About obmckenzie

I'm a young web professional and I'm on a diet. I've been working on slimming down since December 2011 and I use this space to talk about my struggles, highlight my accomplishments, and deal with the monster that is keeping me from a a health body.

Taking the Kato plunge

2 years ago when I was diagnosed with PCOS I heard about a diet called Keto. without doing more then a cursory glance I dismissed the diet because it seemed too hard. Giving up carbs sounded insane to me. How could these people just not eat pasta and cake. My sugar addicted brain could not let go of my (at the time) daily cupcake/cake/ice cream/ect intake.

So, I struggled. for. TWO. YEARS. The lowest that I got during that time was 205lbs (maybe), and that was sort of tricking the scale. It wasn’t level and when I’d get on a minute or so later it would be about 207lbs. So I don’t really count it, even though I wrote it down. How Insane is that? I was so desperate for it to work that I tried to find ways to trick the scale, I lied and cheated and only ended up cheating myself.

Last November, I saw my Mom for the first time since I May at the wedding. She’d lost 48lbs and looked like a new person. She told me about a program called Ideal Protein and how it was low carb, high protein. I was immediately convinced. My mom did Jenny Craig together, she’s always been very overweight. She told me how she no long craved sweets and how her carbs came from veggies. I was amazed and convinced.

Everyone said to wait until the holidays were over, so that I wouldn’t be temped to cheat, which I thought was funny.. since this diet was supposed to make me not want those foods. I obliged mostly because the husband wasn’t going to start with me and I didn’t want him to feel bad about his favorite foods and we were going to visit Jersey and I really wanted some foods we only get when we are there.As December went on the husband eventually decided to try it with me and we both decided to start on January 1st.

We’ll, as you ca see by the date, it’s Feb 10th and I’m happy to say we are still at it. Even if last week was a bit more difficult for me. Shark Week + Extra Stress made me want to cheat and give up, but I didn’t. I had keto cheesecake and was very happy…oh also bacon. So much bacon…

I am down 15lbs and the husband is down 23lbs. Aside from last week, I’ve not wanted anything so bad to make me quit this.In fact most of my sweet cravings are very diminished, my cravings now are more out of boredom. I love to snack and that’s not a problem. I have Peanutbutter cup fat bombs, keto cheesecake, deli meats, or bacon when I want to snack. I walk thought the candy isle and ignore all of it except my 90% dark chocolate (for keto baking), I don’t crave bread or pasta. It’s amazing..

And it’s not that I craved those things like bread and pasta before, but I see them and its almost like they are disgusting to me now. Thinking about eating that stuff grosses me out, I simply want to part of it. I see the amount of carbs in some dishes and feel sick to my stomach. For example; I eat 20g of carbs TOTAL. A day! Most pasta dished have over 100g of that. That’s insane!

Enough for now.. expect this space to become keto rant/amusement/goal/achievement zone. I love MFP, r/keto, and r/xxketo but I feel like I need a place to just leave thoughts, both good and bad.

Damn the calculator

I use MyfitnessPal, among other places, to help track my progress. I’m not consistant,

 

Image representing MyFitnessPal as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

 

but I’m trying to get back in the habit of it. Especially since I’m home all the time right now and don’t have an excuse of being too busy. My days consist of looking for jobs, wedding planning, exercise (running or weight lifting), writing, or video games.

 

So I’ve started logging my food and my exercises, again. The most annoying thing about the process is that at the end of the day you can hit “complete day” and the system will tell you how much you *should* weight in about 2 weeks if you keep eating that way. It’s based on your goals, activity level, and calorie intake. I hate this thing. I know if great for some people but for people with PCOS its not accurate and almost a reminder of how abnormal you are.

 

For about 10 months I’ve been under 210 lbs. For about 2-3 months I’ve been hovering around 208 lbs. The last few days it’s finally been moving, and today I was 206.6 which is fantastic. But that damn “you should weight X in X weeks” taunts me. For 3 months it’s said that I should weigh under 200 lbs in 2-5 weeks. I think the latest was 191 lbs in 5 weeks. And that is bullshit.

 

The other thing it does is tells me I’m not eating enough. Which I find amusing as well. I know not eating enough is a problem, but I’m not hungry. I’m filling up on leafy greens, and lots of meat. I’ve cut my carbs to around 100 a day, and I’m finally starting to see a change.

