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jami
Dearest ChaCha... needing your help here. I have been planning an elective surgery. my last thing to do was labs. I had my CBC and EKG done yesterday. the doctor phoned at 5pm to say that surgery is off - my ekg was erratic and my potassium was 2.1, where normal is 3.9.
ps, my last CBC in June was 3.8 with the normal at 3.5
I have been exercising on a treadmill, up to 1.6m per day with an incline, and low calorie foods (good protein) with special mulitvitamins. I'm really focused on being healthy enough a for me, and b for the surgery. I'm down 5 pounds in 10 days.
the surgeon will not give me advise on what to do, other than to see my primary physician, which I do not have.
what can I do naturally to get me healthy? all I can find on the internet for high-potassium is bananas, tuna, sweet potatoes, and that's about it.
he thinks the ekg was erratic due to low potassium. but the tech had me laughing and talking during the beginning of the reading, so I personally think that's off.
thanks, and hugs
Jami
Persiflager
Thanks chacha! I actually cook most of my food myself and like to add some salt for flavour, but I get a lot of stick from friends who never add salt but eat tons of take-aways, shop-bought sandwiches, ready meals etc. Ugh, not for me - they don't even taste nice and salty rolleyes.gif

I'm going to check out the different types of salt you recommended.
foryoursplendor
Can anyone reccomend any cool workouts that I can buy or downlad? I'm getting kind of sick of the one I have.
chachaheels
QUOTE(jami @ Feb 21 2009, 11:27 AM) *
Dearest ChaCha... needing your help here. I have been planning an elective surgery. my last thing to do was labs. I had my CBC and EKG done yesterday. the doctor phoned at 5pm to say that surgery is off - my ekg was erratic and my potassium was 2.1, where normal is 3.9.
ps, my last CBC in June was 3.8 with the normal at 3.5
I have been exercising on a treadmill, up to 1.6m per day with an incline, and low calorie foods (good protein) with special mulitvitamins. I'm really focused on being healthy enough a for me, and b for the surgery. I'm down 5 pounds in 10 days.
the surgeon will not give me advise on what to do, other than to see my primary physician, which I do not have.
what can I do naturally to get me healthy? all I can find on the internet for high-potassium is bananas, tuna, sweet potatoes, and that's about it.
he thinks the ekg was erratic due to low potassium. but the tech had me laughing and talking during the beginning of the reading, so I personally think that's off.
thanks, and hugs
Jami



Jami, I don't think the jostling involved in laughter would kick your ekg results around too much--if there is a dire level of potassium in your system then the effects can be rectified to some extent with food and supplements under the right circumstances, but really this is an example of a symptom which could indicate a much deeper disorder and I would want to rule out every serious disease possibility, and every possible cause rather than assume it's the diet first.

Why? Because hypokalemia is not often a result of poor diet--it's usually a sign of some depletion, something that causes an imbalance in electrolytes in your system. Hypokalemia will have an effect on your heart function and on your ability to move, a real depletion can bring about paralysis affecting all muscles (including the heart, and including your ability to breathe), and it can be serious. Even if this were just simple insufficiency, I don't know what you're really eating so I have no idea what's actually being taken into the body and used/not being used but just adding a piece of fruit or starch is not going to fix the problem.

I know your surgeon referred you to your GP but he's only done that so that you can receive a prescription drug which will alter and maintain the potassium levels at a fixed point. This puts the surgeon in the clear and your MD in the clear, but it doesn't do too much for you except mask a problem on a long term basis. You can ask the GP or MD, however, to conduct a few other tests and exams to rule out any serious diseases or causes for your hypokalemia.

Have you suffered from vomiting or diarrhea lately? Are you using corticosteroids like prednisone? Are you using Diuretics or laxatives? Have you ever had any bowel surgery?

Here are the things I would like to rule out: Cushing's Disease; a polyp in the colon; acidosis; complications from the bowel surgery and/or complications arising from steroid drug use; low magnesium levels in the body. Other things: cancers which can cause such low levels of potassium. Kidney diseases.

Most people do have such low potassium levels because of depletion--if they've suffered a kind of stomach flu, where they've been suffering from diarrhea or vomiting to a great extent (I always include anorexia and bulemia here). In such cases the levels usually right themselves once vomiting and diarrhea stop.

When a potassium "level" result comes back under 3.0 (like it did in your case) the usual immediate treatment is supplementation by intravenous replacement. If your low levels remain low, it would be a good idea to replace the potassium that's missing to get you out of harm's way--but then some serious differential diagnosis has to take place.

That said, potassium deficiency usually occurs hand-in-hand with a magnesium deficiency. You need a few more tests to rule out all possible causes before taking action on this. For now, though, Intravenous replacement is where I'd start--you'll need to find a GP to arrange that for you. Once that's done and you've ruled out all other possible causes, and it looks like supplementation is what you need in all honesty, then we can think about adding some foods and using some Kali-compound and Magnesium compound tissue salts to keep your levels stable and healthy.

But not before.
p_176
hi all -
i am doing some random research, and i'd like to spark some discussion on diet soda and its effects on the body. i read the following article today. i'm interested in your opinions and experiences with diet soda. i'll start off by saying i have one diet soda each morning, and after reading this article, i won't be doing that anymore; i'll switch to caffeinated teas like white or green tea.

