Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Past Week of Yoga Challenge Photos!

This was a nice quiet week of yoga poses which was good considering how many days I spent lost in a fog of fibro pain.

Here are the poses in order of doing them:

Day Nine July Yoga Challenge - Tree Pose

Day Ten July Yoga Challenge - Eagle Pose

Day Eleven July Yoga Challenge - Cobra Pose 

Day Twelve July Yoga Challenge - Upward-Facing Dog Pose

Day Thirteen July Yoga Challenge - Plank Pose 

Day Fourteen July Yoga Challenge - Chair Pose 

Day Fifteen July Yoga Challenge - Low Lunnge Pose 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

My NASM Personal Trainer Journey - Week Ten - The Final Module - EDITED

Welcome back for part twelve of my weekly blog posts on my journey to becoming a personal trainer. Today I'm going to talk about Week Ten and how it's been going.

Week 10, the last module, was the final exam for the program. This was the one I had one chance to pass with at least an 80% in order to get my certification exam retake voucher and as you can see I passed it with a great grade!

I did a lot of studying and several retakes of the two practice exams before attempting it and I feel like I knew the material really well but it was still a relief to pass with a really good grade. I hope this is symbolic of the certification exam still to come but from all the reading and research (and YouTube video watching about the exam) that I've done I have a feeling the certification exam will be a lot harder and a lot trickier than this final was.

Once I passed the final, the real studying began. I signed up and paid for some extra practice exams through the Fitness Mentor's Website (where I also got one of the study guides that I used) because I'd rather pay a extra money now and have a better chance of passing my certification exam and a better way of being prepared, than to fail and have to retake it all again. The problem that I'm finding with these practice quizzes (I haven't actually done those exams yet, just most of the quizzes so far) is that the questions are different and appear to be a lot harder than the questions on the NASM site but, like I said, this gives me another way of studying and like I've also said all throughout this program, I'd rather be over prepared than under prepared.

I've also started working on the "NASM-CPT Study Guide" Module and, honestly, the study exam in the module was the hardest test I've take so far. It was actually a lot harder than the final exam was and it really showed me the areas I needed to focus on with my studying!

I can honestly say that I'm feeling like I'm retaining the information a lot better and I'm currently spending the majority of my days studying, taking quizzes and tests, watching YouTube videos on the info that I still need help on (like the functions of the heart), taking even more quizzes and tests on the apps I have, and studying some more. I have a feeling that this will pretty much be my life until the exam on August 2nd.

I feel like I know I lot but at the same time there is still so much I need to learn and memorize that some days I feel confident and some days I feel like I'm drowning so, I don't know.  I kind of wish I'd signed up for an earlier exam just to get it over with but at the same time, I like having a couple of extra weeks to allow me to really learn and information and memorize the parts I'm still iffy on.

Edited to add:
I changed my CPT exam to July 26th instead of August 2nd. I want to take it while the knowledge is fresh in my head so I now have 11 days until I have to take it but I feel good about that timeframe.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Updating and Editing the Plan (Both Food and Exercise)...

Yeah, it's only been a few days but I'm already editing the plan based on how I feel physically and mentally

1) The fruit isn't going to work. It's leaving me feeling bloated, messing with my stomach and my non-stop headache is back so the fruit is going away and I'm going back to my stricter form of keto. I haven't decided on the sweet potato or butternut squash yet because I haven't tried them out but as of now the plan is to keep them at really small portion sizes so they fit into under 50 net grams of carbs.

Luckily I can still have berries (in carefully measured amounts) and I really like them so I'm good there. I figured it would be an experimental thing that might not work for me so I'm not totally disappointed in this. My body just doesn't like to deal with sugar in most forms I guess and that's how it is. I actually feel more like binging after eating the fruit as well so I think it doesn't work for me all around and I can live with that.

2) I'm definitely going with the Lauren Gleisberg workouts but I will also be playing with them. There are several exercises I need to switch out anyway due to my back acting up and I want to add in others that she doesn't include in her workouts. Basically, her workout is my template but I can add and subtract as I choose and I'm really excited about this. It's liking having the best of both worlds!

