Weight Loss Apps – Lose It!

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Today I have decided to reveal my secret key to the weight loss success I had last year. Around Christmas of 2012, I was searching through random articles that were posted on my Facebook timeline (like I usually do) when I found an article about weight loss apps for iPhones and Androids.

After reading the article, I did some research into the various types of applications, and came across one that was high rated. This one app seemed easy to use and follow so I downloaded it for free (there is a version that you can purchase, but it’s not necessary if you don’t want to spend the money).

The app is extremely simple to use. You input what you eat and it tracks the calories for you. I know a lot of people aren’t keen on counting calories, but the truth about weight loss is cutting out the bad foods, discerning what you can eat, and really being conscious of what you are putting into your body compared to how much of the energy you are using (i.e. how much you are burning).

You set it to your weight, gender (because men and women lose weight differently), your height, and how much weight yo want to lose a week (you can choose from 1/2 lb to 2 lbs). Based off of these variables, the app calculates how many calories you are allotted a day. Based off the food you input, it will also calculate how much fat, carbs, and protein you have consumed that day (in the paid version you can see much more).

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One of my favorite features to this app is the scanner. Using the phones camera, you can scan any bar code and the information will be filled into the app for you.

You can also add exercises into the app, which will negate some of the food you have consumed. The exercises range from basic things like running and weight lifting, to even doing chores and yardwork or even yoga and stretching.

You can track how you are doing during the week and see how you have done compared to other days. Using this, you can allot a certain amount of calories for each day if you are planning a pizza party or drinking with your friends at the end of the week. Any excess calories you have saved from one day, but you go over another day, will average out at the end of the week.

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Another nice feature is that this app will let you add food from chain restaurants and major food stores. Granted, not everything is in the database yet, but it’s a useful tool when deciding what to get when you visit restaurants or fast food locations because you see just how many calories are in certain items.

This app made me really conscious about the fuel I was putting into my body and how much I was ingesting. You would be surprised at what you forget you mindlessly ate earlier that day while at the computer or doing something, and how much that can affect your calorie intake for the day.

My advice is to get creative with your cooking, and to start cooking at home. The best food for you is the food you prepare yourself, because you know exactly what is going into your body.

Something else you should know about: there is a website that all your data is recorded on. On the website, there are communities of people who are trying to get their lives back and lose the weight, so the support network is wonderful. You can even get friends and family involved, cheer them on via the app, see how much they are losing, and share recipes that you make and input into the app (forgot to mention you can do that, and it again calculates how many calories and nutrients are in the meals you prepare).

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All in all, this is a fabulous app that helped me shed over 30 lbs in about 3 months. I went from a size 10 to a size 2, and I have been doing my best to eat right and be aware of what I am eating. Ever since I started this journey, I have been feeling better than I have in my entire life. The only times I feel sick anymore is when I have fast food or things high in fat and sugar (like sweets, cakes, cookies, etc. in excess).

I hope this helps with your journey!

~Kati

P.S. No, Lose It! did not pay me to endorse them. This is a true testimony that this app works, but the most important part is sticking with it and not cheating yourself.

Almost 3 months later…

First off, I apologize for my extended absence. I know a lot of people follow this blog and I failed you. My best excuse is that Mark and I are temporarily stationed in Mississippi and the hotel on base has…sub par internet connection. A lot of other life changing things has happened, such as Mark and I getting placed in a HOUSE on base at the next station. We got a house!!!! So exciting for us.

A quick recap: Mom and I did that Disneyland Half Marathon! We did it in 3 hours and 20 minutes due to humidity that my mother was having some breathing trouble with, so we took it slow. The amount of fun we had was incomparable though. I even saw some people I know, including my old classmate Suzy, a follower of this blog.

 

Below (I know they aren’t really in order) are some of the photos from the Disneyland Half Marathon. My mom ran as The Evil Queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and I ran as Maleficent, from the movie namesake and my favorite Disney film, “Sleeping Beauty.”

Some of the photos are from our hotel room, waiting for the race to start (note the sheer size of the crowd!), from the track such as the castle, World of Color, and Angels Stadium, and icing at the end of the race. We overall had a blast!

 

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In a few short weeks, my sweetie and I will be heading down to Walt Disney World to run in the Tower of Terror 10-Miler. Unfortunately, Mark hurt himself a month and a half ago and couldn’t walk on his ankle for a few weeks. Thanks to the “WONDERFUL” military hospitals, he still has yet to be scheduled for physical therapy.

