Friday, October 19, 2007

The Wife Weighs In...

I had a good weigh-in this week after taking a week off. I've lost 1.6 pounds since my last weigh-in, putting me at a total loss of 30.6! Hurray!

This was a week where I started out with the feeling that I was headed off track. But thanks to a little perseverance and a lot of extra support from my darling husband (who packed my lunches, among other things), I feel like I've gotten everything back under control.

I now weigh about as much as I when I moved to Minneapolis almost eight years ago, six months before our wedding. That's amazing to me.

Here are two other things I'm proud of this week:

1. In the last 19 weeks, I have only missed two WW meetings, and both of those were due to the lack of WW meetings in Duluth on the weekends. This is a very big deal to me. In the past, felt as though my week hadn't gone as well as I would have liked, I would just skip my meeting, which would lead to me going even farther off track, which would lead me to skipping another meeting, and so on, and so on, etc., etc. In fact, in the past, missing one meeting for any reason would be enough for me to begin playing hooky on a regular basis.

2. I actually got exercise in twice this week after the girls went to bed, which is a major accomplishment. Right now, I'm working to find the time to exercise at home regularly enough to justify paying for a gym membership.

Here's the deal...there was a time in my life when I went to the gym 6 times a week and I loved it. As I've lost weight, my body is remembering that feeling of working the weight machines and it's craving that feeling of power that you get from a good workout. Of course, at that time, I was without children, single, and working in retail without any other commitments. As you can imagine, I had a just a little more spare time than I do now. Finding the time to work exercise into my schedule has been very challenging.

Tony has been very successful working out at home, but that has never worked for me...too many distractions. Plus, I never really feel like I can go "all out" at home like I can in a gym setting...if that makes any sense. I am. If I am going to make a financial commitment as big as a gym membership, I want to be sure that I can make the time commitment, too. That means hitting the gym and being back home in time for Tony and I to get ourselves ready and out the door for work (while taking care of the two little people who live with us), or going to the gym after the girls go to bed. Neither of these times are exactly ideal, but they are my only options.

Who knows if I can make it work, but I'm going to give it the old college try this month. Wish me luck.

Have a super weekend, everyone!

10/05/2007: 199.4 pounds
10/19/2007: 197.8 pounds (a loss of 1.6 pounds)
Total loss: 30.6 pounds

Mini-goal: 30 pounds lost by 10/15/2007; ACHIEVED!
(a week late, but who's counting, right?)

Next mini-goal: 185 pounds by December 21
9 weeks and 12.8 pounds to go!
(can you believe there are only 9 weeks until Christmas?)

The Weigh-In Week 19

225.4! That's what it said on the scale this morning. A loss of 1.8 lbs. and week 4 of the new "streak".

Looks like exercise won out over excess... at least for this week. Don't worry, I am not planing on testing the exercise vs. excess threshold on a regular basis.

So close to Moderately Overweight.

Our winner this week is my Dad with a dead on guess of 1.8. Although she did not win, Erin also deserves a little recognition. As a first time guesser she missed the mark by just 1/10th of a pound. The guessing was tight this week all around so all you non-winners should be proud of ourselves.

For his faith and fatherly support my father wins a home cooked meal, to be cooked by me at some point in the next three weeks. Really the prize is getting to come over and spend some time with his adorable granddaughters, I'm just throwing the meal in for free. And yes mom, you can come too.

It's yard work weekend at the Johnson house this weekend. Lets hope we can have at least one dry day!

Have a great weekend everybody.

10/19: 225.4 lbs.
Goal: 220 lbs.
5.4 lbs. to go

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Guess How Much I Weigh Contest - Week 19

It's been a crazy week... again. While I was in Duluth last weekend I had two of the highest calorie days I have had since I started tracking calories. The rest of the week has been some of the lowest calorie days I have had in a long time. I've been working out more as well. I even ran twice in Duluth and did some strength training. Good dedictaion right?

