Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lose Weight While You Sleep

I saw this on The Mike & Juliet Morning Show. Apparantly I have been trying to lose weight the wrong way. This is from -

Lose Weight While You Sleep!
Don’t believe it? We didn’t either, until we saw our testers lose up to 15 pounds just by getting more sleep every night. It’ll work for you, too—turn the page to get started!
February 2, 2009
by Jenny Stamos Kovacs

When a doctor recently swore to a Glamour editor that he could help women lose weight just by making over their sleep habits, we were dubious. Research has linked lack of sleep to weight gain, but certainly weight loss requires hard work, diet and exercise—right? We decided to put it to the test. Sleep and medical experts Michael Breus, Ph.D., and Steven Lamm, M.D., created a plan for seven Glamour readers of varying weights. The women’s one simple goal: Get at least seven and a half hours of sleep a night. That’s it. In fact, we asked the women not to make any significant diet or exercise changes—we wanted to see if sleep and sleep alone would make a difference. Did it ever! Week by week, we were amazed by the results the women reported. At the end of 10 weeks, RĂ©al Hamilton-Romeo, 30, dropped seven pounds; Kate Foley, 25, lost six; Lisa Braverman, 34, took off nine pounds; Brelyn Johnson, 28, lost 10 pounds; Paige Barr, 35, shed 12; and—are you ready for this?—Ehmonie Hainey, 33, lost 15.
We don’t want to give the impression that this makeover was effortless; finding time for more sleep does take work. In fact, one of our testers, Natasha Crawford, 33, wasn’t able to stick to the plan for more than two or three nights a week because of a crazy job schedule. But even though she didn’t lose weight, by the end of the plan she had still lost a total of two and a half inches off her waist, bust and hips.
At least two dozen studies have documented that people tend to weigh more if they sleep less, says Sanjay Patel, M.D., a researcher at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. In a 16-year study of almost 70,000 women, Dr. Patel and his colleagues found that those who slept five hours or less a night were 30 percent more likely to gain 30-plus pounds than those who got more rest. In fact, some experts believe lack of sleep is one reason for America’s obesity epidemic. The average woman gets six hours and 40 minutes of sleep most nights, according to the National Sleep Foundation—much less than the seven-and-a-half-hour minimum our experts say healthy women need.
What exactly is the sleep-weight connection? Science shows that sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on hormones that control appetite, cravings and the metabolism of fat. See how these findings translate to your body.
Whether you notice it or not, you probably eat more, sometimes much more, when you’re tired. Proof: Researchers at the University of Chicago allowed people to sleep five and half hours one night and eight and a half on another, then measured how many free snacks the participants downed the next day. They ate an average of 221 calories more when sleepy—an amount that could translate into almost a pound of fat gained after two weeks! “When women are deprived of sleep, they have an increase in ghrelin—what we call the ‘go’ hormone—because it makes you want to go eat more,” says Breus, clinical director of the sleep division at Southwest Spine & Sport in Scottsdale, Arizona, and author of Beauty Sleep. “They also have a drop in leptin, the ‘stop’ hormone that tells you to stop when you’re full.” Not only do you want more food when you’re sleep-deprived, you also want junkier food: Your body craves simple carbohydrates (chocolate, pastries, candy) that it can break down fast for quick energy, explains Breus. “I used to eat a ton of sugar every afternoon,” Glamour volunteer Johnson says. “But now I can have just a small piece and feel satisfied.
Even before seeing the number on the scale drop much, our testers noticed other changes. Three weeks into the plan, Braverman easily put on a pair of pants that used to be too snug. And at the two-month mark, Hamilton-Romeo told us, “My stomach is getting flatter and my love handles smaller.” By the end of 10 weeks, she’d shaved almost five inches off her waist, hips, bust and thighs—even though, at 5’4” and 133 pounds, she wasn’t overweight to begin with. The explanation? “During deep sleep, your brain secretes a large amount of growth hormone, which tells your body how to break down fat for fuel,” explains Breus. “Deprive your body of deep sleep, and when extra calories get stored as fat, there isn’t enough growth hormone to break it down. So your body takes a shortcut and packs it away in your butt, thighs, belly—wherever you tend to put on weight.” Says Braverman, who lost a total of two and a half inches: “The changes in my body fascinate me, because I really haven’t changed anything except my sleep habits. I eat the way I always have and exercise the same amount, maybe even less because my schedule is tighter now that I have to go to bed earlier!”
Perhaps not surprisingly, all of the women on our plan said they felt much less tired. And though we told them not to make any conscious exercise changes, a couple of them couldn’t help themselves. “I’ve always worked out,” Barr told us, “but I’m spending more time at the gym because I finally have the energy!” Says Foley, “I used to have days when I’d want to go home and just veg out on the couch; now I’d rather run or do something physical—a complete revolution in my lifestyle.” Breus wasn’t surprised. “Your perception of how hard or easy exercise is to do is directly affected by how sleep-deprived you are,” he says. Ready to get some of these same benefits?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year