February 5, 2008
Symptoms: Metabolic Syndrome Is Tied to Diet Soda
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
Researchers have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and metabolic syndrome — the collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes that include abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and blood glucose levels, and elevated blood pressure.
The scientists gathered dietary information on more than 9,500 men and women ages 45 to 64 and tracked their health for nine years.
Over all, a Western dietary pattern — high intakes of refined grains, fried foods and red meat — was associated with an 18 percent increased risk for metabolic syndrome, while a “prudent” diet dominated by fruits, vegetables, fish and poultry correlated with neither an increased nor a decreased risk.
But the one-third who ate the most fried food increased their risk by 25 percent compared with the one-third who ate the least, and surprisingly, the risk of developing metabolic syndrome was 34 percent higher among those who drank one can of diet soda a day compared with those who drank none.
“This is interesting,” said Lyn M. Steffen, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota and a co-author of the paper, which was posted online in the journal Circulation on Jan. 22. “Why is it happening? Is it some kind of chemical in the diet soda, or something about the behavior of diet soda drinkers?”
rubberdollz
P176... it's aspartame, that is what is in diet soda, unfortunately it offers nothing to our bodies that we need. I mean if you can cut out soda completely whether diet or not that would be your best bet. I get a lot of articles from this website, www.naturalnews.com. I would really recommend going there and looking up aspartame. You will find a lot of great information on aspartame and the effects it has on our bodies.

Unfortunately aspartame and Splenda are being highly promoted because they are supposed to be a great alternative for anyone who doesn't want to eat regular sugar.

I have this really great article about aspartame and msg but unfortunately it's on my computer at work. I'll look for it tomorrow if you'd like to take a look at it.
likeanyother
p_176, I remember reading something about that as well a little while ago. I think the article I read said that not only are the chemicals hazardous, but the fake sweetness has the same effect on our bodies internally that "real" sweetness has, i.e. increased insulin production. That sweet taste is the trigger, not just the sugar.

rubberdollz, that naturalnews site is awesome, thanks for sharing that. I would like to read the article you referred to as well, so if you wouldn't mind posting a link to it would much appreciated. Thanks.

Personal note, I've been doing pretty well with my eating, trying to focus on whole foods and proteins rather than quick and easy carbs and soy products, which is what I seem to naturally gravitate toward, I guess out of habit really. Now I really want to try to focus on being consistent with working out. It's so hard sometimes when I work long days, it's so freakin cold here (michigan) and dark by the time I get done working I just want to curl up in bed with a book, not venture out in the frigid weather to get to the gym. Warmer weather needs to get here now!
p_176
yea this week i'm phasing them out until i can buy more green tea or yerba matte. i don't think diet soda is the whole reason my blood sugars are high or i'm not losing weight - let's blame the PCOS on that - but i'm excited to see the results i might get from not drinking sodas.

i'm interested in that article too - thanks!

my boyfriend made a good point to me yesterday about medical care - i went to a heart convention this morning (sistertosister.org), and i was talking to one of the nurses about the problems i've had with my drs, and she said possibly get a new dr/second opinion. my boyfriend reminded me that this would be a good idea, as 'the ones you have now feel more like blaming you than finding a problem. Even if there really isn't a problem (which I agree with you that there has to be, you should have noticed more change by now) these professionals should express their opinions better; your nutritionist says you're lying, your trainer says you're not trying, and your doctor won't discuss results with you herself unless you demand it. That's all bullsh!t.'

i know they're busy but damn. like i said, initially i wanted overnight results, but after a year, i should see some results, and i have not despite all and increased efforts.

i think the scariest part of that diet soda article, and the other ones i read, was that after i googled the ingredients in soda, one ingredient said, mildly toxic if ingested. and another article said, put a nail in a cup of soda - see what it does to the nail after half hour - now, what is it doing to your body??

working out when it's cold is so hard. i have tons of exercise videos but it's still hard to break them out when all i want to do is curl up in a blanket. i just try to remember that if i work out, i'll sweat so i'll warm up, then my reward is the blanket and a good book :-)
ketto
QUOTE(foryoursplendor @ Feb 22 2009, 09:42 PM) *
Can anyone reccomend any cool workouts that I can buy or downlad? I'm getting kind of sick of the one I have.


I really like Turbojam. There's a good workout video review site but I can't seem to find it on google right now. A couple of years ago I went searching for a good DVD and found out about Turbojam. I bought a copy from Ebay for $50. I like it because it comes with two DVD's that include a 20 minute quick workout, a 45 minute full workout, an ab workout and a weights workout. It's got lots of variety and keeps you moving in a lot of different ways. There's lots of punching, kicking, and cardio in the cardio party parts. Definitely has me sweating by the end.

You may have seen the annoying infomercials on TV, but it really is a good one.
rubberdollz
Ok ladies I would LOVE to post a link to the article since it is pretty long but I don't know how? I need HELP! If anyone can hook me up with some instructions then I will definitely get it posted here for you.

THANKS!
ketto
Do you want to hyperlink? I don't know how to do that, but I usually just copy and paste the link from the address bar into this reply box.
foryoursplendor
thanks for the recommendation ketto!

