Tuesday, August 25, 2009
It's a sad, but true, fact that as your weight goes down, so must your calorie consumption. Your appetite will decrease, too, but the two aren't always in line. At least not for me.
So I play around with portion size. How much can I downsize and still feel satisfied? Will 2 teaspoons of chocolate work instead of a tablespoon? How about 1 tsp dark chocolate chips instead of 1 1/2 teaspoons? The differences may seem small and unworthy, but they sure do add up.
This morning I experimented with my oatmeal. I've blogged before about how I like it salty with a very small amount of dark chocolate chips in it -- a warm granola bar. Which is healthy. How cool is that?
But I like a nice, big serving of oatmeal. 1 1/2 servings, in fact. 1 little serving doesn't really do it for me. I'm doing good, actually, because I used to like 2 servings.
This morning I decided to try just one serving (1/2 cup rolled oats before cooking). Only I decided to add some peanut butter along with my dark chocolate chips. I've tried PB in my oatmeal before, but I wasn't really impressed -- if you mix it in prior to cooking, the PB seems to disappear.
Only this morning I decided to do the same thing with my PB that I do with the dark chocolate chips: put it on top of the cooked oatmeal so it gets nice & melty, and then mix it in. Eureka! It feels like you're eating a decadent treat, when it's actually a very healthy breakfast.
Speaking of PB, I recently tried Naturally More PB -- www.naturallymore.com/ . Yummo! Yes, it has some honey & sugar in it -- but only 2 gms per serving, and I'm eating less than a serving at a time. It just gives me that slightly sweet taste I love. My understanding of flaxseeds is that they're not really bioavailable to us unless they're ground, so I'm not sure the whole flaxseeds in there do us a lot of good. But it's still good, and good for you.
Looking at their site, I see they have almond butter, too. I'll have to try that.
I won't lie to you: I'd definitely rather stick with my 1 1/2 servings. Hopefully when I get to maintenance, I can work that in, but for now, I'll keep trying 1 serving. I'd like more, but I'll have a midmorning snack like usual, and I think I'll be fine.
What have you been able to downsize? And do you have a favorite PB that isn't full of junk?
Monday, August 24, 2009
It's a slippery slope from a slight weight gain to either losing control or giving up and gaining back a lot of weight. I got quite a few comments with my latest weight gains to relax, that I'm so disciplined that I'd lose the weight in no time. Just as my husband told me it was silly to even think about eating well during our move, or during vacation for that fact.
It's different for everyone, but you know how much is too much. And if you don't, you have to set limits for yourself. It's silly to think you're never going to gain weight just by leading a healthy lifestyle -- weight gains ARE part of a healthy life style. But how much is too much? When do you start hearing alarm bells?
I know 4 lbs in just a few weeks was a definite alarm bell for me. I've written a couple of times that I thought I was back on track, but it took more than one try and it actually still remains to be seen whether or not I truly am -- especially with a vacation coming up.
And, of course, I've been there before: you won't let yourself get 5 lbs above a certain weight, which turns into 10, which turns into 20, and so on . . .
More than one person has commented that they can't imagine me being overweight. Which is funny, because if you look at my start photo it's there in living color. In fact recently, my friend Kate gave me a chuckle by commenting that she's only known me "thin". I'm still not thin! But thin is subjective, I guess.
The bottom line is we've got to be vigilant. It's really, really easy to let ourselves go, and sometimes it's really, really hard to get back on track. So you've got to develop that sixth sense for trouble, and know what your basics are -- and get back to them when you are in trouble. And reach out for support here on Spark. Fellow sparkers make me smile every day!
I wanted to write a blog about my mall walking experience yesterday, but couldn't quite come up with a whole blog about it so I'll just mention my thoughts in closing. Yesterday was my "rest" day, but with walking around the mall, I got almost 12,000 steps in. In fact, I racked up more steps walking around the mall than I did walking the dogs in the morning!
I also did some people watching, and what really struck me is how sloppy most of us dress. Where is the pride in ourselves? I, of course, have been guilty of sloppy dressing too, but it does say a lot about us -- especially when you're dressed sloppily & you're not just putzing around the house. When you look good, you feel good. Is there a correlation between sloppy dressing and weight gain? Is it a chicken & egg thing -- which comes first?
Finally, does a "thin" girl come out of a Lindt chocolate shop with 5 bars of chocolate? Well, I sure hope so, because that's what I did. You get one free when you buy four. So I bought 3 of the fleur de sel I've become so fond of (but I can limit myself to one or two squares a day), 1 dark chocolate chili, and one 70% dark chocolate. The fleur de sel (and the chili) aren't 70%, but they are dark chocolate (cocoa content unknown) so hopefully they're still the healthy kind. I was surprised that I did like the chili dark chocolate one.
I guess the moral of the whole blog is that you've got to know yourself. Know what you can handle, what you need, what you don't need, and be strong enough to do the right thing.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
If the US can be based on checks & balances, why not our healthy lifestyles? In the book "Naturally Thin", Bethenny Frankel writes about viewing your diet as a check book: if you have a really rich meal, you balance it out by eating lighter at the next meal; if you have a carb heavy meal, balance it out by eating more protein at the next meal; if you have a sweet snack, make your next snack savory.
This makes a lot of sense to me, and I was already doing a lot of it. But I hadn't really thought about balancing sweet snacks with savory ones, for instance.
On my journey back to balance, I've realized a couple of things -- for the moment, at least. I think was being both too restrictive AND too permissive. Boggles the mind, huh?
