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I’m Brooke & I’m Obese

There was something peaceful about writing that title. It doesn’t sugar coat the fact that my BMI is 37, and I need to urgently focus on my health before it’s too late.

I care about myself. I want better for myself. I NEED better for myself.

Sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me. AKA – I’m a notorious emotional eater. I will find any excuse to eat my feelings. Not even the sad feelings, but also happy ones. It’s a tough truth to come to, but it’s part of my journey to get better. Food and I have a serious love hate relationship. I hate it until I get hungry, and then all bets are off.

So What’s the Plan, Man?

  • After many inconsistent attempts at trying Weight Watchers, I will rejoin and be consistent and proactive.
  • I will incorporate fitness into my life more than just becoming a gym rat. I want increase walks with my dog and focus on different kinds of fun activities like yoga and cardio drumming.
  • I want this journey to overall feel effortless and non-restricting. I want to be happy about what I am doing and what I am eating. Otherwise, old habits will creep back up.

There is something about blogging this journey that has me more inspired than just doing it by myself. I want my readers to not feel alone when they first start trying to lose weight and get fit. I want to share my success as well as share my failures with you (In hopes that you can avoid them).

From week 1 to week ?, I will share the meals I ate, the activities I participated in, and hopefully the weight I lost.

I look forward to all the positive changes, and hope you’ll tag along too!

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed dietitian and this journey is done at my own discretion. Please consult your doctor with the best options for you, and please be safe.

Week 3, 4, & 5 : My WW Journey

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a minute, but I’m so happy to report on some great success within the last few weeks.

If you’re like me, the end of the year is total madness. I can’t believe we are approaching Thanksgiving. I could have sworn that Halloween was just last week. Even though I’ve been insanely busy with traveling, being sick, house repairs, and holiday prepping, I am happy to report weight loss for the last 3 weeks! Let’s jump into it.

At week 2, I weighed in at 232lbs, and on 11/16 I weighed in at 229.8lbs. This is a total loss of 2.2lbs!

Here is a snapshot of my week by week updates starting at week 3 and ending at week 5.

Week 3 Update:

On 11/02, I weighed in at 230.8lbs. This was a loss of -1.2lbs from week 2!

Wins –

  • I made a point to buy my Halloween candy at the last minute. This allowed me to avoid as much sugar temptation as possible.
  • Consistently ate throughout the day. This was a challenge I had in week 2. I would get so busy with work and forget to eat lunch. This week I remembered, and the results show.

Challenges –

  • As it gets colder, I find myself craving a lot more carbs. Halloween was especially cold and rainy. I ended up eating a few too many slices of pizza, and a bit of Halloween candy.
  • I also got sick and was particularly unmotivated to get to the gym or eat clean and healthy. I still tried my best though!

Week 4 Update:

On 11/06, I weighed in at 230.2lbs. This was a loss of -0.6lbs from week 3!

*I’d like to note that week 4 weigh in was only a few days after my week 3 weigh in. I did this, because I was traveling to Vegas and needed to get my weigh in accounted for before leaving. *

Wins –

  • I consistently ate throughout the day.
  • I made a point to walk to/from my work from the parking garage.
  • I ate all deliciously healthy food! I didn’t go out or splurge my points on ice cream or anything crazy.

Challenges –

  • Just a few days before leaving for Vegas, part of our basement flooded. This was unexpected and stressful as I was dropping off Mitchell at the airport only 2 hours after discovering this issue. My body and stress are like oil and water…not good.

Week 5 Update:

On 11/16, I weighed in at 229.8lbs. This was a loss of -0.4lbs from week 4!

Wins –

  • My step count increased by 25,000 steps, because of all the walking we did…Thanks, Vegas!
  • I kept my drinking in moderation and did not opt for fancy drinks that were high in points.
  • I continued to track my points even though I was on vacation.

