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How I Lost Weight

April 29, 2018

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Hi everyone!

I decided to make this video after seeing the supportive comments in our Rainbow Ladder Support Team video. People have been commenting on my weight loss on instagram and on our videos lately, and I figured I should talk about it a bit so that everyone knows it’s coming from a positive place. Not just from the perspective of how I’m losing it, but why I’m losing it, and also from the perspective of how I gained the weight that I’m now trying to lose. All of this is highly personal, of course, as most of it is pertaining to my having EDS. At the same time, I’m not a licensed dietician, but I have been struggling with weight my entire life, so I’m simply going to share what’s working for me now.

If you’ve watched the video you’ll know I’m focusing on calorie restriction but I’d like to make it clear: severely restricting your calories is a very unhealthy way to lose weight. I’m talking about when people have one bite of an apple for the whole day. That type of restriction will cause you to lose more than fat; you lose muscle, bone density, energy, mental focus…the list goes on. I’m specifically aiming to be just a few hundred calories below my TDDE and I usually combine that day with walking or other light exercise to help me get my heart rate up.

Now, when it comes to low calorie substitutes, I know they’re not going to be perfect. Like vegan substitutes for meat, they’re not like the real thing, but they can be good in their own respect. And, hell, life ain’t fair. The stuff that tastes the best is the worst for us. So we enjoy it in moderation, and try to emulate it healthily otherwise. Ok, now on to other low calorie substitutes!

1. Have you heard of shiratake noodles? They’re made from conjak, which is a yam in Japan, and they’re ultra low calorie. I’ve seen bags of them for 10 calories or so. I add them to my soups and spring rolls to (somewhat) satisfy my noodle urges. I just hate cooking with them, because when you open the bag, they smell like a bag of dirty dicks. I’ve never smelt a bag of dirty dicks before, or a bag of clean ones even, but I imagine that someone who has smelled a bag of them might have had a flashback to that moment when they smelled a bag of shiratake noodles. Just rinse them under cold water and use your hands to really get them rinsed of all remaining dirty smells, and you’re golden. Less dirty dick smell, same low calorie goodness! They don’t need to be cooked, just warmed up or else they’ll get soggy.
I use them to make all Asian stir fries. They match perfectly as a Pad Thai, Basil Pepper Beef, Tofu and Eggplant, stir fried veggies + hot sauce… and I like to add them to udon broth, shabushabu, or inside of cold wrap rolls with lots of basil and carrot slaw.

2. Lettuce wraps are great! We made a Mexican dinner tonight with black beans, ground chicken and seasoning, homemade salsa, and homemade guacamole. Instead of putting that all in a tortilla shell (which has a metric fuckton of calories) we just wrapped small bites in a strong lettuce and loved it. LOVED IT! We did not feel the need for tortillas or chips or anything. I also use lettuce wraps to make Korean Lettuce Wraps, Ban Mi Wraps, Thai Chicken Wraps, Tuna Salad Wraps.

3. When I’m craving pizza, I’ve been making it with cauliflower crust instead of a typical flour crust. You’ve seen my Almost Crust Pizzawq video before yes? Yes? Good! Well that has a lot more calories than cauliflower, but it isn’t always available in Japan (and not at all in Korea). However, when I get the chance I make cauliflower bread and pizza. Just pre-cook your toppings and after the crust is cooked, top it up for a final crisping.

4.Tofu and Eggs I use a lot for quick meals on the go. I’ll pan fry firm tofu and cover it in a scrambled egg, I’ll scrambled eggs and microwave them with some onions or spinach to make them soft and puffy. Scrambled eggs with hot sauce. Egg salad sandwich…the list goes on.

5. I don’t like salad but I do like slaws. Shredded carrot slaw, cucumber salad, beans, cabbage, anything hearty I love. Toss some edamame beans, steamed pumpkin wedges and you’re got yourself a party.

