Friday, May 06, 2011
I spent yesterday learning about food.
Yes, that sounds strange coming from someone who has lost over 90 pounds in a year, but it's true.
You see, way back when, I was eating pretty much the same thing every day. I knew if I followed the same eating pattern, I would end up with near perfect results. (I'll admit it, I do seek perfection a LITTLE too much when it comes to reaching my ranges.) After a while, the plan got boring. And then this new little plan came along and I was back to doing the same thing, this time with less vigor.
What I've learned so far from this eating plan:
1) It really does regulate my body, but I wonder if that's not more from eating at the same time everyday than eating the exact same food.
2) I don't know if I could eat another piece of tilapia. Each time dinner time rolled around, my stomach would get queasy just thinking about that fish. It tasted just fine, and I actually didn't mind eating it...it seemed more mental and every time that day would roll around, the exact same thing would happen. *shrug*
3) As far as this eggs and oats thing goes? That is a winner! Cooked together with some brown sugar stirred in my bowl when it's done? YUM! I just had another batch and I have to say that this one grew on me really quickly! I'm keeping it!
4) Yesterday, my body told me that I was 10 minutes late for my next meal. Yes, TEN MINUTES. I know that my body works best on a schedule, but this is the MOST fine-tuned I've ever gotten it.
5) The broccoli, rice and spinach dish by far is my favorite meal other than breakfast. This one is going in regular rotation.
6) Even though I was eating "perfectly" I had no idea how to make a meal that would fit these goals on my own...something I realized yesterday when I tried to figure out next week's menu.
7) And, finally, when I deviate from the plan in a BAD way...I pay for it.
Last night we went and had the whole Mexican dinner. Because we were concerned with money at the time, and I could see Hubs glaring at me as I studied the menu, I didn't pick the chicken fajitas I always get that are one of the healthiest choices. I caved and got a cheaper, non-healthy choice. *sigh* I'm paying for that decision today, and I paid some last night. Heartburn, upset stomach, too much time in the bathroom. It hasn't been an easy night or morning. But....I have learned a valuable lesson. If you don't have the money to eat healthy out...you don't have the money to eat out. I'm not sacrificing my health and my body's progress because the bank account is low. I could've gone home and cooked up a healthy dinner instead and saved even more than going out and eating crap.
So, yes, I spent most of the day when I wasn't working, doing research on how to build a healthy plate. I'm going with the 60/20/20 plan. 60% carbs, 20% protein, 20% fat. Funny how I never learned how to really work this before.
Did you know?
* There are 4 calories for every carb and protein, but 9 for fat?
I knew there were 9 for fat, but I didn't know there were 4 for carbs and protein. And to me, it was a huge eye opener. 60/20/20 makes it seem like you can have just as much fat as protein but I KNEW that was wrong. Turns out, protein is less calorie dense, so you can have more of it. Same with carbs.
*Using the 4,4,9 information, you can figure out how many calories, carbs, proteins and fats you can fit into each meal?
That was fun to learn. I made myself a cheat sheet, which I will use to help plan my meals, using the fall-back meals in this plan as a fail-safe in case I can't come up with anything that fits right.
*If you balance each of your 6 meals to the 60/20/20 equation, you'll be balanced for the day?
It takes some of the guesswork out of it for me. Balance each meal pretty close to dead on and I won't have to fret if the day is good or crap.
I have an appointment with my nutritionist in the morning and I'll be going over a lot of this with her. I need her to teach me more about building a healthy plate. We need to get a list of options that I can use to create the meals I actually WANT to eat. While this set meal plan has taken the guesswork out of it, I want to be free from the constraints of eating the same thing day in and day out for the rest of my life. It's time to merge the part of me that knows a balanced diet works to the part of me that wants to continue to enjoy food and indulge every now and again.
One final note, this one less about food. YOOVIE said, "Do something today that makes you feel free." So I did.
I skipped the gym. With the sun shining so brightly and the knowledge that the next week looks like RAIN, STORMS, RAIN, and more STORMS, I wanted to enjoy this time I had. I grabbed Hubs and the boys and we headed up to the park where I played a good bit of tennis. It felt wonderful. It felt freeing. AND, I'm actually getting better at it! BONUS! My serves generally go where I want them to now, and I'm returning a lot more than I was a year ago. It was a great day, a great lesson in using fun, active activities to free your mind from the burden of "I HAVE to work out." AND? I used any down time to do crunches and lunges, so I got a good lower body workout in too (plus, tennis is a LOT of lower body work already).