Challenges –

  • If you’re up to date on WW news, you may know that they launched a new program. I chose the green plan and love it! I’m also still readjusting to the change in points. It’s not that big of a challenge, but something I’ve been focused on.
  • I’m also trying to break past these .4 and .6lbs lost. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful that I am consistently losing. I know I could be losing more weigh, especially at this point in my journey.

I set a goal for myself to lose 15 pounds before the end of 2019. With hard work and dedication, I know I can accomplish the remaining 7.4lbs to lose (I’ve already lost 7.6lbs, so I’m halfway there!).

Even with Thanksgiving and other holiday events approaching, I’m confident in my ability to not over-indulge.

The 6 Scariest Diets

In the spirit of Halloween this year, I wanted to share my knowledge of some really scary diets.

People will go to great lengths to lose weight, and diets like these offer you extreme weight loss with minimal effort.

Unfortunately, many of these diets are dangerous to your health and life.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the most dangerous and scary diets out there. It doesn’t matter how desperate you are to lose weight, make sure you don’t try one of these diets.

1. The Cotton Ball Diet

This is sometimes called the cotton ball and juice diet because users are encouraged to dip cotton balls in juice before they eat them. Yes, you read that right.

This diet is dangerous beyond belief. First, cotton balls are inorganic materials and are indigestible by humans. Most cotton balls aren’t even made out of cotton; they’re either polyester or some plastic polymer blend.

Eating cotton balls can cause a dangerous condition known as a baesor, which can lead to intestinal blockages and stomach blockages.

The idea behind the diet is that the cotton will fill you up. The downside, it probably won’t leave without the help of a surgeon.

2.The Tapeworm Diet

While it is illegal to sell tapeworms in the United States, it does not stop people from trying the tapeworm diet. People order pills containing tapeworm larvae and ingest them to help with weight loss.

People who recommend this diet say that the tapeworm will take up a substantial portion of the nutrition that you ingest making you lose weight.

The problem? You’re ingesting a live parasite that can cause irreparable damage to your digestive tract and other areas of the body.

3.The Werewolf Diet

Don’t get me wrong, this diet sounds cool. Who doesn’t want to be a werewolf? Unfortunately, this diet won’t turn you into a werewolf it just involves fasting on the full moon and new moon. There’s not really a lot to this diet.

While fasting may help you lose a little of weight if you don’t fix anything else in your diet you probably will not lose any weight. And, as previously stated, you won’t turn into a werewolf. So, don’t bother.

4.The Hollywood Diet

You may have heard of this as the cookie diet. It was developed by some weight-loss entrepreneurs and consists of shakes and cookies. You can remain on this diet for as long as you like. Eating shakes and cookies.

What’s the downside? Everyone loves shakes and cookies, right? Well, they aren’t nutritionally dense and you’re probably cutting calories to the extreme. This isn’t a sustainable diet and it’s really just designed to help the sellers of shakes and cookies profit from your desperation to lose weight.

5.Master Cleanse

This diet is a real piece of work. You can’t consume any food. Lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper are all that are allowed during the master cleanse. You make some concoction to drink and that’s it.

Like many of the other diets featured in this article, the Master Cleanse is not a sustainable weight loss method. Also, you are likely to experience extreme side effects considering you are starving yourself. People have reported staying on the master cleanse for up to 45 days. I don’t recommend you try this even for one day.

6.Cigarette Diet

Ah, nothing says health like a cigarette. Just kidding. But many cigarette manufacturers wanted you to believe just that. This is an older diet and was advertised to women in the 40s and 50s.

The cigarette diet is still in use and may now be referred to as the model’s diet. People who do this just smoke cigarettes, drink water, and lose weight. While it may cause cancer, lost muscle mass, all the benefits of nutrients, don’t worry you will likely lose some weight.

What are some scary diets that you’ve heard of?

8 Ways to Increase Your Steps

One of my favorite activities to getting fit is increasing my steps every day. This is a perfect long term strategy to improve your fitness levels without going overboard.

