Welcome to Mellie's mind...

Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

Enjoy the ride!

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Does not compute!" "Does not compute!"

Life as I know it is about to change..... 

When changes come into my life I tend to run at them FULL speed.  Once I have my head wrapped around the change that needs to occur there is no stopping me, I will give it my all.  This can be viewed from the outside as an obsession, but I call it passion and determination.

When I announced on 1/31/11 that I was going to change up my workout routine so I could start focusing on becoming more toned I had no idea what was fully in store for me.  My workouts were going to be cardio and weights, just heavier weights and less reps-no problem this is pretty much what I was already doing just needed to be more intense about it.  WRONG!

This past week has been tough for me, not because of the routine but because I was looking at my new goal with the wrong rose colored glasses on!  EVERYTHING that I have learned, enforced, tweaked and have been preaching about for the past year is over.  I am making not only a physical shift I HAVE to make the mental shift as well.
"I am no longer trying to lose weight."  
Let me say it again.... "I am no longer trying to lose weight."  
No, I still don't understand those words.  "I am no longer trying to lose weight."

For the past year I have counted, calculated and tracked everything that went into my mouth.  How much calories, how much fat, protein, carbs, fiber the list goes on.  If one week of eating a certain way didn't work I tweaked my plan.  If my body got too use to the caloric intake I switched it up the next month.  It was and is a full time job.  Every day I start my day off with downloading my bodybugg.  How many calories did I burn, how many steps did I take, how effective was my workout the day before.  All these things became apart of my life and the way I lived and the way I got healthy and lost weight.  My goal weight was 135 and then it went to 130 and that is where I stand today.

The calories are STILL important for my new goal of gaining muscle but they are viewed differently.  The goal as a weight loss person is to have a large deficit everyday.  Calories in vs calories out to get that 500+ deficit everyday.  That is no longer the goal for me.  Sure, I will still monitor what I eat and when I eat it but gone are the days of having to achieve a huge burn.  This has really been the hard part for me to get on board with, especially the past two days of this week.

I shared my frustrations with Joe and asked him to listen to what I was saying and help me understand the new path I was starting down.  When I was done telling him the way I felt when I was at the gym and how I was frustrated I was no longer running 3-6 miles a day, this is the email he sent me:
Michelle, athletes do not look the way they do because they ran 3-6 miles a day 6 days a week. Athletes got that way because they bulked and then they cut, that is what YOU have to do. Cardio is for two reasons- cardiovascular health, and weight loss. You have achieved your weight loss goal. If you have not, you should spend the next week doing your cardio and get to your goal BEFORE worrying about muscle but I think you are good at your current weight.
BUT IF YOU DON’T FEEL THAT WAY, stop lifting and finish your goal. Otherwise, you will keep confusing in your mind what your primary goal is, and you will reach neither (or it will take three times as long).
So now what? Now, you want to tone and define. Tone and define is a fancy way of saying you want to target certain areas of your body and build muscle and lose any last scraps of fat so you can walk around lean and trim.
TREADMILL will NOT do this for you. You can not shape your body on a treadmill or doing aerobic exercise. Body shaping is with IRON.
“Aerobic training such as walking, riding a stationary bike, or running is a good way to accelerate the fat burning process, as long as it is not overdone and as long as it is used only in addition to a good weight training program. It should never be used as a substitute for weight training since it does not permanently increase your metabolism and since it does not has the ability to re-shape your body.”
IN FACT, too much aerobic exercise will deplete muscle.
"unless you are a competitive bodybuilder with a perfect diet and a superb supplementation program designed to protect muscle mass, aerobic exercise should not be performed for more than 6 sessions a week of 20-45 minutes a day for males and 30-45 minutes for females since this would put you at a risk of losing muscle mass."
Weight Training
Various forms of it. Low reps, high reps, medium reps. What do you do? What your body is not used too. You are trying to overload and shock the muscle. 100 reps of a 20lb barbell will shock the muscle. So will 6 reps of 55lb barbell. Until you keep doing  one or the other, and then you switch it up.

