Tuesday, January 31, 2012

MIDWEEK UPDATE...don't forget to do your post before end of Thursday!

It's time for the midweek updates to roll in. Post them by end of Thursday, please....after that, it's not really MID-week, is it?

Make sure to add your guiding quotes and add anything pertinent, good or bad, about your goals, book, outfit, etc. If you haven't taken progress pics, it's been a month already since we began, so maybe take some.

All the challengers checked in. Meg was late, and she's having some stressful life issues. Please add her to your prayer list if you pray,  your positive thoughts/vibes list if you flow that way. Meg, please try to do updates on Friday or Saturday, since life is being hard, don't think SUNDAY, think Friday. As long as you have weight, waist, and some comments on how you're doing, it shouldn't take long. Heck, as for prayer, if that's what it comes down to. But please schedule updates sooner, so you don't miss the deadlines, thanks.

I hope everyone is making progress in SOME area. If you are doing great in all of them: AMAZING. If you are struggling, keep at it. Bad times come and go. Good times come and go. Life is an ups and downs thing. But we can't quit. Persistence and diligence--that's the only way to make our goal...eventually. :)

Be well, update, keep up with your buddy, and on we go....

Friday, January 27, 2012

LINKY IS UP! Update by end of Sunday, January 29, Eastern Time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

PSA - Body Fat and BMI

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or fitness guru. I am sharing what I've learned through research and experience; you all must use your own judgment in deciding what is best for your and your own health, including checking with your doctor before beginning any exercise or dietary program.

BMI or Body Mass Index was developed by Belgium statistician Adolph Quelet in the 1800’s. His intent was this tool was to be used to measure the obesity of the general population, not the fatness of an individual. That being said, since many people and even physicians still use this measurement, here is the formula for calculating your BMI and what the results mean.

Basic BMI Formula

(weight in pounds x 703) / (height in inches) squared

Example, using my own (gasp!) stats

(159 X 703) /(63x63) = 111777 /3969 = 28.1

BMI Interpretation

  • Below 18.5 = Underweight

  • 18.5 - 24.9 = Normal

  • 25 - 29.9 = Overweight

  • 30 & above = Obese

The BMI is not an accurate accounting of your overall health if you are exceptionally tall, short or muscular. According to this basic BMI formula, I am Overweight. I resent that Overweight label. Really, I DO! I'm down to a size 8 dress pant. That isn't overweight in my book. So I dug a little deeper to see if there was another measurement that would take into account actual body fat and how it's distributed over the body. I found it - it's called Body Fat Percentage.

Body Fat Percentage

Body fat percentage is exactly that: the percentage of total body weight comprised of fat. The best way to determine this is with pinch measurements, an immersion tank and one of those spiffy scales that sends an electric current through your body and magically determines how much of you is actual fat. Most of us don't have access to such equipment, so here's a formula that will give you a quick and dirty answer, along with an interpretation of the results.

Body Fat Percentage Formula for Women

  • F1, etc = Factor 1, etc

  • TBW = Total Body Weight

  • LBM = Lean Body Mass

  • BFW = Body Fat Weight

The Formula:

  • F1: (TBW x 0.732) + 8.987

  • F2: Wrist measurement (at fullest point) / 3.140

  • F3: Waist measurement (at naval) x 0.157

  • F4: Hip measurement (at fullest point) x 0.249

  • F5: Forearm measurement (at fullest point) x 0.434

  • LBM = F1 + F2 –F3 – F4 + F5

  • BFW = TBW – LBM

  • Body Fat Percentage = (BFW x100) divided by TBW
Here's an example of the math using my own stats - measurements taken this morning.
  • F1: (159 x 0.732) + 8.987 = 125.36

  • F2: 6.00 / 3.140 = 1.91

  • F3: 30 x 0.157 = 4.71

  • F4: 39 x 0.249 = 9.71

  • F5: 10.0 x 0.434 = 4.34

  • LBM = 125.36 + 1.91 – 4.71 – 9.71 + 4.34 = 117.19

  • BFW = 159 – 117.19 = 41.81

  • Body Fat Percentage = (41.81 x 100) /159 = 26.29%

Body Fat Percentage Interpretation for Women

  • 10-12% = Essential fat necessary to stay alive

  • 14-20% = Professional and Amateur Athletes

  • 21-24% = Fitness Buffs

  • 25-31% = Acceptable

  • 32-41% = Overweight

  • 42% or Higher = Obese

BMI VS Body Fat Percentage
BMI is the most widely use indicator of weight status but it really isn't very useful because it doesn't take into account bone mass, muscle mass or actual fat as it lies on your body. Bones are denser than muscles and twice as dense as fat. Body builders and other hyped up exercise maniacs, like Buff Chad, have a high BMI without being the least bit obese. In fact, Buff Chad WORKS at keeping his BMI around 34 (crazy!) According to the calculations above, I am in the overweight category in the BMI chart, but I come out in the acceptable range in body fat percentage.

