Weekend Weigh-in

{01/31/2010}   Long Torso Swimsuit
I need a swimsuit to wear on vacation with my family. I have a few requirements: I need something that will look right on my long (and yes, wide) torso, and it needs to be one piece. (I’ll be going to a water park and don’t want any awkward moments!)

So I googled swimsuit long torso, and a few hits came up. I’m surprised by how customizable some of these are! I decided to rock with the Lands’ End Scoopneck Tugless Tank in “Vivid Cobalt.” But I just wanted to say: Good job, Lands’ End! Its customization is beyond short / regular / long torso; it even has options for women who have had mastectomies. It’s awesome that major brands like Lands’ End are providing styles for women who need that option.

A very versatile swimsuit

My Easy Tone shoes came in the mail last night! Reebok claims that the style has “balance ball technology” in the soles to work your calves an extra 11% and your ass an extra 28%. Despite this, my first impression is that they aren’t particularly difficult to walk in, although I do feel slightly less balanced than usual.

Still, they aren’t as comfortable as other shoes. The Easy Tone has a cushy insole like other tennis shoes, but it didn’t come up to my high arches. Now I’m not sure if it was the insole (which I’m sure could be replaced with Dr. Scholl’s if need be) or the soles, but my feet didn’t feel flat on the ground. Consequently, when I first put them on, my feet felt tense instead of refreshed.

I wore these all day without any major trippin’ (success!!) even up and down the many steps of a local art college. I also went to the gym and rode the stationery bike for just over 20 minutes. I got off when my toes started to go numb (what’s that about?). But later this afternoon, I could definitely feel the extra 11% aching in my calves from that brief bike ride. I don’t feel the 28% as much, but in all fairness, I worked my 11% harder today.

my new kicks

Tickers are a great way to visualize weight loss. Even if I were to backtrack, this would motivate me because I could still see the net progress toward my goal. Here are a few options:

  • The Ticker Factory

    • PROS:
      • Provides options to track BMI and waist circumference in addition to weight.
      • Simple to update: Just click on it and enter your password.
      • Lots of graphics and backgrounds to choose from.
      • Provides code for using ticker on a dark or light background so that the text will be visible.
    • CONS:
      • Images are not categorized — you might go through 16 pages before finding the one you want.
      • Website feels dated; Ticker Factory has been around for years, and it doesn’t look like much has changed.
    • NOTE:
      • Not just for weight loss: Provides ticker options for other timelines such as pregnancy due dates, vacation countdowns and debt reduction progress.

Created by MyFitnessPal – Free Calorie Counter

  • MyFitnessPal

    • PROS:
      • You can upload your own picture for the background image.
    • CONS:
      • Only 8 premade (non-custom photo) options.
      • Site advertising (graphic and text) is much more overt on this ticker than on the other two examples.
      • You can enter your weight as a decimal (e.g. 172.2), but your weight loss will still show up as a whole number (1 pound instead of 1.4).
http://www.my-calorie-counter.com     The webs free Food Log
  • my-calorie-counter

    • PROS:
      • Easy to update the data for your code because no log-in is required. In fact, you don’t even have to revisit the website — you can edit the code using basic HTML.
      • Easy to change the look of your ticker because you create a new one every time you update your weight from the website.
      • Did you see my example? It’s a skunk on barbed wire. Hardcore!
    • CONS:
      • No record of your past numbers because you don’t log in.
      • Does not provide an option to choose lighter text for use on websites with dark backgrounds.
      • Choosing your starting, current and target weights from pull-down menus means that accuracy is rounded (e.g. I would have to choose 174 pounds as my starting weight rather than 173.6). You can type in a decimal weight if you edit the HTML, but unlike in Ticker Factory, the numbers may overlap if the weights are too close to each other on the ticker.
      • For having so few images, it’s strange that several make no sense at all. Realize how possible your goals are with a flying pig! Roll with the classic “Nice Shark” (not a dolphin)!
      • There is an apostrophe missing from the slogan above the ticker. Thats just sloppy. Also, you’re measuring with “pds.”
    • NOTE:
      • In my opinion, this seems to be a very stripped down rip-off of the classic Ticker Factory. Check out the similarities of visual design; they even both use green for the goal weight. What do you think?

{01/19/2010}   Lindy Lou Who?
happy feet! My swing dance class starts back up next Monday, exciting!

I have two friends from two different universities who had been telling me how much fun swing dance is. One of them started going to classes a few nights a week plus occasional lindy hop weekends… a year or two later, he was teaching the moves! I’ve been hooked since the first lesson. I’m not the best dancer — I’m not the best at anything requiring motor skills πŸ˜‰ — but I have lots of fun, and I’m making friends.

These classes do a great job of teaching people. We have “leads” (mostly men) and “follows” (mostly women). Every class, the two teachers have either the leads or follows rotate partners every couple of minutes so everyone dances with everyone. The way I see it, this serves three purposes: 1) good dancers will help the bad dancers catch on to the moves, 2) everyone has a chance to dance with a partner, even if there are different numbers of leads and follows, and 3) switching partners disseminates teh potential awkward. Most everyone who comes to class comes without a partner, and this way people won’t stress over it.

But what if you want to ask someone to dance? Folks have the chance to ask people to dance after the lesson, when there is open practice set to music. The teachers say that this open practice is actually when people develop their skills because it’s more think-on-your-feet as opposed to repeating the same practiced steps in a lesson.

