Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Busy College Students Take on Weight Loss

Shae is a junior at Stephen F. Austin State University, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology aspiring to become an M.D. in Gynecology. She loves dancing, reading, and hair. Below is my interview with Shae about her journey.

BWWO: Shae, Congrats on your weight loss. What an accomplishment to lose 75 lbs! Not only did you avoid the "freshman 15" but lost more on top of that! At what point did you get serious about your overall health?

Shae: I became serious about my overall health last September when I realized I got up to 230lbs. I've always been a "big girl" but being at the weight made me morbidly obese for my 5'3 frame. I was in total denial because I've always been active (I'm actually a dancer) but my eating habits just weren't up to par. It was definitely time to make changes!

BWWO: As a college student, do take advantage of gym at your university? Do you find it more motivating to workout with your friends or group classes or just by yourself?

Shae: Of course, I do. The gym on my campus is absolutely amazing, they have EVERYTHING! But if there's one thing I've learned about motivation in weight loss and exercising, is I have to motivate myself because the friends will bail out, lol.

BWWO: What are some of things you do in the form of exercise? What types of cardio and strength training activities do you enjoy most?

Shae: I love to do kickboxing, dancing, and HIIT training for my cardio. For strength training, I use a lot of elements that I learned from this class offered at my university's gym called Body Sculpt, which includes training involving free weights, resistance bands, and the bosu ball.

BWWO: What has given you the most success? Counting calories, carbs, grams of fat or just portion control?

Shae: I would have to say portion control is the key. However, I do pay attention to the labels to get an idea of the calories, carbs, sodium and fat I'm taking in.

BWWO: Hair, yes I gotta ask you about your hair! What styles are currently wearing and how do you maintain it with your workout schedule?

Shae: Well I just took down my kinky I am wearing a twist out for now. I am a natural so I do love the freedom of sweating (I sweat a lot in my head) without having to worry about my edges. I like to alternate between weaves, wigs, and twists.

: What are your next fitness goals?

Shae: My next fitness goal will consist of mostly maintaining and toning. I love my size now but I still have some problem areas that I want to get into check (lower tummy and triceps)

BWWO: Cheating. Yes, we ALL do it. How do you handled your cravings for unhealthy foods and still get back on track? I remember when I was in college, somebody was always ordering pizza at 2am in the morning. lol...

Shae: I hear that, my roommates LOVE to bake and order take out all the time and that's when I have to lock myself in the room! In order to keep myself in check, I do have a cheat day. This day is essential in helping me stay on track and I don't feel so deprived. However, but once you get in the habit of eating healthier you really don't crave the junk as much.

BWWO: Motivation. What motivates you to live a healthier lifestyle? Or to even get through a workout. You know sometimes, its a struggle to even get to the gym. We gotta get focus for today's battle and think about the war tomorrow. lol...

Shae: What motivates me to live a healthier lifestyle is thinking about how much better off I'm going to be in the future. I look at some of the older members in my family who are suffering from diabetes, hypertension, etc, all the medication they're taking, and how they constantly express how they don't feel well. I don't want to be like that when I'm that age. It also helps that I can go into a store and fit the clothes LOL. But it is a struggle sometimes, but I always focus on the future benefits I'm going to get as a result of my hard work

BWWO: I always strive to keep my blog as real as possible. Setbacks and weight loss stalls are apart of EVERYONE'S journey. We are real women, with real lives. We have issues, take vacations and eat sinfully delicious food, and sometimes just get in a rut. Looking back, what did you learn during those times that may help us?

Shae: Well I'm still learning how to deal with stalls, stress, and life in general. What I've learned so far is if you mess up, its ok, everyone gets discouraged. I just dust myself off and try again...LOL. The true test is whether we decide to keep pushing forward. I've also learned that confidence is important. It starts from within. I just started looking in the mirror every morning before I get ready for my day and tell myself that I AM beautiful inside and out and that I am worthy. By reciting this every morning I began to believe and internalize it. Building my self -esteem and confidence also played a huge role in helping me keep going on with this journey.

: What some tips or things you would like to share with other ladies who are at the same point in their lives and wanting to make a change?

Shae: 1)Change starts from within. Getting fit and healthier is 40% physical and 60% mental. 2) Sitting around talking about how you want to get fit and fine with no action is a waste of time. I cannot stress this enough 3) Diets are temporary and you have to realize true weight loss is a journey, it takes time, and it will be a bumpy ride. 4) Begin slowly, for example try drinking water with every meal instead of juices or sodas for one week and build from that. You don't want to jump in head first because you will feel deprived and ultimately relapse.

Check out Shae’s transformation!

The EPIC FAIL of Pure Protein Shakes.

