Caitlin's Real Journey to Health

A lot harder than it sounds

Weigh-In For the Week

So I’m short on time today but I wanted to get the weigh-in information in. I’m gonna try and get a longer post tomorrow.


Current Weight: 173.6

Change from Last Week: 0

Overall change: +1.6


January 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Weigh In and The Paula Deen Situation

So I will preface this entry by saying I’ve been having internet issues. First the home internet decided to go kaput and then I’ve been having issues with the wireless internet at school. The couple times I was able to get on, I’ve had to address school work first so this had to take a back seat.

So here’s the weigh in information for this past week:

Current Weight: 173.6

Change from Last Week: +1.6

Overall change: +1.6

Not what I wanted, but when I can’t really work out much cause of this cold, I can’t do much about it.

So Paula Deen came out this week and announced that she has Type 2 diabetes. I can’t say that I’m overly surprised by this. But here’s my thing. I think that she’s getting a bad rap to a certain extent. The people who blame her diet and the type of food she makes, either haven’t watched her show or are a bit naive. I’m a Food Network junkie, and I have always enjoyed watching her show. If you’ve ever watched it, you know that she always says that the food should be enjoyed in moderation or on special occasions. She has never in any way encouraged eating that way for every meal.

And think about your grandparents. What kind of food do you think they made a lot? People have been eating food like that for generations but the difference is the activity level. Our generations are lazy as all get out. We rely on cars to get us everywhere and we don’t compensate for it with any type of physical activity. Our parents and our grandparents didn’t have the luxuries that we had and we are lot more active because of it. So they burned off a lot of calories and it wasn’t a big deal. I remember growing up and going to my grandma’s and we would make pizzas, rolls and biscuits, cookies, fatty , etc. We didn’t skimp on the fat and calories, and my grandma cooks the same way now. And she’s perfectly healthy. Because she works around the house. She doesn’t sit around all day. And she eats in moderation. She doesn’t go back for seconds and she doesn’t load her plate down.

And you get people that try and blame celebrity chefs like her for our nation’s obesity problem, especially that of children. But how is that fair to place blame on one person? Why not blame the parents who let their kids sit around and play video games instead of forcing them to go play outside or taking them to play in youth sports leagues? Why not blame school cafeterias for serving a bunch of preprocessed and unhealthy food? And why not blame ourselves for letting it happen? Or for stopping at McDonald’s and letting kids get the fatty foods instead of forcing the fruit cups? We are so quick to place the blame on everyone else when a lot of the fault is our own.

So, is Paula Deen the poster woman for healthy eating? No. But should she be placed on a cross for it? No.

Now I can’t comment on the manner in how she came out with it. But I can buy her delaying coming out with it so she could adjust to the diagnosis. I have a friend that was suddenly diagnosed with diabetes (and she is a super healthy twig by the way), and it took her months to really get used to adjusting her diet and changing everything. It was a huge lifestyle change for her, as active and healthy as she was. Now waiting 3 years does seem a bit extreme, but maybe there’s some ulterior motive that we aren’t aware of. There’s really no way to know for sure.

January 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Weigh-In #1 and The Lunch Debacle

So I actually did my first weigh-in on Wednesday. School being what it is, I’ve been kinda busy the last couple days with classes and meetings. So I plan on laying out the weigh in results as follows:

Current Weight: 172 lbs

Difference from Last Week: n/a

Total Difference: n/a

Other than listing the weights I really don’t plan on saying too much about them since I’m not trying to obsess over the numbers themselves. If I come across something with it that really warrants commenting on, I will but for the most part I’ll do the stats and then move on.

So, for the first stumbling block I’ve come across but knew I would sooner or later: waking up late. I’m nursing a nasty cold right now so I’ve been taking medicine for it. Needless to say, I woke up late Thursday and Friday. The main downside to waking up late is not having time to make a lunch. I know I could pack it up the night before but to be perfectly honest, I hate doing that, especially if I’m packing a sandwich.The bread just gets all saturated and I HATE a soggy sandwich. For the most part packing sides and things like that are okay to do the night before but I usually forget or I’m just too lazy (that’s for another time).

Anyway, as you can imagine, being on a college campus, my options for lunch aren’t exactly the best. We have  a ton of bars/pubs, fast food, and just crappy food. And the places that have salads I swear sell couple day old salads. Browning lettuce is just disgusting. So it doesn’t exactly inspire someone to make better eating choices. There is a cafeteria in our student union that has a really nice salad bar and some really delicious pre-made salads but they are really expensive.

So I typically have a not fun decision to make: eat food that isn’t as good for me but is a lot cheaper or pay a lot more to eat better. Being on the budget of a graduate student, I can’t always afford to take the healthier route. This is probably the biggest obstacle on the day-to-day efforts: eating healthy costs a lot. I’ll get into my thoughts on that in another post. I know the simple answer is just to make sure I pack what I can the night before and if worse comes to worse just take the individual elements for the sandwich with me. And the only thing I can really offer is excuses.

My only hope is that once this cold goes away (which if the weather patterns keep up their current trends won’t be anytime soon and will most likely be bronchitis before it’s over) it’ll be a lot easier to keep up with lunch.

January 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The Whos, Whats, Whens, Wheres, and Whys

Hello, blog world! So I finally decided to jump on the blog bandwagon. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now but I didn’t just want to randomly blog about my life. That’s what I use Facebook for. So I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to blog about. I initially wanted to do a chemistry blog but I don’t have the time to truly devote to it right now, being in my second quarter of graduate school and all.