6. Being out of the house: When I see a movie, I bring a container that might be filled with sugar snaps, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers strips, and 1 square dark chocolate. When I go to Starbucks I get a brewed coffee, cold brew, iced americano, iced tea (no sugar) If I haven’t eaten breakfast, I’ll got for a latte with has 190 calories but provides me with some protein as apposed to coffee or americano 8-15 calories.

I’d also like to mention that eating a meal with lots of real veggies and fibre will keep you fuller longer and more energy. So even if something like a cookie has less calories than an apple, the cookie is pretty empty health benefit wise. If you have any more healthy ideas for substitutes, please share in the comment section!

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How I Lost Weight

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  1. Martina I just want to say that you inspire me with your optimism and beautiful soul. I suffer from chronic anxiety and depression. I’ve had the worst year of my life in 2017 and have gained weight as a result. I’m finally starting to feel better mentally (due in part to “Building A Ladder”) and this is the key to feeling better physically. I want to also say that your videos make me so happy. I love to see your happy face and Simon reminds me so much of my SO its not even funny. Keep going and stay beautiful!

    2 weeks ago
  2. Hi Martina and Simon,

    Martina I was just thinking of you and how great I think you are. (Simon you are too, but, well, MARTINA!) Anyway, I love how you work so hard to build a ladder and that is such an inspiration. I’ve suffered from depression since I was a teenager, and while things are so much better than they used to be, whenever I have a bad day, I think about how I can build that ladder, and it has been so helpful to me.

    Anyway, I was just reading about how great girls can be to each other by building one another up and supporting one another, and I thought of you because building up others is what you do, so I thought I’d let you know that.

    For both of you, I lived in Korea for a few years, about when you first arrived. I left after two years, but kept watching your videos. I moved back to the US and lived there for 6 years, but missed living abroad. So now I live in Albania. I’ll be returning to the US again in July. In the meanwhile, it has been amazing living in Europe again. (I lived in Poland for a year before going to Korea). Japan has never really been on my radar, but it’s great fun watching you living your lives there, so I’m glad you have kept making videos.

    I hope you have wonderful lives and I want you to know that I appreciate you. Cheers!

    2 weeks ago
  3. I think this video is so awesome! I’ve recently started to lose those ‘extra pounds’ and I’m with you…I’m not trying to be a stick figure, I’m just trying to feel better and make doing things easier. Props to you for going for it and putting yourself out there in the world to say yay!

    3 weeks ago
  4. I love lettuce wraps, but never thought to use them as substitutes for tacos and stuff! I’ve been doing it all week (I always make a big batch of tacos for quick meals and breakfast burritos) and I am hooked! you’re totally right they make you feel so much fuller! Thanks for the great suggestion. It sucks you don’t like salad… I actually love salad but I’m always too lazy to make it when I’m at home. Last semester, I did meal prep salads for class days with broccoli slaw which I LOVED, but the problem I always had was that I got tired of chewing much faster than I got full and would be hungry only an hour or so later.

    I really hope you never need it, but I’d be excited to see Martina’s decked out wheelchair. I had a young girl come into my work the other day with those little beads that are usually on bicycles (the ones who made those nice clinking sounds) on her wheels and I thought of Martina. You’re such a wonderful role model, Martina! Congrats on all your hard work <3

    3 weeks ago
  5. I really love you guys. I have been going through one of, if not the, worst times in my life and every time I see one of your videos it helps me build the ladder that I need to get through my not just my day but my week and month. I have been trying to get the courage/kick in the butt that I needed to push myself to take the next step to get out of this hole. And each video or stream that I see you guys put out pushes me forward to that endeavor. Your caring relationship for each other, your friends and fans, does not go unnoticed in your videos and posts. ESPECIALLY your love for each other, which is something I aspire for. I just want to say thank you. And, with any luck I hope to make a travel itinerary using your videos and blog for a trip to Japan and Korea in the near future. But first I am going to join Martina and take another big step forward; push through the hard times, limit my calories and build a workout regimen. Thank you Simon and thank you Martina for the love and courage you share and encourage in others. <3 <3 <3