 

Yes, I’m actually trying to do low carb. I’ve actually cut out my meds. I’m taking vitamins everyday and trying to stay around 100 carbs. I’ve been mostly floating around 110-120 depending on if dinner has rice or not. This seems to be the best solution for me and my damn PCOS. The great news is that I’ve had normal cycles for 2 months, but I’ve also only been off 2 months, so its too early to tell.

 

Also running: I’m running about 3 times a week. I missed 1 day the last 2 weeks for family stuff and a thunderstorm. But last week I did the 3.1. Yesterday, I went out for W3D1 (90 sec jog, 90 secs walk, 3 minute jog, 3 minute walk) and completed it all. I’m thinking of doing another 3.1 on Wednesday. I’m feeling more confident about the whole thing lately.

 

I’m planning on running my 5k with a close friend, and they do a different style then me.

When Pigs Fly

When Pigs Fly (Photo credit: slgckgc)

They do 1v1 or 2v1 or 1v2 (run V walk, so a 1v1 is a 1 minute run then a 1 minute walk).If I continue on my training I will be at  W8D1 which is walk 3 min, jog 8 min, walk 3 min, jog 5 min. I’m thinking I might switch to 1v1 or 2v1’s next week so that I’m used to it.

 

 

 

3.1 miles

Last July my parents fly me home for my birthday. They did it since I’d lost my job and was taking it kinda hard. Right before I got out there my sis-in-law called me and asked me to do the Milltown 5k. I said sure, but I would only walk since I hadn’t been running or training or working out at all. She said it would be fine.

Holy crap was it not.

I finished in 1 hour and 5 minutes. I was dead last by almost 30 minutes. It was embarrassing  They were packing up the line when I stumbled across it. I was red faced and exhausted. The 90 degree heat at 8 am didn’t help.

In December, I walked my second 5k. It was muggy and hot and I finished in just under an hour. I was quite proud of myself. I’d been working off an on with the sit to fit people but I was disappointed that I wasn’t running it. I was having lots of trouble breathing and it was great but awful.

Now, I’ve been working on a modified C25k program. I’d say technically I’m on week 4 but I switched to outdoor from a treadmill so I went back to week 2 so I didn’t push to hard. Basically, it’s 90 seconds of jog/run and 90 second of walk. with a 5 minute cool down/warmup. Over the weekend I got it in my head that I should do a whole 5k and see where I’m at. So I did it.

I finished at 54 minutes with 3.19 miles. It would have been faster but I had an 18 minute mile in the middle because of a phone call that I had to take. I also did most of the cycles, only skipping ones when I needed a longer recovery from a hill.

I feel really proud of myself about yesterday.

 

Elsewhere on the web…

I didn’t run the 29th (Monday) or the 25th (Thursday) . Thursday, I was running late and was also advised by my doc not to run. See, I had LASIK a few weeks ago and one of my eyes is blurry. It had a little bit of pain so they said it was a good idea to take it easy and see them on Friday. Turns out I’ve got some dry eye and one of my eyelids is messing up the healing. They gave me some stuff and while it’s not better yet, I’m positive it’ll be okay. Monday I didn’t run because my car broke down and we were running around trying to fix it.

Today I wanted to talk about the cool web tools that I’ve used or liked. There’s only a few and I thought I’d just discuss when I liked and what annoyed me about the sites. I’m going to go over: SlimKicker, SparkPeople, MyFitnessPal, Fitocracy, Earndit, and BodyMedia.

Image representing SparkPeople as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

SparkPeople(SP) So for those that don’t know, SP is one of the largest communities online for diet and weight loss. They have lots of the great “hooks” to keep you coming back as well as diet and exercise trackers, message boards, groups, websites, blogs, recipes, and articles. SP is considered the best by a lot of people, the community is huge and they even have TV advertisements. They have a point system with levels that help users feel engaged and keeps people coming back because it becomes a game. I used SP for a while and after a time I found the system overwhelming, and cheesy.

Image representing Fitocracy as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

FitocracyThis site is great because it makes working out like a game. I love earning points and leveling up. They have groups that will provide support. Its less of a weight loss site and more of an exercise site, it doesn’t really have a food tracker. This is great for people that want to just play the exercise game, but usually, I feel, there is a lot of overlap and I might have used it more if it had it. The only thing I don’t like about it is the interface. I use Google Chrome so I’m not sure if it’s that the site just doesn’t work well with Chrome or just kind of awkward in general. I had great difficulty finding the exercises that I did and many times I picked something that I thought was close enough. Often the exercise required weights. In the beginning I wasn’t using weights, just doing the movements. It wouldn’t add the exercise if I put 0lbs for the weights. The community was also difficult to get into, the system was awkward and not intuitive for me.

Image representing MyFitnessPal as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

MyFirnessPal(MFP) MFP is my main site, I constantly go back to it and I love the way it’s build. It’s very simple and super easy to use. You log in, you track your food, you track your exercise, chat on the group boards or the general community boards and that’s that. You can make friends or not, you can keep a blog or not. There is not a lot too it but I like the easy and simple way that it feels. They’ve begun integrating with more of the body bugs out there and that makes me happy. Recently they teamed up with Body Media, so the data can cross over. I like this because I find Body Media’s food library not very full and sometimes off or not easy to add too.

Back on BodyMedia

Back on BodyMedia (Photo credit: juhansonin)

BodyMediaBody Media is a lot like FitBit but you are supposed to wear it all the time. It tracks your movement and can track your steps and exercise as well. It basically uses accelerators to track this information. I’ve enjoyed mine, but I will warn you that many people have had issues with it, including a close friend. They online system is pretty cool and very info graphic-ish. It’s food library doesn’t feel so robust, but the workout and sleeping information is really helpful/interesting. It doesn’t have a community, which I felt was lacking, community helps me to come back and spend more time on the site.  Its recent partnership with MFP is awesome and made me renew my subscription. Yes, there is a subscription.

Slimkicker(SK)
SK is a lot like fitocracy, where the goal is to make fitness like a game. You earn points when you exercise and from challenges. The interface it a lot simpler nd instead of focusing on what you did exactly, its more general. The challenges also range from things like “No soda for 1 week” to “Meditate for 30 minutes” to really basic ones like “Put on my gym shoes”. I like that, it gives the site a very low pressure feel and while it incites the user to do better and make better choices it does it without making the user feel bad if they don’t log in for a few days  or don’t do the challenges. (I’ll note here that I was asked to make a post about Slimkicker).

Image representing Earndit as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Earndit I like earndit because it rewards you for the exercise you do. It pulls information from the tracking websites, like Nike Plus, RunKeeper, BodyMedia, Fit Bit, ect.  You earn points that can be spend on coupons ($25 off a $50 order), trials of products,  and even sent to charity. I haven’t done the charity part yet, though I’m earning so many points and not all of the offers appeal to me I think that I will start donating them before long. They have competitions that if you earn so many points during the week you might win cool things, but I don’t currently rack up enough points. All of the deals require some purchase, but that’s understandable.

So those are a few of the sites I visit or have visited. I like all of them for different reasons. I was asked to make a post about Slimkicker, so take my opinion of that with a grain of salt. I’m not a journalist, so please don’t hold me to those standards, but I do like to be honest when I’ve been asked to talk about something. If you know of any other site that might be useful please share it below.

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon…

Everything is coming up running. Seriously, everywhere I have turned in the last few days I have heard something about running. There’s a cool science term for when that happens but mostly it’s just a great intro.

NPR had a great article/story this morning about the author of “Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time” where he talks about how running changed his life, but not from a weight loss perspective and more of an addictive personality perspective. He credits it with saving him from alcoholism. I thought that was interesting and I plan on buying his book, which (I hope) is more about life & running instead of training schedules and times. You can check out the NPR article here.

Sit to Fit Update

So, last night was night number 3 of Sit to Fit. We added 10 minutes to our out and back time, which made our run about 30 minutes. My Nike+ didn’t record it 100% correctly, since it started after the warm up. Over all I didn’t notice the distance, I don’t think I ever do. I’m always thinking about the next walk section. We also did farther than this on the first night, so I wasn’t scared by the extra 10 minutes.

I was super cranky when I showed up for the run. I felt like I was running late because I was busy at work and while traffic wasn’t that bad I was still rushing around. I was very hungry and very thirsty (I hadn’t been good about drinking my water at work) and to top it all off I couldn’t find my arm band and had to just carry my phone. I was thinking of skipping and was making up excuses my whole way there. Thankfully they hadn’t started yet so I couldn’t get out of the run.

In the end I’m glad I made it on time. I was able to work out a lot of my crankiness and felt a lot better afterward. I did almost all of my sets, I only skipped 2 because my foot got number but I did run the final one, which is how I like to end. I’m glad I went, especially since every time I shave about a minute off my mile time. That in itself is awesome.

PCOS Update

Yesterday, I got some great news before my running group. I beat the deadline to get benefits from my work (so many hours in so much time) so I can finally stop stressing out about that. I’m not one to be accident prone or avoid activity because I might get hurt without insurance so it doesn’t affect running so much. I, unfortunately, had to stop taking my Methformin while uninsured and unemployed, which means I need to go to a doctor to restart. With insurance those items are actually cheap enough to afford, thank goodness.  This is good news, and hopefully it will start working in a week or two and I can get back on a path to a lower weight.

Sit to Fit #2: She will go all the way!

Thursday’s Sit to Fit (C25K but with a running group!) went a lot better on Thursday then Monday. Basically what happened on Monday is that we forgot to walk the first 5 minutes, so we ended up doing 15 minutes out, which meant we went farther, and didn’t warm up totally right. Thursday we remembered to walk the first 5 minutes and therefore didn’t go as far.

Monday:

 

I was able to complete all but 2 sets of the 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking. The first was at the end of the 10 minutes out, we turned around about 1 minute into a set and I got confused and ended up walking 2 minutes to a 1 minute run. The second was the last set. I was tired and did about 1 minute of running, and then walked at a fast pace and then ran the last 20 seconds so that I could finish running.

This time I went a lot slower, which really helped. I made sure to not really go much faster than my fastest walk. This way I was still working the muscles but not losing the energy as fast. I was surprised to find that I was still able to do the talk test during my last two full sets. Which is why I was able to complete almost all the sets, I wasn’t sprinting like I had been the first night.

Thursday:

Tonight is another night, but we up the time. Basically its 15 out and 15 back, so like last Monday but on purpose this time. I’m slightly nervous but my goals remain the same: do as many full sets as possible without harm and make sure to complete the last set either by running the full thing or running the last 30+ seconds.

 

Sit to Fit

Tracey, my bff, talked me into joining a running program. It’s called Sit to Fit and basically it is like a couch to 5k program with a group, done by The Running Spot. It meets twice a week at 6:30 pm and then breaks into groups and goes out for a run. There a walking group, 2 run/walk groups and a running group. The run/walk is split again with 1:1 or 2:1 which is basically running v walking. So the 2:1 is 2 minutes running and 1 walking. At the end of it all we participate in a 5k. (The Jungle Bell 5k: http://www.racedmc.com/2012/Dec/08/flyer.pdf)

To be perfectly honest, I was confident but nervous. I haven’t really exercised since I went back to work, which was the end of August. Driving into downtown Cincy isn’t a killer but motivation is very hard to come by when I have to walk about a half a mile to the car, and then sit in traffic for an hour.

Jingle Bell Run 5K for Arthritis 12062009 388

Jingle Bell Run 5K for Arthritis  (Photo credit: mainerunningphotos)

Last night was the first night and I feel pretty good about it. I went with the 2:1’s because I didn’t want to walk and Tracey doesn’t do 1:1’s very easily. Plus I want to work up to full running. Not to mention its cold outside, I’m not in practice and I usually run on a treadmill. Thankfully I didn’t do horribly. I was able to do 2 sets of the full 2 minute run. Then I was able to do 3 sets where I got to 1:30. Which is better than expected, I’m looking to do more on Thursday. The other thing, I did a mile in my fastest time yet, so I think I was going faster than normal which wore me out a little faster.

So for Thursday, my goal is to take it a little slower and get at least 3 full sets. I’d like to make it a goal to increase my full set number by 1, I’m not sure if that’s realistic yet. I’ll find out on Thursday. If I can’t make it a full set, then I’d like to get through the whole workout without missing a running section, even if that means lots of 1:30 sets.

Weight wise I’m still struggling. I’m hovering around 215, and depending on the day it’s either 212 or 216. I’m not super concerned about it any more. Honestly, I’d love to be 105 and a size 0 and not have to pay extra for all my clothes but I don’t see that happening. So lately I’d been focused less on how much the scale says and working on just being more fit. We’ll see how long that lasts though, lol.