Now onto to today. Going to have to alter the plan a bit as I'm taking my youngest to an appointment today with the Oral Surgeon in Parkersburg. I just ate my eggs and oats breakfast, so I'm packing with me - water, Chobani yogurt, granola and a spoon. :) I know this is good for me, and I can eat it wherever I am.
Happy Friday to you all!
"Do something today that makes you smell really bad."
YOOVIE said it. Take it or leave it. I'm either going to kill it on an elliptical tonight or Just Dance until it hurts...and smells. :)
Thursday, May 05, 2011
You are stronger than you think you are.
You are stronger than you imagine.
Strength is not purely physical. Check the dictionary! It talks about mental strength, and moral courage too.
I was strong yesterday.
I ate healthy.
I indulged only what would still allow me victory in the end.
I said NO to Hot and Ready Pizza.
I forced myself to push everything out of my mind at bath time and just enjoy...
...even though the kids were screaming.
...even though Hubs was screaming at the kids.
...even with the TV on.
...even when the light kept flickering out.
I kept going. Each time an obstacle came up, I fought my way through it with the strength I had and the desire to succeed.
YOOVIE said, "Do something today that makes you feel strong."
My strength did not come from the number of pounds I lifted.
It did not come from a number of crunches or squats.
It came from sticking to it.
It came from being unwilling to give in.
It came from knowing when to say yes, and knowing when to say no.
It came from doing what I wanted and needed for my body and mind.
August Wilson said:
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.”
And how about Alex Karras?
“It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more 'manhood' to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.”
Yeah, I've never heard of them either...but after that I'm thinking I should know who they are.
But, Mahatma Gandhi said it best, I think...
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
True dat, Mr. Gandhi!
It takes strength to battle your demons.
To say NO to food that will give you momentary pleasure but longer moments of regret.
To champion through when the world seems to be signaling a time-out.
To stand up and say, "NO! I will stand up for myself. I will do what I need for me, for my happiness, for my strength and beauty and love. I will fight whatever it takes to prove to myself that I am important."
And as I reflect upon yesterday, and I remember all the ways it could have gone wrong. As I see all the paths that could have been taken and I triumph and bask in the glow of pride for feeling like I took the right paths nearly every time, I'm reminded of something.
The fight isn't over.
Every day is a struggle. Some harder than others.
But every day is also an opportunity to prove my strength, or to build more through failure.
And I like it.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Yesterday was my first real challenge as we had training at work, which screws up my daily schedule usually. But yesterday I refused to let it. Before we headed in, I grabbed my 9:30am snack and brought it with me, keeping an eye on the clock in order to know when to eat it.
I made a few minor changes to my meal plan, namely:
- I only used 3 egg whites (instead of 4) for breakfast. That felt better.
- I could only stomach 1/2 of my sweet potato. I can't describe it, but it's the same way with me and oranges. It's not that it tastes bad...sometimes it's more texture than anything, but when I eat oranges and sweet potatoes (apparently ones baked like I did for yesterday), my stomach gets queasy and I feel like yacking. It just doesn't settle well. *shrug* Strange, right? I finally decided that my food should NOT be torture and I gave myself permission to stop eating it. (Ironically, I burnt my sweet potato fries last night...I forgot they were in the oven and the smell of Ethan cooking chicken burgers overpowered the smell of the potato, but somehow I giggle and think it might be a bit of subconcious sabotage so I didn't have to eat one today. *lol*)
On a sour note, I went home instead of going to the gym after work. Mainly because I didn't WANT to go to the gym, but also because I still felt a bit ill. *shrug* My stomach was a WRECK after yesterday. I found it difficult to eat my food yesterday. I couldn't understand if I was bored or if it was too much food or if it was just that adjustment period that sometimes happens with new changes to diet. I went home, laid on the couch and in bed, stupidly ate some Easter candy, and at around 10pm, I FINALLY felt better. No clue what went wrong there, but I had all but given up any idea of getting in my 30-40 minutes of cardio in for the night.