    3 weeks ago
  6. in summer i start my meals with fruits especially watermelon so i feel full even though i havent eaten much….also for me watermelon is the best way to fend off the summer heat….i love watermelon….hehehe

    3 weeks ago
  7. Hello :) I’m really proud to see you changing for yourself, it’s what I always try to tell myself but it is difficult. I have never been happy about my weight either, apparently I was already like that when I was in kindergarten. My mom always told me that I wanted to cut my belly fat away with a knife or scissors (wth 4 year old me?!). Even though I was never really fat, chubby at the most (espescially not as a child :0). But I’ve always been comparing myself to other girls from my class and even until this day, although I never say it out loud because I know I shouldn’t do it. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t see food as an enemy, although I luckily never developed an eating disorder. I’m only 19 and I know it can sometimes take a while to accept your body as it is, but I just don’t seem to even start accepting it. I let my body insecurity hold me back from living my life, and that sucks! I genuinly try to not let it effect me, but it is really hard. I know a lot of people have it way worse and it makes me feel bad because I feel like I don’t have the right to feel bad and then I feel even worse… .__. hmmm… What I actually want to tell you through this comment is that you are so inspirational and give me (and I’m sure so many other nasty people) the courage to take another try and win this time! I love you lots and hope you’ll keep being so successfull ^3^

    3 weeks ago
    • I’m happy to hear that. It’s hard to keep going when you feel like you’ve failed a few times. It’s happened with us many times, for sure. But we gotta just keep trying. There’s no other option for us but to keep pushing forward and doing our best.

      3 weeks ago
  8. When you mentioned slaws I had to leave this recipe: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/253157/weeknight-crack-slaw/ . It’s so yummy! I use take ground beef, but really it’s the sauce that’s delicious. Lifestyle changes are tough, so good job sticking to it and finding a routine that works for you!

    3 weeks ago
  9. Mourning your old self is hard. I’m still stuck there. I get mad because I can’t do things that I used to do. Then I get bitter at the world because they can do those things so easy.
    I haved to use a walker to get around, and a wheelchair outside and not being able to hold my boyfriend’s hand and just walk with him super gets me down.

    But when you said that you broke down in tears when you were with all the old people in the pool… I’ve been there so many times. It’s like… you feel like you’ve been taken out of the game to early; you shouldn’t be here yet. You should be able to go out and do life!

    Just knowing that someone else has that feeling too helps a bunch. Thank you. <3

    3 weeks ago
  10. I am great at delayed gratification. If there is something I want, I tell myself “Okay, you can have this AFTER you’ve done so-and-so.” Sometimes, that may be a week, and other times it may be years. I am by no means overweight going by BMI (which is a terrible measure to use, but need to use something), but I’ve always been a bit chubby. Coming from an Asian family, being chubby means being stuffed full at meals by your Asian mom and your younger brother making fun of you for being “fat.” I am not a fan of unhealthy food and I’ve always played some kind of sport, but that excess fat just refused to go away. It was fine in middle school and high school. I wasn’t very interested in appearances and my weight was on the lower end of priorities. “I’ll get to it eventually,” I told myself. “After college when I get a job, I can get a personal trainer, no problem.” Well, the problem is that now I’m in grad school, and I’ve come to the horrible realization that I’m in my mid-20’s when I’m supposed to be in the prime of my life. Last winter, I was hovering pretty close to becoming overweight by BMI and I realized that losing weight isn’t some sort of trophy to be won, but a part of self-management and keeping myself healthy. Over the summer, I went from 133 to 119 pounds. That might seem like a lot of weight and there are likely people out there thinking “She must have starved herself.” Nope. I still had my 3 square meals a day, plus 2 or 3 snacks. As a lifelong rice-eater, that was the one thing I refused to budge on, but I did limit how much rice I ate. I now eat a 1/4 cup of mixed white and brown rice at lunch and dinner, with lots of veggies (I’ve always loved veggies…go ham on those veggies) and 1 serving of some kind of protein (fish, pork, chicken). My breakfast would consist of oatmeal and fruit, and my snacks would be fruit and yogurt. Essentially, all the same things I was eating before, but in a different distribution. Previously, I would find myself snacking on unhealthier foods out of boredom, so now I just skip those aisles of the grocery store entirely. If I buy it, I will end up eating it. And while diet is the most important component to losing weight, exercise is important as well (less for the weight loss, but more for keeping your heart, body, and mind healthy). I try to exercise for half an hour 4-5 times a week. Summary, there are 2 essential things for losing weight. The first is motivation. Second is, like Martina said, figuring out what you absolutely cannot leave out of your diet, and try to construct a healthier diet around it. Sometimes, I’ll fall off the wagon (it’s hard not to go for a huge bar of chocolate on a crappy day), but I don’t beat myself up over it. Having something unhealthy once in a while isn’t going to make or break your diet.

