Archive for May, 2011
These collages are all me trying to figure out how to dress the body I am working towards. I am 10 lbs down of my 40 pound goal!! It’s hard to accept what I see in the mirror from what I THINK I see in the mirror.
Click the link and check out my Polyvore!
This time I’m going to the beach.
Only you know me, I don’t mean your stereotypical ”tropical” beach with fruity drinks and steel drums! I mean I want to go where there are lighthouses, sea gulls, tons of cottages right on the beach. Think Nights in Rodanthe! (which by the way if you haven’t watched, rent it NOW) The beaches of North and South Carolina are the ones I want to visit the most. OH to be able to visit Charleston! Picture it! Plantations, moss covered oaks, light houses, beaches, bonfires, shopping, food! I’m soo there.
Little known fact about me- the critters that live in lakes and oceans freak me out far too much to actually swim but standing on a shore and letting the waves come to me is my idea of heaven…. Having actually gone snorkeling(for about 10 minutes until something touched me), I can tell you it is not the just idea that freaks me out, but the sensation. It’s turned into a bit of a phobia! EW! I’ll admire them all from behind glass thank you. I find sea life to be quite beautiful, but you won’t catch me out there touching anything with my bare hands or feet! hahaha Make fun all you like! This is my fantasy vacation!
How awesome would it be to wear your softest wrap or throw blanket, grab a mug of hot chocolate, and sit in comfortable old adirondack chairs out by a fire on the beach every evening??? *sigh* Soooo, this is my version of a mental vacation to the beach…..
And you know I like my soundtracks….
And since this is my fantasy world, I’m even going to “pack”
Now who’s with me????
Just a friendly warning- I will be talking a little bit about poo. If poo offends you, I suggest you skip over that section or click the X at the top of this tab.
So far I am a little over a week into the Alli Weight Loss System. My starting weight was 176 pounds and I have set a goal of 135-140 pounds. I noticed results in the first two days, and YES you do have to change the way you eat and exercise.
About the product:
For those that don’t know this is an OTC (over the counter) version of the prescription medication Orlistat or Xenical. It is a fat blocker. (I’ll explain more about that in a sec) I bought the “starter kit” with 60 pills, a pill case, and literature on Alli. You can buy a larger kit, but just starting out, I’d suggest not spending the extra money until you know if this system is right for you. You take one pill with each meal *containing* fat.It is also suggested that you start to take a daily multivitamin in conjunction. Again, I’ll touch on that in a moment. When you get your kit, I suggest you go to the website with your code and create an account. You can create an account without purchasing if you are interested in the program. The website will have a quiz section for you to determine how many fat grams you should be consuming each meal based on your current lifestyle/weight. It can be anywhere from 15-20 grams of fat per meal. There are a ton of guides, forums, recipes, and facts to help you along the way. A lot of what is covered in the literature that comes in the kit is on the website as well.
About the “drug” part of the program:
Orlistat is the active ingredient in Alli (half the dose as in Xenical) Orlistat prevents the body from absorbing fats that a person consumes in their daily diet thus leading to less caloric intake. The drugs have been proven modestly effective in helping a person lose weight. So when I said “fat blocker” it does just that. And what happens to something that is not absorbed into the body kids? Poop.
Now to my next point. DO NOT think that you can start taking this if you have no intention of changing your eating habits and lifestyle! This is not a magic fix-it pill. There is no such thing. A diet low in fat and calories can dramatically improve your overall health. You don’t in fact need a drug to lost weight, but I like Alli because it keeps me honest(I’m getting to the poop- hold on) My relationship with food was an emotional one. Thus why I needed the extra step in my diet. All too often I have hidden behind food as a comfort for what was happening in my life. I went on a junk food bender when I had a bad day (which there for a while was A LOT), when I had a fight with the husband, when I was disgusted with how I looked(yeah really healthy behavior I know) or just when I was bored! That’s no way to live. That’s a way to die. It opens you up to a whirl pool of self loathing and self defeating behaviors that could in fact lead to other destructive behaviors! But that’s an entirely different post for a later time.
Every gram of protein you eat turns into 4 calories. Every gram of carbohydrate is also 4 calories. But every gram of fat is 9 calories, which is why everyone should eat a low-fat diet. So if you normally ate 100 grams of fat in a day, that would be 900 calories. With Alli, you’d only absorb 75 grams or 675 calories. Alli blocks 25% of the fat you are consuming. From the Mayo Clinic website:
“Alli promotes weight loss by decreasing absorption of fat by the intestines, which reduces the number of calories you absorb.