I continue to work on my overall health, with plenty of exercise and responsible food consumption. And no cookies. My ulitmate goal will put me in the normal BMI range and in the fitness buff body fat range. For now, though, I'm happier considering the Body Fat Percentage over the BMI: it's a more realistic snapshot of how I really look and feel.

Note: Both the BMI and the Body Fat Percentage are just a couple of quasi-accurate measurements to give you an idea of your overall heath and a starting point for your health goals. If you fall into the obese categories, it would be wise to consult your Doctor for some very specific guidelines for nutrition, exercise and possibly medications.

Do the Math. Keep the Faith.
EMail Anglea Pea

Midweek Update Reminder

Whether  you do it today, tomorrow, or Thursday, please get it done! :)

If you haven't started reading your book or discussing it on your blog, GET CRACKING!

Include your guiding quotes. Tell us what's up.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

LINKY FOR UPDATE #3 DUE BY END OF SUNDAY, 1/22/12, Eastern Time!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Remember the Mid-Week Update! Git 'r done!

Whether it's Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, please remember you must do a challenge mid-week update. Post about whatever you're doing--having issues with, succeeding at, falling down over, need tips on. You can talk about your book, show photos of your meals, try on your outfit again if you think you made crazy progress in 2 1/2 weeks. :D

Just get the update done. Right?

And don't be like me, who forgot to add the quotes! Sigh.

Later, and be well...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Linky is Now Up for the Updates Due by end of Sunday, Jan 15. DO NOT MISS THE DEADLINE!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

PSA - Indispensable Tools for Exercise

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or fitness guru. I am sharing what I've learned through research and experience; you all must use your own judgment in deciding what is best for your and your own health, including checking with your doctor before beginning any exercise or dietary program.
I have not received any compensation for reviewing the products mentioned in this blog post.

Okay. We're going to be a bit blunt here today, discussing body parts and the not so fun casualties of exercising.

Also know as chub rub, heat rash, nipple burn, you name it and someone has a slang term for it. What I'm talking about is a friction burn on your tender parts, namely your inner thighs, your bikini and bra lines, your armpits and anywhere else your clothes rub against your skin or your skin rubs against your skin. It's especially prevalent when we're overweight. Ladies, it hurts. It swells up and turns red. In extreme cases, the skin cracks and bleeds. So not fun.

What can you do? I recommend wearing bike shorts or compression pants under your clothing instead of panties for working out. The fabric protects your thigh skin from chafing, and there's no elastic band to chafe delicate areas. Same on top - invest in athletic shirts made from tech fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin and protect it from chafing. You don't need UnderArmor or other expensive brands - I like the BCG generics from Academy, usually in the $10-$15 range.

Then, there's your new best friend, Body Glide. It's basically lanolin in a solid stick, like deodorant. Apply liberally to all sensitive parts before you put your workout clothes on, and no chafing. You can pick it up at any sporting goods or athletic stores; our local Walgreens carries it. It does come in a "Women's" variety that smells pretty and comes in a pink tube, but it costs more than the regular stuff. I use the regular stuff.

Sore Boobage
Unless you have the figure of Twiggy or are a six year old girl, you need a good, supportive sport bra for serious exercise. Regular Maidenforms won't do the job. Sport bras come in a wide range of styles for different levels of exercise - I recommend getting a bra for your most strenuous exercise and wearing it for everything, especially if your are abundantly endowed.

My personal favorite is Enell. I'll just be straight up here - I AM abundantly endowed. The girls have shrunk considerably with my weight loss, but they are still substantial. I've run through the gamut of sports bras - UnderArmor, Champion, JogBra, Nike - and I have never found one that really does the job. Some are too compressive, to the point of pain, some don't have adjustable straps, some have so much elastic that you come away from a workout with chafe burns that even Body Glide won't stop. Most of the brands and styles I've tried just don't stop the bounce. And bounce, though it looks intriguing to the male bystander, just sucks the fun out your workout.