So I lost a lot of weight a few years ago with weight watchers, but is been creeping back on me. I find my problem isnt with the amount or types of activities I do, its just my eating. I can be a terribly unhealthy eater. I broke down today and joined weight watchers again, but really really wish it was called something more fun like Fat Fighters...wouldnt that be great? lol. I'm going to call it Fat Fighters from now on.
rubberdollz
Yeah the problem is the document is a pdf file so I'm not sure how I would do that on this page? I don't want to copy and paste the whole document in here because it's super long. Well if I can't figure out how to do this then I'll offer up to anyone who wants to read it that I'll email it to ya! It's a really great article and I'd love to share I'm just not that savvy with some of this computer stuff.

FYS.. what types of food does the WW have you eating? Is it a lot of processed foods?
jami
Dearest ChaCha.
hi there. let's see... family pratice looked at the ekg and said nothing was wrong, it was just low. the potassium was 2.9, not 2.1. I found old cbc's, and my levels have been 3.8 for the 06+07 years, and with normal at 3.5 at the lower end, I'm at the low end as my normal anyway.
yes, I did have diahrrea. two weeks of a cold then about three days of constant diahrrrea before the bloodwork. no cause for it that I can think of. no diet pills, no prednisone. I am on hydrochlorot and atenolol for high blood pressure, which the GP took me off the atenolol. no potassium suppliments or anything prescribed at all.
GP cleared me for surgery - surgeon wants a potassium reading of 3.0 before he'll say yes. then he said to eat three bananas on the way to bloodwork, and I'd be fine.
I'm eating bananas and orange juice along with my diet.
I'll have to check on the magnesium levels in my next bloodwork.
thanks for what you said. its something to think about. how do I test for cancer?
Hugs,
Jami




QUOTE(chachaheels @ Feb 23 2009, 01:18 PM) *
Jami, I don't think the jostling involved in laughter would kick your ekg results around too much--if there is a dire level of potassium in your system then the effects can be rectified to some extent with food and supplements under the right circumstances, but really this is an example of a symptom which could indicate a much deeper disorder and I would want to rule out every serious disease possibility, and every possible cause rather than assume it's the diet first.

Why? Because hypokalemia is not often a result of poor diet--it's usually a sign of some depletion, something that causes an imbalance in electrolytes in your system. Hypokalemia will have an effect on your heart function and on your ability to move, a real depletion can bring about paralysis affecting all muscles (including the heart, and including your ability to breathe), and it can be serious. Even if this were just simple insufficiency, I don't know what you're really eating so I have no idea what's actually being taken into the body and used/not being used but just adding a piece of fruit or starch is not going to fix the problem.

I know your surgeon referred you to your GP but he's only done that so that you can receive a prescription drug which will alter and maintain the potassium levels at a fixed point. This puts the surgeon in the clear and your MD in the clear, but it doesn't do too much for you except mask a problem on a long term basis. You can ask the GP or MD, however, to conduct a few other tests and exams to rule out any serious diseases or causes for your hypokalemia.

Have you suffered from vomiting or diarrhea lately? Are you using corticosteroids like prednisone? Are you using Diuretics or laxatives? Have you ever had any bowel surgery?

Here are the things I would like to rule out: Cushing's Disease; a polyp in the colon; acidosis; complications from the bowel surgery and/or complications arising from steroid drug use; low magnesium levels in the body. Other things: cancers which can cause such low levels of potassium. Kidney diseases.

Most people do have such low potassium levels because of depletion--if they've suffered a kind of stomach flu, where they've been suffering from diarrhea or vomiting to a great extent (I always include anorexia and bulemia here). In such cases the levels usually right themselves once vomiting and diarrhea stop.

When a potassium "level" result comes back under 3.0 (like it did in your case) the usual immediate treatment is supplementation by intravenous replacement. If your low levels remain low, it would be a good idea to replace the potassium that's missing to get you out of harm's way--but then some serious differential diagnosis has to take place.

That said, potassium deficiency usually occurs hand-in-hand with a magnesium deficiency. You need a few more tests to rule out all possible causes before taking action on this. For now, though, Intravenous replacement is where I'd start--you'll need to find a GP to arrange that for you. Once that's done and you've ruled out all other possible causes, and it looks like supplementation is what you need in all honesty, then we can think about adding some foods and using some Kali-compound and Magnesium compound tissue salts to keep your levels stable and healthy.

But not before.

chachaheels
Hi Jami,

Your GP can requisition all kinds of blood tests for you. There are specific tests for certain types of cancer which look for particular markers--for example some blood tests try to assess the level of a particular, indicative hormone in the blood; sometimes tests will be purely physical (for example: signs and symptoms will lead to a biopsy being performed). Some doctors will actually know about more accurate and up to date methods of testing for cancers than other doctors will (because many don't make a point of staying up to date, it's pretty hard to do that). If the concern is a real one, you have to make yourself aware of what your test options could be (here in Canada, many of the most revealing blood tests aren't part of the normal screening tests a doctor could easily requisition--some have to be requested from sources outside of the country because they aren't "routine" here--but they could save a patient's life if they lead to a timely diagnosis). I know that sounds unfair, but the truth is, it's how our health care systems seems to work here in North America. Ultimately every patient has to be responsible for his/her own health care (which unfortunately but not uncommonly means they have to be better informed than their GPs and specialists).

