Friday, June 16, 2017

The Leftovers

Someone asked me today where my "leftover tradition" came from. I tend to leave a little bit of food in the pan of the meal I've created, be it for me or me and someone else. I have a few reasons why, it turns out. Who knew my obsession with food went levels deep?

Sneaky Diet Shade
Sometimes I'll break up a single serving into two, just to make myself feel like I'm eating more or really "going back for seconds". I try to trick my brain into thinking I'm getting a treat of MORE FOOD! When I'm with someone who's watching their weight, I do the same. For some reason it makes me feel good.

I'm Cheap and Lazy
Rather than leave a single serving of pasta or a few fingerling potatoes around, I'll cook more than the amount my man and I will share. That way I'm guaranteed left overs for lunch or even later that night. If I ziplock, tie, tape or freeze any remaining ingredients, it's a surefire way to wasteland because I'll never touch those ingredients again and a future meal has been wiped out of the running.

It's My Gift to the World
Growing up, I never really had an outstanding skill. I didn't play an instrument, I wasn't inclined to play sports (though my mother would probably say I had a body like a linebacker) and I wasn't classically beautiful offering up my visage to the pedestals of prom, student government or the boys in the band.

I could cook though. When I got to college I experimented with meatballs in my dorm kitchen toaster. When I had a summer apartment, it was fresh scallops and garlic from the farmer's market in Boston. I was known for bringing rice-a-roni to dinners, but as I grew it was chili, meatballs, fancy pastas or quinoa salad friends would request.

When I cook for people, I enjoy it. I like providing someone with a sense of comfort, nourishment and relaxation. You can be YOU around me. Wanna eat ramen with your bare hands? I'm in. Need to go eat bone marrow at a fancy restaurant and have white linens and warmed hand towels? I'll lick my fingers when no one is looking.

So when I'm cooking dinner, I'm a bit vain thinking folks will want seconds of what I made. I like leaving a little bit extra for someone else even if it means I'll have less myself. It's my little treat to the person enjoying a good meal. I'm extending that feel good moment for them.

Am I weird? Maybe. Am I obsessed with food and the emotional triggers attached? Probably. Do I need to lay off the Food Network and stop spending my whole paycheck on grocery store tours? Most definitely.

But I'm still going to plan and meal prep like I'm feeding an army.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's been a while

I haven't signed into this blog in over a year. I think for a while I was so caught up in what other people were doing, what they were saying, how their journey was going etc. that I basically devoted all my energy into feeding into that desire --of seeing life through someone else's eyes-- instead of my own. I need to work things out in my head.

It's been a crazy few years. I'm approaching the big 4-0 and am finding it hard to come to terms with that. I feel the restrictions my body is putting on me now. And I don't like it. But I persist. I run with chafed thighs or lady parts, I squat with sore knees and do lateral raises with a shoulder housing tendinitis. I should get a tattoo of Motrin on my ass.

I have my heroes like Erin Brown, Nia Shanks, Molly Galbraith and Amber Rogers to keep me going for inspiration, resources and motivation. I'm thankful during my time avoiding my own voice I found these phenomenal women who really took up space in this world and shared their great perspectives. It's like a voice of reason in a sea of Instabootygrams and cleanses and juices and kitten mitten (intermittent) fasting.

I self-sabotage a lot. I know I should be doing more cardio. I know I need to curb my wine drinking and take my vitamins. Do I? No. I know better but I also want to defy the expectations of what "I'm supposed to do" at this age. It's not very smart, I'll admit.

We'll see if writing out my thoughts helps me get a clearer picture in the gym. I need my mojo back.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Success is Never a Straight Line

I'm reaching the point where I can finally start to see some progress. It's strange, when others notice it too. I've been spending this month oddly proud and somewhat embarrassed. I was chosen by my health coach and gym to be their "member of the month". I wanted to make sure my blurb talked about persistence and really overcoming obstacles. I feel like that's all I've had. My write up mentions a few things I can now do (push ups, tricep dips), things I've done (lost some weight, gained some muscle) and some challenges I've had (car accident, surgeries etc). I will admit, it's a bit odd to see my picture in various corners of the gym. Thank god no one has approached me about it -- only my coworkers who also go to the gym there.

My shoulder and arm are still bothering me so I've been back to running and squatting. I've tried to pick up the dead lifts again too, as long as my back plays along nicely. I'm still mad at myself for not getting to a yoga class yet. I desperately need to stretch and my hamstrings/hip flexors pretty much want to stab me in the heart with a spoon. 