Enter Enell. (Insert angelic voices and sparkly light streaming down from heaven.) According to the mission statement on their website, "Enell, Inc. is dedicated to providing well-endowed women with the opportunity to fully participate in an active lifestyle by offering state of the art, high quality performance apparel." Okay. Goody for them. But will that bra really work? YES!!!!! IT DOES!!! And you can get a PINK ONE!! Sports bras do their job either through compression or encapsulation, smashing the boobs flat or holding them firmly with structurally reinforced rigid fabrics. Compression is uncomfortable, encapsulation makes you look like a Viking Warrior with pointy metal chest plates. Enell combines both methods, with remarkaby comfortable, supportive results!

The bra fits like a vest, with a long row of hooks up the front; the shape is the compression part. The inner fabric is silky against the skin with no stretch at all; this is the encapsulation. Put on one, and voila! No Bounce! NO BOUNCE I tell you! Enell's wonderfullness is pricy, but for no bounce workouts, it is worth every penny. Check them out at http://www.enell.com/.

Aching Feet
I can't emphasize this enough, especially if you choose running as your favored form of exercise. You MUST have properly fitted shoes. Properly fitted shoes provide necessary support and flexibility for your feet, legs and back. "Properly fitted shoes" does not mean "so expensive you want to cry" shoes. There are dozens of choices out there that are affordable, and will still protect you from stress fractures and tendon strains.

Go to a running store and get a proper fitting. They'll put you on a treadmill to evaluate your gait and then let you try on several styles to find the right one for you. Fittings are generally complimentary, and you don't have to buy shoes from the running store. Note the brand and style, then hit the internet or your local Academy or DSW and get the same shoe for half the price!

Don't believe that shoes make that much difference? Hop over to Betty's blog and let her tell you all about it!

Not just stinky sweat, but the ingrained stench your workout clothes acquire after a while. If you just really can't stand your shirts any more, there is something that will remove the smell. Penguin Sport Wash. Its residue-free and non-allergenic, specifically made to keep fabrics odor-free by washing away residues left by regular detergents, removing dirt, neutralizing bacteria, and restoring breathability, moisture-wicking, and factory applied waterproofing. Yep...you can wash down coats in it, too. It will also remove blood and grass stains.

Keep the Faith.
EMail Anglea Pea

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Reminder to do you Mid-Week Update in the Next Couple Days and to Pray for One of Our Challengers...

Of 18 challengers, 17 checked in. Meg was our missing "link". She emailed me as to why, so she's still in. Megan's buddy (Jillian), please try to keep in touch and make arrangements to make sure you remind/encourage Meg to get her linky in weekly on time, as needed. Keep an eye on it and have her back, yes?

I'd like to ask for prayer/positive vibes/support for Meg of REINVENTING MEGAN. I can't say why, but life is throwing her some jagged rocks right now...so shield her up with good thoughts, petitions to the higher power, etc. Meg, I pray a blessing for strength, grace, courage, and wisdom over you. May a smooth road be ahead for you in good time.

Okay, it's Tuesday and mid-week updates should start coming in soon...

I'm having a semi-rough time, energy-wise, physically. My temperatures have been horrid (97.0 this AM, previouslly 97.3), so that pretty much tells me it's the thyroid wonkiness. That would also explain, maybe, this whole plateauing thing (other than the fluid fluctuations).

If you are struggling a bit, too, just remember: we will get through it and great weeks/energy will return. Believe it! <--channeling Naruto.

Okay, on we go...

Friday, January 6, 2012


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

PSA - Fueling Your Bod for Exercise

Does anyone remember Public Service Announcements? They were television and radio commercials back in the 60's and 70's intended to educate and inform the general public. I'll be posting PSA's for the group during our challenge, based upon questions that pop up in our blogs, concerns and needs of our sister challengers.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or fitness guru. I am sharing what I've learned through research and experience; you all must use your own judgment in deciding what is best for your and your own health, including checking with your doctor before beginning any exercise or dietary program.

Julie polled her readers about eating before or after exercise. Are you supposed to eat before, during or after exercise?

The answer is Yes.

First, the science behind it. Your body is an amazing machine, and it works constantly to maintain a certain level of glucose in your bloodstream. Glucose is fuel - it keeps you going. Your body changes the food you eat into glucose to power your pretty self. Once your bloodstream is saturated at the proper level, extra glucose is stored in your liver as glycogen.

When you exercise, your muscles go into overdrive, drawing glucose from your bloodstream. Once that source is used up, your liver will change the stored glycogen back to glucose and release it into your bloodstream to keep you moving. Once the liver glucose is used up, your body will start using stored fat to make more glucose for your muscles. Unfortunately, changing fat to glucose is a slow process, much slower than the rate your exercising muscles are screaming for fuel. If you get to this point during a workout session, BAM! You hit a wall. You start to shake, feel light headed and break out in a cold sweat. You just can't keep going.

