aunt who is a survivor--but just because of the stories that had to be behind these women being there... stories of OVERCOMING. I loved it! I just took that moment to praise the God who gives all life for preserving theirs. So many reasons to make us truly thankful!

(Sorry about whatever that green line is...something with my cameraphone no doubt.)

It was clear at the starting line that this wasn't going to be a race wherein we could go for a certain time. Amongst the walkers, I don't think there really were folks going for their "best time." There were just too many people. It took quite some time for us just to clear the mob. There were thousands of participants--more than 40,000 estimated. Some people were still *starting* as we were looping around at mile 2 headed for the finish. Soooooo many people. But, they walked TOGETHER, and we walked with them... a show of true solidarity for the cause. It was awesome just being amongst them!

Along the way, we had entertainment and walkers stopped and stood around them to appreciate it and to take pictures. I snapped a few.

Overall, like I said earlier, it was just AN EXPERIENCE. My sister and her friend and I finished in 1:27:16...

clearly not our "best time" but that's okay, we enjoyed ourselves tremendously AND we burned some calories too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PINKBEANBOO 6/6/2011 1:35PM

    That is so cool! I love your pictures. Looks like a great event.

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HEALTHYAMS 6/6/2011 9:18AM

    emoticon We did it! emoticon

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KISSYTINA 6/5/2011 7:58PM

    That is so awesome! What an inspiring experience! I am so happy for you! A 5K, even just walking, is a big accomplishment. And, being able to support a cause as tremendous as this is truly awesome.

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    That looks awesome seems like you had a lot of fun!!! You did great girlie!!!


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    See? All that nervousness over nothin! 5ks are super awesome and fun.... especially for a great cause!! Sooooooooo... when is your next one?

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ABETTERSOUL 6/4/2011 10:38PM

    My first 5K was the race for the cure, last month. It definitely was more than a race, like experience!

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JOYSONG50 6/4/2011 8:43PM

    When I do a 5K for the same cause it would definately be in memory of my aunt (passed away) and for my sister (survivor). So glad you finished your first race and you had a great time.
emoticon emoticon

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HALLELUL 6/4/2011 8:41PM

    Makes me feel emotional just reading your post. Praise God!

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POOKASLUAGH 6/4/2011 3:51PM

    Yeah I see big events like these less as time-based and more for the community aspect. I'm glad you had a great time!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 6/4/2011 3:41PM


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