I'm feeling more and more like my old self again, and motivated. It's becoming more and more apparent how depressed I was and living under a cloud during 2012-2013. Things really picked up in late 2014, when I think my body finally started to balance out and my mind joined my team, instead of going against me. 

I've seen some friends come and go in their fitness journey. There have been good and bad times, personal records and times of being benched. I've been through it all too. I've been jealous in the past while I was recovering watching the posts of people always at the gym, their favorite class or doing fitness "double headers". I felt like it made the down time even worse, it was a FOMO for fitness. 

This image pretty much displays what the journey is. It's never a straight line. It's not easy. It takes a LONG TIME. You progress, you regress. You move up, you fall down. The key is to just keep moving. Now my scale isn't telling me great things, but fitting into pants from 3 years ago does. When I see a waist and wings where back fat used to be, that makes me feel better. 
path to fitness success

I've got my own road map as well that I track in my phone with these blog posts or pictures like the one here. The left is December, the right is this past week. It's not a huge difference, but changes are being made. I definite look more optimistic in the right too.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, stick with it. Six months from now you'll have a new bookmark in the journey. Look, I'm like a motivational speaker now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Circus Pants

Things are just moving along in my world. I've still been consistent with my workouts and true to my promise of wearing loud(er) pants to the gym. My latest obsession are these wonderful orange ass spirals. (They aren't on the seller's website currently so I can't link to them - sorry! )
 I call them my circus pants. You really can't miss me when I wear them. I am not hiding in the gym anymore! They are particularly fun on leg day, that I will tell you.

I've been at a little plateau lately. I've been too lenient with myself and while I can feel myself getting stronger, my pants are not any looser. I'm standing in my own way, really. I enjoy my wine, I eat some carbs and have a life, so this process is taking a really long time, but it's all because of decisions I have consciously made. 

That being said, cardio has been upped to 4 mile runs when I do them and I'm trying to incorporate more intervals in my workouts. My enemy the burpee is back and I've had to re-learn how to do a "real push up". I've gone from doing almost 20 push ups in a row to about 10. I realized my form was off, my elbows were out way too much and I wasn't working my triceps as much as I could have been doing. 

I'm trying to actually follow a workout routine instead of just winging it at the gym. I've decided on this:








Strength – Push 15 min warm up 4x10 -Any db press -Push ups -Dips or tricep push downs -Skull crushers Strength 15 minute warmup Lower Body Pt. 1 -Squats (bar or goblet) -Leg extensions -Leg press -Deadlifts Moderate Cardio Run 4 mi 120 -150 bpm Strength- Pull 15 min warmup 4x10 -Wide grip pull down -Close grip pull down -Seated Low Row -Face pull or bent over row HIIT Running sprints or stair master or squat circuit Strength Lower Body pt. 2 -Squats (bar or goblet) -Leg curls -Walking lunges -Single leg press, calf raises Small circuit, abs or rest
It changes depending on my schedule, but for the most part I am trying for an even split and not kill myself with cardio. I can't go into beast mode since I'm in a calorie deficit and my stupid back/shoulder/forearm issues, so slow and steady. Weights are light for upper body and I'm doing 4 sets of things instead of 3. I welcomed back my old friend the plank and the wall sit again as well. 

I do see some baby biceps remaining and even though I do not have the body I want, my hair gave me some crazy body for the workout this morning. Also bewbs.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mini Milestone

It's been about 8 years since I have been able to run 1 mile in under 10 minutes. I didn't wake up thinking this was the day or that I'd even try. I just knew it was leg day, and I wanted to run 1 mile as my warm up.  Maybe it was the pre-workout beverage I drank giving me the extra initiative, but I just got on that treadmill, walked one minute and started running. I kept cranking up my speed every few minutes and by the last 3, I was running 7 mph. 
The last time I even attempted this was 2006 I believe, when I decided to train for a half marathon. Of course I was 8 years younger and a few surgeries shy, but the fact that I could complete it this morning gave me a little glimmer of hope of the year to come. 

Afterwards, I was glad to see the squat rack free. I managed to get in about 6 rounds of 6-8 reps starting with 2 rounds of just the bar at 10 reps. It went 45-65-85. I'm still taking it easy and not going full weight (95lb or above). I headed over to the free weight section and grabbed a 35# barbell and did some lunges, good mornings and ass-to-grass squats. I did side lunges and then 2 sets of 20 rapid fire squats til burn out. Needless to say, it was hard for me to walk down the gym stairs to the locker room. 