Here are 8 ways to increase your steps every day:

  1. Park Further Away
    • This is easy enough – just park your car towards the back of the parking lot and get a few extra steps in.
  2. Pace During Your Next Call or TV Show
    • A quick 30 minute phone call can add hundreds of additional steps to your day.
  3. At Work: Walk to a Coworker Instead of Emailing Them
    • Rather than sending them a quick message, go see your colleague face to face. This will add in tons of extra steps!
  4. Partner Up
    • Having a partner can help with accountability. Establish a daily/weekly time to meet up and go for a walk.
  5. Take a Walk at Lunch
    • Taking a quick stroll before or after lunch is a great idea and the fresh air will do you good.
  6. Competition Anyone?
    • A little friendly competition is a great way to get extra steps in. I am currently in a step challenge for work as well as step challenges with my FitBit friends!
  7. Take The Stairs
    • Avoid elevators and escalators to rack up steps instead. Using stairs also provides a little energy boost too.
  8. End Your Trip Early
    • Get off the bus or out of your Uber/Lyft a block or two away from your destination and walk the rest of the way.

How do you like to increase your step count every day? Comment below!

What WW Program Is Best for You?

Have you ever considered losing weight with WW (Weight Watchers), but unsure what program is best for you?

In this post, I am explaining the 3 different types of programs to choose from and what one I personally use.

OnlinePlus

  • This is the all-digital way to follow the program.
  • There are no meetings.
  • Consumers will have access 24/7 Expert Chat.
  • It is also the most inexpensive route if you are working with a budget!
Exclusive Offer: Join for Free + Save 37% on 3 months of WW Digital. Offer Ends 10/28. Limited time only! WW is Weight Watchers Reimagined. Click for details.

Personal Coaching (includes OnlinePlus)

  • Personal Coaching means that you will receive one-on-one guidance from a coach.
  • 1:1 sessions include phone calls and the ability to connect with your coach as often as you need.
  • People who sign up for Personal Coaching will also receive all the benefits of Essentials.
  • This is the most expensive program out of the 3, but if you thrive on one-on-one training, I would definitely recommend this option.

Meetings (includes OnlinePlus)…This is my program 🙂

  • With Meetings + Essentials, you will get guidance and motivation from a trained coach.
  • By attending the meeting, you will receive inspiration, support, and experience from the group. I personally love this part of my week.
  • Plus, they will also receive all the benefits of Essentials.
  • When it comes to price, this program is right in the middle. All are very responsibly priced. I think this program options gives you the most bang for your buck (but that’s just personal preference!)
  • Please note that this program is available in participating areas and the price varies depending on location.
Exclusive Offer: Join for Free + Save 37% on WW Workshop + Digital (in participating areas). Offer ends 10/28. Limited time only! WW is Weight Watchers Reimagined. Click for details.

I hope this gives you more insight on the different types of programs, and will help you when making a decision.

For even more information, check our their website HERE.

Week 2: My WW Journey

I’m off on this journey, and happy to report another successful week on WW!

Week 2 was another good week, and I can say I successfully lost… -0.8 pounds! I am officially 77 pounds away from my goal weight of 155.

Wins

  • This week I made some seriously delicious WW recipes. Everything from a Pineapple bowl to homemade pizza with the 2 ingredient dough (I LOVE THAT STUFF).
  • Even with a setback on Saturday, I jumped right back into it on Sunday and kept tracking and eating/ living well.

Challenges –

  • I did not get enough protein in my diet this week. Even though I was within range of my points, I think it was a little too carb heavy.
  • I kept forgetting to eat lunch, which I believe affected my metabolism. I’d eat breakfast and then not eat again for another 7 or 8 hours. This was not by choice, but because I was busy with work.
  • I also did not have a chance to work out this week as I would have liked.
    • This was the same challenge as last week, but since it was the same this week, I’m going to keep it up here.

Goals for Week 3:

  • Go to the gym!
  • Don’t forget to eat lunch every day.
  • Ensure that I am drinking enough water and getting in enough protein.
  • Lose 2 lbs this week. I got this!

I hope you all had a great week, and I look forward to reporting more success for week 3!