    3 weeks ago
  11. I suffer from a degenerative spinal condition that leaves me in constant pain. This video really hit a chord with me today. I’m only 26 but have lost a portion of my mobility and ability to do what I used to. I used to do Kick Boxing and cross country, but now all I’m allowed to do is water aerobics or light yoga stretches. I truly mourn the person I used to be and part of that was my weight gain after I was forced to stop being active. It felt so unfair that I have to be in constant pain and be trapped in a body that can’t do what I want it to do. It felt doubly unfair that not only did I feel trapped but I felt ugly and there wasn’t anything to do about it.

    What I’m saying is, I’m very thankful for you sharing your experience and your tips. Sometimes your videos are the only ray of light during my dark days and watching them is my first rung when I build my ladder. Thank you.

    3 weeks ago
  12. I have similar tastes in that turning almost anything into a lettuce wrap makes it taste better!

    Have you tried rice paper wraps? Similar concept, but easier to have on hand since its dried and can be stocked in the pantry. It also pairs nicely with stuffing a bunch of raw veg or unseasoned filling, and then having a spicy or peanut sauce on the side.

    I’m curious, do you try to hit a percentage of your calories in carb/protein/fats?

    I hope you do find some sort of swimming activity that works for you, since it eases the impact. I’ve also heard that sensory deprivation tanks can help with alleviating some of the joint pain, or just to treat yoself!

    3 weeks ago
  13. If you feel up to it, it would be awesome to see some of your meals in “Martina’s Midnight Munchies.” :)

    My nutritionist put me on the Whole 30 recently to see if any of those foods were exacerbating my PsA and MAN! have I missed rice! Lost 7 lbs though, and have more energy so there is some truth there.

    Thanks so much for this video, it’s a great reminder that small victories are worth it and that zoodles don’t taste like pasta!!!!!

    3 weeks ago
  14. Today’s video compelled me to create a blog account.

    Martina, thank you for being so genuine and candid with your health challenges. Everything you shared resonates with me about why you are motivated to loose weight. For some reason, hearing you say what I already know about eating clicked this time around and I attribute that to how much I can relate to you.

    I truly am grateful!!!