You need to be lifting weights 4 times a week, and then EITHER doing cardio after weight training and resting 100% on off days, OR cardio only on non-weight training days, OR BOTH (cardio up to 6 days a week, either in am or after weight training, no longer than 30-45 minutes a day)
Remember, weight training is for weigh training. You should be resting in between sets so that you can tax your muscles to the fullest on your next set. If you do back squats and spend 60 seconds doing something else, you are back to trying to burn calories in your mind when really, your muscles need to rest so they can recover and be taxed to their fullest on the next set. 

This was a lot for me to take in.  Later last night he continued to share with me the changes I needed to make with my food intake, I could feel my head spinning and knew my eyes were glazing over.  He was talking about how I needed to eat starchy carbs in the morning, increase my protein consumption all to feed the muscles I was trying to build.  All of which I know is true and I will have to do, but for now I want to work on baby steps.

"Baby step onto the elevator... baby step into the elevator... I'm *in* the elevator." -Bob Wiley

"I am no longer trying to lose weight."  

I CAN end my day with a caloric deficit under 500 and still be a winner!
I WILL still be healthy!
I WILL continue to be thin!
I am NOT on the road to gaining weight again!  
I HAVE achieved my goals I started out with!

"I am no longer trying to lose weight."  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Anyone get the plates off that truck that hit me????

Tuesday February 1, 2011

I am aware that I am still in bed sleeping but awake enough to know where I am, I have no idea what time it is.  The house is totally dark, I can hear the heater blowing the warm air into our room and my husband is asleep next to me.  Suddenly I am startled fully awake by the sound of my IPhone alarm going off.  "Ugh, it's 5:15am already" I say in my head.  As I reach over to grab my phone so it doesn't wake up my husband I feel this sharp, yet dull pain in my arm.  My muscles are tight and resist stretching as if to tell me they do not want to be moved. The memories of the following day flood back into my mind washing over me.  Yesterday was the first day of my new workout and I feel like I have been hit by a truck!  I gingerly roll out of my bed in the darkness while every muscle is screaming at me to stay put.  Stay under the warm heated blanket, stay in the darkness of the morning.... but I have to get moving. 

Monday was the start of my total body workout.  I am on a set schedule for cardio and weights to achieve the most I can in the next 28 days, not for weight loss but to acquire muscle gain. Today was a new day!!! I battled with my mind yesterday realizing I was allowing my mind to control the amount of weight I lifted rather then pushing my body to tell me what it can and can not do. I was determined not to let that mistake happen again even though it was only a cardio day for me.

As I made my way into the gym at 6:45am the first thought that came to mind was how surprised I was to see all the people there.  At first I was irritated because in my mind I was going to have the place to myself, but in a split second that irritation changed to motivation because I knew I wasn't alone in this.  All these people here had similar goals in their minds too... to get healthy!  I was ready to go!

I did my warm up, I did my stretches and all was going well.  It was time to get on a bike and get my burn on!  Now, coming from a place where I have been running almost daily and knowing what I burn per minute, per mile and what works best for me for incline and speed I was excited to learn what my potential on this bike was going to be.  So I started to peddle... and peddle... and peddle.  3 minutes into the "ride" I looked at my calories and I was shocked at how little I had burned.  My mind jumped into overtime "Crazy Mellie" speed.  I began counting how long I would have to be on the bike, what speed I would need to stay at to get to where I wanted to be for a burn.  My mind raced with details, distractions and doubt.  Here I was again, of course I did not realize this at the time, letting my mind dictate what I should and should not be doing.  Needless to say, I stayed on the bike for a total of 15 minutes and then I moved on to my familiar love, the treadmill.  Did I just that I loved my treadmill, the one thing that taunts me everyday of my life?  The machine I have nicknamed the "Dreadmill?"  Yes, it is true I love my treadmill.