Recently, Pure Protein released a protein shake. Initially, I couldn’t wait to try it because their Pure Protein bars are DELICIOUS! Seriously, ladies those bars are really good and filling…and I will say that for ALL of their flavors. I keep one in my purse on standby just in case I get a hungry while out running errands. Anywho…so I’m in Target and see the shakes. Price wise, there along the same as Muscle Milk but come in a soda can instead of a juice box style. My excitement grows as I see that its high in protein but low in sugar and carbs. To be fair in my comparison, I let the shakes chill before I tried them. It tasted like liquid baby powder! I could not believe it. I had some blain shakes before but this took the cake. Sorry ladies, but I can’t even give this 1 star. I only tried to the Chocolate, maybe the other flavors are better but in my opinion, if you can’t the basic chocolate right, I’ll pass on the others.

Indoor Home Workouts for the Summer

It’s HOT HOT HOT in the summer, so many of us are opting to workout indoors. Here is a new workout that I personally enjoy and have rotated throughout my regime.
Cathe Friedrich! Cathe has been making fitness videos for a long time and most people know her from Fit TV, a cable network channel.

Cathe is NO joke. Her workouts are intense and she wastes no time getting the job done. Originally, I wasn’t too thrilled with trying her out because of amount of equipment that used in the videos. But I decided that instead of buyer everything, only purchase a few items like a set of dumbbells and the stability ball then, improvise with the rest. So far, it’s worked fine and I’ve see noticeable results. However, what I do love about Cathe is her commitment to strength training for women. Cathe has DVDs that cater to all fitness levels when it comes to weight lifting. She also has some vids that longer than your standard 40 minute workouts. So if you’re looking for something more challenging as far as cardio routines…Cathe’s your girl.

You can find Cathe’s DVD at her website.

New Gear!

Here is some “recession friendly” workout gear I found while in Wal-Mart recently. The shirts come in a variety of colors and the pants are in black and grey. The shirt is only $5.00 and the pants for $11.00 (in stores and online)! $16 for a complete outfit, you can’t beat it! I love these and they are very comfortable. There is a pro and con though. The pro: the shirts do not shrink when they are washed. So they never lose their shape! The con: the pants do not have a drawstring. I’ve found that while running on the treadmill, I have an mp3 player clipped to my pants which causes the waist band to slide down. So maybe I should have went a size down or start clipping my mp3 player to my arm. Idk....

For those of you who prefer working out outdoors, Danskin also offer shorts and Capri as well.

Here’s something a little pricier for those of you who don’t mind a little splurge from Athleta, a new sportswear store from Gap, Inc family that is know for Gap and Old Navy stores.

Plus Sizes ladies. Here is something from Lane Bryant. The great thing about LB active wear is that is durable enough to wear while working out and also out when running errands. You can’t tell me that embroidery isn’t sassy! You'll be too cute walking the dogs in this outfit!

I must give credit to LB on the quality of there active wear garments. They run true to size and will stand the test of time. They do not shrink in the washer or dryer.

What’s in your TV dinner?

What’s in your TV dinner?

I recently found this article in breaking down the ingredients in frozen foods. Now, I’ll be the first to admit, when I first started on my weight loss journey I did use frozen meals SOLELY for 2 reasons, portion control and I though these foods were seemingly healthier for me. Now, I know much better I only get eat about 10% of processed foods. The 10% mainly comes from sugar free desserts that I like to indulge in. :)

( -- Have you ever looked at the ingredients that appear on the back of your frozen dinner? Looks more like the components of a chemistry project than a nutritious meal, huh? Ever wonder why so many bizarre additives are in a Salisbury steak? Well, for one, they enable your microwave to transform an icy block into something that looks, smells, and tastes relatively similar to fresh food. Some also ensure that a box of spaghetti and meatballs always tastes the same, whether it was made in Nebraska or North Carolina.

While some ingredients sound scary, they've all been deemed safe to eat by the FDA, to find out exactly what we're eating, we asked a panel of experts to analyze a typical meal of chicken parmesan with a side of broccoli and baked apples for dessert. You'll be as shocked as we were to discover that a few of the items lead double lives – as condom lubricants and explosives.

What you can see…

Chicken Breast
Unless the box reads chicken, rest assured it's a real clucker, one that most likely grew up on a U.S. poultry farm. But that's about all you can know for sure. The chicken probably feasted on conventional grains, and unless the label says otherwise, the bird may have been treated with antibiotics to keep it healthy. The breading and batter contain flour, yeast, and oil – nothing unusual so far. Oleoresin paprika (paprika that's oil-soluble and easily dissolves in sauce) adds flavor and color. And while Grandma's recipe calls for dredging your chicken breast in egg to make the breading stick, the food industry uses guar gum instead. (Eggs can become contaminated easily and are more expensive than guar gum.) Made from the guar bean, a major crop in India and Pakistan, it has thickening properties that also help make paper, oil-drilling fluid, and explosives. Bam!

Pasta and Sauce
Just like most pasta, these noodles are made of semolina flour, water, and egg whites. The sauce contains the usual: diced tomatoes and ­tomato juice, most likely from Ohio, Indiana, or California, which is where many tomato-processing companies are located.

