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October 2011

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Me with Jeff Galloway - Jan 2010

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At Engine 2 Immersion with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Rip Esselstyn 9/24/11

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I started my journey to improving my health in early August 2009. I was almost 40 pounds overweight, stopped watching what I ate, or exercising, had just been put on high blood pressure medication by my doctor, was unhappy with how I looked and how I felt and still depressed after my parents had both passed away 2 years earlier. The shock of being put on high blood pressure medication (and winding up with my parents’ health problems) served as my ‘wake-up call’. The day after I saw my doctor, I unfolded my treadmill, started tracking my food and started using SparkPeople .

In the beginning, I just made a commitment to myself that I would walk 30 minutes per day seven days a week and start tracking my food. Gradually, I added more healthy habits into the mix. I decided I was not going to go on a specific plan (like Weight Watchers) but instead, this time, I was going to figure out for myself, what worked for ME, using all the health knowledge I’d gathered over the years, and the new reading I started doing again. I know from past experience that once I put myself on a rigid food program, I eventually wanted to rebel against it, and I was looking for a permanent solution. I started listening to motivational podcasts and hypnosis tapes. I started using my Cardio Coach tapes on my treadmill again. I bought myself a GoWearFit devise to keep track of my steps, exercise intensity, and calories burned. I found that it serves to keep me focused and accountable towards reaching my daily goals.

In September, I found I needed to do more exercise than just walking to get my heartrate up, and started to do a few minutes of jogging (using Cardio Coach tapes outdoors). I decided to train to run a 5K and now I am hooked on running. I had never tried running before, and didn’t realize how much I would enjoy it.

In January 2010, I attended a Running Retreat with Jeff Galloway, and in June 2010 I met my goal to run a half-marathon before I turned 60. Now that I've achieved that, my plan is to run a 10K in the spring and fall (I found I was injuring myself too often when my training mileage exceeded 10 miles).

As far as my personal program, here is what seems to work for me:

I listen to a motivational podcast everyday, which I download from iTunes. Right now I am listening to Fat2Fit (my favorite), Motivation to Move (premium), & Dr Joel Furhman's "Nutritional Excellence" podcasts.

I’m using Jeff Galloway’s RunWalkRun method for my running. On the days I don’t run, I walk for at least 30-45 minutes either outside or on my treadmill. In March 2010, I became an 'ambassador' for Cardio Coach audio workout tapes (which I use both outside and on my treadmill). I also occasionally use My Treadmill Trainer workout tapes.

I do strength training twice a week. I find if I do three days of strength training each week, my body doesn’t recover enough, so I’ve stopped doing that. I focus mostly on upper body and core work, as I found that doing squats and lunges hurts my knees and makes it more difficult for me to run.

As far as my food program, for the first few years, I was most influenced by the writings of Tom Venuto (Burn the Fat/Build the Muscle) and John Berardi (Precision Nutrition) and have incorporated their ideas into my routines.

I give myself permission not to be 'perfect' when I have an off meal or off day, chalk it up to experience, and then get back on on-track. Sometimes I need to do a lot of 'self-talk' to remind myself that one bad day or one bad meal does not negate all my months of hard work... and that it will take lots more than 1 meal to regain the 25 pounds I've lost.

July 2011 Update: I've have fallen off both the diet and exercise wagon this fall, but last month, after recovering from 2 different injuries earlier this year, I was able to start running and strength training again. Unfortunately, I gained about 10 pounds, mostly around my middle, but it could have been worse. Now that I am in an exercise routine, I'm focusing on my eating. I watched the film "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and will be following their Reboot food plan for 10 days (basically fruits, veggies, a little good fat & water). I'm in the transition phase of that right now, where I eat fruits & veggies (cooked or raw, juiced or in a green smoothie) in the daytime, and then have a light protein dinner, plus a serving of lowfat yogurt during the day.

August 2011 update:
After watching "Fat Sick & Nearly Dead" last month, I started doing some reading on 'plant strong' nutrition and its health benefits, and discovered the nutritional philosophies of Dr. Joel Fuhrman ("Eat to Live") (who was featured in FS&ND), the "Engine 2 Diet" and "Food Over Forks". I've just started eating "plant strong", following the general guidelines below:

Eat nothing with a mother or a face (no meat, poultry or fish)
No dairy
No oil of any kind
Generally, no nuts or avocados
YES to:
All veggies except avocado
All legumes (beans, peas & lentils)
All whole grains & products made from them, so long as they have no fat
All fruits

I'm looking forward to reducing my weight, my blood pressure & my cholesterol.