So, we have been doing it on our own, a little at a time. He is finally up and moving around and plays volleyball for two hours a week with his friends. His ankle still gets stiff and pained, but he goes and runs with me, pushing himself a little farther each time. So far we’re doing about 5 miles an hour, so we’re hoping to maybe be just under two hours.

We are still deciding what to run as, but we’re both committed to running in some well constructed costumes.

After this race, come January my family and I (mother, brother, and myself) will be participating in the Star Wars Half Marathon in Disneyland. Sign up for email updates, because it will be hard for me to post regularly until we reach our next base and set up our own internet.

 

Thanks for all your support!

Have a Magical Week!

~Kat

 

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

Hello Magic Milers!

I should start off with an apology. Sorry there was no post on Monday, but I was in the process of moving states. Now I comfortably reside (temporarily) in Tucson, Az with my new fiance. OH MY GOSH DID SHE JUST SAY FIANCE!?!?

Last Friday, June 6, 2014, my boyfriend and high school sweetheart proposed to me in the Happiest Place on Earth outside my favorite attraction (The Haunted Mansion, creepy, I know, but I love it).

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This is the gorgeous ring that I now sport. Very exciting. We even were Disneybounding as Princess Belle and Prince Adam (The Beast) that day. They are two of our favorite characters, so it brought the whole Disney engagement experience full circle for me.

There is a video, but it’s shaky and draws attention away from the event because…well…the videographer (my soon to be brother-in-law) is 11 and was having problems with people walking in front of him. So I will not be posting it, but know one does exist.

More exciting news from my end! My mother has signed my brother, me, and herself up for the Star Wars Half Marathon next January! YAY!

Soon I’m going to have so many runs lined up, I won’t know what to do other than train! XD

 

There is another reason why I did not post on Monday. Last week I pulled a muscle in my back and could barely move. It’s a miracle that I could function in time for Disneyland, let alone moving boxes and actually being a normal human being. So today was my first run since I pulled the muscle. It was not what I wanted it to be, but considering I was not moving last week, it’s a great improvement and I was able to finish the full 45 minutes.

I am taking this opportunity of moving and injury to switch my work out days. My new finace is in the Air Force and does PT on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Since he will be running with me in October, he has asked me to switch to those days so we can work out together.

Next week I will be back with more pertinent information to running styles, but these are the reasons I had yet to post this week. Have a wonderful week and enjoy your run! Also, take it from this young 22 year old, STRETCH OUT YOUR BACK. Your muscles will thank you.

 

~Kati

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend just announced, Jan. 15-18, 2015

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Boy am I excited for this announcement!

Happy Monday Magic Milers!

Last week, runDisney announced the newest installment of Half Marathon weekends, the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation! They, of course, have been dropping hints for months, but now it’s official.

That’s right, now all the lovely folks who dress up as R2D2 and Han Solo have a place where they can run together! This is incredibly exciting for me since I have been a fan of the films ever since my father geekily pulled them out and showed them to my brother and myself (along with Indiana Jones) at the ripe ages of 6 and 4. And thus, my nerdom came to fruition.

These races will be taking place in Disneyland, California and will sport some of the usual suspects:

  • Kids races
  • Star Wars 5K (I think they could have been a little more creative with the name)
  • Star Wars 10K (see above about the naming issue)
  • A Wookie Welcome Party (represses urge to make Wookie growls)
  • They even have “The Rebel Challenge” which is reminiscent of a few other challenges I can think of… but it’s where you run the 10K on Saturday, then the Half Marathon on Sunday.

You can sign up for the email reminder to register here.

 

May the force be with you, and maybe I’ll bee seeing you there! ;D

Happy running!

~Kati

 

P.S. I will be moving out of state next Monday. I will attempt to have a post ready to launch by then, but if I do not, I apologize in advanced and will make it up to you with a recipe and my discussion of a mystery topic… 😀

Differences between Treadmill and Outside Marathon Training

Happy Monday Magic Milers!

Today I would like to talk about the differences between running on a treadmill or training out on the open road. And yes, there are several differences.