No, I'm not talking about Christmas. Although I really love Christmas. I'm talking about my birthday month! March is the most wonderful time of the year. It is a time to celebrate my life with my family and friends - and in my case I celebrate it all month long!

One of the biggest perks of your birthday month is all of the freebies you get. (See the above picture. YUM! )Derric and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings last night as it was Tuesday and that is our regular dinner spot. I got an email from B-dubs giving me a free dessert for my birthday. While there is a choice of cheesecake and apple pie, I cannot pass up the chocolate fudge cake. It is seriously to die for. This cake is so worth cheating on my diet for.

Besides Buffalo Wild Wings I've also received freebies for: Houlihans, Qdoba, Baskin-Robins, and Cold Stone Creamery. I'm sure there are tons more places that offer free meals, etc. on your birthday but these are ones that are so worth having a birthday for. If you are interested in the freebies check this out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fat Tuesday 2009

Me and Derric - look @ all the beads!

These were cool

Kewl LED lights

The Shriners & little cars

Why is the studio sign on a port-a-potty?

I want my actually play music videos!

We were 'beggin' for some beads!

Show me the beads!!! So we didn't make it down to Soulard for this year's Mardi Gras, but we did the next best thing. We went to the Fat Tuesday Parade downtown. They changed up the route this year. It began at Lumiere Place at Washington and Broadway and continued down Broadway to Market.
Derric and I parked at the Casino and walked up a couple blocks. I brought along my beverage of choice and we parked ourselves right at the beginning of the parade. What a great idea that was! We got tons of beads! We also saw the drunken craziness that goes along with the festivites. No - not me - I can handle my liquor. There were drunken girls doin what D calls the "drunken switch". Which reminds me...D why were you lookin at their switch ?!?! Hahaha. It was short but sweet - just 30 minutes - so we walked around Laclede's Landing and got a few pictures.

What Goes Around

I was going to blog about my biggest pet peeve: inconsiderate drivers, but my experience yesterday has me changing topics. I truly believe in Karma. It is the result of energy that puts things into action. What goes around comes around - and if it doesn't, then wait a minute because it will.

I was on my way home after work yesterday, heading down Oakland Avenue towards Kingshighway. There was a big red Chevy Silverado in the lane next to me. As I approached the light at Kingshighway this truck proceded to swerve over and cut me off. What a jerk! I know that there are only one of two ways you can go but why do you gotta be rude?!? Yeah I'm talkin to you Mr. OYA 777 - MO license plate!!! I ignored him after I released my anger by yelling at him. He obviously didn't care about what he did.

Once the light turned green we were off. He was driving how I thought he would. On the bumper of the car in front of him. I got over to the right to exit onto 64/40 and surprise Mr. Truck did too. We had to stop and yield for the oncoming traffic from Kingshighway. Mr. Truck kept pulling up and up - driving like a jerk. I told him he will get what's coming to him...just be patient. All of a sudden I heard a crunching sound. Mr. Truck had ran into the back of the minivan in front of him. I didn't see it, but I heard it, and then saw them both pull over off to the side of the entrance ramp. How's that for Karma?

I've experienced Karma many times over - some good and some not so good. Another great experience sticks out in my mind. Several years ago I decided to try the online dating thing. Many of my friends had and they married their online romances. When I set up my profile I needed help. I had no idea what I was doing. My friend helped me and after awhile I added some more to it. I know it's cheesy, but my tag line was "The Greatest Fan of Your Life". I really like the artist Edwin McCain and that was a line from his song. Well many people know that I met my fiance online. He proposed to me on Christmas morning. As we were driving to my mom's house we were listening to the radio and that Edwin McCain song came on. I started bawling. Derric looked at me like I was crazy. I asked him if he knew the song and what it meant to me. He did. It was all I needed to know that things were the way they were supposed to be. This is the man that I'm supposed to spend the rest of my life with. What a great feeling! *smile*

New Table

Derric and I went to Value City Furniture this weekend to check out a table they had. Derric worked there pre-Melissa days and has a friend that still works there. D told him we were on the lookout for a new table and he said they had a few in the back clearance section. At first Derric was eyeing this one. I kinda liked it since it matches the leather chairs we bought from there awhile back. But it is a pub height table which means it's taller; therefore we would have to get new chairs or use the cherry stools we bought for the island we had out in St. Peters.

