Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Discoveries On My Journey To Freedom & Fitness!

So many of you are with me on this journey to be healthy! I cannot tell you how connected it makes me feel to hear from you as you incorporate healthy changes into your life. I love hearing about the weight you have lost and the praise reports of how these changes have effected you. We're all in this together!!!

Well I've discovered a few things in the past month or so that I am so excited to tell you about!

1. Metabolism:
Those of us who struggle with weight probably hear this word a lot. But what is it really? In layman's terms, metabolism is the rate that your body burns calories. The metabolic rate for each person is different and depends on several factors. There are certain things that impact your metabolism which you have no control over. These include age, gender and heredity. BUT, you do have control over other things. I learned this the hard way. On October 8th I went to a nutritionist, Eileen Myers, who tested my metabolism. First she calculated what it should be (1704). Then I blew into this machine for about 10 minutes.
When it gave the results of what my metabolism rate actually was she suspected that the machine might be broken! It was so low! 920! Then I showed her my food diary chronicling everything I had eaten in the past week. "Aha", she said. Her next response to me blew my mind. I wasn't eating enough! Huh? Believe it or not, not getting the right amount of fuel will lower one's metabolism. This explained my 80lbs plateau (see my blog entry about that here)! Eileen encouraged me to eat approximately 1700 calories a day (based on my weight and height). I came back to her a month later and re-tested my metabolism. It had gone up to 1510! Woohoo! Did I also mention that I had lost weight? Double woohoo! For more information about metabolsim, including a calculator to determine yours as well as tips to boost it, click here.

2. The Daily Plate (Livestrong.com)
Omigosh! This website is AMAHHHHZING! Now, I am not one that likes to count calories. But after hearing that I wasn't eating enough I realized that I had no idea what 1700 calories looked like. This website made it so easy to see how much I was eating and opened my eyes to so much more! I learned that despite not putting table salt on food, my sodium intake was way too high (especially for someone who has high blood pressure run in her family). I also learned, and this really shocked me, that I was eating too much fiber! I didn't even know that was possible. But (and I'll try not to be graphic here), this explains my ummm...yeah, there's no way to say this with class. Just use your imagination. Moving on. Every day I quickly type in what I ate (and the more you do it, the more information that is saved so it gets quicker). I couldn't believe that things like "Hungry Girl Krispymallow treats" (from my cookbook) and "Dinner A'fare Finger Lickin' Chicken" (from the place that I make a lot of my meals) were there. I have been able to find every single food that I eat on this website. It also lets me track how many calories I've burned. Give it a try for a week and see if it works for you. Click here for more info. Did I mention that it's FREE!?!

3. Gowearfit
Basically it's a Bodybugg. This lady can explain it better than I can:

I've seen the contestants on The Biggest Loser wear them and always wondered what exactly it did. A friend of mine got one and she loved it! I ordered mine from Amazon (cause I'm always searching for the best deal! And I did not get the optional display device to save $80). Well I've been wearing it for about a week now and am learning so much! I even wore it on stage at Women of Faith in Greensboro this weekend...and pardon me for a moment if you weren't there but I promised I'd tell them how many calories I burned during my 30 minute concert. Drumroll please...almost 250 calories! I TOLD Tina I was workin it on stage! I wore it during zumba today and could not believe how many calories I burned. In just over an hour I burned 810 calories! Not everyone will be able to afford this gadget, but if you can, I think it is a worthy investment to your health.

4. Skinny Cow
If you can't afford a lifestyle and calorie management system...just get some ice cream! If you know me at all, you know that I have a sweet tooth. Well these ice cream yummies are doin it for me! I had been eating the Weight Watchers ice cream treats for a month or so when I saw the Skinny Cow products next to them at Publix. Now to each her own, and the WW treats were good, but Skinny Cow has become a dear close friend of mine. One caveat: all things in moderation. But that being said: Yum!!! I recommend the Cookies N' Cream ice cream sandwiches but I just bought the Strawberry Shortcake ones today. Thought I'd shake it up a bit!

So how are you coming along on your journeys? Let me know if any of you try out some of this stuff. Any tips or products you've discovered that you want to share?



  1. Thank you so much for the helpful information! I'm looking forward to using The Daily Planet. Im struggling to lose about 80 pounds that I've been carrying for almost 8 years since my first pregnancy. You are a true inspiration, thanks again!

  2. I discovered skinny cow and I love them too. They keep me on track with my diet because I feel like I am having something that is decadent when in fact it is very low in fat and sugar. My favorite kind is the truffle bar..YUM!

  3. Mandisa!
    Did you read my mind? I was just thinking to myself...I should send a fan letter to Mandisa about my weight loss journey update.

    As always, thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences with us. It is a wonderful motivation and it keeps me in check! Thanks also for your resources. I'm going to start using The Daily Plate! Love that it's free!!!

    As for my progress, I kind of hit a wall. It's frustrating because I'm not getting much exercise, but I don't really have the availability to do so. I can't walk alone in the area I live in, and I am on a volunteer budget so I don't get paid very much (only 100 dollar stipend every month).

    I love you and I am on this journey with you!

  4. Right now I am loving Stoneyfield Farms Oikos Greek Yogurt with about 1/4-1/2 cup of mixed berries (I buy frozen and thaw them one serving at a time) with about 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts sprinkled on top.

    I have this twice a day I love it so much. With my lunch and then in the evening for a snack.

    I will say that the first time I had the greek yogurt the texture was so different than regular yogurt I almost thought I wasn't going to like it. It's so thick and creamy! I have even heard people say they freeze it for a treat.

    It comes packaged several ways but I buy it in a 4 pack (blueberry flavor) so it's already portioned out for me. 90 calories for one container, 0 fat and I think 12 or 13 grams of protein.

    Give it a try!

  5. Thank you for the tips about "My Plate" at Livestrong.com. I just logged on for the first time tonight, and I hope I can keep it up. The only thing I was disappointed at was that none of my Crossfit exercises are on it, and Crossfit is pretty intense! So I just defaulted to 1 hour at the Gym. Can't wait to see how it progresses!

  6. Thank you for being so open and public about your journey to health. I have always struggled with my weight, but in the past 6 years or so have gained even more. I had to go on medication for blood pressure about 3 years ago. I thought that would be my turning point, but for some reason I just could not seem to stay committed. I have lost weight in the past, but did not make it a life time change, so when I quit eating healthy and reverted to my old habits the weight came back on with avengeance.

    Just yesterday I received a letter in the mail stating that I was declined for life insurance at my new job due to my weight and blood pressure issues. I think it finally hit me that if I do not make some serious lifestyle changes I run the very real risk of a much shortened life. I want to be around to see my kids grow up and see my grandkids someday. Not only do I want to see them, I want to be able to participate in their lives. Right now with my weight what it is I find my self watching from the sidelines far too often. I want to be an active parent again, not just one sitting on the couch watching.

    Keep up the good work on your own journey and in encouraging others.

  7. Mmmmmm! Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches! I could kiss whoever thought of those. I usually cut mine in half before enjoying, leaving the second half in the freezer. Then, if I am still feeling the craving, then I eat the other half. Most of the time, one half does the satisfying, but having that other half if I need it, kind of tricks my brain into thinking I had two. :)

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey. I'm so proud of you :)

  8. ok so this is the only way I can think of to offer some hope of support in your frustrations. You are my daughters role model for weight loss. She was 200lbs and has since lost 14 lbs. Yes the ups and downs of weightloss are so frustrating but you are strong and God has a plan for you. And as my favorite singer once sung "He is with you in your room today wiping all your tears away, He is with you!" don't forget God loves you and made you in his image, how can he go wrong :)