Monday, July 07, 2008
It's never a good thing. Or is it?
I really do think that balance is the key to most things in life. It's just too bad that it's so darned hard to stay in balance.
I know that the first time I seriously tried to lose weight, before my wedding, was a very unbalanced way: I used Slimfast, and that was before they had all the yummy food. I got to eat one teeny, tiny bar for breakfast and lunch, and then a normal dinner. It worked, too, I did lose weight and fit into my sister's wedding gown.
I didn't learn anything about eating well, though, and of course the weight came back on.
The next time was with WW. I did learn a great deal, but one thing I don't think I really learned was to enjoy the journey. I was very focused on my goal -- a little too focused, I think. I don't think I really stopped to appreciate the changes in my body along the way; I was too busy getting to that goal.
Some people just naturally take longer than others. We're slow learners, I guess. I do know my journey this time is different. While both times on WW I learned how to indulge while still losing weight, this time I also concentrate a whole lot more on just plain eating healthy.
I know that cutting out whole food groups isn't a healthy way to eat. I never jumped on the Atkins craze, because I think healthy carbs are an important part of our diet.
There was a time I bought into the whole low fat thing, and certain things are better low fat (soymilk and regular milk come to mind), but I read ingredients carefully. I like to eat real food. I'll have full fat cheese, for instance, but not too often & I'm very aware of portion sizes. I like the idea of the 100 calorie packs out there, but most of them are just filled with junk & chemicals.
I do believe that you can cut out meat from your diet and be healthy, but you do have to be careful there, too. Too much cheese, for instance, isn't the answer. You might need a multi-vitamin.
The one time I do think it's okay to cut out an entire group from your plate is when you're struggling. For me, that's usually cookies. I generally don't bake cookies or have cookies around the house, because it's just too easy for me to overeat them. There was a time I couldn't have chocolate in the house, either, but now I've found things that satisfy me for small portion sizes, so I'm okay with some chocolate in the house.
That's the trick: figuring our ways to indulge in your favorite things, less often, in smaller portion sizes. In the end, nothing should be off limits.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
I went shopping this weekend. I didn't really want to do it, but I just can't stand having to hike up my jeans every few steps. I don't wear jeans a lot in the summer, because it's so hot here, but I do in the mornings & evenings because of the mosquitos. And sometimes I do just wear them.
I went to one discount store, tried on a cuple of 12s, but they were too small. Yesterday I went to a sporting goods store, because they sell levis (which fit me well) and they usually have a decent price.
Don't get me wrong, my present jeans aren't falling off me. With hips & a butt like mine, you'd have to lose a lot of weight to have anything fall off you! But they are still too loose.
Anyway, I ended up with two 12s & one 10. One 12 & the 10 are both in the relaxed fit bootcut, which is what I normally wear. The 10 is a little small, creating a little bit of muffin top, but with some wearing & less weight, they'll probably be just fine.
The other 12 is in the regular bootcut. They normally don't fit me, but once again, I figured what the heck, let's try them on. Yes, they are actually too tight right now. More than a little muffin top. But I'm pretty sure I'll fit into them eventually -- I'm hoping they fit by the cruise. A little incentive (since it's a cruise to Alaska, you can understand why I'd wear jeans).
Now here's the interesting thing: supposedly it takes about 10 pounds to go down one pants size. I've lost not quite 10, yet I've gone from a size 16 to a comfortable size 12 in my levis (although, as pointed out, the other 12s, the not-levis, didn't fit).
So even if your scale isn't moving as fast as you like, there really are other ways to judge. It's not all about the numbers. It's about how you look & feel, too.
Which brings me to another benefit. I add jogging intervals into my walks with the dogs three times a week. I've had just a glimpse of the runner's high a couple of times this past week. Where all of the sudden I felt light on my feet, not as though I had cement buckets for sneakers, and felt like I could just keep jogging (if I wasn't pulling 2 little chihuahuas around with me).
And that's because instead of lugging around a 40 lb bag of kitty litter with me everywhere, now I've just got the equivalent of my two cats attached to me permanently (they are big boys -- not fat, pure muscle).
P.S. I forgot to add the really weird part. I also bought some exercise clothes, since I only have 1 pair of exercise shorts -- and the shorts I ended up buying were an XL!
Saturday, July 05, 2008
For some of us, yesterday was the main chance to overeat. For others, the eating challenges continue all weekend. We didn't do anything special yesterday, other than walking the dogs together for both their morning & afternoon walks. Normally, when my husband is home, I do morning, and he does evening, which is why the dogs get their long walk in the morning (well, that and the heat).