I'll be starting with the Beginner Phase of her Gym Weight Training 1.0 workout and I can't wait to get going! The entire workout plan should take a total of 12 weeks (give or take some due to life) so I think I'll do my measurements and body fat % testing 6 weeks into it and then at the end of the 12 weeks but we'll see what happens.

I still plan on starting at the gym tomorrow and I'm also considering tomorrow my new Day 1 not because I've cheated (because I haven't) but if I'm restarting a more strict version of keto then I want to start fresh. It makes sense to me to do it that way so that's what I'm going with.

And, as always, there's a lot of studying going on and I think it's actually going really well! I'm starting to feel more confident in my knowledge but not to the point where I'm getting cocky about it so I think I'm in a good spot. I'll have my weekly blog about all that tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday Weigh-In - July 12th - Keto New Start - Week Zero

Thursday Weigh-In - July 12th:                       
06/26/2015 Starting Weight:       230 lbs
07/12/2018:                              163.6 lbs
Total lost Since 06/26/15:         -66.4 lbs
Days Cheat-Free:                          0 days

Today begins Day 1 of my year of healthy eating using keto. I posted all the important information yesterday so this is going to be a pretty short post but I did want to clarify a few things.

While I am upping my net carbs some (on the days that I want to add in some fruit/sweeter veggies) I still plan to keep it under 50 total grams of carbs which, I believe, will allow me to keep calling it "keto" rather than "low carb" so that's what I'm going with.

I'm also still not sure on how my headaches and fibro flares will behave with added fruit so I'm going to keep a close eye on that and drop back to lower carb amounts if I see if negatively affecting my pain levels. I think the next couple of weeks will be experimental weeks to see what kind of healthy carbs and sugars I can and can't physically handle but it's still staying within official keto levels. I'll just have to try it out and find out as I go.

I am really happy the scale actually didn't go up since last week (and surprised to be honest) but I'll take it!

Today is starting off well with healthy food and good choices and I'm just going to take it one day at a time. This is a long journey and not a race and that's how I'm going to treat it!

And now, studying, studying and then some more studying!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

It's Not Just About Weight Loss Anymore, It's About Health - Edited, Updated and Reposted

I've spent a lot of this past weekend and early week (when I wasn't studying) thinking about keto, low carb, exercise, whole foods, fibromyalgia, pain, headaches, weight loss, health, exercise and where I want to go from here on out for all of that.

I was away from home this past weekend which gave me a slightly different perspective (and had me eat some foods I didn't plan for and not really track well :/) and I also rewatched "The Magic Pill" keto documentary because I knew it would help get me on the right track.

What I've come to realize is that it's not only sugar alcohols that set off my fibro flares lately, it's a lot of processed foods in general. I thought it was higher carbs but that's not it, its the kind of carbs they are. The more processed the food, the worse it gets. The majority of the time it's the sugar alcohols (especially Erythritol although I seem to do okay with Stevia in small amounts) but other factors are starting to contribute. Like, I tend to be in more pain after having the Atkins shakes and the PowerCrunch bars than if I'm consuming natural foods.

I'm also coming to a point where it's really not about weight loss anymore. I mean, yeah, I'd love to lose some more weight but I think my health needs to be the high priority now especially as I don't even have an official goal weight anymore because I don't know what it should be.

Like I've posted on here before, I'd way rather focus on lowering my body fat and dropping inches than looking at the number on the scale. I'd love to get away from the scale altogether but mentally I don't see that happening any time soon.

But in order to do all this, in order to be really healthy, I need to change how I eat. Not leave keto because keto works best for my body, but turn it into a more "whole foods" keto or low carb type of meal plan. The problem lies in wanting to add in more fruits and veggies which, I think, would make me more low-carb than keto.

For example, I had watermelon over the weekend. Yummy, yummy, cold, sweet watermelon and it tasted amazing. There were brownies too but I wanted watermelon way, way more (which is huge for me to begin with). Did it raise my blood sugar because it's high on the glycemic scale? I'm sure it did. Was it healthy and delicious? Yes it was was. Did it hurt me in any way just because it wasn't a keto food but I had it anyway? I really doubt that.