I ended up doing the treadmill and the stair stepper to achieve the goal I had set for myself.  But, because I struggle with my own demons, that was not good enough so I did 15 minutes of light circuit weights too.  When I left the gym I was tired, but invigorated.  I had done what I set out to do and could check day number two off in my head. 

I am excited to see what day 3 brings me and what challenges I will face then.  It is becoming apparent to me more and more as I explore this new way of life that the biggest challenge for me, and for most of my friends I talk to, is not the workouts.  It's not the eating.  It's not even the time factor, we can all MAKE the time if we really want to.  The biggest challenge is OURSELVES.

Most women have such a strong love for their families, their spouses, friends and animals.  But what kind of love and determination do we show for ourselves?  Do we put as much effort into our own lives and happiness as we do for those around us?  We go out of our ways to nurture those in need, but refrain from giving ourselves the same kind of nurturing.  I am determined to not allow that for myself anymore, and I challenge anyone reading this to do the same!

Determination and decisions that we make when we are in the darker times of our lives control our minds and our bodies.  We have to make the decision to be determined to take care of ourselves.  We all have the same opportunity to have a good healthy life.  A healthy life that will lead to more happiness, better relationships and more love for ourselves.  Some people have determination and some do not. 

WE NEED MORE DETERMINATION.  We need to make better decisions. 

"The only credit we get in life is for the decisions we make."  -unknown

Start today, make the right decisions to change your life, because we all deserve joy and peace.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ready... Set.... Go!

Last night I talked to my husband about my goals for myself in the next 30 days.  I explained to him my concerns and asked him to help me come up with a plan to help me get there.  I want to push my body harder then I have pushed in the past to achieve a goal I have in mind to have more definition.  True to my husband's word he had a new workout for me at 11:00am today so it was all ready to go, my start date was set for 2/1/11.

Earlier today I type out my thoughts and put my goals down for the world to see so I knew I had to stick to them.  But then it hit me.. why wait till 2/1/11?  So I ate my lunch and I got myself ready for the gym and off I went.

Going to the gym at 3:30pm was NOT a good idea.  When I pulled into the parking lot it was so full, as I drove around looking for a spot I remember thinking to myself are the New Year resolution crowd going to die down soon?  Finally, I found a spot and I went in.  There was not one treadmill empty, and there were three people standing waiting to get on one.  I found a stair stepper and decided I would get on that thing.  I like the stair stepper because I am high and can oversee the entire gym, I can feel it working the back of my legs as well and that makes me happy.  What I don't like about that thing is it is HARD!!!!  People sometimes look like they are laying on the thing... I want to reach over and smack them in the back of the head and tell them to stand up already!  I got my 15 minutes done on it and I was off to lift some weights.

My weight lifting plan is total body plan.  I will work out every other day with weights, my rep range is 10 with 4 sets and 7 exercises total.  I am excited for this because I want to be in and out of the gym as fast as I can so I was ready for it!  I found a place on the floor amongst all the people, 90% being men, and I started out. 

I have to say this workout pushed me but I felt as if I could have gone even further.  I felt as if my body was a lot stronger then I gave it credit for.  When I was doing "Good mornings" I was using a 60lb bar.  Now this bar was a challenge to maneuver over my head to get it on my back but while doing the exercise I just felt like I could have gone heavier.  The entire workout was a great eye opener for me because it showed me that my mind stops me more then my body does and even though I worked hard and was sweating like my husband when I am taking a pregnancy test I found out I could have worked even harder.

I look forward to my cardio on Tuesday and then back to the gym on Wednesday to give it another go, this time I am going to check my mind at the door and let my body do what it is clearly strong enough to do!

Today my measurements and weight are:
Waist 29
Hips 36
Chest 35.25
Thighs 22
Calf 14.2
Arm 11.5
Neck 12.2

Time stops for no one!

Most changes are usually super good for me.  They get me back on track in areas of my life that I have allowed to lag, they motivate me to do the best I can going forward and they help me realize to keep life interesting you have to change things up.  Some changes make me anxious and can really put me into a mind spin but most I welcome with open arms and an open mind.