Lipase, an enzyme found in the digestive tract, helps break down dietary fat into smaller components, so it can be used or stored for energy. Alli works by disabling lipase, which prevents the enzyme from breaking down the fat while it’s in your digestive tract. The undigested fat continues through the intestines and is eliminated through bowel movements.
Alli is taken with fat-containing meals, up to three times a day. Because of how Alli works, it’s recommended that you eat no more than 15 grams of fat with each meal. Eating greater amounts of fat can cause unwanted effects, such as urgent bowel movements, diarrhea and gas with oily spotting.”
Also about why you should take a multivitamin before bed and what kind to take:
“Some dietary vitamins bind to fat (vitamins A, D, E and beta- carotene). When orlistat is taken, these vitamins are not absorbed and are eliminated in the stool in increased amounts along with the fat. Therefore, patients taking orlistat should take a multivitamin containing these “fat-soluble” vitamins to ensure that adequate amounts of the vitamins are available for absorption. To ensure that the vitamins in the multivitamins are not bound to fat like the vitamins in the diet, the multivitamin should be taken at least two hours before or several hours after the Orlistat.”
Now the “issues” that some people complain about:
Read a lot of negative reviews for Alli? Well, I can tell you first hand that the people that experienced “treatment effects” were those that did NOT follow the diet (the definition of diet is literally what you are consuming, not “to diet” as in lose weight) recommended and did nothing to change their lifestyle. The above mentioned “treatment effects” are: “gas with oily spotting, loose stools, and more frequent stools that may be hard to control.” So you read people who have had accidents and stained underwear.
I can tell you FIRST HAND that those people tried to go ahead and eat that Big Mac and Large Fries!! Think about it folks, since you’ve eaten all that extra fat, if it’s not absorbed it still has to go somewhere and that somewhere is in the toilet! You have to change your way of thinking about food and realize the changes that need to be made- with or without a drug!!! How do your BM’s actually change? Well, there will be oil, like I said it has to go somewhere. But you will not be “leaking” if you are on track with how many grams of fat you are consuming with each meal/dose you take. The oil I noticed when “wiping” looks a lot like what you would blot off of a greasy pizza with a napkin and there was some in the bowl before I flushed. I have experience NO unexpected anything with this. Not even extra gas. I have experienced none of the above mentioned effects.
By changing my diet in conjunction with taking Alli, in 8 days I have lost a little over 6 pounds and I can tell you I already feel much better about my body and my ability to take control over food instead of it taking control over me!! This product isn’t supposed to dramatically affect weight loss and that’s not what I’m after. For any “diet” to be successful and healthy, it takes gradual changes over a longer period of time. You will be more likely to stick with it. A few things that I recommend as baby steps toward gaining control over food are;
Eat from a smaller plate. Even if you portion out your food onto a larger plate, we will see the empty space as “not eating enough”.
Drink water. Lots of it. Especially while you are eating and at least 8 ounces before a meal.
When you are eating, eat slower. Give yourself about 15 minutes after you eat before deciding if you are “full” or not. Scientifically, there’s about a 15-minute lag between when you’re stomach gets this message and when you’re brain gets it. After that 15 minutes it will be easier to avoid “seconds”.
Don’t let yourself go hungry! You CAN snack with Alli. There are a ton of healthy low-fat or fat free choices out there. Stock up on them and bring them with you when you are out.
Since I am just talking about Alli today, I will include another post later about what I have been eating and way to dine out while “dieting”.
I hope this was helpful for those curious about the program. I do have to warn that this IS NOT RIGHT FOR EVERYONE. There are certain risks (as there are with everything) that you should make yourself aware of before beginning this or any other program or drug. This is what I’ve found about the only possible interactions/side effects with the treatment:
What I learned online about the “reported cases of liver damage” that prompted the FDA to issue a warning, keep in mind that this drug is still FDA APPROVED. —-”Doctors are urged to watch patients for signs of liver damage. The whites of a person’s eye turning yellow, dark urine, yellow patches on the skin or loss of appetite are indicators a person’s liver is struggling. In the 13 cases reported, the patients may have had underlying conditions that led to the severe liver damage. Those who experienced the damage had also taken other drugs. Two patients died and three needed liver transplants. All but one case was outside the United States.”