Hopefully the highs and lows will even each other out.

Step right up, step right up.
Guess how much I weigh and win a fabulous prize.

To Recap:
Every Thursday I give you my stats for the week and you guess what you think the scale will say on Friday morning. The winner is the first person who guesses my weight / weight loss for the week without going over or the person who is closest without going over. Go ahead and click on comments at the bottom of this post and leave your guess.

I will post the winner when I post my weight on Fri. morning. If we get ten or more guesses I will have a prize for the winner.

Stats for the week of October 14th.

Walked / Ran: 15.7 miles

Calories Consumed: From Thursday morning through Wed. night I have consumed aprox. 17080 calories.

Calories Burned: From Thursday morning through Wed. night I have burned aprox. 27454 calories.

37% of my calories have come from fat.
11% of those calories came from Saturated Fats.

44% of my calories came from carbs.

18% of my calories came from protein.

Let the guessing begin. Good Luck!

10/18: 227.2 lbs.
Goal: 220 lbs.
7.2 lbs. to go

p.s. Don't forget you can subscribe to the e-mail edition of Guess How Much I Weigh . Simply enter your e-mail address in the space to the right.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's Not Me, It's My Hormones

All that talk about stretch marks yesterday reminded me of an article I read on a few months ago. The article was called Stretch Marks for Dads.

Sorry if this is a repeat post. I feel like I have written about this before, but even so it is an interesting topic.

Apparently there have been some studies recently that prove being a father can change your brain along with your hormone activity.

From the article:

"...evidence is accumulating that pregnancy and parenthood leave their marks on men's bodies. Women are not the only ones who are built for parenting, and recognizing that is good for fathers and the rest of us, too."

"A father's testosterone level also drops by about a third, on average, in the first three weeks after his child is born. These hormonal shifts... mirror those experienced by mothers and may similarly prepare men for parenthood. Men who have relatively little testosterone have been shown, for instance, to hold baby dolls longer than men who are flooded with the sex hormone."

One way to look at this study is to say that sympathy pregnancy weight is no longer a myth. Which would let me off the hook for all the weight I gained while my lovely wife was pregnant.

"See these stretch marks? I earned these stretch marks! I was eating for three after all!"

The truth is my weight gain was an issue long before my wife got pregnant. I can believe that becoming a dad added to my health problems but it is in no way the cause of them.

Also From the Article:

"After childbirth, the neurons in this region showed greater connectivity, suggesting that having young children could boost the part of the brain responsible for planning and memory, skills parents need when having kids gives them more to keep track of. The neurons also had more receptors for vasopressin, a hormone that has been shown to prompt animal fathers to bond with offspring."

The bigger thing I take a way from this article is an acknowledgment that the father is as biologically and emotionally tied to parenthood as the mother. This is not a message that gets much traction in our society.

For example:
While we were in the midst of Baby Shower craziness we received a cute gift bag that featured the alphabet and what each of the letters stood for. You know B is for Baby, M is for Mommy, P is for Pacifier. You would think D would stand for Daddy but no...D stood for diaper. Diaper!!! According to that bag Daddy is, at best, only the second most important D word in a babies life. This is the message we are giving our little ones? I don't think so!

In it's own twisted way I think the movie Knocked Up did a really good job of conveying the "Fathers Matter" message as well. Fathers are not just innocent bystanders we are important.

So thank you Judd Apatow and Swedish Research Scientist... Thank you for legitimizing my role as a father and for giving me an excuse to talk about my stretch marks with confidence!

The Slate article is a little dry but still worth the read for all you new fathers out there who are confused about the strange and unfamiliar changes your body is going through.

Stretch Marks for Dads [Slate]

10/17: 227.2 lbs.
Goal: 220 lbs.
7.2 lbs. to go

p.s. Recipe Wednesday will return shortly

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Those Unsightly Stretch Marks

Here's a riddle for you:

Q: What gets wetter as it drys?
A: A Towel

Here's another one:

Q: What gets bigger as it shrinks?
A: The stretch marks on my tummy

Ok, that second one doesn't make sense... but you get the idea.

