Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I woke up pretty excited and full of energy at 5:30am. Yesterday was my first day of better eating. I have tried to go low carb in the past and it was successful both times. I didn't stick with it because my brain wasn't on board. I actually thought that I was doing something wrong by eating too much protein and fat. Then I read "Why We Get Fat" and what to do about it by Gary Taubes.
It's geared to scientific and medical explanations about our body and how it operates. It's not light reading and I skimmed a lot, but I got the message loud and clear. I now understand how insulin works in the body; it's the only hormone that we control by what we eat. I understand what our body uses for fuel depending on what we feed it. Wow what an eye opener! Bread, pasta, sugar, grain are easy and filling and what we grab first for hunger and immediate comfort. It gets processed as energy instead of from our fat stores. Reversing the balance of our diet towards protein and fat is healthful, restores energy, improves cholesterol and blood pressure, prevents diabetes and is now recently linked to helping reverse Alzheimer's. The book describes in detail how the great American Food Pyramid has misled us starting in the 60s when refined food and sugar became more readily available and cheap in the market place. It's where the Fear of Fat was born. Doctors today know this, but can't stray from these old AMA recommendations.
The book found me because I wasn't looking for it. I was simply doing a library search for any eBook that was available without waiting and this title came up.
I don't believe in going on a diet to lose weight fast, I need something simple that I can live with that my body will find balance with. The Spark people Diet and Fitness app has the best and easiest database around for tracking anything.
I'll get the sugar out gradually by replacing my coffee creamer with just cream, replace sweet yogurt with plain yogurt, replace potatoes with green veggies, replace candy with nuts, chips with cheese, bread with high fiber wraps.
I don't see limiting starches as a deprivation any more, I see it as helping my body to function more efficiently, thus providing weight loss and energy.
With Thanksgiving coming up, I don't look at what I'm not eating because the starchy food will only clog my system and build fat. I'm excited because I love turkey!
Monday, November 04, 2013
Here I went again! Going along enjoying my progress so far - a 28 lb weight loss over a year and then BAM! lose focus! It sneaks in quietly, the grazing, mindless snacking here and there, second helpings, tighter clothes after all that hard work, next feeling failure, like maybe you can't stop the weight gain now, helpless to do anything about it, feeling like giving in to it, that would be easier, wouldn't it? Then I can just keep eating whatever and whenever. Just yesterday, my niece Elizabeth, expressed the same frustration with her goals.
I'm on this journey with my sister- we started at the same time and have lost the same weight, we live 3000 miles apart but are always in sync with this, often unbeknownst to the other.
Sure enough, when we talked on the phone, she was going thru it too. We complained, tried to figure out why, said we need to get back on track, hung up. We had agreed to stop eating after 7pm in the evening. For me, nothing happened, I went and ate a piece of cake making sure it was before 7. A few days later, she called. She said "I'm on vacation in January, I'm not going to hide around the pool. I've got 60 days to do something about it. I'm going to make better choices. You don't have to do this with me, I just know that's what I'm going to do."
That was it! Got my spark back. Here is what I do to stay with it:
10 minutes of exercise a day, no matter what. More is better, but 10 is the requirement.
No eating after 7pm
Eat only when hungry
Stop eating when full
Weigh myself regularly
Drink 8 glasses of water
When I'm tempted, I think about my sister and other friends struggling thru it too.
I've used Coach Nicole's DVD Fit Firm and Fired Up this whole time. There are 7 ten-minute exercise videos. I do 1 or 2 of them every morning no matter what unless I'm hiking that day.
I allow a glass of wine, also a small piece of dark chocolate every day.
I've found the breakfast that works for me - fruit, yogurt, nuts and Fiber One cereal.
I discovered Don Ponchos High Fiber Low Carb wraps that I use instead of bread.
Limiting sugar, but eating regular, natural food in smaller portions, also limiting refined food.
I found 2 Android apps that I put on the face of my phone. Countdown Days lets me know how many days till my trip. Simple Weight Loss Resolution lets me know how many pounds I've lost. When I'm tempted to overeat, I remember that I have a date with the scale in the morning and the payoff will be entering a new lower weight into my app.
My journey is more about finding healthy ways to achieve my goals through better eating and exercise, but for right now I have to make it about the scale and some work on mental changes and saying no.
I remember over a year ago, at my top weight, I was feeling horrible about my appearance and myself. I was crying to my husband about it and he said the most profound thing. He said "Honey, we're lions. We don't need to roar." At first I didn't get it. But then I realized, he's not responding to my obvious plea for superficial platitudes. He's telling me that my self confidence, above all else, is all that matters. And that is how he sees me, not my outward appearance. That realization of self-confidence will lead to my success. Shortly after that, I found Sparkpeople and found a lot of support and motivation here.
Three days after talking with Bet, I've lost some of the 8 pounds I gained since July and am set to keep going for the next 57 days and beyond and feel great.
So... you don't have to do this with me, I just know that's what I'm going to do.
After all, I'm a Lion.
Monday, July 22, 2013
I joined Spark a bit over a year ago, lost 25 lbs through healthy eating and exercise and was looking to lose more; I gained over the holidays and by this last June was starting to creep up even more by a pound a week. I heard about this eating plan called 5:2 where you fast 2 days a week - 2 non-consecutive days- and eat "normally" the other 5 days. Because I had just done a colonoscopy and had to have only have liquids the day prior, which was easy, I thought I would try it out. My plan was to eat 500 calories on fasting days and the other days would be a day off from thinking about what I can and cannot eat but not be binge days. Since I'm retired, I don't think this would be possible if I had the busy workdays I used to have, plus in the first weeks, my body really cleansed and I needed a lot of bathroom breaks! My fasting days, I had fruit smoothies with protein powder, my coffee, nuts, soup, sometimes a small piece of entree for dinner, hot herbal tea before bed and 8 glasses of water. The payoff at the end of the day was the feeling of empowerment that I actually did it and I felt even better the next morning, clean. Coming off the fast the next day, I've learned to start it healthy, a piece of fruit, yogurt, not a big omelette, even tho it's a normal eating day. The fasting day stabilized my appetite and give me the ability to resist tempting choices on my normal day even though I could and sometimes did.
But the reason I'm blogging about this today is this:
I researched a lot tips for so-called fasting days and found that most folks choose non-processed foods for that day of fasting. So I did more shopping in the organic section and choose more natural foods, yogurt, fruit, veggies, Ezekiel Bread made from sprouts, not refined flour. It's a bit spendy, but I think you make up for it because you're not as hungry and you eat less food. My normal days are becoming non-processed days as well so I seem to be craving less and eating less.
My weight on the scale matches my ticker again and I've managed 2 road trips without too many bad choices.
This might not work for everyone and doctors don't recommend consistent fasting (no food at all), but I've discovered what works for me for the moment and I'm feeling pretty great working toward a healthier me!
Monday, June 03, 2013
As May drew to a close and my 30 day streak of smaller portions is ending, I've been reflecting on how to continue my journey. I've been writing this blog in my head for 3 days shortly after I weighed myself only to discover a 3lb gain.
I've come a good ways in a year on Spark. I started in Twoterville and never looked back, thank goodness!
I had lost 25 lbs, learned to exercise every day, even if only for 10 minutes, I've gained a lot of muscular strength and toning, I'm drinking more water, clothes fit better, feel happier. My Spark weight ticker was down to 179 and I felt pretty good about that. After last Christmas I posted a 4 lb gain while struggling to get back momentum and better exercise weather.
My smaller portion streak was an effort to control my sugar-free streak, but I'm such a good detour-finder, that yes, I continued sugar-free and yes I had smaller portions, just more of them!
Here are things that I do easily and are already a habit:
Exercise and prayer time
Here are my 30 day streaks for June:
No scale for 30 days
Faithfully 8 cups of water daily
Faithfully do not eat unless truly hungry
Faithfully eat only until nicely satisfied.
I have to force myself to change the weight on my ticker to 186 to keep myself honest.
I know that playing Candy Crush didn't cause the weight gain, at least I HOPE not!! After all, playing with candy is sugar-free rather than eating it.
Over all despite my desire to be healthier, I'm pretty happy with me, my acceptance of myself imperfections and all, and what I've struggled through to get here. I know that's what makes who I am today.
"I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now" Maya Angelou
Thursday, May 16, 2013
This is Day 9 of my 30 day streak.
I was already into a commitment to cut the sugary snacks out. In doing so, I was starting to heap anything that was non-sugary onto my plate thus defeating the purpose of cutting out sweets! During this time, I heard or read somewhere about changing a bad habit by replacing it with a good habit for 30 days. The theory being that once your brain engages for 30 days straight on this new neuro-pathway, it would become an automatic way of thinking and easier to achieve on a daily basis. This did prove to be true this past year. Without knowing this theory I have created the desire to exercise, hydrate more and eat healthier which maintained my weight loss thus far.
I even pulled out some small serving bowls and plates out of the cupboard to visually keep me honest. I don't like weighing and measuring my food, so this works well.
So far so good. I never go hungry and I eat smaller and more frequent meals or snacks which gives me energy throughout the day. I've lost about a pound, but haven't been very active as I've been sick for 8 of these days, but not discouraged.
I love this idea of a 30 day streak and am already thinking up my next improvement for the 30 days following this one.
Thank you to my Sparked Friends for your encouragement, comments and blogs.
Staying strong together!
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