On a good note? I can usually tend to talk myself BACK INTO workouts. I kept thinking, "If I don't workout tonight, I'll be sacrificing my bath-time tomorrow night." It made me sad. I've been looking forward to this night since LAST Wednesday. So around 10pm, when I should have been cooking my food for today and getting ready for bed, I popped in Just Dance 2 and sweated it out for 45 minutes.
It's a huge reason why my fitspo for today is the simple quote:
"See...I've got nothing to hide."
More astonishing was that, after logging my Easter candy and TWO bowls of cereal for the night, I was still actually within my calorie goals set by Spark (which is high according to MY standards, but I try to be flexible and forgiving with myself...or, at least, I'm trying to...).
"See...I've got nothing to hide."
So, this morning, I got to work and added to my calendar for May 3rd
* 1 yellow checkmark for drinking more than 12 glasses of water (16, actually)
* 1 blue smiley sticker with green "rays" for completing my PT stretches
* 1 purple smiley sticker for completing my workout
* 1 A+ Apple sticker for staying within my nutritional goals
And even though I didn't make my food prep last night for today, I got up this morning and, with the help of Hubs, got all my meals cooked, prepped, measured, and packed. I'm still on track, suckers! HA!
Now I feel like I've honestly earned my RSD - Rest Spa Day. I will be hitting CVS (also need Mother's Day card!) and Wal-Mart or Kroger (because *GASP* I ran out of olive oil!!!!) and will get one or two new things for my RSD routine. I'm thinking a pedicure is in order because my feet are just NOT sandal ready after this hard, cold winter and all the miles I've put on them. I've never really done a home pedi before, but after reading some "how to" internet guides, I'm thinking it's not going to be much more than soak - file - moisturize - polish. Done and Done! I have a book that needs finishing and another one ready to go right behind it, so it looks like it should be a good night (especially if I can convince Hubs to do some towels so I don't have to drip dry! *lol*).
Day 1 -
Day 2 - SAVED!
Day 3 - we shall see....
A couple other things...
You all are amazing! The support I've gotten while pulling myself back together is incredible. I hope that I'll have the mental stability very soon to hop back full-force into my friend duties, because I KNOW I've been severely lacking in that area (SO sorry!). I thank you for your understanding that I needed time to sort out me and make ME okay before I could be there 100% for all of you again. MUCH LOVE!
MUCH LOVE also to some special peeps....you girls know who you are. You keep me grounded and somehow still manage to put wind behind my sails EVERY SINGLE DAY. You don't know how lucky I consider myself to have been brought into such a great group of people with varying talents and strengths and weaknesses who continually support each other through life (ALL of life's) Ups and Downs. You are the most incredible bunch of women and I'm so proud to have a place at the window seat with you (with our bare butts plastered to the windows, of course, mooning the doubters and haters *wink*).
Also mad props to the best and closest people in my life...including, but not limited to:
* My Mother - my rock and #1 fan
* My Hubs - who supports me, pushes me, challenges me, calms me, and always reminds me that I am beautiful (because he ain't stupid or ugly so why would he pick an ugly chick to be with? ...yeah, he's eloquent and romantic too, right?! *rolls eyes* *winks*)
* My Boys - who support me, encourage me, are always the FIRST people to tell me I look great and who don't care if I'm on the wagon or off, good or bad in terms of eating, but always think I'm awesome (except when I yell at them or make them do chores...of course)
* My Zumba Instructor - Sometimes help comes from some unlikely sources, especially for the shy (at first) me. Somehow I stumbled across an instructor that keeps me accountable, who supports me even when I'm out of class, encourages me, includes me, compliments me, challenges me, and, I don't think will EVER give up on me. I also love that she's not a stick and is built more solidly. It makes me realize that fit comes in many different shapes and sizes, so I shouldn't stress over numbers and such.
* My Bestie - who doesn't give two craps whether we're eating the heck out of a 1,000 calorie piece of cake or burning a couple hundred in boxing class or on a summer walk, but always supports me and NEVER pressures me to be anything but who I am. I'm lucky I found her!