As I said, most people suffer low potassium levels if they've suffered from depletion of electrolytes of some kind, and with rest and the restoration of a full diet the problem should right itself.

Cantaloupe melons and apricots are also good sources of potassium; dairy products also have quite a bit.
jami
Dearest ChaCha....
thanks for the information, it is truly appreciated. I decided to take potassium and magnesium supplements which should help me besides the foods. I'll do some research for bloodtests. all the GP wants to do is re-do the hospital's bloodwork. <sigh> did those, like a week ago.
I'm highly optomisitc. and now at least I have my cbc levels and all.
love ya!!!!
jami
likeanyother
So, I decided to do two weeks of protein and veggies only. No sugars and starches. It’s kind of a big deal for me to actually go on a truly restrictive diet, because I’ve never done it before. I’m well aware that restrictive diets don’t work in the long run, because they’re impossible to stick to, but my policy of moderation has slowly segued into over-indulgence in all my week areas - baked goods, candy, chips, fried stuff, etc. I’ve been reading about the vicious cycle that those kinds of foods lead to – spiked blood sugar, followed by crash, followed by craving. I’m so in that cycle and I really feel the need to just get out of it for a couple weeks, and then slowly let back in the healthy carbs. I just really want to be consistently healthy, without the constant struggle. I'm hoping this will get me on that path.

Has anybody done anything similar and had any luck?
olivarria
Hello, this question is for Chahaheels. I have asked you for advice previously with hypothyroid and polycystic ovaries. Right now I am also having symptoms of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, with very severe muscle pain and stiffness, and extreme fatigue - I have been sleeping about 12 hours a night, and usually turn off the alarm in my sleep. Also, I have frequent relapses of severe depression, which I am fighting right now.

I have found a chiropractor that is very supportive of natural remedies, including natural thyroid; I have my first appt, with him this week so he can confirm whether I have this or not. I know that these illnesses do seem to be tied together (all of the above) but knowing that doesn't seem to produce many solutions. I have not been eating sugar or white flour, and it doesn't seem to be helping, so I am going back to the diet suggested by Mary Enig, which did seem to help before. I got lazy and went off the diet for a few months! I also take cod liver oil, folic acid, and a thyroid support supplement everyday, including zinc & B-vitamins. And I have switch to natural thyroid and coconut oil. I was just curious if you had any other suggestions as to what supplements reduce fatigue, or any the methods that you know to be useful?

Does anyone with chronic fatigue or depression have tips for how to wake up in the morning? With the muscle stiffness and fatigue, it feels near impossible to wake up! I put my alarm across the room to I have to get up to turn it off. Tylenol doesn't relieve the pains - sometimes hot showers do the trick. I sure wish I knew the cause of this!
chachaheels
Hi Olivarria,

I think the Enig diet is a good food plan, but I do remember you got quite tired of all the coconut in the foods. It's meant to be a part of your daily diet, so a lot of coconut oil-inclusive recipes end up in the plan, but it may just be easier to eat the oil in some tea or mixed with some nut butter every day. I know it's a diet that has the right number of calories, the right amounts of fats and proteins to help everything work optimally, so if you stick with it it will do what it is meant to do. I can't say enough about methylcobalamin B12 drops or sublingual losenges--minimum of 1000mcg/day. These are vital to optimal gland function, fighting off depression, and making sure your body has the vital nutrients it needs. If you're not taking these yet, you should start, and be religious about taking them.


But I also think you're feeling a lot of pain right now, and it's good to know that hot baths or showers help with the pain. As an alternative to the tylenol (which will overload your liver--you need that organ right now since there is so much going on with glands and hormones in your case) I would suggest daily dosings of Magnesium Phosphorica 6x tissue salts to aid with the pain. Chances are really good that in your case, where fibromyalgia's been named as a possible illness, magnesium may be a bit deficient; tissue salts are far more effective than any other supplement and they have the added benefit of actually altering your body's deficiency after short term use--you can't say the same thing for supplements.

Mag Phos tissue salts should be taken four times a day, four pills under the tongue morning, noon, and at dinner time; the last dose of the day should be taken dissolved in warm water. Magnesium is absolutely necessary for nerve/muscle communication and conduction; but it's vital in cases where ongoing, spasmodic pain occurs (many diagnosed with fibromyalgia actually lack magnesium significantly). If you're also suffering from lack of sleep and rest, the mag phos will help with it as well.

Like any other, restricted diets do work as long as you are getting the right amount of nutrients in them and sufficient calories. It's always good to have fats in your diet as well as just protein and greens--without fat in the diet, the body really suffers. But you have to be very picky about the right fats. I've written a lot about which fats need to be in the diet and you'll find this information in the archives, so do have a look. If you're suffering from the symptoms of hypoglycemia, then it's clear you'll need to cut out a lot of the refined sugars and starches and fakefats forever in order to be healthy. A good ratio to keep in mind for macronutrients is minimum 35% fats, 35% protein, 30% carbohydrates (from sources that aren't processed or enriched, but actually real grains and mostly green vegetables).