First of all, the terrain. One of the things you should be expecting when running a runDisney race is the change in terrain you will be experiencing. I personally do most of my training on a treadmill. That way I can control my speed, incline, and the distance to time ratio. I can also follow the amount of calories I am burning.

When training, I do most of my runs on the treadmill. But a few times a month I head out on the open road and run through trails, sidewalks, mud, anything I can find in order to get my body used to the extra amount of work. You should really try to run outside a few times while training in order to vary your incline, distance, time, and see how you truly are doing when it comes to running out on the open road (which you will be doing during your race).

The benefits from training on the open road vary. But it’s good to get off the treadmill because it allows your legs more free range instead of being forced to run in a straight line, which they aren’t necessarily supposed to do.

Run outside during conditions that will be similar to those you will be experiencing during your run Disney run. For instance: consider if you have never really been to Florida, the humidity is higher which makes it feel like you are swimming a little bit. Especially if you are not used to a climate like that. I’m from California, and it was still a rough first run a few years ago.  But also remember what month you are running in, because the weather varies based on the month. It could be mild conditions (which most of Florida’s runs occur during) or it could be muggy. Be prepared for such a situation.

Also consider challenging yourself while training. If training for a Florida race, a lot of the track is mostly flat (except if you are running up freeway ramps). So, run hills, it will make your body used to intense conditions so the race feels easier.*

 

*If you have bad knees, run up the hill and walk down it. The incline is less impact than the decline.

 

Hope this little bit of information helps!

Have a great week.

~Kati

Running and Your Knees

Happy Monday Magic Milers!

This week I would like to talk about running and your knees.

A few years ago, I used to play on the Varsity Tennis team at my high school. We used to do this warm up routine fondly known as “stadiums” which means you run up and down the stairs of the football stadium. Out of all the warm ups we used to do, these were my least favorite because I was always scared I would fall down them.

Then the day finally arrived when my knee buckled under me and I did fall. Luckily I caught myself and was able to stop myself from falling down the rest of the staircase. After that happened I had to wear a knee brace. Over the next few years, when I began to really put on the weight, my knees would swell and become painful if I was on them for extended periods of times (such as walking around Disneyland all day).

To prevent running injuries to your knees, I suggest wearing some sort of brace on your knees. Or better yet, run at slight inclines on treadmills (1.0). Running at a slight incline takes the pressure off of your knees and gives them a chance to build up endurance and strength.

Make sure, if your knees are hurting, to slow your pace or even stop to give them a break. You have to literally build up their strength with intervals, so do not give up on them. If you are feeling pain, ice them immediately after your workout and eat protein. If you ice it, the swelling will be reduced and the protein will rebuild and connect the muscle fibers that were torn during your workout and will build them back stronger.

Hope this helps and have a magical week!

~Kati

Proper Running Form

Happy Monday Magic Milers!

 

So this topic has been floating around in my brain for a couple of weeks. Actually…it’s been BUGGING ME. Here’s why: when I wake up at the UNGODLY hour of 5 am to do my run every Tuesday and Thursday, there is a young man (weird for me to say that because he’s probably older than me @_@) who gets on the same treadmill about two treadmills away from my usual machine.

All is fine and dandy with ritualistic choosing of the same machine, but I have been trying to snap a photo of this guy FOR MONTHS to try and illustrate how NOT to run. I’m surprised his body hasn’t been seriously hurt by now and he still shows up every Tuesday and Thursday, like clock work (young bodies heal quickly I guess?)

Proper running form starts with confidence. If you have confidence in yourself, you tend to stand taller. This is good, your shoulders should be back, like you are running with pride (channel your inner Simba).

Your shoulders should be back, but relaxed. Your arms should be at your sides, elbows bent and swinging forward to help propel you forward. Do not cross them over your body, but have them swing parallel with your body.

NEXT, what should your hands be doing? Make a fist. Now relax it. Your fingers should be curled, but not clenching. The more relaxed every part of your body is, the better your running formation and you won’t tire out as easily or hurt yourself (don’t do this, seriously, it sucks and you are out of the game for a while which doesn’t help when training for a half marathon. You need as much practice as possible).

Your knees should be slightly bent. You should run heel to toe, which will help propel you into your next step. Don’t hold on to the treadmill unless you absolutely have to because it will prevent you from reaching your peak physical condition.

 

Check out this video that explains it amazingly from Runner’s World:

 

The Starting Line Proper Running Form

 

~Kati