With that flurry of entertaining and events, I think there was just a wee bit too much rich food. Rich food CAN have a place in a healthy lifestyle, but too much of anything isn't good for you. These couple of weeks on my own again, while a bit boring, may be just what the doctor ordered. Time to find my balance again.
I think I was being a bit too restrictive, too. I made one of my favorite comfort meals yesterday: shells & "cottage cheese" (tofu crumbled, then mixed with an equal amount of veganaise, which is a vegetarian mayonnaise that's really good). It may sound disgusting, and while relatively healthy, there is a fair amount of mayo in there -- but I simply adore the stuff, and I've been eating it fairly regularly for months & still losing weight. Everything in moderation.
I hadn't made it in a while tho. Trying to stick to healthier fare for the most part. But we need those little indulgences.
I also want to be the person who makes all her own food, but the truth is it is very time consuming. It's okay to have a Luna bar once in a while, instead of wheat free crackers & peanut butter, for instance. I try to avoid chips for the most part -- not really my thing; I like them, but I don't really crave them, and they're so empty nutritionally. But I've been eating Newman's own pretzels a few times this week. Still somewhat empty calories, but sometimes it's just what I'm looking for.
And I've gotten back into making popcorn a few times a week instead of a dessert. Because I like mine buttered, it's as many WW points for the popcorn as it is for most sweets, but it just seems to work for me.
We can definitely go too far into restrictive mode, thinking we're being "good", thinking we're still indulging enough. It's all about that ever elusive happy balance.
And speaking of balance, I guess I'm no longer envious of DH. I guess his father is still much weaker than I'd realized -- even tho he's home, he can't be left alone at all; he needs to be watched 24/7. They're going to have people helping them, but they hadn't start coming yet. And as I said, I think I really needed these couple of weeks to relax & not do a whole lot.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I swear yesterday's WW meeting was tailored just for me. Basically, it was about getting back on track. Motivation doesn't come hard to me, yet the scale shows that I've been off track for a while.
My leader shared with us her theory why so many people end up giving up after losing roughly 25 lbs or so: they get sloppy because they like the way the look again, or at least feel so much better about themselves.
Genius! Have I been sloppier? I guess the scale says I have been. Do I like the way I look again? Yes. Do I want to look even better? Yes. More importantly, is it important to me to be at a healthy weight? YES! Absolutely. Time to ramble a bit.
I went shopping yesterday. I wanted to check out Old Navy's skinny jeans at $20 a pair. I have a couple of pairs of boots that ought to be worn with your jeans tucked in, only my jeans all have too much fabric at the ankle to easily tuck them in.
Everyone has a brand that works for them, and I already knew Old Navy doesn't seem to work for me so I didn't have high hopes. But I couldn't pass up that price. Unfortunately, they didn't have any petites in my size. And while the jeans did give me a bit of a muffin top, they actually fit. Which totally shocked me. I can order them online, but since I couldn't actually try on a petite size, I'm going to be guessing about the size. I'm still debating what to do.
DH was supposed to come back on Monday, but now he's staying until Thursday, so he can stay longer with his folks. I'm fine with that, but I was a bit miffed that the only call I got yesterday lasted about a minute so he could tell me that. This is one of the downsides of being in NY now -- that darn 3 hour time difference.
And if I'm completely honest, I'm envious that he gets almost a week with his folks while I continue to hold down the fort here. Which I know is childish, and of course I want him to be with his folks, it's just that he has at least gotten breaks with travel with work (which yes, having done it myself I know it's tiring), while I haven't had any. Like I said, I KNOW that's childish, but hey, there you go. It's honest, & now it's out there.
I had planned to do so much the week, but accomplished very little. I really need my vacation! Altho still not quite sure how we're going to eat out with the dogs in tow. We could do it in Austin, it's such a dog friendly town there are places you can take your dogs with you. I'll have to get on Dogfriendly.com again & find some restaurants near us.
One of the foodie blogs I read has been raving about Lindt's Fleur de Sel for a while. It's a dark chocolate bar with salt in it. I bought one yesterday. O.M.G. The dark chocolate is so smooth. And it's 70% cocoa, so it's the good stuff. Definitely could be addictive. I had something else foodwise to share only now I can't think of it.
And to end on a good note, I've found someone thru Spark to meet up with & go see "The Time Traveler's Wife". I would've gone alone, but it's always so much nicer to go with someone. I read the book when it first came out & loved it -- have reread it several times; I know the movie got so-so reviews, but I still want to see it.
So there you go, have a great weekend, but don't get too comfortable!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Who says the only things that taste good aren't good for you? I really do get cravings for healthy foods -- sometimes, anyway.
There was the time not long ago when I was staring at the grape tomatoes I'd bought to put into a salad for company, and I just had to have some. Altho I've found that raw tomatoes have a tendency to make me rather gassy, which is too bad because I love them so.
Or oatmeal. I like my oatmeal plain, with just a little bit of salt. I have started to put just a teaspoon of dark chocolate chips in it, along with some flaxseed. It's like a warm granola bar! Monday night something upset my stomach big time, and the next morning it was still hurting, and I found myself craving a nice, soothing bowl of oatmeal.
Those who've followed me a while know just how much I love my sweets. I know that we're born with a preference for sweets -- often, in olden days, preferring sweet tasting food preventing humans from poisoning themselves with wild plants. But sweets aren't the only thing I crave. I crave healthy, too, in more ways than one.
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