Saturday, May 12, 2012
For most of my time on SP, I've been trying to figure out exactly what the best way to eat is. I've tried vegetarianism, veganism, low-carb, smoothies, all-natural... but I'm sick of it, and I've decided not to care anymore.
I've always told others who are trying to diet and/or get healthy (both on SP and in my personal life) that labeling food "bad" or "good" is detrimental to long-term success, and I do truly believe in that; however, I haven't *exactly* been the best at practicing that!
There are two very polar-opposite diets that I tend to follow (simultaneously, at times!): veganism (I love my almond milk, nutritional yeast, and kombucha!) and whole-foods (in the form of real butter, real cheese, organic free-range meat and eggs, etc.). Strange, right? When I'm not eating a home-made bean and seitan burrito with fresh salsa on a sprouted grain tortilla, I'm eating a free-range chicken breast on a bed of wild rice with a salad and home-baked rolls on the side. I make vegan smoothies for breakfast one day, but eat locally-source home-made ice cream for dessert the next.
When I eat meat, I feel guilty at first and feel weighed down by the meat. When I buy tempeh at the market, I realize how my money just disappears and how unsatisfying some of my meals can be.
It's a hard thing to balance.
So, I've decided to stop.
No games, no balancing act, no caring, no worry.
My goal is simpler now: eat real food. Period.
I never once in my life purchased butter (REAL butter) until about 5 months ago. Because of my hereditary high cholesterol, I never ate it and we never had it in our home growing up. We only bought skim milk, light cheese and salad dressings, light mayo, and I ate whole eggs maybe twice per year (even though I loved them, especially compared to Egg Beaters). Yet, even after all of that I still had crazy high cholesterol (about 270 to 290, total count). Well, even though we ate this stuff at home, we didn't eat like that out of the house. We frequently got fast food (especially Taco Bell, Wendy's, and Checkers) and nothing was off-limits when we went to nice restaurants - a full 8oz steak for 15-year-old me, topped with bleu cheese crumbles and dessert afterwards was perfectly fine.
It wasn't until I lost weight and got active that it went down to a slightly more manageable 237-ish, with my triglicerides, good cholesterol, and ratios in the ideal range (and just my bad and total numbers in the not-good range). With my blood pressure actually on the low side, my doctors aren't incredibly concerned. And, what's more, I had started eating real eggs, real yogurt, bacon, and real cheese (although I do prefer almond milk over dairy, for some reason). Shocking!!
Even though I've gained weight (about 10 pounds) and now eat real butter (on occasion), my cholesterol is still around 230-240 (I've had it checked twice in the past 6 months) and my blood pressure is still on the low side (usually around 100/55). So, what do I do?
I'm eating real butter, my personal favorite being cultured butter from Vermont. I'm buying delicious, real, locally-sourced cheese made from grass-eating, non-gmo, local cows. I'm eating at small, independently-owned restaurants.
I enjoy eating real food. If I don't know the ingredients, I don't eat it. It's so simple that way! It may mean that I eat a vegan protein shake for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch, seitan chili for dinner, and ice cream for dessert... but it will be real, genuine, my-grandma-can-understand-the-ingredients FOOD.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Holy moly, let me tell you... when I signed up to be a tour guide in the city of Cincinnati, I knew I'd be walking a lot; however, I wasn't active on SP when I first started back in late summer 2011, so I had no idea how many Calories I was burning when I'd be walking constantly for as many as five hours straight with nothing fueling me but adrenaline, water, and the hope of getting decent tips at the end of my tours!
Five hours of being on my feet yesterday = approximately 1000 Calories, according to SP!
I usually use my HRM for Calorie calculations, but I didn't want to wear one while working. But, even if it's a couple of hundred too high, that's still crazy! I could definitely tell how famished I was by the end of it.
With Passover ending last night, I was holding off on eating dinner after my shift ended at 7:30pm so that I could wait for sundown and finally eat something with yeast and wheat! Where did we go? Our favorite pizza place for pizza and beer!
I normally can't even fit 2 slices of pizza in me... but last night I ate three slices and had three pints of beer! I hadn't eaten since 1pm and we didn't even get to the pizza place until after 9pm! That long wait, plus being on my feet for five hours, meant I was famished!
Tour guiding = ability to consume lots without feeling like I've gone overboard. I wasn't even over-full! It was awesome, strange, and well-deserved, I think!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I used to choose Wednesdays as my weigh-in day. (Hey, I like the alliteration of "weigh-in Wednesday"!) Well, I'm weighing in on Tuesdays now... just because...