We had free lunch at work today so I refrained from going crazy, but I did indulge in half a mini burrito and a piece of chocolate cake. I ain't even gonna sweat it, because I was dripping sweat this morning. Eat the food, lift the things.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Trackin' Wagon

Well, 2015 is in full effect and I'm back on the wagon. Fun time is over, as said best by Red Foreman.
Mmm poke.
I let myself have a week off for vacation. No tracking, highly caloric booze intake, carbs were eaten, long walks were had and though I indulged, I also made smart choices throughout my fun times. Even though I did partake in some loco moco in Hawaii, I also enjoyed a fantastic tuna poke and avocado salad as well for dinner one night. I'm sure it doesn't make up for the amount of Mai Tais I had every day starting around 2pm. While they were delicious, I could totally tell the sugar and juice intake were going to be the death of me. That, and when you eat out at a restaurant, food is so much saltier than when made at home. I felt like a giant salt lick a couple of times, but it was worth it. 

While it was a beach vacation, I didn't bust out into my usual hives thinking about getting into a bathing suit like I usually do. I actually wore a two-piece...twice! Sure I refused to wear a non-skirt bottom and never pranced around a populated area, but I tried to relax and not give a flying fuck what people thought of me, or what I was happy/unhappy with. That worked for the most part, but I was still self-conscious and picking apart images like these with thoughts of how much farther I have to go. But you know what? Do you know the major non-scale victory here? I ALLOWED myself to be photographed like this. In daylight. Without my face covered. By my boyfriend. Thar she blows, my belly, in all its glory. Also, my belly button is now huge. I blame the hernia surgery for that one. Grrr.

The day after we got back, I hit the gym and ran 4 miles. I chugged a ton of water. We were leaving for a wine tasting trip in Central Coast the next day, so I had to do something. I overindulged yet again and didn't track ANY thing on myfitnesspal, but sometimes you need to do that. I met with my health coach yesterday and had to face the music. I got on the scale and was pleasantly surprised.

According to her metrics, I actually lost .2lbs. My fat percentage went up (I knew it would) and my muscle LOSS was a sad 3 pounds, but I can get that back soon I think. I managed to run 4 miles again in under 45 minutes on Tuesday, which is a time I have not seen in YEARS. This gives me hope. My body seemed to be bouncing back from excess instead of harboring onto it like an old Russian woman with a grudge. 

Today I tried a day of strength training, it's been a few weeks. My shoulder and tendinitis still give me pain, so I'm going super light on the weights and trying to maintain. I meet with my trainer for some circuit training tonight after work and I'm dreading it. I don't think I can go through a hellish workout tonight and not pay for it...oy. 

Overall, I think I'm back on track. I logged back into myfitnesspal and it's back to meal prep. I have a goal to lose 2 lbs by next weigh-in, putting me in the 160's. I haven't seen that range in 2 years. I'm going to see if I can run 4 miles now instead of the usual 3 I do for my cardio. It's time to up the game.

In other news, I may actually sign up for my first nutrition class at a nearby college. It's only a seminar/overview of the curriculum, but I gotta start somewhere. I'm also getting my CPR certification this weekend. This is all crap I should've done 2 years ago, but better late than never.

Also, say hi to Richard. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hungry Like the Wolf

Perhaps I should title my 2015 entries as 80s songs? Alas, too much pressure.

I just finished my lunch. I'm amazed at myself that I only hate 75% of it, considering I was starving around an hour ago. I don't claim to know everything about weight loss, but I know one thing, I'm trying to not stress about what I eat. I'm also trying really hard to listen to my hunger cues, as well as my "I'm full even though there's food left!" cues.

I had a smoothie today for breakfast along with a skinny caramel latte from the 'bucks. See, I drink caffeine AND have dairy. I chugged my water and got wrapped up in work and by 12 I was starving. I know I'm heading to a happy hour tonight (see, I DRINK too!) so I'm trying to budget my calories. I tried to keep within a normal range of carbs since it's my day off from the gym and I don't need a TON of calories, but I need enough to help me recover and feed my muscles. See, it's about balance.

I'm trying to not count calories or obsess over things, but I figured out my calorie intake via this handy online Calorie Calculator. I'm basically eating at a 20% deficit right now, which would equal about .9lbs loss a week. This is pretty much on point based on your goals. It's a LOT less than what I was eating before, and I don't want to restrict anymore, so I hope I don't plateau for a while.