It's going to be February 1st tomorrow, the shortest month of the year.  February is a month of celebrations that include Valentine's Day, my son Trevor turns 15 (Ugh, my boys are almost men) I have several friends who have birthdays this month, and it's my birthday.  This year I will be turning 38 years old and yes, I had to bring out the calculator to calculate my age.  I lied about my age for so many years as a younger person now I have no freaking clue how old I really am!!!

I have several things that I am GOING to accomplish this year, notice I said "going" rather then "would like to." One of them is to become certified as a trainer.  I plan on adding to this training formal nutrition education as well and then going out into this GREAT BIG WORLD to help people get healthy.  Our bodies are going through so much abuse with the food and drink we put into it, it is no wonder so many people are dying at young ages.  If I could save just ONE person then I know all the hard work will be worth it!

Another goal for the year is to assist my husband in getting our family back into our faith and by this I don't mean just praying at the dinner table.  Our boys had their early childhood education in a private Catholic school.  I know this early childhood education and exposure helped build a foundation for those two boys that is strong and has seen them through tough years in their lives.  Both boys are extremely level headed, know right from wrong and prove by their actions that they know God is the way to our Heavenly lives and good choices help get your there.  I want this same exposure for the three little kids.  That doesn't mean they need to go to Catholic school, although I would love that, but it means that my husband and I need to bring God back into our home as a daily focus.  For us too, we need to show God is first He comes above all others and it should show in our lives everyday.  I remember when I was younger I use to call people "Bible Thumpers" Now I call those people "rich" and "brilliant" and I want my family to be the same.

I have some other personal goals that are close to my heart that I will keep there for now, but everyday I strive to work towards those goals and be the best I can be at them as well!

My final goal for myself is I am going to STEP up my workout plan for this month!  60 days ago my friend Teresa was nagging me to run and when I say nagging I mean it.  Daily she would comment on how much she ran how much she was going to run how I needed to just get up and do it.  Well, I did it.  I can run anywhere from 3-6 miles at a time and sometimes I do it twice a day.  Running has changed my life! (Thanks T) it has slimmed me down, toned me up and got me past two goal weights I never thought I could even get to.  With T pushing me and my husband's encouragement I can say now, I am a runner.  But now I want to be more then that.  I want to transform my body into a tone, lean vessel that screams health and commitment.

For the next 28 days I will work towards this goal.  I will run still, but change things up a bit and get some more lifting and more eating into my daily routine.  I am very excited for this and I am very excited to share my results with anyone who will listen.  I am going to say that I will see results by 3/1/11, but if I don't I know that as long as I give it 120% I will be on my way to my NEXT transformation!!!!

Here I go............

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sugar is killing US!

sug·ar  (shgr)
1. A sweet crystalline or powdered substance, white when pure, consisting of sucrose obtained mainly from sugar cane and sugar beets and used in many foods, drinks, and medicines to improve their taste. Also called table sugar.
2. Any of a class of water-soluble crystalline carbohydrates, including sucrose and lactose, having a characteristically sweet taste and classified as monosaccharide, disaccharides, and disaccharides.
3. A unit, such as a lump or cube, in which sugar is dispensed or taken.
4. Slang Sweetheart. Used as a term of endearment.

Number 4 is the only time you should REALLY be using sugar in your life!!!!!!  (Smile)

When I think back to being a child growing up with my mother and another family who raised me my latter part of my younger years I think back to the way sugar was a part of my life.  