...just because I weighed in today and got a dose of reality:
Well, that's a wake-up call. Back at my lowest weight (when I was seeing my personal trainer and running about 15 miles per week) I was 134.4 pounds. I'll never forget that day I looked at the scale and saw that. It's one of those defining moments in life where I just told myself, aloud, "I really did it!"
When I lost my first set of toenails two months after that, I lost my mojo. I didn't run, I barely was able to do certain workouts during the final few months with my personal trainer, yet I still was hovering around 135 pounds and a comfy size 4. After I was done with my personal trainer, I trained for a half marathon (which I ended up running exactly one year after the 10K that caused me to lose my toenails) and although I was doing a ton of cardio, I got up to about 140 pounds. I attributed it to muscle-gain, as I was still around a size 4 (though not as "comfy" as before). After my half-marathon, I basically cut back on my running by at least 75%.
I definitely didn't adjust my eating in the same way! And therein lies the issue.
Since last summer, I have been as low as 138 pounds (as of November, when I'd gotten back from a business trip to Japan where I was on my feet for 10 hours a day and eating mostly fish, tofu, rice, and veggies) and have been as high as 142 pounds... until today.
I don't remember the last time I was 143 pounds, though I could probably dig through my blog and find it. It's moments like this that will be a defining moment, though: How do I react to this?
Do I revert to the dangerous behaviors I'd gotten myself into last year?
Do I stop the whining and complaining and excuse-making and simply get back on the wagon and get active again?
"Truthful Tuesday" will consist of not only my true weight and measurements (the latter of which I didn't do this morning, sorry!) but the truth of what went wrong and what went right during the previous week, or even in my past weight-loss journey or the year+ long off-the-wagon journey.
**10 April 2012**
Weight: 143 lbs
R. Thigh: n/a
L. Thigh: n/a
The truth: I know I wasn't accurate in my food-logging this weekend. I had the app on my phone, but I never used it.
Learning point: Stop being lazy! The app is there to help me when on the run, so I've got to use it!
Monday, April 09, 2012
It's Passover... and although this holiday has always been my favorite due to the food, I always falsely think to myself, "I can't eat any wheat, yeasted foods, and must keep kosher... there's no way I can over-eat!"
If you take a glance at my nutrition tracker, you'll see what I mean. Whoops! Even today (definitely not the weekend) I overate above my ranges. Boo.
One thing I need to change (aside from my willpower!) is weighing myself again. I only *guessed* that my weight is about 142, but I haven't weighed myself in nearly a month. Ugh.
Similarly, I haven't run in about 3 weeks because of my stupid toes (along with the toenail that finally fell off on Thursday), and I'm using that as an excuse not to do much exercise at all. I have my stationary bike, but I didn't break it out today. (At least I did some upper body and lower body work, I guess, but it was nothing to brag about.)
Anyway, I need to get back into the SP swing of things. Slowly but surely...
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Forgive me, SparkPeople, for I have sinned. It has been nearly 13 months since my last SparkPeople log-in.
But, I really think I'm back.
Nearly four years ago to the day, I re-joined SP and kick-started what would be a 38-pound weight-loss. 13 months ago, when I quit SP, I had more like a 35-pound loss. Now, I've gained back another few pounds in the past year or so and am at 142 pounds (-ish).
Yes, it's a hell of a lot better than my 172.5 pound weight that I was back in 2008, but it's not the 134 pounds I was in January 2010. When I ran my Half Marathon in May 2011, I weighed around 140 pounds, but I had a ridiculous amount of muscle. After tons of foot issues, my running is down to nearly nothing while I try to work those out. My running endurance is so little that I'm basically at square one again, if I were to try to start up again (which I'm still considering, pending a trip to a podiatrist).
But, enough of the woes!
The good news is that my home gym has grown. What used to only be a yoga mat, resistance bands, a rarely-used jump rope, and 2-pound dumbbells has evolved into...
1 stationary bike
1 Leibert Equalizer dip-station (my new favorite thing in the world!)
1 set of 8-pound dumbbells
1 circuit-training timer
I've started checking out www.bodyrock.tv for quick 12-minute circuit training routines, which have kicked my arse when I do them!
...when I do them.
That's why I'm back here. I need to get back into a routine. I want to tone up, especially in the absence of running, so that I can get back into my size 4's that I was so proud of in 2010. I'm excited, but I'm definitely scared of getting obsessed by re-visitingthe food-weighing, Calorie-counting, gym rat life I once led. If you look back on my last blog post from March 2011, I beat around the bush about this. (I'm not ready to go into details, but when I am I will let you know.)
Speaking of "you", who is still out there? Where are the Spark Buddies that I've left behind? How are you all doing?
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