I had brought some cheese and crackers to munch on today (portioned out) but haven't touched them yet. I had some tomato soup with a small square of focaccia (bread!) and some chopped chicken breast to throw on a bed of butter lettuce. Doesn't seem like much, but I couldn't finish the soup to my surprise. I was just kind of...done. So I here I sit, staring at my perfectly portioned 8 pita crisps (omg, carbs!) and cheese and feel ok without them. I may not even eat my meal bar for a late snack either.Normally I go by the "If I have it, I'm gonna eat it" mentality, but today I'm not. This is a big step. I may not be this way tomorrow, but for today I'll take it.

I weighed myself this morning on MY scale, and it was only a pound off from the I guess I feel ok knowing I am indeed losing weight. While eating real food. Imagine that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I get so emotional, baby

Today I met with one of my "health coaches" to check in at the gym. This is just someone that is a part of my cheerleading team, like the bf, or my trainer in this journey to get back to a place where I am happy.

I got weighed and lost a few more pounds since our last weigh in. This is a huge victory considering I've been drinking my normal amount, the holidays came and went and I had my own little treats and indulgences here and there. I also felt like a salt lick a few days here and there, but a small loss is a big win for me.

Per usual, I can't be 100% happy. I don't trust it. I don't trust it's working, even though I am seeing results. My scale at home does not match the scale at the gym. When I'm naked and standing on it in the morning, it is not the same as the number in the gym. It's heavier by at least 1.5lbs. Is this some mean way the universe is playing with me?

I started to get emotional in that little cramped room on the second floor of the gym. I could hear the instructor teaching Zumba a few doors down and the thumping of bad pop music through the walls made me feel like a bad after school special. Jenny, Eat Something, or Billy, Don't Tell seems to be the way my story is playing out. My movie title could be Jessica, Love Yourself. I know I'm hard on myself. I get it. I know I gotta stop comparing myself to the me from 3 years ago. I am a different person. I am in a different time, and many different things have happened to me along the way. There is no way, physically or mentally, I can be the girl in this picture again.

I need to come to terms with the fact that it's OK. I can be better. I can be different. I can be bigger, I can be smaller. And it's fine. I like my hair better now anyway. I can be buff, beautiful and bitchin' another way, another day.

We talked about goals, and what my motivations were on this journey. I had actually been thinking about that this weekend. Why am I doing this? Why am I pushing so hard? Why am I up at the crack of dawn 6 days a week to get my ass to the gym? It's like I'm protecting myself from something. I'm trying to build a wall around some unforeseeable next catastrophe or accident or injury that I am sure is coming my way. I'm walking around waiting for the other shoe to drop on me, which I know is ridiculous. I'm building strength and endurance to endure whatever life is going to throw at me.

The stronger I am, the more lung capacity I have, the better I can protect, recover and repair myself. This is my thinking. I'm also thinking down the road when I'm an old lady and I want to be able to carry my groceries, run 5ks in a tutu and be able to lift gallons of milk over my head like a granny She-Hulk. Only I won't be a grandma, I'll just be a buff lil old lady who can take care of herself. That's my ultimate goal I guess. It's neither good or bad, it just is what it is.

I had to stop myself from crying a bit today. Coming to terms with things on this "weight loss journey" is part of the process. Finding out what got me here, what makes me stay here and where I want to be after is all part of the plan. Sometime it's not so pleasant or warm and fuzzy and wrapped in loud yoga pants. It's red faced, blotchy, hive-y and tearful. And tiresome. I am so very tired, but I will keep pushing.

11.6 pounds lost since November 5th. 6% body fat gone. Let's see what the next few months bring.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Here we go again...

Well, well, well. I'm finally free and clear. The holidays are over. I seriously can't stand the time from November 1 to December 31st. The pressure, the expectations, the comparisons, the time off or lack there of, the temptations, the money being spent etc...It's just such a drain on me. I'm spent.

I don't travel during the holidays and my family phone calls home require a heavy dose of patience or several glasses of wine prior to dialing and I'm just...over it all. New Year's Eve was no exception. When I phoned home and all 3 members of my immediate family were soused beyond belief, I was annoyed and they were incredibly tiresome to talk with. It just cemented my choice to stay in, not drink heavily myself and have a quiet evening. It made me a bit sad too, but that's another post for another time.