So...there. I guess I got a little sappy and emotional...but I'll take this emotion over the others that were plaguing me for weeks and months ANY day!
As for my peeps reading along - Kill it today, or Rest like a Queen! Whatever you do, do it with STYLE! As I said yesterday, "I WANT to be caught doing good things." Don't shy away from something active because you're afraid of how you'll look. Don't refuse rest because it seems weak. Take care of your WHOLE self and leave the thoughts of others to them. Be who you need to be, where you need to be, doing what you need to do to make today a day that YOU will be proud of when your head hits the pillow tonight.
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Okay, so yesterday went considerably well. Minor slip-up at the end, but nothing that hurt the bank, honestly.
Meal 1: Breakfast
6:40ish am --- Eggs and Oats
I cooked up my oats in a frying pan instead of a saucepan like I usually do, when they were done, I added in the 4 egg whites and 1 egg I had whisked together and then cooked that down. Yes, there will still some chunks of egg in my oats, but with some brown sugar on top, it actually tasted quite good. Thick. A little creamy. And SO filling. I was forcing the food down telling myself that I needed to try to follow this plan exactly for one week at least. Had this been dinner, I could've eaten this easily, but I'm usually not so hungry in the mornings, so it was a bit of a challenge. Still, got it down and felt satisfied and (surprisingly) not overly full for the rest of the morning.
Stats: 397 cals/ 74 carbs/ 10g fat/ 28g protein
(And that includes my regular coffee with creamer on the way to work. Sorry, Jamie, I just can't picture my life without my morning coffee just yet.)
Meal 2: Mid-Morning Snack
9:30am --- PB Sandwich and Strawberries
The simplest meal of the day. Two slices of whole grain wheat bread with 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter and 8-10 strawberries. I considered slicing the strawberries and putting them on the sandwich itself, but I got lazy and just ate the sandwich and the strawberries seperately. (Maybe I'll be less lazy today!) No big surprise here...
Stats: 301 cals/ 41 carbs/ 11g fat/ 11g protein
Meal 3: Lunch
12:00pm --- Chicken, Broccoli and Sweet Potatoes
I popped my premeasured and weighed lunch into the microwave at work, and then headed outside to eat in the sunshine and warmth while reading my book. NICE! Lunch was 4 oz. of chicken breast. I had cooked 8 pieces of chicken breast on Sunday night. I split them into 4 sets of 2 breasts, and then topped each set with different spices. For lunch I had chicken with salt, pepper, oregano, and some ground cumin. As far as the sweet potato went, I had peeled it and chopped it into fry-type shapes, put it in a pan with some olive oil and salt and pepper and then put it in the oven to bake. They never reached the crispiness of fries, per se, but they were still good. Along with that, I had a cup of fresh steamed broccoli, which I steamed at home using my new steamer tray I got at Big Lots for 6 bucks. :) All in all? Great, filling lunch! I was impressed with how good the sweet potatoes were, as I usually have a problem with them. Maybe my tastes have changed, or maybe I just like the way I cooked them. We shall see...
Stats: 375 cal/ 43 carbs/ 9g fat/ 32g protein
Meal 4: Midday Snack
2:30pm --- Chicken, Rice and Spinach
So this 4oz of chicken breast had been cooked with cayenne pepper and some sage. I cut it into bite sized pieces, and mixed it together with the 1 cup of rice and the 3 cups of spinach I had cooked on the stove the night before. It was a yummy mixture with just enough and not too much kick on the tail end. NOM!
Stats: 362 cals/ 48 carbs/ 4g fat/ 34g protein
Meal 5: Dinner
5:30pm --- Tilapia with Rice and Steamed Vegetables
The meal plan called for 5 oz of fish, but I cut it down to 4 oz. Probably good because I realized later that I had measured my 1/3 cup of rice a little off...I think I had a touch too much rice, but nothing to fret over. And instead of mixed steamed vegetables, I will freely admit that I took the easy route and just used the leftover cup of broccoli I had steamed the night before. It was just easier. Of course the broccoli was great, but the rice was a touch dry and I ended up cutting up the fish and mixing it with the rice, which turned out pretty well. Tilapia is not my favorite fish...it tastes a touch fishier and grimier (?) than my salmon favorite, but it's alright.