Week 1: My WW Journey

Hey, how was your week?

I am happy to report that the start of my WW journey is off to a GREAT start! Week 1 was a good week, and I can say I successfully lost… 4.6 pounds! I am officially 77.8 pounds away from my goal weight of 155.

Weekly Recap:

Wins

  • I set myself up for success this week by preparing healthy foods that were easily accessible. I found myself munching on apple slices rather than junk food whenever I needed a snack.
    • I always make sure I have an abundance of zero point foods!
  • I also made sure to track every day to keep myself cognizant of everything I was eating.

Challenges

  • A had few days this week that I felt really hungry and may have had a few too many Oreo thins than I should have (I did track them though).
  • I also did not have a chance to work out this week as I would have liked.

Goals for Week 2:

  • Go to the gym 1-2 times this week.
  • Try a few more recipes from WW.
  • Keep up tracking my food on the WW app.
  • Add in more vegetables to my “easy grab” snacks.
  • GET MY 5LBS LOST CHARM!!

Week 0: My WW Journey

I wanted to create a page called “Week 0” to document my weight and measurements before I officially began this journey.

Saturday, October 12th was my initial weigh in at.. 237.4 pounds.

Wow…

This weight was a wake up call for me, because earlier this year I was close to being under 200 pounds.

At 5’7, my current BMI is 37.2 which puts me in the obesity category.

While it is easy to look back and wonder how I got to this point, I have to accept where I am currently and graciously move ahead and on my journey.

In addition to the number on the scale, I wanted to capture some measurements in these areas:

Waist: 39.5 in
Hips: 44.5 in
Thighs: 29 in
Calves: 18.5 in
Upper arm: 16 in

Measurement Updates will happen every month, while weight updates will happen every week!

As I move forward I have to say something..

I AM SO EXCITED.

At the end of the day, I love who I am. I have a long climb ahead, but with positive thinking, organization and support from friends, family, and my readers, there’s nothing I can’t do.

See you next week!

Love, Brooke

7 Steps To Detox From Junk Food

Junk food can be a nasty habit. Especially if you’re eating it several times a day. Some people even go so far as to have a junk food addiction. If you are craving junk food and can’t seem to say no, then you may need to detox from that junk food.

Did you know that what regulates your weight, eating habits and metabolism is not your stomach but your brain? Healthy whole food sends messages to the brain to turn off hunger and cravings, while processed junk food sends the opposite messages that propagate out of control cravings.

Junk food is addicting, as it activates pleasure centers in the brain, much like cocaine and heroin. You can break food addictions habits, and get on track with a healthy lifestyle.

There are several approaches that you can take for detoxing from junk food. Cold turkey is always an option, but many people find it difficult to ditch junk, so taking a step-by-step approach is much more prudent.

1.) Evaluate

Junk food is also often used as crutch and hunger is often not real but motivated by something else.

When you have cravings, it is important to stop and evaluate what you are feeling and what you really need. For example, are you tired, do you need a nap? Are you stressed, do you need to relax?

Are you really hungry? If so, then a chicken breast and vegetables will sound good, but if you are craving behind something other than hunger, then you will likely only want candy, chips, or some other junk.

2.) Eat Real Whole Food

Fats and proteins help keep you satisfied. Whole food including meats, chicken, vegetables, legumes, beans, seeds, and others satisfy hunger, and maintain steady blood sugar levels. When you eat regularly scheduled small meals about every three to four hours that include whole food, you keep your mind and body stable and satisfied.

3.) Reduce Stress

Nothing fuels cravings for junk like stress. Stress eating is a major problem for many people, so when you take the time to manage your stress, you can eliminate this pitfall.

4.) Don’t Eat From The Bag

Eating snacks in front of the TV your while at your desk is a common occurrence. However, Dr. Oz recommends that you avoid eating straight from the bag. Studies show that people consume more food when they have access to a larger portion. This is extremely true when you are distracted. Combining a large bag of chips with the distraction of television just means you will eat way more than you intended to.