I was looking around a bit more and this table caught my eye. It too was on clearance. I really liked the dark granite because it matches our counter tops. I liked the color too cause the stools match it. It was really heavy to move, but we unfolded it to see the leaf. Unfortunately a bracket was broken (this is why it was clearanced out). We were able to ask for more of a discount and got a really good deal.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Derric completely overdid himself this year. We agreed to do dinner and a movie at home this year for Valentine's Day. I told him that the only thing I wanted was some chocolate covered strawberries. (YUM!) Late Friday afternoon these flowers were delivered to me. Awww! That was so very sweet of him. When I got home he had bought my strawberries and steaks from Whole Foods. We had a few strawberries that night just because. We both had to work Saturday. When I got home I cleaned the house and wrapped his gift & card. He was running late because he had sold a car (yay!) so I entertained myself with reading a book. I am obsessed now with the Twilight series. When he got home he handed me a huge heart filled with turtles and a card. I told him I wasn't expecting anything else. He went all out this year! We made dinner together and had a lovely evening at home - just the two of us.

Catching Up

It has been a good 2 months since I blogged. As a good friend said "sometimes life just gets in the way." That is so true. A lot has happened in the last 2 months. This is my attempt at catching up.

I wanted to blog about the year in review. 2008 was an eventful year. Many of my friends had babies. The first one born is already a year old. So hard to believe! Time sure does fly when you least expect it to. Having all these babies around does start to give one baby fever. Derric has said he wanted one awhile ago. Actually he said he wanted 11 - his defensive line. I have talked him down ( I think). I'm trying to take one thing at a time right now.

After living in the too cramped piece-of-crap apartment that made me sick, we were fortunate to find the home of our dreams. We found a loft downtown on Washington Avenue. It's a 2 bedroom, 2 bath on the top floor. We face north-west towards Delmar & Grand Avenue. We moved in the first weekend of August. It took awhile but we finally settled in. We still have quite a few things in storage at my mom's house, but one resolution is to clear that out. We've done a few projects including building a gallery down the hall and painting. It's been over 6 months now. Where does the time go?

My youngest brother, Greg, came home on leave for 30 days over the holiday. He re-enlisted in the Marines and was given quite a nice leave. I was fortunate enough to have a week and a half paid vacation from work. I got to spend time with my family and relax from work.

Christmas day my life changed. My boyfriend of 3.5 years asked me to marry him! Of course I said yes. I had to wait 10 days for my ring to be sized. Those were the longest 10 days of my life! Now my free time is spent looking for venues, caterers, and everything related to weddings. I've been to 2 bridal shows and learned a lot. On my most recent trip to the Container Store I purchased a bag to store my wedding loot, magazines, samples, etc. It even matches the color & pattern that I want for the wedding.

In January we had another party. The after holiday destressor party. It was a fun time with lots of great friends & family, great food & drinks too. This one didn't run as late as previous parties but it was after the 3am timeframe. We know how to have a good time.

My goal this year is to get organized. I want to get organized financially, householdly (is that a word?), and physically. I have read a lot about getting your finances organized. I think the idea is simple, but actually following through is the tough part. I am paying my student loans, credit cards, utilities, and rent while trying to save up to have a spectacular wedding. That is impossible for me to do right now. I am determined though to make all this work.

Derric bought a great magazine on how to organize your home top to bottom in 12 months. You take a different room each month and totally organize it. I haven't made much progress since it's already February and I haven't organized a room yet. I lost the magazine. That should tell you how organized I am! Geez!

Every year I make a resolution to get in shape (and who doesn't?) This year I'm going at it again. After Christmas I stepped on the scale and realized that I weighed more than I ever have in my life. I was not happy with myself over that. Since then I have lost 10 pounds by eating healthier and working out. Derric mentioned wanting to do the low carb diet. We decided to do that together. I did it when I was in grad school and lost over 40 pounds. It was at that time I met Derric and became 'fat and happy'. But now I'm serious about it again. I forgot how hard it is initially to get in the low carb mindset. I am doing better than Derric, but it is still difficult.

I also wish to be more active in posting blogs, taking pictures, and documenting life.