Tuesday, January 08, 2013
What do you do when you have a great tossed salad but discover that there is no salad dressing to be found in the house? That was my predicament recently. Not wanting to go to the store, I decided on a whim to try using balsamic vinegar as my salad dressing. I was rather stunned by the results. It tasted good to me, really good on my salad.
Then I had to wonder why do we have this custom of putting oil with vinegar on our salads? What does the oil add except lots of calories? Can I really taste the oil? Well, no. I couldn't really say that the oil adds anything that I would ever miss now that I think about it. I just added oil by habit, I guess.
A little more thinking got me really sold on the idea of letting the balsamic vinegar handle the salad all by itself. Salad dressings have 60 to 120 calories or more per two tablespoon serving (oil and vinegar has 140). Balsamic vinegar, on the other hand has ten, virtually calorie free. Wow, why waste one's calories on salad dressing when there is such a delightful alternative? I could give up the salad dressing without any sense of loss and have a chocolate covered cherry for dessert instead! With this line of reasoning in place, I bought myself a bottle of dandy balsamic vinegar just for my salads and I've been munching happily away ever since.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
I had to weigh myself at least a dozen times last night and this morning because I couldn't believe it. Not only did I NOT gain weight over Christmas and New Year's Day, I lost weight, and not just one pound but three!!! Even more exciting, this accomplishment puts me in ONEderland. I now weight 199, I dont' remember for sure when my weight first surged over 200 but I know that I have weighed well over 200 for at least fifteen years and it may have been as many as twenty. So I am thrilled to be under 200 after so many years of feeling utterly defeated.
Here is how I did it. I was determined NOT to gain weight over the holidays. I had worked too hard to lose 20+ pounds and I knew I was close to entering ONEderland. At 202, I wanted to be in ONEderland in January of 2013 and I didn't want to make reaching that goal difficult by gaining weight over the holidays. So each day I reminded myself of the vision of entering ONEderland. I took out a guest membership at the fitness center in my parents' hometown so that I could keep working out daily (cardio each day and alternate days of strength training). This was after starting each day with ten minutes of warm up exercise. I also tracked all my food intake, every crumb! I informed my family of my goal and they helped me by leaving some of the desserts (already prepared) in the freezer and by offering healty choces. I checked out some menu items ahead of time on the food tracker so that I knew how much I could indulge in certain high calorie items without blowing my diet. In this way, I was able to enjoy fruitcake, apple pie, ice cream, cookies, and ice cream pie (not to mention stuffing, gravy, casseroles, mashed and scalloped potatoes and meats of all varieties...). I can't say that I was really deprived at all of anything, I just stayed highly disciplined in terms of portion control and sticking to one serving. I did choose not to eat any bread or rolls for the most part. I drank tons of water and kept in touch with my Spark Friends! I also shared what I was doing with family members and inspired a few of them to join Spark People! That's about it. It worked better than I thought it would.
So don't hate me for losing weight over the holidays. I know its a hard time for many people as it has always been for me in the past and some on the other hand chose to relax and enjoy the season which has its justifiable merits. But it was really important for me this year to not lose ground and in my fear of gaining weight I overshot my goal of maintaing and actually lost quite a bit of weight. I have no regrets about that :)
Well, what's next. I can win the "lost 25 pounds" trophy as soon as I lose one more pound. That's a good short term next-step goal. I've also decided to aim for a 100 day streak of getting at least ten minutes of exercise daily (with the intention of getting 250 minutes of exercise a week). This will help me keep moving forward toward my original goal of getting my weight down to 194. That will be the next milestone (30 pounds lost). But I don't plan to stop there. If I can lose weight during the holiday season, then I can surely go on to meet my latest goal of weighing 184 in time for my birthday in April and a very healthy 175 by summer. It really is great to be in ONEderland. What a fantastic way to start the new year!
Saturday, December 29, 2012
I have faced the ultimate temptation, walking as I have been these past two days in the midst of tens of thousands of calories just begging to be consumed at two back to back family reunions: nuts, various chocolates, cakes, pies, sweetened drinks, cheese balls, brie, crackers, salmon spread, stuffing, two meats, casseroles, mashed potatos, scalloped potatoes, gravy, breads, cookies, fruit, soup, cranberry salad, apple salad, chips and salsa and more. Thank goodness I looked at the calorie content of one international chocolate placed on the table... 200 per small piece.... I passed. It was not worth it. Yesterday at my wife's family reunion I overshot my recommended calorie intake by just a little. Today, well, I went over by four hundred or so. Not bad, indeed not bad at all considering the total includes apple pie and fruitcake. I also had a very good workout this morning before the feast doing cardio and weight lifting. I'm quite pleased with myself in fact. I bet I ate 7000 calories at each of last year's reunions. So I am thrilled that I could do so much better this year, indulging a bit while maintaining control - I didn't eat any seconds and I limited snacking. Just now I took a little alone time away from the family because I knew I was in danger of blowing it. So I took some time to track my calories and then to write this blog in order to remind myself that I've had enough indulgence for one day - it was fun but enough is enough... NO SNACKING TONIGHT. I am preparing to enter ONEderland in January and there is no point in making that difficult on myself (nor is there any point in making myself miserable tonight by stuffing myself and causing a bad night of sleep). I am quite full and yet still comfortable. My family has noticed that I've lost weight (there's no point in surprising them by gaining all 20 pounds back by tomorrow morning). Therefore, I declare that this day of indulgence was quite successful and on that positive note I'm finished eating for the day - no more - not even a bite, not a nibble, not even a crumb and I'm not kidding, I'm serious! Don't even think about trying to tempt me. So there! I've said it and I've made it quite official by posting it on this blog, and I have thereby made it legal by signing my name (electronically) before all the Spark People witnesses, this 29th day of December, in the year of our Lord, 2012. My lips are now sealed.
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