While everything else on me is getting smaller there is this one little thing that is starting to be not so little. Stretch marks are one of the few negative side effects of this whole extreme weight loss journey.

I am fortunate that the stretch marks on my stomach and sides are not very prominent...yet. Hopefully they never will be, but they are staring to make their presence known. Looking in the mirror the other day I started wondering what I could do to get rid of these "flesh streaks"... short of cosmetic surgery.

So I turned to an expert, our old friend, world renowned plastic surgeon and wound care specialist, Dr. D.

Actually I turned to his daughter, Little D and begged her to ask her dad because I was too embarrassed to do it myself.

Her is Dr. D's expert advice.

Sadly there is no easy, quick fix for magically making stretch marks disappear, but we all knew that. By now I think we are all far enough along to know that magic cures don't really exist, right?

The only effective topical treatment for reducing the prominence of stretch marks is to use Pure Vitamin E Cream. It can help reduce the deep ridges.

Cocoa Butter is a myth. It doesn't help, nor do any other creams or lotions.

Here is the part we are all dreading! The hard work.

The best way to reduce the appearance of stretch marks is to tone your tummy by doing abdominal and lower abdominal work outs, where stretch marks are most
common. Once the skin become tight the appearance of stretch marks is less notable.

The good news is this "workout treatment" is right in line with my goals for a flatter, toner tummy, so it's pretty much what I am already doing. I'm sure the fact that I have been working out for the last few months has already helped a lot with my stretch marks. Guess I just need to keep at it. Thankfully, I've got 7 months before swimsuit season rolls around again.

This post has been brought to you by Estrogen. "Estrogen! Making me write girly things, since 25 minutes ago."

10/16: 227.2 lbs.
Goal: 220 lbs.
7.2 lbs. to go

Monday, October 15, 2007

No Unofficial Weigh-Ins

I've caught a little flack for not posting my weigh-in this week. We went to Duluth for the weekend, leaving on Thursday night. Believe it or not, there is not one WW meeting within 15 miles of my parents' house between Thursday evening and Monday evening.

I have a difficult time reconciling an unofficial weigh-in with what happens on the scale at a meeting. So, I made a unofficial weigh-ins. I hope that doesn't seem like a isn't meant to be. Look for an official Laura weigh-in on Friday...still shooting for that 30 pound loss.

Thanks, Em, for keeping me honest!


Ironman Anthony

A few months ago I mentioned that my friend Anthony had qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. The race was this weekend and it looks like Anthony did an amazing job. He finished the race in 877th place out 1700 competitors with a time of 11:15. That's 3 hours behind the race winner. I can't even imagine what it feels like to be moving for 11 hours straight. In total Anthony traveled more than 140 miles!

Congratulations Anthony I hope you are recovering on a tropical beach with a very cold Mai Tai. If anyone every deserved a relaxing vacation it's you!

I had my own race going this week. I joined a runners challenge over at the website Runner Plus. I am getting a lot more serious about this whole running thing.

The challenge was for runners who run between 10 and 20 miles a week. I logged 18.7 miles last week and missed winning the challenge by 3/10 of a mile. Just from that little bit of running my legs are really sore today. And it wasn't even all running, about half of it was fast walking.

I say again, I can't imagine what Anthony's legs must be feeling like this morning.

Sadly all that running was not enough to stave off the effects of all the food I ate this weekend. Which means a lot more running this week to try and get rid of the 2 pounds I gained while playing up north.

If any of you runners are looking for a place to log your miles, I am really digging this Runner Plus website. It's easy to use and very colorful. If you join be sure to stop by and become my friend. Right now I only have two... and 1 of them is the guy how started the site, so he doesn't really count.

10/15: 227.2 lbs.
Goal: 220 lbs.
7.2 lbs. to go