Sunday, November 02, 2008
In tandem with yesterday's post on where did my time go, today I'm sharing about frozen meals. And not the ones that come from the grocery store, either. SP has an article around somewhere on making your own frozen meals.
Lately I've been taking that advice to heart. When I make something I like, I'll usually take a serving and vacuum seal it (keeps things much fresher than simply freezing in a plastic bag or container). I started doing this because I realized that every time I travel, I come home and there's little food in the house -- and I'm usually too tired to jump right back into cooking right away.
I do always keep a couple of store-bought frozen meals on hand, for emergencies and times when there just isn't enough time to do meal prep. But even the healthiest frozen meals are still swimming in sodium.
I'm even considering tinkering with making my own frozen pizzas, dough and all. It's been a long time since I've made bread, but considering the frozen pizza I buy is $5 a pop, I know I could make myself several frozen pizzas for that amount of money -- and customize it to my tastes, too. You can make your own frozen pizza with store bought pizza dough, of course, but one of the main reasons I'm thinking about it is truly to save money. Plus there's something very thereuptic about slapping around bread dough.
Some people hate leftovers, but I adore them. Cook once, have 4 dinners? It's the lazy person's dream. So next time you have some leftovers you don't know what to do with, consider making some frozen dinners of your own.
And here's a thought from that famous cookie maker (who knew he'd have good advice for those trying to lose weight?):
"Believe that you can do it, under any circumstances. Because if you believe you can, then you really will. That belief just keeps you searching for the answers, then pretty soon you get it."
-- Wally "Famous" Amos
Saturday, November 01, 2008
I thought this was an appropriate post for a day when we get an extra hour's sleep. Altho I always figure you're really sleeping the same amount of time, you just change the clock. That's the way I look at it, anyway.
I often wonder just where all the hours in the day go. I don't work anymore, after all -- well, not at a regular job. Just what can it be that keeps me so busy?
And then one day I realized: living a healthy lifestyle is time-consuming! Don't get me wrong; it is time well-spent, but the simple fact of the matter is that it's easier to eat convenience foods and not exercise. Or is it? Is it really easier to have no energy? To feel disgusted with yourself? To derive no pleasure from your food? To never sit down at your table to eat?
I spend a lot more time on preparing food now than I did before I started this journey. I was still cooking and baking then, but I did absolutely rely more on convenience foods than I do now. I'd say I probably spend a good hour on food prep most days.
I'm also spending more time exercising, too. I was walking the dogs every day even while I was at my heaviest, and doing strength training several times a week. But I only started to lose weight when I added in doing an exercise DVD in addition ot that walk 5 times a week.
There is no getting around it: a healthy lifestyle is time consuming. It takes a lot less time to go through a drive through than to prepare a healthy dinner. It's much easier to watch tv than to exercise.
A healthy lifestyle is time well-spent, though. It will boil over into everything you do: more energy to get more things done, more confidence to deal with everyone in your life, and just the sheer joy of knowing how much good you have done for yourself.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Anyone who gets to know me, knows I have a sweet tooth. It's genetic. I get it from both sides of my family. In addition, I love to cook & bake -- and I'm good at it.
So I've had to learn how to incorporate sweets into my weight loss plan. I know that conventional wisdom says you should only have dessert a few times a week, and I know that that is healthy. Unfortunately, that doesn't work for me.
If I could, I'd have dessert morning, noon, and night. Some days, I actually do -- sort of. For instance, I made chocolate waffles this weekend. So I might have one waffle for breakfast. I also made some tofu-maple syrup spread, and that gives the waffle a protein staying boost. I'm also quite fond of peanut butter on my waffles, and there's little in this world I love more than peanut butter and chocolate.
I take a calcium supplement called Adora. It's a very small chocolate disk. Not the chewy kind like Viactiv, but a real chocolate. It comes in both milk and dark chocolate, and it's yummy. I have that with lunch most days.
And yesterday I had a home made cupcake for dessert. I ate really healthy yesterday, and I felt really nourished by what I ate.
All this means is that I do have to search my voluminous cookbook collection for healthy recipes for baked goods. Or mostly healthy -- occasionally I'll make a really decadent treat. The cupcakes actually were. They were vegan, so no animal products, but they were still rich. But many of the muffins and cookies I bake are relatively healthy.
I know that I would both be healthier and lose weight quicker if I limited my sweets more. But I wouldn't be happy. And as I wrote yesterday, if you're miserable, you're never going to make this a lifestyle change. So far I've managed to lose 18 pounds and still be able to bake and eat what I bake. I could have lost more by giving up baking -- but I would have lost more than just more pounds, too.
This is what I mean by making your plan work for YOU. Figure out what you need, and work it in. You can have anything you want, you just can't have everything you want.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I'm an idea person. I get a lot of ideas; some good, some bad. Most aren't acted on, a few are, and some of those are actually pretty good (meaning most aren't). And yes, I get ideas for blogs at weird times, so I actually do write down my ideas on a calendar.
And this was one of my ideas. I was going to write about how you do you have to do so you get what you want (a hard lesson for me, sometimes). IOW, fake it until you make it -- just do something until it becomes a habit.
I still think that's good advice for many things in life, but while subconsciously stewing on that for a while, I don't think it really applies to weight loss, and here's why: you have to want it. You have to want it baaaad.
If you really want weight loss, then the inevitable changes you have to make won't seem so hard. Sure, some will be harder than others; change is always hard, but mostly things won't seem so bad because you're getting what you want: a healthier you, with more energy.
So if you're really struggling, it may be that it's just not the right time for you. And that's okay. Which doesn't mean you can completely throw in the towel. I think if you're really struggling, it means you haven't dug deep enough into the real reasons behind your poor habits, you've set unrealistic expectations for yourself, or you're not doing it for the right reasons.
If you're struggling, change your tactics. Maybe lighten up a bit. A little less exercise, or some more healthy food, or a few more treats. If you just can't make exercise a habit, commit to just 5 minutes a day and really concentrate on your healthy eating. If you exercise but can't seem to control your eating, make sure you're at least getting in your fruits and vegetables or tracking your food (not necessarily both). If nothing is working for you, maybe it's time to try just maintaining.
Weight loss isn't easy, but it shouldn't make you miserable, either. Because it's for the rest of your life. If you can't imagine doing what you're doing for the rest of your life, then you're not doing the right things for YOU.
Monday, October 27, 2008
You hear it all the time: you need to love yourself the way you are, warts and all. But why? I'm not sure it ever really sunk in before, but it came to me yesterday.
How many times have you lost weight, with only your goal as your focus? Have you ever stopped to really appreciate your body at the various stages of your weight loss? Probably not. You want to get to goal, and that's all that matters. Failure is not an option.
Only failing to appreciate yourself as you are *is* a failure. How will you ever be happy at your goal weight when you haven't stopped to appreciate yourself on the way down? The truth is that once you get to your goal weight, if that is your only focus, you have nothing to compare yourself to. If you've really taken a good, hard look at yourself along the way, though, you'll realize just what a difference you've made in your life.
Even better, you'll realize that long before you ever get to your goal weight. You'll notice the little changes, and if you really stop to appreciate them, you won't forget them when they become the norm. When crossing your legs is always easy. When smiling doesn't mean a double chin.
We are all works in progress. So make sure you enjoy the ride!
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