And that's what it comes down to right now. The foods that I truly miss aren't pizza, pasta, cookies and bread (although, let's be honest, there are days I could kill for a piece of fresh, warm homemade bread). The foods I miss and crave are watermelon, sweet potato, butternut squash, plums, cherries, pears, etc and none of of those foods are bad for me! They're natural, whole foods. They're not going to hurt me.

Sure, they'll kick me out of ketosis but does that even matter to me any more? And, speaking of ketosis, the keto-mojo definitely needs to go. I used it for 3 days before the obsessive voice in my head whispering "quick, cut out the watermelon, berries and baby carrots to drop your ketones right now!!" came back with a vengeance so I definitely can not keep trying to use it. My brain just can't deal with it and that's how it is.

So anyway, ketosis. I know I'm not in it anymore. I might not have the official "keto" label anymore if I follow through with this plan but I think I'll be happier giving up the label and allowing those foods back in (in moderation) than to keep struggling and wishing I can have them. Or maybe it does still count as "keto." I think it all depends on who you talk too. Strict keto seems to be 20 grams of carbs and under but "officially" it's 50 grams and under which is my plan so I'm going to try and not obsess about the title and just go with what works for me.

I'm so tired of processed stuff and I know it's making my body sick and leaving me in pain so the only thing to do is to change that. I also know that I have the least amount of pain when I stick to natural, whole foods and more pain when I deal with alcohol sugars and all sorts of other crud.

I still want to remain low carb. I plan to still keep it at 50 whole carbs (or maybe some days net, I don't know yet. The limit is currently set as 50 total). As I said before, I lost almost all my weight at about 33-45 net grams of carbs (give or take a few) so I know weight loss works for me at those levels but I also know I feel really good at less carbs than that. I've gone under 20 net before and it went pretty well (except some obsessing) so not every day will be the same.

And fruit and veggies don't make me binge or crave more sugar. That's the big difference between those natural carbs and sugars for me versus the artificial ones.

I still want to keep it high-ish fat and really work on getting in healthy proteins and I still want to stay away from simple carbs and sugars. All I want to change is how I look at food and what kind of fruits and veggies I allow in. And I still want to stay away from cheat days.

In fact, I want to commit myself to this for an entire year including over the holidays and Christmas. I know that will make our Christmas food very different this coming year but I've committed to other ways of sticking to healthy choices before, but I've never tried a year and I really want to.

Knowing this, we actually had some Chinese food and cake earlier this week (so, yeah, the scale is very likely to go up tomorrow) and, honestly, I was able to have one piece of cake before it started making me sick because of how sweet it was and the Chinese food was okay but I could have done without it and I think I can do without it over the holidays. Plus if I plan carefully enough I can find some recipes for some holiday keto/low carb meals that will fit my plan and taste amazing!

I've been doing some research and I found a great keto site, with recipes that seem to be based around whole foods so I plan to do a lot of reading there. I think I can manage to try out at least one new recipe a week (especially with Charles' help) and the rest can come from veggies, meat, seafood, chicken and fruit.

I have had an "off" week so tomorrow is my official Day 1 again but I'm okay with that. The scale will likely go up but I'm okay with that too because I know tomorrow is a new day.

I've also been thinking a lot of about the gym and what I want to accomplish there and, as of now, I think I'm starting the LG plan again on Saturday (I'm crazy busy until then). I know I keep going back and forth but that's the one I'm really leaning toward right now but tomorrow I might be leaning toward my own plan again so I think I'll just decide when the day gets here. Either way I'll be doing some kind of workout and that's what counts!

I know all of this will take some time and work but I honestly think it'll be the best thing for my body in the long run. And, of course, if things start to go wrong with the additional carbs I will reconsider and replan as I go!

I hope I haven't missed anything I wanted to talk about but if I did I'm sure I'll be blogging more soon!