Hope this helps!
olivarria
Thank you Chacha for those suggestions - I will definitely get to the health and nutrition store soon so I can give those a try. I am seeing a chiropractor tomorrow and I will post an update in a couple days. I am studying for mid-terms right now and too tired to type - I will write a more detailed post this weekend!

Thank you again!

likeanyother
For sure ChaCha, thanks. I guess what I’m doing isn’t really considered a “restrictive” diet in that I’m not worried about calories, instead I’m focusing on increasing my protein intake and minimizing my carb intake.

A few months ago I got a “food diary” app for my iphone and started recording what I eat (never could stick to a written diary). It’s nice in that it shows one’s breakdown of protein, fats, carbs, as well as other nutrients by day and by week. It made me realize that I’m mostly eating carbs, not deliberately, that’s just how I was eating (lots of bread, pasta and sweets, little to no meat). I want to lose about 10 pounds and working out didn’t seem to be changing anything. So, I decided to switch my eating habits and seriously restrict my carbs (for me that’s restrictive cuz usually I eat whatever I feel like, as long as it’s not too obviously unhealthy). Basically, I cut out all starches and sugars and started eating some free-range meat. Well, it’s only been a week and I’ve lost 5 lbs! And, according to my food diary I’ve been eating majority fats, then protein, then carbs. It’s kind of amazing to me that I can be eating more fat than ever and yet lose weight, since I grew up in a vegetarian, fat-phobic household.

Anyway, I plan to stick with it for another week, and then reintroduce some heathier carbs, since I really freakin’ miss chocolate and bread and the occasional glass of wine or beer! Feels really good to be on a “diet” that works without feeling too deprived, though.
bottleblack
likeanyother, that sounds a lot like the South Beach Diet. I did that for about two weeks, where they focus on cutting out all carbs and sugars and combining veggies with protein at every meal, and I lost about 8 lbs. I didn't continue the diet after that though as I was just using it for a little weight loss boost.
On that diet, after the two weeks they gradually re-introduce carbs to what your body can handle while still losing weight.
chachaheels
I think the South Beach diet downplays the importance of fat in weight loss--if I recall correctly, it was a "low fat" diet that encouraged less than 30% fat intake--I think that's too little for an adult woman. Consider that the world's healthiest societies and peoples really thrived eating diets with fat intakes closer to 80% than to 30%. But the source and type of fat have to be taking into account, not just any fat is good.

A lot of people are astonished to learn that they can eat a great deal more real fats in their "diets" as well as a lot more calories than they expected and still lose quite a lot of weight and feel much, much healthier than they ever could on starvation diet platforms. But we've been told for years "no fat!" "low calorie!" and now, "low carb!" without seeing the connection between really restricted caloric intakes and subsequent metabolism disarray (in the form of chronic disease, too). It's funny how quickly people lose weight on 2400 calories a day, on a food plan that contains a lot of healthy fats from dairy, fish oil, and red meats, a minimum of processed "carbs" and truly dangerous fats, and generally far more food than one would imagine they could eat and still lose any weight. And the bonus is that after things are said and done, there's no starvation, chronic diseases are reversed if they've been an issue (it's not that often that they are) and people are left with a metabolism used to eating as much food as they want, so it's vital, active, and quick--not permanently damaged and consistently damaging to the body's vital organs.

Also, a glass of wine or beer with a meal will not interfere with your nutrition (in fact it enhances it, as well as the pleasure of eating your food). Dark chocolate as well shouldn't be cut out if you like it. Where both are concerned, BE PICKY! Spend a little more for these pleasures you'll enjoy in moderation and don't think of them as substances you're having in restricted quantities--they're supposed to be means of adding pleasure to your existence, not just your diet. If you're going to drink wine, well, a good glass of wine with a meal is a must--always better than some diet soda loaded with aspartame, or sugary drinks like fruit juices. Good chocolate and bread--again, it pays off big to be really picky, and have the highest quality you can afford (there are lots of fair trade options which are not only affordable, they're really very well made in terms of ingredients and quality). Artisanal breads and bakeries have become far more easy to find lately-- a good baker who uses no cheap oils or transfats and concentrates on using grains which haven't been over processed and bleached before being enriched will also give you options for adding this good food back into your meals so that you never feel deprived--because you actually get a lot of nutrition from that food.

Don't you find that food diaries are a great way to become really well acquainted with your pattern of eating, your favourite foods, and the amounts of foods you eat? It's great there's an application for that for the iPhone--but even writing things down helps a lot towards becoming aware of your relationship to food.
candycane_girl
I wasn't sure where else to post this but there is a lot of discussion about working out in here so I guess it's okay.

I'm just wondering if it's possible to be able to lift a lot of weights without getting huge man muscles. Can I do a mix of low weights with high reps and yet also work on strength training? I just really want to get strong. I feel like such a weakling, I want to gain a lot of strength in my arms and legs.
culturehandy
It is a myth that women will get huge muscles like men do if they lift weights. The only way that is going to happen as a woman is if you are body bulding and supplementing your diet with nutritional supplements and working with extremely heavy weights. And some use the additional help of steroids... Men get larger muscles because they have more testosterone and other hormones that women don't have as much of.

