Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

Archive for the category “Progress”

Celebrating The Good News

fireworks

Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphoto.net and Praisaneng.

Every 3 months I have to go in for a check up to make sure the cancer hasn’t returned. Nearly a year post surgery and I just got the latest lab work back: All clear.

My oncologist told me I’ve got another year of this “aggressive” testing. Then for the next 2 years I get checked just twice a year. Then the 5th (and final year) I’m tested just once. If all is clear after that, then I’ve officially kicked cancer’s sorry ass.

So how do I celebrate the good news?

I’m lifting weights today. And if the weather holds, a bike ride. Finally I’ll cap the day by grilling a burger to top my tasty, big-ass salad.

Kicking Caffeine To The Curb…Seriously This Time!

morning turkeyJPG

My Saturday morning project .

While most people like to sleep in a little Sunday mornings I’m up at 5:00 am. Why? Turkey. Yep, I’m roasting a 22-pound bird this morning. Tomorrow I start on the real cooking: LCHF versions of curry turkey, turkey pot pies and a turkey & bacon casserole.

While I enjoyed some coffee this morning, I am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed without the black nectar of the gods.  It’s looking like my new-found energy isn’t a fluke.

Part of this new energy is a serious effort at cutting back on my caffeine intake. I tried giving coffee up cold turkey, but the headache that hit me was insane.

Giving Up Coffee…For Real This Time
Okay, I’ve written about attempts to give up coffee before, but this time I’m seeing tangible benefits. As my coffee intake goes down so does my anxiety and stress levels.  Read more…

Final 40 Fat Challenge

March 19 weigh inThis morning I stepped on the scale for the first time since January. I expected to gain weight back from my week-long fast (usually half comes back). Turns out I kept just 2 pounds off. As a ‘glass half full’ gal, I’ll take that.

So I’m officially stepping on the scale once a week. I’m tracking my food consistently once again. The wine is officially out of the house. For the foreseeable future, eating out is over with.

Funny how exercising regularly improves your mental focus. I know exercise doesn’t help with weight loss. It’s all about building strength, improving cardio and balancing hormones.

Most importantly it clarifies choices.

Battle Of The Final 40 Begins
Stepping on the scale I start my new journey – getting to a healthy level of body fat.   I know focusing on weight is dumb and doesn’t do any good. I need to focus on reducing my body fat while maintaining/building muscle. It was those fat cells that went wonky on me and caused the cancer after all.

I’m using the same calculations I made back in August when I figured out my ideal body weight.   For the sake of sanity I’m calling this challenge “The Final 40” since the balance of lean body mass and fat pegs my ideal weight at 165.

That doesn’t mean 165 pounds is my maintenance weight. Before cancer came a knockin’ I was dealing with a nasty infection due too excess skin (sigh…those were the days).

I’m looking forward to those days once again.

Recent Gains Have Me Doubting Myself

lane-bryant

Nearly 2 years and 100+ pounds ago I “broke” up with Lane Bryant. Clearly they miss me. The feeling is not mutual.

I’m fast approaching my two-year anniversary from saying goodbye to Lane Bryant.  I vowed never to shop there again. To do so meant failure. However, my recent weight gain has me doubting myself and resolve.

It was time to replace an old pair of jeans. And for a fleeting moment, I thought about picking them up at my old stomping ground.

Thankfully something woke up inside of me and yelled “Hell no!”

Despite those damn menopause pounds I’ve added back on, I’m not going back to Lane Bryant. Ever.

I don’t know if that was the kick in the pants I needed, but it worked. I’m making a bunch of changes right now (post coming later on those changes). But I’m excited and finally feel energized. Something I haven’t felt in a long time.

Oh, and I picked up my new jeans at Old Navy.

My 30-Day Keto Challenge

keto cookbook

An amazing keto cookbook that I’m relying on as I start my 30-Day Keto Challenge, eating up to 80% healthy fats a day.

For the last week I’ve played with my diet to see what works in minimizing my menopause symptoms and it’s looking like a strict ketogenic diet is the way to go. When I say strict, I’m talking about reducing both my carbs and protein intake while increasing healthy dietary fat.