On the upside, I managed to come out of the holiday blur 8 pounds lighter. This in itself is a major victory. There would have more pounds shed, but yes, wine was drunk, carbs were eaten and every day was not spent at the gym. I'm happy with what I've been able to do after stalling for so long. I could have been drinking more water and I haven't been as strict with my meal plan, but now all the excuses are out the window, just like 2014. Good riddance!

Now comes the onslaught of gym newbs hogging all the cardio machines, all the proclamations of new year's diets, cleanses, restrictions and the like on social media or media in general. I just have to tune it out. Already healthy people denying themselves or "challenging" themselves to more restrictive eating and encourage orthorexia just aggravates me. My own BF is not exempt either. It's tough to live with someone who comments on every carb, has to "move or be active" every day and just doesn't understand the concept of REST periods longer than a day.

Seriously. First 2015 meme created by ME.

Since I'm dealing with two injuries now, I have to take it easy and practice self-care moreso than ever. This doesn't mean I'm not going to the gym, I just have to know my limitations. I went a little hog wild on New Year's Day and worked out for 2 hours. Mostly cardio, but I attempted some weights which I shouldn't have. It's just hard when I'm there, seeing things I want to do, feel a bit ok and push myself too far too soon. Hello ibuprofen my old friend...and steam rooms...and pain patches....and heating pads. Lesson learned. I started out strong, then got a bit upset and let down at the aftermath of it all.

Here I am again, a new year with new goals. Another year will go by in the blink of an eye. I look forward to this time next year and to see what changes have happened.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wrap it Up 2014

When I last checked in, (over a month ago, eek!) I had some goals to cut down on my wine intake. Let's be honest, it's the holidays, and going cold turkey was not going to happen. It didn't happen. I'm ok with it. What I did do, was practice more moderation and it worked. I made an effort to not go hog wild at a Christmas brunch even, bringing a water bottle to hydrate between sips of bad champagne. The BF even noticed. I'm growing.

I started out strong in December.  I lost about 6 lbs from the beginning of November and my coach was impressed. I was working out, lifting weights, cutting back to one glass of wine a night and eating less at night, along with eating earlier at night. This worked wonders. Simple, doable steps.

Then, for some reason, mid-December and Christmas week hit and I was sort of hanging on by a pinky toe on the wagon. I wasn't fully off, but I was pretty damn close. I had happy hours. I gained a pound or two, I lost that pound or two. I haven't lost any weight in two weeks and I guess I'm ok with that. I logged my weight today and it was the same as last time. That is a victory in my book. I've loosened the grip on the diet program and snuck some more wine in there. I bought cheese. I didn't have any cheese in the house for about 5 weeks. Then, suddenly I was the proud owner of lite Irish cheddar, mozzarella, and light shredded mozzarella. Some of which was under the guise of "But I want that for new years!" or "I need it for that Christmas monkey bread I'm making!" And so it went, and so it goes...It's still sitting there in my fridge and if I want a little piece, I have it. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. The last few days of the year I refuse to stress about the weight though.

The fates threw me for another loop this month, in terms of showing me my age or lack of form in lifting perhaps. My right arm tendinitis will not go away, and I've seemingly stressed my rotator cuff, which in turn has created a sharp pain in my right clavicle muscle (my subclavius). I can't put any pressure on my right side (no side planks), I can't carry weights down (tendinitis) and I can't lift weights UP on my right side (any dumbbell work), so I pretty much am off the lifting program for a good two weeks...just to start. This hurts, both physically and mentally. I won't whine about it, but it just sucks to start the new year off maimed.

We're also planning a quick getaway to Hawaii in a few weeks and I was hoping to confidently strut my stuff and award tickets to the gun show to passerbys on the beach, but alas, my guns are shrinking. Pew pew. I've started to just focus on cardio and befriend my arch-nemesis-- the stair master--again. I'm just alternating between that, the elliptical (again, gripping is an issue for righty) and jogging. All of which I still have to take into consideration the repetitive movements and gauge how my shoulder/arm reacts to it. Wah. The struggle is real.

All in all, I'm sustaining, but on a modified routine. Starting in January, I will be back on track. We have no plans for New Year's, so my "goal" dress will have to be pushed to a later date. I fit into it (a medium nonetheless!) but have nowhere to wear a backless, lace dress on the fly. However, we ARE having a dinner and show in February to see my favorite Rufus Wainwright, so perhaps I will put my phone on vibrate and make fancy for him. To be continued...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cutting out Wine to Lose Weight

Ok, so this is one thing I simply won't do. At least for now. Let me whine about my wine for a bit. Call me crazy, say I don't "want it bad enough" or have no self-control, but I love my glass (or 2) of wine at night. The past 5 days though, I have been very good and only had 1 glass per night. Well, there was one night I had two, but I hadn't eaten as much during the day and I just simply wanted some more.