Let’s face it, how many of us have ended up at the bottom of the Cheetos bag and wondered how we got there?

5.) Meal Prep

If you are addicted to junk food, then chances are you’ll find any excuse to head over to the fast food drive in. This is why prepping your meals and snacks ahead of time is vitally important. It is really easy to prep a whole week’s worth of food in an afternoon. You can prepackage your meals so that they are easy to grab out of the refrigerator and head out the door.

One of the biggest things to remember when trying to ditch junk food is to be patient with yourself and consistent in your nutrition. Remembering your meal prep days are important and scheduling them on your calendar may be an easy way to ensure you don’t skip this vital step.

6.) 5 Ingredients

Learning what ingredients are good for you and what ingredients mean a food is bad can take a lot of time. That’s one reason that Readers Digest suggests that you practice the five-ingredient rule. This rule simply states that if a packaged product has more than five ingredients, you shouldn’t eat it. This is a simple way to avoid impulse buys like chips and cookies. It also helps you understand that minimally processed foods are better for you.

Once you have the five-ingredient rule down, you can venture out by learning different ingredients and how they affect your body. For example, one ingredient, maltodextrin, is a sweetener with a higher glycemic index than table sugar. Often packages will say sugar-free when maltodextrin is present. Just because it’s sugar-free doesn’t mean it won’t affect your body like a sugar laden snack.

7.) Healthy swaps

When initially cutting out junk food from your diet you may notice that you have extreme cravings for sugar. This isn’t uncommon for many people who ditch junk food and kick the habit. One thing you will need to do is indulge a little.

This means enjoying snacks like frozen grapes, fresh fruit, and dark chocolate. It doesn’t mean indulging in a hot fudge Sundae from your favorite frozen treats restaurant. You can give yourself a healthy swap for sweets almost every day without damaging your attempt to ditch junk food. If you follow these steps, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to step away from the junk food and drive-ins. You might find that you have more energy as you no longer consume tons of junk. Your body will thank you for slowly weaning yourself away from the junk food.

5 Major Problems With Fad Diets

The dictionary definition of “fad” is “an activity or topic of interest that is very popular for a short time, but which people become very bored with very quickly.” That describes “fad diets” to a T. They’re popular at first because the weight seems to melt away, but they fall out of favor when people realize there is no quick fix for sustained weight loss.

Dietitian Robin Steagall of the Calorie Control Council tells WebMD that fad diets, on the face of it “offer ‘new’ ways to beat the boring mathematical reality of long-term weight loss.”

She goes on to say that every diet works on the principle of cutting calories, but fad diets claim that they have found a new magic bullet, for example, eating at specified times, taking a “specially formulated” supplement; eating piles of cabbage; or not eating at all.

There is nothing new to these diets, other than the fact that some of them can seriously harm your health. Here are five problems with fad diets:

1. ) Rapid Weight Loss

Cool, where do I sign up? Not so fast, friend. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) warns that if you lose weight quickly, you’ll lose muscle, bone and water and you’re much more likely to pile the weight back on after you finish the diet.

The Center for Diseases control advises you to aim to lose between one and two pounds a week.  That’s not a whole lot but it is far more realistic.

Think about it, you didn’t put on all your weight overnight, so you’re not likely to lose it overnight, either.

2.) “Magic” Ingredients

Watch out for diets that allow you unlimited quantities of any one ingredient, such as cabbage or grapefruit.

The academy points out that it is boring to stick to one food for breakfast lunch and supper, and you’re much more likely to break you diet.

By the same token, be careful of diets that eliminate or severely an entire food group, like carbohydrates.

You’re much more likely to miss out on important nutrients your body needs for its well being this way. Dietitians always advise you to eat a wide range of food across all food groups.

3.) Rigid Eating Plans

Weight-loss programs that don’t allow a bit of wiggle room are doomed to fail.

According to WebMD, most sensible diets nowadays allow the occasional splurge if you don’t go completely overboard.  