However, there are a few other changes I’m making to my diet and lifestyle that will go into my March 30-Day Keto Challenge. I’ve been easing into those changes in February so it isn’t such a shock to my system, but they are significant.

Dot’s New Macros*
As for calculating my macronutrients, there are a lot of good ketogenic macro calculators online (here and here). I’m a fan of nutritionist Maria Emmerich and after listing to a podcast of her answer questions about keto and menopause I decided to go with her calculator.

  • Daily Calories – 1706 kcal
  • Daily Macros (calories/grams/ounces)
    • Fat – 80% (1346.4 kcal/151.6g)
    • Protein – 17% (290 kcal/72.5g/10 ounces)
    • Carbohydrates – 3% (51.2 kcal/12.8g)

Read more…

Want To Change Behavior? Try A 30-Day Challenge

Screenshot 2014-09-02 11.11.07

30-Day Challenges are a great way to create new habits, change how you do things and build confidence. And they are available online for free. Just make sure you pick one that’s realistic.

I love this article from Business Insider on the importance of 30-Day Challenges in changing behavior. I’ve become a big believer in these challenges. I’ve used them to:

  • Drink more water
  • Cut back on alcohol
  • Build strength
  • Run a 5k
  • Improve my sleep habits

I always try to pick something that:

  1. Isn’t part of my wheelhouse;
  2. Provides opportunity for self-improvement;
  3. Realistic and measurable.

It’s important to pick a challenge where you not only want to make a change, but decided that you must change. Big difference.

Making a meaningful, lasting change means committing to it. Read more…

A Calorie Is Just A Calorie, Right?

No, it isn’t true: A calorie isn’t just a calorie. The quality of the calories is far more important. Need proof?  Here’s your tweet of the day courtesy of Dr. Ted Naiman (if you don’t follow Dr. Ted’s tweets you really should).

tweet-of-the-day

 

 

Can’t Sleep? Try Sleeping Under the Stars

camping-in-dolly-sods

Besides being fun, camping can reset your circadian rhythm. I always sleep better in a forest.

Having issues falling asleep at night? Just not getting in your full 8 hours of shut-eye?  Try a weekend in the woods…seriously.

I’ve written before about how a good night’s sleep is critical for weight loss. Unfortunately modern technology is disrupting our sleep patterns.  Thankfully there is a possible solution:

Go camping. Read more…

Wanna Lose Weight? Break Your ‘Groundhog Day’ Loop

poster

You want to lose weight? Then stop your own Groundhog Day loop!

My favorite film? Hands down Groundhog Day. It’s the closest thing to a perfect movie. What’s not to love? Bill Murray plays pompous TV weatherman Phil Connors sent to Pennsylvania to cover Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast, but gets caught up in an endless time loop living Groundhog Day over and over again. It’s anyone’s guess how many times he lived that day repeatedly (I say decades!), but after indulging in further destructive behavior, he final starts to re-examine his life and figure out what’s really important.

Besides being an awesomely funny movie, it hits home with me because I saw a little of myself in Phil Connors’ situation.

I was caught in my own seemingly endless Groundhog Day loop: Read more…

Pelvic Floor Strength Thru The Roof!

Pelvic floor muscle

With my hysterectomy, I have too much room down there and organs can start shifting, causing major problems. And my radiation treatment left me with a bit of incontinence. Good news there is an exercise to fix me.

After a three of months of doing pelvic floor exercises 6 times a day everyday, I’ve officially graduated from physical therapy. No cap n’ gown were involved, but I made great progress and no longer need therapy. My pelvic floor strength was off the chart. Awesome considering how bad I was before I started.

I figured I was making progress about a month ago. After one sneezing frenzy nothing leaked out of my bladder.

Yes…it’s the simple things that make me happy these days.

Nonetheless, my therapist suggested I do my pelvic exercises 3 times a day to build endurance and maintain strength. Important now that my uterus is gone. Also she wants me to work on building hip strength.

Between my yoga, squats and Fitness Blender routines, my hips should feel the burn in no time.

Now it’s time to work on the rest of me.

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