{01/17/2010}   Weekend Weigh-in #1

The first of my video weigh-ins! Visit my channel to subscribe!

173.6 pounds
78.8 kilograms
12.4 stone
BMI: 28.9

172.2 pounds
78.1 kilograms
12.3 stone
BMI: 28.7

Want to hear the true reason she lost 54 pounds? Stop listening after “daily calories” (0:02). I’ma be so skinny if I eat Fresco tacos for my Fourthmeal! πŸ˜‰

For a great dissection of the ad, see this blog from the LA Times.

My sweet fiance told me about this little girl’s wish, and it just touched my heart. His parents heard about her because she lives in a neighboring county.

There is a little girl who is 8 years old and has terminal cancer. Her wish is to get 1,000 Valentine’s Day cards. I’m sure she’d love to see some from out-of-state too!

Here’s her information:
Danielle Bartlette
260 Country Club Road
Richwood, WV 26261

Please help fulfill her wish by sending cards and passing this message along!

Don’t have a taste for “rabbit food” but want to add the nutrition of fruits and veggies to your diet? Try sneaking them into the dishes you already love for unique texture and flavor!

Svelte Bunny

Imagine chicken salad. Now imagine it’s Waldorf chicken salad. Go, imagination train! You just threw grapes in!

I love doctoring chicken salad (tuna salad, too!). I cut back on gluten by putting the salad over lettuce rather than on bread. Romaine or raw spinach leaves add lots of nutrients, but iceberg will work in a pinch. Be creative in your toppings — I’ve found that grapes, blueberries and sliced apples all work well. Sometimes I’ll even throw a few cashews on top (use sparingly).

Another easy way to add nutrition is to pick a staple. Choose something versatile that you can throw into a variety of different meals: I chose tomato. For example, I like to make instant rice dishes (ones that say that a serving or two of vegetables is included in the bag), and while the rice microwaves (I’m a master chef), I slice two tomatoes into bite-size chunks. Once the rice has finished cooking, I throw these tomato bits on top. The cool temperature as well as the flavor and texture set the tomato apart from the steamy rice, which makes for a tasty combination in each bite.

Mmm, pasta. Chef Curtis Stone made a great suggestion on this episode of The Biggest Loser: Replace half of your pasta with sliced vegetables like cooked zucchini. In his words, “Much less calorie, you still get all the benefits from the pasta, and of course, all the goodness from the vegetables.” This tasty replacement cuts 248 calories from a single serving of pasta!

Today I had craniosacral therapy. Cranio refers to your noggin, and sacral refers to your sacrum, or tailbone, so this is designed to work with the central nervous system (head and spine). It’s an experience. I’ve actually had this done once before, a couple months ago. It is an alternative treatment that is supposed to help heal stress and pain, although this is disputed.

The first time I went, I didn’t feel too different afterward. Today I went and afterward felt more relaxed and very hot. I felt like I had sweated through the back of my shirt, but I wasn’t sweating; the process had just heated up my body temperature. This is supposed to be a sign that the therapy is working. In fact, the craniosacral therapist gives out a bottle of water to each of his patients and tells them to rehydrate after such a treatment.

I arrived at the therapist’s office in a quiet office building. I wore jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt (you can wear whatever, but I’d recommend long pants). The room was small and dimly lit, with relaxing music playing from iPod speakers. I took off my glasses and shoes and laid on my back on a table covered by a soft blanket. There was no blanket over me, but I was fully clothed. There was a small wedge-shaped pillow under my knees to prop them up a bit.

The craniosacral therapist gently held his hands on various pressure points for a few minutes apiece. The pressure points he used on me were mainly on my the top and back of my head, on the bottom of my chin and on the back of my neck, although he also used other points along my spine. This was because this was where he felt the most stress from my body.

The treatment did not hurt. It feels nothing like a Swedish massage; craniosacral therapy does not work your muscles. Instead, it is supposed to realign your spine and nerves. From the anecdotal evidence I’ve heard, it’s supposed to be like shock absorption. The craniosacral therapist pulls out the pain from your pressure points. From what I’ve heard the therapist I went to does several hours of yoga a day to keep him in peak physical condition to be able to do this (and other treatments) several times a day for an hour each.

I actually fell in and out of sleep near the end of the treatment. It was very relaxing. There were a few disconcerting moments though. My body spasmed several times during the treatment; I felt my legs jolt and such. I only felt pain once, and briefly. When he had his hands on the top of my head, I felt a little pain. I feel better now though.

It has now been two and a half hours since I’ve been home. I walked / jogged with my dogs and enjoyed a bowl of cereal and a little cheddar (ok, and a few cherry jelly beans!). I still feel fairly mentally alert and awake, which seemed to come from the treatment. Physically, I don’t feel much different because I don’t have chronic pain. Usually if I get neckaches it’s because I got lazy and curled up weird in my love seat for too long.

However, I know someone who goes regularly because she says it makes her neck feel a lot better (it was damaged years ago by whiplash after she was in a car that was hit by a drunk driver). I’d like for my fiance to be able to go sometime. He also suffers from chronic pain in his legs (he has been a passenger in an absurd variety of car accidents).

I hope this gives you a decent idea of what to expect with craniosacral massage therapy. Here’s to your health!

{01/13/2010}   Help Haiti

Quick break to say…
Do something good for the world. Text β€œHAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross earthquake relief for Haiti.

Warm thoughts, love and prayers.

et cetera