The route I decided is take is, admittedly, not original in the least. I’m sure that there are several blogs out there devoted to this topic. However, it’s one that is really important to me right now and I think this is actually going to help me succeed where I might have failed before. I decided to do a blog about trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

But I’m taking a different approach than a lot of what is out there. I’m not going to sit here and give you advice on how you should live your life in order to be healthier. Instead, I’m going to take you on a journey – mine. I am on a mission to live a healthier lifestyle and I’m letting you in on my successes and my failures.

To start us off, I’d like to introduce myself a little bit and explain why I decided to do this blog. My name is Caitlin. As I stated above, I just started graduate school this past fall. I’ve always been a fairly busy person. In high school I was heavily involved in cheerleading and choir. So I always seemed to be running from practice or a game to tumbling classes and rehearsals for concerts. I’ve never been a twig (and I do love my curves) but I was always in shape and healthy because I was so active.

Once I got to college, things slowly started going downhill. I still would go to the rec and work out a lot. I did still manage to eat fairly healthy, especially considering I was living in a dorm, and having to walk everywhere was nice. However, I still wasn’t as active on a day-to-day basis and I used to be. And it only got worse from my sophomore year on. The real kicker happened during my junior year. I had a skiing incident. The circumstances are actually really hilarious if you know me and my klutzy ways but needless to say I royally screwed my knee up (the one that cheerleading hadn’t already screwed up). I wasn’t even able to attempt working out on it for a few months. This was when I really started to slowly put on some weight.

This May, I will have had my undergraduate degree for 2 years. In the interim, I’ve had a more than full time job that had me closing most nights (9 PM). I live with my boyfriend who gets to work to work at 5 AM every day (now 3 AM). So between my job and trying to see my boyfriend before he goes to sleep, I was juggling prepping for grad school and all the bill paying responsibilities that come with adulthood. And I was trying not to eat dinner at 11 every night. So healthy decisions weren’t always the easy ones to make.

Now I find myself back in school. But it’s so different from undergrad. Now you have 1 or 2 classes maximum but they take just as much if not more of your time as they did in undergrad. Plus, you have to juggle your research responsibilities. Plus you get the joys of being a teaching assistant (supervising labs and grading their assignments, meetings, office hours, and proctoring/grading exams). And I commute to school every day so I still don’t get home as early as I would like. Even though my day isn’t usually physically tiring, I usually come home mentally tired and it’s hard to get the energy to make dinner sometimes, which usually ends up leading to me making a  less healthy decision.

So here we are. I’ve put on about 50 pounds since I got out of high school. Amazingly (at least to me), I’ve only gone up 2 pant sizes since then though. I’ve gradually started hating looking at myself in the mirror. At least a mirror where I can see everything. A few months ago, I had my turning point moment. I couldn’t zip up a dress that I’d just bought a couple of months prior without some serious assistance from my boyfriend and even then I felt like I’d have trouble breathing it seemed so tight. I knew right then that something needed to change. However, things still really haven’t changed all that much. I’ve made some efforts but they don’t seem to last more than a week or so before I’m off the wagon.

I feel like my struggles, while different in the exact circumstances and situation, are the same that most people who want to be healthier have. So this is why I’m here. I decided that I needed a kick in the butt and I thought that if I put my journey in a more public forum, I’d have a little more incentive to stay on track. I can’t keep resting on the same tired excuses anymore. While I do have things and circumstances that make it more difficult for me to do this, I have to admit that I am just as responsible for things being the way they are. I use those difficulties as excuses and let that keep me from making an effort.

I don’t expect this to be easy. I know there will be days that I want to quit. And I’ll have my weak moments. But it’s all a part of the journey I guess. And hopefully, I can inspire someone out there to shoot for the same goals. Or at least the ones that suit their needs.

Losing weight isn’t my ultimate goal of all this. It’s one of them. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. But ultimately I just want to feel healthier and be able to look at myself in the mirror and like what I see again.

Now that we’ve covered a bit of the who and why, I guess we can move on to the what, when, where, and how. A lot of this blog will be kind of random as to what is on my mind at that moment in time but I have a few general concepts to give it some semblance of structure.

First, I want to do a weekly weigh in. Occasionally, it may be a week and day or so depending on school but the goal is once a week. If I do it more than that, I’ll start obsessing over it and I don’t want to since it isn’t my primary goal here.

Secondly, I don’t plan on giving the exact specifics of every bite that goes in my mouth or every rep that I do. I don’t think it’s that important in the grand scheme of things since that isn’t the primary goal of this blog. I want to talk about it in the overall sense of the struggles I have with eating and exercise and the successes I am able to do. If you really care and want to know you can ask and I’d be glad to give you some more in-depth information.

Lastly, I just want to talk freely about things that pertain to living a healthier lifestyle. Things like diets, vitamins, organic, exercise, etc. Just whatever strikes my mood at the time. Like I said before though, I won’t be talking about tips or anything like that. I’m thinking my thoughts on things and how they can be difficult to achieve or the perceptions they put out there. If I happen to come across a cool tidbit of information that I think is worth sharing, those are fair game too. But I promise that at no time will I attempt to tell you how you should live your life.

Now that I’ve taken up enough of everyone’s time, I will be off for now. The next post will start the weigh-in and probably have my first thoughts. Until next time then.

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment