Thursday, July 17, 2008
Numbers are just guidelines. In fact, most people -- according to the authorities -- underestimate the number of calories consumed and the (edited: overestimate) number of calories expended by exercise.
That is why I didn't much worry when my total calories for yesterday (not all recorded yet) came to something between 1000 - 1200, which is quite a bit below my calorie range.
I had an extremely healthy eating day. A home baked muffin for breakfast (full of things like bananas, carrots, sweet potato & oat bran -- and actually tastes pretty good); lunch was sushi (which is most likely where the calories got fooled, because who knows how many calories are really in there?); and dinner was a strawberry salad and tempeh "fries" (my first time trying tempeh -- which is really odd looking, sort of odd tasting, but oddly filling & satisfying, too). I had plenty of fruits & veggies, and a small piece of chocolate in the evening. A good day all around.
I also want to point out something you might havef glossed over: I tried something new. With my husband gone much of the time, I am free to eat vegetarian & vegan (sometimes, obviously the sushi doesn't fall into that). You don't have to try something as "exotic" as tempeh, but it's always a good idea to try new things. You never know what your taste buds might decide they suddenly like.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
People sure do love their 100 calorie packs. I understand why -- I like the concept (although they're not terribly environmentally friendly), but I've yet to find one that passes my ingredient list test. They tend to be full of things like high fructose corn syrup and other rather artificial junk.
There was a day when I wouldn't care about any of that, either, I just wanted my sweet fix. But a funny thing happened on the way to eating healthy: I discovered, all on my own, that eating sweet things made of artificial junk and preservatives wasn't really satisfying me. Sure, it give me that sweet hit. Then I was hungry for more.
I'm not saying that you should give up sweets, either, just that there are better options out there. You might have to create your own 100 calorie packs, but you're worth it. Back to Nature makes a great line of cookies. Luna bars really hit the spot when it comes to sweet treats, and they have some fiber and protein too (and some even come in 80 or 90 calorie size now, too). Small pieces of chocolate -- you can't get any better than that, to my mind, when it comes to hitting your sweet tooth (yeah, okay, fruit is healthier, but I'm not a purist). Pricey, but worth it, are vitabrownies from www.vitalicious.com (and you can almost always find a coupon for some amount off on the internet).
This is the reason I didn't buy the "Hungry GIrl" cookbook. It looks good, on the face of it, but it's just too full of junk for my tastes. I want real food. It's truly amazing how satisfying real food can be.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Well, d'oh, you're probably saying to yourself if you're over 40. Yeah, it gets harder. But that wasn't what I was thinking about today.
When I was younger and heavy, it was all about how I looked. I'd venture to say it's the same for most 20 & 30-somethings, unless they have health problems.
But now it's truly different. My top two reasons for wanting to lose weight is to be healthy and to have more energy. I won't kid you, of course I want to look good too. But it is no longer at the top of my list.
I was musing about this today because today is agility day. It's almost non-stop from the moment I get up at 5:30 am until we get back home from classes at 10:30 am. And it's hot. Yesterday it was 105! Just 10 pounds ago, even when it wasn't hot, I'd come home from agility and just veg out pretty much the rest of the day. I was wiped out after two classes.
While I'm still tired after two classes, especially in the heat, I usually do get a second wind. I get something accomplished with the rest of the my day. I'll be doing a Turbo Jam DVD after I digest my lunch.
Maybe this is actually why I couldn't lose weight for the last decade. Because it was mostly about how I looked. Now it's more about how I feel. Or maybe it's just the fact that I swallowed my shame and reached out for support, both here and at Weight Watchers.
I wish I could convince the younguns' that it isn't all about how we look, because eventually, no matter how hard we try, those looks will fade. But it's probably a journey everyone has to make in their own way and their own time.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sometimes I just seem to get on a roll with a theme. Are you happy? That is probably the most important thing when it comes to losing weight. If you hate yourself, if you hate what you're doing for exercise, if you hate what you're eating, then this will never be a lifestyle change for you.
I'm not saying you'll never be frustrated or discouraged; we all are sometimes. If we are never frustrated, how would we know when we're happy? But you've got to be happy with what you're doing most of the time.
As I said in a recent blog, the realization came to me that I am happy with what I'm eating 95% of the time. Really happy. Part of that comes from just being very mindful: thinking about whether I'm truly hungry (and eating if I am, whether I'm out of points or over calories); thinking about what I truly want to eat; and eating mindfully when I do (no reading, no tv).
I enjoy exercising, most of the time, too. Sure, I'd much rather have my butt stuck in a chair reading, listening to music, or knitting -- or maybe even painting. But I don't have the energy to do the things I love if I don't exercise. I like the way I feel when I exercise. And I most definitely like what exercise does for my body.
I don't worry about the numbers too much. That includes calories, exercise minutes, whether or not I'm in my target heart range, the number on the scale, or the number on my jeans. I don't have to be in any particular range to know I'm burning calories. I don't worry about if I exercise x minutes I can x amount of food. I just know that if I'm active for about an hour a day, and mindful of what I eat, the weight will come off. Probably the only numbers I really pay attention to are the numer of glasses of water I'm drinking and how many fruits & veggies I'm eating.
If you're not happy, choose another journey. I don't mean give up on weight loss, but change your strategy. Find the journey makes you happy, and the weight will come off.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I do believe that there isn't one way to lose weight. What works for one person may not work for another. There are many different journeys available to us.
I also believe that we can take wrong turns on our journeys, sometimes, and it may feel right . . . but ultimately be wrong. As I've mentioned, cutting out whole food groups is rarely a good idea, unless, of course, you have a medical problem.
Becoming obssessed with calories, or exercise minutes, is just not a way to live your life to the fullest.
But it's okay to try different paths. Just ask yourself a few questions:
1. Is this something I can do for the rest of my life?
2. Do I feel satisfied with my plan?
3. Do I still have time for the things that bring me pleasure?
4. Does my plan make me feel good & energized?
5. Is my plan working for me?
Of course the journey won't always be easy. There will be hills to climb, there will be straighaways that seem to go on forever, there will be things blocking your way.
But if you're on the right path, you'll know it. And if you're not, there are other paths available to you. Learn to be flexible.
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