In order to strengthen your muscles, you have to do something that will challenge them. By doing easy low weights, you aren't doing that much to gain lean muscle mass. When you lift weights it should be a challenge, but not too much of one, until your last 2-3 reps where you really have to push yourself to finish.
candycane_girl
I guess I was thinking about the lower weights because people always say that low weights and high reps are best for weight loss. But I also want to be able to lift a lot. Right now I can only do like, 8 pounds. It's pretty sad. How many reps do you do for strength training?
rubberdollz
CC girl, I lift weights when I'm at the gym. I do 3 sets of 12-15 reps each. If I notice that I'm not feeling it enough then I up the weight about 5lbs or so. Don't feel that 8lbs is a bad thing right now, you just started. Lift what you feel comfortable with and if the resistance just doesn't seem like enough.. up the weights.

The SB diet also promotes eating canola oil, low fat foods and Splenda. My husband and I tried it a few years ago and lost quite a bit of weight on it but it just didn't work out. Low fat diet was really rough and we felt hungry all of the time.
_octinoxate
hi ladies. delurking to second culture- it's way hard to get huge muscles as a woman. you have to be really, really, really devoted to getting huge for that to even have a *chance* at happening. for a time, i lifted for 45 min/day, 5 days per week, and still, got nicely toned/strong/muscular but not bulky. (also, for the record, i think chicks with big ol' muscles are hot, anyway! something to be proud of...)

as was mentioned, shoot for 3 sets of somewhere between 8-12 repetitions, lifting a heavy enough weight so that you're busting your ass without breaking your proper form.

in other news, anyone in here ever tried the best life diet? (yes, yes, i do indeed <3 oprah!)
anna k
I got into weightlifting last September, and it's changed my body a lot. I lost nearly 15 pounds, have more arm and back strength, and it makes my waist looks smaller. I like how it feels the more that I'm able to lift heavier weights, and I alternate between doing low reps with heavy weights and more reps with medium-sized ones, and alternating my routines. It's a happy place for me to be in the weight room at the gym twice a week, where metal and rap music blast and guys are making grunting/orgasmic sounds while trying to lift really heavy weights. It makes me laugh a little inside.

And I'm not bulky, I still have soft muscle tone and don't look muscular, but I feel strength. I really like my body more, it's a good combination of strength and softness. Sometimes I wish my stomach wasn't still so rounded, but it's my natural makeup, I'm not naturally lean, more curvy.
olivarria
Chachaheels, I have recently had my Prozac prescription doubled, and this seems to be helping with the body pain and fatigue, as well as crying spells and the "empty, blank" feeling I seem to have now and again - all probably caused by depression of course. I was concerned that I might have fibromyalgia because of the severity of body pain & fatigue, and lack of any other explanation. But I think it is just depression - it's just a shame that it causes so much physical as well as emotional stress. I try to deal with it the best I can!

The "black monster" is gone for now - let's hope it stays that way! I have therapy tomorrow, which I'm sure will help - it always does. I will continue to take the supplements you suggested, which really seem to be helping with my energy level. As always, thank you for your advice!
candycane_girl
Thanks for the info ladies. I really just want to get strong and healthy. I really admire my father. Even though he doesn't work out anymore he still has an incredible amount of physical strength. However, I intend on continuing to work out for the rest of my life. I want to get strong and stay strong.
culturehandy
CC, if you've been away from weight lifting for a while, there is no shame in weight. We all have to start somewhere.

I usually do 2-3 different excercizies per muscle group at 2 or 3 set of 15 reps each.

How does the 8lbs work for you? Do you find it easy? I'd push to 10lbs then up and up.

And again, it depends on the excercise you are doing, for some bicep work I am up to 30-35lbs, for others not so much. It just depends on the day and the way you are working the muscle.
candycane_girl
8lbs is usually what I do for anything involving my arms (biceps, triceps, etc) and shoulders. However, with my legs I can usually push about 80 pounds. I've been away from weights for a while but I'm glad to be getting back into it.
ketto
Ugh. I'm have a bad body image week. I've been sticking to exercising semi-regularly, but 3 times a week just isn't enough and I'm craving getting in more workouts. I'm also trying to pay more attention to my diet. I want to cook up some home made staples this weekend and I also have to go to the doctor to see about some shoulder problems. At least it looks like the weather may be warming up soon.
anna k
I know how you feel, ketto. I usually go to the gym about 2-3 times a week, and do a lot of walking, but will feel curvy and not as thin as I want to be. Like still thinking that I look soft and round.

On the plus side, I dropped a pant size, so it felt nice to wear some pants in a size that I couldn't wear before, but I didn't want to make it seem like a huge achievement.