What? Isn't the purpose of exercise to burn up fat? Why yes, it is! Just not DURING the actual exercise. Your body can't convert fat to glucose fast enough to support exercise in the moment that you are actually moving. Fat burning takes place once you stop. Remember how your body keeps a constant level of glucose at all times? Once you've depleted the glucose in your body and stopped actively exercising, your body will pull from your fat reserves to balance the glucose level in your bloodstream and to recharge your liver.

You need to fuel your body for working out - give it some fast easy energy that your muscles can pull straight from your blood stream, because they NEED that fuel to function! This doesn't mean a full meal - this means a snack, preferably one with a balance of carbohydrates (fast fuel, converts quickly to glucose and floods the muscles) and proteins (slower fuel that will hit the bloodstream about the time the carb rush gets used up).I usually have 1/2 of a peanut butter and banana sandwich before I exercise.

For really long workouts, like runs or long bike rides, you need to top off the glucose fuel tank during the exercise to avoid that muscle crash. Some folks swear by those little gel things; I prefer real food. I'll carry an apple or a granola bar with me and have a bite or two every 30 minutes. Again, not a full meal or complete snack, but just enough to keep the fast fuel coursing through my bloodstream for my muscles to pull from.

It's also important to have a snack after working out that's a little higher in protein in order to give your body materials to repair muscles and to do it's work replenishing your blood stream and liver from your fat reserves. I usually have a few slices of turkey or a piece of cheese. Some serious runner friends of mine swear by chocolate milk for after run recharging.

There are hundreds of opinions about fueling for working out, and every body is different. You each need to figure out through trial and error what works for you - what lets you get through a workout without collapsing, but still keeps your body burning fat afterward.

Keep the Faith.

EMail Anglea Pea

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Reminder to post a mid-week update....and pray for Bluezy

Hey, fellow challengers.

By now, you should have gotten in touch with your buddy in some form. Right?


Now, get ready to post a mid-week update. It's your update to fill us in on whatever you want having to do with your journey. If you finally got your book, what are your thoughts on what you've read so far? If you've begun a new exercise program, what's it like? If you're breezing through your eating, give us tips. If you're struggling, ask for tips! If you want to do two-weigh ins a week, fine, do it. I'm sure we'd love to see pics of your meals, exercise gear, walking path, whatever...include us in the journey. Be accountable, if it's tough out of the starting gate. Just post.

Remember to post your guiding quote(s) in each challenge update--official and midweek.

That's just to help with keeping the focus.

ETA: Please pray for Bluezy and her family, those of you who are prayer folks. They are having a crisis (which I am not a liberty to speak of), and it's serious and stressful. Please remember them in the coming days and ask God to open doors for them to solve the crisis. Thanks. To Bluezy's buddy--if this becomes a challenge dropout situation, I'll sign on as your buddy until such time as someone else can take Bluezy's place.

And on we go....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

IT HAS BEGUN! Here are the Buddy Pairings...let's make the first months of 2012 a shining beginning to a great year of health!

*Casey and Julie
*Bluezy and lv2
*Eaba and Nanette
*Debby and UpInTheCosmos
*Jenny and Betty
*Jordan and Mir
*Karen and Bethany
*Megan and Jillian
*Angela and Jo  
(Jo has not linked up as of midnight, so I entered her url/name/email. You can do this for your buddy, too, no differently than you update your own info. See? :D I think Jo was used to the CDCC Sunday deadline and got confused. From now on, it will be a Sunday Midnight, Eastern time, deadline. So, you have a bit more leeway.)

Please contact each other via your blogs, pass along emails, exchange phone numbers or anything else. You must also figure out how to keep each other accountable, cover for each other on vacations to make sure linkies are up, etc. Be strong together.

There are all sorts of ways to make sure links are done and in. Create a duo blog and make each other administrators...and you can make and post links for each other. Prepost EARLY a placeholder post with the challenge update title, then your partner can just copy the url and add the link for you, and you can go back and add the info on your return. Figure it out, people!

If you ever have a significant, unsolvable impasse/problem/issue with your buddy, contact me. We'll figure that out together. But you're all great people. I know you'll be sources of support and camaraderie.

Okay, we've begun. I pray a blessing over each and every one of us. Good health, great joy,  and better, leaner weights in 2012.

Be well...and...