    3 weeks ago
  15. A nice video, the farts are always funny XD – I’m glad that you’re eating healthy and feeling good :) I do like lettuce wraps too. I like a spicy thai beef and rice mix in lettuce. I also like porcupine meatballs (cooked rice included in the meatballs with a cabbage roll sauce) over cooked veg- you can control the rice there too. Cabbage rolls are nice too. The smaller sushi rolls are also nice because they have more filling vs. more rice, you can make vegetable ones too, we eat a million cucumber/mango/avocado/red pepper/carrot ones with a little sriracha/mayo to seal (they’ll keep a day or so in the fridge and also don’t have to worry about fish going bad in lunches). We also eat more home-cooked meat leftovers in sandwiches, rather than cold cuts – roast beef, pulled pork, roast chicken. Chicken strips with pesto,wilted greens,sauteed with grape tomatoes, garlic, red onions,and a little dry hot pepper, with a sprinkling of pine nuts/walnuts and feta on flat bread is super scrumptious – we make a giant pizza worth then eat a slice at each meal (so filling!). You can use pitas and open it and only use the top or bottom half. Watermelon strips soaked in cran-raspberry juice (optional with vodka) makes a nice dessert or refresher and is more filling than just a drink. Cantaloupe/sweetener and ice cube smoothies are super delicious. I do like wraps but sometimes I just cut the wrap/sandwich in half and save the other half for later or just don’t eat the ends, which are just wrap and no filling (if you wrap the wrap in plastic wrap, you can cut the ends off. Edamame instead of chips, refried black beans instead of rice with mexican dishes, wild rice (more filling and more flavourful) mixed half and half with white, scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa instead of toast, slightly sweetened cream cheese with berries and lime zest on pancakes instead of maple syrup, homemade croutons in my salad instead of a starch on the side (if you bake chicken thighs in the oven over bread cubes the fat cooks them into croutons and it’s better for you than butter and much tastier). Matbucha or hummus with naan and raw veg/apple rather than crackers and cheese (homemade naan made with yeast and yogurt is so ridiculously easy and fast in a toaster oven). If you would like to have a more positive view of salads a)make salad your reward if you’ve eaten a meal but are still hungry and b) make tastier/more interesting salads (or just throw a little lettuce into your slaw instead of a root vegetable). If you like iced coffee smoothies in the summer, cold pressed is better because it’s less bitter and takes less sugar – I actually don’t like coffee, but I do like these a LOT- (grind coffee and mix with cold water and put in fridge overnight, filter in the morning with a paper filter – still cold – keeps up to a week in the fridge). Mix 7 ice cubes, 1 heaping Tbsp vanilla yogurt, a quarter avocado (half if it’s small), 1 cup of cold pressed coffee and sweeten to your taste (2-3 tsp sweetened condensed milk, maple syrup, honey, or sugar) and blend – makes a giant cup to keep you going all day :)! If it is too thick, add a little milk. To keep partial avocados, turn the half with peel still on, upside down in a container and drizzle with olive oil, it will keep the air out – rinse before using. I’m sympathetic that your EDS progression is depressing but I would really take your doctor’s advice and walk in water as much as you can – it not only takes the weight off your joints, it helps keep your muscle tone up which also helps your joints and bones stay in place. Exercise also helps chemically to keep a positive attitude. Those classes are depressing sometimes even if you’re fully mobile. Even a quiet public bath could work for solo walking, you don’t need a formal class to get active. Or, private “swimming” lessons are also pretty cheap, just tell them what you need and then you don’t have to be self-conscious about being surrounded by others ;). It’s like have a personal trainer :). Nothing against old people but sometimes those classes are lame/super repetitive on purpose because no can wear their hearing aids in the water……9_9

    3 weeks ago
    • HA! I still think farts are funny….TEE HEE HEE. OMG this is a very epic list! Thank you for taking the time to write it all out, and I’m not going to give up on swimming. I’m going to push myself this summer.

      3 weeks ago
      • You go girl! Martina, your ideas help me, so it’s only fair for me to try to share any I have with you, I don’t always have a good place to put them, this was an opportunity and I took it :3. I know that food prep from scratch, while healthier, is a lot of work (I do it too) so I try to minimize it as much as possible, any new ideas are great :). I don’t know about that cauliflower though…… I like cauliflower but in a bread? BTW, last fall a local farmer was selling Kabocha Japanese pumpkins so I bought one (after hearing you rave in your video about it) and it was so damned fantastic! Even better than “regular” pumpkin for pie and squash/apple cake, and made a fantastic quiche with it. Like a sweet potato and pumpkin had a super intense love child <3. I kept the seeds and now there are tons of giant plants in my grow table waiting to go into the garden. They were so super easy to grow, you could probably put some in your own small garden if you like (just run a knife around the edge of the seeds before planting and plant them pointy end downwards).

        3 weeks ago
  16. Hi Simon and Martina!!

    First of all: <3 you both so much and thank you for all of your inspirational videos (and delectable mouthwatering ones, too!!)