I've been alternating a lot with weights and reps, thanks to a recent article in Muscle and Fitness Hers. There was a piece talking about doing 3 sets of 6 reps for heavier weights, 3 sets of 8-12 reps for medium ones, and 3 sets of 15-25 for lighter ones. I've been moving around it, seeing what I can do, and I like being able to lift more. So far, I can do tricep kickbacks with 15-lb weights and overhead triceps with a 20-lb weight. I can't bench-press much, about 35 lbs, but I'm progressing since starting with 20 in December. But for bicep curls I either do 10 lbs or 12 lbs, my muscles feel too sensitive for anything heavier in that exercise.
mumblestutter
hiatus is over. back to the gym!

i will feel so much better in a couple of weeks.
p_176
i hear you guys on getting back to the gym. i've been bad about working out all month, which is frustrating since i've been fighting another sinus infection (which seems to have finally gone away). this week i started walking to work again instead of driving. on the plus side, since i've been watching what i eat, i have not gained weight.
anna that's a huge accomplishment to have lost a pants size! congratulations :-) ketto - good luck with your shoulder - i hope everything is ok.
angie_21
I have slowly been gaining momentum. finally lost the first inch on my stomach! But stress makes it so hard to keep the self control on the junk food!

Yesterday at the climbing wall my friends and I were goofing around on the chin-up bar. Then another girl came up, did 12 chin ups as if it were nothing, and moved on to the weights. And no bulky bodybuilder arms on that girl, either! I have tried so many times and can't pull my body up an inch. So jealous.
sassygrrl
I'm glad everyone is going back to the gym.

I went on my first hike since Sept (my doctor finally told me my foot was okay), and hiked for 3 hours. I also did some power yoga on Monday. I've lost 5 pounds, and am almost into a new size. I try to do about 5-10 lbs for my arms, and find that's enough for right now.

Congrats to everyone!!
zoya
Hi all, I used to post in here many moons ago, and now I'm back. I just weighed myself and I weigh 15 lbs more than my healthiest weight, 8 lbs more than I've weighed in my entire life. Lest you say that's not a lot and that weight doesn't matter, I'm a small girl - barely 5'4" and small frame, naturally slim and athletic. And I know for me, that when I'm healthy and in good shape (and I'm talking GOOD shape, not overly thin etc) I hover around one certain weight, not fluctuating by much. This weight gain is representative of eating like shit, drinking way too much, and not exercising. I MUST get back on the wagon, or I'm just going to go downhill.

I went for a couple of hikes last week, one was 5 hours, 8 miles, mostly uphill. was great. I also went snowboarding and I probably will this weekend. So I'm getting some fun, high level exercise in. But I need to be more consistent. I actually just bought the P90X workout DVDs that maybe some of you have seen on the TV infomercials. I asked a couple of trainer friends about that, and they said it's great, that some of their trainer friends use it as their work out. I won't get it for another week, though. I'm willing to work HARD to get back into shape, I am starting to feel like shit , and feel like shit about my appearance.

Anyway, I think that I'll be posting more in here, I remember when I was posting in here regularly some years back, everyone was really into running, and it helped my motivation tremendously. hoping it will do the same this time round....
crazyoldcatlady
QUOTE
I actually just bought the P90X workout DVDs that maybe some of you have seen on the TV infomercials.


you know zoya, those commercials made me curious, too. they looked legit, and i'm a fan of easing back into exercise by starting off at home and then throwing in the gym to mix it up/graduate too.

it's closing in on 2 months now since my gym hiatus, so i'm basically going to have to start over. i've been snowboarding too and that always works you more than you think, until you get smashed and drink back all the calories burned at the apres ski...

it's getting warmer and about a month away from hiking season, and my quads need boot camp.

just came in here to mind vomit. perhaps i will get inspired.
zoya
they're totally legit. I did a ton of research online - real people reviews - and asked a few friends who are trainers and nutritionists if they'd heard of it. All of them had heard of it and not only that, either had trainer friends who were using it, or they were doing it or modifying it for their own use.

My friends had nothing but good things to say about it. It's totally designed to be done at home, with just dumbbells and a chin up bar. the eating program is not a diet, it has you eating between 1800-2000 calories each day - and eating consistently all day - to fuel yourself for the workouts.

the only thing that any of my friends said and that I also read in reviews of it, is that it truly is super challenging. That it really pushes you, even though its only an hour a day. it's full on. and it never lets up, because you change what you're doing every day. it's really just sticking with it, and making sure you eat right, but if you do that, you DO really see the results. So I don't know that it's really all that much of "easing back into" exercise....

you can find all sorts of real people reviews - having nothing to do with the company that puts out the DVDs at all - online. people posting photos of themselves all the way along, or videos on you tube. To be fair, they're not all looking like the people on the infomercials - I'm sure even those real people started out in fairly decent shape or somthing and are the extreme of what people get to - but the "normal" people I found online did get pretty amazing results over the course of 3 months.

I guess after the 90 days, there are ways to modify the program to just stay at a certain level of fitness so you can just keep on using it.

anyway, that's why I figured I'd give it a whirl. seems to tick all the boxes with legit people
stargazer
dude, let me know how the program works. i don't want to lose massive weight 'cause i have a large frame, but i definitely want to tone my arms, legs, and stomach. i'm annoyed with being flabby. from what the informercial said and what little i read about strength training, it is good to vary your routine so your muscles are challenged and responsive to your workouts. doing the same routine every day does not challenge your system and it's part of the reason people don't see results in the form of muscle when lifting weight.

i realize i just sounded like an extra in pumping iron. blink.gif
angie_21
My understanding of weightlifting is this: The problem with lifting weights is that you can only ever target so many muscles with each excercise, and some muscles will always get left behind and unused. Also, no cardio involvement so it is less of an effective use of time. Whole body activity gets more muscles involved, which gives you better results in terms of strength, muscle definition, flexibilty, and weight loss because you have more muscles burning calories at once.