We had a mostly untypical Fouth meal. We grilled lamb chops, because I had those in the freezer already -- after moving to TX, we quickly learned that what we do is grilling, not barbecue. They take their barbecue seriously here.
I made brown rice for myself, elbows for my husband, and rounded out the meal with roasted asparagus (I eat it almost every day -- I love asparagus!). And we finished off the meal with some decadent, vegan (yes, I said vegan) whoopie pies (recipe from "My Sweet Vegan", for those interested -- excellent, but loads of sugar).
We have a choice when it comes to holidays. Several, in fact. We can treat it like any other day, because the truth is that there is always an excuse to celebrate and overeat.
We can say the heck with it and just eat anything we want. There's actually nothing wrong with that -- IF it's a conscious decision, and IF you truly eat mindfully and enjoy what you eat, and IF you don't stuff yourself. But if you just throw caution to the winds on the spur of the moment, I guarantee you'll regret it.
Or we can plan for an indulgence, as I did. I made sure to eat very healthfully for several days beforehand. Even forgoing a luna bar for dessert in favor of a banana with plain yogurt, home made granola, and a little agave nectar (no, actually, I am not a vegan, I just eat like one sometimes).
I made sure to keep up with my exercise. In fact, yesterday, in addition to our two walks, I also did the 40 minute cardio party from turbo jam.
I know that I cannot make this a life style if I don't indulge occasionally. I find ways for small indulgences every day, but once in a while I'll have something truly decadent, like my whoopie pie or a shared piece of chocolate cake at a restaurant. I just don't do it daily, or even weekly.
We also had hot dogs for lunch. Hot dogs, I can hear you thinking now, are not healthy. Well, they can be. They were even beef hot dogs. From Applegate, with no nitrates or fillers, and relatively low in calories & fat. We use whole wheat hot dog buns, and put 2 hot dogs per bun (see, I'm obviously not a vegan). And I just had baby carrots with them. And cherries. Yes, even hot dogs can be part of a healthy eating plan.
Actually, I will admit that I never eat hot dogs when my husband isn't here. It's not something I crave. But he enjoys them, and I know that a couple once in a while won't hurt.
Eating well is mostly balance, with a lot of mindfullness thrown in.
Friday, July 04, 2008
I know, I know, a holiday& 3 posts. How sad is that? But we're relaxing today. And I just wanted to share this, which our WW leader shared with us at the meeting yesterday:
I pledge allegiance to myself
In quest of my weight goal.
And to the healthiness for which it stands
With confidence in new clothes for fall
If you haven't already started in on your holiday eating, keep this in mind!
Friday, July 04, 2008
I will admit it: when one of the challenges of the Swimsuit Bootcamp was to post a before & after photo of yourself, I really didn't want to do it. I am so unhappy with photos of myself. That was part of my wake-up call (altho I was never really in denial), the way I looked in photos.
And I can't say as I saw a big change. But when I opened up today's photos vs. a month ago . . . I could actually see a difference in my stomach immediately. And there's just the hint of collarbones, always one of my visual markers -- hard to see in the smaller size I posted on this site. Just a hint, mind you.
I haven't lost huge amounts of weight. About 9 pounds in 3 months. I've gone down almost 2 pants sizes though; my photo today is in the smaller size of my "skinny" jeans. I don't have any skinny jeans anymore, though; they were my smallest size. Although I still have a few clothes that are too small.
I went shopping yesterday, but couldn't find jeans that flattered me at Marshalls. I did buy a pair of shorts that are just a tad too small. I hope to fit into them by the end of the month. There are so many clothes I bought over the years, too small, figuring I'd lose the weight -- only to eventually donate them unworn because not only did I not lose the weight, I gained more. Now I'm comfortable knowing I will lose the weight eventually.
My July goals:
1. Still chasing the 30" waist. Weird, now my weight goes down but my tape measure is stuck. Actually, I think my goal for July is to get to 29".
2. Be below 155 by the end of July. That's a biggie for me. That's about a 6 lb weight loss. I'm going to work my darndest to make it happen.
3. Fit into the shorts I bought yesterday -- comfortably.
I think having this visual reminder of how far I've come each month has actually turned out to be very motivating for me. It's not something I could easily do the first time I lost weight, since there were no digital cameras the. I need to print this out & put it somewhere I see every day -- maybe along with a photo of a cruise ship in Alaska!
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