    I started losing weight by eating breakfast. It jumpstarted my metabolism and even though I was eating more throughout the day, my body wasn't hoarding the calories as fat because it knew I wasn't going to feed it for a good twelve hours to 15 hours. Ever since I started eating breakfast (like yogurt, eggs, peanut butter and banana on a slice of wheat bread), I've lost about 20 pounds!

    Thank you for this video, both of you!!
    -Adriana from Pennsylvania. (USA, not Transylvania, lol.)

    3 weeks ago
  17. Hi Simon & Martina
    I’m writing to you from way down under in Melbourne Australia. I really love tuning into you guys and watching you drool over wagu and sushi, especially watching Simon’s numerous orgasmic experiences lol
    In Australia the sushi scene although plenty around, is of an extremely poor quality and standard. Ive travelled numerous times to the states and each time I come home I wonder why the heck can’t we produce the same sushi standard and variety here, hence iv’e decided to become a Sushi Chef and hope to start a restaurant here.
    Iv’e enrolled in the Sushi Chef Institute in LA recommended to me by Chef Hiro of ” Diaries of a Master Sushi Chef” in August.
    I plan to travel to Tokyo on May 24 for 2 weeks for a foodie trip. At this stage I haven’t the faintest idea how I’m going to be able to accomplish what I what I want to do which is, eat sushi in the finest high quality Michelin Star restaurants and of course OMG eat fine Wagu beef! In addition of course whilst there I’d like to see a bit of the country and the people.
    Simon and Martina I write to you guys because seriously I can’t think of anyone more professional and knowledgeable to assist me with me with my request. I’m thinking of possibly a personal guide but from my business experience, it’s all down to contacts
    I’m willing to work out an arrangement with you for your kind services. I suppose the most appropriate method of communication would be via email. I think you have it when I signed up. Hey guys! I look forward to hearing from you
    Cheers
    Michael

    3 weeks ago
  18. I really like your suggestions! I’m going to add tuna lettuce wraps and Mexican lettuce wraps to next week’s meal plan. Those sound so yummy! One of my new favourite dessert substitutions is Pina Colada Chia Pudding. Combine 1/4 cup chia seeds with 200 ml coconut milk, and let stand to thicken. Toast 2 tablespoons coconut flakes in a small frying pan. Set aside the toasted coconut, and add 1 teaspoon butter to the frying pan. Once the butter foams, add 1/2 cup pineapple chunks and let them caramelise. Divide the chia pudding into 2 bowls, top with pineapple and coconut, and chill.

    3 weeks ago
  19. I salute your discipline, Martina! I told myself time and time again, cook your own food! Eat less carbs! Eat more vegetables! But it is just so much more easy to just whip up some fried rice or noodles :(
    Oh, I EFFIN hate the term “freesize” in clothes. What nonsense. Given up on clothes that says that years back because I got tired of being lied to. Haha

    3 weeks ago
  20. Thank you for sharing ur journey. I have bad arthritis on my knee. I can’t barely stand or take walk down stairs, worse i can’t sit on the floor. I cry and cry because i only 31 yrs old have to experience this.then i thoughts of you. You make me stronger and brave. So thank you martina and simon for your video.

    3 weeks ago
  21. I’ve been casually trying to lose weight to manage my EDS too. My dr also nixed the gym and swimming. I really want to start doing the calorie counting thing, I know it’s the next good step. Right now, I eat smaller portions since I am not as supported as I could be by my housemates/bf. The bf tends to view all dietary restrictions/changes as punishment, lol. I got smaller bowls and I make myself eat slower, both of which help a lot. If I finish my bowl, I wait about 20 minutes to be sure that I’m still hungry. I am working on cutting out wheat bc I’ve got an allergy to it and I swapped almost all my soda for diet. Also, I walk around my neighborhood too, it’s fun and I go with my bff so we can walk for hours talking. It’s really nice and quiet and as a bonus, I get to meet all the neighborhood dogs

    3 weeks ago