The Mayo Clinic says that if the diet is overly restrictive, you’re probably not going to stick to it and you won’t lose weight over the long term.

4.) Short-Term Goals

A lot of fad diets focus your mind on losing a specific amount of weight in the short-term, but don’t plan for what comes afterwards.

You need to look for a weight-loss program that helps you make permanent lifestyle choices, according to WebMD.

Good programs will teach you how to live, not just to eat. As the academy says, you must ask yourself whether you can eat this way for the rest of your life. If not, find a program that offers lifelong benefits.

5.) No Exercise Needed

Beware diets that promise weight-loss without your getting up from the couch.

Regular physical activity is essential for good health and healthy weight management.

The key, says the academy, is to aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. And you don’t have to spend those 30 minutes on the treadmill.

Do something you enjoy, like gardening, or walking the dogs the park. People who exercise are more likely to maintain the weight loss.

So as you take this journey, please remember 1 thing:

There is no secret ingredient or short cut to losing weight.  It’s a lifelong commitment that takes hard work and motivation. 

6 Key Diet Hacks For Weight Loss

Knowing how to stay full and healthy when dieting can be difficult. Many people struggle when looking to reduce their weight, with constant hunger. If you are one of those people then you may be looking at ways to trick your mind into feeling fuller longer.

There are several different dieting hacks that you need to know in order to achieve successful healthy weight loss. These diet hacks range from intermittent fasting all the way to staying hydrated. The top six are laid out below.

1.) Intermittent Fasting

One of the newest and most popular diving techniques is intermittent fasting. During this dieting protocol, you don’t have to count calories or carbohydrates; you simply limit the time frame that you are allowed to eat. Many people fast between 16 and 20 hours every day.

Intermittent fasting is very popular with people who follow Ketogenic and Paleo styles of eating. According to Life Hack, intermittent fasting helps you lose weight because your body is forced to use its fat stores for energy. When you burn calories that way instead of from food you are helping, your body learn how to metabolize your fat stores.

Fasting also optimizes hormones that are key to metabolizing fat. When you fast affect two important hormones human growth hormone and you regulate insulin. Both of these hormones are responsible for weight gain and weight loss.

2.) Sleep in Your Workout Clothes

Getting out of bed in the morning to work out can be dreadful. The daily Star recommends that you make it easier by sleeping in your workout clothing. You’re more likely to exercise in the morning if you sleep in your workout clothing. While it may take some getting used to this is a great way to make sure you’re motivated enough to work out.

3.) Have Friends with Self Control

This may seem like a silly one, but often people who we hang out with the most influence our behavior. Self-control can be influential when trying to change your eating habits. The Huffington Post notes that if you’re trying to lose a few pounds and going out to eat with friends who binge on fries and sweets you’re more likely to eat junk. However, if you’re with a friend that has self-control with regard to their eating habits, you’re less likely to overeat.

4.) Cook at Home

It really is all about control. When you cook at home you know exactly what goes into your food and also how it is prepared. You can also control your portions. Berkeley Wellness notes that cooking from recipes at home will allow you to control your portion consumption as well as ingredients. People who eat at home are more likely to eat whole foods then processed foods.

5.) Ditch Long Cardio Workouts

Men’s Fitness magazine is quick to point to research that shows lifting heavy weights and interval training are far more effective for weight loss than long bouts of cardio. If you’re looking to shed the pounds introduce heavy weights and high intensity interval training to your workout. You’ll end up working out for less time while still dropping pounds.

6.) Drink More Water

While experts interviewed by Women’s Health magazine couldn’t say that drinking water was the cause of weight loss, they did say people who drank water had more success with weight loss. Why? The answer is because often people confuse thirst with hunger. They’re reaching for snacks when they should be reaching for water.

Typically drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water each day is a good plan, so if you weight 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces of water daily. If you’re not consuming half your body weight in ounces per day of water chances are when you’re hungry you’re actually thirsty.

Now you have the top six hacks to help you stay full and lose more weight. Drinking water cooking at home and even sleeping in your workout close can help you lose weight.