Right now I am trying to solve this problem by using balance ball workouts - good for cardio combined with working the "core." I feel like a dork, but at least the ball is cheap and I can do the videos at home. Then I add in a 2 hour trip to the climbing wall once a week, which is amazing for strength training! It also has helped me test the limits of my body and learn a lot of coordination... and depth perception, lol maybe one day I will stop falling off the wall.
anna k
My exercise consists of weightlifting on Mondays and Wednesdays, doing a dance class and weight class on Tuesdays, walking a lot (about 10 minutes to the subway, 10 minutes to work, and back again at the end of the day), and using DVDs at home, like a kickboxing one that has a lot of grace to it, plus doing planks and push-ups while watching TV. I also do a hot yoga class sometimes, though I have low blood pressure and my strength varies in the room. I felt weaker this week because I have PMS, whereas a few weeks ago I felt a lot stronger.

I gain weight easily, and have soft muscle tone, so it's important for me to move around a lot and feel active. I feel a lot of benefits from these exercises. I'm pretty flexible, can lift heavier weights, have a sharper memory for dance choreography, and feel good that I look soft and sweet on the outside but have plenty of inner strength and fortitude.
culturehandy
Here's the thing. So many people seem to think that unless you sweat buckets, that you aren't do cardio, elevating your heart rate, even with a brisk walk, is cardio. So you can do weights and if you get your heart rate up enough, that still can be cardio.

Further, there are lots of weights you can lift to target all muscles, even the small ones. If body buildres can do this, so can you.
ketto
Hallellujah, after 8 years I think I finally discovered the mystery of my intense shoulder and side pains. Last week I was running up and down the stairs doing errands in my house without a bra on and I noticed my shoulder hurt a bit. So I grabbed my boobs with my hands to give 'em support and started jumping up and down and I had no pain.

I decided to test my theory a couple of days ago at the gym. Typically I'll run about 10 minutes and then the pain starts to build and build in one or both shoulders and just below my ribs on the right side, and after about 30 minutes total I can't move anymore because the shoulder pain is too intense.

This time however, I wore a regular bra under my sports bra. I ran for 25 minutes straight (no stopping!!!) and I had NO SHOULDER PAIN! Not even a little! I can't believe in 8 years I never realized that my breasts were the issue, I guess because I have such a small frame I've never thought of them as all that big. It makes sense though, because I was 16 when I developed to a 32E bra. I always thought my sports bra was really supportive, but now I'm going to go find an underwire support sports bra.

Anywho, I'm really really really happy about this because I can get back on track with running for longer periods of time. My brother started running two weeks ago too so we've set a goal to both run the half marathon on June. I've started doing some core exercises using the Turbojam DVD and I think it's a good way to ease into strength and weight training.
angie_21
QUOTE(culturehandy @ Mar 26 2009, 11:28 AM) *
Here's the thing. So many people seem to think that unless you sweat buckets, that you aren't do cardio, elevating your heart rate, even with a brisk walk, is cardio. So you can do weights and if you get your heart rate up enough, that still can be cardio.

Further, there are lots of weights you can lift to target all muscles, even the small ones. If body buildres can do this, so can you.


Can't disagree with you on that. Most cardio I do is walking, because I hate running. However, at the gym on campus, it's maybe 10% weightlifters who are doing it right, and 90% people doing only a few different excercises and building up hilarious bubbles of muscle on only a few parts of their bodies (like all the young guys with giant biceps and weak little shoulders.. hee hee) I am also biased because for me, those kind of specifically targeted wrokouts are so boring. I need to engage my mind or I just won't do it, so full body workouts that require more coordination work a lot better for me, and I feel a lot better after them, too. On the other hand, I guess some people get more of an adrenaline rush from accomplishing the really heavy lifting, and there is nothing better than breaking gender stereotypes and building up some powerful strength if it works for you!
Gillian
Hi all!
I'm a long time lurker on this forum. But this time I was hoping maybe I could get some advice.
I'm trying to include coconut oil in my diet, but don't really like the taste of it. I don't cook very much (no time), but I have had it as a spread on bread before (mixed with something else) and that was ok. No I've stoped eating grains for a while so that is out. Also I have added it to smoothies, but when the other ingredients (like yoghurt) are cold the coconut gets all grainy and then the smoothie is blah. Do you have any suggestions? Some way to have coconut oil - only discuised.
candycane_girl
Hi ladies. I wasn't sure if I should post this here or somewhere else. I've been coming into this thread for years and I feel so frustrated. I'm starting to think that I might truly have a binge eating disorder or something. I don't always binge eat but there are way too many times when I'm not hungry at all and I still force food down my throat, to the point that I get a horrible stomachache. Last year I talked to my old doctor about wanting to lose weight and she sent me to a dietitian. That didn't really help because I know already know what I should be eating. I just feel like there's something else that has a hold over me. Does anyone know of any resources to deal with this? I feel really out of control. Food is constantly on my mind. I don't even want to lose a ton of weight at this point, I just want to get healthy and not face any health risks.

Sorry for hijacking the thread, I just didn't know where else to post.
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