Stats: 286 cals/ 35 carbs/ 5g fat/ 31g protein
All of this was consumed before my work day even ended. Then I headed to the gym for a workout.
Confession time...I only did 2 circuits instead of 3. I could feel my body starting to get sore and I do NOT need another injury. I knew I had put in enough time and effort to be alright on exercise for the night, so I called it good.
I started out with 5 minutes on the Treadmill, warming up.
Then I moved onto 2 sets of 15 push-ups to warm-up the arm muscles, which I was to use in ST that night.
Finally, 2 circuits of the following, 12 reps then 10:
Side Lat Raises (10, then 15lbs)
Dumbbell Bench Press (10, then 15lbs)
Bent-Over Dumbbell Tricep Extensions (10, then 15lbs)
Seated Cable Rows (70, then 80lbs)
Alternate Hammer Curls (10, then 15lbs)
Hyperextensions (10, then 25 lbs)
Following the first circuit I did 3 minutes at a moderate to vigorous pace on the elliptical, and following the last round, did 5 minutes on the stairmaster - as much as I could go without my hip needing serious medical attention.
Finally, Post-Workout Meal:
Protein drink with a medium sized banana.
Stats: 239 cals/ 32 carbs/ 3g fat/ 27g protein
I did well the rest of the night, aside from the mini Kit-Kat and the Dark Chocolate Covered Peep I had while playing Jenga with Hubs and Ethan. And then I cooked my steamed veggies and sweet potato and spinach for the next day and prepped my food in containers for today.
So far so good. Didn't go hungry once. Hoping to stay out of the Easter candy tonight...
Monday, May 02, 2011
So April was a trying month for me, but let's focus on the positives.
When I weighed in on April 9th, I weighed 325 pounds.
Yesterday morning I logged my weight as 323.2.
So even with the all the crazy emotions, crazier eating and all that jazz, I still managed to lose weight. WIN!
I finally got my butt to the doctor, and then to the physical therapist. Today was our third session. Last Thursday after our session I began to really hurt. I know that doesn't SOUND positive, but according to the PT, a little discomfort shows that we're trying to get things back where they should be. I think it's one of those things that have to get worse before they get better. We're backing off just a bit on our stretches, just to make sure I don't have a night like that again where walking a mile felt like torture - slow and painful.
Last Monday I surprised myself by not only doing 15 regular pushups (one of my April goals), but doing 2 sets of them. Granted, I can't yet go all the way down into them, but this is such a huge improvement on the TWO half-pushups I was doing before.
In April I may not have run, boxed or even long distance walked, but I fought through a BUNCH of mental BS that has been hanging over my head for MONTHS...probably all of 2011. I'm still a mess of stress, something I talked to Hubs about again yesterday, but I'm recognizing it and attempting to work through it. We'll have to see how that goes as time passes on. Hubs asked me yesterday, "What do you WANT out of one day?" "Peace," I told him. "That's all I want. Peace." Of course, I then told him there was no way to really give that to me because I'm such a stressed out worry-wart all the dang time and I can't seem to escape myself and we don't have the time or money to escape to the beach like we usually do about this time, but at least he was listening...and offering to help make that happen if he or I could figure out how. *shrug*
Another strange occurance - my inches are going nowhere. In fact, I think I've gotten bigger in the waist this month, but somehow I'm now able to fit into all 24s. It's like one day I couldn't and the next, TADA! WTF? I went shopping this weekend. Ended up with a pair of jean shorts (24s), a pretty orange skirt, a white dressy tank, a dressy brown shirt, and then, jackpot of all "feel good" moments - I got 2, yes TWO, springy/summery dresses from Old Navy...the kind I always WANTED to be able to wear but never could. I also tried on a pencil-type skirt at a store in the mall, it was also a size 24 and fit me beautifully (but it was super expensive and I'm still not crazy about how I look in them). So there goes my theory that I only fit STRETCHY 24s. *shrug*
I've talked to a lot of people this month, finally willing to ask for help. Some of the things that stick out.
* My PT never said my injury was due to my weight. He did NOT tell me to stop exercising, but instead encouraged me to continue carefully.