Member Since: 12/28/2009

Fitness Minutes: 13,187

My Goals:
Near term goals:
Weight: under 150 DONE
Fitness: Run a 10K in April - Crescent City Classic in New Orleans on April 3rd- Done - in 1:16 (12.15/m).
Waist: under 35 inches. DONE!!!

Long Term Goals:
Waist under 32 inches
Weight: 130

9/26/09 First 5K 41.27
11/7/09 5K 36.10
1/16/10 Resoluton Run 5k 34:26 Gold Medal 50-59 year old females! 11:05 pace
1/22-24/10 Jeff Galloway Running Retreat
2/28/10 Get Your Rear in Gear 5k. 33:05. #3 for age group. 10:40 pace
3/20/10 Koman 5K 33:40
4/3/10 Crescent City Classic 10K- 1:16 12:15/m
6/6/10 Minneapolis Half Marathon 2:54:38
11/13/10 Cajun Cup 10K 1:16, 12:22/m

4/12 Crescent City Classic 10K

My Program:
I'm eating "Plant Strong" and following the recommendations set forth in the books, "Engine 2 Diet", "Eat to Live" and "Forks Over Knives".

Exercise Plan:
Cardio: Walk 10,000 steps/day 5x week.
Strength training 2x week

My Challenges:

Being treated for sciatica caused by a pinched nerve is severely limiting my mobility.

Personal Information:
Places I've called home: NYC, Ann Arbor, MI; Phoenix, AZ, Naples, FL, San Francisco, CA and Lafayette, LA.

I enjoy playing Cajun guitar, gardening and Science Fiction.

I just adopted 2 kittens!

I am a Cardio Coach Ambassador.

I'm a big fan of Battlestar Gallactica (I want to look like Starbuck when I grow up :-).

Other Information:
"I didn''t say it was going to be easy. I said it was going to be WORTH it!"

"Patience, persistence, practice"

"Progress, not Perfection"

"Decisions help us start. Dedication helps us finish"

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 Pounds lost: 32.0 
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    Hi Andrea,
    Just checking in to see how you are doing. Sure hope that sciatica is better by now. Your progress with the Engine 2 process seems incredible, and I'm so glad your biometrics are under control.
    Seems like all I do is start over - sort of like a broken record (45 rpm, of course!) Had further mesh sling surgery the first of April and have finally healed again, so here I go getting back on my walk/run regime. I definitely have weight to lose, so am interested in the diet you outlined in your 3/12 blog. I'm going to read up on it.
    Take care and I'll be on the lookout for you! Have a great summer (ugh, hate to think of the sauna like conditions here in GA when it is hot!!)

    3307 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/30/2012 2:52:46 PM
    Andrea, wow, sounds like you're doing great despite the sciatica - that's awesome! I picked up a magazine about nutrition (think it was actually a 7th Day Adventist publication) and saw them mention the Engine 2 diet (think that's the name). Sounds like its a great plan.
    I had problems with sicatica last year and went to a chiropractor who uses the "Graston" method. After just a couple of treatments I felt great. If that's not something you've tried you might want to give it a shot.
    Keep up the great work!!!
    p.s. I'm envious of your weight loss - I can't seem to lose anything right now, even though I'm working out so much.
    3507 days ago
    Hi, just checking in to see how things are going withi you. Hope you're enjoying the cooler weather - it was about 27 when I did my am running group today. Cold at first, but I love running in this weather. :)
    Take care and let me hear from you!
    3507 days ago
    thank you for your quick response. I think I will definitely try it. I've been wanting to. Just think I started it out wrong with going full force on JUST juicing. Looks like I am going to have to buy some books and do it a better way.
    3525 days ago
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    We're going into the fall season! Let's make sure that we're actively creating a P-L-A-N for our success! Get our that ol' pencil and paper and let's get started!

    We can do this!
    3589 days ago
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