The one thing about diets I hate is the restriction. I hate authority. Well, I hate shitty authority, but if I know if it's for my best interest, I'll deal with it. Same with diets. I know that I can cut out drinking and lower caloric intake, but I also know I've lost weight while indulging on it as well. Balance is key, as it is with everything else in life.

I'm not noticing any dramatic changes or shifts in my mentality though. I eat my dinner before my wine so I can digest it first, then I drink tons of water. This is making it hard for me to sleep through the night with a gallon of pee knocking on heaven's door at 3 am. I am nursing that one glass though as well. I'm really appreciating it and letting it stretch out for a good 30 minutes.

I will have my weigh in for week one on Monday. Since I don't plan on going hog-wild this weekend like last weekend, I'm optimistic of the scale. I think taking baby steps to not drinking wine every night is important. I want to gradually feel the need less and less rather than have the glass ripped out of my hand. My next step is to choose 1 day a week where I do NOT have wine. I will have to pick this day very carefully, that's all I can say.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sticking to a Weight Loss Program

I woke up 2 pounds lighter today but I'm not going to get too excited. That is the equivalent of a lot of water, a ton of wine or maybe a giant bowel movement. I could be up 3 tomorrow, who knows. It was nice to see the scale actually move though, but I'm not going crazy until at least I'm out of the 180's.

I realized today that even though I plan meticulously and dabble in a bunch of programs (both eating and workout related), I've never really followed one to the T. Back in the day, I tried Atkins and South Beach. And while I was 10 years younger and 20 pounds lighter, it worked for me then, but it won't work for me now. It also wasn't sustainable.

A few years ago I had joined Weight Watchers. Again, while it worked for some friends famously, it did not work for me. I already ate healthily and exercised a lot and the program just didn't seem to boost me past any plateau I had hit. It was also a little too easy for me to have things just because "my points allowed it".

I don't believe in excluding anything from your diet unless you have a medical reason. That being said, I gave up booze for a bit (let's be honest - 10 days), I tried going gluten-free when it was still trendy and I punished myself by trying to go dairy free to lose weight. I even did some crazy woo-filled "Candida Cleanse" I succumbed to after being at home too long and reading too much on the internet. All that ended up happening was that I resented whatever program I was on and inevitably bounced right back to my normal eating habits, and tacked on some forbidden snacks that I had missed in the interim. You know, because I deserved it.

I trained for a half marathon two years ago and lost a bit of my weight. I tried out boxing, couldn't stick with it due to surgery. I tried out Bikram yoga. It didn't light the heated flame under my ass hot enough to commit to that either. I had tried Jamie Eason's Live Fit Trainer for a while to get into weight lifting and enjoyed her "eat the food/lift the things" approach to life. The thing is, I'm not a body builder. While I loved the fact she tells you to meal prep (which I DO still do) and eat 6 x a day, it wasn't helping me lose weight.

This is not to say I won't go back to it when I am ready. I think the program is great for beginners who want to learn their way around the weight sections of the gym or for folks who have the time. Phase 3 was daunting and I don't have over an hour to spend at the gym every day, but if it works for you, hurray! I think it helped me plan out my meals and eat for strength, but not for fat loss. I believe I've been eating at maintenance for a while now. Combined with my wine intake, I was probably evening out the amount I drank in calories a week to the amount I burned. No wonder I wasn't losing.

While it's still early in the program that I am on, I can see myself making changes for the better and sticking with it for a while. Already, I'm drinking more water and I'm eating dinner earlier. I'm drinking ONE glass of wine, compared to my nightly 2.5. I'm eating a LOT less, but not starving. These are simple things, I know. Yet these are things I was not doing. I can still bench press and squat 95#, but I'm not going to go for strength gains until I lose some fat first. My main goal is to lean out, but not lose my muscle.

I really wonder if there is such a thing as "jump-starting your metabolism" and if I am really "carb-sensitive" but only time will tell. I feel like for the past few years I've tried all sorts of programs, or combined bits from several into my own, or just tried focusing on too many things at once. I've never just stuck with one goal, one program and one process. I'm optimistic something good will come of this round. Let's see how I feel next week...