The veggie's birthplace varies depending on when and where it's in season, freshest, and cheapest--if it's July, it could be Maine; September, California; December, South America. Imme­diately after harvest, the produce is blanched and flash-frozen, which preserves nutrients.

Like broccoli, apples come from wherever they're ripe. Because cooked apples turn a nauseating gray or brown color when frozen, they're treated with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and citric acid (the chemical compound that makes a lemon sour). This prevents the apples from reacting with oxygen so they maintain their golden hue.

And now, what you can't…
Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
This preservative keeps the oil used to fry the chicken from going rancid. The FDA says it's safe, but the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a U.S.-based advocacy group, recommends trying to avoid it because animal studies have produced conflicting results. Some have linked the chemical with increased cancer risk, while others have found a decreased risk.

Cheese Culture
A spin-doctor's way of saying "bacteria." Not the kind that could make you sick, but harmless types of this describes bugs, like lacto­coccus, lactobacillus, and streptococcus, which turn milk into curds, whey, and eventually cheese.

Disodium Inosinate/Guanylate
Flavor enhancers that work like MSG. While they have no flavor on their own, these sodium-based additives stimulate your taste buds, making them more sensitive to meaty and savory flavors.

Ethyl Alcohol
The same stuff in your chardonnay. A minuscule bit dissolves the vanilla flavoring in the apple dessert. (It works a lot like the alcohol in vanilla extract.)

Polysorbate 80
It pops up in shaving cream and cosmetics. In your dinner, it keeps oil-based flavorings from separating so your food doesn't dissolve into greasy slop when you nuke it.

Propylene Glycol
A cousin of antifreeze (yes, antifreeze) that's also found in condom lubricants (yum). But no worries: It's nontoxic, and only a tiny amount is used. This FDA-approved chemical keeps the oils and fats used in frying, as well as other ingredients, from gunking up.

Sodium Aluminosilicate
A white powder mined from rocks such as feldspar and zeolite. It's listed as an ingredient in the dried sweet cream, where it likely is used to stop the powdered cream from getting lumpy, although it's hard to know for sure, as most product recipes are top-secret.

Soy Protein Isolate
A powdered product made from soy flour, it thickens the pasta sauce and enhances the texture so it doesn't turn into a watery mess.

Of the 75 different ingredients listed, 12 are a form of sugar: dextrose, molasses, corn syrup, maltodextrin, and high-fructose corn syrup, to name a few. Why so much sweet stuff? Sugar is part of several ingredients--the sauce, the apple crisp, etc., but the form of sugar used may vary, from sucrose to, say, corn syrup: The manufacturers list all of the possible ingredients so they don't have to reprint the box if substitutions are made. For a real sense of how much sugar is in the total meal, look at the nutrition facts label, not the ingredients list.

By Syleena Johnson, BDO Staff Writer

My love affair with popsicles.

Ladies, this summer I have become addicted to sugar free popsicles. I only keep HEALTHY “grab and go” foods in my house so I’m not tempted in my own home. It's hot, so nothing is better than coming home and grabbing a nice cold sweet treat that guilt free.

I like 2 different kinds the sugar free and for days I NEED something chocolaty, the 60 calorie, low fat triple chocolate fudge popsicles. (There isn’t a woman I know who on occasion, doesn’t NEED some chocolate in her life. Lol)

Now, I also tried the creamed filled sugar free ones, but they weren’t as good as the others. I guess I was thinking it was going to be similar to the orange push up pops from back in the day…but ah well. L

LOADED Cauliflower!

Every now and then I get a craving for a loaded baked potato. However, white potatoes are not the best for those on a healthy lifestyle. So I found about a great alternative from another message board I’m on. It’s a loaded cauliflower, not only is it super easy to make but UBER delicious!

*Note: this is meant to be apart of a low carb lifestyle. If you are following a different plan, feel free to substitute with Mrs. Dash seasonings and a low fat sour cream. For more of these DELICIOUS foods, check out Linda's Low Carb Menus.

LOADED" CAULIFLOWER 1 cup cooked cauliflower 1 teaspoon butter Salt and pepper, to taste 1 ounce cheddar cheese, shredded 1 tablespoon ranch dressing or sour cream 1 strip bacon, crumbled 1 teaspoon chives
Butter and season the cauliflower. Place in an individual-serving baking dish, and then top with the cheese. Microwave or broil until the cheese is melted. Top with ranch dressing, bacon and chives.
Makes 1 serving


Headbands. These past few months I’ve been on looking for thick, wide cloth headbands to wear while working out that could absorb sweat, not to mention cover a good portion of the perimeter of my hair. So! I finally found some really good ones in Target. There are made by Scunci (a company owned by Conair) and are fabulous. I’ve washed them twice and they still maintain the color and elasticity. Scunci also makes these FAB-U-LOUS no-slip grip ponytail holders. I love them; they really stay in place and don’t leave a line of demarcation when you take them off. Another great product to try out!