* My doctor wants nothing more than to help me along in whatever way she can. We both realize that I'm stalled, but we're working together to do things to help me along.
* My exercise physiologist finally had a sit-down with me and we talked long and hard about the options I still have available as far as exercise is concerned. She told me to stop being so hard on myself because, according to her scale and my monthly weigh-ins I am consistently losing weight every month, even if very slowly.
* And my new trainer, Jamie Eason, told me that I can achieve whatever goals I want to with enough discipline. She explained that rest is VERY important, and somehow made me realize that if I'm going to be a little more sidelined cardiovascularly *snicker* that I need to watch more carefully what I'm eating. She made me realize that I can STILL lose weight if I can't move much, I just have to refocus my focus to the nutrition side.
Today I have the following meals planned, packed and ready to go (save the protein powder and banana, which I'll eat when I get home from the gym and the first 2 meals, which I have already consumed).
7:00am - 4 egg whites, 1 egg, 1/2 c oats cooked together with a touch of brown sugar.
*coffee on the way to therapist's
9:40am - 1 Tbsp. pb on 2 slices wheat bread with 10 medium strawberries
12:00pm - 4oz chicken, 1c steamed broccoli, 1 sweet potato cooked with 1.5 tsp olive oil
2:30pm - 4oz chicken, 1c brown rice, 3c spinach
5:30pm - 4oz tilapia, 1/3c brown rice, 1c steamed broccoli
* gym at 6:40, upper body ST and some time on the stairmaster
8:30pm - protein shake and medium banana
* bed by 10:30pm
It's about 2k calories, and only my fat grams are low (by only 2 grams so I'm not stressing).
In my fridge I have enough chicken for 1 or 2 more days like this. I have enough fish for the entire week. I'll cook my broccoli and spinach the night before. I cook my eggs and oats fresh in the morning. I picked up 2 more batches of strawberries, and I'm considering using the all natural strawberry preserves I have in the fridge as a substitute if I so choose.
My goal is to stick to this as long as mentally possible. I'm scared about the sweet potatoes. I've never liked sweet potatoes. I'm also scared about getting bored, but I'm trying to tell myself that eating does not always have to be the most joyous occasion. Sure, it's great to try something amazing now and again, but every meal? Really? Not so much. Food as fuel, with treats on occasion.
Hide the Easter Candy, boys! Momma is on a chicken and fish kick for right now.
As the week goes on, I'm going to research other dishes that fit to give me that nutritional balance I'm really looking for. Hopefully next week I can vary my dishes some more. I do NOT want to be completely sick of fish and chicken before the month of May ends! *lol*
My secret hope is that this week, however, will push me down under the 320s and I can build upon that success. As a test, however, I have vowed to not weigh myself all week. Sunday is weigh-in day...so I've got to stick it out until then.
Yes, I have been thinking, "But isn't this a DIET? The same thing we've been trying to stay away from because they don't work?" Yep. It is. But it's more than that. It's training my body what a balanced meal tastes like and feels like...and it's a great "I know this works" standby while I try to sort things out on my own. I need to not have to think in the moment because that thinking lately has been ruining me, so taking out all the guesswork will (i hope) help me focus a little bit. We shall see... Know what else this diet is? 100% clean. Fresh foods, made at home, spices determined and added by me. Can't be all that bad, and might help my stomach clear out the remnants of peanut butter eggs and chocolate covered peeps.
So, now for May goals.
1. Do my PT exercises EVERY DAY.
2. Rest 2 times a week - Wednesday for baths, Sunday for batch cooking.
3. Follow the 12-week fat loss program for the entire month as close as possible.
4. Be willing to forgive adjustments for injuries.
5. Substitute in what you substitute out. Even if you can only manage a SLOW walk, do the same amount of time you would have done your High Intensity elliptical workout and make it work.
6. Eat clean 25/31 days.
7. Treat yourself TWICE this month.
8. Drink 12-14 glasses of water a day.
9. Take your glucosamine to see if it will help with the joint pain.
10. Register entire family for Debbie Green Memorial 5k (in August).
11. Get ahold of and strangle CT until he gives me a new boxing appointment.
12. Do NOT allow bath-time to become mind-suck time. PROMISE!
Here we go, May! We're off to a good start!
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