“The blood thinning effect of warfarin (Coumadin) depends on the amount of vitamin K in the body, and vitamin K is one of the vitamins that binds to fat. Patients receiving warfarin who begin orlistat should have their blood clotting monitored closely because the orlistat may cause levels of vitamin K to decline. This will increase the effects of warfarin and lead to abnormal bleeding from the warfarin. There is no evidence that a deficiency of vitamin K occurs in patients who are taking orlistat.
Orlistat may reduce the absorption and blood levels of cyclosporine (Sandimmune) when both drugs are administered together. Therefore, cyclosporine should be administered two hours before or after orlistat, and more frequent monitoring of cyclosporine levels may be needed.”
What I take from this- If you are on ANY other medications, or have existing medical issues ASK YOUR DOCTOR if the drug is safe for you to use. Always inform your doctor of any OTC meds/supplements you are taking!! Always. The best way to protect yourself is to stay informed about what you are putting in your body. Get regular checkups! There are so many PREVENTABLE illnesses out there. We have to get smarter people!
Happy Monday and take care everyone!
Go ahead and crowd the beaches, I’ll take some hiking, fresh air, and fireside family time……..
Although now that I think of it, this would be a pretty awesome life too…. Yeah, I think I’d stay here a while. <3 <3 <3
But first- a peaceful little song for the trip to my cabin
I love the verse in the Bible (if this offends you, I suggest you take a chill pill and realize people will have different beliefs than you and not be hypocritical and closed minded, like all the other “Christians” that give us all a bad rep- this is just MHO), I like Corinthians chapter 11 (translate this how you will. I am no theologian) about a woman’s hair being her “glory”! Beliefs on how long a woman’s hair should be and how and if her head should be covered differs GREATLY depending on the culture or belief system you happen to follow. I had the privilege to learn about and be exposed to several different said cultures. What a diverse and beautiful world we live in once you take the time to truly see! Granted, there is far more ugly if you choose to focus on it but as a people we have a much greater potential than we are aware of.
My own personal outlook on my hair changes as I grow older. When I was a child, I just new that I liked the way it felt when it was long and would tickle my back when it was down or my neck when it was in a ponytail. There was no fashion (unless I was trying to emulate what I saw my big sisters doing to theirs!) it was all about what felt good and natural to me.
When I was a little bit older I started attending church services with my aunt, who is of the Pentecostal faith. I assure you that what is dramatized and rumored about this faith is just that. Drama and rumors. If I am going to worship my God it’s going to be like that! FREE and uninhibited. Joyous music, crying out when you feel the power of the service hit you. It brings a very real sense of “spirit” into worship. While I don’t follow all of their beliefs ( I do wear pants and cut my hair) I see NOTHING wrong with how this particular faith translates the Bible. I believe that’s what the bible is for! To read it for yourself and come to your own understanding with God! After all, to have a “personal relationship” with Him is to find your own understanding and appreciation. I do see the appeal of the pentecostal faith! A very very clear guideline and set out roles for the members. I’m not going to get into my own understanding of the Pentecostals but I wanted to at least shed some light on the misconceptions. Do your own research if you want a better understanding of another belief system. Otherwise, don’t jump to conclusions.
Because of my experience with different denominations of Christianity and other religious faiths/cultures, I think it has shaped a lot of how open minded I am today. While I do stand firm on my personal beliefs, I can’t be accused of being closed minded or ignorant. I appreciate anyone having faith in something besides themselves and that life has real meaning. You would be hard pressed to convince me that their is no significance in grief, joy, birth, death, and nature itself. Some people still want me to think that feeling is just chemical impulses and the rest is all science. I believe in science and I believe in God. It all came from somewhere and science only makes it more apparent to me. So yeah, I might be a bit of an enigma. I refuse to have my mind made up for me.
I am forever grateful for my upbringing and open heart that came from it. Back to hair. (yes, in my head it all makes sense) Whatever your beliefs, there is something to be said of what nature/God gave us! To let something be as it was meant to I think is a way of being grateful for the miracle that is life!!! Ponder on that for a moment. My new outlook (see previous blog post) is all about that. So I am going back to nature and the way GOD made me. I am going to take care of the body he made and the body that he let grow within me! (my child) I am letting my hair grow out, not as a part of a religious belief, but just to let myself get back towards how I was MEANT to be and see what happens! If I was meant to be this way, then I will find fulfillment and subsequent joy, will I not???
This started out to be a blog about my favorite hair care techniques and products, but I guess my heart went in a different direction. I think I might just come to a better understanding of myself after all.