I would eat sugar all the time.  It was not uncommon for me and my friends to walk down to the local store daily during the summer to go buy candy.  When I lived with my mother the house always had some kind of pop in the fridge, sometimes there was no food, but there was always pop! I remember on paydays my mother would take us to the Pop Shoppe and each one of us three kids would be able to pick out a case of our favorite flavors... a case!  There would be days when I would live on peanut butter and jelly or some days I would put sugar on white bread and eat that!  (Can you imagine...dipping my bread in sugar and then eating it)  

Later when I was 12 I moved in with a family who took care of me for about 4 years.  In this family we ate dinner everyday, I was blessed not to have to skip meals in this household but we did eat a lot of foods that were high in sugar as well.  Cookies pop, chips, cereal the cupboards were never bare and the mom made sure all of us three kids had our favorite foods.  During my first summer there my friend and I would stay up late talking and in the middle of the night we would go make Totino's microwavable pizzas.  When were were done we would each grab a handful of Chips Ahoy cookies and a glass of milk as well.  No one was ever concerned or thought twice about what we were eating.  Once in awhile the mom would go on a diet, and suggest to my friend that she start watching what she was eating, but it wasn't something that lasted too long.

The other day I was reading about sugar and the Chapter was called:  You ARE a Sugar Addict.  I remember as I turned the page and saw this chapter title, I thought to myself... "No, I am not."  Me, a sugar addict?  Are you kidding... I watch what I eat. I do splurge on dessert once in awhile, but for the most part I am not a sugar addict.  What I did not realize is how dominant sugar is in our society and foods.  It is not just about a pop tart or a sugar coated cereal, it is about an epidemic that is taking over our country and our bodies.

Sugar has zero nutritional value, it weakens your immune system and it throws off your metabolic functions and can be highly addictive.  Sugar is one of the most damaging ingredients in the American diet and it is making us all fat and sick.

Did you know the average American downs 30 teaspoons of added sugar daily?  That's about 480 nutritionally empty calories of added sugar every day.  Refined white sugar is technically sucrose, or common table sugar.  The other sugars you need to be aware of include dextrose (corn sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), maltose (malt sugar), and lactose (milk sugar).

You sometimes hear sugar as being advertised as "natural" food because it is made from natural ingredients in sugarcane and sugar beets.  The majority of people think this means healthy.  BUT 90% of the original source (sugarcane or sugar beets) has been removed and the natural color of sugar is chemically bleached to make it white.  What do you have left?  White sugar stripped of all its minerals and vitamins.  Does this sound healthy to you?  When you digest sugar into your system, the body has to actually borrow from its stores of nutrients in order to process it.  Sugar literally eats up the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.

When you eat refined sugar it goes straight into your intestines, bypassing any chemical breakdown in your body.  From there it is absorbed right into your blood stream and your glucose levels spike.  Your brain registers this sugar hit with a drug like reaction and triggers the release of the same natural brain opiods released when shooting Heroin.  All this creates positive feelings, energy and euphoria. 

When your body is addicted to sugar it needs more to feel better and your life and cravings can start forming around this addition.  Remember, sugar is not just candy, cakes and pop, it is also carbohydrates that are quickly converted into sugar such as bagels, rolls, crackers, breads and many more.

When you are on sugar the brain signals insulin to rush in and hold down the sugar. The adrenal glands have to step in to release fat-PRODUCING cortisol to get your glucose levels back up.  

Had enough.. Think it can't get any worse from here..... It does!

Sugar gives you wrinkles:

Sugar makes you fat and it ages your skin and can cause wrinkles.  Eating sugar attacks the collagen and elastin, which are the two key proteins that keep our skin young looking. 

Sugar kills your immune system:

Neutrophils are white blood cells that destroy bacteria in our bodies.  Sugar can cripple neutrophils leaving us more vulnerable to colds, flu and infections.  Sugar is linked to even chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Sugar makes you stupid:

Researches now report that people who have even slightly elevated blood sugar concentrations have short term memory loss.  (ding, ding, ding... that is me!)  Scientist think that high-sugar diets disturb blood sugar metabolism.  When our blood sugar is out of whack, or you have trouble metabolizing the sugar, this SHRINKS memory areas of the brain. 

Had enough yet????? Think it can't get any worse then I have described above?????  Have a seat and hold on... this next one is going to be a hell of a ride.


We all have cells in our bodies that under favorable conditions, COULD mutate into CANCER at anytime.  One of those conditions is a high sugar diet.  Cancer cells multiply rapidly, the process requires energy.  To get enough energy cancer cells supercharge themselves with glucose.
  • Sugar makes tumors grow.  
  • Cancer cells have 6-10 times the number of insulin receptors-molecules that grab on to the hormone-as any other normal cell.  
  • Insulin stimulates cell growth.
  • Sugar raises your insulin levels.
See the connection?  If extra insulin hits a preexisting cancer cell, it makes a bad thing DEADLY.  For cancer, insulin is like pouring gasoline on a fire.

Cancer is a painful disease and I hear chemo is something you should want to avoid in life at all costs.  Chemo harms your body, and studies show you never fully recover from it.

Sugar is cleverly hidden in virtually everything we eat, ESPECIALLY packaged and processed foods.  From breads, crackers, soups, sauces low fat foods and diet foods.  Breakfast cereals are the worst.  An example would be if you start your day off with a cup of Raisin bran, you have just ingested 20 grams of sugar.  Packaged hot cereal, like Quaker instant oatmeal, 13 grams of sugar-almost all of it table sugar.  The bagel you grab in the morning, unless you are choosing whole wheat or multigrain, you bagel has essentially has 30 grams of sugar.  That's the same amount as in one piece of chocolate cake.

Sugar hides in food under clever names like beet sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioners' sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, maltodextrin, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, sucrose, and turbinado sugar.  These sugars are in everything from protein bars and shakes, to breads and dairy. 

Armed with this information I went into my fridge and my pantry and started looking at the ingredients of the products my family consumes.  I almost had a panic attack.  Here I was, thinking my family was on the right track and I was doing so well and what I found was sugar, sugar, sugar... everywhere.  My personality is to start disposing of it all, almost as if having the item in my house was going to cause my family cancer.. I had to get it out!!!!! But I continued to read and do some research and have learned that if I just eat only foods that have 5 grams of sugar or less then I would be on the right track.

I also learned that "diet" products have high sugars in them as well.  One of my mentors when I first started my getting healthy journey use to tell me I had to buy clean protein, because most proteins contain high sugar. (Max Muscle products do not)  When I started looking around at the store at diet products I was amazed at how many bars, shakes, meals were loaded in sugar.  No wonder people struggle so hard. 

  • Ravioli Florentine by Weight Watchers:  12 grams of sugar.
  • South beach Chocolate breakfast bar:    7 g sugars, 3g sugar alcohol
  • Kellogg's special K protein bars:  17 grams of sugar
  • Lean Cuisine Grilled Chicken & Penne Pasta  24 grams of sugar.
  1. Get rid of sugar free juices, sodas, and treats.  These items cause sugar cravings and sugar cravings trigger your brain to grab for chips and other junk foods!
  2. Don't put sugar in your clean products like water, tea or coffee.
  3. Clean out your fridge and pantry of simple sugar items such as candy, cookies, cakes, pies, soda, and fat free products.
  4. Buy apples, pears, berries and citrus fruits.
  5. Drink lots of water.  A craving is often a sign of dehydration, not a cry for food.  Buy a BPA Free water bottle and carry it everywhere with you!
  6. Cut back on caffeine or get rid of it all together.  Caffeine causes your drop in blood sugar and leads to fat storing.  Try herbal tea or limit your caffeine to only two cups per day.
Please, if you are on a diet or on the road to a lifestyle change or just looking to see how you can be healthier... start with your sugar intake.  Sugar is killing us.. and if you are reading this blog, you are someone I know and care about and want to help.  Read your labels, throw out the sugar infested items in your pantry, and find alternative whole foods to eat and to feed your family and save yourself and the ones you love too.

If you need help with food ideas, ways to get rid of sugar or just want to have someone in your corner.... I am here!

Peace to all of you and "sweet" dreams only.